How I Received The Baptism In The Holy Spirit
The bible tells us that there are several ways to receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Laying on of hands is one way that people receive the Holy Spirit, but you will also find that it is possible to receive Him simply by hearing the Word and acting on it. You can read the entire account of this in Acts Chapter Ten, but here are the most pertinent verses:
Acts 10:44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
That being said, let me go on to tell you about receiving the Holy Spirit by faith. We all have analytical minds which are helpful in some ways, but somewhat of a hindrance when it comes to receiving spiritual things.
I was terribly disappointed the first few times I tried to receive the Holy Spirit. Why? Although I was not taught to tarry nor beg, I made a different mistake. Mine was one of ignorance, not fully understanding the principles of faith. By this point in my quest, I was fully convinced that the Baptism in the Holy Spirit was genuine and something that Jesus wanted me to have.
I so wanted the experience to be "real." Not me "making up" some "tongue" myself. I wanted it to be the Holy Ghost. I wanted it to be "real." So do you, as do all genuine seekers. When I would go forward to receive, the minister would lay hands on me and pray, I fully expected to speak in tongues, but ... and here is my error ... I would sort of clamp my lips shut when I was prayed for.In retrospect, I presume I was so wanting it to be "God" that I was hoping the Holy Spirit would sort of take control of my lips and tongues and "force" me to speak in another tongue ... almost against my efforts to keep my lips shut. Of course, I did not receive! This happened several times, no matter whether it was in a church service or whether I prayed at home to receive when I was alone. No results ... only disappointment and frustration.
I went back to the Word again and again, reading every account in the book of Acts where people received. I also read through the Gospels again and again to see everything that Jesus said about the Holy Spirit. The verse that I could not get away from was this one:
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?
This verse just "boxed me in." I could find no "loopholes." I could find no "escape clauses." Jesus is making such a bold, unqualified, unfettered statement here, in the most affirmative language possible ... "SHALL GIVE."
"If I ask ... the Father gives." "If I ask ... the Father gives." I pondered this over and over. There was no escaping the truth. Looking back on all those times when I was prayed for (either in public or by myself), where I had asked the Father to give me the Holy Spirit ... either the Father GAVE me the Holy Spirit when I asked ... or else Jesus is a liar! There are many things I do not know, but one thing I know for sure ... Jesus does not lie!
Now I was in a quandary for sure. Since I now knew for sure that the Father had given me the Holy Spirit when I prayed, where was the manifestation? Why had I not spoken in other tongues? Where was my prayer language?
Then I discovered my error. I remembered my practice of clamping my lips shut every time I expected to receive. It seemed as if the Lord said to me, "Son, did you get saved that way? Did I grab you by the hair, jerk you out of the pew and sling you out into the aisle? Did I bodily drag you to the alter, force your lips and tongue to confess 'Jesus is Lord' against your will?"
I had to say, "No, you left it up to me to make the decision. You never forced me to do anything. I had to cooperate with your Spirit. I had to open my mouth myself and say 'Jesus is Lord.'"
I read Acts 2:4 again,
Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Over and over I read this verse until I saw this truth; "they" were filled, "they" began to speak, AS the Spirit gave "them" utterance. THE UTTERANCE CAME AS "THEY" SPOKE! NOT BEFORE! SIMULTANEOUSLY! Put a different way: No "speaking," no "utterance."
I began to muster courage once again as I reviewed what I knew about receiving God's GRACE by FAITH!
I was home alone. I read Luke 11:13 again and again! No loopholes! I decided to ask the Father once more, but this time I would not clamp my lips shut. If the Father "gives when I ask" then I WILL receive the Holy Spirit when I pray. In FAITH, I WILL begin to speak, trusting that the Holy Spirit will give me the utterance as I do so.
I prayed, "Father, in the name of Jesus, according to Luke 11:13, I am asking you to give me the Holy Spirit. I believe you give Him to me right now. I expect to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gives me utterance. Thank you for giving me the Holy Spirit."
Nothing! No rush of angel's wings. No heavenly choir. No goose bumps. No feelings at all. But this time I better understood how FAITH receives God's GRACE. I was determined to "speak" by FAITH in a language I did not know. This was, perhaps, the hardest thing I had ever done in my life. My analytical mind was shouting the impossibility of it all.
But Jesus cannot lie. I asked. The Father gave. It was now up to me to act. I opened my mouth to speak ... nothing ... nothing ... nothing. No sound would come. Finally, two words ... "Christo Monde'". That was it! Try as I might, no other words would come. Just these two. I said them over and over. Still, no feelings, no goose bumps, no heavenly revelations. Just the sense of being the most stupid man on earth, sitting alone in my living room, speaking nonsense.
Thoughts assaulted my mind like machine gun bullets: "That's just you. You made that up. This is not God. You did not receive. This is stupid."
But, thank God, I had done my homework. I knew I had followed the scriptural pattern. I had asked. The Father had given. I had begun to speak. This HAD to be the utterance of the Holy Spirit. I continued, "Christo Monde'", "Christo Monde'", "Christo Monde'", "Christo Monde'".
I did this for about fifteen minutes. Nothing else came that night. To be perfectly honest, I went to bed that night more disappointed than on the nights when I had not spoken at all. "How could this be God?" was the question that plagued me.
The next day, and for several days after, I determined in my heart to "speak" with these new tongues. For ten to fifteen minutes at a time, several times a day, I would steal away privately and speak these same words again. Little by little, one word at a time, additional words would come. Slowly, little by little, the utterance developed until finally I found that I could speak in other tongues for an hour at a time.
As my prayer language grew and my times of praying in tongues increased, I found that I began to have a whole new relationship with the Holy Spirit. It was as if He, Himself, began to commune with my heart in a more personal way. My "capacity to believe" for the supernatural began to increase more and more. Things that used to seem "impossible" now seemed perfectly "possible." Truly, as I spent time speaking in those tongues, the "mysteries" of the gospel began to unfold to me, just as Paul said they would,
1 Cor 14:2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.
I have learned that speaking in tongues is simply the language by which my reborn human spirit communes with God beyond my intellect. It is my spirit praying, with the aid of the Holy Spirit, instead of my analytical mind. The wonderful thing is, however, that this spiritual prayer is intended to be answered just as much as any prayer offered in English. But the way this prayer is answered is, number one, by the revelation of the mysteries of the supernatural realm. It is the continuing unfolding of the greatest mystery of all,
Col 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
As I pray in tongues, the revelation of everything Christ is "in me, to me, and through me" is being explained to my reborn spirit. As my spirit is taught, then it begins to reveal these understandings to my mind. As my mind understands them, I can type the revelations in English. Hence, the development of the ministry that we have today.
ASK, BELIEVE YOU RECEIVE, BEGIN TO SPEAK (Not in a known tongue), and TRUST THE HOLY SPIRIT TO GIVE THE UTTERANCE. He will ... or else Jesus lied about it. He did not!
One other note: I have given you my testimony from my personal experience. In these years of ministry, I have never seen anybody not receive who followed this scriptural pattern. However, I have seen many different manifestations. Some receive a flowing prayer language instantly, not a few words at a time like myself. Some DO have feelings accompanying the experience ... some with tears, some with laughter. Why the differences? I do not know.
But I do know that ALL receive who ask according to the pattern of FAITH!
You will also!
Your fellow servant for Christ,