THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
For Real This Time
I recently had a member of the Tribulation-Now email list ask about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit because he wanted to receive it. Now I must tell you, this is a subject I do NOT take lightly. In “my opinion” too many otherwise good “spirit filled churches” are missing their missions by going after only “salvation”. I believe this “grieves” the Holy Spirit. The Baptism of the Holy spirit is the MOST WONDERFUL gift you can receive from God. And it deeply saddens me when I see churches taking it for granted. Some pastors think that just because they pray for you to receive it, that you will automatically receive it. I personally DO NOT believe this is true. As a matter of fact I know it is not true.
How Do I Know?
Have you ever had someone say to you that you received something but you knew in your heart that you didn’t? I spent most of my life sitting amongst the congregation of various churches. I have not been in the pastoral seat and I have never been a “church elder”. Perhaps this is a blessing. Perhaps this will help others. This gives me a chance to talk to the people at a personal level. The leadership of the church is not able to do that without making the person feel “obligated” to “show faith”. When a leader in a church prays for you to “receive something”, and they ask you if you “received it”, we often feel like it is being “unfaithful” to tell the truth. BALONEY. So we basically “step out in faith” and say we received it even though we are not sure we did.
This is tricky territory and I know that. But it is CRITICAL territory. For example, when it comes to healing you must know that there are healings that happen over time and their are miraculous healings. That jumps out at you when you see in 1 Cor. 12 & 13 that the “gift of healing” and the “gift of miracles” are two separate gifts. Indeed when it comes to divine healings, sometimes it is not miraculous. And in this case, some “walking in faith” is in order. If you do a “deep dive” study on divine healing you will learn the nuances between miraculous healing and healing over time. But most of the time God wants to be worshipped and wants his “signs to be seen” to lead others to Jesus. So you will “usually” see divine healings happen in large gatherings and most often those will be miraculous. And when a person receives a miraculous healing THEY KNOW IT. They will usually be in tears and sometimes in complete amazement. As well they should be. Miracles are meant to be “amazing”!
However, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is actually more of a true “miracle”. While it is possible, according to some testimonies I have heard, to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and then later, sometimes years later, receive the “Gift of Tongues”, I do not think this is normal and I do not believe this is how God wants it to be. If this were the case, Pentecost described in Acts 2 would not be describing a FANTASTIC EVENT of MIRACULOUS proportions. People who were witnessing it actually thought they were DRUNK on alcohol and completely crazy.
(see / google the “Azusa Street Revival http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azusa_Street_Revival)
Why would the Lord do that kind of miraculous out-pouring of divine power down upon people back then and not do it today? That is BAD TEACHING. Sorry but I simply do not think the Lord intended for us to just sit back, say a little prayer, and expect such a wonderful miracle to occur. Receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit IS and SHOULD BE a BIG DEAL.
A True Story
Recently I took a friend of mine to my church. It’s a good church but no church is perfect. My friend genuinely wanted to be saved and forgiven of his sins. The pastor led him to salvation by having him say the right words to the Lord asking him into his heart. This is an awesome thing. BUT then the pastor also prayed that my friend would receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. “Receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in Jesus name” he said. But this causes confusion to the poor fellow because he did NOT receive it at that time. He even said so to me in the car on the way home. That put me into the position of trying to unravel the situation for this poor fellow. That’s a tough spot to be put in. Most people would have simply said “well you have to believe you got it”. But that’s BALDERDASH! When you get it – you know you did!
If I see overly passionate about this issue, I AM. It is the most wonderful thing that can ever happen to a person and people are being left out of this fabulous miracle because of bad teaching and ignorance.
Don’t Just Ask One Time
BUT you must remember that Jesus told us to “Ask and you shall receive, Knock and the door will be opened”.
The Kenneth Wuest “Expanded New Testament” says:
Keep on asking for something to be given and it shall be given you. Keep on seeking and you shall find. Keep on reverently knocking, and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who keeps on asking for something to be given, keeps on receiving. And he who keeps on seeking, keeps on finding. And to him who keeps on reverently knocking, it shall be opened.”
(Note: Kenneth Wuest is an expert on Greek and instead of doing a word for word translation from Greek to English, which is not possible with accuracy, he uses a method referred to as “transliteration” which is how an interpreter would explain to you the original intended meaning. See The New Testament, An Expanded Translation, by Kenneth S. Wuest)
I believe when you receive it – YOU WILL KNOW – PERIOD
Do yourself a favor and read Acts 2. That is how it happens even today for most people. Do not accept some pastor’s word for it. This is far too important for you especially with all of today’s evil things going on.
Smith Wigglesworth is old school. He was one of the most famous faith healers of all time. I linked you directly to his “sermons” and they are all short excellent reads. This will help you to understand how the “experience” works and what to expect. He was a hard-core Pentecostal type pastor so his “style” is “to the point” because his beliefs are very real and strong. What you will discover (if you really study this subject) is to follow the “signs and wonders”. Why do you think Jesus had “multitudes” following him everywhere? It wasn’t because he glowed in the dark, it was because he was leaving a trail of amazing miracles everywhere he went. YHWH wants attention. Miracles draw crowds.
20 And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
Another person you can read up on is John G. Lake. He was another *huge* faith healer from Smith Wigglesworth’s time. Their beliefs are very similar and their thinking is “on the money”.
It is important to notice, that when someone wanted the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and went to Mr. Wigglesworth for help, he took it very seriously. He would invite that person into his house, and bring the power of God down on that soul with all his might. Sometimes for hours, sometimes all night long. But come Hades or High Water – HE DID NOT QUIT until that person received the Baptism. That means when that person received it for REAL, there was NO QUESTION about it.
That should tell you something.
Andrew Wommack (pronounced wummuk) is once of THE BEST Bible teachers out there. He does not have a “Theological Degree” and is fully trained by the school of hard knocks and the Holy Spirit (praise the Lord). I linked you directly to one of his best teachings on the Holy Spirit. This teaching is for someone who is learning and seeking it. Andrew has a very friendly gentle style that is attractive. This is because he radiates the peace of Jesus and his ministry has gone through the roof. He offers his teachings for free on MP3.
Please don’t just listen to Andrew’s teaching on this one time – you really need to listen at “least” two times and maybe more. I am going through his teachings on a third round and keep adding more to my inventory. From this page http://www.awmi.net/extra/audio you can browse through all his audio teachings – they are *free*. Andrew *correctly* believes that when he gives *free* teachings away, the flock will follow along with the Lord’s blessings and his ministry has indeed been blessed.
A very gentle word of caution about all teachers & pastors; they are people just like you and me. Nobody is perfect. He is very careful to explain (like all good pastors / teachers should) that even though the Holy Spirit works and speaks through them they are human and make mistakes. Follow Acts 17:11 and study the scripture along with him to “see if it is so”. That is how you get confirmation from God’s word. Andrew is trustworthy and does not take scripture out of context. Some do however so when you read the Word you should back up a few verses or even go to the beginning of the “section” and make sure you understand “who is being spoken too”, “what their role is in the Bible” (are they sinners, are they born-again believers, are they a church group, etc.). This helps you make sure you are not getting sucker-punched by someone who is ignorant and was taught wrongly by the ignorant.
You cannot go wrong with either of the folks I recommended. Another good one is Curry Blake. He is the head guy at John G. Lake Ministries. You can find Curry’s ministry here: www.jglm.org. If you want to learn to be like Jesus, heal like Jesus, and fight demons like Jesus, I strongly recommend you consider making an investment in his teaching DVDs. This guy is awesome. Search “Curry Blake John G. Lake Ministries” on YouTube and you will get to see him in action.
Now here is something you should know. First understand this! Don’t give up! Okay? Don’t take NO for an answer and do not “assume” you got it just because someone (a pastor or church leader) says you do. The Bible says if you earnestly want it then you will get it. Listen over and over again to Wommack’s teachings on this subject. He correctly points out that “while you should” get the gift of tongues (prayer language) at the “time of the experience”, it can indeed come at a later date. But not if you don’t KEEP going after it and praying about it. Jesus knows what is in your heart. He knows the difference between someone who “kind of wants it but is not sure” and someone who “knows what they want and are asking for it with all their heart”.
Some pastors take a verse here or there out of context particularly as it applies to the Holy Spirit. In fact some entire church organizations (with millions of followers) do not believe that *any* signs and wonders happen today and think they are “of the devil” which is absolutely ridiculous. Andrew will talk about this a little.
Some really awesome pastors (perhaps in your local area) believe they can lay their hands on you (which is vitally important by the way) and pray that you receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and you will get it because God says you will – period. These pastors mean well, but they are not exactly correct on that point. When you read all of the Smith Wigglesworth stuff, you will see a very true dynamic that must happen – even today. The people that got it were determined to get it on a level that is hard to understand. Sometimes they would go to Smith Wigglesworth and he would get a team of his guys over at the house and they would pray INTENSELY in tongues for hours DUMPING down the power of the Holy Spirit on the guy. It requires your participation. You cannot just *stand there* and wait for a miracle. You need to focus your spirit (all your heart and mind) on the Lord and cry out to him as the others are praying for you. When your spirit “cries out” and your emotions get into the mix, it “stirs up the spirit”
2 Tim 1:6
6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
If you do a serious reading of Smith Wigglesworth and listen to Andrew’s teachings (more than once) AND find yourself a good pastor and group of leaders in the church you will be BLESSED and you WILL RECEIVE IT. What makes me sad, is that nowadays finding the right group, the right church, etc. is very hard to do. They are few and far between. Back during Smith Wigglesworth time, they used to travel by horse and buggy across the country to meet with gifted receivers and have special prayer meetings just so they could receive the baptism themselves. Today churches have become lazy about it and it frustrates me to no end. Even my own local church falls into this category. Your BEST SHOT is to keep on looking for the right church until you find it -here is how you do that.
The Right Church for the Baptism
Size of the Group:
This is guidance and given to you from the bottom of my heart. First a “large” church probably won’t do the trick. You need to be able to access the Pastor / leaders of the church. When the church has more than 50 (or so) people in attendance (that’s an estimate at best) the pastor is often too busy shaking people’s hands and listening to their testimonies.
Energy of the Group:
The people in the church better be *on fire*. This *fire* comes in two versions. One version is happy, clapping, and praising Jesus with emotional energy and the second version is INTENSE praise and worship. Intense praise and worship means that 80% or more of the congregation has their hands raised up to the Lord and is intensely praising him. This type of praise is awesome to the Lord and is covered all over the Bible. This is a good sign. If you have found a relatively small group that is *on fire” and praises both happily, energetically, and emotionally with their hands raised up to God you will FEEL IT when you walk into the church. It’s not just about people being “nice” and super-friendly. Those churches are everywhere and some of them are of the “devil”. The ones’ that *really get it* are the ones who KNOW how God wants to be praised and praise him that way with NO RESTRICTIONS. They are truly ON FIRE. Without that ingredient overwhelming you when you visit, it might be challenging to get what you came for.
Affiliation of the Group:
Your best shot at finding the right group is to go after “Pentecostal” or “Non-Denominational” (Assembly of God is from the Pentecostal group). But even many of these groups have settled down over time. God does not want “luke warm” followers. Small groups are far better than large. Make your rounds. Pick a ten mile radius and try different groups. Go there on a Wednesday night or Sunday Night service because they are more likely to let the Holy Spirit “tear up the joint” then, because on Sunday they know people are looking for new churches and they don’t want to scare people away. That’s okay, its actually scriptural SEE:
1 Cor 14:23
23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?
What Happened to Me:
I received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit at the age of 9. The reason why it was relatively easy for me to get it is because I had the faith of a child. Unbelief (which according to Jesus is a sin) is something we all have naturally. It is being connected to the worldly and not being able to see the spiritual side of things. If you tell a little child that an Angel is watching them and smiling upon them they will believe you and they will smile and say “good night” to the Angel. If you tell a grown-up the same thing they will think you are delusional. This is the difference between true FAITH and “unbelief”.
Unbelief comes from your worldly experience (in the flesh) and your “education” (in the flesh). The disciples / followers of Jesus were not educated in general. Many of them were illiterate common folk and fishermen. Even before Acts 2, (Pentecost) when hundreds of people received the baptism and spoke in tongues, followers of Jesus were going out and laying hands on the sick and healing them in Jesus name. So believing and having faith are critical ingredients to bringing down the blessings of the spirit. The more you KNOW that the word of God is “alive” and the more you study it, the more it “stirs up your spirit” and *amplifies* your Faith.
12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
The Ideal Church for the Baptism:
I was very fortunate when I was 9 and got the Baptism. The church I was going to with my mother was as close to being perfect as possible. They met all the criteria above. They were on fire, they praised the Lord with all their might, you could hear people speaking in tongues all around you while the whole congregation raised their hands in powerful praise after each song and continued to sing to the Lord even after the song was over. Frequently throughout the service, after praise had subsided, the whole congregation would get silent. This gives the Holy Spirit an opportunity to “speak” to the congregation through the word of prophecy. Virtually 100% of the time, someone would start speaking very loudly in tongues usually for about 15 seconds or so. Then everyone would be quiet again waiting for the Holy Spirit to give the Interpretation of Tongues (capitalized because that is a specific “Gift” mentioned in 1 Cor. 12+13). 100% of the time, someone would interpret “prophetically” the words that were spoken earlier. This dynamic would happen at least once per service and sometimes 2 or 3 times per service.
NOW THAT IS A CHURCH OF SPIRIT FILLED BORN AGAIN BELIEVERS!!
1 Cor 14:27-28
27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. 28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.
If you find a church like that. Email me. I might just fly over there to see it with my own eyes and join you while you receive your gift of the Baptism.
In a church like that, when you tell them you want the Baptism of the Holy spirit, they will gang up on you like hungry wolves in eager LOVE. You will have probably 4 or 5 men and women surround you and lay hands on you and all of them will be praying in tongues over you loudly and unabashedly. You should join them in their praise OUT LOUD directly to the LORD. This can go on for a good period of time. Stir up the spirit in you. Let your emotions GO. Mimic the tongues you hear around you – that is perfectly okay to do, and it will speed up the process because it opens your spirit and lets’ your faith soar. God will bless you for that and you will receive it.
When you Receive it YOU WILL KNOW
You will get SLAMMED with a flow of emotions you haven’t ever felt before. You will cry like a baby and you probably won’t be able to stand. It came down on me like a ton of logs. My mother had to keep me out of school for 3 days because I was in a spiritual “daze” of peace that was unexplainable. I read the Bible like a crazy person. I was 9 years old.
DON’T GIVE UP – SEEK IT WITH ALL YOUR HEART.
One Last Thought
The enemy is afraid of people who have the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. The enemy knows you have a divine power it cannot contend with. While the enemy has a fighting chance against a “saved” / “born again” Christian, it knows it cannot stand to even be in the presence of someone with the full power of the Holy Spirit. This is a very powerful weapon against evil. It is to be eagerly sought after in today’s world of spiritual darkness. The demons that live in people can sense a “spirit filled” BAPTIZED Christian when he/she walks in the room and they are scared. Demons are horrified to be “bound and cast out” of the bodies they inhabit (the spirits of those bodies) because when they are cast out of the bodies they are sent to a very dark and ugly place and cannot escape until they get another chance to infest someone else.
And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, 3 who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no one could bind him, not even with chains, 4 because he had often been bound with shackles and chains. And the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces; neither could anyone tame him. 5 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones.
6 When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him. 7 And he cried out with a loud voice and said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me.”
8 For He said to him, “Come out of the man, unclean spirit!” 9 Then He asked him, “What is your name?”
And he answered, saying, “My name is Legion; for we are many.” 10 Also he begged Him earnestly that He would not send them out of the country. (ST 5490 – area they inhabit, empty expanse, the word “country” is a translation issue)
11 Now a large herd of swine was feeding there near the mountains. 12 So all the demons begged Him, saying, “Send us to the swine, that we may enter them.” 13 And at once Jesus gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine (there were about two thousand); and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and drowned in the sea.
BE BLESSED IN JESUS NAME!!
Email me when you receive it.
The Lord LOVES truthful testimonies!