The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the single most important experience, for a believer, right after salvation. If you have not been filled or baptized with the Holy Spirit then you are missing out on the greatest part of being a son. When you give your life to Jesus the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within you but there is a secondary experience that is an infilling, enduement, and an immersing into the power of God.
In the book of Acts chapter 19 Paul came upon some disciples in Ephesus and asked them if they had received the Holy Spirit after they had believed. The disciples said that they hadn’t even heard of receiving the Holy Spirit. Sad but true many believers in Jesus today have heard little to none of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The reason probably is that too few pastors and ministers have actually been filled themselves with the Holy Spirit. Paul spoke of both unbelievers and uninformed individuals in a corporate Church setting. 1 Corinthians 14:23 “Therefore if the whole church comes together in one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those who are uninformed or unbelievers, will they not say that you are out of your mind?” The word unbelievers means disbelieving and without faith but the word uninformed means a person that is unskilled, unlearned, and private. The uninformed individual is a person that is unfamiliar and unaccustomed to spirituals, especially tongues, and keeps to himself. We have a lot of people in the church today that have not been taught the importance of the baptism in the Holy Spirit in a believer’s life and therefore think it very strange when someone speaks in tongues. Now you do not have to be filled with the Holy Spirit to be saved but to experience the power of God, to be an effective witness, you must be filled. Let’s look at why it is so vitally important to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
What is the purpose for being baptized in the Holy Spirit? Acts 1:8 states “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to me….” First and foremost this is the primary reason for the baptism of the Holy Spirit; to be effective witnesses to the resurrection power of Jesus. There are other wonderful benefits of the infilling of the Holy Spirit but we will address this first. The word receive means to: take or lay hold of in order to use it, to receive what is offered and not to refuse or reject, to receive and give access to one’s self. The word power means the miraculous power, strength, and ability. Wow that is so profound. This is the key to receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit. You must want it so you can both use the power for your Father and give the Holy Spirit complete access to your life. This is both receiving and giving. Receive the miraculous life, presence, and power of God and give yourself to the Holy Spirit. This is a state of such heartfelt desire that you want the infilling and enduement of your Father’s presence and power so that you can live and demonstrate the resurrection power of Jesus even if it means giving your life unto death. That is the definition of a witness. This is the mind of disciple of Jesus. This is the mentality of a new covenant son.
The Holy Spirit wants to work with and help us accomplish the work of our Father right here and right now in this world. Mark 16:20 “And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs, Amen.”The phrase working with means to cooperate, help, work with, and work together. The Holy Spirit wants to help us with power, might, and miraculous ability. Jesus said that the works that He did we are to do and even greater works than He did. We accomplish this by the power of the Holy Spirit within us. We just have to be filled and empowered and then believe that we have what we need to fulfill this. The Holy Spirit does His part by supplying the power but we have to actually do the work. We have to preach, pray, lay hands on the sick, work the miracle, and use our mouth to command. The Holy Spirit is here with the power; we just have to learn to use it. As sons of God that puts the responsibility on us to heal the sick, raise the dead, and cast out demons. It’s time to believe who we are in Christ and who Christ is in us by the Holy Spirit. We are complete in Christ and we’ve been given everything we need to be like our Father. We just have to start acting like it.
The gospel must be preached or presented with the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul stated in the book of Romans chapter 15 that he had fully preached the Gospel of Christ with mighty signs and wonders by the power of the Spirit of God. We must have a gospel that has power. If we indeed have a risen Christ then we must have a risen gospel. If the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead dwells within you then demonstrate the risen Christ with power. Paul also said in 1 Corinthians 2:4 “And my speech and preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and power.”Our speech and our preaching must demonstrate the power of our Father so thus the need to be endued with power from on high. You must be filled with the Holy Spirit. If your gospel doesn’t have power then it’s not a complete gospel.
There are personal benefits to being filled with the Holy Spirit. As I stated earlier the Holy Spirit is here to help and empower us to be witnesses for Jesus. We are to work together with Him. When you are filled with the Holy Spirit you are given a spirit language to pray in and this is known as speaking in tongues.
Acts 2:4 “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
This is the first example we have of believers being filled with the Spirit. We have another example in Acts chapter 10 when Peter was preaching to Cornelius’ household. Those who heard the Word of God were given the gift of the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues. What is the reason that our Father has chosen speaking in tongues as the evidence of the infilling? Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians chapter 14 that he that speaks in an unknown tongue speaks mysteries unto God and he also edifies himself in the spirit. The word mystery means a hidden thing, a secret, a counsel, a hidden purpose. As sons of God we need to build ourselves up in the Holy Spirit daily. Speaking in tongues is one of the main ways our Father has chosen to accomplish this. Even though you may not understand what you are praying, you speak the counsel and will of your Father over your life. You may also be praying for someone else. Either way we need to make ourselves available for the Holy Spirit to use. Sometimes we do not know what we should be praying and this is when the Holy Spirit helps us.
Romans 8:26 “ Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses, for we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”
We are not to live this life in Christ alone. We’ve been given a helper. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to help and empower us and not grieve Him. There is another powerful purpose for being filled with the Holy Spirit and that is for guidance.
John 16:13 “ However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”
Hallelujah! What a wonderful promise we have, as sons, from our Father. The Holy Spirit gives us an advantage by leading us and guiding us into all truth and showing us things to come. He is here to help us. In the book of John it mentions several times that the Holy Spirit is a helper, counselor, and comforter. The meaning for those words in the Greek translation is one who comes along side and helps. So be filled and allow the Holy Spirit complete access to your life and grow in the benefits and the help of His indwelling presence and power.
What does this mean, Sons of the New Covenant living and thinking in an Old Covenant mindset? First we must understand the difference between the New and the Old Covenant. Second we must come to a realization in our mind that we are in fact Sons and not just believers. Once you truly understand these 2 basic things the Old Covenant mindset will become obvious.
In the Old Covenant the Believers had to rely upon a designated man of God to teach, guide, and represent them because they did not have the Holy Spirit living in them. The Old Covenant believers had to erect, build, and dedicate something for God to reside in. They would dedicate places and altars and revisit them in order to feel or have a sense of connection to God, his Covenant, and his Presence. They had to ask for His Presence to go before them. There were generational curses on them for the disobedience of their forefathers. They had to ask God to show up. They had to take the sick to a prophet to get healed. They had to keep ceremonies and rituals to please God. They begged and plead for God’s protection. The priest would use rocks to determine the will of God. They always had a lack in their lives. There was a fear to approach God in his temple. There were many things they had to do in order to gain the favor and acceptance of God. In other words everything was an external act to worship and serve God. The mentality of the Old Covenant people was that God was always out there somewhere. Does any of this sound familiar in the Church today?
I am writing this to all who are in Christ both male and female. Number one you have to understand that God is not just God. He is your Father and Jesus is your brother Heb.2:10-12. If you do not grasp this then you will never move out of an Old Covenant mindset. In John 20:17 Jesus said “I am going to my father and your father, my God and your God.” In John 19 he said” It is finished.” Jesus completed his mission in reconciling the world unto the Father through himself. All who receive Jesus as their Savior are now Sons and no longer servants Gal.3:26, Gal.4:7. You are an heir of God and a joint heir with Christ Romans 8:17. As a Son you no longer have to go to a temple for you are the temple of the Holy Spirit 2Cor 6:16. You no longer have to revisit and dig a well; you have rivers of living water within you John 7:38. You never have to ask for God’s presence to go before you because Christ is within you Col 1:27. You who are in Christ do not have generational curses on your life because He became a curse for you Gal.3:13&14.
You don’t have to ask God to show up at a service or an event because when you show up He is there. You don’t have to take the sick to a healer. Jesus told you to heal the sick, raise the dead, and to cast out demons Mark 16:17-20, Luke 10:19, Matt.10:8. You don’t have to perform ceremonies or have structured programs to worship God. Jesus said you shall worship the Father in Spirit and in truth John 4:24. You don’t have to beg God or “plead the blood” over someone. Sons don’t beg or plead they decree the word of God and the will of God over situations and people. Sons do not ask the Father to do what he has already done and Sons don’t ask the Father to do what he has told them to do. You don’t need stones (Urim and the Thumin), animal skins (fleece), or gimmicks to know the will of God; you have the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you John 16:13, Romans 8:9&14. You also have the peace of God to rule your heart and minds Phil.4:6&7, Col.3:15. There is no lack in Christ because you are complete and blessed in Him Eph.1:3, Col.2:6-10. The list goes on and on.
As long as you live with an Old Covenant mindset of defeat, lack, and powerlessness you will never walk in the reality of the New Covenant .There is so much freedom in Christ but you have to choose to make the Word of God and the God of the Word personal. You will never know what you are to be doing until you know who you are. Know who you are in Christ and who Christ is in you. We are sons of the living God in a wonderful New Covenant which is established on much better promises than that of the Old Heb.8:6.
I just want to share a little about what the Lord has been stirring in my heart and spirit lately. These things are simple but very powerful truths. With all my heart I believe that the saints who are listening to the Holy Spirit’s leading in this hour are going to excel in spirituals like they never have before. I am more excited about this year and the soon coming years than the previous years gone by. Faith right now is paramount more than ever if you are going to be used of God. The Lord is about to use mightily those who are full of faith and the Holy Spirit. Those who have the guts in God to step out and touch other lives will be used to heal the sick, cast out demons, raise the dead, and perform miracles. But it’s not going to be done with “tiny Tim “faith.
In order to operate in the level of faith to do the works of God we need to have spiritual eyesight. The old saying that “seeing is believing” has some truth but the correct order in faith is “Believing is seeing”. When you believe in faith you don’t just see the situation, you see the SOLUTION. Our Father, before he created/ performed the miracle of creation, saw not only the present state of the void but He also saw what He was creating (Genesis 1). Every person who has ever healed the sick, cast out demons, raised the dead, and performed miracles had/has spiritual vision to see in the supernatural. After our Father saw He then spoke. In Romans 4 it says that “He calls those things that are not as though they are.” 2 Cor. 4 says that “we believe therefore we speak.” I’ll add something here and I don’t believe one bit that it detracts from the Word. Because I BELIEVE, therefore I can SEE, so I SPEAK. That’s the Spirit of Faith. That’s the SAME spirit that raised Christ from the dead. That’s the faith that we need to live in everyday if we are to do not only the works of Christ but the Greater Works that He spoke of.
In Hebrews 11 it talks of the early saints who SAW the promises afar off. Even though they did not attain them they still embraced them and then CONFESSED them. They were absolutely persuaded, just like our father Abraham, that what God has said (what the Word says) He is more than able to perform. And He performs these things in and through us. It amazes me how much power we have in our tongue. We got it from our Father. Both life and death are in the power of the tongue. We need to be extra careful how and what we speak because “they that love it… (What they are speaking) will eat the fruit thereof”. The two scriptures that have always stuck with me are Numbers 14 and Job 22. The Lord said in Numbers that “as you have spoken in my hearing so I will do unto you.” Job says also that “I will decree a thing and it will be established unto me.” If we are to do the impossible, or the Greater Works, then let’s imitate our elder brother Jesus by doing what our Father does. Have the eyesight of the Spirit and the Word of God on our lips.
Do you know who you are? All Christians know that they are children of God but many do not know what all that entails. I remember saying something to myself right before I gave my life to the Lord. I was going through a very tough time in my life and struggling with sin. I was tired of it. I wanted to be an overcomer and stop living in shame and guilt. I was driving down the Interstate and said, “if I am a child or a son of God then there must be power to this.” Shortly after that moment in time I started on a journey in Christ that I am still on today. HALELUJAH!
A scripture that I have been reading of late is in John 20:17. Jesus told Mary Magdalene to go to his brethren and say to them, “I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.” That is so powerful to me. It says to me that number one; Jesus is my Brother. Yes He is my Lord, my King, and my savior but He is also my Elder Brother. Second that says to me that we have the same Father. I take these things very personal knowing that my Brother and my Father are the most powerful family in this world and the world to come. Wow, simply by relation we have authority and power. No wonder the Devil gets nervous that Christians might wake up to who they really are. And it’s no surprise that one of Satan’s biggest snares today is identity confusion. Words cannot describe how wonderful Jesus is and that He is not ashamed to call us brethren Hebrews 2:11.
We have the same spirit in us that raised Christ from the dead Romans 8:11. It’s not another spirit. It’s the same spirit. Wow that means that we have the same authority and power that our elder Brother has. You better believe it! That’s why Jesus said, “I have been given all authority so go therefore…..”, and “these signs shall follow them that believe. In my name they shall….” (Matt.28, Mark 16,).
The Word says that, “we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ” Ephesians 1:3. We must ask ourselves a question. If we have been blessed with these things then why aren’t we walking in this every spiritual blessing? 2Peter 1 says,”…His divine power has given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given unto us exceedingly great and precious promises that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature,…” That is the key to walking in these spiritual blessings. Through the knowledge of Him. Really knowing and walking with Him. Because we have been made alive, raised, and seated (Eph.3:20); He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think in accordance with (IAW) the power that works in us (Eph.2). We have been so blessed by our Father to have the opportunity to walk closely with Him and manifest His power, authority, and character in our lives. That’s WHO WE ARE!
Whether we like it or not the Word says that there are things we are to do and things we are not to do. There are things we are to put on and things to put off. Yes if we are busy about the Father’s business, living by the Spirit, we will have no time for the “are not to do” things. Sadly we have a whole generation of both young and old that thinks it is ok to think, act, and speak like the world.
I remember in the late 90’s when I began to notice how many professing Christians would casually use the word “suck” in their conversations. I was shocked and grieved in spirit. A decade earlier that phrase had a very perverted, filthy, demoralizing, sexual connotation. The Word is very clear as to what and how our conversation, and our life, is to be conducted. Ephesians 4:17-29 says that we “should no longer walk as the rest of the gentiles walk.” The lost have a futile mind and a dark understanding. They are blind, ignorant, and have not the life of God. They have given themselves over to lewdness, uncleanness, and greediness. “But you have not so learned Christ.” In verse 29 it says “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth.” Unfortunately the very reason that anyone would speak filth is because there is an abundance of it in their heart Matt.12:34-37. Jesus said that “for every idle word men may speak, they will give an account of it in the day of judgment.” “For by your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned.” So obviously our speech is very important when it comes to our walk with the Lord.
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification:” 1 Thessalonians 4:3.
Sanctification means that we are to be set apart for a specific purpose. That means that we are to be separate and different from the World. Not weird but different. We are saved by the grace of God and that same grace that saved us also teaches us to “deny ungodliness and worldly lust, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age” Titus 2:12. There should be something different about our speech, actions, and thoughts. This is not necessarily about you “have to” but that you have been made free in Christ “to do”. Living, thinking, and speaking like the world is not who you are in Christ. Conducting yourself like the world is the “low life”. We have been called to a “higher life” in Christ. The Word says to “set your mind on the things above, not on things of the earth” Col 3:2. Why? Because “you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God Col 3:3.
We have been given wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption because we are in Christ 1 Corinthians 1:30. The Word says that “as He is, so are we in this world” 1 John 4:17. It’s not that we are to attain this but it is what we have already been given by the Holy Spirit. We have the “greater” one living in us 1 John 4:4. We have been given a wisdom that is “pure, peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy” James 3:17. The world lives by a “low life” wisdom and it is “earthly, sensual, and demonic” James 3:15. How you live denotes the very wisdom you live by. It is so vital to renew your mind to what the Word of God says that you already have in Christ.
All throughout the Word there are warnings to those who choose not to live by the Spirit but by the flesh. For those who continue to live in unrighteousness, they “will not inherit the Kingdom of God” 1 Cor. 6:9 and Galatians 19-21. The children of God and the children of the devil are evident. “Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God” 1 John 3:10. Since we have these great and precious promises in Christ “let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” 2 Cor.7:1. Jesus said that “If anyone serves me, let him follow me” John 12:26.
There are 2 ways to live in this life. You can either live the High life or the low life. You can take the High road or you can take the low road. You can live above or live below. You can be an overcomer or one who is in subjection and overcame. You can live by the High Power or the low life weakness of this world.
The word says in Proverbs 15:24 that “The way of life winds upward for the wise that he may turn away from hell below.” To live for Jesus is to live a life that is above the hellishness of this earth. All throughout the Word there are references to 2 distinct ways of living; man’s way or God’s way. For “there is a way that seems right to a man but its end is the way of death “Proverbs 14:12. Many people today that name the name of Christ try to live in the middle. They don’t want to live the low life of sin but they don’t want to surrender their life totally to the Father to live a High Life of righteousness either. Jesus settled that dilemma long ago. In the book of Revelation Jesus had words for a lukewarm church named Laodicea. Now the Laodiceans thought they could walk the middle line. Jesus said, “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth.” They, and anyone who lives like them, will be up-chucked by the Savior himself. Thank God that, as a Christian, we do not have to live like that because “in the way of righteousness is life, and its pathway there is no death” Proverbs 12:28.
We have been given the Spirit of life, power, and grace. The same spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in all who have been born again. That means the same power, authority, and grace that Jesus had as the Son of Man we have as sons of God. We have been made alive, raised, and seated with Christ Ephesians 2:5&6. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: old things have passed away: behold, all things have become new” 2 Corinthians 5:17. It is high time to rule over sin, sickness, and Satan. It is our right and our responsibility to rule and reign over these things because we are both kings and priests unto our God and father Revelation 1:6. We have been given a higher life, wisdom, and nature because the greater one lives within us 1 John 4:4.
There is power, grace, and blessings promised to those who will choose to walk the road less traveled but only curse and desolation to those who walk along 2 paths. Make the choice today to take the highway to heaven in Christ and live in victory. It is available to all who will dare to believe His Word. So “press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” Philippians 3:14.