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Knowing He would be laying down His life and leaving Jesus talks about Holy Spirit at length right before he went to the cross. In John 14:16 He says Holy Spirit comes as a comforter that He will remain with you forever. In the Amplified Bible it says that the comforter (Holy Spirit) will also be a Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener and Standby. John 14:26 says He will be a Teacher and bring to our remembrance everything Jesus has taught us. John 15:26 says Holy Spirit testifies of Jesus. John 16:8 says He comes to convict and convince of sin, righteousness and judgement. John 16:13-14 Amplified Jesus tells us But when He, the Spirit of Truth (the Truth-giving Spirit) comes, He will guide you into all the Truth (the whole, full Truth). For He will not speak His own message [on His own authority]; but He will tell whatever He hears [from the Father; He will give the message that has been given to Him], and He will announce and declare to you the things that are to come [that will happen in the future]. He will honor and glorify Me, because He will take of (receive, draw upon) what is Mine and will reveal (declare, disclose, transmit) it to you. As you can see from the above verses Holy Spirit is a person.
Jesus said that Holy Spirit will never leave or forsake us (ref. Mt. 28:20 and Hebrews 13:5-6). How do you think Jesus stays or is omnipresent with us? Through Holy Spirit, whom He has sent to Born Again believers to take His place on earth. Acts 3:19-20 refers to Holy Spirit bringing us the presence of Jesus. Peter said you have lied to the Holy Spirit … to God (see Acts 5:3-4). Holy Spirit is God just like the Father and Jesus.
Prior to Jesus’ baptism in water and then baptism in Holy Spirit at the River Jordan He had not performed any miracles. After the Holy Spirit descended on Him like a dove His miracle ministry began. Acts 10:38 Amplified says How God anointed and consecrated Jesus of Nazareth with the [Holy] Spirit and with strength and ability and power; how He went about doing good and, in particular, curing all who were harassed and oppressed by [the power of] the devil, for God was with Him. Read Matthew 3:16-17, Luke 4:14-21, Acts 10:38. This same experience and empowering Jesus had from the baptism of the Holy Spirit is available to all Born Again believers. Jesus is our pattern and example to follow (see 1 John 2:6).
BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
Romans 8:9 says that if we have not the Spirit then we are none of His. We receive Holy Spirit when we are born again. However if we desire to be completely surrendered to Him, filled with Holy Spirit, owned and controlled by Him, then that is another experience that comes after we are born again, referred to as the baptism of Holy Spirit. Jesus is the One who baptizes here (see Luke 3:16).
In Acts 19:1-6 Paul asks some Christians if they had received Holy Spirit since they believed (Acts 9:2). Their answer was they had not even heard of Holy Spirit. Paul preceded to baptize them in water and then laid hands on them for the Baptism of Holy Spirit and they began to speak in tongues and prophesy. See Acts 8:12-17 also.
Acts 1:8 clearly shows us what Holy Spirit is all about. Jesus said you shall receive power (Greek-miraculous ability) after that Holy Spirit shall come upon you and you shall be witnesses (Greek- verifies his testimony with exhibitions of evidence, with proof, vouch for, prove, guarantee, bears witness by death or martyr) unto Me… throughout the whole world. The true test to see if one has the Baptism of Holy Spirit is whether or not one has the power within to witness and lead people to Christ and whether someone has the miracle working power of Jesus working through them to minister to others. Merely speaking in tongues is not enough. That is only part of it.
Personally prior to receiving the Baptism of Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues I had not led one person to Christ, nor seen any healings. After being baptized in the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues I received boldness to publicly stand up for Jesus. Over these years of world-wide ministry I would not be seeing the many thousands of undeniable miracles, healings, signs and wonders Holy Spirit is doing through me if it were not for the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the supernatural prayer language that came with it. I would not have seen the many thousands we have seen turn to Christ. I am totally dependent on my partner, Holy Spirit. Without Him (baptism of the Holy Spirit) and His partnership, fellowship and communion (see 2 Cor. 13:14) I can do nothing! All glory goes to Him!
ONE COMMON ARGUMENT ABOUT SPEAKING IN TONGUES
A lot of people hold to the belief that tongues have ceased or passed away. They usually say the same for healings as well because 1 Cor. 13:8-10 states that tongues they will cease… when that which is perfect (Greek- mature) has come. Their argument is that when the word of God was completed it became that which was perfect and hence miracles and tongues ceased. In Psalm 19:7, King David said that the law (word) of the Lord is perfect. The word of God has always been perfect, in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. It never became perfect one day! Besides if one reads on in 1 Cor 13:12 states that which is perfect is when we see Jesus face to face, then we won’t need miracles and tongues. But as long as we are in these earthly bodies we are not in that which is perfect. We still need healings, miracles, tongues etc, to present Jesus to this lost world.
REASONS TO SPEAK IN TONGUES
I am going to share reasons why I speak in tongues and how praying in tongues has greatly benefited my Christian walk. All the reasons are based on the scripture because the word of God should be your final authority, not man, tradition or experiences.
1) In Isaiah 28:11-12 the first mention of tongues is made in the Bible. It was a prophecy given by Isaiah. It says for with a stammering of lip and another tongue will I speak to this people. To whom He said this is the rest wherewith I shall cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. There have been times in my life when I have felt drained and one of the best things that I know to do at such times is to pray in tongues and worship the Lord! It is refreshing! It can keep you from depression.
2) Mark 16:17-18 says it is a sign to those that believe. Jesus said these signs shall follow them that believe in my name they shall cast out demons and speak with new tongues….
3) Acts 2:1-4. When the early church received the Baptism in Holy Spirit they were all filled with Holy Ghost and began to speak in tongues as Holy Spirit gave them utterance. Going by the example the early church set, to be filled with the Spirit they also spoke in tongues. Is speaking in tongues the main evidence of the filling of the Holy Spirit? No! Acts 1:8 says it is the power within you to be His witness.
4) Romans 8:26-28 says 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 (original Greek goes on to say- uttered in articulate or known speech). Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. AND we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Verse 26 says we do not know what we should pray for as we ought. I do not always know what to pray for in my own language. This is when I need Holy Spirit (intercessor) to pray through me in tongues. 1 Cor.14:2 says For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. When you are praying in tongues you are praying to God. This is a private prayer language. It is not the gift of tongues mentioned in 1 Cor. 12:8-10.
Verse 27 goes on to say that the Spirit makes intercession according to God’s perfect will. When I received the baptism of Holy Spirit I wanted to see a close friend of mine saved, but I had a difficult time sharing my faith with him. Finally on a rainy night in 1977 I received the baptism of Holy Spirit. My entire body shook as I was filled with Holy Spirit.
I knew it was not a demonic experience because Luke 11:11-13 tells us that God does not substitute if we ask for Holy Spirit He would give Him to us. I spoke in a stammering lip, but then for two weeks I did not speak in tongues again. My pastor encouraged me to get alone with God, spend time praising Him and then wait upon Him and I would start speaking in tongues again. He also said “my prayers would go up into heaven and come down like a chain reaction”. Why? Because verse 27 says that Holy Sprit makes intercession according to God’s perfect will. If something is prayed according to His perfect will then it as good as answered.
I went home to experience one of the most beautiful moments of my life. Late at night as I was praising God I felt Holy Spirit course through my entire body until I shook as though a giant hand was rocking me back and forth. The presence of God was very strong. I had never had an experience quite like that before. The next day God’s still small voice became strong and I saw my prayer answered as my friend received Jesus as his Lord! My friend introduced me to a man, Bob Roosen who had counseled him at the meeting. This gentleman became a spiritual father who greatly impacted my life and helped me grow tremendously in my walk with the Lord.
From there my steps seemed to be supernaturally ordered by God. I quit the junior college football team I was on in 1977 to prepare for ministry. Eight months later I held my first set of revival meetings in my hometown Shakopee, MN. I wouldn’t even be in the ministry right now if it weren’t for that one experience of being baptized in the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues. Before that experience I would stutter when speaking in front of crowds.
1 John 5:14-15 says that Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. Holy Spirit prays through us according to God’s perfect will.
Romans 8:28 says AND (meaning take into consideration the prior verses) we know that all things work together for good to them that love God to them that are called according to His purpose. The word AND in this verse is skipped over by many Christians making them take this verse totally out of context, to say something it does not say. AND refers to the prior verses. Allowing my partner Holy Spirit to pray through me in tongues is a purpose He has called me to in life. Things in life do not just work together automatically for my good because I am a Christian. But if I allow Holy Spirit to pray through me (see Romans 8:26-27) He can cause all things to work together for my good.
Just as God ordered my steps when I was baptized in Holy Spirit, He will order your steps when you spend time praying in the spirit. Praying in the Holy Ghost (tongues) is God’s purpose for your life.
Before Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead in John 11:33 and 38 He groaned in the Spirit and then said Lazarus come forth (See ‘groanings’ in Romans 8:26).
5) Acts 10:46 – says they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Tongues are used to worship God also. It is a beautiful experience.
6) 1 Cor. 14:4 – says He that speaks in an unknown tongue edifies himself. When you pray in tongues you are charging your spirit man. It is just like charging a battery that is dead. When you pray in tongues your spirit is being charged by Holy Spirit. You are hooking up to the ultimate power source!
7) Jude verse 20 says you build up your most holy faith praying in the Holy Ghost. Romans 10:17 says faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. When you get into the word and pray in the Holy Ghost (tongues) faith will become quickened in you.
8) I Cor. 12:8-10 talks about the nine gifts of the spirit. At times I have seen the more time spent praying in tongues the more these gifts were in manifestation. This is one reason why Paul probably said I thank God that I speak in tongues more than you all. (1 Cor.14:18). Paul also said Do not forbid to speak in tongues (1 Cor. 14:39).
9) Much sickness strikes when our immune system is run down. In recent years, Dr. Carl Peterson, a brain specialist at Oral Roberts University, conducted research on the relationship between the brain and praying in the Holy Spirit (tongues). He discovered that as we engage in praying in the Spirit, the brain releases two chemical secretions that are directed into our immune systems, giving a 35-40% boost to our immune system. It produces healing within our bodies. This secretion is triggered from a part of the brain that has no other activity in humans.
Get alone with God and seek Him. If you want to receive the Baptism of Holy Spirit first surrender your life completely to Jesus and ask to be His witness. Have others pray for you or simply get alone with Holy Spirit and ask Jesus to baptize you in Holy Spirit and fire (see Luke 3:16). Hunger and thirst for Holy Spirit and you be filled and experience the Living God for yourself. Jesus said Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled (Matthew 5:6). You can ask Jesus to fill you again and again with Holy Spirit (see Acts 4:29-31). It is not a once in a lifetime experience only.