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the gospel and had been baptized, they   languages. This was evidence that they had
        did not receive the Holy Spirit until Pe-  believed the gospel and, subsequently, had
        ter and John prayed and laid their hands   received the Holy Spirit. Hence we read,
        on them (vv15-17). The Samaritans were   “He commanded them to be baptized in the
        not Jews but claimed to believe in the   name of the Lord” (v48).
        God of Israel. They had set up their   The final exception is in chapter 19. Paul,
        own system of worship, distinct from   having arrived at Ephesus, met a number of
        the Jews, including their own centre   (“about twelve” v7) disciples. Paul obvious-
        of worship (Joh 4:20). This claim was   ly had doubts as to their genuineness, since
        rejected  by  the Jews.  The  woman  at
        Sychar’s well said, “The Jews have no   he asked them, “Have ye received the Holy
        dealings with the Samaritans” (Joh 4:9).   Ghost since ye believed?” They replied, “We
        The purpose for which Peter and John   have not so much as heard whether there be
        (Jewish believers) laid their hands on   any Holy Ghost” (v2). While the majority
        them in order that they might receive   of translations agree with the KJV on this
        the Holy Spirit was to publicly unite   verse, it doesn’t seem plausible that they
        believing Jews and Samaritans.      had never heard of the Holy Spirit, as surely
          The  third  exception  is  in Acts  10.   they would have been familiar with the Old
        There we have the conversion of Corne-  Testament. Darby’s translation seems to cap-
        lius the centurion, his relatives and near   ture the sense of the reply more accurately,
        friends. They were all Gentiles; Peter   “We did not even hear if the Holy Spirit
        was sent to preach the gospel to them.   was come” (JND). Paul’s next question was,
        In verses 44-48 we read, “While Peter yet   “Unto what then were ye baptized?” (v3).
        spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell   Their reply made it clear that they were dis-
        on all them which heard the word. And   ciples of John the Baptist. Possibly, they had
        they of the circumcision which believed   fled Jerusalem after the death of John and
        were astonished, as many as came with   were not familiar with subsequent events.
        Peter, because that on the Gentiles also   Upon being enlightened as to the coming
        was poured out the gift of the Holy   of Christ, etc. (v4), we read that “they were
        Ghost. For they heard them speak with   baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus” (v5).
        tongues, and magnify God. Then an-  Verse 6 informs us that “when Paul had laid
        swered Peter, Can any man forbid water,   his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came
        that these should not be baptized, which   on them.” The laying on of hands is most of-
        have received the Holy Ghost as well   ten expressive of fellowship (e.g., 13:1-3). In
        as we? And he commanded them to be   laying on his hands, Paul was linking these
        baptized in the name of the Lord.” Only   former disciples of John with all believing
        on two occasions in Acts is the receiving   Jews and Gentiles.
        of the Holy Spirit linked with speaking
        in tongues – here and in chapter 19.   Other  than  these  four  exceptions,  all
        There was a long-standing prejudice   other examples in Acts follow the pattern
        on the part of Jews toward the Gentiles.   of Ephesians 1:13: “In Him you also trusted,
        This is why Peter was given the vision   after you heard the word of truth, the gospel
        of 10:9-16. When these Gentiles believed   of your salvation; in whom also, having be-
        the gospel as preached by Peter, they   lieved, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit
        spoke in tongues, that is, known foreign   of promise” (NKJV).

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