What is the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and how does one receive it?

Posted: January 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

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BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

The purpose of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is to fill the believer with power for service. People that claim to be filled with the spirit and are not doing anything for God, DO NOT have the same baptism that was received on the day of Pentecost.

One of the best ways to explain the difference between the new birth and the baptism of the Holy Spirit is as follows. In the new birth the Holy Spirit is the agent, the atoning blood is the means by which it is accomplished, and the new birth is the end results. In the baptism of the Holy Spirit, Christ is the agent…” he shall baptise you with holy ghost and fire” (Luke 3:16; Matthew 3:11), the Spirit is the means, and the enduement with power is the result.

SO WHAT IS THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT?

As well as those things mentioned above, the Holy Spirit is at work to do the following:

1. He convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:8). Without this special work of the Holy Spirit people would not be deeply convinced of their sinfulness, God’s righteousness or the coming judgment. Therefore in communicating the Word of God to others we must depend on the Holy Spirit to convince people of these truths. We may say what the Word says on these issues but it is the Holy Spirit who will do the convicting.

2. He guides us into all truth (John 16:13). If we allow ourselves to be guided by Him, He will indeed show us what the truths from the Bible we need to understand. Being the author of the Bible, He is best qualified to interpret it to us. He will show us many things both directly from the Word but also through other means. What He shows cannot be the mere product of logic and reason, although it is not illogical.

We must realise that the Holy Spirit never guides us in any way contrary to the Holy Scriptures. We must not believe every spirit claiming to be from God, but test the spirits according to the standard of the Holy Scriptures.

3. He regenerates (John 3:5,6). When a person turns to Christ for salvation and trusts Christ from the heart, the Holy Spirit is involved. At this time, the Holy Spirit causes the spirit of that person to be made new. (2 Corinthians 5:17). The human spirit, once dead in sin, is regenerated or made new by the power and working of the Holy Spirit. This is what it means to be born of the Spirit.

4. He glorifies Christ (John 16:14). The Holy Spirit always works to bring glory and honour to Jesus Christ. He does not seek His own glory, but the glory of Jesus. He does this by revealing who Jesus is to us and through us so that all may praise Jesus. He makes Jesus real to people, by bringing the resources and reality of Jesus to the people on earth.

5. He reveals Christ to us and in us (John 16:14,15). Jesus said, “He will take of what is mine and declare it to you”. It is the Holy Spirit who communicates to our soul the knowledge of who Jesus is and what He is like. At the same time He works to form the nature of Christ in us also. Being filled with the Holy Spirit in our body and soul, our nature is changed into the nature of the Son of God.

6. He is our leader – willing to lead us (Romans 8:14). “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the [mature] sons of God”. The word for son here is the word for a mature son. Indeed, the only way to Christian maturity is to be led by the Spirit. It is not following a path determined by ourselves and our understanding of God’s laws that will make us mature Christians, but the path in which He, the Spirit, leads us. We need the Spirit to be mature. Maturity is more than knowledge, it is fruit that comes from relationship with the Spirit of God.

7. He sanctifies. The Holy Spirit is given that we might be holy. It is the Holy Spirit who, working together with the word of God in our minds, sanctifies us. This means He sets us apart for God, cleanses us and puts us in order so that we can more truly show forth the love of God and the nature of Jesus. Holiness is the work of the Spirit. It is not a work based on self- effort or “trying harder”. Our part is to believe God’s word, and to yield to the leadings of the Spirit. It is by the Spirit however that our sanctification is achieved. This process of sanctification occurs mainly in the soul – the mind, the will and the emotions. “Sanctification is possessing the mind of Christ, and all of the mind of Christ.” – John Wesley. It happens more or less rapidly depending on how we learn to yield to God, to change our thinking so that it centres on God’s love and God’s Word, and persist in prayer.

8. He empowers. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8). The power we receive from Him is power to preach and demonstrate the gospel of the kingdom of God, not in word only, but in power. (1 Corinthians 4:20). Paul said that his message and preaching were not with the persuasive words of human wisdom, but with the demonstration of the SPIRIT and of POWER, that your faith should not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (1 Corinthians 2:4). There are many kinds of demostrations of the power of the Spirit. They are sometimes unexpected. Certainly the Spirit wants to give us power to heal the sick and cast out demons. (Matthew 10:1; Mark 16:17,18; John 14:12). This power of the Spirit is often referred to as “the anointing”. It is the anointing which enables us to do what Christ wants us to do as sons of God. And that is, to destroy the works of the devil. (1 John 3:8b).

For a born again Christian, the normal path to receiving this power involves at least 3 things.

a. The Baptism (immersion) in the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:5; John 7:37- 39). This is the normal introduction of the believer into the realm of personally flowing in the power of God.

b. Total dedication to God. Dedication to prayer, dedication to love, dedication to win souls for Christ, dedication to focus on the Word and on the voice of the Spirit. This dedication involves self-denial (usually including fasting – going without food for a time), a constant dedication to humbling oneself, understanding the authority we have as believers, learning to hear the voice of the Spirit, faith and boldness.

c. Brokeness. We realise that our own self-will, selfishness, stupidity and pride are the main reasons for our failures in God. We realise in ourselves (not in Christ, but in ourselves) we are rotten, corrupt and unable to do anything of value. (Romans 7:18; John 15:5b). We therefore learn to surrender quickly to the Spirit’s voice, not trusting our own minds, nor caring about our own reputation. When we make mistakes, we receive correction meekly. When we have success, we give all the glory to God.

9. He fills us (Ephesians 5:18). We are commanded to be filled continually with the Spirit. This being filled effects our whole personality, our ministry for Christ, and the focus of our minds. It affects our body also. (Romans 8:11; Luke 11:36).

10. He teaches us to pray (Romans 8:26,27; 1 Corinthians 14:15). The Spirit of God knows what we should pray and how. We don’t. That is why we must let Him help us here. One way is through the special prayer language He gives us when we are baptised in the Spirit. Another way is by inspiring our minds with the prayers that get results. Yet another way is through the deep groanings of intercession He produces in us.

11. He tells us that we are children of God (Romans 8:16).
The Holy Spirit is wanting to bring us to the place where all these things are part of our lives.

12. He produces in us the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22,23). As part of our sanctification, the Holy Spirit produces in us love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self- control. These characteristics are formed in us by continual yielding to the Spirit of God.

13. He gives special supernatural gifts (1 Corinthians 12:8-10). These gifts are given as the Spirit decides. However, we are not passive in the reception and operation of these gifts. To use the gifts requires faith, boldness and a degree of sensitivity to the Spirit. These gifts are given to help people by the supernnatural wisdom and power of God. They are not the product of the rational mind. Rather they are supernatural operations of the Spirit which occur through those who are open to them. They are useful in evangelism and in every part of Christian ministry. In neglecting them, the church has neglected an important God-ordained means for achieving God’s work in the world.

SPEAKING WITH OTHER TONGUES IS THE EVIDENCE OF BAPTISM

On the day of Pentecost they were filled with the Spirit (Acts 2:1-4) and all 120 people spoke in tongues. In the next verse of scripture it says: “And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.” (Acts 2:5) Many say these people heard them speak in their own tongue, which is true BUT there is more to the story. “Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.” (Acts 2:6)

There is one thing that must be considered, there was an elapse of time between Acts 2:5 and Acts 2:6. It took time for what happened in he Upper Room to be noised abroad. They did not have the means of spreading the news that we have today — it took time. What happened in verses 1-4 and what happened in verses 6-8 were two different things. What happened in Acts 2: 1-4 involved only the 120.

There is an unknown tongue, which accompanies or comes with the baptism of the Holy Spirit. There is also the “gifts of tongues”, (1 Cor. 12:10) which is one of the gifts listed with the nine gifts of the Spirit.

The book, HISTORY OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH, states, “The gift of tongues, or utterance proceeding from a state of unconscious ecstasy in the speaker, and unintelligible to the hearer unless interpreted — thus differing from prophecy, which requires a self-conscious though highly elevated state of feeling, serves directly to profit the congregation, and is therefore preferred by Paul. The speaking with tongues is an involuntary psalm like prayer or song, uttered from a spiritual trance, and in a peculiar language inspired by the Holy Spirit. The soul is almost entirely passive, an instrument on which the spirit plays his heavenly melodies. This gift has, therefore, probably, nothing to do with the spread of the Church among foreign peoples and in foregin languages, but is purely an act of worship, for the edification primarily of the speaker himself, and indirectly, through interpretation, for the hearers. (Schaff, Vol. 1: 438)

As you can see, the fathers of the early church believed in speaking in tongues, prophecy, as well as the nine gifts of the Spirit. However, somewhere between the fifth and sixth century the church began to teach the gifts died with the Apostles. When the Bible talks about being filled with the spirit the people spoke in tongues;

A) ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST (ACTS 2:1-4)
B) AT CORNELIUS’ HOUSE (ACTS 10:44-48)
C) IN THE CORINTHIAN CHURCH (1 COR.12:1-14)
D) AT EPHESIANS, 20 YEARS AFTER THE DAY OF PENTECOST (ACTS 19:6; EPH. 1:13).
Conclusions about the evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit:

1. The Apostles experienced speaking in tongues (Acts 2:1-4; 9:17-19; 1 Cor. 14-18)
2. The evidence of speaking in tongues was accepted by the early church. (Acts 18: 1-11)
3. There is no other pysical evidence offered in the New Testament.
4. There are OTHER evidences of being filled with the Spirit but NO OTHER initial physical evidence.

SO HOW DO I RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT??

So many desire the gift of the Holy Spirit, but they don’t know HOW to receive. So here is a basic belief we, as Pentecostals and Charismatics teach when receiving the holy ghost.

STEP 1 — THE GIFT HAS ALREADY BEEN GIVEN
Help the candidate see that God has already given the Spirit, and that it is up to that person to receive the Gift now. Above all, help him see that he is not to beg God to fill him with the Holy Ghost. That promise was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost. The Holy Ghost came then and has been here ever since. After that God hasn’t given the Holy Ghost to anyone, but people have received the Holy Ghost.

For example some nineteen or twenty years after the day of Pentecost we read in Acts 19, ” Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy ghost? He said, “Have ye received …?” And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost … And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them.” Paul didn’t teach them to pray that God would give them the Holy Ghost, but the “Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.”

Notice in the eighth chapter of Acts — eight years after the day of Pentecost –
“Now when the apostles which were at 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 (Acts 8:14-15). They didn’t pray that God would give them the Holy Ghost. They prayed that they might receive the Holy Ghost. Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost” (Verse 17). God hasn’t given the Holy Ghost to anyone since the day of Pentecost, but people have received Him. He is here for them to receive. He is here for them to invite Him to live inside their body.

STEP 2 — SALVATION IS THE ONLY PREREQUISITE

Help the person to see that anyone who is saved is ready to receive the Holy Spirit. Now when they (the multitude that had gathered after the 120 had received the Holy Ghost and Peter had preached to them quoting Joel’s prophecy) heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2: 37-38).

Anyone who is saved is ready to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost now. Some people think that there are certain things they have to do to qualify to receive the Baptism, However, if a person is saved, he couldn’t possibly be any cleaner than he is right then. the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin.

We believe that saved people go to heaven when they die. If they are good enough to go to heaven, they are good enough to have a little bit of heaven in them.

Some people think that they have to follow certain standards of dress in order to receive the Holy Ghost. Others have the mistaken idea that they have to court God’s favor to get Him to do something for them. All we have to do is to be saved and walk in the light of salvation. A person who is out of fellowship, of course, would have to come back into fellowship with Him.

Some people have imagined that one has to be perfect before he can get the Holy Ghost. However, even the great apostle Paul himself said, “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect ,,, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before” (Phil. 3:12-13). If you could do everything you ought to do and be everything you ought to be without the Holy Ghost, what would you need Him for? If you can do it yourself, why would you need Him?

Carnal Christians can be filled with the Holy Ghost. The Bible said the Corinthian Christians were carnal. And yet Paul said of the, “… Ye come behind in no gift” (1 Cor. 1:7). He was not endorsing carnality, to be sure. He was trying to get them to grow up in God and outgrow carnality.
Baby Christians can be filled with the Holy Ghost. Certainly carnal Christians and baby Christians need to be filled more than anyone because they will then receive power that will help them, if they walk in the light of it, to outgrow some things. So, if a person is saved, he is ready to receive the Holy Ghost.

STEP 3 — LAYING ON OF HANDS

I always tell people that when I lay hands on them they are to receive the Holy Ghost. Anyone can lay hands on another in faith, for God honors faith. There is a ministry of laying on of hands, and some are used along some of these lines more than others. But anyone could lay their hands on a person as a contract of faith, and tell them, “This is the minute — right now — you are to receive the Holy Ghost.” The Holy Ghost is received by faith.

STEP 4 — EXPECT TO SPEAK IN TONGUES

Tell the candidate what to expect.

If we don’t he won’t know what is going on when the Spirit moves on him. Tell him that he is to expect the Spirit to move upon his vocal organs and to put supernatural words on his lips which he is to speak out in cooperation with the Holy Spirit. Remember, the man speaks — he lifts his voice by an act of his will. The Holy Spirit gives the utterance, but man does the talking.

STEP 5 — THE CHILD OF GOD NEED NOT FEAR RECEIVING SOMETHING FALSE

Some people may fear that they might receive something false or counterfeit. I have heard people say, “There is a wrong spirit as well as a right one. I want to get the right thing.” To these people I point our this scripture: Luke 11:11-13
If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?
Or if he shall ask an egg will he offer him a scorpion?
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him

Jesus was saying here, “If your child asked you for bread, would you give him a stone? If your child asked you for a fish, would you give him a serpent?” No, you wouldn’t. “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children: how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” we can be assured that God will not give His children a counterfeit when they ask Him for the Holy Spirit.

It is a different thing entirely, of course, when an unsaved person is seeking the Holy Ghost. But if a person is a child of God, he is not going to receive an evil spirit.

Notice that the expressions “serpents’ and “scorpion” were also used in Luke 10:19. “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy ….” Jesus used the terms “serpents’ and ” scorpions” to talk about evil spirits. He said you are not going to get a “serpent” or a “scorpion” then. If you are a child of God and you come to your heavenly Father for the Holy Ghost, then that is what you are going to get.

When I have given these scriptures to those who have been misled by false teachers, I have seen them immediately begin to speak with tongues. Later they told me, “If I had known that, I could have been speaking with tongues and could have known the fullness of the Spirit for many years. But I was afraid that I might get a wrong spirit.” We can be relieved of our fears through the Word of God.

STEP 6 — RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT AND SPEAK THE LANGUAGE HE GIVES

Tell the candidate to open his mouth and to breathe in as deeply as possible. At the same time he should tell God in his heart, “I am receiving the Holy Spirit right now by Faith.” I like to insist absolutely that they not speak one word of their natural language. Then when the Spirit begins to move upon them, I tell them to lift their voice and speak our whatever sounds seem easy to make, regardless of how they sound. I tell them to begin to speak the words and language the Spirit gives them, praising God with those supernatural words until a clear, free language comes. When that person can hear himself speak in tongues, he will have assurance and confidence that the has received the Holy Ghost.

The supporting scriptures for this are:

JOB 29:21-23
Unto me men gave ear, and waited, and kept silence at my counsel.
After my words they spake not again; and my speech dropped upon them.
And they waited for me as for the rain; and they opened their mouth wide as for the latter rain.
As every Bible student knows, the latter rain refers to the Holy Ghost,

JAMES 5:7
Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.

HOSEA 6:3
Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.

ZECHARIAH 10:1
Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain; so the Lord shall make bright clouds and give then showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.

The Holy Spirit will come to us as the rain. Jesus said to come and drink. In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying. If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. he that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive, for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) Receiving the Holy Ghost, Jesus said, is like drinking water. The same principle is involved. In the book of Job God said. They waited for me as for the rain; and they opened their mouth wide as for the latter rain. No one can drink with his mouth shut.

Secondly, no one can drink and talk at the same time. The Bible said they “kept silence at my counsel. after my words they spake nor again; and my speech dropped upon them. It is scriptural then to expect the speech of the Holy Ghost to drop upon you.

I have seen people come to receive with their mouths open. I haven’t seen anyone who would open their mouth wide that didn’t receive instantly. Once I saw five businessmen walking down the aisle with their mouths wide open, and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost. Jesus said, Come and drink.” If you will act on God’s Word, He will honor His Word, and you will receive.

STEP 7 — NO CONFUSING CROWD SHOULD GATHER AROUND THE CANDIDATE

I like to have a few workers whom I have specially instructed to come and help seekers, because many times folks are a little slow about yielding to the Spirit and someone else can lead them and help them yield. Sometimes when going swimming it is hard to get some folks to go into the water, but if you go in and swim around, saying. “This is surely good,” they will come on in. Sometimes you can be there talking in tongues, and this will helps to encourage them to follow you on in.

Don’t crowd around candidates who are seeking the Holy Ghost, everyone trying to give instructions at once and getting them confused. Let one person instruct them, let one person tell them how to yield to the Spirit. If you are among those praying with the seekers, do one of two things. If you are going to pray aloud, pray in tongues. Otherwise, pray to yourself quietly. If you are praying in English, that person can hear what you are saying and will get his mind on you. Many times they will not yield to God because they are listening to what people around them are saying.

Many have been in Full Gospel circles about a quarter of a century, and many have seen nearly everything you can mention – – and a lot I hate to mention. I have seen dear folks at the altar seeking to be filled while someone on one side of them yells in one ear, “Hold on, brother, hold on.” someone else might be hollering in the other ear, “Turn loose, brother, turn loose.” Someone kneeling right behind them would be beating them on the back, yelling, “Let go, brother, let go.” Then someone sitting right in front of them shouts something else at the top of his voice. Not because of it, but in spite of it, many multitudes have received. But at the same time many good people, many honest and sincere people have been driven away. We will see more folks filled with the Holy Ghost if we will follow scriptural practices.

By following these seven steps which have outlined in these lessons, you will be able to help people to receive the Holy Spirit or desire TO be filled yourself and will feel personally blessed and rewarded for your part in their receiving this wonderful infilling of God’s power.

Comments
  1. ogaga says:

    must i speak in tongues to be sure i am baptized in the holy ghost?

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