The Baptism of the Holy Spirit
Written and compiled by: Nathan Littleton
The goal of this lesson is to break down the barriers of the Holy Spirit Baptism that the devil has put in place in our world today. This is the most important topic a believer can study. Receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is THE most important thing a believer can ever do. It is also the only thing that will turn the tide of the enemy in these last days.
The prayer is that this lesson will destroy the confusion, the fake, and all the apostasy surrounding the Holy Spirit in our modern church world and in the individual lives of the believer. As you will see, this is not an opinion, there is over 100 scripture references in this short lesson!
What will be covered:
The Holy Spirit is one of three members of the Godhead. The Holy Spirit is God. He is not substandard to the Father or the Son, but an equal part of the Trinity. He is one God, manifested in three parts. The Trinity is outlined all throughout the Bible. The Trinity is at work in creation (Genesis 1). There is also a very clear picture of the Trinity in Luke 3:21-22: When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, "You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased." Here Jesus is in human form, God the Father in heaven is speaking, and the Holy Spirit is descending like a dove upon Christ. This doctrine of the Trinity is one of the most commonly believed doctrines across all major Christian denominations.
The Holy Spirit is the member of the Godhead that is present on earth. Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to his disciples when He ascended back into heaven. (John 14:16-18) Every God-thing that is done on earth is done through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Since the Holy Spirit is God, He is therefore omniscient (all knowing), omnipresent (everywhere at once), and omnipotent (all-powerful).
And lastly, look at what the Bible says about the Holy Spirit. The Word of God refers to the Holy Spirit as:
When a person receives salvation, they are ‘born again’. This simply means our inner man is recreated, or reborn, by God. What in a sense was once ‘dead’ (evil, corrupt) is now made alive. Ephesians 2:4-5 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our sins, made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved.
When we are born again, we are born of the Holy Spirit. Look at what Jesus taught in John 3:5-6 Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Here Jesus is showing us that we must be born again by the Spirit who is at work just like water. Just as water cleanses and purifies, this is what the Holy Spirit does to the new believer.
Jesus goes on in the next few verses to explain how this is even possible. Here is what he says: John 3:14-16 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Christ died on the cross to pay the penalty of our sin. It is because of his work on Calvary that the Holy Spirit has the power to give us new life!
We are born of the Holy Spirit and 1Corinthians 3:16 tells us that the Holy Spirit dwells inside of the believer. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
The Holy Spirit is inside of every believer, but the Bible teaches us there is more available to those that desire it. Scripture is very clear that being born of the Spirit (John 3:3-7) and being Baptized with the Spirit (Acts 1:5) are separate experiences.
Let’s dive into this:
After Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, He appeared to His disciples and in John 20:22 and said this: And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. This was the born-again experience for the disciples. Look at what Genesis 2:7 says about the breath of God: And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. The disciples were recreated, and the Holy Spirit came to dwell in their lives the moment Jesus breathed on them.
But then look at what Jesus told them afterwards in Acts 1:4-5 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, "which," He said, "you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now." How could they have received the Holy Spirit when Jesus breathed on them, only for Jesus to tell them to go and wait for the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit?
Here are a few more examples:
Act 8:14-17 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
These people in Samaria had just become disciples (Acts 8:12-14), yet the church in Jerusalem sent two apostles to make sure that they would receive the Holy Spirit. Why would they do that if the Holy Spirit Baptism is automatic at conversion?
Acts 19:1-2 “And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”
Acts 19:2-6 “So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.”
And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.”
Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would 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 hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied”
It is beyond clear that the baptism in the Holy Spirit is a separate experience from receiving salvation.
So, what exactly is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?
The word ‘baptize’ means to complete submerge in water. Just like a farmer dips his sheep. A good example is this, I take a cup and add water to it. This would represent a person who has been born again and therefore has the Holy Spirit inside of them (the water). But if I now took the cup and submerged it inside of a tub full of water, I have now baptized it. It is completely full and completely covered by the water.
speak with other tongues
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the initial moment I receive the complete infilling of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 1:5,8 “For John truly baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now… YOU SHALL RECEIVE POWER when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
One of the main purposes of the Holy Spirit coming upon the believer is to receive power for service. When you are filled with the Spirit, you literally receive the power, or ability, of God to carry out the commission to be His witness. But there is much more. The Bible also teaches us that the Holy Spirit is your Comforter, Teacher, Helper, Counselor, and He is the Spirit of Truth.
John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever
John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
John 16:13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
Here are some more things the Holy Spirit will do:
And on top of this, we have access to nine special power gifts. They are often called "the Gifts of the Holy Spirit" We find them listed in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 they are:
These nine special gifts are given to the Spirit-filled believer by the Holy Spirit as He sees fit (1Corinthians 12:11) These gifts are very powerful, and we should study them and seek after them. I’m not diving deep into them in this article as the focus is on the Baptism. However, if you would like a deep study into these nine gifts here is an excellent resource for you https://isow.org/courses/the-gifts-of-the-spirit/?v=7516fd43adaa
Lastly, did you know that even Jesus Christ Himself did no miracles until he received the Holy Spirit? Luke 3:21-22: When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, "You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased." It's no wonder Christ Jesus promised we would do more miracles than He did! (John 14:12) It's because we have access to the same power that Jesus did, the Holy Spirit!
Receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is very simple. First you must understand that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is for EVERY believer. Acts 2:38-39 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call."
Here are the three simple steps and the only requirements to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit:
If you are a born-again Christian, and you ask God, in faith, for the Holy Spirit, the Word of God promises you that you will receive Him.
There are teachers out there that stress that when someone receives the Holy Spirit, they must have a physical manifestation (i.e. tingling of the hands, weighty presence, chills, tears, etc.). This is just not true. The Holy Spirit is not a manifestation, He is a person! Sometimes people get caught up on receiving a manifestation that they forget to simply receive the Holy Spirit.
Although these manifestations can and often happen, they are not a requirement.
We are called to live by faith, not feelings. 2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. James 1:6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. We’re saved by faith. We’re water baptized by faith. We receive the Holy Spirit by faith.
Simply accept salvation, ask the Father, and by faith you receive!
Five times in the book of Acts we see the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Four out of five of those times we know for sure they spoke in tongues.
Acts 8 is the only instance the Bible does not clearly say that they spoke in tongues. However, Simon, who practiced sorcery, wanted the power to lay his hands on believers for them to receive. So, obviously, there was a sign that he saw on these people. Logically, it was speaking in tongues as we see that in all the other instances.
also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him. God is no respecter of persons. This gift is available to all who will receive.
So what is praying in tongues? Speaking in tongues is simply when a person speaks a heavenly language that is given to them by the Holy Spirit. This language has not been before learned; therefore, it is not coming from the brain but rather from down inside a person’s spirit. And although it is the persons voice doing the speaking, it is the Holy Spirit guiding the words that are coming up out of the believer’s belly. It is completely supernatural, which is why it is so hard to explain and why there is so much confusion on this subject.
This new language is the evidence given to the believer that they have been filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. And remember, this gift is always given to EVERY believer, IMMEDIATELY upon receiving the Baptism, just as we see in every instance in the Bible. But with that being said, the absence of speaking in tongues doesn't mean that you haven't received the Baptism, as receiving is by faith (Galatians 3:2,14). Sometimes our uncertainty or wrong teachings we have received will hinder our speaking in tongues. However, a believer who is seeking this kind of level of power in their life must intently push past these hindrances and walk in this gift. It is impossible to live in the fullness of His power without this gift working in your life.
ABSOLUTLY NO. Many churches have fallen into the trap of trying to teach believers to speak in tongues. They want to seem spiritual without the dedication of living a lifestyle of surrender to Christ. The Bible warns us this would happen in the last day 2Timothy 4:3-4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
It is impossible to teach someone to speak in tongues as it is language given only to you. It is a language that no man understands but God. 1Corinthians 14:2 For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. Act 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. How could a person teach someone else another language that they themselves have never learned even one syllable of? That would be impossible!
It is clear in the Bible that we are never "forced" to speak in tongues by the Holy Spirit. On the contrary, the Holy Spirit is God and God created man with free will. He will never go against our free will and force us to salvation, He never forces us to follow Him, and He never forces us to speak in tongues. Let’s look at some scripture to prove this:
1Thessalonians 5:19 Quench not the Spirit. How could we quench Him if we were forced to obey Him?
In 1 Corinthians 14:19 Paul says this: Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue. These believers in Corinth where spending so much time praying in tongues that nothing else was getting done and nobody was learning anything. Praying in tongues is a personal thing, NOT a public thing. Then again, he says in verse 27-28: If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. Paul directly commands the speaker of tongues to KEEP SILENCE if there is no interpreter.
So, it is very clear we are not forced to speak in tongues. It is also clear that Paul is trying to teach these believers that wisdom must be used when speaking in tongues. This is not something to try to impress others how spiritual you are. It is a personal connection with God that is for your own personal benefit.
When we speak in tongues it is our voice doing the speaking. We are in direct control of our voice. Never in scripture do we see even a hint of anything else. The Holy Spirit does not take control of our bodies. Even though we feel his presence on our lives and feel Him manifest Himself on us in different ways, He never takes control over us or forces us to do something.
However, when we speak in tongues, the Holy Spirit IS guiding the words coming out. Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. They were doing the speaking and the Holy Spirit was guiding the words. Therefore, the Holy Spirit must be present to guide the words.
If someone gets up and speaks some kind of jumbo-mumbo, like some churches teach how to do, this is just babbling and has no power nor fruit. Do not be disturbed by this when you see it.
Just because people fake it there is still a real prayer language offered to every believer. You must get past all the twisted teachings of 'speaking in tongues' that this world offers and trust God to speak through you. Acts 2:4
The Holy Spirit is ALWAYS present inside of a believer. Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Since the Holy Spirit is inside of you, all you must do in order to pray in your prayer language, is to connect your mind with your spirit. Whenever you choose to slow down and connect, through prayer, with the Holy Spirit inside of you; you will find that He is always there ready to guide the words coming out of your mouth.
1 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. Paul says I WILL pray, and I WILL sing. Paul is very confident that he WILL do it. How could he be so confident if he wasn't certain that he could?
Ephesians 6:18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints. Here we are COMMANDED to
pray ALWAYS in the Spirit! How could we be commanded to do something we have no control over?
Jude 1:20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit. Once again, we are COMMANDED to pray IN the Holy Spirit in order to build our most holy faith. We are commanded to do so because we are in control. He is ever-present. All we must do is connect with Him.
This is all about RELATIONSHIP. You must realize that the Holy Spirit is real, and He wants to be your best friend. He wants to speak to you, to guide your life, and to lead you in every way. The more time you spend with Him, the more time you spend praying in tongues, the deeper you will get to know Him. And your prayer language will begin to come easily and will become a natural part of your life. This is THE most powerful gift the Holy Spirit gives us. I urge you to seek after this gift and spend time developing it. You will not regret doing so.
As stated before, the gift of speaking in tongues is given to you upon asking for and receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Some people start praying in tongues as soon as they are filled. This is ideal and is available to everyone right away. But some people struggle to use their prayer language due to uncertainty or wrong teachings they have received.
Here are some tips to help you activate speaking in tongues:
Honestly, it can be kind of like learning another language. At first it may just sound like a few broken up syllables, but that is ok and totally normal. Just keep at it. The more time you spend in prayer the more natural and fluent your new prayer language will become. Praise, worship, prayer, and reading the Word are the best ways to tap into this gift!
Another tip is to use your outside voice. Don't just pray, or worship, silently. Speak it out! Let it flow from your spirit up out of your mouth. Your words are powerful! (Proverbs 18:21)
At first, you may not be sure if the sounds coming out of your mouth are really tongues. You will have thoughts like “I’m just making this up”. This is common. Your brain cannot understand what’s going on and the Devil also knows that his power is greatly diminished when you walk in this gift. He will do his very best to stop, distract, and confuse you. You must remember that this gift is BY FAITH. You must simply believe that because you have asked, and that God has promised to give, therefore you have received. Simply keep going. Don't let those thoughts stop you. Eventually your confidence will build, and your understanding will grow as well.
I want to end this teaching by showing you some of the blessings we take part in when we pray in tongues. This is such a powerful gift!
For instance, there have been so many times in my life when I didn’t know what to do about a situation, so I asked God for wisdom and began to pray in tongues. As I prayed in my prayer language, divine solutions came to my mind. Just like a voice speaking to me as in Isaiah 30:21 Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, "This is the way, walk in it."
Paul encourages us to pray for the interpretation of our tongues. 1 Corinthians 14:13 Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. When you believe God for the interpretation of your tongues, the interpretation brings divine wisdom to your understanding. Solutions come, ideas come, understanding comes. Divine wisdom from above can only come through the Spirit of God. This is one of the most powerful things about speaking in tongues. Once you start to speak in tongues you should also seek for God to begin to interpret it to you.
When you pray in tongues, you are praying God’s perfect will, directly to Him. Your mind is out of the way- the limiting thoughts, the fear, and the unbelief that come with living in this fallen world are out of the way and your spirit can commune directly with your Father. The Holy Spirit knows the awesome plans God has for you and can pray them out as you pray in the Spirit. Think about this- the Holy Spirit was there when God planned your life and destiny!
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. God has good plans for you and the Holy Spirit knows exactly what needs to happen to bring you into that divine destiny. You don’t have to figure it out by yourself. The Holy Spirit knows who you need to meet, the situations that need to change, and the path you need to take. As you allow Him to pray through you, He will pray out these divine plans. The Holy Spirit is always praying the perfect will of God (Romans 8:26). When you don’t know what to pray, the Holy Spirit is there to pray the perfect will of God on your behalf. How awesome is that!
In 1 Corinthians 14:15, Paul talks about singing in the Spirit: What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding. Paul was worshiping in the Spirit. Also, he goes on in the next two verses and talks of "giving thanks well" when praying in the Spirit 1Corinthians 14:16
...For you indeed give thanks well...
When you speak in tongues, you also speak the wonderful works of God. Acts 2:11 ...we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God. Maintaining a thankful heart is a powerful weapon that always causes us to triumph in life. 2 Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causes us to triumph in Christ, and makes manifest the savor of his knowledge by us in every place.
The power of living a thankful life has benefits too numerous to list here. A thankful person is always a happy person. Speaking in tongues releases the power of thanksgiving and praise in your life.
Sometimes you know that something is holding you back from your destiny, but you don’t know exactly what it is. The Holy Spirit is the One who can search the innermost parts of your heart to find the root of the problem. Romans 8:27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
Allowing the Holy Spirit to pray through you by speaking in tongues will take the limits off your life and edify you to the point where you can live out the wonderful plans God has for you.
A 2005 article from the New York Times entitled:” A Neuroscientific Look at Speaking in Tongues” said that studies done on the brain suggest that people who pray in tongues rarely suffer from mental problems. The article talked about a study that was done among nearly 1,000 Christians. Those that prayed in tongues were more emotionally stable than those who did not!
There have also been studies done on the brain that show an increase to the immune system while praying in tongues. A brain specialist named Dr. Carl Peterson; M.D. did a study to look at what happens in the brain when people pray in tongues. He found that the two chemicals that are secreted while speaking in tongues boost the immune system by 35-40%. That is incredible!
When you speak in tongues, you not only build yourself up spiritually, but physically and emotionally as well.
life. As you walk in tune with the Holy Spirit, you will not fulfill the desires of the flesh that are contrary to you. Galatians 5:16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
participants were praying in tongues, the language center of the brain was quiet, even though a language was streaming out of their mouths. This shows that the language is coming from somewhere else other than the brain. The language is coming from your spirit. This is important because this is also where you hear God speak most often. When God speaks, He speaks to your spirit. The more we pray in tongues the easier it is to tap into what God is trying to say to us.
Hopefully this has helped to bring a clear understanding of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Yes, there is much more to Him than written in this one sermon. But that is the exciting part! The goal was to get you started on this journey. You must keep seeking and learning! God has so many great things in store for you!
Hebrews 13:20-21 Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.