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Guideline on How to Receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit

Updated on April 21, 2011

B-A-P-T-I-S-M is the Guideline

For John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (Acts 1:5)

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:4)

From these verses we can learn some important truths concerning the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. First, it is a promise of the Lord Jesus Christ. Second, it is a separate experience from the baptism of water. Third, there is an external manifestation of speaking with tongues. Baptism of the Holy Spirit is promised to all Christians.

A guideline that will help Christians to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit can be found in the seven-letter acronym “BAPTISM”.

B  stands for Belief and Baptism.

 Our Lord Jesus Christ declared,He who believes and is baptized will be saved”. (Mk. 16:16)  Our Lord had also promised His disciples, He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water,’ But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” (Jn. 8:38-39)  On the Day of Pentecost,Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call”. (Acts 2:38)  “. . . the blessings of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” (Gal. 3:14)  You must first believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.

A stands for Ask

All Christians have a certain measure of the Holy Spirit when they believe in Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 12:3). Before His crucifixion the Lord told His disciples,Even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” (Jn. 14:17) The Holy Spirit initially dwelt with the disciples temporarily, but would be in them permanently when they were baptized with the Holy Spirit. This could only be experienced by them after Jesus had ascended to heaven and was glorified. (Jn.16:7; 7:39)

The Lord gave this promise, And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever.” (Jn. 14:13-16) The Christian must pray in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our Lord taught,And I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. . . If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.” (Lk. 11:9-13)

No one should feel unworthy to ask for the Holy Spirit because it is promised to everyone. Consider our Lord’s invitation to the Samaritan woman who had five husbands. Jesus answered and said to her. ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, Give Me a drink, you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” (Jn. 4:10)

P  stands for Prayer, Praise and Penitence.

 Prayer  is a way of worshiping and getting in touch with God.  The best way to ask God for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is by prayer.  Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus Christ (Yahshua ha Mashiach in Hebrew) every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil. 2:9-11)  Kneeling is a good posture for prayer.  Our Lord Jesus Christ knelt down in prayer to the heavenly Father, therefore we should also do so. (Psm. 95:6)

 Praise  is an important part of worship.  “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” (Heb. 13:15)  The Hebrew word for praising God is HALLELUJAH” that consists of two words. Hallel” means praise, and “YAH” is the shortened name for “YAHWEH”, the Eternal God.  We are told to continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God”.  We should praise Him continually by repeating the word HALLELUJAH”.  This is exactly what the disciples of Christ did. And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them.  Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven.  And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and continually in the temple praising and blessing God. Amen.” (Lk. 24:50-53)  When they had continually praised the Lord HALLELUJAH” they were all baptized with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:14; 2:1-4)  The apostle John saw a vision in heaven, Then a voice came from the throne, saying, ‘Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!  And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude , as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, ‘Alleluia!  For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!” (Rev. 19:5-6)

 Penitence  is necessary before God will listen to our prayers.  The LORD (YAHWEH) says, If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chron. 7:14)  “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” (Acts 3:19)  Simon could not receive the Holy Spirit because his heart was not right in the sight of God.  He was told Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.” (Acts 8:18-22)  Repentance is a required condition for receiving the Holy Spirit.

T stands for Tarry and Touch.

The word “tarry” that is found in the original King James Bible has the meaning of waiting patiently and steadfastly.  Just before the Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven He gave His disciples this Commandment,And, behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you: but tarry  ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.”   (Lk. 24:49; Acts 1:4)  The disciples all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication,” and they were rewarded for their patience with God’s outpouring of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:14)  “But those who wait on the LORD (YAHWEH) shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Isa. 40:31)  Those who seek after the Baptism of the Holy Spirit should wait patiently and steadfastly upon the LORD (YAHWEH).

Touch is one of God’s ways to impart the Holy Spirit through Spirit-filled ministers.  The newly-baptized Christians in Samaria received the Holy Spirit after the apostles Peter and John came to pray for them and laid hands on them. (Acts 8:14-18)  The Lord sent Ananias to lay hands on Saul so that his eyesight could be restored and also be filled with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 9:17)  After the disciples at Ephesus were rebaptized Paul laid hands upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. (Acts 19:5-6)  Christians who desire the Baptism of the Holy Spirit should have Spirit-filled ministers pray and lay hands on them.

I  stands for intensity and importunity. 

The prayer of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane is a good example of a prayer with great  intensity. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly.  And His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” (Lk. 22:44)  “. . . who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear,” (Heb. 5:7)  Not many Christians can pray with such intensity.  Most people do not even sweat a little bit while many keep very quiet when they pray.  No wonder they cannot experience the presence of the Holy Spirit.  Unless a Christian can pray with some degree of intensity there can be no expectation of any result.  Prayer with intensity may be understood in this practical way.  The sun’s rays that pass through a magnifying glass converge on to one point can set a paper on fire.  In the same way when the Christian’s heart, soul and spirit is focussed on the Lord Jesus Christ during the prayer, spiritual fire will descend from heaven (Acts 2:3).  Jesus taught,When you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” (Mt. 6:6)  There must be no distractions when you pray for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

 Importunity  is used in the old King James Bible with the meaning of earnestness and perseverance.  Our Lord gave an illustration of importunity in prayer when He told the parable of the friend borrowing bread at midnight. I say unto you, though he will not rise and give to him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.”       (Lk. 11:8)  There is an inspiring account of Jacob wrestling with an angel throughout the night.  Although Jacob’s thigh was out of joint yet he would not let the angel go until he received his blessings. (Gen. 32:24-32)  If you are persistent in your prayers and refuse to get up from your knees even though it hurts, you will certainly be blessed by the Lord in some way.  Elijah had been praying seven times before the Lord sent the rain. (1 Kn. 18:41-46)  Seven times is the symbol of perfection in prayer.  God will send showers of blessings, which is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, to those who persevere in prayer.  Keep on praying.  Do not give up!  

S  stands for submission and supplication.

Submission means obedience to God’s will.  Our Lord Jesus Christ made this promise to His disciples,If you love Me, keep My commandments.  And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever.” (Jn. 14:15-16)  “And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.” (1 Jn. 3:22)       The apostle Peter testified,And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.” (Acts 5:32)  Submission also means humility.  A person who desires the Baptism of the Holy Spirit must first admit there is a lacking in the Spirit.  When the apostle Paul asked the Ephesian disciples,Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” they admitted that they had no knowledge of the Holy Spirit.  They humbled themselves and submitted to the teachings of the truth and also to rebaptism.  After their rebaptism Paul prayed and laid hands on them. The Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.” (Acts 19:1-6)  In His Sermon on the Mount our Lord declared, Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt. 5:3)

 Supplication  denotes prayer, petition and pleading with humility.  It involves an attitude like placing one’s life at the mercy seat of God.  Supplication is shown by a Gentile woman who pleaded with the Lord to cast the demon out of her daughter.  She came and fell at His feet and kept pleading to Him.  At first Jesus not only refused, but also said things that are insulting like comparing her with little dogs.  Undismayed she answered,Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs under the table eat from the children’s crumbs.”  Our Lord’s heart was deeply touched by the woman’s meekness and supplication and granted her petition.  When Hezekiah was very sick and on the verge of death he prayed and wept bitterly.  God told him, I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you.” (2 Kn. 20:1-5)  When you pray for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit you are praying for your spiritual life.  God says,I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live.” (Ezek. 37:14)  Jesus Christ spoke to the woman at the well, But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst.  But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” (Jn. 4:14)  Christians are exhorted to be praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.” (Eph. 6:18)  This means a prayer that involves the whole person.  God says to you, And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me will all your heart.” (Jer. 29:13)  After the Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven the disciples returned to Jerusalem and went up into an upper room . . . These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, . . .” (Acts 1:12-14)  Now when the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all in one accord in one place . . . And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:1-4)  Baptism of the Holy Spirit is often preceded by prayer and supplication.

M   stands for meeting and mortification. 

The first time the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ ever received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit was on the Day of Pentecost during a Prayer Meeting that was held in an upper room in Jerusalem. They were all in one accord and in one place. All the disciples received the Holy Spirit during that meeting. On another occasion it happened in Samaria. The apostles Peter and John came all the way from Jerusalem to pray with the new Christians to help them receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:14-17) It is important for Christians who are seeking the Baptism of the Holy Spirit to attend these prayer meetings. Our Lord has given us this assurance,Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” (Mt. 18:19-20) During a Holy Spiritual Meeting many Spirit-filled ministers of God will be praying and laying hands on Christians who are seeking the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Thousands of Christians all over the world have received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking with tongues during these prayer meetings.

Mortification is a biblical term used in the old King James Bible that literally means “put to death”. In medical pathology it is a normal procedure to remove a part of the body that has become affected with gangrene or cancer in order for the patient to live. Our Lord taught this same principle of mortification (Mt. 5:27-30) For if you live after the flesh ye shall die; but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” (Rom. 8:13) “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry;” (Col. 3:5) Mortification in simple language is self-denial of the things that pleases our bodies. When you have been praying for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit for an extended period of time and have little or no results you may try these ultimate measures in mortification.

Fasting - The first sin committed by man and woman is yielding to the temptation of eating the forbidden fruit. To overcome the foremost desire of the body is the denial of food. Prayer accompanied with fasting is a very powerful way to have victory over extremely difficult situations and also to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (Mt. 17:14-21)

Abstention - The Holy Bible exhorts Christians not to be drunk with wine,but be filled with the Spirit,” (Eph. 5:18) Abstention from intoxicating drinks is absolutely necessary for seeking the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (Pro. 20:1; 23:29-33)

One Hour of Prayer Every Morning - Jesus spoke to His disciples, What, could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Mt. 26:40-41) “My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning I will direct it to You, and I will look up.” (Psm. 5:3) We need to overcome the flesh by rising early in the morning to pray for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit who comes to us like the morning rain (Hos. 6:3)

Remember this acronym BAPTISM to receive the Holy Spirit. Worship with a congregation that obeys God’s commandments and is filled with the Holy Spirit. For more information contact:


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    • 2besure profile image

      Pamela Lipscomb 

      5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      I feel that the baptism in the Holy Spirit was one my greatest life experiences other than Salvation and becoming a Mom. It totally transformed my life. I ask for it, the saints prayed for me, and that morning about 1:30, I woke up speaking in tongues. Amazing grace...Thanks for sharing this!


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