With the coming of the Spirit to me there were some things that I immediately knew. I knew God had come to me. I knew I was a new creature in Christ. I knew my friends were not just friends but were true brothers and sisters. I recognised the power of evil. One a Saturday night I was volunteering at the Christian coffee bar in town (the same building that was my grandfather’s Bible bookshop previously) when three young adults came in and they started to talk to me. I remember they had been up on the Downs above Eastbourne and had been messing about with Ouija boards, and other demonic activities and were scared out of their lives. I remember talking to them and praying with them, etc, never having had any experience with that sort of wrong power or demonic activity previously. Intuitively I knew what was needed etc.
These were the things that I believe the Holy Spirit taught me, just like the promises in John’s gospel where John describes the activities of the Spirit when He comes.
I did however, have some nagging thoughts that troubled me. All the people I had been exposed to presented the baptism with the Holy Spirit as a second blessing after conversion, or being born again. I found this to be in conflict with what I read in the New Testament. I was not convinced. I did not voice this to anyone but I kept it hidden away in my heart.
I had many questions.
How was it possible to receive the Spirit at conversion but need to have a second experience later?
As the Spirit is God, and also a distinct Person, how can He have a greater or lesser part? How can He be received in part only?
I was even called to speak to an elderly man who was a leader of another church in town that was an Exclusive Brethren Assembly. He quizzed me for some time about my experience and theological understanding. I was 17 at the time! I don’t really know what his motivation was but the experience was quite daunting!