By Dr. Hugh H. Morgan, Editor of Hugh's News
The power for evangelism is the Baptism with the Holy Spirit.
Just hours prior to our Lord’s ascension, Jesus met with His disciples to give them instructions about what would happen in the future, not only for them, but for the Church in all generations. His vision was for them to win the lost by proclaiming the Gospel and bringing them to salvation and healing through the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.
Following the resurrection of Jesus when He was assembled together with them, He commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the gift His Father promised, which they had heard Him speak about. He reminded them that John baptized with water, but in a few days they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit. He said to them: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8, NKJV).
On the first Sunday evening of the day of Jesus’ resurrection He appeared to His disciples who were meeting behind closed doors for fear of the Jews and said, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you." And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:21-22, NKJV).
In this intimate moment, one they would never forget, Jesus got in the face of each His disciples and breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” Whatever happened spiritually in each of these disciples no one seems to know. We do know they were not baptized with the Holy Spirit that day. They had to wait for the ascension of Jesus back to heaven and the gift He and the Father would give them on the day of Pentecost. Whatever it was, Jesus gave them an expectancy to receive this promised gift and prepared them for the wind of the Spirit that blew on the day of Pentecost. His peace and the power of the Holy Spirit would enable them to minister supernaturally.
Jesus instructed His disciples with these words, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper (Comforter) will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged” (John 16:7-11, NKJV).
All four Gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John record the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River by John the Baptist.
The beloved Apostle John gives this account of that experience as He announces that Jesus is the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world, and that Jesus would be the One Who would baptize born again, sanctified believers in or with the Holy Spirit.
In Matthew’s Gospel he records that John the Baptist said this about Jesus, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He Who is coming after Me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He (Jesus) will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matthew 3:11, NKJV).
It is important to know that Jesus is the Baptizer with the Holy Spirit.
In the incarnate life and ministry of Jesus, He never baptized anyone in water. He delegated that ministry to His disciples. His mission was to baptize those who gave their hearts and lives to Him with the Holy Spirit.
Therefore, we must not confuse the ministry of Jesus Who baptizes with the Holy Spirit with the ministry of the Holy Spirit called the baptism of the Holy Spirt. They are not the same.
John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, coined a phrase that is important for us to know about the ministry of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who draws people to Jesus. Wesley called that ministry “the Prevenient Grace of God” --the grace that goes before saving grace.
The Apostle Paul wrote about the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and the baptism with the Holy Spirit that Jesus does in 1 Corinthians 12:13, “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit” (KJV).
In the first phrase the Holy Spirit baptizes believers into the body of Christ. The Holy Spirit is the Agent, the blood of Jesus is the element, and the believer is the designated candidate.
In the second phrase Jesus is the implied Agent, we are the recipients, and the Holy Spirit the designated Element as we are made to drink into one Spirit.
In conversion which includes the forgiveness of sins and the pardon by God the Father, it is the Holy Spirit Who brings us to God by providing repentance toward God, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is the implied Agent, the blood of Jesus is the element, and we are the recipients.
The same is true in the definite experience of sanctification which is a definite act of grace as well as a lifelong process of growth in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is the implied Agent, we are the candidates, and the blood of Jesus is the implied element.
However, when we speak about the Pentecostal experience, it is Jesus Who baptizes with or in the Holy Spirit.
The power to be a witness to Jesus Christ is the basic purpose of the baptism with the Holy Spirit. This baptism releases the inner power that becomes an outward manifestation to bring the living reality of Jesus Christ to others. In order to release this power, the Holy Spirit gives the believer a new tongue. Wherever the Spirit filled Christian goes he becomes a missionary to those he meets. The Spirit will give the words that are to be spoken and will awaken in the heart of that person to the claims of Jesus Christ Who alone can save them.
It was on the Day of Pentecost we read this account of this glorious and promise event in the Book of Acts 2:1-4:
1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Notice they were all:
with one accord in one place--the Upper Room
suddenly there came a sound of a rushing mighty wind (they remember no doubt that Jesus had breathed on them)
this wind filled all the house were they were sitting
cloven tongues appeared unto them like of fire, and sat upon each of them
they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance
We believe the Bible and as Pentecostal Holiness people we believe that speaking in other tongues, just like the early disciples, is the initial evidence of one's being baptized by Jesus with or in the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit wells up within our inmost being with unspeakable joy, and He gives us the utterance or word formations that we are to speak with our own tongue. It is a divine/human encounter and as we cooperate with the Holy Spirit and speak the words given to us in a language we have never learned, the process of this glorious experience is consummated.
I was never instructed about how this occurs. I had prayed for many years, had finished college, seminary and was pastoring my first church. I went to a pastor's breakfast in Pensacola, Florida, where Oral Roberts invited area pastors during his crusade there. He spoke about this reciprocity that occurs. I purchased his book entitled The Baptism with the Holy Spirit and the value of speaking in tongues today. I read it from cover to cover and devoured it.
It was my perception prior to reading this book, that the Holy Spirit would do the talking for you, and I would be in a passive mood to hear my tongue speak in other tongues. It doesn't work that way. We do the speaking as the Holy Spirit gives the utterance.
One Wednesday night after I had taught a lesson from the Bible to a small group of my congregation of the Brownville Pentecostal Holiness Church in Conecuh County, near Evergreen, Alabama, maybe 25 or 30 people, I was kneeling at the old wooden altar with those who desire to kneel. Some who were elderly and unable to kneel sat in their pew to pray. All of a sudden, the Holy Spirit welled up in my stomach and came up in my spirit and mind, and I heard three words I had never heard before. I knew I was to give voice to those words with my tongue, and did so. They were funny sounding words, but I knew God had given them to me. I spoke them, and immediately other words began to flow and I spoke fluently in another language I did not know or had ever studied. I knew I have been baptized with or in the Holy Spirit. My church family knew that I had received the promise of the Father and the Son--the Baptism with the Holy Spirit. I spoke in tongues off and on for the next three days. Melvine thought I was going crazy. I was not. I needed that extended time of speaking in tongues and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. I was more than ever convinced that this Pentecostal experience is real, and now, I know it is real.
Many things happened in my life and ministry as a result of being baptized with the Holy Spirit.
I had a new boldness to witness to my faith in Jesus Christ
My words or the words I spoke were well-received and people were drawn to the Christ indwelling in me
The Bible took on new meaning, and it was apparently the Holy Spirit, the Author of the Bible, was teaching me right from the Word.
My preaching took on a new dimension and I learned to preach without a manuscript in front of me. I continued writing my sermons. I was taught in seminary to write my sermons for ten years. They did not tell me that I would never stop writing sermons. It has been a vital part of my life.
The Baptism with the Holy Spirit prepared me for my ministry in the Air Force Chaplaincy. God gave me favor and success.
You, too, can receive this promised gift from the Father and Son.
We teach that you seek for a Person, the Lord Jesus, and not a thing. When we ask God for this gift He will give us this gift, and you will receive exactly what the disciples received on the Day of Pentecost. Jesus said, "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?" (Luke 11:13, KJV).
May this Pentecost Sunday see you enjoying this glorious gift.