“Jesus said: (And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.”
Toward the end of His ministry Jesus looked at the disciples and He realized that they had received His instructions, He had given them nearly everything they needed to do the work they had been called to, but he said they were not yet fully equipped, they still needed to be endued with power from on high, they needed to be baptized in the Holy Ghost and Fire.
IN the American church it seems like we have come to the point, even in so called “Full Gospel” churches, where the ministry of the Holy Ghost is a distant memory. It seems as though we have come to a place that the baptism of the Holy Ghost has been reduced to an acknowledgment of an indwelling presence of Jesus experienced by all believers.
Today in many so called “Pentecostal” churches, speaking with other tongues as the initial physical evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost has become extinct and in some places discouraged. We are told that it isn’t necessary to speak in other tongues to be filled with the Holy Ghost.
I do not want to argue with these self-proclaimed theologians and biblical scholars, but I have come to understand in my short life, that my experience and my relationship with God must be built upon His Word, and when I build upon His Word, I am secure no matter what the trend of the day is.
I agree with Smith Wigglesworth, one of the most powerful men of God of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, He was known as the Apostle of Faith, He cast out devils, healed the sick and raised 19 people from the dead: He said, “The baptism will always be as at the beginning, it has not changed, if you want a real baptism expect it just the same way as they had it at the beginning.”
“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 the utterance.”
Then when Paul encountered new believers the bible says:
“And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.”
When the door of grace opened to the gentile nation, they received this same gift and spoke with other tongues.
“While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. 45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. 46 For (they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, 47 can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?”
John said this Holy Ghost Baptism came with fire
Luke 3:16 – ‘He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:”
Today many churches have become so “seeker friendly” in an attempt to make visitors feel welcome, that we have forgotten that we are supposed to be friends of God and welcome His spirit into our services. They are so concerned with creating an environment that is “seeker friendly,” that they’re ignoring the one that they should be seeking.
I’m just going to come right out and say it, get right to the point if you know what I mean, I would much rather offend a visitor, than risk offending the Holy Spirit. “Well preacher!" you say, “That’s just plain rude.” Let me fill you in on a cold hard fact: I can make it to Heaven without your support, but I can't get there without His.
Just for the record here is another fact: a true ‘seeker” is not going to be offended by the power of God. Someone who is truly seeking God and searching for truth is looking for something real, something tangible that they can see and feel and when they see the genuine power of God in action they won’t usually run from it, they run to it.
It is our responsibility to show this generation a true manifestation of the power of God, uncensored by political correctness, unfettered by the expectations of secular humanism, undiluted by the filters of worldliness, and full strength.
Listen to the words of King David, words that should be the prayer of every true believer:
“Now also when I am old and gray headed, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to everyone that is to come.”
I know that we are living in a time where technology has put “truth” at our fingertips in a matter of seconds. All we have to do is go the TV or the internet. I know that our elders didn't have the same advantages that you and I have today, but let me clue you in on something; the elders could teach the church a few lessons.
They know the power of the blood of Jesus. They know how to pray. They didn't have the access to the medicines and the emergency room like we have today, they'd be out in the boondocks somewhere and someone would get deathly sick, they would pray until they prayed through and heaven invaded earth and the victory came.
They know you need the Holy Ghost, those old timers knew that if you didn't have the Holy Ghost you weren’t going to make it. They knew that without the Holy Ghost you weren't getting off the launching pad when Jesus Came back. They knew the Holy Ghost was the power to conquer sin and live a Holy Life.
God told me to tell you today, you need the Holy Ghost!
If you plan on going to heaven tonight, the blood of Jesus has qualified you to get in, but if you plan on getting up tomorrow and facing life and dealing with a real devil, you need the Holy Ghost!
Acts 1:8 – “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
“Ye shall receive power after the Holy Ghost has come upon you,” not before, but after. There are no short cuts to the power of God, you must be filled with the Spirit.
You must not only be filled: You must keep being filled.
Ephesians 5:18 – “And be not drunk with wine wherein is excess, but be ye filled with the Spirit.”
It really doesn't count for much what you had 15-20 years ago, or last year or last week. What matters is where is the Holy Spirit Thermometer reading in your life right now? How fresh is your oil? Are you full of the Spirit or are you running on fumes?
"Be ye Filled with the Spirit” means, be full of the spirit at all times
That is the power to be a witness, because when you are full of the Spirit, it will run over. It might run over in a church service, it might run over in Wal-Mart, or it might run over while you’re riding down the road on your motorcycle in the middle of Georgia, like it did for me this summer. But one thing is for certain; if you’re full of the Holy Spirit, it will run over.