Authors: Joyce Meyer
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Faith Words Edition
Copyright© 1996 by Joyce Meyer
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In my years of ministry, I have learned that there are many people who do not fully understand the baptism of the Holy Spirit and how to use and enjoy the gifts of the Spirit. Some people are not even sure the baptism of the Holy Spirit is for them.
I believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and in this book I hope to be able to explain to you why, as I share with you my own experience and the experience and teaching of others through the Scriptures.
Before the Lord gave me the revelation of the present-day ministry of the Holy Spirit, I didn’t really comprehend that the Holy Spirit is a Person. I always referred to the Spirit as “It.” I would ask people, “Did you receive ‘It’?” But I am happy to tell you that the Holy Spirit is much more than that.
The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity; He is the power of God. His multiple role as Comforter, Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener and Standby
can be summarized by saying that His purpose is to come into us with His abiding Presence and power and help us do things with ease that would otherwise be hard or even impossible.
We receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit by simply asking God in faith and trust. I believe that there is no way to live in total victory without receiving and understanding the baptism of the Holy Spirit. But I haven’t written this book to try to convince anyone. I’ve done this teaching to be used as a tool to help people who are sincere seekers. It is a catalyst for people who want to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit and a valuable handbook for those who have already received it and want to have more revelation in this area.
Much of the dissatisfaction that many believers experience in their Christian walk comes from a lack of power in their lives, power which only comes through the infilling of the Holy Spirit. If you are one of those people, I believe that this book can be a turning point in your life.
As we look at this wonderful gift
of God called the baptism of the Holy Spirit, I pray that you will approach this subject with an open mind and heart so that you will be able to receive this word clearly and be ministered to and blessed by it in a mighty way.
John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness (desert), preaching a baptism [obligating] repentance …in order to obtain forgiveness of and release from sins….
And he preached, saying, After me comes He Who is stronger (more powerful and more valiant) than I, the strap of Whose sandals I am not worthy or fit to stoop down and unloose.
I have baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.
To baptize means to submerge.
We could say it means to engulf, which may cause whatever is baptized to be filled with something.
For example, if we took an empty drinking glass and submerged it in water, it would become engulfed and filled with that water. We could say that glass had been baptized in water or baptized with water.
That is a simple explanation of what I believe takes place when we receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit — we become completely engulfed and filled with all the power and presence of God, which means we don’t have to go through life trying to do everything on our own anymore.
Jesus didn’t try to do His ministry on His Own. First, He was baptized in the Holy Spirit.
Jesus Was Baptized — in Water and in Spirit
In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.
And when He came up out of the water, at once he [John] saw the heavens torn open and the [Holy] Spirit like a dove coming down [to enter] into Him.
And there came a voice out from within heaven, You are My Beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.
In this passage we see that Jesus received the baptism of the Holy Spirit at the time of His water baptism.
Some people try to make a doctrine out of that event, saying that everybody receives the baptism of the Holy Spirit at the time they are baptized in water. Others claim that everyone is baptized in the Holy Spirit when they are born again, or when they accept Jesus as their Savior. Still others teach that children receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit at the time of their confirmation or other religious ceremony.
We must be careful not to put God into a doctrinal box. God may do some things in an ordinary way, but He Himself is supernatural and can go far beyond the borders or limits we human beings may try to place on Him.
I know this is true by personal experience because I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit in my car without even knowing what was happening to me or that it had a name. I was a believer in Jesus Christ, so the Holy Spirit was in me, but I knew I was a Christian who had no victory and was looking for a deeper walk with God. As I cried out to God for more, I was baptized in the Spirit fight there in my car. That may not be the usual place for God to baptize someone in the Holy Spirit, but God chose to meet me at the point of my need in a rather unusual way.
As another example, I know a woman who did receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit as a twelve-year-old child at her confirmation but did not know what had happened to her until years later when in middle age she realized what had taken place in her youth. She became aware that this experience was a catalyst for many other powerful things that had happened in her life through the years.
The bottom line is, people can be baptized in the Holy Spirit at the time of their water baptism, just as Jesus was, though that is not always the case. But whenever the Holy Spirit is poured out upon people, He comes upon them to stay with them in a special, powerful way, just as He did with Jesus.
Descend and Remain
John gave further evidence, saying, I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and it dwelt on Him [never to depart].
And I did not know Him nor recognize Him, but He Who sent me to baptize in (with) water said to me, Upon Him Whom you shall see the Spirit descend and remain, that One is He Who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.
Notice the two phrases used here in this passage:
never to depart
descend and remain.
Why were they used in reference to the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
Under the Old Covenant, many times the Spirit of God would come upon people temporarily in certain situations or for certain events. He was with them but not in them.
For example, when the Old Testament prophets prophesied in the name of the Lord, the Spirit of God would come upon them and give them messages for His people.
The prophets would then deliver those messages under the anointing, or power, of God and the guidance and leadership of the Holy Spirit. But then the Holy Spirit would leave the prophets and would not come again until God had another message to give them.
It is important for us to know that the Bible says that the Spirit of God descended upon Jesus and remained, never to depart. Thus, we may be assured we are never without the help we need for any task in life.
Jesus as the Baptizer in the Spirit
But you are not living the life of the flesh, you are living the life of the Spirit, if the [Holy] Spirit of God [really] dwells within you [directs and controls you]. But if anyone does not possess the [Holy] Spirit of Christ, he is none of His [he does not belong to Christ, is not truly a child of God].
Jesus is the Baptizer in the Holy Spirit.
This baptism in the Spirit is not a visitation or a one-time occurrence in the life of the believer.
When Jesus baptizes a person in the Holy Spirit, the Spirit comes into that individual’s life to take up permanent residence there. But before a person can be baptized in the Holy Spirit, that person must be born again.
If we have the Spirit of Jesus Christ living in us, then the Holy Spirit is there within us also because the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are all One.
This is one of those things that our finite mind cannot grasp. It does not work out mathematically, but, nonetheless, it is true. God is a triune God — one God — yet three Persons. We could not even believe in Jesus if it were not for the Holy Spirit Who brings truth and revelation to us. That is part of His ministry.
INISTRY OF THE
INISTRY OF THE
And while being in their company and eating at the table with them, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem but to wait for what the Father had promised, Of which [He said] you have heard Me speak.
For John baptized with water, but not many days from now you shall be baptized with (placed in, introduced into) the Holy Spirit.
If anyone is born again, the Holy Spirit is definitely working in their life. I always say, “They have the Holy Spirit, but until they are filled completely with the Holy Spirit, He doesn’t have them.”
The Holy Spirit began to work in my life when, as a nine-year-old child, I went to an altar and asked Jesus to be my Savior. But I lived many, many years as a miserable, unhappy, discontented, unfulfilled, unfruitful Christian who had no victory in my life. Like many Christians, I had enough of Jesus to stay out of hell — but not enough to walk in victory. He was my Savior but not my Lord.
But when I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, He began a brand-new work in me. A new era in my life was opened up to me, one in which I saw the Word of God in an entirely new way. There was a new love for God and His Word in my heart that drew me to want to know Him like I had never known Him before. As a result of the ministry of the Holy Spirit within me, I was able to start winning the victory over my problems, which were many.
It is a vital part of the ministry of the Holy Spirit to help us and strengthen us so we can have real victory in our life and enjoy the abundant life that Christ died to provide for us. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is such an important part of our life as believers that in Acts 1 Jesus commanded His disciples not to leave Jerusalem right away after His ascension into heaven, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which was the baptism of the Holy Spirit.