“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.” (Acts 2:1-2)
“And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:3-4)
There are those theologians who will say that at the point of salvation we receive all of the Holy Spirit that there is. That may be true. But if we rightly divide the Word of God, we can see that there are two distinct encounters with the Holy Ghost. There is the point that we receive Him, and there is the point when we are filled with Him.
Those same theologians will say that no second experience with the Holy Spirit is necessary. However, Jesus knew that it was so necessary that he commanded His disciples not to begin their Great Commission until they had received it.
The early Church knew that this power from on high was so necessary that whenever they encountered believers who had not received it, they made sure that they were filled with the Holy Ghost also.
“Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:” (Acts 8:14-15)
“(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 8:16-17)
“He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.” (Acts 19:2)
“When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.” (Acts 19:5-6)
These theologians might also say that this experience of being filled with the Holy Ghost was only for the early Church in order that it might be established. They believe that we do not need such signs and wonders today. They base their belief on First Corinthians 13:8-10
“Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.” (1Cor. 13:8)
“For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” (1Cor 13:9-10)
They say that once the Bible was completed, then “that which is perfect” had come and the miraculous signs of the Holy Ghost were no longer needed or given by God. By not rightly dividing the Word of truth, they deny the power thereof.
One look at verse 12 and we realize that the perfection spoken of by the Apostle Paul is referring to the return of Christ when our bodies shall be changed like unto His glorious body, and as the Scripture says, “we shall see Him as He is.” (1 John 3:2)
“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” (1Cor. 13:12)
As we look at the prophecy of Ezekiel concerning the river, we see that each depth must be reached first before we can go further. We cannot just jump out into the deepest part and receive the fullness of the river, the fullness of the anointing and power of God.
We must first be drawn by the Spirit, the waters to the ankles. (John 6:44) “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
We must be born again, the waters to the knees. (Romans 10: 9-10) “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
We must be filled with the Holy Ghost, the waters to the loins or the waist. (Luke 11:13) “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”
If you have not yet asked Him, simply ask the Heavenly Father to fill you with the Holy Ghost and He will do it.
Now we are out in the water to our waist. The current of the river has control of our legs and is pulling us in the right direction. We are being led by the Spirit of God, but we are still standing on our feet.
Before we can have the faith to take the next step and launch out into the waters to swim in, to leap out into the full force of the current and the depth of the power of God, we need to realize the purpose of the river. Why do we need to go out into the deep?