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The Holy Spirit Is a Gift
And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees Him not, neither knows Him: but you know him; for He dwells with you, and shall be in you. 
(John 14:16-17)
Furthermore Acts 2:32-33 says,
This Jesus has God raised up, where we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost), He has shed forth this, which you now see and hear.
In the Scriptures, there is a difference between being born of the Spirit and being filled with the Spirit!

When we are born again, we receive “eternal life”. The life and nature of God recreates our spirit – our inner man! We become the “new creature” Second Corinthians 5:17 speaks of.

In John 14:17, Jesus spoke of the Comforter (the Holy Spirit), stating emphatically that the world cannot receive Him “because it sees Him not, neither knows Him.

People in the world, those who are not born again, cannot receive this experience of the Holy Spirit that Jesus spoke of. Only born again people can be filled with the Holy Spirit!

As we study the New Testament Church, it is apparent that the first Christians believed that receiving the Holy Spirt is an experience that comes after salvation. This is seen most clearly, I think, in Acts 8. When I was a young Baptist boy preacher, this portion of Scripture enlightened me as much as any other to see that there is an experience subsequent to salvation called in Scripture “receiving the Holy Spirit, “being filled with the Holy Spirit,” or “being baptized with the Holy Spirit.
Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them… But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women… Now when the apostles which were a 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 (Spirit):

(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid their hands on them AND THEY RECEIVED THE HOLY GHOST (SPIRIT).
(Acts 8:5, 12, 14-17)
The Samaritans obviously were saved before the visit of Peter and John. Peter, who ought to know defined salvation in First Peter 1:23 as “Being born-again not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.” We saw in verse 12 that the Samaritans had believed and had been baptized in water; in verse 14 we say that they had received the Word of God.

Peter and John didn’t pray for the Samaritans to get saved. They already were saved. The apostles prayed that they might receive the Spirit.

Notice this carefully (it will help you help others): Peter and John did not pray that God would give the Samaritans the Holy Spirit. They prayed “that they might receive the Holy Ghost (Spirit).” We ought to pray according to the Word of God.

It us up to mankind (men and women) to receive what God offers!  

Eternal life is a gift.

Healing is a gift.

The Holy Spirit is a gift.

Notice how the Samaritans receive: “Then they laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.” They prayed for them that they might receive!

Additional Reference Verses: Matthew 3:11.,  John 15:26.,   John 16:7-15.,  Acts 19:1-6.  

Source: The Bible Way To Receive the Holy Spirit by Kenneth Hagin
Excerpt permission granted by Faith Library Publications

Author Biography

Kenneth E. Hagin
Web site: RHEMA
Rev. Hagin served in Christian ministry for nearly 70 years and was known as the "father of the modern faith movement." His teachings and books are filled with vivid stories that show God's power and truth working in his life and the lives of others.

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