THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
By Rodney W. Francis
GOD'S WILL IS for every Christian to be strong in his/her journey of faith. He wants us to experience His living presence and to know that He actually lives inside of us continually. John's Gospel Chapter 14 teaches us that God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit Comforter come to take up residence in the lives of all who love Jesus and follow His Word (John 14:16-27 ). He makes this real to us by His Holy Spirit.
There we read:
- The Holy Spirit is sent to help us (v.16, 26)
- The Holy Spirit is sent to abide with us forever (v.16)
- The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth (v.17)
- The world (unbeliever) does not see or know the Holy Spirit (v.17)
- But we who believe on Jesus know the Holy Spirit (v.17)
- The Holy Spirit dwells (lives) in us (v.17)
- The Holy Spirit becomes our Protector and Provider, our Comforter and Security, so we will not be orphans (v.18)
- We live because Jesus lives! (v.19)
- The day the Holy Spirit Baptism comes into our lives we receive a greater knowledge of Jesus being in His Father, our being in Jesus, and Jesus living in us! (v.20)
- This is all part of a wonderful love relationship we have with Jesus through the Holy Spirit – a relationship that makes us want to obey whatever Jesus says (v.21)
- Jesus will manifest Himself to us through the Holy Spirit (v.21)
- This revelation or manifesting of Jesus comes through our demonstrating our love to Jesus by our obedience to what He says (v.21-23)
- This love relationship is with God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son of God, and God the Holy Spirit – Who have taken up residence within the Holy Spirit-filled believer (v.23)
- The Holy Spirit is sent from the Father in the Name of Jesus (v.26)
- The Holy Spirit ministry is to teach us all things (v.26)
- The Holy Spirit ministry is to bring to our remembrance every thing that Jesus has told us (v.26).
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the releasing of God's Spirit that came into us when we were born-again; releasing His power and enabling us to express ourselves to God in the Spirit's prayer language. The Holy Spirit has been sent by God to make Jesus and The Word alive and real to us; much more so than seeking to serve Jesus in our own strength.
Before Jesus went back to the Father in heaven, He taught His disciples that it was all part of God's plan that He leave them. Then, He said, He would send the Holy Spirit Comforter into them, Who would be with them – and live inside them - forever.
HERE ARE SOME KEY VERSES FROM JESUS:
“Now on the final and most important day of the feast, Jesus stood forth and He cried in a loud voice, 'If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink! He who believes in Me – who cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me – as the Scripture has said, Out from his innermost being springs and rivers of living water shall flow (continuously). 'But He was speaking here of the Spirit, Whom those who believed – trusted, had faith – in Him were afterward to receive. For the (Holy) Spirit had not yet been given; because Jesus was not yet glorified (raised to honour)” (John 7:37-39 , AMP.).
Notice, the Holy Spirit is already within us. We must learn how to release Him to flow out of us.
- He comes out of those who are thirsty enough to come to Jesus and drink.
- He comes out of those who believe in Jesus and the Scriptures.
- When the Holy Spirit is released in us, it is like a spring of living water flowing continuously.
"If you [really] love Me you will keep (obey) My commands. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener and Standby) that He may remain with you forever, The Spirit of Truth, Whom the world cannot receive (welcome, take to its heart), because it does not see Him, nor know and recognize Him. But you know and recognize Him, for He lives with you [constantly] and will be in you.
I will not leave you orphans – comfortless, desolate, bereaved, forlorn, helpless – I will come [back] to you. Just a little while now and the world will not see Me any more, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. At that time – when the day comes – you will know [for yourselves] that I am in My Father, and you [are] in Me, and I [am] in you . . .
But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf, He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall - will remind you of, bring to your remembrance - everything I have told you " (John 14:15-20 , 26, AMP.).
Jesus was sending the Holy Spirit to us for the following reasons:
- To comfort us.
- To remain with us forever.
- He is the Spirit of Truth (He does not tell lies!).
- He will live within us (not only with us, but within us ~ continually).
- He brings God's personal presence to the believer.
- He causes us to know the relationship between Jesus and the Father, our being in Jesus, and Jesus being in us (v. 20).
- The Holy Spirit comes to represent Jesus and act on His behalf (John 15:26 ).
- The Holy Spirit will teach us all things.
- He brings to our remembrance the words of Jesus.
“However, I am telling you nothing but the truth when I say, it is profitable – good, expedient, advantageous – for you that I go away. Because if I do not go away, the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you – into close fellowship with you. But if I go away, I will send Him to you – to be in close fellowship with you.
And when He comes, He will convict and convince the world and bring demonstration to it about sin and about righteousness – uprightness of heart and right standing with God – and about judgment. About sin, because they do not believe on Me – trust in, rely on and adhere to Me. About righteousness – uprightness of heart and right standing with God – because I go to My Father and you will see Me no longer. About judgment, because the ruler (prince) of this world [Satan] is judged and condemned and sentence already is passed upon him. I have still many things to say to you, but you are not able to bear them, nor to take them upon you, nor to grasp them now.
But when He, the Spirit of Truth (the truth-giving Spirit) comes, He will guide you into all the truth – the whole, full truth: for He will not speak His own message – on His own authority – but He will tell whatever He hears from the Father, He will give the message that has been given to Him] and He will announce and declare to you the things that are to come – that will happen in the future. He will honour and glorify Me, because He will take of (receive, draw upon) what is Mine and will reveal (declare, disclose, transmit) it to you. Everything that the Father has is Mine. That is what I meant when I said that He will take the things that are Mine and will reveal (declare, disclose, transmit) them to you” (John 16:7-15 , AMP.).
- It is good for us that Jesus went away so the Holy Spirit could come to us.
- The Holy Spirit brings us into close fellowship with Himself.
- His work is to convict and convince the world of sin, righteousness and judgment.
- His work is to bring the word of Jesus to us as we can grasp it.
- He guides us into all truth.
- He shares with us what He hears from the Father and Jesus.
- He will show us things to come.
- He always honours and glorifies Jesus.
- He is a Revealer of the things of Jesus.
“Behold, I send the Promise ("one's intentions") of My Father upon you: but tarry ("wait, linger, remain") in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued ("to be clothed; be invested or provided with") with power (Greek: "dunamis" meaning "ability, power") from on high” (Luke 24:49 , NKJV).
"And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait("to wait around, to remain for" – Bullinger's) for the Promise of the Father, ‘which,’ He said,’ you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now" (Acts 1:4-5 , NKJV).
Here Jesus was telling His disciples of the necessity for them to receive God's promise of the Holy Spirit. They were instructed to wait in Jerusalem until they knew they had received the power of the Holy Spirit in their own lives.
“But you shall receive power – ability, efficiency and might – when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends – the very bounds – of the earth” (Acts 1 : 8, AMP.).
- The Holy Spirit baptism empowers us for service; to be witnesses for Jesus all around the world.
- Power to overcome!
- Power for service!
All these Scriptures were spoken by Jesus prior to His returning back to the Father in heaven. He pointed the disciples to a coming day when the Holy Spirit would be released and poured out from and through their lives. That day for them was the day of Pentecost:
“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them” (Acts 2:1-4 , NIV).
Just as Jesus had promised, that, after He returned to the Father in heaven, He would send the Holy Spirit to indwell His disciples in a new and powerful way. The Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost ("fiftieth" or "feast on fiftieth day after Passover").
A mighty enduement of power came on them. They found their tongues were released to speak a language they had never learned. It is called speaking in other tongues. It is the language of the Holy Spirit and it by-passes the intellect. That experience changed those followers of Jesus from being fearful men to mighty, bold leaders of the Early Church, leading multitudes into the reality of Jesus Christ; baptizing them in water and also seeing them baptized with the Holy Spirit.
THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IS FOR ALL BELIEVERS:
Once the disciples of Jesus had been baptized with the Holy Spirit they began to preach that all believers should receive this experience:
"God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. Exalted to the right hand of God, He has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear ... Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?" Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:32-39 , NIV).
Here Peter gave three distinct steps for new Christians:
- Repent and Believe.
- Be baptized in water.
- Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
This message was proclaimed among the Jewish believers. Then, the Holy Spirit was also poured out on the Gentiles, or non-Jewish nations.
An angel was sent to a Gentile believer by the name of Cornelius (Acts 10 ). He was given instructions to send to Joppa for a certain man called Simon Peter. Cornelius was obedient and sent for Peter. While the men were away, Cornelius with great faith, vision and expectancy, called all his close relatives and friends to come and hear what this man "sent from God" had to say. Peter came and spoke to them about God being no respecter of persons. While Peter preached to them, something wonderful happened that opened the door for Gentile believers world-wide to receive the Baptism with the Holy Spirit:
"While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God" (Acts 10:44-46 , NIV).
When the Holy Spirit was poured out on the people – Jew and Gentile alike – they began to speak in other tongues and praise God.
The spirit language of speaking in other tongues is a very important way of communicating with God. We can express ourselves with our spirit far more meaningfully and more deeply than simply praying from the intellect in our natural language.
- Speaking in other tongues edifies us (1 Corinthians 14:4 ).
- When we pray in the Holy Spirit we build up our faith level (Jude 20 ).
- The Apostle Paul was a man who boasted that he spoke with tongues more than all the rest of the believers! (1 Corinthians 14:18 ).
Much controversy has been stirred up over many generations about the speaking in other tongues. We must always come back to what the Scriptures say. The Scriptures written in this lesson are ample proof that tongues are a gift of the Holy Spirit to help us in our ministry unto Jesus, and then to the world.
When I received my "Pentecostal blessing" I was just 18 years old. It was about 5.30 a.m. on a very dark morning while I was rounding up the cows on my father's farm. I had sought the infilling of the Holy Spirit on several occasions, always being defeated by a very real spirit of the fear of man blocking me. I just could not get released in tongues when people were around! But on that morning there was only God, me and 72 cows. Suddenly I began speaking in a language I had never learned. It just poured out of me! The presence of God was there. It was as though I had been speaking in tongues all my life! But that morning was the very first time – Oh, how the rivers of the Holy Spirit flowed. Then God spoke to me very clearly, calling me to the ministry. He told me of things He would do straightaway as a sign to me that He had called me. It happened. Doors opened to me to begin preaching - and I've been preaching ever since (over 50 years).
The Baptism with the Holy Spirit has made all the difference to my Christian walk. Just like the Bible promised, “We would receive power after the Holy Spirit comes upon us” (Acts 1 : 8), so it has been.
The wonderful gifts of the Holy Spirit have also been released and it is a tremendous thing to be able to minister in the name of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit there to confirm the Word with signs following.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
If you have not as yet been filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit and received your heavenly prayer language of speaking in other tongues, then I urge you to make it a top priority in your life.
Go to your Pastor or Minister and ask for prayer to receive the Holy Spirit baptism. Build a strong desire to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Do not let excuses or negative, unbelieving, professing Christians turn you away from pressing into the realm of the mighty Holy Spirit.
Believe what the Bible says!
If the disciples of Jesus (who had personally walked with Jesus for approximately three and a half years) needed this experience of the Baptism with the Holy Spirit, how much more do we today need to be filled with the Spirit? (Ephesians 5:18-20 ).
“And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues” (Mark 16:17 , NKJV).
Recommended Reading: “Ten Scriptural Reasons For Speaking In Other Tongues” (By Rodney W. Francis).