As I contemplate the celebration of the resurrection of our Lord this year I can’t help thinking that there is another resurrection that many in today's church need to experience. We need a resurrection of the power of God that only comes through the baptism of the Holy Ghost. For Many years the Baptism of the Holy Ghost and the ministration of the gifts of the Spirit has been going through a process of disintegration. Definitely not from God’s perspective, but from man’s. In particular, in my opinion, in so called “Full Gospel” churches.
It seems that many “Full Gospel” churches have reached the place where the baptism of the Holy Ghost has been reduced to the mere acknowledgement of an indwelling presence of Jesus experienced by all believers. Today within many churches there is not only a depreciation for speaking with other tongues as the spirit gives the utterance as the initial sign and evidence of being spirit filled, there is tremendous opposition against speaking in tongues period.
Many preachers are teaching that it is putting emphasis on the wrong thing, and that by acknowledging speaking in tongues as the initial sign and evidence of being baptized in the Holy Spirit, that we are belittling those who do not speak with other tongues. But it is my opinion that if we are going to be New Testament believers and followers of Christ then we must do what he told us to do and follow the example given to us by the early Church in the book of Acts.
On the day of Pentecost all that were in the upper room were filled with the Holy Ghost and spoke with other tongues as the spirit gave them utterance. And every occasion after that whenever scripture mentions anyone being filled with the Holy Ghost they spoke with other tongues. When the door of grace opened to the gentile nation, they received this same gift and spoke with other tongues.
Why is this such a big deal? Because it the reception and activation of this initial gift of the Holy Ghost, speaking in other tongues, that opens the door to the operation and the manifestation of the nine supernatural gifts of the Spirit. It is through this initial gift that is the sign that the believer has received the indwelling supernatural power of God. The Holy Spirit lives in you by virtue of the baptism in the Holy Ghost.
He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because Jesus was not yet glorified.
Notice there are no rivers until we receive the Holy Spirit. It is impossible for us as believers to experience the abundant life that Jesus came to give us without the baptism of the Holy Ghost. It is impossible for us as believers to bring the blessings of the supernatural power of God into contact with men’s needs without the gifts of the Spirit.
We must come back to the original purpose and power of the giving of the Holy Ghost; He is to first be in us as helper, teacher, comforter, illuminator, counselor, friend, and power to live a holy life. Then He is to flow out of us by virtue of the gifts of the Spirit to bring salvation, healing, deliverance, miracles, signs and wonders to aid us in the ministry of setting people free.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, (because) he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised”
And this is an important question that I feel must be asked when contemplating this issue; How did Jesus do those things? By the power of the Holy Spirit that was in Him. Every blind eye opened, every demon cast out, every miracle, every sign, every wonder, every sick body he healed, the feeding the multitudes, the walking on water, the calming the storm with His word, and the raising lazarus from the dead were all one or more of the gifts of the spirit at work in his life.
“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.”
That’s how Jesus did it. By the anointing of the Holy Ghost through the mighty gifts of the Spirit.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.”
Someone might say: Well the gifts of the spirit are only for certain individuals. Yep, Humans: Born again, Holy Ghost filled, washed in the blood humans. 1 Corinthians 12:7 - “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.”
Why should we desire spiritual gifts? Because the bible tells us to, so that we can participate in the process of building up the body, and to overthrow Satan’s kingdom in the hearts and lives of men and women. Satan’s kingdom is real, it is through the gifts of the spirit that we must meet the challenges of the enemy and bring deliverance to the oppressed.
The reason so many people remain unconcerned about the gifts of the spirit and their operation in their lives is because they are not committed to the building up and edifying of the church. They are unconcerned about the condition of the world around them, unconcerned in the sense that they are unwilling to take steps that can make the difference. To not know these mighty gifts of power are available is ignorance, but to know and not care and make no steps to receive them is foolishness.