Immersion in the Holy Spirit
"Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ,
let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation
of repentance from dead works
and of faith toward God,
of the teaching of immersions,
of laying on of hands,
of resurrection of the dead
and of eternal judgment.
And this we will do if God permits," Hebrews 6'1-3.
"... how much more
will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit
to those who ask Him!," Luke 11'13.
The first immersions in the Holy Spirit took place on the Day of Pentecost, being experienced by the waiting Disciples.
As part of "speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God", Jesus had told them to wait for "the Promise of the Father ...", Acts 1'3-4.
He had also said:
"... 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," Acts 1'8.
And the they received the Father's Promise:
"... they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance," Acts 2'4-on.
The Jews who had gathered to celebrate the Old Covenant Feast of Pentecost, and became Believers, were next:
There were those who "were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven".
They heard the "sound" and "came together".
Then Peter ...
"... standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, 'Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words.
... this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel'," Acts 2'14-16.
With these words he began turning the first of the keys Jesus had given him. He preached the Good News of Christ and the Kingdom of God and opened the way for Jews, saying:
"This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses.
Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.
For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: ‘The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, 'till I make Your enemies Your footstool."’
Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ," Acts 2'32-36.
There was an immediate response:
"Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" verse 37.
Peter's answer was clear:
"Repent, and let every one of you be immersed 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," verses 38-39.
The first key had been completely turned:
"Then those who gladly received his word were immersed (in water); and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.
And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers," verses 41-42.
It is crucial to keep in mind how important teaching the foundational principles of Christ thoroughly is so the truth of the Immersion in the Holy Spirit can be experienced.
"DID YOU RECEIVE?"
Many Believers can testify to the working of the Holy Spirit in their lives, even, as they look back, before they were saved.
However, mixed or incorrect teachings have left many Believers ignorant, confused or hardly aware of the Father's promise.
An example is mentioned in Acts 19. Paul came across some disciples and discovered that their Kingdom experience of Christ was incomplete:
"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 19'1.
This searching question shows the extent of Paul's Kingdom thinking.
"So they said to him, 'We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit'.
But he said to them, 'Into what then were you immersed?' So they said, 'Into John's immersion'.
Then Paul said, 'John indeed immersed with an immersion 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 immersed 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," Acts 19'2-6.
The Promise of the Father is for all Disciples to receive.
"BORN OF THE SPIRIT"
For those who believe Jesus Paul's inspired words show that receiving the Holy Spirit is a vitally important experience. His question, "Did you receive ..."? shows they are distinct.
Obviously, believing comes first:
"... as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:
who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God," John 1'12-13.
It is beyond doubt that those who believe in His name are born of God, being born again. Jesus pointed this out saying, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit," John 3'6.
These new Believers, along with all Believers who have not done so, are encouraged to become receivers.
ASKING FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT
Jesus makes a very crucial point about receiving The Promise of the Father. And that is, asking.
He encourages Believers to ask and gives a firm assurance as to the Father's response:
"... I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish?
Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
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!" Luke 11'9-13.
Believers could ask themselves: "Have I received the Holy Spirit since I believed?". What would the answer be in your case?
If your answer is "No" then do what Jesus is expecting His People to do: ask.
However, when asking it's a blessing to have, as those disciples who Paul met had, someone who is experienced praying with them.
Asking could take place in a Gathering where there is an elder, or elders, who has received the Spirit, and least another Believer you know well.
If it's in a private place make sure that one of them is the same sex as you.
Of course, you can ask the Father on your own if that's not possible. Find a place where there's no restriction and allow plenty of time to give thanks and praise the Lord.
Be encouraged by what James says: "Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you" (4'8). Lift your hands, praise and thank Him for His Kingdom promises. Thank Him for His presence.
Here's a suggested prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank you for your promise to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask.
Lord, I am asking: give me the Holy Spirit in Jesus' name.
Father, I receive the Holy Spirit from you now. Thank you, Father.
For some precious feelings of blessing are likely, such as having a special awareness of the presence of God. Or you find yourself speaking a language that is unknown to you which, at some stage will happen.
This tongue is a unique way of speaking to Him that God has given. You can stop (and restart) whenever you want to.
1 Corinthians 14'2 explains:
"... 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".
Thank your heavenly Father for fulfilling His Promise. Lift your hands and praise Him.
Caution: If nothing seems to have happened, don't be disappointed and certainly don't be discouraged. That's not unusual. Keep in mind what you have done. You have asked - therefore you have received.
Leave the rest to the Lord. The "breakthrough" will happen, like a wonderful surprise. Until then, live life in thankful worship to Him.
This is a good time to refresh your reading about Kingdom life. The scriptures from Acts 2'1 to Revelation 3'22 in particular.
They portray people who are attempting to express the reality of the good news of Jesus and the Kingdom in their everyday lives.
(You can look at other pages on this website too. They aim to help Believers in the understandings and experiences of Christ).
Prayer. Heavenly Father, thank you for your promise of the Holy Spirit. Thank you, too, for the example of those New Covenant Believers in the word of Christ who received Him.
In Jesus' name. Amen.