The wonderful and blessed experience of the baptism in the Holy Spirit can be likened to a doorway into the supernatural realm of God. It is also the key to knowing the Holy Spirit (the third Person of the Trinity) in a deeper way, and coming into the gifts of the Holy Spirit and all His wonderful blessings. This experience of the baptism in the Holy Spirit was first seen in the early Church, and this experience was that which equipped the early Christians with the miraculous power of God, enabling them to fulfill His commandments. In a very true sense, it was like the rocket that launched the early Church.
Many Christians question how this experience is relevant to us in our day, while others declare emphatically that the baptism in the Holy Spirit was only for the early Church. You can be assured that this is not so! We are living in a very serious, yet exciting time in the history of mankind. God is preparing His Church for the greatest revival and outpouring of the Holy Spirit this world has ever seen. To be a part of this great move of God it is essential to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Through this experience, your spiritual senses will be awakened, and you will receive the power to be a bold witness for Christ as well as be led by the Holy Spirit.
YOU SHALL RECEIVE POWER
The main purpose of the baptism in the Holy Spirit is to receive power to be bold witnesses for Christ. Shortly before Jesus ascended into heaven He told his disciples that He would send the promise of His Father, and that they were to wait in Jerusalem until they were “endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49).
In Acts 1:8 Jesus said, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” The word that Jesus uses for “power” in this verse is the Greek word “dunamis,” from which we receive the English word “dynamite.” As we all know, dynamite has incredible power and can break huge, hard rocks in pieces. Another English word derived from “dunamis” is the word “dynamo.” A dynamo is a machine that generates a consistent and continuing supply of power. In the same way, through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, God wants to generate within you this same supply of power in the form of supernatural strength, power, and ability to witness and live for Jesus.
HOW TO RECEIVE THE BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
People can receive the baptism in different ways and everyone’s experience is unique. For example, we find in Acts that many people were filled with the Holy Spirit when someone prayed for them and laid hands upon them (Acts 8:17; 9:17; 19:6). Most people today receive this experience by the laying on of hands, but others receive when they are alone, or in some other way. Some people receive by having a great emotional experience, yet many others genuinely receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues without any emotions at all.
After sharing the following simple instructions and praying for people, I have had the privilege of seeing the Lord baptize thousands of people in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues, in seminars, conventions, and churches in many different countries.
• Repent: In order for you to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, you must first repent and have a genuine experience of being born again (Acts 2:38, John 3:3).
• Be baptized in Water: In most cases in the New Testament, people were first baptized in water (see Acts 2:38). However, in some cases, such as Cornelius and his household, they were baptized in the Holy Spirit first and afterwards were baptized in water.
• Be obedient: Sometimes the Lord will require you to do certain acts of obedience before He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit. For example, in Acts 5:32 it says: “And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.” On one occasion I prayed for a group of people and everyone received except one young married woman. I felt impressed of the Lord to show her this Scripture in Acts 5:32, and then I asked her to pray. Quickly, the Lord brought to her mind a situation where she had not obeyed her husband and had been deceptive. She apologized to him and put it right and then came to church the following Sunday. During praise and worship, without anyone even laying hands on her, she was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in other tongues.
• The baptism in the Holy Spirit is a gift: It is important for you to understand that the baptism in the Holy Spirit is a gift and you do not have to work for it, earn it, or lose control of yourself – just relax and receive. Peter said, “Repent and be baptized…and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38, NKJV). Jesus also stated in Luke 11:13, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” God the Father will not give you anything evil. On the contrary, He delights to give good gifts to His children (see Luke 11:11-13).
• Receive by faith: You receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit by faith, not by feelings. Some may have great emotional experiences, but others will not. However, if there is unbelief in your heart, it will hinder you from receiving. When Paul wrote to the Galatians he said: “Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” (Gal. 3:2).
• Jesus is the baptizer: Jesus said in John 7:37, “…If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” It is also important to realize that Jesus is the baptizer in the Holy Spirit! You are coming to Him—not to a denomination, a church, or a preacher. When John the Baptist introduced Jesus at the time of His baptism, he introduced Him as the baptizer in the Holy Spirit: “I indeed baptize you with water, but one mightier than I cometh…he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire” (Luke 3:16).
• Desire to receive: You must have a desire to receive. In John 7:37, Jesus said, “If any man thirst.” Are you thirsty for the water of the Spirit? If you are, you may come unto Jesus and drink. Those who are hungry and thirsty will be those who are filled. Sadly, the reason that many people are not filled with the Holy Spirit is because they have no real desire to receive.
• Drink to receive: Do not be passive, you must drink! In John 7:37 Jesus tells us, “If anyone thirst let him come unto me and drink.” Even if you are very thirsty and water is available, your thirst will not be quenched unless you do something about it. Obviously, you must pick up the glass of water and drink. Usually in receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit, there is your part (which is natural) and God’s part (which is supernatural). In other words you must do the possible before you can expect God to do the impossible. We see an example of this when the disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee and a terrible storm arose. Jesus came to them walking on the water and Peter cried out, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water” (Matt. 14:28, NKJV). The Lord’s reply to Peter was to come, and by faith he obeyed the words of Jesus. A miracle happened and Peter began to walk on the water. However, there would have been no miracle if Peter had remained seated in the boat and done nothing. Peter had to stand up and jump over the side of the boat, then God gave him supernatural power to walk on the water.
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).
No one can speak in two languages at exactly the same time; so do not pray in English or in your own language. The new words may sound strange to your mind because they are unknown to you. You may begin with stammering lips or with just one or two words. Do not doubt, but speak out what the Holy Spirit brings to your mind and trust the Lord to give you more words.
As a new believer, I would encourage you to be prayed for with the laying on of hands to receive this experience, either at a church altar call or by a pastor or church leader. When I pray for people to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, I often ask them to pray aloud after me, and then I encourage them to begin speaking in tongues. They may pray a prayer similar to the following:
“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.”
~An excerpt from Rev. David Wallis’ book Handbook for New Believers