Bro. Tobin: Holy Ghost Baptism: Settle For Nothing Less 9/2009 Lyndon Full Gospel AG
Acts 1,4-6, 7; Heb. 6,1-2; Is. 6; Rom. 8,1-2; 1Cor.14,21-22; Jer. 15,4f; Lk 3,15-16; Jn 7,37.
Psalm 29,7: "The voice of the Lord divideth the flames of fire."
May His voice come upon you in fire today, in Jesus name.
(se tu quisieras espanol- http://www.zionpentecostmission.com/bautizo-en-el-espiritu.html )
Intro I'm going to preach Holy Ghost Baptism today. This will provide interested folks with the convicting love and witness to minister to the vast majority of Christians and non Christians who either don't accept baptism in the Holy Ghost, or know anything about it. This subject convicts me- the fact Christ shed his blood to make good on God's promise to give us a new Spirit and heart (Hb. 9-12, Ez.36,27).
It cost Jesus His life, and yet we largely ignore his greatest life changing gift, this momentous promise to everybody unheeded (Acts 2,39). And we have to lay it out again and again, a doctrine that after 2000 years should be our second nature.
And perhaps we in the Pentecostal movement have been worn down by this resistance to this supreme gift, despite the fact that we know in our hearts that this baptism is the closest thing to eternal security that any man will ever have. Doesn't it stir you that Christ died to give us the Holy Ghost, yet about this very thing that gives us the power to speak up, we stay so silent!
I don't preach this with a critical Spirit. I say this as a man who would still be living in the state of sin, not the state of redemption save for this better baptism. Am I overstating the matter? Well then how did you conquer sin dear reader? When you got your water baptism? When you decided not to do the things you didn't want to do, but still did them, and not just occasionally like Paul?
As for me, God living in me by Baptism in the Spirit killed the power of my sin nature and established a new nature. I can and still do sin, nothing major I hope, but it's harder now, after baptism in the Spirit, to get off track than stay on track (as Gene Scott said). And as a matter of testimony, I'm more than a conqueror, after baptism in the Spirit. But if you can say this without God fully living in you, and without getting all superspiritual and religious, and clangy gonglike,then bully foryou. Jesus promised us more, because he knew we needed more.
What's up with the fact that so few people want to share the good news of this baptism? It's become rare to hear anyone anywhere preach it, or if so it is done so faintly that it doesn't seem very important at all.
It's vitally important as to the dynamics and vision of mission and to personal sanctification and guidance. In hundreds of ways (he will teach us all things) it isworth having and keeping. As to the latter just like Saul lost his anointing- we Pentecostals can lose ours- so by God we should have this stuff on the tip of our tongues, for our own benefit (our own testimony) and those who have never experienced God in this way.
Why is it that so few folks speak up for Pentecost today? I think we know the answer in our spirit man- because it comes at the price of changing our lives and following God more closely so as to receive the Spirit. Thus, many pastors and even folks in Pentecostal churches won't preach it or teach it, because it makes people who don't have it uncomfortable. And then they might not come to church. And then the church budget might go down, the love of money being the root of all evil.
Can We Persevere Without It?
The Lord put it to me this way. "The need and the reality of baptism in the Holy Ghost is so much more important than the amount of 'success' any of my churches has." John 3,5: ""Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he is unable to enter the kingdom of God."
Now if that's God's heart- though none may follow, follow- come on dear Pentecostal brothers and sisters- we can do a better job at explaining what we have experienced. I hope this sermon-teaching helps.
Moreover, how are we going to know if we are being presented other Christs, other gospels, and other spirits unless we are operating under the Spirit if Christ, the one Corinth first received: "But I am afraid that, just as the snake with his cunning seduced Eve, your minds may be led stray from single-minded devotion to Christ. Because any chance comer has only to preach a Jesus other than the one we preached, or you have only to receive a spirit different from the one you received, or a gospel different from the one you accepted- and you put up with that only too willingly." 2Cor.11,3-4; Rev. 18,4-5; Rev. 21,8.
And then there's the difficulty that as soon as we hear the word "baptism," which means to be submerged, many folks recoil and say ""Oh no, no doctrine for us"", in that "doctrine" to us moderns has become almost a dirty word. Well the bible is full of doctrines, and yes we and have run people off with a too doctrinaire approach, but we can also run them off by not teaching much, or not teaching the best stuff.
Baptism doctrine has come to mean disagreements- but let's be fair to 'God and His word- before we just do and say what we want, we do our bible homework and see what the word says, especially about such fundamentals as baptisms. The word of God deserves more respect than to throw out foundational doctrines within it.
And make no mistake baptism in the Holy Ghost for all Christians is a core and foundational doctrine of the Christian church. It's not just for us Pentecostals. And it's not our Pentecostal baptism, our promise to each other, it's God's baptism, God's promise to all of us. The disciples were commanded face to face by the risen Jesus, while eating with him. Acts 1,4: "While at table with them, he had told them not to leave Jerusalem,but to wait there for what the Father had promised..."
Please turn to Hebrews 6,1-2. which shows us that Holy Ghost Baptism is a fundamental or foundational Christian doctrine: "Let us leave behind then all the elementary teaching about Christ and go on to it's completion, without going over the fundamental doctrines again: the turning away from dead actions [repentance], faith in God [cling to God], the teaching about baptisms [plural] and the laying on of hands [for this baptism], about the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. This, God willing, is what we propose to do."
So the author of Hebrews wanted to go further, basically into Christ's better priesthood and sacrifice, beyond the fundamental simple initial doctrines of the faith, of which water baptisms (John's ""repent the messiah is coming"" baptism, Jesus' disciples ""repent He is the one"" baptism, and the post resurrectional water baptism done by the Apostles ""in Jesus name"") and Jesus' Holy Ghost Baptism are included. Yet we have allowed Satan to make it complicated and divisive.
Baptism in the Holy Ghost is neither. It is God's remedy to actually relieve us from our bondage in sin, the way and means of God for us to actually get free and stay free. God didn't promise us freedom and then not give us the means to enjoy it. What kind of God would that be?
Baptism in the Holy Ghost is a distinct experience, whether after or before water baptism, pursuant to all out faith in Jesus. Water baptism, resurrectional- ""Jesus is Lord and messiah baptism,"" per Acts 2,38-39 and Acts 19,6 is always vitally linked to Baptism in the Holy Ghost, and
these two taken together with repentance and usually public faith profession, constitute the one saving rebirth, the unified saving swoop, of Christian initiation. History has proven that if we allow them to be separated, Holy Ghost baptism is given short shrift, and is made into a
side show doctrine.
Holy Ghost baptism is the actual means of the actual remission of our sins. It is God Spirit come down into us in us attesting that he doesn't call our sins to mind (Hebrews10,15; cf 9,22). It is our cry of rest and joy and a clean conscience unto our ever living God after our hearts, all that we are, have been sprinkled from heaven and made free by his blood (Hebrews 10, 22 and 9,14).
It is also the blood and water of the pierced Jesus on Calvary (Jn19,35) still sending down his Spiritual blood which still mercifully flows, upon all who seek it, even Israel who will look upon Him one day with faith (v.37, fulfilling Zc.12,10). This blood is not physical, but heavenly "purifying blood which pleads more eloquently than Abel's." Hebrews 12,24. [earthly blood dries up or is washed off].
This Spiritual blood we receive as a consuming fire from heaven in Baptism of the Holy Ghost, which actually take away our sins. So plead the heavenly blood for Baptism in the Holy Ghost and have your sins remitted. "He saved us not by works of rightousness which we have done but according to His compassion, through the washing of rebirth, and renewal by the Set-apart Spirit, which he poured out on us through Jesus Christ our Savior." (Titus 3,5-6, Institute of Scripture Research Version)
It is also God's way of replacing the law of our flesh with a new law, a new governing principle, that of the Spirit. It's how the new law of grace gets written in us.
Romans 8,1-2: "Thus, condemnation will never come to those who are in Christ Jesus, because the law of the Spirit which gives life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death."
Claiming or assuming, as many now do, that we are thusly and fully set free at mere water baptism and or at profession contradicts scripture and experience and has effectively hindered God from making us fully anointed followers of Christ. This is to grieve the Spirit of God (Ep. 4,30) and risk the unity of the body and it's readiness for judgement. For the only way to be so anointed, so fully "Christian", is from the inside out, by baptism in the holy Ghost, which gives the power to live and act, as God and His word guides.
Unlimited Revelation After this Memorable Event
Death and hell is the limit of the law of sin of the flesh, but the law of the Spirit, that rules after baptism in the Holy Ghost, results in unlimited life (revelation, understanding, knowledge, etc ) now and unlimited eternal life, because the Spirit of God is unlimited, the arm of God's Spirit is not too short, or incapable of teaching us all things and helping us actually to do what we can't do on our own strength.
Holy Ghost Baptism is a great event in our life. Like our first bike, or first car. Or first falling in love, like a wedding day, your first kid being born. An event we remember. The folks on the day of Pentecost never would forget the tongues of fire that enabled them to speak other languages, that gave Peter, the coward and denier of Christ, the power to go prophesy in the Temple. It's a once in a lifetime celebration of joy and relief that decisively and experientially moves us out from under the law of sin and death and sets us actually free, to live under the new rule of the Spirit.
Better And Definitive and More Necessary Baptism
Yet water baptism and or profession have been accepted as the new birth (but John 3,5, and Acts 2,38, Acts 18-19 and many more), unscripturally separated from the born again experience and thus good enough for church work.
Sometimes it even happened that folks got Holy Ghost baptism, like Cornelius in Acts 10,47 and his whole house, before they even had water baptism. But note, as always the two baptisms, are still connected. "Could anyone refuse the water baptism [the lesser thing that symbolizes the greater thing] to these people, now that they have received the Holy Ghost just as we have?""
And John's prophecy came true 10 days after Jesus ascended, on the day of Pentecost, fifty days after the Passover and Exodus, the resurrection, of Jesus. These scriptures and many more prove that baptism in the Spirit is not only more important than water baptism, but is the best part of the one fell swoop of the initial salvation experience.
At Acts 2,38 we also hear that this gift of the Spirit is the unmistakable, ever present, eternal will of God. This revelation comes when Jews in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, see and hear their fellow Christian Jews speaking other foreign languages- they want this power, this joy, this victory over sin. They had seen water baptisms of sorts (self administered), ""miqveh"" since Leviticus11,36. And God fearing gentiles in Jesus' day got immersed to become part of their people. Thus, their eagerness in asking the apostles "what do we do?" is not about getting ritually clean one more time, but baptized in the Spirit clean,and powerful, as befitted this new time of refreshing, of hastening unto God, of the messianic reign, and the messiah soon returning (Acts3,19; Is. 28): "You must repent, Peter answered, and every one of you must be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise that was made is for you [the Jews and per Joel 2,28 and for all flesh] and your children. And for all those who are far away [us non Jews], for all those the Lord is calling to himself."
Has Jesus stopped calling people to himself? Well then neither has He stopped Holy Ghost baptizing.
120 received the Spirit on Pentecost. 3000 new folks got water baptized, because they had seen and heard God's language miracle, God's confirmation of God's expression of the fullness of earthly salvation, because they had seen what a person looked like after being baptized with the Holy Ghost. More alive, more handsome or pretty, more fully human again, not to mention useful for the mission of the redeemer and the kingdom of God.
The onlookers heard the gift of an unleashed tongue, heard the new power to express the salvation of God, real gift from the messiah Jesus, Acts 2,4! They had heard the rival and hateful tongues of Babel made right. They wanted in on all this peace and love and power, this better baptism.
The Cat of Babel No Longer Has Our Tongue- God has it!
Especially us taciturn Yankees we need to learn the power of this unleashed tongue, need to learn to express ourselves, and the gospel, and most of us need Holy Ghost baptism to do that.
I've seen construction workers, illiterate and always cutting up get baptized in the Holy Ghost and they learn to read and become reverent. Because they received Baptism in the Holy Ghost. I knew a very successful man from New Mexico, learned how to read and write, after he got baptized in the Holy Ghost. Then He devoured the word, as the Holy Ghost taught him to devour it, teaching him all things.
Cure for Self Righteousness And Self Satisfaction
Why is the Christian church appear so crippled by it's own self righteous hypocrisy and blind to it's ills? Because we have largely rejected baptism in the Spirit, and don't know the voice of God. Why do we come off so self righteous? Because we claim to be chosen people but we haven't chosen to receive and operate under God's chosen gift, Him alive in us, and thus we are left with our own "good" ideas and "try try try."
1Cor.5,6-8, in the context of grave sin in the comunity, reminds us that God calls us to a higher standard against sin that can only be met by the newness of Holy Ghost Baptism: "Your self satisfaction is ill founded. Do you not realise that only a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? Throw out the old yeast [law of sin] so that you can be the fresh dough, unleavened as you are [under law of Spirit]. For our Passover has been sacrificed, that is Christ; let us keep the feast, then, with none of the old yeast and no leavening of evil and wickedness, but only the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth."
Our God isn't cruel in his demmands. At the price of His blood, He has given us the means to live his demmanding unleavened standards, His Spirit, which allows no room for self rightousness and self satisfaction.
Why Don't We Know About it?
Acts 19 is about the first Christians in Ephesus, a most pagan town, filled with idolatry, Paul's biggest cross, subject of 1 and 2Timothy, third largest city in the Roman Empire. It was so full of paganism that the first Christians there didn't even know about the Holy Ghost. They were word believers sure, yet they had no knowledge and no experience of, and made no claim to have the Holy Ghost, by profession or prior water baptism, or any other way, until they were told about it and wanted for it for themselves.
Paul goes there and sees how dead they were and asks at vs. 2-6: "'Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?' [Remember Paul personally knew that this could happen before any water baptism at all, per Acts 9,17-18] They answered, 'No, we were never even told there was such a thing as a Holy Spirit [contrast Ananias specifically telling Paul that this was God's first intent for him was to to receive the Spirit, v17]. He asked, 'Then how were you baptized? [Paul knows the baptisms cannot be separated] And they answered 'with John's baptism.' Paul said, 'John's baptism was a baptism of repentance [an act of faith pointing to Jesus as messiah]; but he insisted that the people should believe in the one who was to come after him- namely Jesus.When they heard this, they were water baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus [because this was related to the better baptism!]. And the moment Paul laid hands on them the Holy Spirit came down on them, and they began to speak with tongues [praise tongues] and to prophesy." Notice that the Spirit comes on them not with the water, but when Paul lays on his hands, and they are conciously seeking the Baptism.
We read the bible with the bible, which links all water baptisms to the definitive baptism in the Spirit. How can we be any part of letting this simple truth slip away?
This is the Ephesian state of so many Christians, "saved" as we all loosely say,but not aware about the very real experience of Holy Ghost immersion, and thus demonstrating little evidence of the radical change from our old nature to our new nature.
Some folks even insist ""we're saved"" while still primarily manifesting the law of sin, and of course the unfaithful are astute enough to see this. No this was not God's plan for our witness; his plan was we would actually be new and improved.
Baptism in the Holy Ghost may not be required for salvation, although some folks cogently teach that it is (byonespirit.com), but experientially it is the closest assurance we will ever get to salvation this side of judgment.
Some even say "I know I'm saved. I repented and professed faith when I was 18."" Well good, but who told you you were saved? It's sounds to me like you told yourself, or someone else told you? That's our blessed assurance-our own human assurance?
No, our best assurances come from God, of which baptism in the Holy Ghost is the most particular and liberating (cf Bro. Lary Hale; byonespirit.com/tonguesnewbirth. htm. p. 4). Acts 15,8: ""And God, who can read everyone's heart, showed his approval of them [the gentiles, Cornelius et al] by giving the Holy Spirit to the just as he did to us."" Confidence is good, but God's approval, God's witness is better.
Some folks say ""the word tells me I'm saved."" Romans 10,13: For ""whomever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved."" But a word such as this is great and hopeful and part of the whole word, which includes baptism in the Holy Ghost, which was part of the lived life of every local church, Hebrews 6,1-2 above.
Yes, the word is perfect, but we aren't. We don't always read it right, especially after the 1600 years of church history when Holy Ghost baptism was largely quenched, and then for the last 100 years marginalized.
And similarly, we are not perfect judges about our own salvation either and what it takes to be saved. Paul said ""my conscience is clean, but that doesn't mean I am without sin.""
The word also says at Proverbs 28,26: ""He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but he who walks wisely will be delivered.""
Jer. 17,9: ""No man can truly judge the human heart."" Let alone his own heart. And if we can't judge even our own hearts, how can we say with 100% certainty ""I'm saved."" No, let God say it when he baptizes us with the Holy Ghost, and then we follow Christ, and preserve our sanctification, witness until death. And then our ""I'm saved"" carries more weight. We're not against confidence!
"Well I just know I'm saved!" Well the word says to all of us "Not everyone who says "Lord, Lord" will enter the kingdom. And likewise and to be fair, 1Cor.13,1ff ("If I have....[whatever gift]... without love [also a gift] I have nothing"), suggests that tongues is best seen as evidence of full rebirth, not necessarily fitness for salvation thereafter.
Dear people- Holy Ghost baptism is for our comfort and strength, not for disputes. I'd suggest we all seek Holy Ghost baptism, get Spirit filled, seek the higher gifts, stay always repentant, and faith out our salvation with fear and trembling, because the voice that tells us we are certainly saved might be a lying religious spirit.
"Spirit Led" and "Spirit Filled" Confusing
Now let me go deeper into even more imprecise language. It's hard to communicate with folks as it is, then we use all this imprecise language in the body of Christ. Such as "I'm, or we're 'Spirit filled' or 'Spirit led.' " I used to think that meant folks had received baptism in the Holy Ghost. But apparently it doesn't. It's often what we say when we are more or less sure we have heard from God (and we may well have, praise God). But how can anyone be consistantly "Spirit led" or "Spirit Filled", if he or she is not baptized with the Spirit? Does God make telephone calls to the spirit led?
But- bear with me- what if we aren't near the phone, or forgot our cell? No, Jesus wants to baptize us in the Holy Ghost so he can reach us in case we are not paying attention to his long distance calls.
I love all my brother and sister Christians, (I love Mormons too, read more under Hard Teachings), but I've heard enough vague talk about being "Spirit led" and ""Spirit filled"" to last me awhile. We feel this and we feel that, and thus we feel this and that is the leading of God.
Please dear brothers and sisters let's all jump into the deep end of the pool and seek the second baptism and say ""I'm baptized in the Holy Ghost."" Tell me, beloved, after you have learned his voice what He said, not where you feel or you think God is leading you. Get baptized and tell us what he said and where he's leading you.
And how can we hear his voice, clearly and consistantly if we are not baptized in the Holy Ghost?
You might not get it right away, but the word says "Blessed [right now] are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, they shall have their fill." Actually put God first, actually repent, actually ask with an actual mustard seed faith, get delivered if need be, and it will happen, probably within ten days. But whatever the time period of your tarrying, one day you will get it.
There were "Spirit filled" and and "Spirit led" folks under the old law, occasionally led by God, but you and I exist under a better dispensation, whose earthly benefit culminated with Holy Ghost baptism. Or did Christ die to just give us a temporary innoculation from sin? What kind of God is that? Or did his blood not gain us the Spirit? Unless we drink his blood and eat His flesh- not physically- unless we go the whole way Spiritually, unless we enjoy the fruits of the accepted blood sacrifice we have no life in us.
Hebrews 9,15: This [blood sacrifice which releases the Spirit down] makes him the mediator of a new covenant, so that now that a death has occurred to redeem the sins of committed under an earlier covenant, those who have been called to an eternal inheritance may receive the promise."" And of course the promise comes to man not as a theology, but as an experience of fire coming into us.
There's a direct connection- precious payment made for precious promise received, which is baptism in the Holy Ghost.
"Spirit filled" and "Spirit led" invite imprecision and confusion. Let's stick to the words of Jesus himself. To Luke 3,16 and Joel 2,28-32: are you baptized in the Holy Ghost? Have you been baptized by fire that burns away the deathly measure of every man's fleshiness?
Do you operate under the new law of the Spirit or are you still yoked up in the law of sin?
Has there been any evidence of it by either praise tongues, or languages, or fruits of the Spirit, or using other gifts unselfishly that you are a new creature?
It's not water baptism that makes us new creatures, it's when when we become one in fact, when in fact our sin nature is replaced with a new nature, and that happens by all out faith and baptism of the Holy Ghost.
Our Justification Is Not Separate from Baptism in The Holy Ghost
It's not the water that makes all things new, that births me again, that makes me live as a new creature, it is the justification by way of faith, which is designed to lead to baptism in the Spirit. Hebrews 10.14 ""By virtue of that one single offering, he has achieved the eternal perfection of all who are sanctified. The Holy Ghost attests to this. ""God attests to this, this holiness in us, comes out, this justification in us attests to what God can do for a once fallen man.
Holy Ghost baptism is connected to our justification as Christians. It is the means by which sin and slavery of sin is taken out of our lives. This is what it means to be born again (both by water and Spirit per John 3,5). And the only way to live a new life and the fullness of the gospel consistantly is to get baptized in the Holy Ghost and know God for yourself. Justification does not stop at profession, as if we once got the brass ring on the merry go round, and now have heavenly life insurance, it stops when we habitually stop sinning and living after the flesh and instead live with the Spirit of God as proven by how we habitually live.
Romans 8,9-13, which is built on Paul's pastoral concern over professing Roman Christians living according to their fallen nature, is clear on the matter of justication: ""You, however, live not according to your natural inclinations, but by the spirit, since the Spirit of God has made a home in you. Indeed, anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ [a question of fact as to lifestyle, and God's witness] does not belong to him."" V.10 continues: ""But when Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin but the spirit is alive because you have been justified; and if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead has made his home in you, then he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your own mortal bodies through his Spirit living in you."" Oh my- how can any ""Christian"" hear this verse, that God is speaking today, and not seek baptism in the Spirit.
Our justification is likewise there to be seen from the perseverng witness of our lives. 2Corinthians 5,17: "So for anyone who is in Christ [had his old nature redeemed] there is a new creation: the old order is gone and the and a new being is there to see." In other words, our flesh has been reconciled and made subject to our Spirit. And that is our testimony-it's there to see.
Our Life of Faith Is About Witness
Without baptism in the Holy Ghost, this reconciliation is just so much theology and argument, it often isn't there to see, the new creature has not manifested, become what it was meant to be all along. No amount of bible knowledge can substitute for baptism in the Spirit.
I'm not trusting on once in awhile being led by God. I need more than that. We are all bucking and braying Jacobs (rocks that need oil!) and we need more than pre-disaster prevention. Are you willing to settle for a once in awhile connection to God? No! Well then get all God promised.
Wisdom Choices Best Made After Baptism in Holy Ghost
Holy Ghost Baptism is not a funny inside feeling that could be our human spirit or flesh. No the Holy Ghost is also sharper than a two-edged sword. It is not just a fuzzy feeling. It's not tuning in God just when I feel like it.Some say God's word is enough for all decisions. How about when it takes wisdom- ""those who are not against us are for us,"" or "those those who are against us" are against us? How about when there's five good biblical choices for our church's vision, but we need discernment as to one?
How about when someone says "I know God loves me." Have you heard him say that? He most certainly does- did you hear it from him, or someone else? Why and how would you follow the commands of a person whose voice you have never heard? Have you recognized the voice that draws you near? (Bernard Smith) Well get baptized in the Spirit and you'll hear him and you'll know his voice, gentle, firm, consoling.
Friends don't settle for anything less- get baptized in the Holy Ghost and prophesy, speak in God's name, speak foreign languages, speak in tongues, heal the sick, cast out demons.
It alone can generate the the courage of faith that moves mountains, to utter prophecies, to boldness, to action, to the power of spreading the gospel. "Spirit led" doesn't cut it. Reciting bible stories doesn't cut. Trotting out our favorite scriptures and arguing like little school boys doesn't cut it.
Holy Ghost Baptism is God burning the flesh and sin and sickness out of us. We have to want it. We have to seek it, wait and tarry and travail for ten days, or ten years for it, if necessary.
Here's some of my story. I was in a "prayer group" for a year, slain in the Spirit time after time. I let any old folk "pray over me," "pray over me," "pray over me." It was a season of great growth and lots of church charismania and apparent foolishness, prior to being put into full ministry, but God can still work in this, for awhile anyway. Now all this ""slain in the Spirit"" and ""pray over me"" doesn't mean I was baptized in the Holy Ghost. It set the stage, it was my hunger and thirst, as inspird by God, that prepared God's way.
Now with all this prayer and anticipation, I was healed in five different ways, prophesied over, fussed over, padded on the head, had more words of knowledge than I could remember. Told how special I was. Many of us have been there, or will go through this season.
But this didn't mean I was baptized in the Holy Ghost. No one need lose heart- it took Smith Wigglesworth, the great Yorkshire Plumber and Pentecostal Pioneer many years of insisting and waiting.
But we all know it when it happens. Could happen right away at water baptism, all of a sudden, or it could take years of repentance and deliverance. We have to make enough room for God in our inner man, before we get baptized in the Holy Ghost. But mostly we have to want it! To seek it- to refuse to settle for anything less!
Stay in Jerusalem, until you have received the promise.
I have had some faith daughters along the way. And I pastored them "Don't get married without love." And they all agreed "who would marry money, for security?" People do it all the time! Just as we church folk accept the same old same old "Spirit led" but not Spirit baptized.
The church is like a woman the bible says- and the Spirit is saying to the church: ""don't settle for anything less, souls depend on it."" Yet we don't hear nary a peep about it!
Church without baptism in the Holy Ghost is like dating and marriage without love. There's a whole lot missing.
Ater the this initial season was over, I was on my knees, alone in a chapel and I had a vision of the two sides of my brain (the left rational and right emotional) uniting in fire with my heart. And I saw this new unity as a fire vision in my minds eye. I was fundamentally healed in that my body, soul, mind, and spirit, and emotions, and memories were now integrated with my heart, and God now lived inside of me, and his words and his praise could come out. I was actually born again, not by claiming a new nature, but receiving a new nature.
This Holy Ghost Baptism in one moment of time gave me more knowledge and wisdom and joy and power than my 25 years of formal studies to date. And since then it has given more by way of life and consolation than any honor or blessing any human being could bestow.
I'm preaching what Holy Ghost Baptism is and why it's important today. What it is and it's importance become same thing. If we know what it is, we will realize it's importance.
1. Baptism in the Holy Ghost is a purification (sanctification and thus part of justification) and healing from the wages of sin by an infilling of God that leads to faith courage to do the Mission.
Please turn to Isaiah 6 and the sending of Isaiah, which is one of the old testament typologies for baptism in the Spirit. The Lord gave me this, so I'll use it. This story includes the same fire of God, as baptism in the Holy Ghost (Acts 2,3-4). The word says our God is a consuming fire, and thus God wants to burn away our fleshly, untrained, unruly tongue and consume the sin out of it, and out of us. And God does this by baptism in the Holy Ghost. And this consuming fire prepares us for mission, just like Isaiah was prepared.
Before Isaiah was sent out by God to prophesy, an angel took a burning bit of coal from the heavenly altar and touched his lips- purified him, burned away his guilt [verse 7]- healed him, and gave him courage. Yes courage! As Gene Scott always said ""faith is 90% courage and 10% trust."" When the fire of God touches us, we are purified, healed- the effects of sin are progressively undone- and we are courageously empowered to speak and act for God.
So Isaiah has his Holy Ghost baptism so to speak, and he says "here I am send me."" (v. 9) "Now I'm willing to prophesy, to tell the people what's wrong: "Go and say to this people, 'Listen and listen but never understand! Look and Look but never perceive! Make this people's heart coarse, and make their ears dull, shut their eyes tight [life without baptism in the Spirit!], or they will use their eyes to see, use their ears to hear, use their heart to understand, and turn [to God] and be healed.' " [life with baptism in the Holy Ghost] Baptism in the Holy Ghost is totally turning to God, getting touched so deeply by the fire of God that our eyes see, our ears hear, and our heart understands what is going on around us. A total turning to God, to his presence and getting healed.
It can happen anywhere. Isaiah had it in the likely at a Temple coronation ceremony. You could get it lying in bed, half asleep. You could get it listening to sermons on the web. In church, while being prayed for- wherever you most genuinely seek God, go there and ask, and you shall receive
This burning purification unifies and humbles and edifies all the faculties of our humanity. It heals the guilt and shame caused by sin, and gives the courage to speak up and do the faith. Most of us need this type purification-healing-faith courage before we will ever spread the gospel. See Zechariah 13,8b-9: ""two thirds will be cut off, and the other third left. I shall pass this third through the fire, refine them as silver is refined, test them as gold is tested."" (cf Isaiah 6,13, regarding Jerusalem as a tithe of seed, further winnowed, unto Holy seed)
See also Zechariah 2,8-9: ""Jerusalem is to remain unwalled because of the great number of men and cattle inside. For I the Lord shall be a wall of fire all around her and I shall be the glory within her.""
We always remember from Acts that everything about holy Ghost baptism is said pursuant to powerful witness and purification for the mission of salvation, not pursuant to gifts for individuals. Acts 1,7: "It is not for you to know times and seasons that the Father has decided by his own authority but you will receive the Holy Spirit which will come on you and then you will be my witnesses, not only in Jerusalem but throughout Judea and Samaria and indeed to earth's remotest end." So Holy Ghost baptism is the purification and healing from all the various effects of sin that empowers us to do the mission.
2. Romans 8,1-2, as mentioned above. It's how the new law of grace, of the Holy Ghost gets written in us. It's God's correction and sanctification of our wayward humanity. It is the fulfillment of God's eternal desire and promise of Ezekiel 36,25-28: "I shall pour clean water over you [that flowed out of his side] and you will be cleansed; I shall cleanse you of all your filth and of all your foul idols. I shall give you a new heart, and put a new spirit in you; I shall remove the heart of stone from your bodies and give you a heart of flesh instead. I shall put my spirit in you, and make you keep my laws, and respect and practise my judgements."
Collossians 2,11: expresses the new law of grace being implanted in us by using baptismal language that derives from Immersion in the Spirit just as much as from Immersion in water, as once again we see how vitally connected the two are: ""In him you have been circumcized, with a circumcision performed, not by human hands, but by the complete stripping of your natural self. This is circumcision according to Christ. "The complete stripping and implantation of a new heart requires both water and Spirit baptism.
3. Baptism in the Holy Ghost is to have the very life of God flowing into and out of us, even when the whole rest of the world is a desert. Please turn to John 7,37-38: "Let anyone who is thirsty come to me! Let anyone who believes in me come and drink! As scripture says, 'From his heart shall flow streams of living water.' v39 He was speaking of the Spirit which those who believed in him were to receive [something more]; for there was no Spirit as yet because Jesus had not been glorified."
How do we a get a heart that flows with the very life of God, that flow with the gifts of God, the gifts are the rivers plural? Get baptized in the Holy Ghost! I'm not preaching the gifts today, but baptzed in the Holy Ghost people minister God's Spirit and God's gifts. How can we even speak of discerning gifts if folks haven't received the power baptism that is the source of the gifts themselves?
Get baptized in the Spirit and spread the gospel. Stop talking about claiming gifts and turf and get the baptism that began the mission of Christ. We also need to stop confusing new folks with all sorts of goofy and complicated and niggling and copy cat techniques, and endless preparations. Instead we do the gospel now, after the now of Pentecost. There's no flow to ministry that doesn't flow from the now of Holy Ghost Baptism.
4. Baptism in the Spirit is the sign of the new covenant (cf bro. Lary, byonespirit.com) . Every covenant of God has it's sign of obedience. The sign comes after the time of proving.
The sign after Noah's obedience was the rainbow (Gen. 9,13-14).
For Abraham the sign was circumcision (Gn.17,11). He didn't know about the promise of the Spirit, but He did see God via fire brazier ratifying (Gen 15 17ff) unifying the two sides of the sacrifice-covenant man's side and God's side.
The sign of Sinai covenant was again circumcision and the tablets because the people wanted a law more than to go into the full fiery presence of God (Exodus 19 13 18). They were afraid to go up the mountain.
Now a sign is God's confirmation God telling us that we are right with him that we are keeping our side of the deal. You see the sign you remember the deal. Not us telling God we are right with him. Him telling us.
The sign of Christianity is to have a circumsized heart a heart loosed by the fire of the the Holy Ghost! Thus Colossians 2 11: "In him you have been circumcized [a Spiritual or faith circumcision]" not an external liberation but an internal liberation of heart that allows you to have the very life of God in you and practice that very life of God." And a circumcized heart a rendered heart is praises God with the fire of the Holy Ghost.
See also 1Cor.14 21-22: "In the law it is written: 'With men of other tongues and other lips I will speak to this people [fulfilling Is. 28 11 ]; and yet for all that they will not hear Me ' says the Lord. Therefore tongues are a sign not to those who believe but to unbelievers....." See Also Mark16 ,17:"These are the signs that will be associated with believers; in my name they will cast out devils; they will have the gift of tongues; they will pick up snakes in their hands and be unharmed should they drink a deadly poison; they will lay hands on the sick who will recover."
When God offers a covenant man first demonstrates his obedience before the full blessings of the covenant are seen before the sign is given by God before the full covenant is enjoyed.
For example Abraham had to leave Haran (Gen. 12 4) and go to Canaan from Iraq to Israel so to speak. He had to build an altar in Shechem then move and do the same in Bethel. Then and only then came the covenant ceremony walking through the split sacrifice then came the future sign of God's fire- there it is again- passing through the sacrifice.
Genesis 15 17 "When the sun had set and it was dark there appeared a smoking fire pot [just like Isaiah 6) and a flaming torch passing between the animal's pieces [just like day of Pentecost]. "That day Yahweh made a covenant with Abraham!" Then came the lesser sign of circumcision of faith obedience (Gn.17 10).
Noah had to build the ark. Get in it take the clean animals before the flood came (Gen. 7). He had to send out the dove twice (symbol of the people and God's Spirit) to look for safe home (Gen 8 7). These acts of faith obedience also included building an altar first things first and present burnt offerings (8 20). Then and only then came the sign of blessing the declaration of salvation by God not by man then came the fullness of the covenant (9 14). Then never again would come the floodwaters of judgment.
With Moses Israel had to in curse in faith the Egyptians had to come out of Egypt in faith had to stand at the base of the mountain. The mosaic covenant had the tablets and the circumcision as signs. Signs and promises never to be forgotten!
God's signs are no small thing. Remember Moses after he was called back to Egypt after his impetuous assault on the Egyptian but he embarks on his mission having failed to circumcize his son (a pastor's kid close to God slipping through the cracks?) failed to keep Abrahamic covenant. Exodus 4 24 says the Lord tried to kill him- for failing to honor God's sign of man's obedience. And Moses is temporarily so clueless his wife had to do it! Then and only then could he go back and liberate the people and receive the law covenant.
Note that in Abraham's covenant and at Sinai God there was God right there in the fire but because folks weren't ready for the fire had to settle for lesser signs- circumcision and the tablets! There was fire on the mountain- but more fear than fire in the people so the sign of fire would have to await the Christ. Who are we to turn down the fire sign of God's best covenant?
We Christians because of Christ's obedience don't have to settle for lesser signs and lesser covenants we can have a circumcised heart a heart with the flesh burned out of it. We receive this after living by putting God first hungering and thirsting by following Christ by living with great faith.
We recieve the same fire that Jeremiah had in contradistinction to the people pleasing prophets Jeremiah 5 14c: "now I shall make my [God's] words a fire in your mouth and make this [stubborn] people wood for the fire to devour."
We breath the same fire as the two witnesses to Israel breath fire. Revelation 11 5: "Fire comes from their mouths and consumes their enemies if anyone tries to harm them; ..... v.6 they have the power to lock up the sky .... they have the power to turn water into blood..."
In other words the baptism in the Holy Ghost is a sign of great power and boldness to be exercised by all manner of miracles and prohesy by everybody now.
5. Thus we can say with scripture that the sign and power of Holy Ghost baptism is a reward for faithful obedience to God: Acts 5 29-33 (context is Apostles busted out of Sanahedrin jail by God and now in in obedience to Spirit go back to preaching at Temple to the disobedient Sanhandrin): "Obedience to God comes before obedience to men. It was the God of our ancestors who raised up Jesus whom you executed by hanging on a tree. By his own right hand God has raised him up to be leader and Savior to give repentance and forgiveness of sins through him to Israel. We are witnesses to this we and the Holy Spirit who God has given to those who obey him. This so infuriated them that they wanted to put them to death."
"To those who fully obey him." The Sanhedrin want to put them to death because Peter is saying "we have been more obedient than you all and that our obedience has given us something you don't have yet the Spirit of God inside us the promise of the father a sign of favor a sign of the new way God deals with all Israel. So get it and get with it!"
All out obedient faith leads to Baptism in the Holy Ghost and all out fearless witness thus Holy Ghost Baptism is a reward for those who want to witness like Peter and the Apostles. We are not competing to be "better" Christians when we talk of reward here we are simply insisting by faith to receive all God promised.
"Why haven't I got the Holy Ghost yet you ask?" How about anger unforgiveness lack of faith double mindedness superficial love of the word? How about a time of radical obedience to God? But more than anything- Don't settle for anything less!
6. Holy Spirit baptism is and always will be the best means of unity and peace and communication within the body of Christ. A nation has unity in it's constitution in it's laws in it's language. But the people of God the has a better principle than exterior laws or manners or customs that change from nation to nation or culture to culture or even state to state. That better principle is the unity and life of the Spirit of God. 1Cor.12 13: "We were baptized into one body in a single Spirit Jews as well as Greeks slaves as well as free men and we were all given the same Spirit to drink."
We all were immersed in the same Spirit thus we all have the same "stuff" the same richness the same sign in us the same Spirit overflowing inside us praise God.
The only way to have a single Spirit in a single body of faithers is to be baptized in the Holy Ghost- that was the whole point of the Christian Pentecost- we could be one in higher humanity one in spirit to sprit through the one Holy Spirit. One in fact one so we could communicate all of us with each other and communicate the gospel despite national origen. No more Babel each people group and individual crowing his own song and building his own ziggurat tower.
I used to think as a young lawyer and a would be politician that I could bring unity by mere force of human communication but I learned that was ridiculous. Folks in politics or Wall Street and court rooms have no interest in unity they have only an interest in getting all they can for their side.
In churches there has to be a different means of communication and keeping score than customs and self interest and our piece of the pie and the only means that suits the body of Christ for this unity and communion unto mission is Jesus' baptism.
That's the lesson of Pentecost and all human and church history. There are fights in churches about everything- doctrine custom turf styles collars dress 'the pastor doesn't like me' - the only valid way to maintain unity and to grow up let alone even communicate rationally not to mention supernaturally is when folks get baptized in the Holy Ghost and then submit themselves to what the Holy Ghost is saying. Otherwise our churches are towers of babel mine is taller than yours.
And there is no unity if half a church believes in Holy Ghost Baptism and hearing the voice of God and half insists on the immutable law of custom. How do we communicate when one person is operating on the new law of the One Spirit and another on the law of sin and death no matter how cleverly disguised?
Jn 17 22-23 makes this same point this way: "I have given them the glory [holy Ghost] you gave me that they may be one as we are one. With me in them and you in me may they be so perfected in unity that the world will recognize that it was you who sent me and that you have loved them as you loved me."
Show me the unity in a church the communication show me the love and the only way I can figure to keep these things alive on a consistent basis is through the standard of Holy Ghost Baptism and Holy Ghost discerment.
I think of my Faith Mom who keeps unity in the entire body of Christ speaks up and communicates and loves in good times and bad and has enough love to love people even when they are a real pain in the neck. How does she do it? How does she trust all on all God's promises? By having read the word? Not only that- by baptism in the Holy Ghost that makes the promises of the the word real for her and come true for her.
Take an even larger and more detached view at the body of Christ. Look at all the divisions- isn't it interesting what a small percentage of the body of Christ believes in the Baptism of the Holy Ghost maybe 10-20%. Only ten to twenty percent realizes that the Spirit is the very means to unity and communication and love in the body of Christ. Isn't amazing that this foundational doctrine could be stolen and we know by whom from the mainstream body of Christ! Stolen we understand but ridiculed and hidden by our own kind?
7. Holy Ghost baptism is our consecration as Temples of the Holy Ghost (1Cor.6 19) and our ordination into the universal priesthood of Christ. 1Pt2 9: "But you are a chosen race a kingdom of priests a holy nation a people to be a personal possession to sing the praises of God..."
Perhaps the greatest revelation us Pentecostals experience is that our God is always proving who He is and what He does for us proving by means of His word and His Spirit- that his promises and blessings do come true and are truly ""Yes"" and ""Amen."" So when His word says we are ""Temples"" and ""priests" His Spirit is ready and able to consecrate us Temples and ordain us priests if we have the faith to receive the Spiritual realities that make the promises in His word come true.
In other words without Spiritual proof and without due respect for the Presence of God that proves God's word Christianity can become so much fleshly quibbling about justwords and claims and argumentative theologizing. Whereas the Word says and the Spirit proves ""They shall know us by our love."" And by the fruits of the Spirit. In other words , they shall know us by our witness from the inside out.
As to our consecration as temples and ordination as priests we turn to Exodus 29 42-46 (after seven day ordination ceremony of priests in context of twice daily burnt offerings of lambs think Jesus' fiery baptism on cross) God promises what His Spirit will back up: ""For there [at the Temple] I will meet with you and there I will speak [Think Tongues] with you [Hebrew plural] I will meet with the Israelites and it shall be sanctfied by MY Presence. I will sanctify the Tent of Meeting and The Altar and I will consecrate Aaron and his sons to serve me as priests. And I shall live with the Israelites and be their God and they will know that I am Yahweh their God who brought them out of Egypt to live among them:I Yahweh their God.""
Note well that God is zealous that he gets credit for what only his fiery speaking presence can do: ordain priests and consecrate Temples. It's not primarily what man says over other men or places- though that can be important too- but more important is what God does and as we shall see clearly from the same Temple consecration priestly ordination according to Levitcus 9.
But first we need to internalize in our spirits that God actually proves His promises like He proved he was their delivorer out of Egypt that yes His Spirit makes his promises real. Specifically we become priests and Temples it happens to us by baptism in the Spirit.
Here in the Tent God by his presence agrees to meet with all the Israelites not just Moses. It was always God's intent to make all his people priests not just the Levites all his personal possession fit to represent him (Exodus 19 5-6: ""kingdom of priests Holy Nation"" but people at Sinai per Ex. 19 13 were not ready). And He does this by the fiery baptism in the Holy Ghost (Lk3 16 making us acceptable "" burnt offerings per context of Ex.29 42ff) through the consecratory tongues of fire that settle upon upon each of us (Acts 2 3 God is no respector of persons).
Knowing this was a type of priestly and Temple consecration both the leading apostles Peter (to Samaria Acts 8 17) and Paul (to Ephesus Acts 19 5-6) went out of their way to ensure folks got this baptism. And they did so by the laying on of hands the same gesture as priestly ordination (Nm. 8 11).
Before ordination the Levites had to be purified (Numbers 8 5-25. Is.6). Likewise in baptism in the Spirit all that is outside the camp unholy in each of us is burned away by faith in Jesus' work at Calvary outside the camp (Ex.29 14. Hb. 13 11) so the (Spiritual) blood the ever living heavenly blood (Hb.12 24; 10 22) always flowing along with the fire can consecrate us priests and temples (1Cor 6 19).
This same Hebrew typology for this is found at Leviticus 9 4;6;23-24 which further explains Exodus 29 43 (God's presence consecrates Temple and the priests and ""speaks"" amidst burnt offerings cf Jewish Study Bible 2004 Oxford 178) whereby the ordination ceremony ends with God's fiery presence consuming the already burning offering and the fat parts on the altar a miraclous event seen and experienced by all. His fiery presence not all the prior sacrifices both consecrated the tent and the priests. Our God is a consuming fire!
These passages prophesy the universal priesthood of Christ and that we would all be temples by Baptism in the Holy Ghost.
Leviticus 9 23 is an amazing prophecy of Acts 2 3: ""Then they [Aaron and Moses] came out together [out of the Temple] and the glory of Yahweh appeared to the entire people [the entire future priesthood like at Pentecost]: a flame lept out from Yahweh's presence [from inside the Tent] and consumed the burnt offering and fat on the altar [outside the Tent thus proving consecration of the Temple and God's desire to come out of Temple and into the people per Ex.19 6 13]. At this sight the entire people shouted for joy and fell on their faces [the posture for ordination].""
This is a prophecy of Pentecost- God pouring out His Spirit Him moving outside His ordinary domain now fulfilled by the original Christian Pentecost and the resulting birth-consecration- of the new faith-body- Temple of Christ and the ordination of it's new priesthood in Christ all finally made fit- by the fire- to announce his wondrous deeds (Acts 2 17; 1Pt.2 9 Joel 3 1-5). Who wouldn't want this?
These are important passages. They clearly show that the goal of sacrifice is to draw or keep God's actual presence (a question of fact that God will gladly prove). And thereby receive his actual consecration- ordination not just demmand or assume or theologize about it but to actually experience-receive it and or keep it. Keeping God's presence- is important because Ezekiel 9-11 proves it can be lost from any temple. Let alone never be received!
The stakes are high here- actual consecration and fitting service. I don't want to be among the folks that just honors God with all the talky talky of Babylonian churchianity. Not knowing how poor blind and naked I am compared with the Lord's standards of gold refined in the fire. I want to be fit to wear rich white linen and have anointed eyes that see (cf Rev.3, 17-18).
If we are all priests (1Pt2 9) his personal possession (holy like Him) then there has to be some sort of fitting ordination-consecration by God that actually makes us like him. There also has to be a fitting or clean temple (1Pt.2 5 and 1Cor.6 19) where God's presence and life can actually be found (especially after the Jerusalem Temple was destroyed in 70AD). And there has to be living and unblemished sacrifices living offerings (Romans 12,1) offered to God just as Levites of old were when they were ordained (Nm. 8 13).
All this- consecration and ordination and offering oursleves- is proved by these scriptures and the experience of Holy Ghost Baptism by God's people. God gets the glory for proving He is our God by offering His full presence to us all but we do our part. We must ask seek and receive our Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
8. Holy Ghost baptism is the full experience God as our comforter and advocate. You know when you were a kid and you thought the bogey man was under the bed you had to be comforted. Well we grow up and we still need that comfort. John 14,15-16: "If you love me you will keep my commandments. I shall ask the father and He will give you another comforter to be with you forever the Spirit of truth."
There is so much desolation and isolation and loneliness and want of love in this world among folks even Christians. God has all this comfort to give but because folks are not baptized in the Holy Ghost we run to the next church meeting to next wind of doctrine run to the next self help book to anyone for the next life decision. Oh my- enough of us running around making the world safe for our idea of churchianity.
You want help? You want more? You want better? Get baptized in the Holy Ghost! Get your comfort that nobody else can give. You will never be without comfort again. Look at the book of Psalms most of which was written by David a man desperate and desolate but God broke into his life as His comforter how more so for us who were promised the Holy Ghost for ever constantly and forever.
That's my message- don't settle for anything else. This new law of the Spirit written in our hearts defines a better covenant. We can't enjoy the full freedom and power of this new covenant until we are baptized in the Holy Ghost.
We receive our baptism in the Holy Ghost at the cost of Jesus' precious blood. It is the greatest gift this side of heaven, or kingdom come.
Our precious faith is more than a ticket to heaven.
The risen Jesus living in us is more precious than life itself. Not I who lives but Christ who lives in me.
No mere innoculation, but Him in us, and our church.
If we have the faith, all this is about ten days away. Amen.
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Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.read more...