Presentation on theme: "The baptism in the Holy Spirit SICM 2005 Acts 2:4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled."— Presentation transcript:
The baptism in the Holy Spirit SICM 2005 Acts 2:4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Salvation is through Jesus Jesus Experience Jesus
We enter into relationship with God through repenting and accepting the payment made for our sins by Jesus, God the Son. Jesus is the door. John 10:9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The path beyond that door is picking up our cross daily, dying to selfishness, and walking in the joy of resurrection liberty. Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. Hebrews 12:2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Be Adopted and Re-parented by the Father. Jesus Experience The Father
We can experience a deeper revelation of our place as adopted children of God the Father. The door is to forgive those who have wronged us and receive the healing love of the Father. Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. The path beyond this door is the process of being re- parented by a perfect Father and discovering His perfect and trustworthy character. Romans 8:15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father."
Access the Power of the Holy Spirit Jesus Experience the Holy Spirit
We experience God the Holy Spirit when He enters our lives when we accept Jesus’ forgiveness for sin. Romans 8:9 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.
In addition to this, Jesus desires for us to experience the power of God the Holy Spirit by entering the door of the baptism with the Holy Spirit. The path beyond this door is being able to walk in power and greater sensitivity to the Holy Spirit.
Acts 1:8– 4On one occasion, while he (Jesus) was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." 1 Corinthians 12:1-7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.
WHAT IS THE BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT? A.The Second Work of God’s Grace in the Life of a Believer Explain Baptism EXPERIENCEBAPTIZERELEMENTPURPOSE SalvationHoly SpiritJesus ChristForgiveness Of Sins Water BaptismPastorWaterPublic Confession Baptism in Holy Spirit JesusHoly SpiritEmpowerment for Effectiveness
Look up Luke 3:16 What did Jesus and John the Baptist Say About the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?
Luke 3:16: John answered them all, "I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
Look Up John 7:37-39
John 7:37-39 37On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.38Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." 39By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.
Look up John 14:26
John 14:26 26But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
Look up John 16:7
John 16:7 7But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.
(Just before Jesus ascended, He instructed the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the “Father’s promise” of power to which He had referred in the scriptures above.)
Luke 24:4949I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high." Mark 16:15-2015He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 16Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well." 19After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.
In these Scriptures, notice that: The Holy Spirit would be given after Jesus ascended It is a promised gift from the Father In Acts, the apostles continually referred to these two points in order to document that what they experienced was the baptism with the Holy Spirit that Jesus had told them about.
(In the next passage you will see that Jesus gave the disciples the Holy Spirit to be within them between the time He ascended and when the promised power from the Holy Spirit would come (referred to in Luke 24:49). Therefore, they were never without the presence of God in one of the persons of the Godhead at anytime, since Jesus had to leave.) John 20:20-22 (Jesus walked in while the doors are locked) 21Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
What Happened in John 20? Jesus infused the disciples for the first time with the regenerating presence of the Holy Spirit and with new life from the risen Christ. When we receive Jesus as our Savior, the Holy Spirit comes and dwells within us just like it happened to the disciples in this passage.
What happens after they receive the Holy Spirit? They receive a command to… Acts 1:4 While he (Jesus) was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."
Jesus desire was for his disciples to seek and receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 1:4-8 Acts 2:1-4,14-21, 32-39 Acts 5:30-32 Acts 8:13-24 Acts 9:10-20 Acts 10:1-2,44-46 and 11:15-17 (or 10:1 through 11:17 for the whole story) Acts 19:1-7 We are to pray for the baptism with the Holy Spirit not for salvation but for power just as the disciples did in the following passages.
Key Themes Follow the themes of “promise of the Father” and “after Jesus was exalted or ascended.” This documents that what the people in Acts were experiencing was what Jesus had told them about before He left.
Acts 1:4-8 4On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5For John baptized with[a] water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."a 6So when they met together, they asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?" 7He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
Acts 2:1-4 1When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
14Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: "Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It's only nine in the morning! 16No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 17" 'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. 19I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 20The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. 21And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.' Acts 2:14-21 It was prophesied of in the O.T.
Acts 2:32-39 32God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. 33Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. 34For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, " 'The Lord said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand 35until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet." ' 36"Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." 37When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?" 38Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call." It is for you and all who are far off
Acts 5:30-32 30The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead—whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. 31God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. 32We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him."
Acts 8:13-24 13 Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw. 14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15 When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into [a] the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.a 18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money 19 and said, "Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit." 20 Peter answered: "May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! 21 You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. 22 Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. 23 For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin." 24 Then Simon answered, "Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me."
Acts 9:17-20; 1 Cor. 14:18 17Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit." 18Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19and after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. 20At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. 18I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you.
Acts 10:1-2,44-46 and 11:15-17 1At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. 2He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. 44While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. 46For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Ch 11 15"As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning. 16Then I remembered what the Lord had said: 'John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' 17So if God gave them the same gift as he gave us, who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could oppose God?"
Acts 19:1-7 1While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2and asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" They answered, "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit." 3So Paul asked, "Then what baptism did you receive?" "John's baptism," they replied. 4Paul said, "John's baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus." 5On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 6When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. 7There were about twelve men in all.
Quick Summary 1.The Scriptures validate this experience. Jesus wants us to experience it for powerful living. 2.It is Prophesied in the Old Testament 3.It is Prophesied in the New Testament 4.It is Fulfilled and experienced in the New Testament 5.It is subsequent to receiving the Holy Spirit at Salvation (There is more) 6.The physical sign that accompanied the baptism in the Holy Spirit was tongues.
Let’s remove any obstacles… 1.Have you repented of all known sin, including the renouncing of any occult activities (including illegal mood-altering drug use)? Have you committed your life to Jesus to follow Him fully? 2.Is there any area of your life that you are knowingly withholding from God’s control or direction? Have your relinquished all that you know of yourself to all you know of God? 3.Have you had any teaching against speaking in tongues? What was it? Are you willing to renounce it in light of the scriptures you have studied? 1 Corinthians 14:39 Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. (The people that taught you these things were, in most cases, sincere and seeking to follow God. In this area, however, the evidence of scripture and experience of Christians through the ages indicates that this is needed for today, as well as in Acts.)
4. Do you fully agree that the baptism with the Holy Spirit with any or all the accompanying signs is for Christians now just as it was in Acts? Acts 2:38-39 Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off--for all whom the Lord our God will call." 5. Do you want more of God in your life? Do you want to walk through the door of the baptism with the Holy Spirit to have access to more of the power of God?
Is there any area you are holding back from giving over to God totally? Relinquish your life to serve and follow Him no matter what that means. You can trust Him and you will walk in liberty. This is a key to receiving the baptism with the Holy Spirit. Are you willfully disobeying Him in some area? This doesn’t mean you have to be perfect to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It means if you need to ask Him to forgive you, don’t put it off. Do it now.
God is good! Luke 11:9-14 9"So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. 12Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"
Living a life controlled by the Holy Spirit… Now what do I do? My observation and personal experience—many people have been Spirit baptized—seen great growth and boldness in their lives, but it appeared somewhat short-lived. A lot of people who have been Spirit baptized and spoken in tongues, yet in true honesty – their boldness in witness seems to ebb and flow. When one is baptized in the Holy Spirit--- speaks in tongues—it is like one has been connected from a wall socket connection with the Holy Spirit to the power generator itself. Yet, how come there are so many Spirit- filled people who seem to not be bold or witness.
Why? The Baptism of the Holy Spirit brings the believer into an empowered relationship with the Holy Spirit that must be renewed and maintained—It must be sustained. (Connection) 1.By prayer Acts 4:31 -- Connection with praying 2.By Witness (Acts 4:31,33) – if there is a heart disconnect with the purpose of Spirit-filled life – witnessing --- the HS power seems to ebb… it is called sin. 3.By worship in the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18-19) Speaking to one another in Psalms encouraging words 4.By a sanctified Life ( See Eph. 5:18 notes) ( Gal. 5:16) However powerful the initial coming of the HS on the believe may be- -- if this does not find expression in a life of prayer, witness and holiness--- the experience will become a fading glory.
While the baptism of the HS occurs only once in a believers life--- the Bible teaches that there may be new fillings with the HS. You should seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit every morning and throughout the day intentionally stay connected with the Spirit.
See Acts 4:27-31 31After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. AGAIN? Ephesians 5:18 15Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. AGAIN? Yes! In fact – we must experience constant renewal Ephesians 3:14-19 14For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
How to live by the empowering of the Holy Spirit 1.Pray in the Spirit every day. The gift of tongues is neglected by believers who have been baptized in the Holy Spirit because they do not understand the gift. Praying in tongues For the edification of the believer Helps in… –Praise and worship (ever find you cannot find the words) –Prayer under pressure (not sure how to pray) –Prayer for others (we do not know what is going on) Look at I Cor. 14:14… to help us pray in the Spirit benefit—transcends the limitation of human language
2.Make a daily decision to obey the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will lead you in obedience to God, to do God’s will… not your own. Keep in step with the Spirit… See Galatians 5 The Holy Spirit is holy and we lose intimacy with the Holy Spirit when we refuse to follow the Spirit’s leading. 3.Jesus tells us that the baptism in the Holy Spirit is to empower us to be witnesses… full of God’s power and will. Many people live only a shell of a spirit-filled existence because they are not committed to the primary purpose of the gift… being a witness and the supernatural acts which follow such a mission. 1.Ask 2.Listen 3.Trust Faith = RISK
Most Common Questions Do Christians receive the Holy Spirit when they are saved? If so, how is this experience different from the baptism in the Holy Spirit? Yes, when persons accept Christ, the Holy Spirit begins a great work in their lives. The Spirit convicts them of sin, convinces them of righteousness, and dwells within them (John 6:44; 14:17; Roman 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:13). No one becomes a Christian without this gracious work of the Holy Spirit. However, there is an additional and distinct ministry of the Holy Spirit called the baptism in the Holy Spirit. The Baptism is an empowering gift from God the Father that is promised to every believer (Matthew 3:11; Luke 11:13; 24:49; Acts 2:33, 38). It helps the Christian to live a holy life and also brings a new devotional attachment to Jesus Christ, making Him very real and precious. The primary purpose of the Baptism is to give greater power for witnessing (Acts 1:8). Other benefits include a greater joy in spiritual service, and a heightened sense of one's mission to the world.
Can a person receive eternal life in heaven without the baptism in the Holy Spirit? If so, why should we be baptized in the Spirit? Receiving eternal life does not depend on being baptized in the Holy Spirit; for salvation is by grace through faith alone (Habakkuk 2:4; John 6:28, 29; Galatians 3:6; 5:6; Ephesians 2:8). It is a gift purchased for us by Christ when He was crucified. All we have to do is accept the gift. Just as the repentant thief on the cross next to Jesus was assured of entering paradise that very day we too are assured a place in heaven with the Father if we believe in Jesus Christ. It is most unfortunate that some have said, "Unless you have spoken in tongues you will not go to heaven." This is not true. It is contrary to the Scriptures. At the same time, although the Bible does not say the baptism in the Spirit is required for salvation, it does tell us that Christ commanded His first followers to wait for the Holy Spirit to come upon them (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8). The Bible commands us to "be filled with the Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18). This personal encounter with the Holy Spirit should be sought and cherished by every believer. With it comes a new and fuller dimension of spiritual understanding and a flow of spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:9-13).
What is the difference between "speaking in tongues" when one is baptized in the Spirit and "speaking in tongues" publicly? Also, what is the advantage of "praying in tongues" in one's private prayer life? There are at least four uses or purposes of unknown tongues, according to the New Testament: (1) as the initial evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4; 10:46; 19:6); (2) as a gift to edify the church when the tongues are interpreted (1 Corinthians 12:10); (3) as a sign for unbelievers that they might believe (1 Corinthians 14:22); and (4) as a God-given provision for effective prayer and praise (1 Corinthians 14:2, 14). In all these cases, tongues is the same in essence, but different in purpose. The misunderstanding concerning these distinctive uses and purposes has brought great confusion among Christians. Scripture records that the early believers, upon being baptized in the Spirit, began to glorify God in languages unknown to them but imparted by the Holy Spirit. Tongues is the same evidence today when believers are baptized in the Spirit. All believers, when they are baptized in the Spirit, will speak in tongues. However, not all will exercise the spiritual gift of tongues in the church assembled for worship. All will have the evidence, but not all will exercise the public gift of tongues which requires the additional operation of the gift of interpretation of tongues (1 Corinthians 14:12,13). First in a public worship service someone is moved to speak in tongues; then someone is moved by the Spirit to give an interpretation of the utterance. Operating in this realm, the Spirit provides an effective and powerful means of corporate adoration and worship of God. The purpose of the gifts of tongues and interpretation is to edify or build up the church (1 Corinthians 14:2-12). Praying in tongues during private devotions is an additional ministry of the Holy Spirit. Many believers today testify that praying in tongues greatly enriches their spiritual lives. The limitations of intellect are overcome as the Holy Spirit quickens the human spirit in glorious expressions of worship and adoration. The quandary of limited vocabulary and the inability to express feelings and concerns of the soul disappear as a Spirit- imparted language flows out from the heart. It is as if heaven and earth, time and eternity, God and man all compress together in a glorious act of worship.
When tongues are exercised publicly according to the Biblical standard, should there always be an interpretation? Who should give the interpretation? In 1 Corinthians 14 the apostle Paul clearly taught that public speaking in tongues in the assembly of believers is in order only when followed by an interpretation. It was because of this disorderly practice at Corinth that Paul wrote such statements as "speaking into the air" (1 Corinthians 14:9), "stop thinking like children" (1 Corinthians 14:20), "will they not say that you are out of you mind?" (1 Corinthians 14:23), and "keep quiet in the church" (1 Corinthians 14:28). It [was this disorderly practice] that prompted Paul to stress the superiority of prophecy--not to interpreted tongues, but to uninterpreted tongues (1 Corinthians 14:5). Final responsibility for giving an interpretation of tongues in a public assembly rests with the one who gave the utterance in tongues. The speaker either must be assured that someone else in the assembly will provide the interpretation, or he must be prepared to do so himself (1 Corinthians 14:13, 27 28). For whose benefit and for what purpose are there utterances in tongues followed by interpretations? The purpose of tongues with interpretation is twofold. One purpose is to provide a sign for unbelievers that they might believe. The other purpose is to edify the church body. Tongues with interpretation declares the mighty works of God, exalts His name, and prompts the believers to worship Him in spirit and in truth. It also calls for commitment to the church's mission. In 1 Corinthians 14:22 and following, Paul wrote that tongues are a sign primarily for the unbeliever when uttered in a public assembly. Understandably so, for tongues properly interpreted will speak of the majesty and glory of God. The unbeliever will be drawn by this empowered expression. Some confuse speaking in tongues with the gift of prophecy. Paul drew a distinction between the two. He indicated the purpose of the spiritual gift of prophecy is to strengthen, encourage, and comfort (1 Corinthians 14:3, 31). Thus prophecy is primarily for the benefit of believers. Paul pointed out, however, that unbelievers who hear a prophetic word may also be convicted and turn in repentance to God (1 Corinthians 14:24,25).
Can a person be filled with the Holy Spirit without speaking in tongues? First let us examine the Scriptures. On the Day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit fell upon the assembled believers and "all of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues" (Acts 2:4). Later, as Peter was preaching at the house of Cornelius, "the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message" and they were "speaking in tongues and praising God" (Acts 10:44, 46). Again, as the apostle Paul was ministering to the Ephesian disciples, "the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied" (Acts 19:6). It is evident also that Paul himself was filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:17) and spoke in tongues (1 Corinthians 14:18). These Scriptures clearly show that speaking in tongues is the initial physical evidence of being baptized in the Holy Spirit. When the early believers were filled, they spoke in other tongues, and the same holds true today. Millions of believers worldwide share the exact testimony: when they initially were baptized in the Holy Spirit they spoke in unknown tongues. This is the truth which Pentecostals consistently affirm. The prophecy of Joel 2:28, 29, cited by Peter in Acts 2:16, 17, links today's Spirit-filled believers with those who were filled with the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. The Spirit's fullness, evidenced initially by the phenomenon of speaking in other tongues, is the common experience all celebrate with joy. There are those who give testimony to a dynamic and life-changing encounter with the Holy Spirit who have never spoken in tongues. Nevertheless it cannot be said that they are filled with the Spirit in the New Testament sense of the term. There is an essential link between that experience and speaking in other tongues, as pointed out above. We affirm and teach these truths because they are based upon the pattern from God's Word. We do not look upon speaking in tongues as a proof of superior spirituality. It simply is a precious promise written in God's Word and fulfilled in our lives. To ignore it is to miss a great blessing and come short of the New Testament pattern. All who are hungry for the "filling" should be encouraged to trust the Lord for the overflowing evidence of that "filling"; namely, speaking in other tongues.
First Corinthians 13:8 says "Whether there be tongues, they shall cease" (KJV). Wouldn't this indicate the baptism in the Holy Spirit was only for those first followers 2,000 years ago? In order to understand this statement we need to examine its context. Paul said that prophecies will cease, tongues will be stilled, knowledge will pass away, and perfection will come (verses 8-10). Paul was speaking of a time yet future both to his original readers and to us. When the kingdom of our Lord is ushered in, perfection will come and there will be no further need of Spirit-given knowledge, prophecy, and tongues. They will disappear because they will be no longer needed. But these operations of the Spirit are still needed today. There is no indication in Scripture that tongues would cease at the end of the first century. Tongues are to be a part of the life of the church in every generation until Christ returns to set up His perfect kingdom. Paul's perception was that spiritual gifts would be operational until that day (1 Corinthians 1:7, 8).
When an individual is seeking the baptism in the Holy Spirit, can anything be done to prepare his life or environment that will quicken the infilling? The question is often asked: "What can I do to claim the promise of the baptism in the Holy Spirit for my life?" One thing the believer should do is to seek the Baptizer rather than the Baptism. It is Jesus who baptizes believers in the Holy Spirit. Seekers should focus their attention on Him rather than on an experience. There are other steps that, if taken, will assist seekers. (1) Understand that the baptism in the Holy Spirit is a gift from God. It should be received with gratitude and giving of thanks to the Giver. It cannot be earned or merited. It can only be accepted with an open and willing heart. (2) Be fully persuaded that the baptism in the Holy Spirit is both biblical and doctrinally correct. (3) Confess any known sins in your life and resolve to live a righteous life with God's help. (4) Begin to worship the Lord with expressions of praise and adoration. (5) Express to the Lord, who is the Baptizer, a desire to be filled with the Holy Spirit for His glory. (6) Yield to any deep "welling up" within your spirit and allow that inner surge to break through in expressions of worship, praise, and adoration in a language unknown to you but meaningful to God. Is tongues the only evidence of the infilling of the Holy Spirit? Will there be any significant changes in one's attitudes and actions after being baptized in the Spirit? The first physical sign of the infilling of the Spirit is speaking in tongues. This is the one physical sign that is consistent in its recurrence, as pointed out earlier. However, the Baptism in not a goal but a gateway. It is a door to Spirit-filled living. It marks a beginning, not an end. Speaking in tongues is but the initial evidence and is to be followed by all the evidences of Christlikeness that mark a consistent Spirit-filled life. The apostle Paul described this wonderful life in the Spirit in Galatians 5:22, 23. He wrote, "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." It is a life to be lived, not just an experience to be remembered. Some have missed this essential distinction. They have been satisfied to recall that wonderful moment when the Holy Spirit came in His fullness and they magnified the Lord in other tongues. Failure to progress beyond that point is a tragedy. The question is not only, "Have you been filled?" but, "How have you lived since you were filled?" The apostle Paul wrote, "Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit" (Galatians 5:25). The baptism in the Holy Spirit is the introduction to a victorious Christian life in the Spirit. Any lesser result falls short of God's purpose in bestowing this marvelous gift.