Want Some Answers ???
Rev Peter, Thanks for writing,
>>Between myself and my wife we have over 50yrs of missionary work, my wife has been pentecostal all her life. There is a mountain of argument/discussion or whatever going on throughout the internet today. I find it amazing that the church does not seem to be the better for this. Is it really so hard to understand the Word of God? We minister in the dispensational times of the New Testament and should never neglect this, particularily the epistles.<<
Arguments will occur when people emphasize experiences more than Scripture. People claim all kinds of experiences today from the weird to the absurd, so perhaps a mountain of discussion is good. More ‘discussion’ and Bible study might help us understand that God's dispensational ways are the very reason the miraculous gifts are no longer needed today. When the New Testament was completed they ceased.
>>Re the Baptism of the Holy Spirit... "you shall receive POWER!!" This is sadly misunderstood by many Christians today and I feel the cause of many errors in the church. Basically the correct translation of this from the Greek is that you will have miraculous power, in other words the fact of speaking in tongues is the miraculous power.<<
‘Many errors in the church’ occur by failing to read Scripture properly. Tongue speakers today (and their strange experiences) are nothing like those in the time of Acts. The “POWER” mentioned in Acts 1:8 is not for man's glory (1 Cor.9:16) but it relates to witnessing -
“ 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”.
“… and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high."
All can be a witness, but not all have gifts of "miraculous power" (1 Cor.12:28-30). So the “power” is not for us, but for a higher task. The object of the spiritual witness is not the gift, power or ‘baptism of the Holy Spirit’, but Jesus is the object and subject of the Spirit’s witness. So it’s not about what men do, but what they become. They are joined to Christ through the Spirit. All through Acts this is the Spirit's work, there’s no independent second work (or second blessing).
Nowhere in the Bible (or Acts) is there any exhortation or command to be baptized in the Holy Spirit subsequent to conversion. Nor do the Scriptures anywhere make a distinction between believers who have the baptism and those who don’t. In fact, the Bible never uses the term “baptism of the Holy Spirit” but ‘with’ or ‘in’ the Spirit.
The word 'baptize' is not even used in re-counting the story of Pentecost, Samaria, Caesarea, Ephesus or anywhere else. This is amazing, for what's called 'normative'. One would expect many pages describing it, yet it's never referred to by name. After Acts 2 we never again hear of this baptism as something to be waited for, or expected. The promise of the Father had been fulfilled or taken place. We don’t wait in any place for God to send the Holy Spirit, He’s already here.
If the events of Acts 2 should happen to everyone today, then everyone should also experience a mighty rushing wind and cloven tongues as of fire. But of course we never hear those phenomena mentioned today. So Acts 1:8 is for all, not some. There’s no group (or individual) in Acts failing to receive (or partly receiving) the promise Holy Spirit when He descended. He came down from “on high” (Lk.24:49) not from within the emotions of spiritual life.
So to tarry today for a Spirit ‘baptism’ is ignorance of God’s dispensational ways. We don’t need a modern Pentecostal tongues experience to be a witness.
>>If you have a look at our website you can get a better idea of where I am coming from. Resting In Jesus Christ Peter<<
You didn’t include your ‘website’ address, but you are welcome to explain so I 'get a better idea'. Thanks for your time.