Category Archives: Bible

What Is the Baptism in the Spirit?

In a soon-coming post, I will explain how to easily receive the baptism in the Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.  Many of my readers have struggled to receive the baptism, and their prayer language along with it, and have become frustrated and even despairing of ever receiving.  This is due to much wrong traditional teaching, which has hindered the Body of Christ from receiving what the Lord has always meant for every believer.  We’re going to clear that up, and help you receive once and for all — even if you have been prayed for dozens of times in the past and have been disappointed.

In preparation for that, I would like to lay the foundation of what the baptism in the Spirit is.

John the Baptist said of Jesus, “I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I is coming … he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire” (Luke 3:16).

Every believer in Jesus Christ has the Holy Spirit dwelling within.  Romans 8:9 tells us, “But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God dwells in you.  Now, if any man does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not one of his.”  Jesus promised His disciples right before His death, “And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever, even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see him, neither does it know him.  But you know him, for he dwells with you, and shall be in you” (John 14:16, 17).

He goes on to say that it is by the Spirit living within believers that He and the Father will abide with them (John 14:18, 23).  When we tell little children to “ask Jesus into your heart,” what we are really saying is, “Believe on Jesus and yield yourself to Him, and when you do, the Holy Spirit will come to live inside.”  It is through the Spirit that the Father and Jesus also reside with us.  It is because the three Persons of the  Trinity are one God.

When Jesus first appeared to the eleven on the day of His resurrection, He commissioned them and gave them authority to carry on His work, “and when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit'” (John 20:21, 22).

Was this the baptism in the Spirit?  Clearly it was not, since Luke tells us in Acts 1:3 that Jesus continued appearing to the apostles for yet another forty days, instructing them about the Kingdom of God, which they were to cooperate with Him in establishing on the earth, and during that forty days,  “being assembled together with them, [he] commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, ‘Which,’ he said, ‘you have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now'” (Acts 1:4, 5).  He also told them, “You shall receive power, after the Holy Spirit is come upon you, and you shall be my witnesses …” (Acts 1:8).

Although the disciples were already believers, having received the Holy Spirit, there was yet a further infilling that God wanted them to have, which would give them power to witness effectively for Him in a way that they could not otherwise do.

We will look at what that further infilling was next time.

What Is the Baptism in the Spirit? (Part 2)
Common Questions About the Baptism in the Holy Spirit (Part 3)
How to Easily Receive the Baptism with Tongues 

BaptismCDWP
The Baptism in the Spirit: Why You Need It & How to Get It — Mp3 Download or CD

New Book — The Intercessor’s Companion

I am so very pleased to announce that our new book, The Intercessor’s Companion, is now available.

(2-19-15 update: We are currently running a close-out sale on the comb-bound edition of The Intercessor’s Companion. We will continue to have both a paperback and an e-book version — we’re just discontinuing the comb-bond version. Save $3.00 over our regular price when you buy the comb-bound book. Supplies are limited; U. S. customers only.)

The Intercessor's CompanionHow many times have you wished to pray Scripture relating to a specific need, but couldn’t remember where the verses were to support your prayers? The Intercessor’s Companion is a topical listing of Bible verses that will aid you in receiving your breakthrough answers.

This is a much-expanded version of our smaller book, Encouragement from God’s Word. We’ve added ten topics of particular interest to intercessors, insightful commentary, and we’ve redone the Bible verses in a modernized rendition of the King James Version for easier reading.

Topics covered:

Establishing Our Foundations for Prayer:
1. Your Importance as an Intercessor
2. The Bible Is True
3. God Intends for Us to Know His Will
4. God Promises to Guide His Children
5. God’s Promises Shall Stand
6. God Means Great Good Toward Us
7. God Will Not Let Us Be Ashamed
8. God Helps Those Who Trust in Him
9. God’s Faithfulness Is Unfailing
10. God Has Not Forgotten You
11. We Need Not Fear
12. Our God Is Our Safety
13. You Can Have Peace
14. Our God Is a Listening God
15. The Lord Answers Your Prayers
Praying for Specific Needs:
16. Health and Healing
17. Prosperity
18. Salvation for Loved Ones
19. Israel
20. Our Nation
21. Your Pastor (Ministry Leaders, Missionaries)
22. Relationships
23. The Church
Our Final Assurance:
24. God Always Knew It All
25. God Ultimately Will Have His Way
26. The Battle Is the Lord’s
27. In God We Have Ultimate Victory
Appendices:
28. Appendix A: Decreeing the Will of God
29. Appendix B: Spiritual Warfare

8 1/2 X 11, Comb,  Paperback,  83 pages

Order Now

Ebook version available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble,
and Smashwords.

The Nature of God: The Spirit as Comforter

The Holy Spirit

And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.John 14:16

As Jesus prepared His disciples for his coming death, resurrection, and ascension, He wanted to assure them that they would not be left alone and to their own devices.  In John 14:17-23, He went on to say that this Comforter would live within them, and that through Him, Jesus and the Father would also come to live within them.  How does that work?  It is part of the mystery of the Trinity, which we are not able to fully comprehend; it is because the three Persons of the Godhead really cannot be put into separate compartments from each other.  Remember, we serve ONE God, not three.

How does the Holy Spirit fulfill His role as Comforter?  He gives us peace.  It is interesting that at the time of Jesus’ baptism, the Spirit appeared as a dove, the universal symbol of peace.  After explaining about the coming of the Comforter, Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you” (John 14:27).  He does that through the Spirit of Peace, Who now dwells within us.  Galatians 5:22 tells us, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace ….”

Many Christians are not living in the peace that we were meant to enjoy.  We worry and fret, as if God had not promised to care for our every need.  The reason is that, in order for the Holy Spirit to release in us what He has been sent to give, we must yield ourselves to Him, and many of us are not yielding.  Galatians 5:18 says it is a matter of “being led of the Spirit,” while Jesus, when He promised to leave His peace with the disciples through the coming of the Comforter, continued, Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). Paul exhorted the Church to “Let the peace of God rule in your hearts” (Colossians 3:15).  It is a cooperative effort between us and the Spirit.  He will give us peace if we give Him rule over us.

The Holy Spirit fulfills His role as Comforter by imparting revelation to us.  Many times, as I have listened to the Holy Spirit speak about health issues, decisions, or other difficulties I was encountering, He has assured me everything was going to be all right.  And that revelation has always borne out to be true.  The Holy Spirit was comforting me by speaking about my future.  At times, He has warned me of an unexpected trouble on the way, but always with that information He has assured me, “I am with you in it.  You are going to come out of it OK.”

The Holy Spirit also manifests Himself as Comforter to believers by being the continual inner assurance that we are saved from hell and have been accepted into the beloved family of God.  Paul puts it, “You were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest [deposit, as in earnest money; guarantee] of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession” (Ephesians 1:13, 14).

We must learn to yield to the Comforter within us.  He desires to help us live victoriously, with unshakable confidence in Him, during these troubled times.

The Nature of God Index  
Previous: The Spirit as Teacher
Next: The Spirit as Intercessor 

Excerpted from Before Whom We Stand: The Everyman’s Guide to the Nature of God — available in print from Full Gospel Family Publications and Amazon and in e-book form from many fine ebook sellers.

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The Nature of God: The Spirit as Teacher

The Holy Spirit

A primary role of the Holy Spirit is to teach the saints of God. Jesus said of Him in John 14:26, “He shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you.”

What does He teach us? He gives us knowledge of God’s ways and character, instructs us in how to live a life pleasing to the Lord, guides us in our decisions, makes known to us our personal destinies and how to walk those out, helps us to know when we are in need of repentance, and shows us how to pray (Romans 8:26, 27). We see Him already teaching God’s people under the Old Covenant (“I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you shall go; I will guide you with my eye.”Psalm 32:8), but now that He indwells us, He fulfills that role to an even greater degree.

He teaches us in a variety of ways, such as speaking into our hearts through the inner voice, visions, and dreams. But over and above all other means, He teaches us by enlightening the Scriptures for us. Our natural minds are not capable of understanding the Bible adequately without the illumination of the Holy Spirit, but when we invite Him to read the Word with us, amazing truths unfold.

He is called the Spirit of Truth, and, as such, He guides us into truth. In John 16:13-15, Jesus said of Him, “When he, the Spirit of truth, has come, he will guide you into all truth. For he shall not speak on his own, but whatever he hears [from the Father] he shall speak, and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive what is mine, and shall show it to you. All things that the Father has are mine: therefore I said that he shall take of what is mine, and shall show it to you.”

As the Teacher, He is also the source of ongoing revelation to us. Jesus said He will “show us things to come.” Prophetic revelation of what is yet to happen is available to us through the Holy Spirit, Who reveals to us the plans of the Father for our lives and for the world we live in.

Through prophetic revelation He is able to guide our steps in detail. Expecting the Holy Spirit to give them specific direction was a normal part of the New Testament believers’ experience. One of many examples is found in Acts 16:6-10. There we see that Paul and his companions were “forbidden of the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia.” They then attempted to preach in other provinces in the area, “but the Spirit did not permit them to.” Finally, He sent Paul a vision, in which Paul was directed to go to Macedonia.

The Holy Spirit also fulfills His role as Comforter by revelation, which we will discuss in the next post.

The Nature of God Index   
Previous: The Spirit as Fire   
Next: The Spirit as Comforter 

Excerpted from Before Whom We Stand: The Everyman’s Guide to the Nature of God — available in print from Full Gospel Family Publications and Amazon and in e-book form from many fine ebook sellers.

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The Nature of God: The Spirit as Fire

The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is portrayed as fire in several places in Scripture.  The pillar of fire that went with the Israelites and covered the tabernacle likely was not merely a sign of God’s Presence, but an actual manifestation of the Holy Spirit.  Exodus 13:21 tells us, “The LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them in the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light.”  How well appearing as fire to give light fits with the Holy Spirit’s role of guiding our steps and revealing the hidden things of God to us!

We also see that He is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29).  As that consuming fire, He searches our hearts and cleanses out of us that which is impure.  And He is portrayed in Revelation 4:5 as the seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.”

Fire represents to us energy and power. Shortly before ascending into heaven, Jesus “commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but should wait for the promise of the Father, ‘Which,’ said he, ‘You have heard about from me. For John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now'” (Acts 1:4, 5).  Why were they not to go out and testify of Jesus immediately?  They had not yet been filled with the Holy Spirit, of Whom Jesus said,  “You shall receive power, after the Holy Spirit has come upon you” (Acts 1:8).  That power was given to them on the Day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit manifested Himself as cloven tongues of fire resting on each of the disciples (Acts 2:3).

John the Baptist baptized with water unto repentance, but he foretold that Jesus would baptize believers with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Matthew 3:11).  When we receive the infilling of the Holy Spirit, as the first disciples did at Pentecost, we have the fire of His Presence burning within us, helping us effectively advance the Kingdom of Jesus in the earth, as we follow His leading.

The Nature of God Index  
Previous: The Spirit as Breath
Next: The Spirit as Teacher 

Excerpted from Before Whom We Stand: The Everyman’s Guide to the Nature of God — available in print from Full Gospel Family Publications and Amazon and in e-book form from many fine ebook sellers.

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The Nature of God: The Spirit as Breath

The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit, third Person of the Godhead (Trinity) is often, in the Church, the least talked about of the three.  And yet, it is by the Spirit that the thoughts of the Father, spoken into existence by the Son, are carried out.  The Spirit is the One Who dwells within the believer, and via the Spirit the Father and the Son come to abide in us as well (John 14:23).  The Holy Spirit is not an impersonal force — not an “it” — but a Person, with emotions and desires in oneness with the other two Persons of the Godhead.

In Hebrew, the word we translate as “Spirit” is ruach, and in Greek, pneuma — the breath, the wind.

We see Him at the very beginning of the Creation: And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved [fluttered, as a breeze] upon the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:2).  We see the Spirit as the One Who moves (like wind) to bring forth the thought of the Father, which has been spoken by the Son.

As the Breath of God, it was the Spirit, Who, when man had been formed from the dust of the earth, “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life: and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7).  He breathed into man of His own substance a spirit which carried the imprint of God’s nature and Spirit — the “let us make man in our image, after our likeness” of Genesis 1:26.

 As the Wind of God, He came to the 120 disciples in the upper room on the Day of Pentecost, filled the house with His manifest Presence, and also filled each believer there individually with His Presence.  “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. … And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit …”  (Acts 2:2, 4).  And so it should be in our corporate worship gatherings today as well — each of us personally full of the Spirit, and His tangible Presence also filling the atmosphere of the place where we are gathered.

 In coming posts, we will take a look at various functions of the Holy Spirit.  We will see what happens when the Breath of heaven blows upon the Church.  If the Church is to be the powerful agent to advance God’s Kingdom in the earth that we are meant to be, we must eagerly embrace the work of the Holy Spirit among us.

The Nature of God Index   
Previous: King of Kings
Next: The Fire 

Excerpted from Before Whom We Stand: The Everyman’s Guide to the Nature of God — available in print from Full Gospel Family Publications and Amazon and in e-book form from many fine ebook sellers.

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The Nature of God: The King of Kings

The Son

We see that the three Persons of the Godhead love and honor one another: Jesus honored the Holy Spirit by warning that blaspheming Him would not be forgiven (Matthew 12:31, 32), both the Father and the Holy Spirit honored Jesus by showing up at His baptism (Matthew 3:16, 17), and Jesus continuously glorified His Father by doing and speaking only what His Father instructed (John 8:28, 29).

As it was Jesus’ greatest pleasure to glorify His Father while here on earth, even so, it is the Father’s greatest pleasure to glorify His Son.  Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father (Hebrews 1:3)– the highest place of honor that is possible in heaven.  Hundreds of years before the incarnation (the point in time when Jesus became man), King David prophesied of Him, “The LORD said to my Lord [Jesus], ‘Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool'” (Psalm 110:1).

He is seated there as both fully God and fully man.  He has a glorified human body, which still bears the nail and spear scars, the marks of His crucifixion (John 20:24-27) — a forever testimony to His selfless love for mankind.  A new thing took place when God the Son walked the earth in human flesh, and now a new thing has also taken place in heaven, where the Son of man retains His humanity while at the same time exercising His full function within the Godhead, which is to rule and reign over the universe.  He is the “firstborn among many sons” (Romans 8:29), for He has paved the way so that we will one day also walk heaven’s halls in glorified bodies.

In heaven, God the Son has been honored with all reverence from eternity, but in ways which we cannot fully understand, He now receives still greater honor and glory than the limitless glory which was already His. Philippians 2:8 tells us that this greater glory is due to His humbling of Himself in becoming a man and His obedience to the Father in enduring the cross, “Wherefore God [the Father] also has highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).

Jesus bears the formal title of KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS (Revelation 19:16), He holds all power in both heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18), and at this time He is preparing for the day when all things will be put in subjection to Him, and even His enemies will acknowledge His Lordship with complete obeisance.

In 1 Corinthians 15:24-28, we are told that in the end of time, a shift in absolute Lordship from the Son to the Father will take place.  Christ will hand over the Kingdom to His Father, after He has subdued and abolished all opposing dominions and powers.  Before the Kingdom is transferred, He must finish the task of utterly conquering his enemies, including death, the final enemy. In essence, this was already a finished work at the time of His triumph at the cross and His subsequent resurrection. He already holds the keys of death and hell (Revelation 1:18). But here we are talking about the mop-up operation — enforcing His victory by ensuring that all rebellion will cease.  “And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject to him [the Father] who put all things under him, that God may be all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28).

What will Jesus be doing after He has handed over the Kingdom to His Father? We may have a hint, in Revelation 21.  This is the era of the Bridegroom fully enjoying His union with His bride, the Church.  Verse 4 tells us He will wipe away all her tears.  Verse 3 says that “the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, … and God himself shall be with them ….”  We will fully know Him as Immanuel, “God with us.”

The Nature of God Index    
Previous: The Restorer
Next: The Breath 

Excerpted from Before Whom We Stand: The Everyman’s Guide to the Nature of God — available in print from Full Gospel Family Publications and Amazon and in e-book form from many fine ebook sellers.

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