Jesus promised His disciples and all believers a separate and subsequent experience from the new birth indwelling of the Holy Spirit with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon believers and only for believers! Jesus taught His disciples about the baptism with the Holy Spirit after His resurrection from the dead. When Jesus gave His disciples the “Great Commission” (Matthew 28: 19-20), He knew that they couldn’t fulfill it in their power and so told them to wait in Jerusalem until they received the power from on high, which was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Peter also spoke of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit as the promise and gift from the Father.
“Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” Luke 24:49 (NKJV)
“For John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Acts 1:5 (NKJV)
“This Jesus God has raised up, of which we all are witnesses. Therefore, being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.” Acts 2:32-33 (NKJV)
“For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are a far off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” Acts 2:39 (NKJV)
The two-fold work of the Holy Spirit that is available to all believers is a separate and definite experience, i.e., in salvation and the baptism with the Holy Spirit. It is the same Holy Spirit in both cases but with different functions, one producing a well for ourselves, and the other rivers to be released to the world around us! Receiving the Holy Spirit’s indwelling presence in the new birth is just the beginning. The baptism with the Holy Spirit is when the Holy Spirit comes upon the believer who receives in-filling power from God with the evidence of speaking in tongues.
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8 (NKJV)
When the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Acts 2:1 – 4 (NKJV)
The outpouring of the Holy Spirit occurred on the Day of Pentecost or 50 days after Passover, (Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:14-18) to the same disciples that Jesus had breathed on to receive the Holy Spirit for the new birth (John 20:19-22). All the disciples were waiting in the Upper Room in Jerusalem as Jesus had instructed them (Acts 1:13-15). The baptism with the Holy Spirit is for believers only so the disciples had to be born again before they could receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Some churches believe that you receive all of the Holy Spirit there is to have when you become born-again, and that is partly correct because there is a work of the Holy Spirit in the new birth. But it is not the same as the in-filling of the Holy Spirit or enduement of power from on High, which is a work of the Holy Spirit in baptism.
Most of us are familiar with water baptism, as seen in the Bible by John the Baptist’s activity in the Jordan River that most Christian churches practice today (Matthew 28:19-20). Water baptism is a baptism we can choose to experience according to the command of Scripture after we receive Christ through salvation. Water baptism symbolizes our death, burial, and resurrection to a new life in Christ Jesus (Romans 6:3-4).
The Bible mentions two baptisms that involve the Holy Spirit that you can’t see with your physical eyes, only the after-effects of them in a person’s life. The baptism of the Holy Spirit or baptism of salvation is the first and occurs when we experience salvation and gain admittance into the body of Christ. The Holy Spirit draws us to Jesus Christ and does a supernatural work of regeneration in our spirit, making us spiritually alive or born-again. It is the Holy Spirit who does this work in us, and He is doing the baptizing.
For by one Spirit, we were all baptized into one body – whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free – and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:13 (NKJV)
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Galatians 3:27 (NKJV)
The baptism with the Holy Spirit is another baptism mentioned in Scripture. Each one of the Gospels tells the story of Jesus coming to John the Baptist from a different perspective (Matthew 3:11-17; Mark 1:6-8; Luke 3:15-16; John 1:29-34; 3:27-36), but in each one of these accounts, John testifies that it is Jesus who will be doing the baptizing with the Holy Spirit.
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. Matthew 3:11 (NKJV)
The baptism with the Holy Spirit means immersion or in-filling with the Spirit’s life and power, and Jesus is the one who is doing the baptizing. It is empowering for life and service reproducing the ministry of Jesus, including signs, wonders, and miracles! As believers and children of the King, we are to be His witnesses and enforce His kingdom on the earth, but we need a power greater than our own to serve and minister Christ’s kingdom here. Not only does His presence dwell within us, but He flows through us!
Some may ask, did the baptism with the Holy Spirit end with the last apostle in the book of Acts? Some say yes because they believe there is no one else to pass on the Holy Spirit. However, we do have apostles in the church today (Ephesians 4:11-16). Still, it is not only apostles that can pass on the Holy Spirit, as we see in Acts 9:10-12, 17. We see an ordinary believer who laid hands on another believer to receive the Holy Spirit, i.e., Ananias laid hands on Saul (later named Paul). We see this continue for all who believe today (Acts 2:39). Any believer can lay hands on another in faith as a point of contact because God honors faith (Hebrews 11:1).
There have been moves of God during different times, i.e., Pentecostal movement; Charismatic movement in the ’60s and ’70s (which led to believers in denominational churches receiving the in-filling of the Holy Spirit), etc. This year Pentecost is on May 31, 2020, and I am expecting and believing in another great move of God!
We receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit by grace through faith, just like all the other blessings of God (2 Corinthians 5:7; Ephesians 2:8-9). Receiving the baptism with the Holy Spirit must be according to the Word of God. We don’t seek experiences above the Word of God. We must follow what it says in the Bible, not what others think, experience, or believe. What we expect to receive affects our experience. Stay focused on yielding to the Holy Spirit. We expect to receive the Holy Spirit with the biblical evidence of speaking with tongues by grace through faith as the Word declares (John 8:32; Romans 10:17; Hebrews 11:6). Even if you have only said a couple of words you have received.
When we experience the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, we may also prophesy or experience shaking, laughing, crying, and falling down as the Holy Spirit ministers to us. Remember, it is not only an experience but the reality of the person of the Holy Spirit in us and working through us. The Bible reveals different ways that people receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit, i.e., looking to God for enabling power, by asking God in prayer and by the laying on of hands, etc. (Luke 11:9-13; Acts 2:1-4; 4:29-31; 8:14-17; 10:44-47; 19:6; 1 Timothy 4:14; 2 Timothy 1:6). We must not misunderstand the difference between God giving and believers receiving, and the ministry of laying on of hands (Hebrews 6:1-3). God gives, and we receive (Acts 8:17).
“So, I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you, seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 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 those who ask Him!” Luke 11:9 – 13 (NKJV).
We don’t have to tarry or wait to receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Every single believer that sought the Holy Spirit received right away (Acts 8:12; 14-17; Acts 11:12 – 16; Acts 9:17; Acts 19:1 – 6). Jesus talked about receiving the Holy Spirit when He said to “Come and drink,” which implies you don’t have to tarry or wait (John 7:37-39). Teaching people to linger for the baptism of the Holy Spirit produces doubt and confusion; it is a combination of works and unbelief. We can seek God and wait before Him in praying or worship, but we don’t need to tarry for the baptism with the Holy Spirit!
He came to earth on the day of Pentecost and will remain here at work in the earth (John 16:8-11) as well as restraining evil until Jesus comes to take His Body, the church, out of the world (2 Thessalonians 2:7). He will continue to be at work during the tribulation because we see that multitudes will be saved (Revelation 7:4, 9-10; 14:4; Zechariah 12:10). It is the Holy Spirit that convicts and draws people to Jesus (John 6:44; 15:26; 16:13-14; 1 John 5:6). We must be born again by the Spirit of God to enter the kingdom of God (John 3:5). He brings salvation, regeneration, and sanctification.
We see in Scripture that baptism with the Holy Spirit brought the initial evidence of speaking in tongues (a heavenly language or language unknown to the one speaking) followed by boldness to witness and share Jesus (Acts 2:1-4; 4:13, 31; 10:44-46; 19:1-7). Some believe that speaking in tongues is of the devil and not of God, or they believe that tongues have passed away. We will look into this in more detail next week.
When we speak in tongues, we’re not talking to men but to God; however, in the spirit, we are speaking mysteries (1 Corinthians 14:2-4). Speaking in tongues edifies or builds us up and refreshes us (1 Corinthians 14:4; Jude 1:20; Isaiah 28:11, 12). We do not need to be fearful. We simply need to trust Jesus and receive this gift by faith. He is the one who is doing the baptizing with the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:8).
The Holy Spirit speaks to us in our spirit or inner man, not by our natural mind, intellect, or reasoning. Expect the Holy Spirit to move upon your vocal cords and put supernatural words on your lips. As the Holy Spirit gives supernatural utterance, you do the speaking as you yield to Him. He may show you a word or phrase in a language you don’t know. Speak these words out in cooperation with the Holy Spirit. Don’t use your natural language. He will give you more to speak as you start putting your voice and lips to what He gives you. We allow the Holy Spirit to speak and pray through our spirit as we will, and as He gives us utterance and the inspiration (Acts 2:4; Romans 8:26-27). He doesn’t just take over. Don’t allow the devil to bring fear into your life to keep you from experiencing this wonderful gift!
In the late 1980s, I had a hunger for more of God, and so I prayed and asked Jesus for the baptism with the Holy Spirit. I had received teaching on this, but I had a difficult time accepting speaking in tongues by faith. I had grown up in a church that believed speaking in tongues was just for the early church. When the Holy Spirit gave me a word or phrase, and I would speak it out, the devil would whisper into my thoughts and say that it was “just me” making up words and not the Holy Spirit speaking them through me. However, I knew I had received the baptism with the Holy Spirit because I had a new boldness and power in my walk with the Lord and sharing Him with others.
It was in 2014 that I understood that speaking and praying in tongues was part of the abundant life Jesus came to give us since the Holy Spirit only prays the perfect will of God and knows His mind completely (1 Corinthians 2:11; Romans 8:27). For years, I had been allowing the devil to rob me in this area by believing his lies about it. So I started listening to teachers in the Word to build up my faith concerning speaking in tongues (i.e., Joseph Prince; Kenneth Copeland; Kenneth E. Hagin; Bill Winston, etc.). I began speaking and praying in tongues, and now I speak and pray in tongues freely!
To receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit, you must be born-again. If you have never asked Jesus to forgive your sins and to be your Savior, you can do that right now. You can experience God’s love, peace, and reconciliation by the blood of Jesus and have a personal relationship with Him. Pray this suggested prayer out loud right now. You can also pray in your own words. Remember, it is not words or prayer alone that will save you. Prayer is a way to reach out to the Lord and must be done in faith (completely trusting in Him to save you). Christ will save you if you pray these or similar words in faith.
Your Word says that whoever calls on the Name of the Lord shall be saved. I ask You to forgive me for my sins. I repent of my sins, turn from them and turn to You. I am calling on You and ask Jesus to come into my heart and be Lord over my life. I believe that Jesus died on the cross and shed His blood for me. I believe in my heart that You raised Him from the dead, and He is alive today. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me the Holy Spirit to live inside of me. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and Your healing power in my life. I now belong to You. Help me to live for You and obey You all the days of my life.
In the name of Jesus, Amen.
Receiving the baptism with the Holy Spirit
- God has already given the Holy Spirit, and it is now up to the believer to receive God’s gift. Anyone who is a believer is ready to receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit immediately.
- Whether a believer, pastor, or ministry leader lays hands on you, prays for you, or you pray to ask the Lord, receive the Holy Spirit at that time.
- Expect the Holy Spirit to move upon your vocal cords and put supernatural words on your lips. Open your mouth and be ready to use your mouth and vocal cords, for the Holy Spirit will give the utterance. Yield and give voice to that utterance by speaking these words out in cooperation with the Holy Spirit as you yield to Him. Focus on yielding to the Holy Spirit. DO NOT speak one word in your natural language.
- At the same time, tell God in your heart, “I am receiving the Holy Spirit right now by faith. “
If you would like to receive the fullness of God by the baptism with the Holy Spirit right now, pray this prayer out loud:
I ask You to baptize me with the Holy Spirit. I ask You to baptize me with power. I ask You to baptize me with fire. I fully expect to receive by faith power from on high and to speak with other tongues, as the Holy Spirit gives me utterance. Thank you for pouring out the Holy Spirit upon me and immersing me in Him so that I can work with You to be a witness for You and to bring the Kingdom of God to the earth.
In Your Name, I pray, Amen.
When the Holy Spirit brings words and syllables to you, then speak them forth. They will be in a heavenly or an unknown language to you! Continue using this blessing God has given you and pray in the Spirit every day! Praying in the Spirit is part of the Armor of God (Ephesians 6:18) and includes being led by the Spirit in prayer on how and what to pray as well as praying in tongues (1 Corinthians 14:14-15).
When we allow the Holy Spirit to pray through us by praying in tongues, He prays God’s perfect will, and strategies for victory are released for the angels of the Lord to carry out His Word (Psalm 103:20-21). The Holy Spirit knows what to pray for even when we don’t know.
Prayer generates power, and our prayers are powerful when we pray according to His Word and His leading (James 5:16). Our power increases as we pray in tongues because we are edified and built up in our spirit. Don’t neglect your prayer life, including speaking in tongues. We win spiritual battles in the prayer room in the realm of the supernatural!
We receive power from on high or baptism with the Holy Spirit with the same Holy Spirit who re-created our spirit when we became born again! We can experience more of God when He brings the fullness of God to us (Ephesians 3:19-20). Each person’s encounter is unique and special. Some speak in tongues right away; others need the laying on of hands for an increase in their faith or agreement in prayer; some ask in prayer by themselves. It doesn’t matter how you receive the baptism with the Spirit that Jesus gives; He knows the way that you need to receive Him.
The Holy Spirit gives us the power to live victoriously, to witness and minister for Christ, helps us to pray and has nine gifts to impart to us that are a gateway to the supernatural. When you are a believer filled with the Holy Spirit, you have the potential for all the power God has (Matthew 28:18; Luke 10:19; Mark 16:17-18), and we need to learn to cooperate with Him since He is our power source!
God commands us to be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18); it is His will. The in-filling of the Holy Spirit is indispensable for living the abundant life and fruitful service. We can receive a fresh in-filling whenever we ask for more of Him. He longs to give us more of Himself, as much as we are willing to accept. We need His anointing and power that Jesus said is available for all who believe!
Next week we will discover the gifts the Holy Spirit has to give us!