“And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”
So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.”
And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?”
So they said, “Into John’s baptism.”
Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.”When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. Now the men were about twelve in all.” (Acts 19:1-7)
This was the beginning of the church at Ephesus. It started with 12 disciples receiving the Holy Spirit with the initial evidence of speaking in tongues.
Before this time these 12 men were living in the light of John the Baptist only, much like Apollos in the chapter before:
“Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. And when he desired to cross to Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him; and when he arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace; for he vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.” (Acts 18:24-28)
Here was a man — eloquent, fervent, and mighty in the Scriptures who vigorously and boldly taught what he knew and helped many come out from the Law and into grace. And yet, like a multitude of so called “Christians” today, who like Apollos, are still living in the day of John the Baptist, desperately need the way of God taught to them more accurately (Acts18:26).
Many are living on yesterday’s manna and or their knowledge has not led to their maturity.
“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. “ (Hebrews 5:12-14)
Some of the Hebrew Christians were reverting back to the Law as some today are reverting back to the days of John the Baptist or just stuck sonewhere between the days of Jesus and Pentecost. Enter on in to the fulness of the Spirit! Receive the promise of the Father!
This is what Paul was exhorting the 12 men in Ephesus to do. They apparently had been baptized according to John’s baptism of repentance, which necessitated Paul baptizing them again in the name of Jesus (v. 5). By the way, this seems to be the only recorded instance where some disciples had to actually be re-baptized in water. Then Paul leads them on into a fuller experience with the Holy Spirit. Also as an obvious parallel to the day of Pentecost, the Spirit’s fulness is displayed by their speaking in tongues and prophesying.
These 12 disciples’ knowledge of the Holy Spirit was defective. Those who probably taught them had some contact with John the Baptist and knew some basics of Christianity without being aware of the developments of Pentecost. Apollos may have been among those teachers.
Unfortunately, there are churches and Christians like that today who are still living in pre-Pentecost days. They need a greater understanding of the work and ways of the Holy Spirit, and His gifts and ministry on the earth.
This 5-book bundle will enlighten you as to the present day ministry of the Holy Spirit in the Church today. Order them here on our website or on Amazon. Available in paperback and kindle.
Also, don’t forget to register for our Fall Holy Ghost Forum on this site.
Finally, please prayerfully consider investing into our Gambia 5-region evangelism and discipleship campaign in December. The cost for each evangelist overseeing their region is 15k. Thank you for helping us disciple many precious Muslims to Jesus.