The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a wonderful, blessed, and important experience that every believer can experience today. The purpose of this blog is to explain the truths related to this glorious experience, and stir up a desire for each reader to be baptized in the Holy Ghost and Fire. We will describe what it is, will show from scripture that it comes with an initial sign or evidence, and also show from scripture that it is an experience for every believer today.
Jesus is the Baptizer in the Holy Spirit.
Jesus came not just to die for our sins but also to be the baptizer of the Holy Ghost. John the Baptist said “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire” (Matthew 3:11, Luke 3:16). Jesus did not baptize anyone in the Holy Ghost in His earthly ministry, but He told His disciples before He ascended into heaven “to wait in Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high (Luke 24:49).” He also told them that they would be baptized in the Holy Ghost in not many days from now (Acts 1:5). You see, Jesus had told His Apostles that they needed to Go and preach the Gospel, and teach the nations (Matthew 28: 19,20, Mark 16:15), BUT He said “WAIT!!!” “You cannot go until you are empowered with the Holy Spirit.” “You need this power first, so I want you to wait in Jerusalem (Luke 24:49).” Jesus told them “But you shall receive power after the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and you shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and In Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Jesus was promising them the power that they needed to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
The Day of Pentecost (Acts 2).
After Jesus ascended into heaven, one hundred and twenty of the disciples waited in Jerusalem as He had commanded them.
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. (2) And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. (3) And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. (4) And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance (Acts 2:1-4).
This experience so changed the lives of the Apostles that they all became flaming evangelists for Jesus. Peter, who just about fifty days earlier had denied Christ, was now able to stand and boldly preach to the multitudes.
What is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is an experience subsequent to salvation whereby a believer is endued with power from on High. It is clearly a separate experience from Salvation. At salvation the Holy Spirit comes and dwells within a believer, but that is not the same as the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Scripture proves this to be so. In John 20:22 the Lord breathed upon His disciples and said “receive ye the Holy Ghost.” However, it was a short time after this experience that He told them that they would be “baptized in the Holy Ghost not many days hence” (Acts 1:5). If they had already received this experience He would not have told them this. Furthermore the Apostle Paul asked some believers “Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed” (Acts 19:2)? Surely, the Apostle Paul would not have asked this question if the two experiences happened simultaneously. The Holy Spirit comes and dwells within us at salvation, but something different happens when we are baptized with the Holy Ghost. The key is found in this word “baptism.” This word in Greek is used to describe a cloth that has been dipped in a dying solution, or a ship that has been sunk to the bottom of the ocean. It carries with it the thought of complete saturation of every fiber. When a person is baptized in the Holy Ghost, He does not just come and live inside them, but He saturates and fills up every fiber of their being. This truly is a wonderful glorious experience.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is called “The Promise of the Father” (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4, Acts 2:33). This is a Gift that the Father promised to His Son Jesus: “For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring” (Isa 44:3). This is a promise that the Father wants to give to the seed of Christ – that is all of us who are children of God through salvation. Since it is a gift from the Father to us, it hurts the father when we refuse to receive this gift that He wants to give to us.
What is the purpose of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?
This experience is given for power (Luke 24:49): “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me…” (Acts 1:8). The word “power” in the Greek is the same word that we derive the English word “dynamite” from. This gives us a powerful description of this baptism. A person receives explosive firepower within them. This power makes a person bold to be a witness for Jesus Christ. This was the key to the New Testament evangelistic thrust that took the Gospel to the nations. Our day is no different; this experience is still a key to be a bold witness for the Gospel of Christ. Peter is our example, who only fifty days prior to the Day of Pentecost had denied Christ, but now was preaching boldly after he was baptized in the Holy Ghost. We also derive the English word “dynamo” from this same word. A dynamo is a power generator, or a source of power for electricity. This experience gives a believer strength and power to live a holy life for Jesus Christ. This same power, I know has been helpful in my own life to overcome certain sins, and addictions that I was involved in before I knew Christ. David Wilkerson, the founder of Teen Challenge testified of certain drug addicts, and alcoholics who were unable to get free from their addictions without the power that came from being baptized in the Holy Spirit. As a person prays in tongues they strengthen and build themselves up in their spirits giving them the strength to overcome (Jude 1:20, 1 Cor 14:4).
The Baptism of the Holy Ghost AND FIRE is also given to be a cleansing agent in the life of a believer. It is likened to a fire that burns up the chaff from the wheat (Matt 3:11, 12). We all have “chaff” in our lives, and when we are filled with the Holy Ghost and Fire the Lord begins to purge unnecessary things out of our lives. The baptism in fire can be a separate experience, but often they come together. In my own life it was a separate experience, and after receiving the “fire” I became uncomfortable and the Lord really began to deal with issues in my heart. It is a necessary experience in our lives if we desire to walk in holiness. Though there is the “uncomfortable” aspect of this experience, it is also given to be a rest, refreshing and comfort for the believer. This is prophesied of in Isaiah: “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, this is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear” (Isa 28:11-12). This verse also reveals to us a very important truth: that many would reject it. We see this all over the world today; people are rejecting a gift and a rest that the Father wants to give them. This really is a terrible thing. We also see in this verse that the evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is speaking in an unknown tongue.
The Baptism is the open Door into the supernatural realm of God and the spiritual gifts.
The Gifts of the Spirit are still in operation today, and we will see a greater magnitude of their operation as the Lord pours out His Spirit in this last day revival that is coming very soon. Miracles, healings, word of wisdom, word of knowledge, gift of faith, discerning of Spirits, tongues and interpretation of tongues, and prophecy. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is what opens up the door in the spirit of a believer to these gifts.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is for believers today.
Peter declared on the Day of Pentecost “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call” (Act 2:39). The gift was for the listeners on the Day of Pentecost, and their children. It is also for all that are afar off: those in distant lands, and those in distant times. “As many as the Lord our God shall call.” This means the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is for every believer in every generation. I have had the privilege of leading many believers from many different countries into this wonderful experience. Therefore, I do, in fact know what I am talking about – “A man with experiences is not at the mercy of a man with a theory” (Dr. Brian J. Bailey). This experience is available to all who call Jesus Christ their Lord (in truth). Those without this experience are missing a wonderful aspect of being a Christian. The famed revivalist from Wales, Evan Roberts, once said “you don’t have to be baptized in the Holy Spirit to go to heaven, but you sure miss a lot along the way.”
How do we know if a person has been baptized in the holy Ghost?
We know that a person has been baptized in water because they are visibly wet when they come up out of the water; in the same way there is a specific sign or initial evidence when a person has been baptized in the Holy Spirit. We must use scripture as our basis. As we examine the first time the Baptism of the Holy Spirit occurred, in scripture, it will give us keys to all subsequent baptisms. The first Baptism in the Holy Spirit occurred on the Day of Pentecost. Scripture records very clearly: “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues” (Acts 2:4). On this first occasion there was outward evidence that could be seen and heard (Acts 2:33): they were speaking in tongues! Scripture records four other times where people were baptized or filled with the Holy Spirit for the first time. Two of These scriptures clearly confirm to us that the initial evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit is speaking in other tongues: “…because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues” (Acts 10:45-46). “And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied” (Acts 19:2). The other two of these references do not specifically say they spoke in other tongues however upon observation of Acts 8:18, 19 and Acts 9:17 you will see that they actually reinforce the truth. Shortly after Saul’s (Apostle Paul) conversion, Ananias came to Paul and laid his hands on him that he might “receive his sight and be filled with the Holy Ghost” (Acts 9:17,28). Scripture does NOT record that he spoke in tongues here, however, we know that the Apostle Paul said he spoke in tongues (1 Cor 14:18). Therefore with great assurance we can deduce that when Paul was baptized in the Holy Ghost he began to speak with other tongues. Acts chapter eight records a revival in Samaria where many were saved, healed, delivered. There came a time when Peter and John came and prayed for people to receive the Holy Spirit, and Simon a sorcerer was so amazed about what happened when Peter and John laid their hands on people that he was willing to pay money to receive this gift. There was an obvious display of power that impressed this man, and this man was used to seeing supernatural things. I think it is safe to say that he “heard” and “saw” these other men speak in tongues upon being filled with the Holy Spirit. A person who has not spoken in tongues has NOT been baptized in the Holy Ghost.
How Do I receive the Baptism of the Holy Ghost?
Everyone’s experience can be different. People receive in many ways. Usually a person receives through the laying on of hands, but other times people can receive when they are alone. Some people have a very emotional experience, some don’t. Some people do not feel anything at all, some people feel something very powerful like electricity through their body, or they may even fall over; there can be any number of manifestations. Here are some basic requirements for being Baptized in the Holy Spirit:
- Repentance – One must be born again.
- Be obedient – Acts 5:32. Sometimes the step of obedience can be submitting to baptism in water (Acts 2:38). It can be a specific personal step of obedience.
- Baptism in the Holy Ghost is a gift – relax and receive it. You cannot earn it or work it up. Acts 2:38 – repent and be baptized and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Luke 11:13 – He will not give you anything evil. He delights to give good gifts to his children.
- Receive by faith – if you have unbelief in your heart you will not receive. Galatians 3:2 – receive by the hearing of faith.
- Jesus is the baptizer – John 7:37. Luke 3:16. You are not coming to a church a preacher or a denomination. Jesus is the baptizer in the Holy Ghost.
- Desire to receive. “If any man thirst…(John 7:37)” Many people are not filled because they have no desire to be filled. “Those who hunger and thirst will be filled…” (Matt 5:6).
- Persistence – We need to ask – Luke 11:9-13. Sometimes God will not give it to a person the first time that they ask, because he wants them to have a real hunger for it, and a real desire for it.
- Drink to receive….. You have to do something. You have to drink in the Spirit. You have to take the step and open your mouth and begin to speak by faith. There is the natural element that we have to do, and the supernatural that God does. If you keep your mouth closed you will not receive. Your part in receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit is by faith to open your mouth and speak out the new words the Holy Spirit will give to you – using your tongue, your lips, and your voice. On the day of Pentecost, “They began to speak…” (Acts 2:4). When Peter walked on water HE had to jump out of the boat. No miracle would have happened if he would not have stepped out. It is similar with the Baptism of the Spirit: you have to step out and open your mouth begin to speak sometimes it will start out with “stammering lips” or maybe just a few funny sounding syllables; speak them out and keep speaking them; God will give you more. It operates by faith.
The Ongoing experience
You must be continually filled with the Holy Spirit. There is the initial baptism, but throughout your Christian walk you must be refilled with the Spirit. You must continue to speak in tongues, on a daily basis. It is a prayer language that God has given you as a daily tool to keep you “charged” up. It builds up your spiritual man. Ephesians 5:18 “Be ye filled with the Spirit.” This is a continuous action. In the original Greek language there is a “verb tense” used that implies a continuous action – It could accurately read “be ye being filled continuously…”. “Speak to yourselves in psalms and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing making melody in your heart unto the Lord. Also Jude 1:20 says to “build yourself up praying in the Holy Ghost.” When you are filled with the Spirit the Lord gives you a new tongue that you can pray with. Pray in tongues every day to continually be filled with the Holy Spirit.
This is not meant to be an exhaustive study on the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, but I hope it has been enough to stir up the desire to be filled, and refilled with the Holy Spirit. If you would like to receive this experience today use the following prayer as a guide to ask the Lord Jesus to Baptize you in the Holy Spirit.
A Simple Prayer to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
“Dear Lord Jesus, I thank you that you are my Savior and Lord. I believe that you are the baptizer in the Holy Spirit. I ask you now to baptize me in the Holy Spirit with the initial evidence of speaking in other tongues, that I might glorify You in a new language. Give me power to be a bold witness for You. I receive now by faith and I thank you Jesus.”
Now take a step of faith and open your mouth and begin to speak, but don’t speak in any language you know. Speak out by faith a new glorious language, it may sound funny, but don’t worry there are many languages that sound funny to the untrained ear. Trust the Lord by faith – He only gives good gifts to His children, and will not give you anything evil of you are asking the Holy Spirit from Him (see Luke 11:9-13).