"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 will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire." Matthew 3:11
The bible says,"unless you are born of water and Spirit,you can never enter the Kingdom of heaven.
That which is born of flesh,is flesh,and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit."John 3:5-6
When we come to Christ, we get baptised in water,through complete submerging according to the bible.
This represents death and burial of the old sinful person,and resurrection in Jesus Christ as a brand new person!
But the bible also speaks of Spiritual rebirth.
Because God is Spirit,to become His children we must be born of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would be given to all who would believe in Him.
According to the bible, receiving the Holy Spirit is a must for believers, and Jesus talked about the work that the Holy Spirit would do in the lives of believers.
He referred to the Holy Spirit as "The helper" of believers(John 16:7) because it is actually the Holy Spirit in us who overcomes the world,on our own, we can never overcome.
Jesus said the Holy Spirit would also," convict the world of sin,of righteousness, and of judgement "(John 16:8).
When the Holy Spirit fills us,because He is holy,He makes us to also become holy.
The Holy Spirit baptism is God Himself coming to live inside of us.
He convicts us when we sin,and He shows us what true righteousness is,and He starts to change us to make us like Jesus.
After Jesus resurrected, He told His disciples not to go out to preach yet,but to wait in Jerusalem till they receive the Holy Spirit.
And in Acts:2:1-4 we see a fulfilment of Jesus' promise.
" suddenly there came a loud sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind,and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.
Then there appeared to them forked 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. "
This was the first time believers were baptized with the Holy Spirit but this kept happening to all those who believed.
It was Christ's promise to His church, and its still His promise to today's church.
We still have the promise of the Holy Spirit baptism and Jesus is still very willing to put His Spirit in anyone who surrenders and believes in Him.
Sometimes people ask if they have the Holy Spirit, but when you have received the Holy Spirit, you will know it,its not a subtle event,it changes your entire life!
Sometimes people are taught that if you have confessed Christ with your mouth and accepted Him as your Lord and Savior then you have automatically been baptized with the Holy Spirit and you don't need to seek more.
While the Holy Spirit baptism can take place at the very time you accept Jesus,e.g Acts 10:44-46,its isn't always the case and often believers have to ask for the Holy Spirit baptism.
"If you 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." Luke 11:13
Sometimes people want to be comforted that they already have the Holy Spirit and shouldn't seek more simply because they feel to lazy to pray and ask God for the baptism.
It is not automatic that when you are baptized in water,you are also baptized in the Holy Spirit, you need to seek for that something more and get it.
There's controversy regarding what the evidence of the Holy Spirit baptism is.
In the bible, all recorded events when people got baptized by the Holy Spirit, they suddenly began to speak in tongues,something they previously could not do.
Here are a few examples, Acts10:45-46,"And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished,as many as came with Peter,because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also .
For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God "
Acts 19:6,"And when Paul had laid hands on them,the Holy Spirit came upon them and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. "
While the bible does not say whether these believers who spoke in tongues at receiving the Holy Spirit,all continued to do so afterwards, the bible says their speaking in tongues when the Holy Spirit came upon them became a sign to those around them.
For example in the passage I quoted earlier, Acts 10:44-6 the bible says the Jews knew that the gentiles had also received the Holy Spirit because "they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God" (verse 46).
The Holy Spirit baptism wasn't simply the tongues,however the tongues became a sign to those they were with of the deeper encounter they had with God.
So baptism of the Holy Spirit isn't speaking in tongues,it is more than speaking in tongues!
The bible says tongues are a sign so that unbelievers can believe the work God has done.
1 Corinthians 14:22" Therefore tongues are for a sign,not to those who believe but to unbelievers……"
The bible also refers to tongues as one of the Spiritual gifts and some verses suggest that not everyone in the early church was speaking with tongues.
1 Corinthians 12:30" Do all have gifts of healings?Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?"
1 Corinthians 14:5" I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied……… "This verse is referring to tongues as a spiritual gift like prophesy,healing, etc.
So while the recorded events of the Holy Spirit baptism all included speaking in tongues,the bible refers to tongues as a Spiritual gift and that some people in the church did not speak in tongues.
The bible however does not say whether these people who were not speaking in tongues had for once spoken in tongues at the initial reception of the Holy Spirit like the other recorded times.
MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT BAPTISM;
I was taught that tongues are a Spiritual gift and just because you do not speak in tongues does not mean you are not baptized.
I was taught that the Holy Spirit baptism was not an extra event you should seek,that once you receive Jesus you automatically have the Holy Spirit.
This teaching would comfort me,and when preachers defend this,I'd feel good that since I accepted Christ I already had the Holy Spirit and I didn't have to seek for more.
However, I was reading of people's encounters with the Holy Spirit and deep inside I knew I did not have what they had.
I was reading of how these people received the Holy Spirit.
Most of them received the baptism when they decided to go deeper with God.
They got hungry and thirsty for more of God and began seeking Him in prayer,and even fasting and when they encountered God,He baptized them with the Holy Spirit and for all these people I was reading about it wasn't a subtle event you can hardly notice, it was a powerful life changing event.
I also started to read about the Holy Spirit baptism in the bible and I realized it wasn't something that leaves a person in doubt of whether or not they received the Holy Spirit, it was always an event with clear manifestation of God's power,changing the people.
After much study,I realized I did not have the Holy Spirit, but I knew I wanted Him.
I went on a fast,seeking more of God and asking Him to baptise me with His Holy Spirit and with His blazing fire!
On the last day of the fast,just before the closing prayer,my hands were lifted up and I was asking the Lord to fill me with His Spirit when suddenly I began to speak in tongues!
I could sense the heavens open above me and God was pouring His Spirit into me.
No matter how hard I tried to speak in English, I couldn't, all words were just in tongues.
God gave me the interpretation of the tongues right there,I was saying, "no one can win a battle except The Lord wins it for them!" And I was glorifying the Lord in tongues.
After this incident, I went to catchup on a new episode of a soap opera I loved.
I had watched this soap the previous night but that evening when I watched, I could not enjoy it,I could say it was even tormenting to me.I felt like Jesus didn't like it,and after just a few minutes of watching, I couldn't finish it,I went to my bedroom to pray and ask God to forgive me.
From that very moment I had this encounter of the Holy Spirit baptism, I couldn't wear the clothes I comfortably wore before, I couldn't read books I previously read before, I couldn't talk the way I previously talked!
Before I had this encounter, when people tell me about hell and God's judgement, I would get scared and vow not to sin again.
I would try really hard not to sin because I was scared of hell,but this fear would wear off after a day or two and I would find myself sinning without any fear again.
But when I got baptized with the Holy Spirit, it was like I was on a one way street.
It was like I could not look back.I didn't need someone to tell me about hell for me not to sin,even when alone,my desire was to please God not because I was scared of hell but because I loved Jesus and I wanted to please Him.
I got addicted to His presence that I'd find myself praying till its dark.
When am away from home,I would always want to go back quickly just so that I could be able to pray and be with Jesus.
I didn't care what peoples opinion was but Jesus' opinion was always what I wanted.
1. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a very distinct event in the life of a Christian, it is not a subtle event.
If you are baptized by the Holy Spirit you know exactly when it happened and where.
And when you are baptized by the Holy Spirit, you know it.
If you are in doubt,you haven't yet been baptized in the Holy Spirit and you need to ask God for it.
2.The baptism of the Holy Spirit from my personal experience and from scripture DOES include initial speaking in tongues, but is not limited to speaking in tongues.
A lot of people have received the gift of tongues yet they have not been baptized by the Holy Spirit and you can tell this by their lifestyle. The lack of change in lifestyle, their insensitivity to sin.
The Holy Spirit makes you Holy. If you speak in tongues but are not holy,you have not yet received the Holy Spirit baptism, you have only received the gift of tongues.
Does each and every person speak in tongues at the time they are receiving the Holy Spirit? I don't know, the scriptural records are of those who did,however what I do know is that the person who receives the Holy Spirit will know they have received, and they will even know when they received, and their entire life will change.
HOW TO BE BAPTIZED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT
God can automatically baptize a believer at conversion like the event in Acts 10:44-46, but if this doesn't happen, a person who is filled with the Holy Spirit can lay hands on the person wanting to receive like in Acts 19:6.
Another way a believer can receive the baptism is by asking for it.Luke 11:13.
The Holy Spirit baptism is a promise of God.
And He wants us to receive the Spirit so that we can be empowered to overcome.
Only the Holy Spirit will help us to be holy,if not we will keep struggling with sin.
So if you have not received the Holy Spirit, you will lose nothing by asking God to baptize you,actually you have everything to gain.
God wants to and will give His Holy Spirit to anyone who asks.
Don't be comforted that you already have Him.If you don't know when you received the baptism then you haven't yet.
He is so powerful He can't fill you without you even knowing, you will know.
Its time to go deeper with God because this is the only way you will overcome.
He will overcome the world in you.