Experiencing Baptism of the Holy Spirit
Experiencing Baptism of the Holy Spirit
On 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 . For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. “
Acts 1 : 4
Have you encountered the word “ baptism of the Holy Spirit “ ?
Do you personally experience it ? Do you believe in it ?
I experienced it personally almost eighteen years ago. It happened to me unexpectedly, I was not planning to experience it. It happened to me during the Christmas season of 1991. And that is the most beautiful event that happened in my life and this is also the best Christmas gift I ever received from God.
1991 was one of the most tempestuous years of my life. This was the year that I struggled tremendously in my career and in my emotional life. Due to unfavorable circumstances in my career and emotional life my lukewarm faith dwindled furtherly.
During the second week of December , 1991 a lady evangelist invited me to have a nightly Bible study with her. Feeling a deep emptiness I gave in to her invitation and studied the Bible with her for several nights. After three or four nights of joining her, the Word of God spoke to me and convicted me of my sinfulness. For the past few years of my life I was not aware that I had wandered from God because of my obsession with my selfish ambitions. The fifth chapter of the Book of Galatians convicted me of the depth of my carnality. My heart was cut and soon I found myself breaking into tears, crying uncontrollably. Truly I had wandered away from God. I became too proud and too wordly. That very night I made a decision to return to God and repent of all my sinfulness, selfishness and wordliness. I made a rededication of my life to God.
After repenting and turning to God, I did experience an unspeakable joy in my heart, a joy that I cannot explain nor describe something I never experienced before. For the first time in my life I became truly happy and contented. I felt the very strong loving presence of God, I just felt that I was a new creation. I felt a great love for every people around me even for those unloving to me. All my selfish ambitions flew away. I became deeply satisfied with my life, with myself that I ceased from envying others. I started to forgive all people who brought hurts to my hearts and I ceased from hating people. God became very real to me, He is not just a figure in the Bible, He is alive in my life. I could feel His thick anointing but I cannot explain it. It was indeed a wonderful spiritual experience, the most beautiful event that happened to me and I don’t think that I can still forget it.
I believe experiencing the “baptism of the Holy Spirit” or some called it mighty “infilling of the Holy Spirit is the greatest event that could happen to a Christian after receiving Christ as personal Savior. It must be experienced by every Christian , to receive power to live a life in accordance to God’s will and ways. Receiving the “infilling of the Holy Spirit” will empower the Christian to live the Christian life and do the ministry God designed for every Christian. That’s why the disciples were instructed by the Lord to tarry first in Jerusalem to receive the “baptism of the Holy Spirit.”
Without experiencing the “infilling of the Holy Spirit” or the “baptism of the Holy Sprit”, the ministry will be done by the flesh , therefore will be weak and will have no enough impact to produce genuine Christians. All Christian activities must be done in the power of the Holy Spirit. Without the power of the Holy Spirit , every Christian service will turn out to be in vain. For it takes God’s power to extend the Kingdom. It is written it is not by might nor by power but my Spirit says the Lord.
Among the scripture terms used for the infilling of the believers are these :
Filled with the Spirit (Acts 2:4 )
Filled to the measure of all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3 : 19)
Clothed with the power from on high (Luke 24:49)
Baptized with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1 : 4-5)
Baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire (Matthew 3:11)
The outpouring of the Spirit in a person (Acts 2 : 17, 33)
Every person at the moment of the new birth receives the Holy Spirit , so every true Christian is indwelt by the Spirit (Roman 8:9) . However the Spirit does not totally fill you until you have made a total surrender of your being to Him. Paul refers to this as offering yourself as a living sacrifice. (Romans 12:1). Only a born-again Christian can do this (Wesley Duewel, 1989).
To be filled with the Spirit is more than to be spiritually inclined. We do not live the Christian life until we are born of God. We do not live a Spirit-filled life until we are filled with the Spirit. However having made the total surrender of self, the complete consecration of ourselves as children of God, we can be filled with the Spirit as we appropriate His fullness by faith(Wesley Duewel. 1989).
We must be emptied of self before we can be filled with the Spirit. Our carnal self-will must be crucified with Christ. Then we will enter into that new victory of Christian experience which has been described in so many ways : The deeper life, the higher life, the crucified life, the victorious life, the holy life and the life of rest(Wesley Duewel, 1989).
SOME TESTIMONIES OF INFILLING
George Fox, founder of the Society of Friends was born again at the age of eleven. But when he turned twenty-three and after hungering and thirsting for a deeper experience, a new enduement of power came upon him. From that time on he was mightily used of God again and again he described the power of the Lord on him and through him. The Spirit’s power clothed him wherever he went and until his death he was a mighty instrument in the hand of God.
John Bunyan after a tempestuous and sinful youth was converted one evening as the Holy Spirit applied Hebrews 2 :14-15 to his heart . After a joyous walk with the Lord he went through a two-year struggle with Satan. God used the passage in I John 1:7 to him and he entered his “BeulahLand experience.” Though not without trials from then on he was overwhelmed with the sense of God’s grace and power. God mightily used him as during his twelve years of imprisonment he wrote his famous books. Among them the immortal classic “Pilgrim’s Progress.”
William Penn, the famous Quaker who founded Pennsylvania was a great soulwinner. He was born again at the age of twelve and at the age of twenty-two made a full consecration of his all and was filled with the Spirit after hearing a message by a Quaker preacher. He was immediately endued with the power that gave him dominion over wordly conversation and habits.
John Wesley after years as an earnest but only nominal Christian was born again with a clear assurance of salvation on May 24, 1738 in a Moravian service in London. After ten years of struggle he had found peace. Later in the year he began to long for a still deeper experience. On January 1, 1739 John Wesley, his brother Charles, George Whitefield and some sixty others were continuing in prayers. About three o’clock in the morning God poured out His Spirit on them in a mighty way in a tremendous empowering, anointing and infilling of the Holy Spirit that sent the Wesleys and Whitefield to blaze a trail of salvation and revival across the British isles and in the American colonies. The Holy Spirit continued to manifest His power through John Wesley until his triumphant death in 1791.
Oswald Chambers, the author of My Utmost For His Highest was a strong Bible teacher of this experience. He testified, “ Dr. F. B. Meyer came and spoke to us about the Holy Spirit. I determined to have all that was going and went to my room and asked God simply and definitely for his Holy Spirit, whatever that meant. Four years later God spoke to me through His Word. “ Luke 11:13 got hold of me….it was borne in upon me that I had to claim the gift from God on authority of JesusChrist … this I did in dogged committal . I had no vision of heaven nor of angels …..but like a flash something happened inside me …the days that followed have truly been heaven on earth . Glory be to God- the last aching abyss of the human heart is filled to overflowing with the love of God. The power and tyranny of sin is gone and the radiant, unspeakable emancipation of the indwelling Christ has come. “
ABLAZE FOR GOD By Wesley L. Duewel