Immersion in the Holy Spirit
("DID YOU RECEIVE?")
"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 ...," 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 were experienced by the waiting Disciples on the Day of Pentecost.
When He spoke to them "of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God", Jesus told them to wait for "the Promise of the Father ..." (Acts 1'3-4).
He 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 they received that Promise when:
"... 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.
All this happened at the time when there "were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven" who were there to celebrate the Old Covenant Feast of Pentecost.
They heard the "sound" and "came together". The second group of Believers to receive the Holy Spirit would be from among them.
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.
And with these words he began to He preach the Good News of Christ and the Kingdom of God, opening the way for Jews.
This was the first of the keys the Lord had given him for His purposes:
"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.
Finally, he turned the first key completely:
"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.
One thing is crucial. The teaching of immersion in the Holy Spirit is part of these elementary foundational principles of Christ.
It's in the Inheritance, to be received and experienced today as it was then.
"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.
A good example of it's importance is shown in Acts 19. While on his travels Paul came across some disciples in Ephesus.
When he discovered they were missing out on New Covenant Kingdom inheritance understandings, He began ministering to them.
He revealed his Kingdom thinking when He asked them this question:
"'Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed'.
"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 19'1-6.
How would you answer that question? Remember, the Promise of the Father is for all Disciples.
"BORN" AND "RECEIVING"
Those Disciples in Acts 19 believed. That means they were born of the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, they had not received the Holy Spirit. There is a difference.
The Believing and being born of the Spirit come 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 are born of God, born again. Their new birth is by the Holy Spirit as John 3'6 says:
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit,".
This is the time to ask God for the Holy Spirit, as Paul indicated. Those who have not done so, are encouraged to become receivers. The promise is to all Believers.
Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?
ASKING FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT
Jesus really encourages Believers to ask for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Just read Luke chapter 11 verses 1 to 13. There He leaves no doubt about what the Father's answer will be.
He finishes His assurance with this:
"... 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.
If you realise that you did not receive the Holy Spirit when you believed, how about asking?
Paul was on hand to minister to the disciples in Acts 19. Having another Believer who has received the Spirit, to pray alongside you, is a blessing.
It could be with an Elder, or Elders, at the end of a meeting.
Asking the Father for the Spirit in private, in Jesus' name, is a possibility. Also, He may surprise by giving at any time in answer to the desire of the heart.
There is a danger that asking may turn into seeking and striving. There's an age-old saying, "don't seek the gift, seek the Giver".
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:
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.
Receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit may also bring pleasant feelings of blessing or a special awareness of the presence of God.
Spontaneous speaking with a strange language may happen immediately.
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".
"He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself ..." 1 Corinthians 14'4.
This tongue an exclusive way of speaking to God. At the same time it's a unique way of building ourselves up.
However, this tongue may not emerge straight away. Don't be concerned. It will happen. perhaps unexpectedly. Relax, rest in God.
Just thank the Father for fulfilling His Promise. Lift your hands and praise Him.
Again: 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.
And by the way, tongues speaking can be stopped and started at will.
The Saints in the scriptures of Acts 2'1 to Revelation 3'22 received the Holy Spirit.
They are portrayed expressing the reality of the good news of Jesus and the Kingdom in their everyday lives.
This is a good time to re-read those scriptures and refresh yourself about Kingdom life.
Prayer. Heavenly Father, thank you for your promise of the Holy Spirit. Thank you, too, for the examples in the word of Christ of those New Covenant Believers who received Him.
In Jesus' name. Amen.