How To Get Empowered With God’s Power, Today!
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Our “Get Reading” article “You Need ALL The Puzzle Pieces To See The Full Picture” provides a multitude of scriptural evidence to support the biblical message that everyone must repent (turn away from “self” and turn instead to God), be baptized by full immersion in water, seek the Lord to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, and thereafter walk in God’s ways in order to rise to live eternally with Jesus upon His second coming. For now, here’s a brief summary:
John 3: 5, “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”
Matthew 3: 11, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost…” (John the Baptist declared this.)
Acts 2: 38, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
Acts 19:1-6: “And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.”
Romans 8: 9, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”
Romans 8: 14, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”
Matthew 7: 21, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”
Hebrews 5: 9, “being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” Note: This is referring to Jesus and it emphasizes the need for everyone to regard and obey His instructions for salvation.
Jesus Christ the Messiah (the promised deliverer), the Son of God, was crucified as a perfect sacrifice upon the cross at Calvary so that everyone upon this earth could have the presence of God living within them. This presence of God is made possible through the infilling – or baptism – of the Holy Spirit:
John 16:7, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” (Jesus was saying that it was necessary for Him to depart from this world so that the Holy Spirit could then come in His place.)
John 14:26, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
While the salvation message is very clear, some may wonder how to begin. Everyone’s process of salvation begins when they are born again of water (full immersion baptism) and the Holy Spirit (the baptism of the Holy Spirit), but how does someone actually seek God for His Holy Spirit anointing? The answer is very simple: pray.
There is no precise prerequisite to being born again of the Holy Spirit. Some people experience the anointing while being prayed for by others who are part of the Body of Christ (have themselves repented, been baptized in water and by the Holy Spirit, and are following the Lord’s will). Other people are anointed with the Spirit as they pray in solitude to God; yet others experience the infilling of the Spirit as they come up out of the waters of baptism and seek the Lord at that point. We even know some people who have been baptized with the Holy Spirit as they’ve spoken to God while riding their motorbikes, or driving their cars on the way home from a fellowship meeting, or when they’ve come across a particularly breathtaking patch of scenery, for example.
Receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit seems to depend on – quite simply yet very powerfully – the following:
1) The state of your heart – its desire to be obedient to the Word of God, recognizing that you don’t line up to God’s standards and that you need Jesus’ help (the Holy Spirit is described as – amongst other things – the “Helper”). This is repentance.
Sin (transgression against the righteousness of God) is the first thing you need to be convinced about if you’re going to come to the Savior (the name Jesus means “God saves”). If you don’t believe you’re a sinner, you’ll never believe in a Savior because you don’t think you need one to save you from the consequences of anything you’ve ever said, felt, or done.
In recognizing your sin, you also recognize the perfect goodness (or righteousness) of God and that when sin comes face to face with such purity, there is judgment – the inevitability of judgment when every detail of your entire life will be revisited before your Creator. To think of this and then desire an escape is healthy for then you will be open to what God has offered as THE way out of such a dreaded dilemma. This is when you will be open to the precious message that “Jesus died for you so your sins may be forgiven, and you can claim Jesus as your Savior by being born again of water and of the Holy Spirit.”
(Note: Even if you’ve been filled with the Holy Spirit upon repentance, it’s still critical that you be baptized by full immersion in water. See below for more information.)
2) Actively asking for the Holy Spirit, or appealing earnestly to God. God didn’t create mankind as robots, pre-programmed to love and follow Him. He created us to possess free will whereby we freely make our own decisions, for only when we choose of our own accord to love God is it then true love.
Neither does God force the Holy Spirit upon us once we come to learn of Him. The Holy Spirit is God’s gift to us – if we want it. Some might sit tight and say, “I’m scared. I don’t want this. I want to be in charge of my life. I don’t want to obey anything or anyone other than my own desires.” If they do this, they’re creating a restrictive barrier that closes them to the experience. However, if they realize the Holy Spirit is pure holiness and he will only impart goodness – causing them to know great love, great joy, great peace, and great power – they will eagerly receive God’s life-transforming gift with gratitude.
Scripture says the following:
Acts 5: 32, “And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.”
Luke 11: 9-13, “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”
If you have never before sought the Lord for the infilling of His Spirit, the best place to start is down on your knees. Determine to pray to God diligently and zealously until you experience that for which you hunger and thirst:
Hebrews 11: 6, “…he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
The only people who never receive the Holy Spirit are those who 1) never ask, or 2) give up asking. It is God’s promise. God yearns to fill all people with His power and glory, to see His Word written on their hearts and minds:
2 Peter 3: 9, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us–ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
1 Timothy 2: 4, “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”
Hebrews 10: 16, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;”
However, God wants to see people first come to Him with all sincerity and humility. He wants to test their obedience, to see how serious they are about responding to the truth and following the ways of His Son:
Matthew 10: 38, “And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.”
Ephesians 1: 12-14, “That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest” (down payment) “of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”
God requires us to make the first move, and if we seek Him with a whole heart and with determination not to give up, He will reward us with His precious gift. Some people receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit the first time they ever ask, yet for others it takes longer. God does not withhold the Spirit from us; it is only our efforts (or lack of) and state of heart that stand in the way. If you have sought the Lord for the Spirit before, still without result, then search yourself; examine your thoughts and feelings. Perhaps there is something you need to “give over” to God before you are prepared to receive His gift:
Mark 8: 35, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.”
John 12: 25, “He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.”
It’s also important to note that people who have previously sought for the Holy Spirit, without result, may have been:
1) Praying for the wrong thing i.e. the gift of speaking in tongues instead of simply the salvation power of the Holy Spirit (which incorporates all the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit), or
2) Praying for the Holy Spirit as an “added extra” and not as a necessity for salvation (e.g. they believe they were saved when they were water baptized and/or “gave their heart to Christ,” and now they are simply praying for the baptism of the Holy Spirit because it’s a “good thing to have”).
We find that these people have their prayers answered after they come to an understanding and acceptance of the truth of the Biblical salvation message. At that point they are able to pray for the anointing of the Holy Spirit with complete humility.
WHAT NOT TO DO
Do not try to completely “clean up your life” before seeking the Lord for the Holy Spirit, for this is impossible without the power of the Spirit inside of you to guide you and give you strength. Certainly, make changes in your life as best you can toward the will of God (Luke 3: 8, “Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance…”), but do not get caught in the mind-set trap of “I feel so unworthy of God’s love; I need to tidy up my life before I can come to Him.”
Not one of us is worthy of God’s mercy and compassion, of Christ’s sacrifice, and of the abundance that God desires to bestow upon us in return for our obedience. It’s sufficient to recognize with all sincerity the error of our fleshly ways and the need to reconcile with God.
It is sin (transgression against righteousness) that separates us from God, our Creator, and it’s only through the process of being born again that we can be redeemed (freed from the bondage and consequences of sin, the ultimate consequence being death).
God does not want us to strive by our own strength; He wants us to rely upon Him and His Holy Spirit for our provision, overcoming, healing, etc.:
Matthew 6: 33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Proverbs 3: 5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
Neither is it necessary to be scripturally educated in order to be born again of the Holy Spirit. Some people anchor themselves by determining to attend so many worship services, or to read so much of the Bible before seeking God for His Spirit. By all means, study some key scriptures (see the “Key Scriptures” post on the “Get Reading” page) and familiarize yourself with God’s Word, but don’t mistakenly believe you must reach a certain level of knowledge of scripture or understanding of God’s ways before you can receive His Spirit. God wants us to come to Him in simplicity, like a young child that fully relies upon his parents for his needs:
Luke 18: 16, “But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.”
Matthew 18: 3, “And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
It’s not necessary to confess all your sins to the Lord before receiving His Spirit. Certainly, if this is how you feel moved, by all means pour out your repentant heart to the Lord. But, it’s not what God specifically requires. God is our all-knowing Creator and He searches the hearts. God knows what you are going to say and do before your words and actions are ever formed. If you desire to confess your faults then do so, but do not let this self-expectation inhibit your approach to God.
When seeking God for the Holy Spirit anointing, we always encourage people to pray passionately, praising God in their native language and expecting to receive that for which they are asking. Do not pray for tongues because this is not scriptural. It’s the infilling of the Holy Spirit for which you should seek. Speaking in tongues is simply one of the many gifts of the Holy Spirit, but it’s the first manifesting sign and therefore the confirming evidence of the anointing experience.
When praying for the Holy Spirit, some people find themselves distracted by their fleshly thoughts and feelings. For this reason, we suggest you keep your prayer simple, focusing on praising God with powerful words such as Hallelujah (which means “Praise ye the LORD”). It helps to repeat these kinds of words of worship over and over, knowing you’re offering praises unto God, but not particularly having to concentrate on the words you’re speaking. This helps you to relax and let your mind focus on the pure things of God.
It also helps to pray to the Lord enthusiastically, even with a sense of urgency. Seeking for the Holy Spirit anointing is a matter of life and death. Scripture clearly tells us that no one knows when the second coming of Jesus will occur, but we do know it could happen any moment for we are living in the time of the “last days.”
Nevertheless, hypothetically, if you did know that Jesus was certain to return within the hour, and that without being born again of the Holy Spirit you would not rise to “meet Him in the air” as part of the Body of Christ (as scripture describes), surely you would put everything aside to fervently seek the Lord. You would cry out to God with desperate zeal, humbly recognizing your fleshly faults and appealing to the Lord for His gracious renewing, made way by the blood of Jesus. For some, these passionate vocalizations may involve tears of repentance; for others, they may mean cries of joyful worship.
Whatever it takes, come to the Lord naked in mind, prepared to undergo a spiritual transformation. When you notice yourself speaking in an unfamiliar language, accept that you have been filled with the precious power of God’s Holy Spirit and allow yourself to pray in this new spiritual language for quite a time, like a newborn baby taking his first essential breaths and crying out to the world of his arrival. You won’t understand what you’re saying as you speak in tongues, but God knows and the power of the Holy Spirit will be brought to life within you as you permit the language of the Spirit to make intercession for you:
1 Corinthians 14: 2, “For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.”
I Corinthians 14: 14-15, “For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.”
Romans 8: 26, “Likewise 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.”
Thereafter, pray in tongues regularly, both formally (e.g. during times of restful meditation upon the things of God) and informally (e.g. while washing the dishes, driving your car, etc.). However, be respectful to the Lord and to others by keeping your prayer in the Spirit between you and God. Don’t pray in tongues around others (except of course with Spirit-filled brethren, if you wish), and certainly don’t display tongues as a “parlor trick” to impress people.
If people are interested in hearing tongues, they can satisfy their curiosity by attending a fellowship meeting. You can always offer to pray for them to also receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. You can lay hands on them and pray for them, both in your native language and in tongues, and they will hear the language of the Spirit at that point.
It’s important – and exciting – to realize that once you’ve been born again of water and of the Spirit, you have been granted full authority by God to then pray for others (for the baptism of the Holy Spirit, for healing, etc.) and to also baptize (by full immersion in water only; “sprinkling” with water – or any other version – is not scriptural). The concept of having to leave these things to an “ordained” minister is a man-made fallacy. YOU are ordained as a official minister of God’s Word once you have repented, been baptized, and received (by God’s doing only) the Holy Spirit anointing:
John 15:16, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”
2 Corinthians 3:6, “Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.”
BAPTISM IN WATER IS ESSENTIAL
While the sealing of the Holy Spirit is God’s part of the New Testament covenant with you, your part of the agreement comes when you get baptized (by full immersion in water).
Despite what many religious organizations might say, it’s not necessary to be baptized in so called “holy water”. The Bible doesn’t elevate one type of water over another.
Baptism simply necessitates sufficient water so the requirements of full body immersion can be fulfilled, the idea being that you’re agreeing to “bury” your old life and then live a new life in the fullness of God’s ways.
God says (see below) you’re being baptized into Jesus’ death – you’re sharing the death experience with Him (and your rebirth – or being raised from the dead as Jesus once was – occurs when you’re made alive through the infilling of the Holy Spirit).
Baptism can take place in a large bathtub, hot tub, pool, lake, river, etc. In Papua New Guinea, the natives often dig a large hole in the muddy ground and fill it with water!
It’s important to be baptized by someone who is a member of the Body of Christ (someone who has repented, been baptized by full immersion in water and by the Holy Spirit, and who is living in obedience to the Word of God). The person baptizing you should ask you to repeat a confession of faith, something along the lines of the following:
“I confess with my mouth the Lord Jesus Christ, and believe in my heart that He is the Son of God and that God has raised Him from the dead.”
Then, the person baptizing you can say something similar to this:
“Upon confession of your faith, I baptize you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.”
After your confession, you should be gently lowered into the water, making sure all parts of your body are at least briefly covered by water. After rising from the waters of baptism, it’s good to pray in tongues together for a time, to give glory unto God.
If you haven’t yet been filled with the Holy Spirit at this point then this is an ideal opportunity to seek the Lord. Some people receive the Holy Spirit before baptism, some as they come up out of the waters of baptism, some as they pray after being baptized, some after drying off and having some more prayer, and yet others are anointed a while after the time of their baptism. Everyone’s situation is different, but common to all must be the determination not to give up, believing in the anointing experience as the Lord’s promise.
The following is an important note to those who have previously been baptized without a full understanding of the Biblical salvation message:
While you may have previously been baptized by full immersion in water somewhere else, you should seriously consider being re-baptized now that you’re fully aware of God’s salvation requirements. Most people who are baptized in the broad, weak stream of today’s self-labeled Christianity (full of falsities and compromises) believe they’re being baptized into the Body of Christ and unto eternal life. However, this is unscriptural.
The Word of God simply tells us that when we are baptized, we are baptized into Jesus’ death, our old man/flesh being buried:
Romans 6: 3, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?”
Romans 6: 4, “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death:…”
We should all be baptized in water with an expectation that just as Jesus was raised to life, we also should experience newness of life, quickened (livened) by the infilling of God’s Holy Spirit. It’s only until this anointing experience when the power of God comes to dwell inside of us that we can hope in life eternal in God’s kingdom:
1 Peter 3: 18, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:”
1 John 4: 13, “Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.”
1 Corinthians 12: 13, “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” (Here, Paul was writing to born again members of the Church – the Body of Christ, as were the authors of the other scriptures referenced in this section.)
Ephesians 2: 18, “For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.”
When we are baptized in water, we should be baptized with the correct scriptural understanding of what we’re doing; we should clearly know the meaning of the physical act and what to expect thereafter. So, if there’s any doubt regarding your previous baptism – in terms of who conducted your baptism and/or your understanding of the act – we thoroughly recommend that you be properly baptized for the first time.
WHAT IS YOUR CALLING?
Once you’ve been water baptized and filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, it’s helpful to get acquainted with the fullness of the salvation message so you can confidently impart it unto others. There are a multitude of Bible-based beliefs preached today, yet anything that differs from the truth is not truth. When you’re born again into the Body of Christ, you’re chosen to be an ambassador of God’s Word, to bring a simple yet powerful message to those who will listen:
Mark 16: 15-17, 20, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized” (by water and by the Holy Spirit) “shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover…And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.”
Romans 10: 15, “And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”
1 Corinthians 9: 16, “For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!”
2 Corinthians 5: 20, “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ.”
However, it’s not your job to convince or convert. Your calling is simply to expound God’s Word unto those that are still “in the dark”. Most will likely reject you; this is scriptural (Matthew 7: 13-14, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it”). Yet, some will be “pricked in their hearts,” as you were. You will plant and also water seeds of truth, but God is the one who will work upon the hearer (1 Corinthians 3: 7, “So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.”)
Along with sharing the salvation message presented by Jesus, it’s important to warn people about what they need to be saved from. The Bible tells us “the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6: 23).
Many of the Old Testament prophets, Jesus, and John the disciple’s visions (recorded in the book of Revelation) all spoke of the destruction that is certain to come, but they also spoke of the hope God offers to every person through His beloved Son. God has made the future known to us that we may fear what will happen if we don’t reconcile with Him in time, but also that we may be excited about what is in store for those who do “make it.” Read our “Burning Questions” post for more information.
YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON THIS
Finally, take some dedicated time to learn how to “walk in the Spirit” i.e. live a life that is according to God’s ways, that pleases Him and invites the fullness of His blessing upon you. Our “Get Reading” page is a good place to start. Be sure to read the following two posts:
The more you use the power of the Holy Spirit within you, the more useful you can be for the Lord, the stronger you’ll be to resist the temptations of Satan (and the Bible assures us that temptation will come to us all!), and the greater the chance you’ll have at overcoming and enduring to the end – both of which are necessary requirements for ultimate salvation. When you’re born again, the process of your salvation begins, but you must be careful to progress toward the Kingdom of God versus taking eternal life for granted:
1 Corinthians 10: 12, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”
Philippians 3: 13-14, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
1 Peter 5: 8, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”
Matthew 10: 22, “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.”
Matthew 25: 1-13 records Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins. The five virgins who failed to keep their lamps – which can be likened to the Holy Spirit – topped up with oil missed out on the marriage to the bridegroom when he came.”
James 1: 12, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”
Revelation 3: 21, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.”
Revelation 2: 7, “…To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.”
Also, please feel free to contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) for encouragement and support. While God fully equips us through the power of His Holy Spirit to endure to the end, it’s a pleasure and comfort to enlist the help of our Spirit-filled brethren as we await Christ’s return. In fact, it’s God’s directive because He knows how important it is as sustenance for our Spirit:
Hebrews 10: 23-25, “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”