How deep in the presence of God are you?
It is evident that not all who call themselves Christians actually are. Many who make the claim have never truly repented and are not born again. Of those who are born again, many are not baptised with the Holy Spirit. And of those who have been baptised most are only ankle deep in the rivers of living water. Some others are up to their knees, few are in to the waist, and very few the chest, and very very few are in fully over their heads walking in the fullness of the baptism as we see demonstrated in the Book of Acts. “And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.” (Acts 4,33).
This teaching will help you to receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and if you are already baptised it will help stir up the gift to go deeper. It will cover: God’s will, hindrances to receiving, the new covenant promise and plan, the role of faith, repentance, surrender and water baptism, hunger and desire, the laying on of hands, the evidences that we are filled, and receiving. It includes many scriptures and rebukes false doctrines that hinder. Read on and receive, as faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God – “You shall receive POWER when the Holy Spirit has come upon you”. (Acts 1,8)
- GOD’S WILL
Firstly we must understand the complete willingness of God to give and empower His people with His Holy Spirit (the Spirit of God) today. Many remain unsure or are confused by the powerless state of many churches today, or are dissuaded by denominational false doctrines. If you are unsure if its God’s will for you read the following scripture and settle it now forever to believe and agree with the words of Jesus over the words of any man or denomination:
– Luke 11,9-13: “So 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 a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 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!”.
Settle it, know it, have faith for it today, it is God’s will for all his born again Children to be filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
- HINDRANCES TO RECEIVING
It is God’s will that all his people be filled with the Spirit, but the enemy will try a number of tactics to cause people to stumble away from the will of God and fail to receive. These hindrances are very wide spread in the body of Christ and have been very damaging to the effectiveness of the church. Scripture shows us that people can resist and grieve the Holy Spirit (Acts 7,51 & Eph 4). So if we truly call Jesus Lord, then we must actively know and align ourselves with the will of God on this issue.
The main hindrances are:
- UNBELIEF – The promise is by grace accessed by faith, and without faith it is impossible to please God or receive from Him. The double minded man receives nothing (James 1,1-8). We must choose to believe what God has said and promised (Acts 2,38-39).
- FALSE DOCTRINE – Cessationism is the name of false doctrine that the gifts and ministries of the Holy Spirit have ceased since the death of the original apostles. Many traditional churches believe this great lie. The deception of this doctrine is that it claims to focus only on scripture but denies the truth for today of what those very scriptures teach on the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, it has invented a change which the Bible does not teach. We are not permited to do such. The New Covenant does not change at around 100 AD at the death of the original 12 apostles, it continues the same until the coming of Christ, and so does the 5 fold ministry including apostles & prophet’s. Yes one day tongues and gifts will cease – after the coming of Christ, once the plan of God is completed and not before. They are not gifts of the apostles, they are gifts of the Holy Spirit, He is still here and his ways are the same. Renounce that false damaging doctrine and stay with what the Bible literally says and be blessed.
- MODERN CHURCH MODEL – settling for modernism and a powerless `today` style church rather than striving for the model of the Book of Acts.
- IDOLS, SIN, WORLDLINESS – The Lord wont share his temple with idols. We must repent and pursue holiness and make room for Him to fill our hearts and lives. (Heb 12,14)
- LACK OF DESIRE, LUKEWARMNESS – We must be zealous and repent of this self-focussed attitude that causes us to subtly resist God and live in a powerless state and not even be concerned about it.
- LACK OF PRAYER & PERSISTENCE – We must strengthen our spiritual connection and faith if we are serious about walking with God.
- THINK YOU ALREADY HAVE IT ALL, WHEN YOU DON’T – Many are deceived into thinking that because they are born again, then they are automatically also baptised in the Hoy Spirit. At the new birth we receive the Holy Spirit inside us yes (Ezekiel 36,26-28), but the baptism is an additional empowerment, scripture is clear on that (Acts 19,1-5 & Acts 18,24-28)). That’s why the 2 issues have 2 different names – New Birth, and Baptism in the Holy Spirit. It is a 2nd experience. They can occur at the same time and also separately. In Acts 19 we see disciples who weren’t yet Baptised in the Holy Spirit and Paul had to teach them about it and Baptise them. They were like many of todays denominational Christians, born again & water baptised but not baptised in the Holy Spirit. But when they were taught by Paul they received it fully: Acts 19,1-6: “Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.” Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.”
- NEW COVENANT PROMISE & PLAN
Let your faith arise as you read the scriptural promises and truths that are key parts of the New Covenant plan and purpose of God:
– Acts 1,4-5, 8: “He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” … 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
– Acts 2,1-4 “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
– Acts 2,16-18: “But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy.” (The Last Days started at the day of Pentecost and continues til the second coming of Christ, the last of the last days. We are in it now, its irrefutable.)
– Acts 2,38-39 “Then 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.”
- THE ROLE OF FAITH
Faith comes by hearIng and hearing by the word of God. Study the topic in the word of God. Hear it, read it, believe it. Do not be passive when God is already willing. Remember faith without works in dead, so you must believe, pray and ask, act on your faith and receive the gift. And then testify to others afterwards to encourage their faith (Mark 5,24-34).
– Luke 11,9-13: “So 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, …. how much more will your heavenly Father give the holy spirit to those who ask him!”.
- REPENTANCE & SURRENDER & WATER BAPTISM
– Acts 2,-38-39 “Then 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.”
As we see here it is important to come to a proper place of repentance from sin & surrender to the Lord, and in this case people were water baptised and received the Holy Spirit baptism at the same time. If you are leading people to the Lord best lead them all the way.
In Acts 10,38-48 they were water baptised after being baptised in the Holy Spirit. At other times believers water baptised first (Acts 19,1-6) and at other times water baptised and baptised in the Holy Spirit at the same time (Acts 2,38 & Acts 9). Regardless of the variation in order, believers should be both baptised in water and the Holy Spirit, as the Lord commanded and demonstrated. They will then receive the freedom and power and deliverance to live for Him.
- HUNGER AND DESIRE
– John 7,37-39: “On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 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.”
Get hungry, pray and worship, seek His face, see the importance, read the Book of Acts to see it clearer and difference between the believers of those days and the average of today’s. Desire it greatly and pursue Him until you are filled.
– Acts 4, 24 “So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord … 31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.”
- LAYING ON OF HANDS
It is correct and biblical to have another Christian lay hands on a believer to receive the Baptism on the Holy Spirit. (But it is also not essential you can receive by faith on your own). Just ensure that the person praying has already been Baptised in the Spirit themselves and has continued on in His presence and anointing.
– Heb 6,2: “of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.”
– Acts 8, 14-19: “Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
– Acts 9,17: “And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
- EVIDENCES OF THE BAPTISM
In the Bible when believers were Baptised in the Holy Spirit something happened, people saw something, there was clear evidence. These include: Power, Speaking in Tongues, Prophecy, and Boldness. Thus they didn’t just hope they received but clearly knew they had.
– Acts 1, 8 “But you shall receive POWER when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me”
– Acts 10, 44-46 “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they heard them SPEAK WITH TONGUES and MAGNIFY GOD.”
– Acts 4,31 “and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with BOLDNESS.” … and Acts 9,20 “Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.”
– Acts 19,1 “And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they SPOKE WITH TONGUES & PROPHESIED.”
- MY TESTIMONY
To encourage others, my personal experience in receiving was that after I got born again and I went to 6 weeks of Bible study foundations classes and after which was a lesson on the Baptism in water and the Holy Spirit. At the end of that class the leader prayed laying hands on me and I received baptism and spoke with other tongues (in a prayer language to God – 1Cor14,2). I felt His presence and power filling me, I was amazed and said things like “I can actually feel God, his presence, its amazing, just like He is here touching me”. The next weekend I was water baptised in a public swimming pool. I went on to seek Him much and having wonderful fellowship in His presence and prayer.
Before this I had not yet shared by new faith, but after this new power and boldness came and I preached all my friends and family, losing many as friends but winning some to the Lord. Over the years there have also been seasons of greater hunger where Id pursue Him for more, which took some time before I broke through to a deeper level of His presence and power. There is always more, we can go much deeper into His presence. Lets not settle for less than what we see in the book of Acts but pursue Him.
- RECEIVING THE GIFT
Firstly, it is recommended that you prepare yourself sufficiently on the above issues regarding knowing clearly what the word of God says, avoiding the hindrances, repenting, surrendering, desiring and getting water baptised. Secondly, if able pray with someone who is has been baptised and get them to pay hands on your when praying. If not still pray by faith by yourself. Thirdly: believe, ask, act, and receive.
If prepared, pray to God something like this: “Dear Holy Father, I believe your word regarding the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and ask now for the gift and promise of the Holy Spirit. Baptise me now in Jesus name. I believe I receive now, I thank you and praise you.”
Lift up your hands and receive His presence and power in-filling you, continue to receive and act on your faith by thanking Him, worshipping, and upon his leading whether to speak forth in tongues or prophecy or other gifts. Relax and receive, and ensure to focus on Him, not just on the experience.
I have keep this prayer short in words because that’s all it needs to be for those who have prepared themselves to receive. But persist longer in prayer enjoying His presence and fellowship.
If you feel you have not received anything, go back to the word of God and continue to study the issue to build your knowledge and faith and desire, and check through all the points above. Don’t give up but persist with faith and patience and receive the promise.
A VISION & MESSAGE – OUTPOURING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
In the early 1900’s missionary John G Lake had seen extraordinary miracles and healings during his years of missionary work in South Africa and was praying for the same outpouring in the USA. In answer to a cry from Lake’ heart, an angel of the Lord appeared before him. The angel took a Bible and opened to the Book of Acts. He called attention to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, and then proceeded through the book pointing out the great, outstanding revelations and phenomena in it. Then the angel spoke these words:
“This is Pentecost as God gave it through the heart of Jesus. STRIVE FOR THIS. CONTEND FOR THIS. TEACH THE PEOPLE TO PRAY FOR THIS. For this, and this alone, will meet the necessity of the human heart, and this alone will have the power to overcome the forces of darkness.”
As the angel was departing, he said: “PRAY. PRAY. PRAY. Teach the people to pray. Prayer and prayer alone, much prayer, persistent prayer, is the door of entrance into the heart of God.”
– 2 Chron 7,14 “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.”
More teaching to help in this area:
- TRUE DEVOTION: THE DEEPER PLACE OF PRAYER
- WORSHIP IN SPIRIT & TRUTH
- HOW TO BE LED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD
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