As we saw in Part 1, 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 LORD God], the Mighty One of Israel.
Receiving the Holy Spirit is referred to in the 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 with the Holy Spirit’ (Acts 11:16).
When a Believer receives the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, the result is that there is a dramatic change in that person. Spirit-Baptized Believers finally understand what it means to be endued [clothed] with power from on high. As I said previously, 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 [Jesus Christ] and the Word of Yahuwah [the Bible].
As we discussed in Part 1, the Holy Spirit is not for those ‘in the world.’ The world cannot receive the Holy Spirit. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is only for those who have been ‘Born-Again’ and who are confident of being a child of Yahuwah Elohim [the LORD God]. If you do not know for sure if you have been Born-Again, then see this brief post: Good News.
It would be well to review Part 1 of this study, for we looked at several Scriptures related to this subject of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. In this Part 2, we will begin by sharing the testimonies of a few people who have received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
First, let’s see what happened to Reinhard Bonnke’s mother, Meta Bonnke, when she was Baptized in the Holy Spirit, when Reinhard was a boy of ten years old:
Once Mother had relaxed in bed that night, the false religious pressures she had felt at church melted away. Her self-consciousness and disappointment vanished. She reflected on the words of Jesus in Luke 11:13, “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?”
At the church meeting, she had asked God for His Holy Spirit, but had been so pressured and distraught by her concerns that she had not been able to see the gift she had been freely given. The baptism of the Holy Spirit was not an experience acquired by religious diligence. It was not so much about seeking as it was about receiving. It was a gift made available by a loving heavenly Father, and it was simply hers for the asking. Her faith to receive had been all mixed up with her own expectations, and those of my father, and those of the congregation.
Yet, that night in bed, suddenly Mother felt herself falling into the loving arms of her Lord. Flooded with waves of divine love, another language began to pour from her mouth like a fountain. She wept and praised God and spoke in tongues for hours, completely exhilarated by the experience.
The following evening, when I saw Mother coming home, I ran to meet her. The closer I got, the more astonished I became. My mother was glowing. Her eyes sparkled. Her step was like the step of a young girl. She ran to me and swept me up in her arms, and it was not even my birthday. I could feel the love pouring from her like I had never felt it. It made me want to laugh and cry. Something had radically changed my mother. (From Reinhard Bonnke, “Living a Life of Fire,” Chapter 9, page 81)
Now let’s see how Reinhard Bonnke described what happened to him when he received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit:
The first day of the rest of my life happened in 1951, the day I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit! I was still eleven years old. A special guest speaker came to Gluckstadt from Finland. His name was Pastor Arthur Kukula, and he was well known for leading people in receiving this gift.
As Arthur Kukula spoke, my faith leapt up and shouted “yes” within me. The words of Scripture seemed to come alive to me. Suddenly the entire experience was no longer about me. It was about God and His great love for me. When Arthur invited those seeking the Holy Spirit to kneel and pray I did so immediately. No sooner had I reached my knees than I was overwhelmed with an incredible sensation. No one needed to lay hands on me. I received the gift of speaking in tongues spontaneously and burst out in a heavenly language.
How can I describe it? Let me say first of all that there are many who have experienced the Spirit baptism in a quieter and less dramatic fashion. What follows is not a “how to” receive. It is a description of how it happened to me.
It seemed to come from beyond me and from within me at the same time. My mind began to receive a stream of pure light and love from the very throne of God. It flowed over me and went straight through me at once. This was far more than a mere bolt of electricity. It was as if every cell in my body was being saved, healed, and invigorated by a surge of divine power. The word love is inadequate to describe it because that word has been so abused and misused. Yet that is what the power and Spirit of God is — His pure, selfless agape love poured into us.
The heavenly tongue cascading from my lips was the outer expression of something flowing within me that was too wonderful for normal language. Some blessings from God are beyond intellect. Spirit baptism is one of them. People who limit God to mere human rationality will never know this power and this ecstasy.
Under the experience of Holy Spirit baptism The Helper became fully alive to me. The reality of the Spirit’s presence sprang up in me like a fountain that became almost unbearably wonderful. Suddenly love made it easy to believe. Nothing could separate me from the source of this love. I was lost in loving God and being loved by Him.
At the age of eleven, the Spirit baptism began to lead me on an adventure of faith that has not ended. I literally took off like a rocket ship, and no one could stop me. I continue to be empowered by it to this very day. (From Reinhard Bonnke, “Living A Life of Fire,” Chapter 10, page 91)
Now let’s look at this brief description by Derek Prince, as he describes his Spirit-Baptism experience:
In 1941 in the middle of the night I had a powerful, life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ in a barrack room of the British Army, which was the New Birth. About a week later, in the same barrack room, I spoke for the first time in an unknown tongue. Then — quite unexpectedly — I went on to speak out the “interpretation” in beautiful, poetic English. It was an outline of God’s plan for my life and ministry, which has been fulfilled — stage by stage — up to the present time (more than 55 years). (From Derek Prince, “The Gifts of the Holy Spirit”)
Charles Finney, an 18th century evangelist and preacher from New England, describes his Baptism in the Holy Spirit in this way:
To the honour of God alone I will say a little of my own experience in this matter. I was powerfully converted on the morning of the 10th of October. In the evening of the same day, and on the morning of the following day, I received overwhelming baptisms of the Holy Ghost, that went through me, as it seemed to me, body and soul. I immediately found myself endued with such power from on high that a few words dropped here and there to individuals were the means of their immediate conversion. My words seemed to fasten like barbed arrows in the souls of men. Oftentimes a word spoken by me would fasten conviction, and often result in almost immediate conversion. I could fill a volume with the history of my own experience and observation with respect to this power from on high.
Sometimes I would find myself, in a great measure, empty of this power, finding that I made no saving impression. I would then set apart a day for private fasting and prayer, fearing that this power had departed from me, and would inquire anxiously after the reason of this apparent emptiness. After humbling myself, and crying out for help, the power would return upon me with all its freshness. This has been the experience of my life. (From Charles Finney, “Power From On High,” Chapter two)
Dwight L. Moody
Dwight L. Moody, an American evangelist and publisher in the late 1800’s, gave this description of when the Holy Spirit came upon him:
I was crying all the time that God would fill me with His Spirit. Well, one day, in the city of New York — oh, what a day! I cannot describe it, I seldom refer to it; it is almost too sacred an experience to name. Paul had an experience of which he never spoke for fourteen years. I can only say that God revealed Himself to me, and I had such an experience of His love that I had to ask Him to stay His hand.
I went preaching again. The sermons were not different; I did not present any new truths; and yet hundreds were converted. I would not now be placed back where I was before that blessed experience if you should give me all the world — it would be as the small dust of the balance. (From W.R.Moody, “The Life of Dwight L. Moody,” page 149)
Many are asking whether or not the Holy Spirit has come upon them. Here is what Watchman Nee says about this:
You may ask,
“How shall I know that the Holy Spirit is come upon me?” I cannot tell how you will know, but you will know! No description has been given us of the personal sensations and emotions of the disciples at Pentecost. We do not know exactly how they felt, but we do know that their feelings and behaviour were somewhat abnormal, because people seeing them said they were intoxicated.
When the Holy Spirit falls upon God’s people there will be some things which the world cannot account for. There will be supernatural accompaniments of some kind, though it be no more than an overwhelming sense of the Divine Presence. We cannot and we must not stipulate what particular form such outward expressions will take in any given case, but one thing is sure — that each one upon whom the Spirit of God falls will know it! (From Watchman Nee, “The Normal Christian Life,” Chapter 8)
After the Baptism in the Holy Spirit there is a greater, overwhelming desire, to please our Abba Father. A newly Spirit-Baptized Believer often becomes confident and assured for the first time of being a beloved child in the family of Yahuwah Elohim.
Spirit-Baptized Believers deeply yearn to walk in obedience and holiness. The Word of Yahuwah becomes more alive and powerful to a newly Spirit-Baptized Believer. Additionally, there is a greater sense of grief within the Spirit-Baptized Believer whenever they fail to follow the leading of Yahuwah’s Word and the Holy Spirit. Yet, such Believers also rise up in renewed forgiveness and determination to magnify Yahuwah in all they do.
The Book of Acts
Now, let’s look at a brief explanation made by Charles Finney about the book of Acts and his insight on the purpose for the Baptism in the Holy Spirit:
They (the apostles and brethren of the early church) received a powerful baptism of the Holy Ghost, a vast increase of divine illumination. This baptism imparted a great diversity of gifts that were used for the accomplishment of their work. It manifestly included the following things:
The power of a holy life. The power of a self sacrificing life. (The manifestation of these must have had great influence with those to whom they proclaimed the gospel.) The power of a cross bearing life. The power of great meekness, which this baptism enabled them everywhere to exhibit. The power of a loving enthusiasm in proclaiming the gospel. The power of teaching. The power of a loving and living faith. The gift of tongues. An increase of power to work miracles. The gift of inspiration, or the revelation of many truths before unrecognized by them. The power of moral courage to proclaim the gospel and do the bidding of Christ, whatever it cost them.
This power was not the power of inspiration…. It was not the power of human learning and culture…. It was not the power of human eloquence…. It was God speaking in and through them. It was a power from on high— God in them, making a saving impression upon those to whom they spoke. This power to savingly impress abode with and upon them. It was, doubtless, the great and main thing promised by Christ….
When Christians today will humble themselves, and consecrate their all afresh to Christ, and ask for this power, they will often receive such a baptism that they will be instrumental in converting more souls in one day than in all their lifetime before. While Christians remain humble enough to retain this power, the work of conversion will go on. (From Charles Finney, “Power From On High,” Chapter two)
The Temple Of The Holy Spirit
Lastly, let’s look at Derek Prince’s brief, but important reminder about being Baptized in the Holy Spirit.
A very distinctive mark of personality is the ability to speak. At Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended from heaven, He spoke in “other tongues” (Acts 2:4) through the disciples. By this He signified that He had come, as a Person, to take up His dwelling on earth. He is now the permanent, personal representative of the Godhead residing on earth.
From Pentecost on, each time the Holy Spirit comes to take up His residence as a Person in the body of a believer, it is appropriate that He should manifest His presence by speaking out of that believer in a new language that is supernaturally imparted. In effect, He is saying, “Now you know that I am here as a Person to indwell your body.”
For this reason, in 1 Corinthians 6:19, Paul said, “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit?” He was emphasizing that speaking in tongues is not merely a brief, supernatural experience; beyond that, it is a divinely given sign that the Holy Spirit, as a Person, has taken up His dwelling in the believer’s body, thereby making it a sacred temple. This truth places a solemn obligation upon each believer to keep his body in a condition of holiness that is appropriate for God’s temple!
Thank You, Lord, for the blood of Yahushua [Jesus] and the work of Your Holy Spirit. I proclaim that my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, redeemed, cleansed, by the blood of Yahushua [Jesus]. (From Derek Prince – The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit)
Let me return to my original question, asked in Acts 19:2.
“Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?”
This is an extremely important question for all Believers in Messiah Yahushua to consider!
Again I say, 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 this Baptism in the Holy Spirit!
Yahushua wants to baptize His disciples in the Holy Spirit because He knows that we all need to be “endued (clothed) with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). We need this life-changing, clothing with power from on high, to fulfill His commission to “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).
As we saw in Part 1, and as we have seen in the above testimonies, when we receive the Holy Spirit, we experience a dramatic change. Only then can we truly understand what it means to be endued [clothed] with power from on high.
All these testimonies show forth the supernatural results of being Baptized in the Holy Spirit. Such results do not occur naturally.
Dear Reader, do you wish you had a greater determination to obey the Word of Yahuwah? Do you wish you had a fervent resolve to follow Yahushua Messiah more fully? Do you secretly envy someone who seems to hunger after Yahuwah all the time? Do you wish your heart burned hotter for Yahuwah’s Word, and that you would speak boldly on behalf of our Saviour?
Father promises to give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him (Luke 11:13). If we approach Abba Father with true and sincere honesty, faith, humility, and reverence, then He is faithful and eager to give His Holy Spirit to them that ask Him!
A Word of Caution
The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is not a frivolous matter! It is nothing to be flippant about in any way! Yahuwah Elohim is to be approached with great reverence, even with trembling (Psalms 2:11; and 99:1; and 119:120)!!
Seeking to walk in Father’s Ways is to be a very serious matter with each one of us! May none of us be as a certain man, called Simon, in Acts chapter 8:9-24:
And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. (Acts 8:18,19)
Next we see that the apostle Peter rebuked Simon very sharply.
But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. (Acts 8:20-23)
From this incident between Peter and Simon, we can see that the attempt to somehow ‘purchase’ the Gift of the Holy Spirit is rooted in wickedness, coming from a heart that is not right with God!
In all of our dealings with God, we must have a pure and respectful heart before the Holy and Righteous Father, being as sincere as a little child. Our heart must be of a right spirit, or we will receive nothing!
In seeking to walk with Yahuwah, may we always be blameless and harmless, as sincere children of Yahuwah, without rebuke, in the midst of this crooked and perverse world, shining and holding forth the word of life (Philippians 2:15,16).
True and sincere honesty, true and sincere repentance, true and sincere humility — these are the character qualities that are needed to approach Father! He loves each one of His children, and He has told us that “whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight” (1John 3:22).
Remember also: we receive the promise of the Spirit through faith (Galatians 3:14).
Oh the abundant, amazing love of Father! His love for His children is so rich! His love is so refreshing! So life-changing!
Part 1 of this study is very important for understanding the significance of receiving the Holy Spirit.
- For further study on the Baptism in the Holy Spirit see Derek Prince’s excellent teaching Two Wonderful Results
- For further study on the Baptism in the Holy Spirit see Robert L’s exceptional teaching Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and Richard Roberts’ teaching Baptism of the Holy Spirit