Have You Received the Holy Spirit Since You Believed?

The apostle Paul asked this pointed question of the new followers of Yahushua [Jesus] in his day. Even today, the Scriptures continue to ask this same question of all Believers: “Have You Received the Holy Spirit Since You Believed?” (Acts 19:2a)

In this short writing, we will look briefly at who the Holy Spirit is, and why it is important that we receive the Holy Spirit for ourselves, in a personal way. We will also see what Scripture tells us about this amazing experience — the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit of the Living God

According to the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit can come upon a person, can fill a person, and can dwell with and in a person. This is quite amazing since the Holy Spirit, who is also The Comforter, The Helper, The Spirit of Truth, is also The Spirit of the Living God — The Spirit of Yahuwah Elohim [the LORD God] Himself!

The Holy Spirit is the very Presence of Yahuwah on the earth. When we receive the Gift of the Holy Spirit, we are receiving the Spirit of Yahuwah Elohim, the Mighty One of Israel.

Father has promised to guide His children by His own Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the Living God. He desires to dwell within us by His Holy Spirit so that He can guide us and to lead us!!

How can we, who are Believers in Yahushua Messiah [Jesus Christ], receive Father’s Holy Spirit? Notice this Scripture verse:

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 11:13)

According to Yahushua, we need only ask Father for this most precious Gift of His presence! The question to ask ourselves is the same question the apostle Paul asked certain disciples:

“Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?” (Acts 19:2a)

This is a very important, foundational question for Believers in Messiah Yahushua!

What does it mean to ‘receive’ the Holy Spirit?

The phrase, “Receiving the Holy Spirit” is referred to in Scriptures as a “Gift” (Acts 2:38) and as a “Promise” (Acts 2:33; Galatians 3:14). Receiving the Holy Spirit is also referred to as the “Baptism in the Holy Spirit” (Acts 11:16).

We receive the Holy Spirit in very much the same way as we received forgiveness of our sins and salvation in Yahushua Messiah — by faith (Galatians 3:14)!

We will discuss more about this ‘receiving’ below, as we learn more about this subject.

This subject of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a very essential subject for all Believers in Yahushua. Many scholars have written lengthy discussions about this subject. Here we will touch on only a few points.

First, let’s see who the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is for.

  • For Yahuwah’s Children

It is important to understand who the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is for. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is for Yahuwah’s children — that is, it is a Gift for those who have been Born-Again, and are members of the body of Messiah. It is for those who have experienced the New Birth, as the Apostle Peter said:

Being born again (literal Greek: Having been born again), not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever. (1Peter 1:23)

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. (John 14:16-17)

Here we see that the Holy Spirit is not for those in the world. Yahushua told us that the world cannot receive the Holy Spirit. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is only for those who have been Born-Again.

To be Born-Again is to be Born of the Spirit (John 3:5-8), and the ‘natural’ man cannot discern the things of the Spirit (1Corinthians 2:14). If a person is not yet Born-Again, it will be very difficult to discern the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. 

Being Born-Again is to be Born of the Spirit, whereby Yahushua Messiah is ‘birthed’ within us, and He, by His Holy Spirit, begins to live and grow within our inner spirit-being.

Being Born of the Spirit is to be adopted into Father’s family, and to become a ‘new’ creation — a new person in Messiah Yahushua. And truly, all things become new for that person (Romans 8:15; 2Corinthians 5:17). Sometimes being ‘Born-Again’ is referred to as a “regeneration.”

If you do not know for sure that you have been Born-Again, then read the brief post: Good News.  Also see How Do I Receive God’s Forgiveness for My Sins? For further insight, see these two short videos: The Bridge and The Four Spiritual Laws.

Let’s now look at what is said in Scripture about the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Let’s start with John the Baptist.

John the Baptist

First, let’s ask, “Who was John the Baptist?” John was “a man sent from God” to bear witness to the true Light of the world — Messiah Yahushua (John chapter 1). Yahushua Messiah spoke about John the Baptist, and gave him a very unique and amazing description:

“Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist” (Matt 11:11 and Luke 7:28)

With an introduction like that, I would say that whatever John the Baptist said must have been very important! So let’s look at a particular statement John the Baptist made [recorded in all four Gospels!] regarding the Baptism in the Holy Spirit:

1.) I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He [Yahushua] shall baptize you with (in) the Holy Ghost, and with fire. (Matthew 3:11)

2.) I indeed have baptized you with water: but He [Yahushua] shall baptize you with (in) the Holy Ghost. (Mark 1:8)

3.) John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: He [Yahushua] shall baptize you with (in) the Holy Ghost and with fire. (Luke 3:16)

4.) And I knew Him not: but He that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, the same is He [Yahushua] which baptizeth with (in) the Holy Ghost. (John 1:33)

As we see in these four Scriptures, John the Baptist declared that — Yahushua Messiah was coming to baptize with [the Greek word is ‘in’] the Holy Spirit and with fire. John’s statement is highly significant! Yahushua the Messiah baptizes us in the Holy Spirit, just as John the Baptist declared.

The baptism in the Holy Spirit is a supernatural seal given to each individual member of the body of Christ, by which Jesus Christ acknowledges that person as a member of His body. The baptism in the Holy Spirit is a supernatural seal that Jesus alone can confer, or bestow (Eph. 1:13). Many different men baptized in water, but John said [as the above Scriptures show us], “This is He [Yahushua], which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.” There is no one else in all of Scripture to whom that privilege is given but to Jesus Christ, who thus acknowledges the membership of His body and sets the apostolic seal upon the believers who receive.” –[from Derek Prince, “Baptism in the Holy Spirit” page 10.]

Let us now look at what Yahushua Messiah said.

The Promise of the Holy Spirit

Notice what Yahushua Messiah said regarding this Baptism in the Holy Spirit:

“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.” (Luke 24:49)

And, being assembled together with them, He commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but “wait for the promise of the Father, which,” saith He, “ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with (in) the Holy Ghost not many days hence.”…”But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me….” (Acts 1:4,5,8)

Here in these Scriptures we see that right before Yahushua left the disciples and ascended into heaven, He equated being baptized in the Holy Spirit with receiving “the Promise of the Father.”  He commanded His disciples to wait for this Promise, when the Holy Spirit would come upon them, and they would receive power from on high.

Notice what the apostles, Peter and Paul, said:

Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, He hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. (Acts 2:33)

In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise. (Ephesians 1:13)

These verses show us that the apostle Peter also referred to the Baptism in the Holy Spirit as receiving “the Promise of the Holy Ghost” and is thus “shed forth!”  The apostle Paul referred to it as being “sealed with that Holy Spirit of Promise.”

These verses clearly reveal the heart of our Heavenly Father. That is, to be baptized in the Holy Spirit is a fulfillment of a Promise made by Abba Father to His children. It is not based on anything we do! [Except we must believe, and receive by faith, this wonderful Promise.]

The Promise of the Holy Spirit is a gift from Father to His children. The Promise is based on…

  • Yahuwah’s love for His children,
  • His Word of Promise to His children, and
  • the glorification, or the exaltation, of His Son, Yahushua Messiah, who is now seated at the right hand of the Father.

This Promise is so wonderful!  It is an awesome and loving Gift from Abba Father to His children — given to us by His Son, Yahushua Messiah! There is much that could be said about this Promise, and what it means!

However, at this time, my heart’s desire is to show forth some testimonies of the results of receiving this Promise — the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.  When we look at the results, we begin to understand Yahuwah’s purpose for the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.

Some Results of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit

What are the results of receiving this Promise of the Gift of the Holy Spirit — the promised Baptism in the Holy Spirit? What happens after being baptized in the Holy Spirit? The results are astonishing!

First, let us look at ten references in the Scriptures where the Promise of the Holy Spirit, or the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is mentioned:

  • …the Promise of My Father upon you (Luke 24:49)
  • …this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive (John 7:38,39)
  • …the Holy Spirit is come upon you (Acts 1:8)
  • …they were all filled with the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:4)
  • …I will pour out of My spirit (Acts 2:16)
  • …a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost (Acts 6:5)
  • …they received the Holy Ghost (Act 8:17-19)
  • be filled with the Holy Ghost (Acts 9:17-20)
  • …the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word (Acts 10:44-47)
  • …the Holy Ghost came on them (Acts 19:1-7)

All these phrases are referring to this one event — that of receiving the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. As we can see, the Holy Spirit comes upon, is poured out, falls on, and fills the Believers.

Outwardly, the invisible (but absolutely real), presence and power of the Holy Spirit comes down from above upon the Believer, and completely surrounds, envelops, and immerses him.
Inwardly, the Believer, in the likeness of one drinking, receives the presence and power of the Holy Spirit — and thus received, in turn wells up within the Believer and flows forth like a river from the inmost depths of his being. –[from Derek Prince, “From Jordan to Pentecost, Foundation Series” page 241]

Now, let’s look at these same verses, and see the description of the outcome, or the result, of this event. As we shall see, the result is always seen as receiving something supernatural:

  • …ye (shall) be endued (clothed) with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49)
  • …out of his belly (his inner most being) shall flow rivers of living water. (John 7:38,39)
  • …ye shall receive power… ye shall be witnesses unto Me….” (Acts 1:8)
  • …began to speak with other tongues (Acts 2:4)
  • …your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams (Acts 2:16)
  • full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people (Acts 6:5)
  • …Give me also this power (Acts 8:17-19)
  • …immediately there fell from his eyes… scales: …he received sight …. And straightway he preached Christ…. (Acts 9:17-20)
  • …they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God (Acts 10:44-47)
  • …they spake with tongues, and prophesied (Acts 19:1-7)

In the above Scriptures, we see the amazing and unique results of receiving the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.

In all the results of receiving the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, we see manifestations of the supernatural. For example, we see prophesying, visions, and dreams; being endued with [clothed with] power from on high; speaking with other tongues, great wonders, miracles, and power, and receiving of sight. There is also a new-found ability to proclaim, and to understand the Word of Yahuwah.

Let us look in more detail at some of the changes the Holy Spirit makes within the Believer.

A Great Change

The results of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit are always supernatural in nature. This Baptism always produces a great change in a Believer! Through this Baptism, a Believer receives the Holy Spirit as a completely different and separate experience from the New Birth (Acts 8:12-17; Acts 19:1-6).

Through the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, a Believer enters into a new level of life — whereby a supernatural manifestation of the Holy Spirit begins to be evident in some particular way. The only manifestation which is distinctly and clearly common to three of these occasions where people were baptized in the Holy Spirit is “speaking in tongues” (see Acts 2:2-4; Acts 10:44-46; Acts 19:6). However, supernatural spiritual manifestations [gifts], such as those described in 1Corinthians 12, 13, and 14, can also begin to be evident. Additonally, the ‘Fruit of the Spirit’ will begin to be more naturally exhibited in our character (Galatians 5:22,23 and Ephesians 5:9).

The manifestation of speaking with tongues, as the Holy Spirit gives utterance, is the accepted New Testament evidence that a person has received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Speaking in tongues was the evidence which the apostles themselves received in their own experience. Speaking in tongues was the evidence which the apostles accepted in the experience of others. The apostles never asked for any other alternative evidence. No other alternative evidence is offered to us anywhere in the New Testament. –[from Derek Prince, “From Joran to Pentecost, Foundation Series”  page 246]

Believers who have not yet received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit will continue to speculate as to what their ‘spiritual gifts’ are. Furthermore, those who have not yet received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit are often lacking in spiritual discernment regarding spiritual gifts. This is not intended to belittle Believers in any way–but is a simple statement of fact.

When you receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, the result is that there is a dramatic change in you! You finally understand what it means to be endued (clothed) with power from on high.

Nowhere in the Scriptures, nor in Christian biography, was anyone ever filled with the Spirit, who did not know that he had been. Nowhere was anyone filled with the Spirit, who did not know when. And no one was ever filled gradually. —A.W.Tozer

When I received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, my sister said I had changed “like night and day.” That was so true! One consuming desire filled me — I was suddenly filled with determination, devotion, and love for Yahushua Messiah and the Word of Yahuwah, the Mighty One of Israel.

This is the heart of what I’m wanting to say today.

The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is awesome, amazing, vital, and so very necessary for each and every Believer!  And it is for now! The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is for Yahuwah’s children NOW.

Power From on High

Is the Baptism in the Holy Spirit a necessity for all Believers? Notice what Derek Prince has said:

“If we study the New Testament with an open mind, we are compelled to acknowledge that the whole life and experience of the early Christians was permeated in every part by the supernatural. Supernatural experiences were not something incidental or additional. They were an integral part of their entire lives as Christians.”

Yes, the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is vital for all Believers! As the New Testament testifies, the supernatural was ‘the norm’ for Believers in Messiah. To have this kind of ‘normal’ relationship with the Father, His children need to be baptized in the Holy Spirit.

Being baptized in the Holy Spirit brings a Believer into a very personal and intimate level of closeness to the Father. Spirit-filled Believers have a better understanding of the Kingdom of Heaven, and of the power and glory of Yahuwah Elohim.

Yahushua Messiah exhorts all His disciples, in every age, to wait for the Promise of the Father. Yahushua wants each one of His disciples to wait for this Promise until we receive – receive this Baptism in the Holy Spirit!

Yahushua is at the right hand of the Father, and He wants to baptize His disciples with this gift of the Holy Spirit from Father. Why? Because He knows that we need to be endued [clothed] with power from on high,” as He has told us in (Luke 24:49).

As Believers, we need this life-changing clothing with power from on high, in order to fulfill His commission to “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15) AND to fulfill the good works that Father has ordained for us (Ephesians 2:10).

Fulfilling Father’s Plans For You and For Me

The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a valuable and necessary gift for the children of Yahuwah. Receiving the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a necessary key to fulfilling the plans that Father has for each one of us!

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)

As we see in the above verse, Father has ordained good works for us to walk in and fulfill! Receiving the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is the gracious and awesome gift offered to us by Father, for our enablement to do these works, for His glory.

Simple Child-Like Trust in Father

If you are not sure you have received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, then Father has given us a very simple direction for receiving the Holy Spirit:

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 11:13)

In Luke 11:13, we are told that Father desires to give the Holy Spirit to His children — to them that ask Him!  They can ask Him anytime. Just as an earthly father eagerly grants his little child’s request, who runs to him asking for a gift, so our heavenly Father is eager to give us good gifts!

Once you, as a Believer, receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, there is often a greater assurance and a more firm conviction within your own heart that you are a beloved child of Yahuwah Elohim. The Holy Spirit bears witness within your spirit (Romans 8:16) that you are indeed a child of the Father, Yahuwah Elohim [the LORD God], the Holy One of Israel:

…Hereby know we that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He hath given us of His Spirit. (1John 4:13)

If you desire all that Father Yahuwah desires to give His children, if you truly hunger and thirst for Father’s Ways in your life, then humble yourself and cry out to Him, and ask Him for this wonderful gift — to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. Ask in faith, for you know that He loves you and desires to answer your request.

When you receive the Holy Spirit baptism, then, as the above verse tells us — you will know and will have that firm conviction that you dwell in Him and He in you!

This assurance is good news — great news, for all of Yahuwah’s children. 

Ask Father for all that He desires to give you! Believe Him and His great love for you, that He hears and answers prayer! Just as you believed in His great love for you when you prayed for His forgiveness and salvation, and then entered into His Kingdom — in the same way, through believing faith, trust Him and believe Him and thank Him for hearing your prayer!

Please continue reading in Part 2: Have You Received the Holy Spirit Since You Believed? – Part 2

In Part 2, we see more insight into Father’s purposes for the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, as well as present-day testimonies of those who have received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. In Part 2, we also look at a very important Caution regarding the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.

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