This teaching includes a free sermon outline to download for personal use, message preparation or Bible study discussion.
Once again, by the title, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” This is a very central theme to the whole of the New Testament. It’s a theme which vitally concerned every Christian because every Christian is expected to receive the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately within the church, particularly, shall we say, the Evangelical/Pentecostal/Charismatic section of the church, there is a great deal of confusion and misunderstanding about what it means to receive the Holy Spirit. For instance, your good Baptist will say, “Well, I received the Holy Spirit when I was born again. There’s nothing more to receive.” The Pentecostal will say, “No, you didn’t receive the Holy Spirit when you were born again. You don’t receive the Holy Spirit till you’re baptized in the Spirit and speak in tongues.” And they tend to get rather angry with one another.
Now, as in most cases where sincere Christians disagree on the basis of scripture, the truth is that each of them is partly right and partly wrong. And I believe I can help you today to unravel this confusion. The fact of the matter is that the New Testament speaks of two different ways in which people receive the Holy Spirit. When we distinguish these two ways, then there’s no more confusion. I’m going to use two historical situations from the New Testament to define the two ways, to describe them and to distinguish between them.
I’m going to refer to two Sundays, two Sundays of tremendous historical importance for the Christian church. The first I call Resurrection Sunday; the second, which came seven weeks later, I call Pentecost Sunday. Now on both those Sundays the believers had an experience of receiving the Holy Spirit. But, it was different. And when we can see the nature of each experience, then we can understand where we are in relation to this personally. Have I received the Holy Spirit, is there something more for me to receive? What is involved in receiving the Holy Spirit?
I’d like to read therefore, first of all, the account of the Resurrection Sunday first appearance of Jesus to His disciples in a group as it’s recorded in John 20. John 20:19–22:
“Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week...”
You know, of course, that the first day of the week is what we call Sunday. The sabbath is the seventh day of the week, Sunday is the beginning of a new week. In Hebrew it’s called yom reshon, the first day. So, Hebrew is actually much more faithful to the Bible in its titles for the days of the week than we are. Regrettably, our days of the week in English, and in most European languages, are named after pagan deities. Like Wednesday is ?Woden’s? day. Thursday is Thor’s day. Sunday is the day of the sun, you understand? It’s a regrettable fact that we are very pagan in the way we define the days of the week. Whereas in Hebrew it’s day one, day two, day three, day four, day five, day six. Then day seven is ?shabbat?, the sabbath, and then Sunday is yom reshon. If you live, for instance, as we do in Jerusalem, the busiest day of the week is Sunday. Everything takes off. They’ve been resting on the sabbath and then everybody gets going the first day of the week. And most or many congregations of believers in Israel hold their worship services on Saturday because Sunday is a day of work. You understand? That’s just by the way but as I say, there’s no extra charge for that!
So, going back to verse 19:
“...being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ Now when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.”
Why did he do that? To convince them they were looking at the same body that they had seen pierced on the cross. Gloriously transformed but still the same body.
“Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Then Jesus said to them again, ‘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, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’”
Now, I want to comment on that last verse that I read. The word that’s translated breathed in secular language is used of a flute player blowing into the mouthpiece of his instrument to produce music. The suggestion to me is not that Jesus stood at a distance and breathed at them collectively but that he breathed into each of them, and as he did so, said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
The Greek language is very sensitive about tenses. There’s more than one tense of the imperative. And this particular tense indicates that they were to receive when he said the words. So at that time, each of those disciples received the Holy Spirit. There’s no question about that.
What was the implication of that? My understanding is that at that point they passed from Old Testament salvation to New Testament salvation. You understand, there were people who were saved in the Old Testament. They were saved through faith in a sacrifice that had not yet been offered but was promised through prophecies and types. So, their faith looked forward to something incomplete. But in the New Testament, we are saved through faith in sacrifice, the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross which is historically accomplished. When Jesus died, He said, “It is finished.” We look back to a finished work.
Now, in order to experience New Testament salvation, Paul says there are two things that are needed. In Romans 10:9:
“If thou shall confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in thine heart that God has raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
So, for New Testament salvation there are two requirements. You confess Jesus as Lord and you believe that God has raised Him from the dead. Well, those disciples had already confessed Jesus as Lord but this was the first moment that they believed that God had raised Him from the dead. They passed out of the Old Testament dispensation into the New Testament dispensation. And, it’s a pattern. And it happened to them through encountering the resurrected Christ face to face, and through receiving from Him the inbreathed Spirit.
Now, the word in Greek for spirit, pneuma, is also the word for wind and for breath. So when He breathed into them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit,” he was saying receive holy breath. It was a direct person to person transaction between them. They became part of the new creation. Your mind goes back to the first creation when God formed a body of clay there in the garden, in order to make him a living soul, what did He do? He breathed into him the breath of life and he became created, he became a living soul. The new creation follows the same pattern but it’s not the Lord in the garden, it’s the resurrected Savior who has passed through death and come out of the tomb and who breathes into His disciples a life that is totally victorious. It’s a life that has conquered sin and Satan and death and the grave. That’s the inbreathed breath of the resurrected Savior.
I personally believe that it’s a pattern for everybody who is to enter into new salvation. I don’t believe you can be saved without meeting Jesus. I don’t mean that you meet Him visibly as the disciples did, but I don’t believe there’s any way into the true church of Jesus Christ except Jesus. He said, “I am the door. By me, if any man enter in, he shall be saved.” So, I believe this is a pattern for the new birth for every person. We have to meet Jesus. Not just believe a doctrine or join a church, but have a personal encounter with the resurrected Christ and receive from Him the inbreathed breath of God which is the Holy Spirit, and become a new creation. We pass from death to life.
I remember when I met Jesus face to face—not visibly but face to face—in an Army barrack room in the British Army in World War II. I didn’t have any doctrinal knowledge of salvation. I couldn’t say I was born again, I didn’t know what you had to do to be saved but believe me, I was saved. Later on I got the doctrine but I had met Jesus. I just want to tell you, dear friends, that you cannot meet Jesus and stay the same. You can join a church and remain unchanged. You can believe all sorts of things with your head and remain unchanged. But when you meet the resurrected Christ, it’s transforming. And, it’s permanent. That’s 45 years ago, that’s stood the test of time. There was nothing in it of doctrine for me. Really, there wasn’t for the disciples. They didn’t have a sudden scriptural revelation, they met Jesus and they received the Holy Spirit. Divine, eternal, resurrection life. Incorruptible life, life that’s undefeatable. John says later about that, “Whoever is born of God overcomes the world.” You can’t be defeated with that life in you, it’s undefeatable. It’s conquered all evil. It’s supreme. That’s wonderful.
Now, I read from my outline at this point. At this point the disciples received divine, eternal resurrection life. But, they still lacked direction for ministry. It wasn’t many days later that Peter went out fishing again. He still didn’t know what God’s destiny for him was. And, they made no impact on the city of Jerusalem. Jerusalem just went on the same. They were in the temple praising and blessing God every day but it didn’t change anything in Jerusalem. And Jesus told them after this experience in the period between this Resurrection Sunday and the time of His ascension, Jesus told them, “There is more to receive. Don’t believe that you’ve got it all.” When I meet people who tell me “I got it all when I was saved,” I say, “If you’ve got it all, let’s see it, where is it?” It should show.
I want to read two passages in which Jesus made it very clear that there was more to receive than they had received through a new birth, wonderful though that was. Luke 24:48–49. And bear in mind these words were spoken shortly before His ascension. Something like 40 days after His resurrection.
“And you are witnesses of these things [He’s talking to the disciples]. Behold, I sent the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”
So he said there’s more to come. The Father’s promise you haven’t yet received. But when you receive it, you’ll receive power to be my witnesses.
And then again in Acts 1:4–5:
“Being assembled together with them, he commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem but to wait for the promise of the Father which, he said, ‘you have heard from me.’”
And then he explains what the promise of the Father is:
“For John truly baptized with water; but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
That’s the promise of the Father. Somebody has estimated there are 7,000 promises of God in the Bible. But, this is the promise, the promise of the Father for His children. “You shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
And then He explained the purpose in verse 8. He said:
“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.”
So, that’s the promise to be baptized with the Holy Spirit. And the purpose: to receive power to be witnesses. That had not yet happened. This was approximately 40 days after the resurrection Sunday experience where they had received the Holy Spirit in new birth. But Jesus said, “There’s another experience coming in which you’ll be endued with power to be my witnesses.” And almost all commentators of the Bible from every background agree that that second promise was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost.
So we turn now to Acts 2 and we read some verses that describe the fulfillment of the promise. First of all, we’ll read the first 4 verses of Acts 2. We’re talking now about Pentecost Sunday.
“Now when the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance [or gave them to speak].”
Now this is the fulfillment of the promise. I want to point out to you three successive phases of this experience. First of all, the Holy Spirit descended like a mighty wind and filled all the house they were sitting. Bear in mind that linguistically, the word baptize means to dip or to immerse. This is an unquestionable linguistic fact. So, every baptism has to be an immersion. Baptism in water is an immersion in water. But baptism in the Holy Spirit is an immersion in the Holy Spirit. You see, baptism in water, you go down into the water and come up out of it. But baptism in the Holy Spirit, the Spirit comes down upon you and immerses you from above. You can compare going down into a swimming pool, being baptized or walking under Niagara Falls. Each of them is an immersion. But the second one is an immersion from above.
I remember the first time I watched Niagara Falls, I said to myself you couldn’t be half a second under that without being immersed. But it’s not an immersion by which you go down into, it’s an immersion by which it comes down over you. And so, every one of the disciples in that upper room at that point was immersed in the Holy Spirit descending upon them from above. It says it filled all the place where they were sitting. So, they were totally immersed in the Holy Spirit—phase one.
Phase two, it says they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Each one received the Holy Spirit within to the point of being filled.
And phase three is what I call the overflow. They began to speak with new languages as the Spirit gave them to speak. In Matthew 12:34, Jesus says this:
“Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”
In other words, when your heart is filled to overflowing, the overflow will take place through your mouth in speech. So, this is scriptural. When they were filled and could contain no more, the overflow took place. They began to speak as the Spirit gave them to speak. Those are the three phases of that experience. Immersion from above, infilling, and outflow.
Now, theoretically you can stop at any point. They could have been immersed but not filled. Or they could have been immersed and filled but not had any overflow. But my question is why settle for less than the best? I often preach to Catholics, and when I do so, I always remind them that their two favorite figures in the New Testament—Mary and Peter—both received it that way. I say to them, “If that’s how they received it, why should you receive it any other way?” When I put it that way, I’ve seen hundreds of Catholics receive the Holy Spirit in the next few minutes.
Now let me read my commentary on this second experience. “The disciples now received manifest, supernatural power.” Let’s emphasize those words. It was manifest. Everybody knew it had happened. It wasn’t just an inward experience. It was supernatural and it was power. They received boldness to witness, which they hadn’t had before. They’d been born again but they had no boldness in their witness. They received insight into scripture. In the next few minutes, Peter without any concordance, without any notes, stood up and said, “This is that which the prophet Joel prophesied.” He couldn’t have said that an hour earlier, he wouldn’t have had any insight. Instantly the scriptures became alive to them in a new way. And thirdly, they were released to the apostolic mission. Peter never talked about going fishing after Pentecost. And, finally, all Jerusalem felt the impact. Within a few hours, everybody in Jerusalem knew that something unusual had taken place.
Now, when they were born again, it didn’t get around. But when they were baptized in the Holy Spirit, it got around. How many of you know from experience it doesn’t stay hidden for long! And somehow it stirs things up, have you ever noticed that? Somebody asked my friend Bob Mumford what’s the evidence of the baptism. He replied trouble!
Now let’s look at this little summation at the bottom here. I just want to put the two Sundays side by side. On the left-hand side, Resurrection Sunday. And on the right-hand side, Pentecost Sunday. And you notice there are three differences. That exclamation mark down there in my original outline was up here, but never mind about that, that’s okay. Resurrection Sunday, the resurrected Christ. Pentecost Sunday, the ascended glorified Christ. Resurrection Sunday, the inbreathed Spirit. Pentecost Sunday, the outpoured Spirit. Resurrection Sunday, the result was life. Pentecost Sunday, the result was power. Neither contradicts the other. It isn’t a question of either/or, both are God’s purpose for all of His people. But the fact that you’ve had the Resurrection Sunday experience doesn’t mean that you don’t need the Pentecost Sunday experience. Is that clear to you? So, the Baptist who says, “I got it when I was saved,” he’s right. But, he didn’t get it all. In fact, I don’t think most of us have got it all, to tell you the truth. I think there’s a lot more for most of us to get. I hope that makes it clear. To me, when I saw that and put those two Sundays side by side, I no longer had any problems—who has received the Holy Spirit, who hasn’t received the Holy Spirit. Every born again child of God through rebirth has received the Holy Spirit as life. But, every born again child of God, according to the New Testament, needs to be baptized in the Holy Spirit and receive the supernatural power for witness. They don’t conflict, they fit together perfectly.
Now we’ve got the exclamation mark in the right place. Receive the Holy Spirit. I want to point out to you that that was not a recommendation, it was a command. Jesus doesn’t usually make recommendations, He gives orders. Here’s something very crucial. From Acts 2 onwards, in the New Testament the phrase “receiving the Holy Spirit” always refers to the Pentecost Sunday experience. Okay? This is simply a matter of New Testament usage. It doesn’t set aside the other but it means from Acts 2 onwards, wherever it speaks about receiving the Holy Spirit, it’s the Pentecost Sunday experience which is being referred to.
Let’s look quickly at three examples. Acts 8, the events in Samaria after Philip went there and preached Christ to them. It says in verse 12 of Acts 8:
“When they believed Philip, they were baptized, both men and women.”
Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” So we have to acknowledge that those Samaritans were saved. They believed, they’d been baptized. But their experience was not complete. And they didn’t get any more from Philip. We read now in verse 14:
“Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit...”
They were saved but the apostles prayed for them to receive the Holy Spirit. Not the Resurrection Sunday experience but the Pentecost Sunday experience.
“...for as yet he [the Holy Spirit] had fallen upon none of them.”
Notice everywhere it speaks about the baptism in the Holy Spirit, it always indicated the Holy Spirit comes down from above. He had fallen upon none of them, they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. They were saved, baptized believers but the Holy Spirit had not fallen upon them.
“Then they laid hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.”
Okay. Three times we’re told there that these saved, baptized believers still needed to receive the Holy Spirit. Not the Resurrection Sunday experience but the Pentecost Sunday experience.
And then in Acts 10:47, the events in the house of Cornelius. You remember Peter went there and brought them the testimony of Jesus. And, the Holy Spirit fell. It interrupted Peter’s sermon and all these Gentiles began to speak with tongues. Then this is the comment made by Peter:
“Can anyone forbid water that these should not be baptized to have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?”
He was referring to the fact that they’d heard them speak with tongues. So, they had received the Holy Spirit the Pentecost Sunday way.
And then in Acts 19:2, when Paul first came to Ephesus, he met some disciples. But he felt there was something lacking in experience so he asked them this question. He said:
“‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?’ And they said to him, ‘We have not so much heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.’”
Now, if everybody automatically received the Holy Spirit in every sense when they believed, that would be a meaningless question, wouldn’t it? So he was not talking about being born again, he was talking about receiving the Pentecost Sunday experience.
Now I want to come down to being very practical. I want to tell you how to receive. Doubtless, many of you have received. I think it’s improbable that in a gathering this size all of you have received. Not merely am I telling you this for the sake of those who have not received—although I have you first and foremost in mind—but I’m also telling you this as a pattern for instructing people on how to receive the Holy Spirit. I want to tell you that I know it works. I have proved it in experience. I’m not offering theories. Ruth and I were with a team in Zambia about two years ago now and there was a gathering of about 7,000 Africans in a very remote part of Zambia. I taught them very carefully and systematically the work of the cross, deliverance from curses, deliverance from demons—which is essential in Africa. And then the fourth morning I brought them to the teaching on the Holy Spirit. I taught them almost exactly what I’ve been teaching you. Then I said, “Now I want to teach you how to receive.” When I brought them to the point of receiving, I said, “From now on I don’t want you to talk another word in your own language—only a new language.” There was a pause of about one minute and then one man began to speak in a new tongue and in the next thirty seconds I think at least 4,000 people received the baptism in the Holy Spirit simultaneously.
This, not on the same scale, I’ve seen duplicated in many places. I was in a Catholic church in Austria some time earlier. The Catholic priest invited me to tell the people about the baptism and speaking in tongues. When you’ve got the priest on your side in the Catholic church, you can’t lose. I mean, you’re just the same as if you were the prophet Elijah. So I told them just what I’m telling you. There were about 900 people in that church. When I said, “How many of you want to receive?” at least 500 came forward. I gave them simple instruction and away they went, speaking in tongues. And then singing in tongues. I’ll tell you, that beautiful stone and marble building heard sounds that I think had never been heard in it before. What a wonderful sight! 500 people all newly baptized in the Holy Spirit worshipping the Lord, singing in tongues. You see, once you turn Catholics loose, there’s no stopping them. You just don’t know where they’ll end up. “Is this right” and “Is this doctrine sound?” As long as it comes from the authority in the Catholic church, that’s it. There’s a lot to be said for that though it does breed problems also.
Now I want to say one more thing, very important. The distinctive seal of the baptism in the Holy Spirit is speaking with tongues. Some people call it the evidence. Actually, I prefer myself to call it the culmination of the baptism. It’s not the immersion, it’s not the infilling but what is it? It’s the outflow. Now, you can stop short of the outflow. Lots of people have been filled with the Spirit but they never have the outflow. But why stop short of the outflow? Paul speaks about receiving the seal of the Holy Spirit both in Ephesians and in Corinthians. A seal is something that’s placed on an object, whatever it may be, a package, whatever, that marks it out visibly. It’s not invisible, it’s something that distinguishes it from all others. That’s what the seal of the Holy Spirit is. It distinguishes those people from all others. You’re a marked person once you’ve received the Holy Spirit. Marked by men and be warned also, marked by Satan.
Now, the seal that I see in the New Testament—this is my personal view—is speaking with other tongues. I make these four comments. Number one, it was the seal the apostles received. They tarried for about ten days but once they spoke in tongues they never tarried again. And incidentally, nobody ever did tarry for the baptism after that. The idea that you have to wait around for weeks, months or even years is unscriptural. After Pentecost there was no more tarrying. I met a man in a Pentecostal church once, he said, “I’ve been tarrying for the baptism 25 years.” I said, “I know your problem, you want God to do it all.” He said, “That’s right, I want it all to of God.” I said, “You’ll never get it. God will do His part, you have to do yours.” I can easily believe he went to the grace without speaking in tongues. Tarrying is not scriptural after Pentecost.
It was the seal the apostles received, it was the seal they recognized in others. The outstanding example is the household of Cornelius. Peter didn’t even believe that Gentiles could become Christians. The moment he heard them speak in tongues he said, “Baptize them, they’ve received the same as we have.” He didn’t wait around for fruit, he didn’t check if they knew the doctrines; he said they’ve received. They never asked for any other seal. And the New Testament offers no other alternative seal.
Now, coming back to how to receive. Let’s look, first of all, in Luke 11:11–13. These are words of encouragement. Jesus is speaking, He says:
“If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?”
In essence He’s saying a father whose child asks him for something good will never give him something bad. Then He applies that to our heavenly Father. He says:
“If ye then being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”
You see, I’ve heard Christians say it’s not scriptural to ask for the Holy Spirit. But Jesus said if you’re a child of God, born again, then you have the right to ask for the Holy Spirit. And He actually places the responsibility upon us to ask. Bear in mind if you are a born again child of God and you come to God your Father through Jesus the Son, the only way; if you ask for something good and scriptural, you will never receive something bad. That’s your guarantee. But the responsibility to ask is placed on you.
And then the actual steps to receiving, we turn to John 7, and we read three verses, 37–39.
“In the last day, that great day of the feast, [which I believe was the Feast of Tabernacles] Jesus stood and cried out saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, out of his heart...’”
But that’s too polite. The Bible says “out of his belly.” I remember as a boy growing up in the Anglican church, I was always a little shocked when they read that passage that you would speak about anything so vulgar as the belly in church. The truth of the matter is that’s where it comes from. There is an area in us, it’s interesting the Greek word means “a kind of concave place.” It’s the same root word that’s used for the vault of heaven. So, there is an area in the body of the believer which is reserved for the Holy Spirit. Did you know that? See, don’t be too spiritual. This brings the Holy Spirit right down into your body. Out of his belly. When I received the baptism there in an Army barrack room, without anybody else present, I felt it in my belly. I thought what’s going to happen next? Then I said out loud to God, “If you want me to speak with other tongues, I’m ready to do it.” I wasn’t ambitious. The moment I said that, this fire moved up from my belly to my chest, to my throat. The next thing I knew, there was something like a piece of hard rubber bouncing about in the back of my mouth. I realized it was my own tongue. I opened my mouth and these strange sounds started to come out. But it’s always been so vivid to me it started in my belly. And that’s what Jesus said.
“Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”
Isn’t that a marvelous transformation? We have a thirsty man who doesn’t have enough for himself, he receives the Holy Spirit and he becomes a channel of rivers—not a river but rivers of living water. What a transformation!
Now, the comment is put in by the writer of the gospel:
“But this Jesus spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him [Jesus] would receive.”
All right. Believers are to receive the Holy Spirit.
“For the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”
The Holy Spirit in this sense could not be given till Jesus had been glorified. When was Jesus glorified? When He ascended into heaven and took His place at the right hand of the Father.
If you go back to Acts 2, just very briefly for a moment, you’ll see that Peter summing up what happened on the day of Pentecost says in verses 32–33 of Acts 2:
“This Jesus God has raised up resurrected, of which we all are witnesses. Therefore, being exalted to the right hand of God [that’s being glorified], and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he poured out this which you now see and hear.”
So, the glorified Christ received from the Father the gift of the Holy Spirit and poured it out on the disciples and the result, notice, was something that could be seen and heard. It wasn’t just an invisible inner experience, it was an experience that impacted their bodies and impacted their senses.
We come back to John 7, how to receive. I’ve got here four very simple steps. The problem is not that it’s complicated, the problem is that it’s simple. The people who are theologically minded and want complication sometimes find it too simple to believe and to act on. What are the steps? Number one, be thirsty. If anybody is thirsty. Okay. That’s your qualification. You don’t have to be able to quote scriptures, you don’t even have to have a record of paying your tithes but you have to be thirsty. That’s essential. I tell people when they come to me, “Remember this, the baptism is for those who are thirsty and deliverance is for those who are desperate.” When people come to me for deliverance, I sometimes say to them, “Listen, I can’t help you, you’re not desperate. Come back when you are.”
However, we’re not talking about that now, we’re talking about receiving the Holy Spirit. It’s for one group of people, for the thirsty. It’s not for theologians unless they’re thirsty. It’s not for the super-spiritual, it’s for the thirsty. So if you feel very inadequate, very weak and really incapable of producing what God requires of you, you’ll qualify. That’s your qualification. You know you need more of God than you already have. That is to be thirsty. That’s all God asks.
Number two, Jesus said, “Come unto me.” Brother David DuPlessis has said so clearly there’s only one baptizer in the Holy Spirit and His name is Jesus. I didn’t hear that. Jesus, that’s right. So if you want the baptism in the Holy Spirit, you have to go to the baptizer. There’s no other place you can get it. No human being baptizes in the Holy Spirit. They baptize in water but only Jesus baptizes in the Holy Spirit. Fortunate for us Jesus said, “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” So if you come, you know He will receive you.
What’s the next thing you have to do? Here’s the problem. Here’s where it becomes so practical and so simple that religious people have problems. You have to drink. Nobody can force you to drink against your will. You know the old saying, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink”; that’s true of church members, too. Nobody else can make you drink. It’s a decision of your will and it’s something very simple that you have to do. I tell people this, no one ever received the baptism in the Holy Spirit with his mouth closed. It never will happen. You have to open up your physical being and begin to drink in the Spirit of God. You’re not drinking visible water but you’re drinking the invisible Spirit of God which Jesus is pouring out over you. Why is He pouring it out over you? Because you asked Him to. It’s that simple. He said, “If you come, I’ll do it.”
Now, the simplest way to drink is just to begin to breath in. I’ve seen hundreds of people doing it at one time but I tell you what, not one person who did it failed to receive. People who have stood there with a hmm, hmm, hmm, didn’t get anything. I saying this because this is the problem. See, people are self conscious. “Well, they never taught me to do this in church.” Maybe not.
One more stage. You’ve drunk, now you have to release the outflow. “Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this he spoke of the Holy Spirit.” So, the final phase is the outflow. How does that happen? Through the mouth in speech. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Because it’s a supernatural infilling it will be a supernatural outflow. You’ll not speak a language you know, you’ll speak a language the Holy Spirit gives you, one you’ve never heard, one you don’t understand, one you never learned and you probably never will understand.
How do you know it’s right? The answer is because you asked the right thing. God’s given you a written guarantee, Luke 11:11–13, if you ask for the right thing you will never get the wrong thing. I’d like you all to say that. “If I ask for the right thing I will never get the wrong thing.” Now turn to your neighbor and say it to him. “If you ask for the right thing you will never get the wrong thing.” Okay! Now we’re convinced.
Now let me just come to Satan’s two objections. If I were to ask for hands up here amongst those who have been baptized in the Spirit, you’ll find 90 percent of the people would put their hands up. Objection number one, the old accuser is right there by your side and when you begin to speak in tongues he says, “That’s not real, you’re doing it yourself.” How many—just put your hand up for a moment. You see? It’s almost everybody here. All right. What’s the answer? You need to have the answer. The answer is, “You’re quite right, Satan. I am doing it myself. I am doing the speaking but the Holy Spirit is giving me the language.” You see, in Acts 2 it says “they all began to speak as the Spirit gave them utterance.” The Spirit didn’t do the speaking, He gave them the words. They did the speaking. That’s why I said to that man who tarried 25 years he’d go to his grave without receiving because he wanted God to do it all. God won’t do it all. You do your part and God will do His. But He’s not going to make you speak. I’ve heard people say the Holy Spirit made me do this and that. I don’t believe that. The Holy Spirit never makes a child of God do anything. The apostle Peter said, “The Holy Spirit bade me go.” But he didn’t say, “He made me go.” You have a free will and God will never overrule your free will because He created you that way. You’ve got to decide to speak. And you can’t speak with your mouth closed.
I’ve helped so many people. I say, “Listen, open your mouth, move your tongue, move your lips. Speak articulately. Form every word. You’re in the driver’s seat. You make the decisions. Your will is the switch. The power is there but only you can switch it on.”
All right. So the answer to Satan is, “That’s right, Satan. I am doing it myself, I’m doing the speaking and the Holy Spirit is giving me the words.”
The next objection is how do you know you got the right thing? It sounds very silly. Well, almost any language you don’t know sounds silly. I’ve heard scores of languages I don’t know in different parts of the world, they all sound strange to me. An unknown language is strange. But how do you know you’ve got the right thing? Well, we’ve just told one another. How do we know we got the right thing? Because we asked for the right thing and God guaranteed we’d never get the wrong thing if we asked for the right thing. Brothers and sisters, the basis of this thing is faith. There is no other way to come to God. “He that cometh to God must [do what?] believe that God is [that’s not enough], that He’s a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
The only thing there remains to do now is receive. There are some of you who have not been baptized in the Holy Spirit in the sense you don’t have this seal. You may have received but you don’t have the outflow. And there are some of you who have had an outflow but you wondered whether it was the right thing and you never had the faith or the courage to go on doing it. You’ve never had a real release. If you would like that full release this morning here before this meeting closes, I want to help you. I’m going to ask you to stand to your feet. Don’t be embarrassed. And when you’re standing I’m going to lead you in a prayer by which you can come to Jesus and receive. We don’t have long so if you want to receive, just stand to your feet now. Wherever you are, don’t be embarrassed, don’t be ashamed. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, it’s common sense to go to God for the best.
There are some of you who are not quite sure whether you’ve received. You said a few words, your lips moved but you don’t really know. I’d like you to stand, too, because you can have a clear river. I tell people, “Remember, this thing isn’t a puddle, it’s a river. It goes on and on and on.” You don’t just say in l974 I spoke in tongues once. That’s not the story. That’s not a river, that’s a puddle.
Any others that want to stand, you do so. About how long do we have, somebody tell me? Five minutes. Okay, that’s ample. We can get it in five minutes. That’s really a super amount. Okay? It doesn’t take long.
Now, I’m going to pray a prayer out loud and I want you to pray it after me sentence by sentence. Bear in mind you are not praying to me. You’re praying to the baptizer, the Lord Jesus Christ. I will cause you to say those things which qualify you as a thirsty person coming to Him. When you’ve said the final word, we’ll say amen so you know to stop praying. After that, don’t do any praying. Okay? What do you do? You begin to drink. All right? You don’t need to gasp, just quietly take in the Spirit of God. Shut yourself in with the Lord, forget there are any other people here. Then there’s that moment of faith when you begin to release the new language. Some of you are right ready to do it right now. You’ve got to break the sound barrier. You don’t need to shout, you don’t need to scream, but you need to say it loud enough to hear yourselves so that when you walk out of this place you know you’ve heard yourself speak with other tongues. Okay? Remember, when we come to amen, no more English, no more Filipino, no more whatever it might be—Spanish, no more Chinese, no more Japanese. Okay. These are the words:
“Lord Jesus Christ, I believe that you are the Son of God and that on the cross you died for my sins and rose again from the dead. I trust you for forgiveness and for cleansing. I believe you have received me as a child of God. And because you have received me I receive myself as a child of God. If there’s any resentment in my heart now, any unforgiveness against anyone, I lay it down, I forgive every other person as I would have God forgive me. If I’ve ever been involved in the occult I acknowledge that as a sin, I ask your forgiveness and I loose myself now from every contact with Satan and with occult power, in the name of Jesus. And now, Lord Jesus, I come to you as my baptizer in the Holy Spirit. I present to you my body to be a temple of your Spirit. I yield to you my tongue to be an instrument of righteousness, to worship you in a new language. By faith I receive this now and I thank you for it in the name of Jesus, amen.”
Now just begin to drink. Just breathe in, take it in. Then, begin to speak out. When you speak, just open your mouth, move your tongue and your lips and give Him your voice. Many of you are ready to do it now. That’s right, that’s right. When your lips and your tongue are moving, give Him your voice. That’s right. You don’t have to be ashamed that the Holy Spirit has come in. He’s an honored guest. Hallelujah, thank you Lord.
Let’s all stand to our feet and worship God together in tongues. Thank you Lord Jesus, thank you Jesus. We praise you Lord, we give you the glory. Hallelujah. Amen.
Now, it’s legitimate to get excited. Okay? Just enjoy yourself for a few moments. Amen, we praise you Lord Jesus. We give you the glory. Jesus Christ is Lord! Amen. He’s triumphed over sin and death and the grave! He’s risen from the dead! He’s ascended to the Father’s right hand. All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus. Praise Him. Glorify His name. Give Him thanks. Hallelujah. Thank you Lord. Amen.
Now turn to your neighbor and say, “Praise the Lord.”