As I write this, I am preparing to minister on the baptism of the Holy Spirit. In my studies and preparation, I've received some light and revelation this week on this vital theme that I'd like to share with you. I could share so much on this topic, but I will do my best to limit myself to a few thoughts.
My purpose is to help full-gospel ministers and saints to minister the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I've noticed this sacred baptism does not carry the emphasis it did back in the day. I'm also finding in my travels that there are more and more full-gospel churches who have members not baptized in the Spirit and who do not speak in other tongues. I believe over time we've settled for this, and thus we have much powerlessness in many of our churches today. The hyper-grace, seeker-friendly movement certainly has not helped in this regard. In fact, it's killed the power in many of our modern churches.
It has also been my observation that it is more difficult to minister the baptism of the Holy Spirit and get people filled now than in the past. I think that's the reason so many become discouraged both on the ministry end and the receiving end. For a number of years now, I've been very dissatisfied with the measure and degree of the anointing in ministering the Holy Spirit to candidates in these churches. In fact, it's been like pulling teeth, and I've had to make it more a matter of study and prayer.
I'm speaking as one who has ministered the baptism of the Holy Spirit for nearly four decades and have seen perhaps thousands filled both in large meetings, Bible school settings, evangelistic crusades, home meetings/ Bible studies and one on one. I could tell you some stories. One thing is for sure: It was much easier back then to minister to people in this area.
Power, Not Just Tongues
"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth" (Acts 1:8, author's emphasis).
One of the problems today seems to be that most ministers and saints who minister the baptism put all their focus on getting the candidates to receive their prayer language and to speak in tongues, and some do get those results, but most of the candidates only receive what I call "very light" anointings. As important as receiving our prayer language and speaking in tongues are, we need a retooling and a refocus on the purpose of the baptism and how to posture and prepare ourselves to minister the Holy Spirit and the candidates to receive.
Recently, this has been my heart-cry:
"Lord, why is it so hard to get some of these people filled with the Spirit? Something is not right!"
The Crux of the Answer
What were the 120 doing in the upper room when the Holy Spirit was poured out?
What was Cornelius doing in Acts 10 before the initial outpouring on the Gentiles? How was his Gentile household prepared to receive?
What was Saul doing in Acts 9? What did his posture and preparation consist of?
The wisdom to this issue lies in the answer to those questions. In short, they were praying and seeking God.
Let's take the individual example of Paul (Saul)'s initial baptism in the Holy Spirit as an example as we can glean much from it.
"So the Lord said to him, 'Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, 'Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 9:11,17).
This passage does not say that Saul spoke in tongues, but we must infer that he did because Paul himself said, "I thank my God I speak in tongues more than you all" (1 Cor. 14:18).
Praying and seeking God denote the posture and preparation for receiving this mighty baptism of the Holy Spirit.
I'm using Saul's example because his conversion was genuine. Jesus was real to him. Eternal realities were deeply impressed upon his heart. This example is what sealed it for me.
Although many individuals receive wonderful anointings of the Spirit and do need instruction on how to yield their tongue to receive their prayer language, we often get the cart before the horse when it comes to new converts. In other words, it is important that spiritual things are made real to them and that there is a depth of consecration and hunger in their hearts to receive the power of the Holy Spirit. They should know something about the meaning of the baptism and develop a definite hunger and expectation for it instead of being pushed along too fast.
Saul had a tremendous conversion experience on the road to Damascus and was blinded and did not eat anything for three days. He also had a heavenly vision. Now granted, we are not all converted the same way, but the principle remains the same.
It is also true that once we are saved there is no need to wait or tarry for the Holy Spirit, but the new convert or long-waiting saint may need a vision for it and a clear understanding, faith and expectation built into his heart. As with all spiritual blessings, including healing, it is important that the heart be thoroughly prepared to receive.
Faith, spiritual hunger, heart preparation and consecration are the definite ingredients that multiply our effectiveness a hundredfold in ministering this sacred baptism.
I could say much more, but this is sufficient for now. I hope this has helped you and been a blessing to you so that you may be a greater blessing to others.
Bert Farias' books are forerunners to personal holiness, the move of God and the return of the Lord. They also combat the departure from the faith and turning away from the truth we are seeing in this hour. Bert's current passion is to promote a culture of the supernatural manifestations and ministries of the Holy Spirit in the church today and to pass it on to the next generation (Passing On The Move of God To The Next Generation). Other materials/resources are available on his website, Holy Fire Ministries. You can also follow him personally on YouTube (Holy Fire Ministries), Facebook or Twitter.
Bert Farias' books are forerunners to personal holiness, the move of God, and the return of the Lord. They also combat the departure from the faith and turning away from the truth we are seeing today. The Tumultuous 2020s and Beyond is his latest release to help believers navigate through the new decade and emerge as an authentic remnant. Other materials/resources are available on his website, Holy Fire Ministries. You can follow him personally on Facebook, his Facebook ministry page, or Twitter.
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