THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
What is it? Who is it for? What is it all about?
HAVE YOU RECEIVED THE HOLY SPIRIT SINCE YOU BELIEVED?
1. Tongues are foretold in prophecies of the Old Testament. (Isaiah 28:11-12)
2. The New Testament declares fulfillment of this Old Testament prophecy. (1 Corinthians 14:21)
3. All original 120 disciples were filled with the Holy Ghost and spoke in tongues, even Mary the mother of Jesus. (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:14, Acts 2:4)
4. The first Gentiles saved received the Holy Ghost and spoke in tongues. (Acts 10:44-46)
5. The Apostle Paul spoke in tongues (1 Corinthians 14:18) and said he was to be a pattern for all believers for all time. (1 Timothy 1:16)
6. Over 25 years after Pentecost those who received the Holy Ghost spoke in other tongues. (Acts 19:6)
7. Most of all, Jesus said that one of the signs of the believer would be speaking with other tongues (evidence of the Holy Ghost). (Mark 16:15-18)
GOD PROMISES THE HOLY SPIRIT TO ALL WHO ASK!
The gift of the Holy Ghost did NOT pass away with the Apostles, as some say. It is for every believer in Jesus.
Many quote 1 Corinthians 13:8 which says "...whether there be tongues, they shall cease;" But in the context of the scripture, it says, "when that which is perfect is come..." (1 Corinthians 13:10). We haven't come to that time of perfection; Jesus Christ is "that which is perfect" and, although He has promised us He will return, He hasn't yet returned. So, until He does, we need all the help we can get.
Paul promises us in his letter to the Corinthian believers (1 Corinthians 1:7-8), that God would not withdraw the gift of the Holy Ghost even to the return of Christ. God promises the Holy Ghost to those who ask!
WHAT IS IT FOR?
BOLDNESS AND POWER: "Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses...unto the uttermost parts of the earth." (Acts 1:8)
CLOSE COMMUNICATION WITH GOD: The Devil cannot intercept. "He that speaks in an unknown tongues speaks...unto God." (1 Corinthians 14:2)
THE HOLY SPIRIT INTERCEDES for you while you pray in tongues. (Romans 8:26-27)
THE HOLY GHOST INSTRUCTS and comforts us. (Luke 12:12, Acts 9:31)
EDIFIES YOU AND BUILDS YOU UP to resist Satan's attacks. (1 Corinthians 14:14)
USED IN PRAISING GOD: "God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth." (John 4:24)
Contend for the different gifts of the Holy Ghost.
(1 Corinthians 12:8-11)
Remember, the gifts function in the church in an orderly fashion as the Spirit leads, not in confusion.
"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
HOW TO RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT:
Just like salvation, you receive the Holy Ghost by faith, by asking Jesus for what He has promised you, remember you will not receive anything evil when you ask Him for the Holy Ghost.
Luke 11:11-13 says, "If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!"
Doubt, hidden sin, and not totally yielding yourself to God can hinder you from receiving Him. If you don't have any of those things, you can proceed with confidence to receive the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking with other tongues.
You can receive this wonderful gift just like they did in Acts 9:6, "And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied." You may have Spirit-filled Christians lay hands on you and pray you through to receiving the Holy Ghost, raising your hands and praising God. As the Lord places a strange word in your mind, you speak it out boldly. Your lips may stammer, but as you boldly repeat the word in faith, the Spirit will give your more words. At first you may only speak a few words, but the more you speak out in faith, the easier it will get.
Keep practicing your new prayer language until it becomes natural and you'll experience a new peace and joy of knowing the presence of the Lord. The more you pray in tongues the more you build up your faith. Jude 20 says, "But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit..." This gift will continue to make you strong enough to resist the attacks of Satan and bold enough to be a good witness for Jesus Christ!