THE BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT – Ray E Horton
The baptism with or in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues is something about which I am occasionally asked. Here is an explanation from the Oral Roberts Ministries website. [Emphasis mine! I will put any of my comments in brackets. – Ray].
“The baptism with the Holy Spirit refers to a gift we can receive after we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. The Bible says that Jesus Himself is the One who baptizes us with the Holy Spirit, as John the Baptist pointed out: ‘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 [Jesus] shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.’ (Matthew 3:11).
“According to Acts 2:4, the initial evidence that you have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit is the ability to speak in tongues. [From my experience, it is sometimes ‘an’ initial evidence. In my case, I had some other evidences, and several weeks later first spoke in tongues]. The Holy Spirit wants to help you communicate with God through this new “heavenly language” of prayer and praise. Through the Holy Spirit’s help, you are able to talk to God out of the depths of your heart, saying to Him what you are unable to fully express through your natural language alone.
Just Ask and Receive
“Like any other gift from God, we receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit by asking God for it and believing that we receive this gift from Him. The only requirement is that you must be saved, because the Holy Spirit will not fill an unbeliever. But if you are saved and you desire the baptism with the Holy Spirit, you can simply pray, asking God to fill you with His Spirit and to give you your prayer language. Ask for His help to release that prayer language. Then take a step of faith. Allow the Holy Spirit to fill your mouth, open your mouth, and speak.
God will never force anyone to do anything, including speaking in tongues. But He is not going to do it for you
“It’s important to understand that your own will plays a vital role in speaking in tongues. God will never force anyone to do anything, including speaking in tongues. He is not going to do it for you. Yes, the Holy Spirit will form the words as you speak them, but it is still up to you to do the speaking. By a simple act of your will, you must open your mouth and let the sound come out. [Your mind and the enemy will try to convince you that it is just you, so step out in faith and put that aside.]
“Because your mind is not creating the words you are speaking, it will not understand them. (See I Corinthians 14:14). You may think you are making up words. But you are not. You are allowing the Holy Spirit to form the words you speak. And according to the Bible, you are speaking them directly to God: ‘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 14:2).
“As you speak to God with your prayer language, God understands what you say even if you don’t. But you can also ask God to help you interpret the meaning of what you’ve said, so that you can then pray with your understanding also. (See I Corinthians 14:13–15). [Such interpretation of your prayer language may be something you desire, but is not necessary, unlike when tongues are spoken out in a meeting and require interpretation.] The interpretation of your prayer language is a matter of exercising your will, just as the releasing of it is. After you have spoken in your prayer language, ask God to give you the interpretation. Then open your mouth to speak words in your natural language. This is how you interpret for your own understanding what the Holy Spirit was speaking through you.
Can one be saved not speaking in tongues?
The Baptism with the Holy Spirit is valuable for every Christian to experience
“You do not have to speak in tongues to receive a born-again experience with God. [This is important to note. You already have the Holy Spirit when Born Again, but the Baptism releases the power]. Salvation is a completely separate work from the baptism with the Holy Spirit, which can occur any time after salvation. However, the baptism with the Holy Spirit is valuable for every Christian to experience.
“The purpose of the baptism with the Holy Spirit is to empower us to be effective witnesses for Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8). It provides an inner power that becomes an outward force to bring the reality of Jesus Christ to others. To help release this power, the baptism with the Holy Spirit gives the Christian a new tongue with which to praise and pray to God. Speaking in tongues also helps Christians to build up their faith (Jude 20).”