As Christians we are constantly seeking to learn about God to learn God’s truth, and to do so we turn to the most authoritative text we know, God’s Holy Word, The Holy Bible.
The most knowledgable of Christians can come to passages in Holy Scripture whereby scripture seems to be stating two diametrically opposite statements, this for me is the case with the scriptures I have used.
The receiving of the gifts of the Holy Spirit by the apostles cannot be denied in either version, But the circumstance of the receipt, the (When and How) of their receiving the Holy Spirit becomes a little muddled, at least to this writer.
One would think that in the receiving the Holy Spirit, receiving Him once would be adequate as all of God’s and Jesus gifts could be delivered at the same time. But it appears that it was necessary for two such deliveries of gifts and powers were necessary for the apostles.
Maybe it has something to do with the fact that at the delivery by Jesus personally, only 10 of the 12 apostles were present. My Lord and my Brother Jesus explains thusly to His apostles:
JOHN: 16: 7; “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you.”
And yet another verse spoken by My Lord Jesus: ACTS: 1: 8; “But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in all of Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth.
In these two verses from JOHN and ACTS; Jesus is telling His apostles that He must leave them to return to heaven, but Jesus promises them that He will not abandon them, for as soon as he gets back to heaven, Jesus will immediately send the Holy Spirit to be with them, to comfort them and to give them the courage and peace of mind to be able to fulfill Jesus command to deliver Jesus teachings Jesus Gospels to the whole world.
What is not explained to us as disciples, what is not made clear to us, is the fact that apparently Jesus apostles receive the Holy Spirit not once, but twice, a double blessing of the Holy Spirit as the chosen ones of Jesus. The first time the apostles receive the Holy Spirit, Jesus is actually present with them. It is the day of Jesus resurrection as Jesus joins the ten apostles in the upper room with Thomas absent.
JOHN: 20:21-22; “Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this he breathed on them and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Spirit:”
This receiving of the Holy Spirit takes place prior to Jesus departure to heaven, and this delivery of the Holy Spirit establishes a special link between Jesus and His apostles whereby thru their link Jesus permits them because of Jesus redemptive powers to offer forgiveness for the people, or, if the sin was so serious, it was not deemed forgiveable, to not forgive it. Ultimately though, Jesus as the redeemer, and forgiver of sin holds the power of forgiveness.
This statement by Jesus about the right to forgive or not forgive sin, posed a question in my mind. Since I am a Christian and a disciple of Jesus: Am I also endowed with the right, not the power of forgiveness too?
The answer to that question is simple. YES! I have the right to forgive another for their sin against me, as Jesus as well as Paul states in the following scriptures See: MATTHEW: 6:14 LUKE: 6: 36-37; ll CORINTHIANS: 2: 10.
We can witness that the apostles do indeed receive a second blessing and indwelling by the Holy Spirit as we read the following:
ACTS:2: 1-4; “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 rushing, mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were filled with the Holy Spirit, and began speaking with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them the utterance.”
From these scriptures we can witness that the Holy Spirit is received by the apostles yet a second time, and at this time they become endowed with all of the Gifts of the Spirit.