May 24, 2003
DFO 1956Compiled 3/84
—"Ye shall receive POWER!" (Acts 1:8)
1. EVERYONE WHO HAS EVER RECEIVED JESUS INTO HIS HEART, WHO IS SAVED, HAS RECEIVED A MEASURE OF THE HOLY GHOST‚ THE SPIRIT OF GOD! In fact, you can not be saved without the Holy Spirit, because Salvation is a work of God—being "born again of the SPIRIT"! (John 3:8) Otherwise you'd be saved by works, & you CAN'T be saved by your own works!
2. BUT JUST BECAUSE YOU'VE RECEIVED SALVATION DOESN'T MEAN THAT YOU'VE RECEIVED THE FULL ANOINTING, INFILLING, OR "BAPTISM" OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, which is usually a subsequent experience to that of receiving Jesus. The Greek word "BAPTIZO" means to be FULLY covered or completely IMMERSED. Thus to be "baptised" in the Holy Spirit means to be completely FILLED to OVERFLOWING with the Spirit of God!
3. I ALWAYS LIKE TO USE A GLASS OF WATER AS AN ILLUSTRATION: A glass may not be a FULL glass of water, but if it has SOME water in it, at least it's not completely empty. It is a glass of water, even though it's not full to overflowing & running over. Well, many Christians are like glasses with just a little bit of water—a little bit of God's Spirit—in the bottom, just enough to save them.
4. BUT BEING BAPTISED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT IS AS IF WATER WAS POURED IN TILL THE GLASS WAS FILLED UP & RUNNING OVER! It's such an outpouring of the Holy Spirit that you fill up & run over! In other words, you're so endued with power from on high that you're full to overflowing!
5. JESUS HIMSELF SAID‚ "HE THAT BELIEVETH ON ME, OUT OF HIS BELLY SHALL FLOW RIVERS OF LIVING WATER! This spake He of the SPIRIT, which they that believe on Him SHOULD receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified." (John 7:38‚39)
6. MY MOTHER USED TO SAY, "DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IS?—THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IS LOVE!"—Love for the lost, love enough to witness‚ love enough to win others to the Lord, such a love that you just love EVERYBODY! That baptism of power that Jesus said would flow like rivers of water from within you is a baptism of the power of His Love! In fact, the Holy Spirit of God IS Love, because "GOD is Love"! (1John 4:8)
7. SO THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IS A BAPTISM OF THE LOVE OF GOD! Of course, at the same time, it's also a baptism of the POWER of God, the power that enables you to tell others about Jesus, to be a WITNESS, to share His Love with others! It is a baptism of so much love that you cannot contain it‚ so much love that you simply MUST overflow on others. When you feel you've just GOT to tell someone about Jesus, you feel you cannot hold it in, you just have to tell THEM—THIS is the overflowing, the BAPTISM of God's Spirit!
8. WHEN I WAS YOUNG‚ BEFORE I WAS FULLY BAPTISED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT, I WAS SO VERY VERY SHY & TIMID THAT I COULD HARDLY DO ANYTHING! But when I was 19 I prayed very earnestly & asked God to FILL me with His Holy Spirit. And immediately after this experience in which I received more of His Spirit, I was suddenly no longer worried about what other people thought!—I had a boldness, a sort of a fearlessness, a greater God- given courage!
9. AFTER I RECEIVED THE POWERFUL COMPLETE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, I BECAME AS BOLD AS A LION! It no longer mattered to me what others thought about me, as long as I knew I was right & doing the right things & saying the right things. As long as I knew I was in the Will of God & doing what He wanted me to do, then the Spirit of God gave me this boldness.
10. I DIDN'T CARE ABOUT MYSELF ANYMORE, IT JUST DIDN'T MATTER! I was no longer SELF-conscious—I was CHRIST-conscious! I was really anointed of the Spirit! I really had power & I really began to sock it to them with His Word!
11. IT'S JUST LIKE WHAT YOU READ ABOUT IN THE BOOK OF ACTS IN THE BIBLE‚ when the Disciples on the Day of Pentecost were filled with His Spirit, & they stood up & BOLDLY preached to the people! Peter, who had been so afraid when Jesus was under arrest that he DENIED Him three times‚ right after he was filled with the Spirit of God, this same Peter was suddenly a very courageous & bold man who preached fearlessly to the multitudes!
12. BEFORE HE WAS FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT, ALMOST EVERYTHING PETER DID WAS A MISTAKE! But it showed that whatever got accomplished was not of him, but of Christ that lived first WITH him & then IN him. "For we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of GOD, & not of us!" (2Cor.4:7) So we all certainly NEED the Baptism of God's love & power & to be filled to overflowing with His precious Holy Spirit in order to have the strength to really pull through & be what HE wants us to be!
13. BUT I'M NOT GOING TO ARGUE THAT IT'S ESSENTIAL OR NECESSARY TO BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT IN ORDER TO BE A CHRISTIAN, LIKE SOME DENOMINATIONS DO. In fact, I'll tell you just the opposite!—That you do NOT have to be filled with the Spirit in order to be SAVED, nor even to be a WITNESS! I know a lot of people who are saved & who witness to others who are NOT filled with the Spirit. But if you want to be a BETTER witness & win MORE souls & have MORE power & accomplish MORE for the Lord, you'd BETTER be filled with the Spirit!
14. RIGHT AFTER HIS RESURRECTION, THE LORD TOLD HIS APOSTLES‚ "TARRY YE AT JERUSALEM UNTIL YE BE ENDUED WITH POWER FROM ON HIGH!" (Luke 24:49) He further explained, "Ye shall receive POWER, after the HOLY GHOST is come upon you: & ye shall be WITNESSES unto Me both in Jerusalem, & in all Judaea, & in Samaria, & unto the UTTERMOST part of the Earth!" (Acts 1:8) This baptism of power will make you want to be a WITNESS & go to the darkest corners of the Earth to tell & show others that Jesus loves them!
15. THIS IS THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: TO HELP YOU TO BE A WITNESS!—To fill you with such power that you will blast off of your launch pad "into ALL the World, preaching the Gospel to EVERY creature!" (Mark 16:15)—And you can only have that kind of love if you have the Spirit of God‚ a real Baptism of His Love! I can't have that much love, you can't have that much love, but God can give you that love‚ SUPERNATURAL love, to love people you don't even like or don't even know!
16. THE FAMOUS EVANGELIST & SOUL-WINNER DWIGHT L. MOODY SAID, "Before I was filled with the Spirit, I won my HUNDREDS!"—THAT'S pretty good for someone who hasn't got the Spirit! He got out & witnessed so zealously with what little Spirit he had & what Truth he had that he won hundreds to Christ even before he had the Baptism of the Holy Ghost! But he said, "After I was filled with the Spirit, I won my THOUSANDS!"—So it makes quite a difference!
17. BUT YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE BAPTISED WITH THE HOLY GHOST TO WIN SOULS.—All you need is the Bible & the love of Jesus & the desire to tell others & preach the Gospel.—You just need to find receptive souls, give them the simple Gospel plan of Salvation & tell them about Jesus! But if you'll add the power of the Holy Spirit to that, then you've got a witness that nothing & nobody can stop!—You've got a POWERHOUSE!
18. AND WHEN YOU'RE OVERFLOWING WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT‚ PEOPLE WILL RECOGNISE IT AS SOMETHING GREAT!—You just kind of swing with the drama of it & sort of fit in with it & ride the crest. But you have to remember that it is NOT YOU, it's something DIVINE!—It's the anointing & Spirit of God! It's not of yourself.—It comes from God because you're yielded & you love Jesus. And others will recognise that they're not just seeing you, they're seeing the LORD in you!—And this is what will INSPIRE them to receive you & your message of His Love!
19. SO I'D SAY THAT IF YOU'RE GOING TO BE A GOOD WITNESS‚ A REAL SOUL-WINNER, THE HOLY GHOST IS ESSENTIAL! I would personally advise you to be filled with the Holy Ghost, I would exhort you to be filled with the Holy Ghost!—As the Scripture commands, "Be ye FILLED with the Spirit!" (Eph.5:18) Receive the wonderful wonderful Spirit of God, which is almost like a sexual ORGASM!—You"ll EXPLODE with the Love of God & want to tell everyone about Jesus!
20. WHEN WE RECEIVE THIS WONDERFUL BAPTISM, THE LORD NOT ONLY FILLS US WITH HIS LOVE & POWER, BUT ALSO GIVES US WHAT THE BIBLE CALLS "GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT". The most common gifts are listed in 1Corinthians 12: "Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of WISDOM; to another the word of KNOWLEDGE by the same Spirit; to another FAITH by the same Spirit; to another the GIFTS OF HEALING by the same Spirit; to another the working of MIRACLES; to another PROPHECY; to another DISCERNING OF SPIRITS; to another divers kinds of TONGUES; to another the INTERPRETATION of tongues." (1Cor.12:4,8-10) These are all gifts from a loving Heavenly Father to His simple little children to help communicate understanding of Himself & His Will.
21. SO YOU NOT ONLY NEED THE INFILLING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT TO GIVE YOU THE POWER & STRENGTH TO WITNESS TO OTHERS, BUT ALSO TO HELP YOU IN YOUR OWN PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD! For example‚ when you get baptised & "speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gives utterance" (Acts 2:4), the Spirit speaking or praying through your own mouth in a language you never learned, there's a real yielding to the Lord. You'll then know the spiritual ecstasy of which physical love-making is an illustration!—It will help you have a much CLOSER relationship with the Lord.
22. THE LORD IS MORE WILLING TO GIVE US HIS SPIRIT & HIS GIFTS THAN WE ARE TO RECEIVE.—We just have to be willing, yielded vessels. And just like with Salvation, we receive the Holy Spirit by FAITH—which means you do not ALWAYS get an immediate, supernatural, physical evidence right when you ask God to fill you with His Spirit.—Some people don't get a physical evidence for years!&
23. FOR EXAMPLE, WHEN THE LORD'S SPIRIT TAKES OVER YOUR TONGUE‚ THAT IS A SUPERNATURAL EXPERIENCE THAT YOU CAN FEEL IN YOUR FLESH.—IT'S A PHYSICAL EVIDENCE, YOU KNOW YOU'RE INSPIRED! "For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him: howbeit in the Spirit he speaketh mysteries." (1Cor.14:2) But not everybody receives the gift of tongues when they receive the Baptism of the Spirit, & you don't HAVE to have this gift of tongues to prove that you were filled with the Spirit. After all, there are at least eight other gifts which we just read about‚ so why should you always have to receive the gift of tongues?
24. I'VE SEEN QUITE A FEW PEOPLE WHO REALLY RECEIVED THIS BAPTISM OF POWER BUT DIDN'T GET ANY IMMEDIATE EVIDENCE, didn't get any particular sign, didn't have any special big supernatural physical experience, & they were disappointed because the Lord's Spirit didn't manifest itself in some way on the spot right there & then. Well, when you open the door & invite a guest in, what do you expect & want Him to do?—Start giving you a song & dance right off the bat? Give God a chance! Maybe it's not His time!— Maybe He wants to wait till it will do somebody ELSE some good too!
25. BUT DON'T WORRY, THE HOLY GHOST WILL MANIFEST ITSELF. It may be at that very moment, or it may not be until later! "For the MANIFESTATION of the Spirit is given to EVERY man to profit withal." (1Cor.12:7)
26. I'VE KNOWN LOTS OF PEOPLE TO RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT WITHOUT SPEAKING IN TONGUES—although I'm inclined to believe that sooner or later, most people who have the Holy Spirit ARE apt to speak in tongues, because it's a wonderful way of praying. It's one of the commonest gifts, although it's actually the least useful as far as witnessing or helping or leading others is concerned. It's mostly just for your own benefit & your own edification in the Spirit, to be able to pray in tongues.—"He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself: but he that prophesieth edifieth the church." (1Cor.14:4)
27. I KNOW I WAS BAPTISED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT WHEN I WAS 19 & I was especially led of the Spirit from then on. I could feel the Holy Spirit's presence & I know I was Spirit-filled & Spirit–led‚ but I never spoke a word in tongues till many years later!
28. SO WITH OR WITHOUT THE GIFT OF "TONGUES", ONCE YOU HAVE RECEIVED THE DIVINE ANOINTING OF HIS SPIRIT, the mantle of His power, if you stay obedient to the Lord & in tune with Him, you'll always be on the right track & LED by His Spirit‚ protected, supplied, blessed & prospered by the Lord.—"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." (Rom.8:14)
29. UNDER THE OLD TESTAMENT PLAN, ONLY CERTAIN KINGS & PROPHETS & LEADERS RECEIVED THE HOLY SPIRIT & the whole burden of leadership fell on them. But when the NEW Testament age dawned, on the day of Pentecost, God completely threw out the old system of making them so totally dependent on human leadership for their guidance, & He made every single individual Christian responsible, directly, to His Own Holy Spirit.
30. THE LORD SAID‚ "IN THE LAST DAYS I WILL POUR OUT OF MY SPIRIT UPON ALL FLESH: & your sons & your daughters shall prophesy, & your young men shall see visions, & your old men shall dream dreams." (Acts 2:17)—Now EVERYONE is personally responsible. They can no longer blame everything on their leaders, because everyone can have just as much of the Holy Spirit as they want or can take & should be led individually of the Lord. The Lord did this to diversify & decentralise the Church, to prepare them for an age when it was going to have to survive a lot of persecution & its members would need to be individually led by Him.
31. SO YOU CERTAINLY NEED TO "BE ENDUED WITH POWER FROM ON HIGH"! (Luke 24:49) You cannot do the Master's work without the Master's Power!—And the power He has provided is His Holy Spirit! So "be not DRUNK with wine, wherein is excess; but be FILLED with the SPIRIT!"(Eph.5:18) You don't have to drink Smirnoff to get left breathless, just get a good dose of the Holy Ghost, the Holy Spirit!
32. YOU CAN HAVE SOME WONDERFUL EXPERIENCES IN THE SPIRIT & it's a wonderful release! The Bible says that God's Spirit–filled children "have TASTED of the HEAVENLY GIFT, & are partakers of the HOLY GHOST, & have tasted the good Word of God, & the powers of the World to come!" It's a little FORETASTE of HEAVEN, a foretaste of the afterlife, when you'll be free of this flesh, this old lump of clay that ties you down & causes you so much trouble!
33. THE HOLY SPIRIT IS ALSO SPOKEN OF AS THE EARNEST OF OUR SALVATION—"The Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance." (Eph.1:13,14) Earnest means a deposit or down-payment, a sample. The Holy Spirit is a sample here & now of what we're going to receive in the afterlife, in Heaven!
34. JESUS, WHEN ENCOURAGING HIS SOMEWHAT DOWN-HEARTED DISCIPLES who were saddened by the news of His imminent departure from this life, told them, "I will not leave you comfortless." He then told them that it was expedient for Him to depart so that He could send them His Spirit, Whom He called "The COMFORTER". (John 14:16-18‚26)—And if His precious Holy Spirit is anything, it certainly is a Comforter. In some ways it is like a loving MOTHER, always so concerned for her children, always gently loving, wooing, comforting, winning, soothing & healing—just like a mother.
35. SO "HAVE YE RECEIVED THE HOLY GHOST SINCE YE BELIEVED?" (Acts 19:2) Have you received the overflowing power of God's Spirit in your own soul since you received Jesus & were saved? Do you have any of the beautiful "gifts of the Spirit"?—God the Father's wonderful gifts for His children to enjoy!—And tools for your ministry! You can have'm right NOW! Just ASK Him! (Mat.7:7–11) That's all you have to do! You can't earn it or deserve it or be worthy of it. It's a GIFT, but in order to get a gift what do you have to do?—You just have to RECEIVE it.
36. JESUS HIMSELF PROMISED, "ASK & IT SHALL BE GIVEN YOU; seek, & ye shall find; knock, & it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; & he that seeketh findeth; & to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil‚ know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the HOLY SPIRIT to them that ask Him?" (Luke 11:9-13)
37. WHEN YOU ASK GOD FOR THE HOLY GHOST, YOU'LL KNOW YOU'VE RECEIVED IT BECAUSE HE'S PROMISED IT. How do you know you got saved?—You know you got saved just because the BIBLE says so. "For faith comes by hearing the Word of God!" (Rom.10:17) So you know you're saved because God's Word says so. Not because you feel different or had some big experience. You're saved just because the Bible says so & you believe it.
38. SO HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU'VE RECEIVED THE HOLY GHOST?—It's the same as with Salvation!—Because the Bible says, "Ask & ye SHALL receive", & if you believe it & you ask Him for it, you've received it & you have it!—It's just that simple! I don't care HOW the Spirit manifests itself, you HAVE it if you ASK God for it, if you really BELIEVE it!
39. DO YOU BELIEVE IT?—THEN ASK GOD FOR HIS HOLY SPIRIT RIGHT NOW! Why wait? He's more willing to GIVE than WE are to RECEIVE! So receive God's precious Holy Spirit today so you can powerfully witness the Love & Truth of Jesus & His Salvation to all your family, friends & neighbours! God bless & keep you in the SPIRIT! RECEIVE POWER NOW!