QUESTIONS ANSWERED ABOUT
HOLY SPIRIT BAPTISM – Ray E Horton
In response to one of my messages concerning the Holy Spirit, and how one can be Born Again and have the Holy Spirit, yet not have the fullness and power of the Spirit which comes with the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, a brother posed a group of questions. While I had daily chores that needed to be done, the Lord put it on my heart to respond to all of his questions, because it would help him and others as well. So, I spent quite a few hours answering. And it blessed me to do so. I am retired, and any household chores can wait. He asked:
Brother Horton is there any scriptural evidence that the filling of the Spirit comes with the asking? Like to know that.
- Can you please add a few points on what being filled with the Spirit is like?
- Must I speak in tongues when filled because the first instance of the coming of the Spirit during Pentecost people spoke in a new tongue.
- Is the filling of the Spirit equated with the fruit of the Spirit?
- Jesus cast our demons by the finger of God (meaning Holy Spirit). Is it possible to filled with the Holy Spirit and yet deny the PRACTICE of casting out demons? Or healing? Or miracles?
- Jesus in Acts 1:8 promised the disciples that they will receive POWER when the Spirit comes.
- I have seen many people who claim to be filled with the Holy Spirit just as powerless as any common man.
Whats your take on all these questions?
Ray E Horton: Brother, thank you for all the good questions. Let’s take them one at a time:
- Does the filling of the Spirit come with the asking? Yes! Turn to Luke 11:13. “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
- What is being filled with the Holy Spirit like? That is a big question. I could write a book on it. But here are a few points:
– It is a refreshing. We get tired in our walk, especially dealing with the world, but we have found it true what the prophet Isaiah foretold: “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, this is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear” (Isa. 28:11-12). Unfortunately, many still will not hear because of false cessationist teaching.
– Enhanced experience of God’s love, so much more than head knowledge, but a deep inner awareness. And with that, an enhanced love for others. That was one of the first things that I noticed when first Spirit-filled (in 1973). I would see people I would have otherwise judged, and suddenly had a new compassion for them. See what the letter of Jude tells us: “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God…” (Jude 20-21). We know God’s love, but Holy Spirit keeps us in the faith to keep ourselves with an ongoing awareness of His love.
– Better able to operate in the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit for service, the anointing to do whatever God would have you do for His people in His name. It is His power, not our own, by which we heal the sick, and operate in the gifts and signs following the preaching of the Word, often not just from the pulpit, but in one-on-one evangelism.
I could go on and on. This just scratches the surface. I was Born Again in 1969, saved and thankful, but still without much power to overcome weaknesses and sin and circumstances. I didn’t at that time experience the authority of the believer over the enemy, in Jesus name. When I was spirit-filled in 1973, my whole life totally changed, not just the inner man of the spirit that was already transformed. My life turned upside down, sold out to Him, and has never since been the same. I have the spiritual strength to trust God, and the gifts to overcome no matter what comes my way. And believe me, the enemy as tried to test that often. But I have unshakable faith and confidence that with the Lord, I win!
- Must I speak in tongues when filled with the Holy Spirit? It is true that that was an initial evidence. But must I? No! Rather, I get to. It is such a beautiful gift. I love praying in my prayer language, off and on all day long. I often wake up praying in tongues. We are in control. God forces nothing on us. I pray in the spirit because I want to and choose to. It is for my edification and opens the way to the other gifts as well. The other form that tongues takes is a message in tongues in the congregational setting and requires interpretation. I don’t use it in church unless inspired to do so by Holy Spirit, and rather than depend on someone else to interpret (which is good if an interpreter is available), I will be sure to ask Holy Spirit for the interpretation myself if someone else doesn’t. The combined gift is equivalent to prophesy. By the way, one can’t obey Paul’s admonition in 1 Cor. 14:1 without the fullness of the Holy Spirit, to “… desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.”
- Must we speak in tongues initially to know we have the Baptism? No, we know by faith. Ask and you shall receive. While tongues first is most common, I prophesied before I spoke in tongues with my new prayer language. Ignorance and pride kept me from tongues for several weeks, but I had many other evidences immediately, including a whole new love and spiritual hunger, and prophecy as well.
One other question if you don’t mind.
How does one KNOW they have the gift of the Spirit? And my last question pertaining to the discussion is this:
Are the listed 9 gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:1 the ONLY gifts of the Spirit or are there others? I read somewhere about the gift of serving etc.
- Brother, you receive simple by asking, receiving by faith like anything else from God. Once you choose to believe the truth of God’s Word that you received the Holy Spirit gift when you asked, then that belief quickly becomes knowledge because of some of the things I mentioned. I no longer just believe that I am spirit-filled, I know it, because God has clearly proven it to me by changes in my life and all the supernatural power that I need.
- The spiritual gifts of 1 Cor. 12 are called the manifestation gifts. Romans 12:4-8 gives us what are called motivational gifts. One of those listed is “helps” or “serving” (depending on which translation you use). We all have different functions in the Body of Christ, and with the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, we function in those gifts as He wills, which is usually not just our natural abilities, but according to the need, as He supernaturally equips us. It isn’t “my” gift(s), but the Lord’s, and we steward that which He gives us to use at any given time.
Getting back to your original questions, brother, since I had some free time this afternoon/evening, I felt they were important enough to spend time addressing, for you and for all those who may have similar questions. You asked:
- Is the filling of the Spirit equated with the fruit of the Spirit? I believe that the fruit of the Spirit are fruit belonging to the Holy Spirit given to us at salvation and are latently there for us to draw on. Peter tells us: “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue” (2 Peter 1::3). That “knowledge of Him” comes to us through the Holy Spirit, our teacher, and I believe these “all things” include the fruit of the Spirit.
So, I believe we gain access to the fruit at salvation, but that it is through the filling of the Spirit upon us that we are able to more easily draw on the fruit to be a part of us and build our character.
- You asked: “Jesus cast our demons by the finger of God (meaning Holy Spirit). Is it possible to filled with the Holy Spirit and yet deny the PRACTICE of casting out demons? Or healing? Or miracles?” Sure, one could be Spirit-filled and deny them. We have free will. But it’s doubtful, since when spirit-filled, God puts these supernatural methods of helping people on our hearts through His compassion for people, and, if we will step out in faith, He will equip us with the gifts to use us in these areas.
- Lastly, you asked: “Jesus in Acts 1:8 promised the disciples that they will receive POWER when the Spirit comes.
I have seen many people who claim to be filled with the Holy Spirit just as powerless as any common man. What’s your take on all these questions?”
Brother, each of us who are filled with the Spirit do potentially have that power. But we must have the courage to step out in faith and to use that power as the Lord leads. If we are not living godly lives, it is very hard to believe for being used in power. But, the godly, spirit-filled believer, who spends intimate time with the Lord and studies His Word, will grow in faith and love and hear His direction to their hearts when it is needful to step out in His power in the gifts.
But you are right, many Christians lead defeated, powerless lives, including some who have been filled with the Holy Spirit. If we are spirit-filled but don’t choose to or believe you can grow strong in the things of God, you will remain as you were, down on yourself, not understanding or believing that He has changed you.
That’s where discipleship and good teaching come in, so the people learn who they are now in Christ and have the confidence to go on with Him. Then, also, if a Christian doesn’t spend time with the Lord, they may go for years lazy and apathetic and complacent. But God wants us to encourage their faith and love them and help them get back on the road, since God needs all of us to bring in the harvest in these last days.
Whew! Got through all your questions. 🙂 I hope my answers helped. I don’t know it all but have learned much over my years in the Lord. I thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to help. I grow too when I teach and must remember why I believe what I believe.