The Baptism of the Holy Spirit, Pt. 3

Luke 3:16 says, “John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire”.

Though I firmly and undoubtedly believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, I do believe they have been strongly abused. The problem with this generation, especially in the Pentecostal realm in these Appalachian mountains, is that people have made the gifts of the Holy Spirit idols in their lives. They have focused on nothing but shouting and speaking in tongues. They love to be seen and heard, but they leave unchanged and go back into the world and do everything the world does as chameleon Christians. They condemn others with this judgmental attitude while wearing a mask of religion. You cannot fake it until you make it in the kingdom of God. You do not have to move someone’s lips for them to speak in tongues like you can coach them through it. Some may fake tongues, but they cannot truly fake healings and miracles! Why fake it when you can receive the real thing! It comes with a price, but once you pay the price, change will result.

You can seek for the gifts, but what is most important is seeking for the presence of the Holy Spirit. Your family should be better that they gifts that they give you on Christmas’ or birthdays. The same should go spiritually with our God! What good does it do to seek for the gifts but have not been baptized in repentance? Your gifts can only go as far as your character will allow them to go, and if your character is the fruits of the Spirit, then your gifts will go along way and will be seasoned with success! Many people are so indoctrinated in church to think that it is all about a shake, dance, spin, tongue, etc., trying to prove themselves to others of having something when they have no unction, which can only be earned in prayer. If you have the Spirit of God, there will be no question; it will edify! We should pray that we have that which edifies, and the anointing and Spirit of God will prove Himself through you. Is anyone getting saved, healed, delivered or set free? Are we fulfilling our part of the Great Commission and winning souls to pull people out of hell’s flames? Signs, wonders and miracles are much more important than a bunch of religious shouting.

People have used these gifts to build up their own pride, but it just does not work that way. God gives the gifts, and He is to be glorified through them. Some people want to speak in tongues so they can say they have them, or disrupt a service by speaking in tongues as loud as they can so they can show the world. This is foolishness because they will do this in themselves, but care little to nothing about the lost people they run into after a church service. The purpose of the gift was not to build pride, but to correct everything that happened at the Tower of Babel. God confounded those people’s languages, which is why we have the various nationalities and languages that we do today, because in their rebellious pride, they wanted to build a tower to glorify a false god that did not even exist. Without understanding each other they could not build, but today, through the gifts of the Holy Spirit, we can build the church. The gift of speaking in tongues was to bridge the gap between other nations and languages so they could hear the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ being preached. That is why in the Azusa Street Revival in California in the early 1900’s, which was birthed solely by prayer and was the introduction of Pentecostalism to America, that people would come there with an expectancy to be baptized in the gift of speaking in tongues and go into another nation to preach the gospel because they would be divinely given that language. That happened numerous times, and it can still happen today!

1 Corinthians 14:26-33 gives clear indication concerning messages preached in tongues. If a word is given in another language, it must be interpreted. If someone goes on for twenty minutes delivering a message in tongues, but no one understands, it does not edify, but only brings confusion, and God is not the author of confusion, but the author and finisher of our faith. So, when someone speaks before a congregation, it needs to be understood. However, I do believe in a prayer language, where the Holy Ghost takes over and He gives the words to say. Those words of intercession are between the prayer warrior and the LORD. Romans 8:26, 27 says, “26Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” 1 Corinthians 14:13, 14 says, “13Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret. 14For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.” Jude 20 says, “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost.” 1 Corinthians 14:39 says, “Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.” We are to covet earnestly the best gifts, and we are to not forbid tongues. We are to be God-chasers, pursuing the best He has for us! All of the New Testament was written by men who was drunk afresh on the new wine, and we too can be filled and baptized with the Holy Spirit today. It is needed right now, and God is ready to add flavor to our water, our customized religion, and turn into wine, the operation of the supernatural!