The Gospel Observer
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations...teaching them to
observe all that I commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even to
the end of the age" (Matt. 28:19,20).
May 27, 1990
1) Miraculous Gifts (Part Six) (Tom Edwards)
2) The Flawlessness of the Law (Tom Edwards)
Miraculous Gifts (Part Six)
by Tom Edwards
Holy Spirit Baptism Was Never a Command -- It Was a Promise
No one was ever given orders to baptize others in the Holy
Spirit. Even when the apostles imparted the Spirit through the
laying on of their hands, it was not to be equated with the baptismal
measure of the Spirit. Only Jesus performed Holy Spirit baptisms (Matt.
3:11), and they were limited to merely a certain few.
Obviously, if everyone were baptized in the Holy Spirit at conversion,
then there would have been no need for the apostles to lay hands on
anyone for the giving of this.
Though this particular baptism was not a command, being baptized in
water for the remission of sins is; and a person must, therefore,
comply in order to be
Only Two Cases of Holy Spirit Baptism
Interestingly, the New Testament reveals only two cases of those who
were baptized in the Spirit -- the apostles and several people who had
been at the house of Cornelius.
Notice Jesus' promise of the Holy Spirit to His apostles in John
15:26: "When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father,
that is the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear
witness of Me, and you will bear witness also, because you have been
with Me from the beginning." Equally informative is John 16:7: "But I
tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do
not go away, the Helper shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send
Him to you."
I was once told that every time you see that little word "if," it
indicates that there is a certain condition that must be met in order
for something to result. The mother might tell her child, "You may have
some dessert if you finish your vegetables"; and we realize that the
requirement is that the child eats his vegetables before he can receive
In John 16:7, however, the only prerequisite mentioned is not on the
part of the recipient at all, but rather on Christ. The necessity being
that He would have to go away in order to send them the Holy Spirit; an
occurrence which was to happen after His death, burial, resurrection,
and ascension to the right hand of God.
In Luke 24:45-49, the only obligation we find on the apostles' part was
that they would simply wait in Jerusalem for the outpouring of this
promise. Notice Acts 1:4,5 in which Jesus, after reminding them not to
leave Jerusalem, makes a referral to Matthew 3:11 and declares: "for
John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy
Spirit not many days from now." Directly, the application is made to
Who Spoke in Tongues in Acts 2?
Let us now consider Acts 2:1-4. Here it is shown that those who had
received the baptism of the Holy Spirit were speaking in tongues
(languages) with tongues as of fire resting above each of their heads.
Who were these? Some would have us to believe that it was all the 120
who had been praying in the upper room with the apostles, but let us
take a more careful look.
Acts 2:7 records: "...are not all these who are speaking
Galileans? Were the 120 all inhabitants of Galilee? The apostles were!
Also notice Acts 2:14: "But Peter, taking his stand with the
eleven...." Why does it not say that Peter was taking his stand with
the 120, if they were all speaking in tongues? Undoubtedly, they had
not been; for only the apostles had received this Holy Spirit baptism
that enabled them to do such. That is why Peter took his stand among
only them, so that he could explain why they, the apostles, were doing
what they did.
Acts 2:15 is another helpful verse. It reads: "For these men are not
drunk, as you suppose...." "Men" is the key word in this passage, for
Acts 1:14 mention is made of the women who were also in the upper room
-- including even Mary, the mother of Jesus. Since they were part of
the 120, why did not Peter say "these men and women?" How could he have
forgotten someone like Mary, the Lord's mother, or any other of the
faithful and dedicated women who had been with them? It was not
forgetfulness; they simply were not the ones who had received this same
type of baptism.
Next week we will give our attention to the unique case of the
outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon Cornelius' household. Never since
has the likes of such an event occurred in the history of the world.
The Flawlessness of the Law
by Tom Edwards
Though the Old Testament was abolished by Christ's sacrifice on the
cross; and we today are not subject to it, it can still teach us many
profitable lessons. Numerous wonders about God and our need to yield
our lives to Him through loving obedience can be inferred from various
Old Testament passages. Some of the best illustrations that can
illuminate New Testament principles are found in the Old Testament.
It's been said that the "Old Testament is the New Testament concealed,
and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed"; it is easy to see
how that this is often so, especially with regard to many of the
prophecies concerning Christ and His church.
When Jesus met the two despondent travelers on the road to Emmaus after
His resurrection, He inquired as to their conversation. According to
Luke 24:16, their eyes had been prevented from recognizing Him during
this time. They had sadly exclaimed how that Jesus the Nazarene had
been sentenced to death and crucified, and then in verse 21 stated:
"But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem
On hearing this, Jesus replied: "O foolish men and slow of heart to
believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for
the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?
And beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to
them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures."
This implies that not only did the prophets write about Jesus, but also
that what they wrote was true. Of course, the veracity of the Old
Testament can be also inferred from other passages as well. Take for an
example the following proclamation that Jesus makes in Matthew 5:15:
"For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the
smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law, until all is
accomplished." Would Jesus have said this if the Law had not been
without flaw? Surely, He knew its precepts better than any man; and if
there were any errors in it, would He not have been the first to say
so? Yet, he so clearly shows in Matthew 5:18 that not even the smallest
letter or stroke could be taken away from the Law until its purpose was
One of the purposes of the Law was to help people see their need for
the Savior; for it showed them what sin was and thus served as a tutor
that pointed the transgressor to the direction of Christ (Gal 3).
May we also help you in this, by offering to you a free Bible
correspondence course through the Internet? If so, simply
email your request to tedwards1109@gmail. Thank you.
The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation
1) Hear the gospel,
for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30,31).
2) Believe in the
deity of Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins
(Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ
(Rom. 10:9,10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water
for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3,4;
Gal. 3:26,27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith;
can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet.
First published for the Tri-state church of Christ in Ashland,
Kentucky, at 713 13th Street.
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards