TEXT: Acts 1:8; 2:1-13; 3:1-7
The students will be able to explain that the baptism of the Holy Ghost is a necessary enduement of power on the sanctified life, given so that we can be more effective in the service of the Lord.
When our lives are filled with the Holy Spirit, He will flow through us in such a way that He will touch the lives of others.
Pentecost took place in A.D. 30 and is the birthday of the Church. It occurred on the fiftieth day after Jesus' Resurrection, the tenth day after His Ascension to Heaven. This was the beginning of the Gospel era. Pentecost took place on Sunday. The Gospel harvest of the world began at this time. How fitting that the Feast of Pentecost should also be known as the Feast of the First Fruits and the Feast of Harvest.
Jesus, in John 16:7-14, had spoken of the coming of the Holy Spirit era. It was inaugurated on that day in a miraculous manifestation of the Holy Spirit, with a sound from Heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and with tongues as of fire as it sat upon each of those who were in the upper room.
The word Comforter, used in John 16:7, is a translation of the Greek word Paraclete, which literally means "called to one's side," hence, "advocate." Because of this, we can easily see why the Holy Spirit is called our Intercessor and Counselor.
One of Jesus' last instructions to His disciples was that they tarry in Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high. As they obeyed His word and tarried in one accord, they all received the experience of the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire, speaking in other languages as the Spirit gave utterance.
- The disciples were commanded to tarry in Jerusalem until they received the power. Why was it important for the disciples to wait for this power, rather than to start right away to preach the Gospel? How does this principle apply to us?
Response: The purpose for "tarrying in Jerusalem" was to ensure proper preparation. Premature action may, and probably will, hinder success. It will prevent any subsequent action from being as effective as it should be, or would have been, if preparations had been made. The disciples were promised that they would have power after they received the Holy Ghost, just as we are.
- Jesus told His disciples He would send the "promise of the Father" upon them. This promise was that they would be baptized with the Holy Ghost (Acts 1:4,5). See also Joel 2:28. What does it mean to be baptized with the Holy Ghost? What is the purpose for which this experience is given? See also John 14:26 and 15:26.
Response: The discussion with your class should bring out that the baptism of the Holy Ghost is the Holy Spirit dwelling within the life of the sanctified believer, rather than just an occasional visitation. They should see that this experience is given so that one may have power to be a witness, and also to have the comfort and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
- There is no Scripture or verbal instruction by Christ that the disciples were to seek for a manifestation of tongues when seeking the gift of the Holy Ghost. If not tongues, what were they instructed to seek for? See Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:8.
Response: They were to seek for power from on High to witness. Lead your class into a discussion showing that as they seek for the gift of the Holy Ghost, they should not be praying to receive a manifestation of tongues, but rather, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. However, when the Spirit does come, He will be accompanied by the speaking of a language through the one who receives the Spirit. This language is always foreign to the speaker.
- What phenomenon in the receiving of the gift of the Holy Ghost convinced the listeners that this was of God?
Response: The listeners were convinced by the fact that those of the multitude each heard speech in his own language. Discuss with your class how this evidence has been reinforced by present-day experiences. Give time for your students to cite specific examples from their own knowledge.
- The disciples did not know how long they would have to continue in prayer, but they were encouraged that before many more days had passed they would receive the Gift. What spiritual attributes did the disciples display as they waited for the outpouring of the Spirit? See Acts 1:14 and 2:1.
Response: Discussion should bring out that as the disciples continued in prayer and supplication, they were all with one accord, or in agreement. Your students should conclude that sanctification is still a prerequisite for receiving the baptism of the Holy Ghost today.
- It is interesting to note that among the first acts recorded after the Day of Pentecost is that of disciples going to a prayer meeting. What significance does this hold for us in our day?
Response: Discussion should bring out that although the disciples had just received a marvelous infilling of power, they still felt the necessity of prayer. From this we can learn that through prayer we must also keep in constant touch with God in order to maintain His power in our lives.
- What was one of the first acts Peter did which gave evidence of the power he received at Pentecost by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit?
Response: Peter took the lame man by the hand and lifted him up. Discuss with the class that no doubt it was the Holy Spirit who inspired Peter to this action. We don’t see a moment of hesitation—he acted in complete faith.
- Some may feel that only those who are called to be preachers, evangelists, missionaries, or to do similar services need the baptism of the Holy Ghost. What does Acts 6:1-6 reveal to us?
Response: These verses show that men "full of the Holy Ghost" were chosen to fill positions other than those of preachers, evangelists, or missionaries. Discuss with your students how the baptism of the Holy Ghost better qualifies a person to work for the Lord, no matter in what capacity, showing them that the Spirit guides, comforts, and brings to remembrance Christ’s instructions.
To help explain salvation, sanctification, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost, show your students a glass half-filled with chocolate milk that has gone sour (or any other liquid mixture that will make the glass look dirty). Show how this glass is like us when we are sinning. Bring a pitcher of clean water and tell how God wants to fill us with that clean water, but before He can do that, we must be clean. The old mixture (sin) in the glass must be poured out (salvation). Then the glass must be cleaned and washed (sanctification), and, finally, the new clean water can be poured into the glass until it overflows (baptism of the Holy Ghost).
To introduce the lesson, use a flashlight, radio, tape recorder, or anything else that uses batteries. Show that we need the baptism of the Holy Ghost for power. When we do not have the Holy Ghost in our lives, we do not have the power that God wants us to have, we are like a flashlight without the battery. When we have the power, we become useful and ready witnesses for God.
Show your class two plants one full and healthy, and one which hasn’t been watered and is drooping. The plant without water is not beautiful or healthy in appearance. Compare that to how we as Christians must be cared for and must have all we can get from God in order to be useful.
Tract No. 14 — The Baptism of the Holy Ghost