HOW TO RECEIVE THE BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
A Study Guide
By Steven Lambert, ThD, DMin
The Baptism in the Holy Spirit, evidenced by the gift of tongues, is a separate and distinct experience to salvation that God offers to all believers. Both salvation and the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, however, are a work of the Holy Spirit. In salvation, the Holy Spirit comes to live within the believer — this is the regenerative work of the Holy Spirit. In the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, the believer is enveloped by and immersed in the Holy Spirit; that is to say, the Holy Spirit comes upon the believer in contrast to into the believer. These facts are clearly supported by Scripture and are exemplified by the experience of Jesus Himself, who is our supreme Model.
It is a very simple matter for any believer to receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. It is a gift bestowed by God totally on the basis of grace, not merit. Jesus is the Baptizer in the Holy Spirit. God’s Word says He will baptize any believer who in faith believing asks Him to baptize him or her in the Holy Spirit. The believer need only to receive it by faith, not by any humanly-invented form or formula.
- Jesus was born of the Holy Spirit into human form in a similar way as believers are Born Again (albeit, Jesus did not need to be “born again” as do humans, because He was not born of the sin nature as are humans, but rather was “begotten” of God the Father).
- Mat. 1:18-20
- Luke 1:26-38
- Jesus Himself was Baptized in the Holy Spirit, and thereby became the Baptizer in the Holy Spirit.
- Luke 3:16-23 Jesus’ personal experience of being baptized in the Holy Spirit.
- Acts 2:33 Jesus, The Baptizer in the Holy Spirit, baptizes the early Church.
- The first work of the Holy Spirit is in regeneration, that is, in the Born Again experience, or at salvation.
- John 3:3-8 The regenerative work of the Holy Spirit in salvation.
- John 4:7-14 Here, Jesus speaks allegorically of the Holy Spirit becoming “a well of water springing up to Eternal Life” as He takes up residence in the Born Again believer. In this working of the Holy Spirit the relationship between the Father and the believer is established.
- John 14:16-20 The Holy Spirit “will be IN you.”
- The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is another working of the Holy Spirit, effecting an adjunctive, i.e., separate and distinct, experience from regeneration (i.e., salvation).
- John 7:37-39 Jesus describes here the effect of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit in which the Holy Spirit becomes “rivers of living water” flowing out unto others, compared to the personal work of the Holy Spirit within the believer in regeneration in which the Holy Spirit is as a “ well” (container) of water, as mentioned in C,3 above. In regeneration, the Holy Spirit comes to live in the believer, bringing the Life of God manifest in the fruit of the Spirit, making the believer a CONTAINER of the Life of God. However, in the Spirit-Baptism, the Holy Spirit comes upon the believer, bestowing the power of God manifest in the gifts of the Spirit, making the believer a CONDUIT through whom the supernatural giftings of the Holy Spirit flow out unto others.
- John 20:22 The early disciples received the working of the Holy Spirit in regeneration on Resurrection evening in the Upper Room. In simple terms, when Jesus breathed upon the disciples, He was dispensing the Holy Spirit for regeneration unto them, that is, to be saved. This was the first dispensation of the Holy Spirit in salvation after Jesus had completed His priestly mission of “passing through the heavens” (Heb. 4:14) to “once for all” enter into the real Holy of Holies in Heaven (Heb. 7:27; 9:12) compared to the “copy” or “type” into which the human high priests entered once each year for centuries, thereby providing real salvation and regeneration of the dead human spirit. It was at this point, that the disciples were saved and experienced the rebirth–on that Resurrection evening, when Jesus entered into the Upper Room through the locked door, pronouncing “Shalom” (i.e., “Peace”), for He had now established for the first time since the Garden of Eden, PEACE between God and Redeemed-Mankind! Hallelujah!
- Luke 24:44-49 Though the disciples were at that moment when Jesus breathed upon them saved and the Holy Spirit had come to live within them as living “Temples of the Living God,” still Jesus instructed the disciples to “wait” in the city of Jerusalem until ascended back into Heaven to reclaim His Seat of Sovereignty at the right hand of the Father, and then and from there, sent forth yet “another promise of God” the Father upon them, which would result in them being “clothed with power from on high,” to wit: the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
- Acts 1:1-8 In his second book, Luke recounts again the last dissertation of Jesus prior to His ascension. However, he also adds some critical details which did not appear in his synoptic book, the Gospel of Luke. In verses 4 and 5, he includes Jesus’ interpretation of His phrase, “the promise of the Father.” (“Which you heard of from Me” indicates that Jesus had taught the disciples about this matter on previous occasions as well.) Jesus clearly and explicitly defines “the promise of the Father” as being the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. In verse 8, Jesus explains that the effect of the Holy Spirit will be that the disciples would receive — “DUNAMIS” — supernatural power to bear witness of the Resurrected Christ!
- Acts 2:1-36 “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.” The fulfillment of Jesus prediction conclusively proves that the Baptism in the Holy Spirit with the accompanying evidence of the gift of tongues is the “promise of the Father,” and that it is a subsequent and separate experience to salvation and the New Birth. The disciples were saved in the upper room on Resurrection Evening, at which time they received the fullness of the Holy Spirit in themselves (i.e., in their regenerated human spirit); yet it was after salvation, that they were clothed with, or enveloped in, or immersed (the meaning of the word “baptized”) in the Holy Spirit.
- Acts 2:16 Further evidence that that which occurred on the Day of Pentecost was the fulfillment of the prophesied “promise of the Father,” is evident in Peter’s declaration, “this is that which was spoken of by the prophet Joel: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I shall pour out of My Spirit UPON all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy” (prophecy can be manifested in the common languages of the hearers or in the variable form of tongues accompanied by interpretation of tongues). The portion of Joel’s prophecy reiterated by Peter in verse 18, to wit: “And on My servants and handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy,” offers further proof that this outpouring of the Spirit would fall upon saved/Born Again believers as a separate and subsequent, i.e., adjunct, experience to salvation.
- The initial (not exclusive) evidence that a person has been baptized in the Holy Spirit is tongues. Proof-positive of that fact is found in the fact that ALL of the early believers (including all of the Twelve Apostles of the Lamb) who were baptized in the Holy Spirit spoke in tongues.
- Acts 2:1-21 The Apostles of the Lamb and Early Church disciples.
- Acts 8:5-19 Samaritans are baptized in the Spirit and speak in tongues. (Note: While Luke’s account here does not specifically state these believers spoke in tongues when they received the Spirit Baptism, Simon “saw” something that was tangible evidence they had indeed received it, which evidence was most likely tongues.)
- Acts 9:1-18; 1 Cor. 14:18 The Apostle Paul is baptized in the Spirit and received as a result the gift of tongues.
- Acts 10:34-46 The first group of pure Gentiles (Goyim, non-Jews) are baptized in the Spirit.
- Acts 19:1-6 Ephesian disciples of John The Baptist are baptized in the Spirit.
- 1 Cor. 1:4-7; Chs. 12,13,14 The Corinthian believers were Spirit-Baptized and recipients of the gift of tongues. The Apostle Paul had to write to delineate some “rules of proper order” for exercising the gifts of the Spirit in public assemblies.
- God desires for ALL believers to speak in tongues — 1 Cor. 14:5.
- All believers should pray and sing in the spirit, that is to say, in tongues — 1 Cor. 14:14,15. (In verse 14, Paul clearly indicates that one is “praying in the Spirit” when he prays in tongues.)
- Praying in the Spirit (in tongues) is praying in the perfect will of God — Rom. 8:26,27.
- Jesus gives the gift of the Holy Spirit to everyone who asks Him for it — Luke 11:13.
- Anyone who is thirsty for the Holy Spirit need only to come to Jesus and DRINK (i.e., ingest; receive by faith) of the water of the Spirit — Jn. 7:37,38.
- What to do to receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
- If you are a believer, meaning you’ve repented of your sins, and accepted Christ Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, and He’s come into your heart or human Spirit by in the infusion of the Holy Spirit, you qualify to and can receive the Baptism (Immersion) in the Holy Spirit.
- If you earnestly desire to be totally immersed in the “rivers of living water” of the Holy Spirit, you can be, right now. All you need to do is to ask Jesus and then simply drink in the Holy Spirit. Lift both hands to Heaven and pray this prayer:
Dear Lord Jesus, I have believed upon you as my Lord and Savior, and the Holy Spirit lives within me. I know I am already saved. But, John the Baptist testified you were the Baptizer in the Holy Spirit. I ask you now to baptize me in the Holy Spirit and clothe me with power from on high. I receive this baptism now by faith!
- Now take in a deep breath and “drink” in the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “ANYONE who is thirsty, let him come unto Me and DRINK!” (Jn. 7:37). Receive by faith–the same way you recieved Him as your Savior! Think about it! — which is the greatest miracle and required the most faith? If you had the faith that He could save you and regenerate you so that you were born again and became a “new creature” in Him, then you certainly have the faith to receive the Immersion in the Spirit! Once you’ve drank in the Spirit, you will now begin to sense a “bubbling forth” sensation rising up within you from your innermost being in the region of your belly. Just open your mouth and begin to speak the praises of God in the unknown utterances the Holy Spirit speaks forth through you from within. Don’t be concerned if only a few short sounds similar to a baby-talk that you do not understand come forth initially–just speak them forth in faith, abandoning pride and self-consciousness! Remember unknown tongues are words and languages you yourself do not understand (but God does!). Hallelujah! Like the Nike slogan, “JUST DO IT!” Stop thinking about it so much! Operate in faith! Let GO and let GOD! This is not you speaking, it’s the HOLY SPIRIT speaking through you! This is not earthly and human language, it’s HEAVENLY and DIVINE language!
- In the days and weeks and months ahead, exercise your prayer language whenever possible, and it will continue to develop. If you do not use it, especially due to pride or unbelief, it is possible to lose it.
- Be prepared for the attack of the devil and his attempts to steal from you what you have received from God — resist his lies; he is a liar and the father of lies! A common lie he comes to you with is that this is just all in your imagination, and that you just got caught up in an emotional moment; you didn’t really receive an “unknown language” — you were just making those sounds up yourself. He’s a liar! Think for a moment; ask yourself two things: a) did these sounds seem to come out of your head? b) did you think about it and make the sounds up? Or, did they seem to “float up” out of your innermost being (“belly,” Jesus called it)? Secondly, have you ever done this (i.e., make up and speak baby-talk) before? If not, then why did these sounds just start to “float up” out of you when you asked Jesus to baptize you in the Holy Spirit? The devil is a liar! — command him to leave you right now, in Jesus Name, and take all his lies with him; and he will flee from you!
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