We are living in the age of the dispensation of the Holy Spirit. God has ordained that everything that is done in the Christian church is to be by the ministry of the Holy Spirit. This period of time, which was called an outpouring, is foretold in the Old Testament.
Isa 28:11-12 (NIV) Very well then, with foreign lips and strange tongues God will speak to this people, 12 to whom he said, “This is the resting place, let the weary rest”; and, “This is the place of repose”— but they would not listen.
Joel 2:28-29 (NIV) ‘And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. 29 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.
We notice that the Spirit was to pour out upon ALL people. Sadly not all people respond to this anointing of the Spirit of God and so many are unaware of, or refuse to benefit from, this act of grace.
THE PERSONALITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Any believer who is a seeking to enter into the baptism in the Holy Spirit must realise that the Holy Spirit is a personality not just an influence or power. We are to address the Holy Spirit in the realisation that he is to be spoken of as ‘ He who is the Spirit.”
John 16:13-14 (NIV) But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.
Attributes of personality are ascribed to Him is the Scriptures.
i. Will: 1 Cor 12:11 (NIV) All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.
ii. Mind: Rom 8:27 (NIV) And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.
iii. Knowledge: 1 Cor 2:9-11 (NIV) However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”— 10 but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him?
In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
iv. Love: Rom 15:30 (NIV) I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.
v. Grief: Eph 4:30 (NIV) And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
vi. Intelligence: Neh 9:20 (NIV) You gave your good Spirit to instruct them. You did not withhold your manna from their mouths, and you gave them water for their thirst.
THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IS SPOKEN OF IN SCRIPTURE
Both Jesus and John the Baptist spoke of it and other disciples used similar phrases to describe the experience.
John 1:33 (NIV) I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’
Acts 1:5 (NIV) For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
Acts 2:1-4 (NIV) When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Eph 1:13-14 (NIV) And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
THE INITIAL EVIDENCE OF RECEIVING THE BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
The disciples knew that they and any who were added to their number had received the baptism in the Spirit by an undeniable sign manifested in the persons ability to speak in an unknown language. This is known as glossolalia or ‘ speaking in tongues ‘ God does not leave us in any doubt about this blessing. Without the sign of tongues we cannot assert with any certainty that we have been baptised in the Holy Spirit. Note: This does NOT mean that we are not regenerated (i.e. saved.) as Spirit Baptism is a ‘ second ‘ experience which follows salvation. (either immediately or after some period of time.)
i. The day of Pentecost: Acts 2:1-8 (NIV) When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
ii. The Samaritans: 17. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. 18
iii. Paul: Acts 9:17-19 (NIV) Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Read also: Cor14-18.
iv. The Corinthians: 1 Cor 12:13-14 (NIV) For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Now the body is not made up of one part but of many.
v. The Ephesians: Acts19:1-7 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. 7 There were about twelve men in all.
HOW THE HOLY SPIRIT STRENGTHENS AND ENCOURAGES THE BELIEVER
i. Authority to witness and minister to others: Acts 1:8 (NIV) But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
ii. Power in prayer: Rom 8:26-27 (NIV) In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.
iii. Inspiration for true worship: John 4:24 (NIV) God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”
iv. Understanding of the Scriptures: John 16:13 (NIV) But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
Cor 2:12 (NIV) We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.
v. Guidance from God: Acts 13:2 (NIV) While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
Mark 13:11 (NIV) Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.
vi. Ability to use spiritual gifts: Acts 1:8 (NIV) But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
1 Cor 14:1 (NIV) Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy.
RECEIVING THE BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
Receiving implies accepting. To accept any gift we need to believe that it is available and that the giver will in fact give it to us. With God and the gift of the baptism in the Holy Spirit this simplicity still applies. This kind of believing is called faith and we know that without faith it is impossible to please God. All that is needed is a sincere heart felt yes, to God’s offer.
Rom 10:17 (NIV) Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. Gal 3:2 (NIV) I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard?
More formally the believer must come to an absolute conclusion that the baptism in the Spirit is:
i. Entirely biblical.
iii. Needed and applicable in today’s church.
iv. Is an experience following salvation.
v. Is beneficial.
vi. Is evidenced by speaking in tongues.
Usually those who receive the Holy Spirit baptism have turned to God in heart repentance and a great hunger or desire to receive from Him. Ask in faith and expect to receive. God desires to give to us liberally.
Luke 11:11-13 (NIV) “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Most of all relax in the presence of God. There is no need to work up an emotional state. Just yield to the will of God for your life. Emotions come later.