There is a need in a Christian's life for the anointing of God. That anointing has a name and he is the Holy Spirit. When a person is born again because they have received Jesus as their Lord and Savior they are indeed born of the Spirit of God and they do have the Spirit of Christ. They are one with the Lord by the Holy Spirit. They are like a freshly made temple of the living God made without hands at this point. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is when the Holy Spirit moves into his new home, his new temple made without hands, which is your newly born again spirit. You now have God Almighty living right inside of you, in your new born again spirit. "Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world." (1 John 4:4)
So the Baptism of the Holy Ghost refers to the gift we can receive after we have received Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. The Holy Spirit is the gift from our heavenly Father and Jesus himself is the person who baptizes us with the Holy Spirit. Matthew 3:11 says, "I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire."
According to Acts 2:4, the initial evidence that you have received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is the ability to speak in tongues. It is you who does the speaking, but it is the Holy Spirit who provides the words for you to speak. And you just speak by faith that which the Holy Spirit provides in regard to words which according to Scripture are languages of men and of angels. (1 Corinthians 13:1)
I was born again at the age of eight. I had been brought up in a Christian home with both sides of my family being Christians as far back as anyone could remember. So I grew up in church, but I did not grow up in a Pentecostal or Charismatic church. During one evening service the church where we were attending was having a special with a young men's quartet singing. The one fellow was giving his testimony about Jesus in-between songs and as he did so I was just sitting there weeping. I did not know what was happening. I tried to wipe my eyes so my mother would not notice and think something was wrong. But I could not stop weeping. It felt like my heart was breaking. I found out later that the Lord responds to a broken and contrite heart. It was the Lord working which was causing me to listen to the gospel story through the testimony and respond to it. On the way home I started asking my mother out of nowhere about Jesus and how a person can receive him as Lord and Savior and how to be born again. I based my questions on what I heard that guy say in his testimony. My mother explained to me the gospel in a little more detail and when we got home we knelt by my bedside and I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior.
As a few years passed I got into wanting to read my bible regularly. I found out later that the bible, God's Word will give light to your path. So from time to time as I would read my bible, and still today as I read my bible, and no matter what I am reading, I find that a "light" will shine so to speak and I will know in my heart or my born again spirit what God wants me to do. It is like someone told me something and I know it because they told me and yet know one has spoken audibly to me in regard to what was said. So I am about fourteen years old and I am reading my bible in Proverbs of all places and the "light" comes on and I know that I need to be baptized in water. Well I had been going to church since I was a baby and I knew what being baptized was and what it meant but I had never even thought about it. But now at this time it was like the Lord, through my reading the bible in a general way, was directing me to get water baptized by immersion. So I called out to my parents and told them that I wanted to be baptized. I went to the class on baptism at church with the rest of the people who wanted to be baptized to learn what the bible had to say about the subject. I was the youngest person there. Well my turn came to get into the water and I was baptized after making my confession of faith in front of everyone. Before I was baptized, however, my head had thoughts going through it that when being baptized I would be held under the water and would drown. Keep what I tell you in mind about what thoughts were going through my own mind for later reference in regard to being baptized in the Holy Spirit. Every time you step out in faith to obey God the Devil will do everything to cause you to doubt and to keep you from acting on your faith. Faith without works is dead being on its own. When you have faith then you will act on it because you believe God over anything else. And you will keep acting on your faith and not "try it to see if it works or not."
Many years went by and I kept reading my bible. The church that we attended as a family did not believe in the baptism in the Holy Ghost or in speaking in tongues. That is something that was done just to jump start the church in the book of Acts. We didn't need that today. But every time I read my bible it just seemed like Christians were to have this going on too. I read how after they were baptized in the Holy Ghost they would do miracles in the name of Jesus and I thought that was really cool. I would ask various leaders of our church about the baptism in the Holy Spirit and on one occasion I was told that speaking in tongues was not for today and that the people who did so were not Christians and were into things they ought not to be into. Then the person brought up certain ministers as their examples to justify their argument. I would bring up Scripture to justify what I was saying and it just made them furious in their attitude toward me. I did the same with the pastor of the church because I was looking for some answers to what I was reading about the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. He argued against it with examples of people and by just saying it was wrong and not for today. I was arguing for it by using Scripture and he got all rattled against me. Both of these times these people had been invited to my parents' house (our home) for dinner and here I was causing problems for my parents and being "a rebellious teenager."
At this point I was working as a teenager and had purchased a car (a cheap pile of junk that at least got me from point A to point B). So I went down the road to visit the Assembly of God church that was in town. During the service I was fascinated by how the people were jammed into the service. The service itself was lively and as a teenager I thought that was pretty good. Then some lady in the middle of the congregation just started to speak out in some foreign language. Everybody got quiet like they were really listening to her. They all had their heads bowed in reverence like people do when they are praying. Me, I was looking all around to see what was going on because I was curious. When the lady got done talking, and it couldn't have been more than a few seconds, the pastor started talking and saying something like he was dictating a message from the Lord. I thought this was what he was doing because he kept saying "thus saith the Lord" every now and again as he spoke. In my mind I had this thing figured out. I figured that the lady and the pastor knew each other and before the service began they went over their notes and decided who was going to say what and of course when they would say it. I thought it was a rehearsed thing that they did like a couple of actors. I was still intrigued by it though.
A few years went by and I was married and we were teaching Sunday school in the church where we attended. One day a couple of years into our marriage, I was at home while my wife was working and I was reading my bible. I had set a goal to read the bible through in a year. I started with the book of John and got to the book of Acts. I know this is a funny way to read the bible through in a year but I felt like this was the way I should do it. I did not know that God was leading me to do this. As I was reading the book of John and got to the book of Acts I thought that I should get this "Baptism in the Holy Ghost and speak in tongues." The "light" came on so to speak and I could not get peace until I had accomplished this objective. I asked God for it as I sat there with my bible. Nothing happened. That caused me to become frustrated. I then went to a nearby Assembly of God church and sat in on a Sunday service. The pastor was a good speaker and during the sermon he was describing what it was like for him when he operated in what he called a "word of knowledge." I thought that was very interesting. After the service I asked him about the Baptism in the Holy Ghost and said that I wanted it. He invited me to come to see him during his office hours that week and he would pray with me. I did and he prayed with me. After prayer he looked at me and I looked at him and we both shrugged our shoulders like something should happen but nothing did happen.
That experience notched me up to an even greater frustration level. I liked the pastor but nothing happened that I thought should happen according to Scripture. To make matters worse that had been his last sermon because he was retiring. Now I had nowhere to turn. So I got out the phone book and started to go through the yellow pages for churches. I looked at all the fancy ads and looked for a church that advertized Holy Ghost "anything" that was also nearby to where I lived. To my advantage I found a church that was just down the road and it was a charismatic church. I did not know what "charismatic" was at the time but I had seen the words "Holy Spirit" in their ad so I went to pay them a visit. It was during the week so I was not sure if anyone would be around. I saw some cars parked at the church so I went in and found three people talking together. I started to say that I was inquiring for a new church to attend and I was asking about their church and beliefs etc. One of the ladies excused herself and went into another area of the church. I continued to talk about the church to the other two people who apparently worked there. After a couple of minutes the lady that had excused herself came back with a little book that she gave to me. I had not even mentioned to these people that I was seeking the Baptism in the Holy Ghost. I was just inquiring about their church. But the book that she gave to me was a mini book about how to be Baptized in the Holy Ghost. Now don't tell me that as you read your bible that the Lord won't give "light" to your path and make things come to pass as you step out in faith and obey him because he will.
I took that book home and devoured the teaching in it. I read the Scriptures and believed everything I read. Then the book took a turn that was never taken in regard to my search for being baptized in the Holy Ghost. It gave me instructions how to receive the Baptism in the Holy Ghost by faith. The book stated that after I read the teaching I was to pray the prayer listed in the book by faith and to believe I receive the Baptism in the Holy Ghost when I prayed. So I knelt down by the small couch we had and prayed the prayer and believed I received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit as I prayed. Nothing happened but I did feel different because I at least believed I received when I prayed because I believed what I had learned from the teaching in that book on the subject. Now the book said that I have to pray in tongues according to Acts 2:4, "All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them." The book said that I could not pray in English which was my native language and that I could not pray in any other language that I had learned in school. I had never learned anything but English so that was not a problem. The problem was speaking without speaking English. Remember I told you about how the devil will try to cause you to think doubtful thoughts and mess with you so that you don't step out and act on your faith? That was happening to me. I had thoughts that this was impossible to do. How do you speak without speaking English? I knew from the teaching that the Holy Spirit was there and would give me the utterance but I was trying to figure out how he was going to do it. You have to take that step of faith in God's Word alone especially when things cannot be figured out in the natural.
No one was there to help me. It was just me and the Holy Spirit. So I took a deep breath while thinking I was glad no one was there with me. At least I would not look stupid in front of others when this thing did not work. As I said I took a good sized breath and started to just speak not knowing what I was doing. I was not trying to make up words or adlib or anything like that. But as soon as I started to speak the words were right there and I kept on speaking too. I did not stop with a little. I kept going on and on. And as I was speaking in tongues it felt like a huge surge of energy was going through me. The closest I can describe it was like I was transformed into Superman and could walk through brick walls without causing any harm to me whatsoever. And I have been speaking in tongues and seeing all kinds of powerful miracles and healing and deliverance come to pass in people's lives as a result of my ministry and this Baptism in the Holy Ghost that I had received. The Baptism in the Holy Ghost was for me so that the Lord could set people free through me. The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation.
So as I previously stated, according to Acts 2:4, the initial evidence that you have received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is the ability to speak in tongues. The Holy Spirit wants to help you communicate with God through this new heavenly language of prayer and praise. With the Holy Spirit's help you are able to talk to God out of the depths of your heart. You are able to say to him what you are unable to fully express through your native language. Like anything we receive from God, we receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit by asking God for it by faith. The only requirement is that you are saved with Jesus being your Lord and Savior. The Holy Spirit will not fill an unbeliever. The world cannot receive him according to John 14:17. But if you are saved you can simply pray and ask God to fill you with his Holy Spirit and to give you your payer language. Ask for his help to release that prayer language. Me, I just jumped in and did not look back. Take that step of faith like I did. Allow the Holy Spirit to fill your mouth and provide the words for you to speak. You provide the voice and the Holy Spirit provides the words and the two of you become one in prayer and praise to God. The Holy Spirit is indeed your Helper!
It is important to understand your own "will" when speaking in tongues. The Holy Spirit will not speak for you. You, by an act of your own "will," will be speaking. The Holy Spirit will make sure the words are there for you to speak, just like he did and does for me. By faith you must open your mouth and speak, but not in your native tongue or any learned language. By a simple act of your will, you must open your mouth and let the sound come out. And because your mind is not creating the words that you are speaking, you will not understand them (1 Corinthians 14:14). You may think that you are just making up the words. But that is not the case. You are allowing the Holy Spirit to form the words that you speak. And according to the bible you are speaking directly to God. "For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries." (1 Corinthians 14:2)
As you speak to God in your prayer language, God understands what you say even if you do not. But you can also ask God to help you to interpret the meaning of what is said so that you can pray with your understanding also (1 Corinthians 14:13-15). The interpretation of your prayer language is a matter of exercising your will just as the releasing of it is. After you have spoken in your prayer language ask God to give you the interpretation. Then open your mouth to speak by faith in your natural or native language. This is how you interpret for your own understanding of what the Holy Spirit is speaking through you. You won't have everything at once. You will get just a word or a phrase or a sentence at first and as you speak it by faith more will come flooding into you and you will find yourself speaking plainly and listening to yourself interpreting that for which you just spoke out in other tongues.
Can a person be saved without speaking in tongues? This is a good question. I was saved before I ever received the Baptism in the Holy Ghost and before I ever spoke in other tongues and interpreted. You do not have to speak in tongues to be born again and be a child of God through Jesus Christ. Salvation is a completely different work from the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit can take place anytime after a person is saved. However the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is New Testament for the Christian and is very valuable for the Christian to experience. The purpose of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is to empower us, like it did me, to be effective witnesses for Jesus Christ. (See Acts 1:8) It provides inner power that becomes an outward force to bring the reality of Jesus Christ to others. And to help release that power, the Baptism in the Holy Spirit gives the Christian a new tongue with which to pray to and to praise God. Plus, according to 1 Corinthians chapter 14 praying in tongues and interpreting is the key to operating powerfully in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. And according to Jude 20 praying in tongues keeps your faith charged up to the highest levels. So I encourage you today to ask God for the gift of the Baptism in the Holy Ghost. And believe you receive when you ask just like I did. And then ask the Lord to baptize you in the Holy Ghost. And then take that deep breath and speak out by faith.
An ordained preacher and evangelist since 1996, Evangelist Gregory Whitaker aka The Gospel Van Man, travels the highways and byways and from city to city teaching faith and preaching Christ with all signs, wonders, and miracles following. For more information on how to receive miracles by faith check out my YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVxmTVR0GiFIcmuJACqOWqg
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