"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." Acts 1: 8
At a weekly men's meeting a question arose about the baptism of the Holy Spirit and it's significance for each of the group. As the men responded I realized that most of them didn't understand what it was or if it existed. That's not unusual in todays church because we don't take the time to teach basic doctrine to new believers and they have to forage for themselves, sometimes finding incorrect teaching.
Jesus instructed His disciples to go to Jerusalem and wait for the promise of the Father which was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that would empower them to fulfill God's plan for the new testament church that was about to be birthed. For three years He poured His life into the disciples teaching them in one of history's most powerful on the job training courses. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons and preach the gospel to the poor; that was their mission, and that's what they indeed accomplished with great success.
Jesus completed their training, commissioned them and ascended to the Father just as He said He would and they waited in Jerusalem for the outpouring of the Spirit. Being together in the upper room in one accord they anticipated what Jesus had told them would come, the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit."
"For John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now." Acts 1: 5
The Greek word for baptized comes from the primary verb bapto that means to cover wholly, to overwhelm or to stain as in the process of dip dyeing. When one receives the Baptism of the Spirit he becomes totally immersed and according to the word of God, sealed in the power and love of the Most High. In actuality we are given a pledge or down payment of the inheritance to be received in the realm of eternal life.
When one becomes born again and his sins are washed away by the blood of Jesus he receives God's Spirit and I would liken that experience to being plugged into a wall socket that produces 110 volts of power. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit would then resemble being charged with 440 volts giving the recipient unlimited power to fulfill whatever mission that God would give him to do.
When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Acts 2: 1-4
The very promise of God had been poured out on one hundred and twenty souls waiting patiently together for Holy Spirit and the prophecy of Joel was fulfilled. As they proceeded out of the room they began to speak in other languages that people from foreign countries were understanding. When Peter began to preach, 3000 people were saved and filled with the Holy Spirit thus proving that the power of God was truly among them.
When a person is filled the evidence of it will be: tongues, boldness, revelation of the word, gifts of healing and deliverance and the ability to love people in a new way. Never limit the power of God to just the gift of tongues, in most cases many gifts can manifest themselves by the recipient's faith. The Holy Spirit's gifts are not toys, but tools for ministry, they are not for your amusement but to fulfill the great commission of God, to make disciples of all nations.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is God's gift to His disciples that will truly carry out His purpose to be His body in the earth and to represent Jesus to a lost and dying world. The modern day church of America has failed miserably when it comes to the fulfillment of the great commission and has in most cases become a big social club for lazy, apathetic so- called "Christians" to drag in every Sunday and feel good about themselves. During World War II there was a church by the railroad tracks where the Jews were being transported to the death camps; when the train would approach, the church was instructed to sing louder to drown out the screams of the condemned.
So it is today, we have sung a little louder to drown out the cries of the world as they sink slowly into hell, the world is ripe for harvest and the reapers are not showing up, they are too busy playing with their gifts. If the hundred and twenty filled with the Holy Spirit had not left the building, but instead just stayed and played, we would not have a church today. May God have mercy on us all!
Then Peter said to them,"Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and to your children, and to all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call. Acts 2: 38, 39
If this message has stirred your heart for more of God, then read Part II HOW TO RECEIVE THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
May the Lord open the eyes of your understanding and bless you with wisdom,
Your servant in Christ, Tim Laughlin
Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever, Amen. Hebrews 13: 20,21