THE SIGNS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Please read Acts 2:37-47. Many religions people are seeking after sign and wonders, forgetting that Jesus said "a wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign." Matt. 12:39. There are some true signs that follow the preaching of the gospel. They are not the kind of signs the world is seeking, but they are the signs God gives.
1. Deep conviction. Acts 2:37, "Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart..." Jesus came to "reprove the world of sin", and this is what His gospel does.
2. Open Confession. Acts 2:37, "...Men and brethren, what shall we do?" This question is very similar to the question asked by the Philippian jailer in Acts 16:30, "...Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" Deep conviction always leads to this question. Fallen mankind does not know what to do about his condition unless somebody tells them, for this is the way God has ordained, Rom. 10:13-17.
3. Plain Direction. Acts 2:38-40, "...Repent, and be baptized everyone of you..." Peter did not tell them to do good works, or that they were already the children of God. He told them plainly they must repent. Repent does not mean to be sorry for sins for these people were already sorry for their sins, but that sorrow didn't do them any good. Repentance means to have another mind toward their sins and Jesus Christ. To be baptized indicates a public confession of the new birth and turning from their old life.
4. Joyful Reception. Acts 2:41, "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized..." People that are under true conviction of the Holy Spirit will have no trouble receiving the good news of the gospel. Those that have a fleshly concern will seek some other way.
5. Steady Progression. Acts 2:42, "And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers." Those people that are truly saved will have great joy continuing in the doctrines of those that led them to Christ. They did not try to change the doctrines of the Apostles. They had a love for God, love for the Word, love for one another, and a love for private and public prayer. Those superficial believers will have trouble progressing in the doctrines of Christ because they don't have the love of Christ within them. By and by the word will offend them, Matt. 13:21, Mark 6:1-3.
6. Hearty Co-operation. Acts 2:44,45, "And all that believed were together and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need." This is not of necessity, but of desire to be with other Christians. John 13:35, "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." Those people that do not have a desire to be around believers just may not be believers themselves.
7. Great Jubilation. Acts 2:46,47, "And they continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." Who would ever thought that the hearts that had such deep conviction of sin would ever find such joy and happiness in this world and eternal life in the world to come? Psalms 30:5 is certainly true, "...weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."
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SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
Oral Roberts said he saw demons "digging their fingers into the flesh of Jimmy Swaggart", so he cast them out. The Bible says, "When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation." Matt. 12:43-45. IF Oral Roberts is right, we shall see Jimmy Swaggart doing worse things in the future than he has done in the past.