HAVE YOU RECEIVED THE HOLY SPIRIT SINCE YOU BELIEVED ?
Baptism of the Spirit and Salvation; a separate experience.
Acts 19:2-6 tells the story of certain believers Paul found at Ephesus. Now, please note that if they were called believers it means that they actually believed in Jesus and were saved according to the gospel. Paul asked them a question “have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed?’’ this question means that being a believer does not automatically mean you are filled with the Holy Ghost it just means you are qualified to receive. The baptism of the Spirit as seen in this scripture is a different experience from being born again. There is little wonder with the way Paul approached this believers because he had a similar experience in Acts 9:12-17. In verse 17 Ananias called him brother Saul, acknowledging that he was saved and believed in Jesus. But Ananias said something further ‘’the lord, even Jesus that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hast sent me that thou mightest receive thy sight and be filled with the Holy Ghost’’.
Just like the believers in Ephesus, Paul needed to receive the infilling of the Spirit as a separate experience after believing and accepting the Lordship of Jesus.
TWO KINDS OF BAPTISM
The baptism into Christ (Romans 6:3)
This happens in two folds. First, as we confess our sins and confess the Lordship of Jesus, the Holy Spirit immerses our spirit into Christ. That’s regeneration and this happens in the invisible realm. Second, we are being baptized in water by a priest, pastor or a spiritual leader to show what happened to our spirit the day we received Jesus and to declare publicly before other believers that we now identify with the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. In the same scripture we saw above in Acts 9 and Acts 19, Paul baptized the believers in Ephesus in water as he was also baptized by Ananias in the name of Jesus after they had received salvation. In the baptism into Christ the Holy Ghost is the baptizer.
Baptism into the Spirit
John 1:33 in this scripture, John who was at the time baptizing men in water, testified of another kind of baptism of which Jesus was the exclusive baptizer. He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost he said. This baptism was what Jesus told his disciples to tarry in Jerusalem until they received. This was what Paul told the believers at Ephesus about in Acts 19 and laid his hands on them to receive as he did receive in Acts 9 by the laying on of the hands of Ananias.
As we can see from the scriptures I have shared so far, baptism in the spirit is separate from being baptized in water.
As we look into Acts 19 something else distinguishes this experience from the salvation experience and from water baptism. After the infilling of the Spirit, the believers at Ephesus began to speak with tongues and prophesied.
Let’s look at Acts 2:4, here also the bible witnessed that the disciples of Jesus began to speak in tongues as they were filled with Holy Ghost
Acts 10:45-46. While peter spoke to the house of Cornelius, the Holy Ghost fell on them and they began to speak in tongues.
In Acts 9 the bible didn’t give the account of Paul speaking in tongues as he received the Holy Ghost but we see Paul saying in 1 Corinthians 14:18 ‘’I thank God I speak in tongue more than you all’’. This could have only started after he received the Holy Ghost through the laying on of hands by Ananias; after all, how could he have spoken of the Holy Ghost and gotten others filled without been filled himself and hear them speak in tongues without rebuking them if he didn’t have the same experience.
The major hindrance to the baptism of the Spirit is unbelief and this manifests in several ways and questions
Total Ignorance: some believers do not have the slightest idea about the Holy Ghost. They have not heard neither have they read with understanding about the Holy Ghost just like the believers Paul found in Ephesus. Also, just like them, ignorant believers need to be taught the infallible truth of God’s word and then their hearts will be open to receive.
Wrong doctrine: Some believers actually know about the Holy Ghost but believe that there is nothing more about the Holy Ghost beyond salvation. They believe that every one that believes in Jesus has the Holy Ghost indwelling their heart and that’s all there is to the Holy Ghost no need for any other in filling. If you have gone through this article this question must have been answered.
Wrong doctrine b: some other believers believe that the Holy Spirit is for a selected group of believers. They believe God has selected a few believers to carry His Spirit and not a choice any believer can make. Beloved, the bible says different. Acts 2:38-39; This 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. The promise of the Spirit is unto all. Through out the book of Acts each time the Holy Spirit showed up every one present and believing was filled. Today, if you believe, you too will receive.
How do I Begin to Say something I don’t Understand: don’t think of what to say, your responsibility is to speak as the Spirit enables and gives you utterance. If you think of what to say you will never be filled with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of Speaking with other tongues. Its beyond your mind, it is supernatural utterance. The words will be from the Spirit to your mouth not your mind. It will be an irresistible urge to say something, don’t think, speak. One thing I tell people everywhere I go is, as long as it’s the Holy Spirit speaking through you then you can trust that He is saying the right words because He is one with God and who can communicate with God like God himself. Acts 2:4 says and they were filled with the Holy Ghost and began to Speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. The responsibility of speaking is the believers.
How can I be sure it’s the Holy Ghost that has given me the utterance to speak in tongues: You can be sure that the utterance you received after asking the Father to fill you with Spirit is from the Holy Spirit because he promised in Luke 11:13 that He won’t give the Holy Spirit to them that asked not a scorpion or serpent (signifying evil spirits). So the question now is who did you ask for the Holy Spirit? If it is the Father then one thing is certain, what He will or has given you is the Holy Spirit. Enjoy the flow and speak in tongues with boldness.
BENEFITS OF BEING BAPTIZED IN THE HOLY GHOST
There are overwhelming benefits enjoyed by a believer that is filled with Spirit: 95% of this benefits listed are taken directly from Rev. Keneth E. Hagin’s book Why Tongues? I recommend you get the book as it offers a broad spectrum of insight on the issue.
1. Refreshing: (ISAIAH 28:11-12) 11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. 12 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.
What is the rest, the refreshing, the above scripture refers to? Speaking in other tongues! Sometimes the doctor recommends a rest cure, but I know the best one in the world. Often when you take a vacation, you have to come home and rest before going back to work. But isn't it wonderful that we can take this “rest cure” every day? "This is the rest . . . this is the refreshing . . ." We need this spiritual refreshing in these days of turmoil, perplexity, and anxiety.
2. Praying in Tongues Enables Us to Pray For the Unknown: (Romans 8:26)… for we know not what we should for as we ought: but the Spirit itself (Himself) maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Praying in the spirit provides a way for things to be prayed for that we wouldn't know anything about in the natural. The Holy Ghost, however, knows everything.
3. It Opens the door to the Operation of the Gifts Of the Spirit: (I Cor. 14:18) I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all. Apostle Paul lived consistently in the manifestations of the gifts of the Spirit and in this very verse he let us in on one of his greatest secrets to this operation. Apostle Paul prayed in the Spirit lavishly.
Now that you have your questions answered, are you ready to receive the infilling of the Spirit, for this promise is unto every believer. Yes every believer, so first things first you need to be saved from your sins. If you know you are not saved from your sins by faith in Christ Jesus say this prayer.
I have heard your word
And I acknowledge that I’m a sinner in need of help
I ask that you come into my heart
Come be my Lord and Savior
Save me from my sins
I believe in you
I accept your sacrifice on Calvary for me
From today, I am yours and you are mine
If you said this prayer congratulations
Now, God is your Father and you are His beloved child
PRAYER FOR THE BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
Lord Jesus, Thank you for your love
Thank you for the privilege to be called your own,
Cleansed, sanctified and redeemed by your blood
Father I have heard your word about the gift of your Spirit and I thank you
With faith in my heart I ask for the infilling of your Spirit
Your word said we will receive if we ask
I receive with thanksgiving
Now, I’m filled with the Spirit
Now, I speak in other tongues as the Spirit gives me utterance
Just go ahead and flow in tongues
Watch out for my next article Spirit Filled Living.