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"Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon him while He is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon." (Isaiah 55:6-7)

 

Oct 10, 2019

In this episode Brother Jonathan talks about common mistakes made in understand and seeking the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.

 

Baptism in the Holy Spirit

S3EP25

Remnant Bible Fellowship

 

  1. Matthew 3:11-12
    1. “"As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. "His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."” (Mat 3:11-12)
  2. Stating the Issue
    1. If there is an issue that divides people—other than salvation issues—it is anything having to do with the Spirit of God. Some denominations teach Cessationism (the teaching that the gifts of the Spirit have ceased), and others teach Continuationism (the teaching that the gifts of the Spirit continue to this day). Some teach that there is no baptism in the Holy Spirit and some teach that there is. Sometimes these divides are on denominational lines, and other times denominations are divided within themselves. For example, Baptists almost totally teach Cessationism; but there are some Baptists that still teach that there is a baptism in the Holy Spirit. That can happen especially in the Baptist denomination because they are generally independent unless they have become part of an association or convention.
    2. Here in the passage that we’re talking about in this episode, we first encounter the phrase “baptism with the Holy Spirit”. The Greek preposition used in the phrase is “en”, but it is almost always translated as “with” instead of “in”. Generally though, people mix-and-max the phraseology. That might not be very exact theologically but that’s generally what most people do.
    3. The main controversy over the term “baptism in/with the Holy Spirit” is twofold: (1) What is the baptism in the Holy Spirit; and (2) When does it occur? There are other questions that follow, but this sums up the main point. There are several interpretations that have support. What all agree on though is that it involves an experience of the person with the Holy Spirit Himself. How to define that and when it occurs are the main dividing points. Also, after that is answered there are questions that follow: To whom does this experience belong, how do you know it happened, when does it happen, etc.
  • The Options
    1. John W. Wyckoff summed up the choices pretty well in Stanley Horton’s “Systematic Theology”:
      1. “One possible position is that the baptism in the Holy Spirit is a part of the conversion-initiation experience, with no special evidence such as speaking in tongues…The second possible position is that the baptism in the Holy Spirit is a part of the conversion-initiation experience and it is always accompanied by the special evidence of speaking in tongues. This is the position of some Oneness Pentecostal groups. The third possible position is that the baptism in the Holy Spirit usually follows regeneration, but the experience is not accompanied by speaking in tongues. This is the position of some Wesleyan Holiness groups such as the Church of the Nazarene. The fourth possible position is that the baptism in the Holy Spirit usually follows regeneration and is always accompanied by the special evidence of speaking in tongues. This is the position of Pentecostals such as the Assemblies of God.” (p. 425)
    2. Now, I want you to notice a problem here with how this is stated by Wyckoff. There are several things assumed in his description of the possible interpretations. That’s probably because this chapter was written for an Assemblies of God systematic theology textbook. I personally can think of a number of other options, but some in particular that I think need consideration.
      1. What most people call the “baptism in the Holy Spirit” is one of any number of possible experiences with the Holy Spirit after conversion.
      2. Tongues can be an evidence of the experience, but not always.
    3. These are generally the main dividing lines of interpretation about this issue. Before I start talking about what I believe can be confidently said to be true or false I want to discuss my personal experiences with this issue good and bad.
  1. My Experiences
    1. My conversion.
    2. I was an IFB.
    3. I attended an IFB Bible Institute and an IFB Bible College.
    4. I was taught cessationism and that any “manifestation” was either demonic or just an act from a fleshly-minded person.
    5. I was corrected by reading the scriptures and prayer.
    6. I realized that manifestations of the Spirit were biblical and I began seeking how to understand them.
    7. I got confused by the many contrary teachings about the issue.
    8. I got disillusioned.
  2. What is Certainly Wrong
    1. Cessationism is absolutely false. Biblically, there is no defense for Cessationism. Remember that cessationism is the teaching that the gifts of the Spirit, or manifestations of the Spirit in general, have ceased because the canon of scripture has been completed.
      1. I was taught this, and it is complete nonsense. This is an interpretation that was created to explain why certain things weren’t seen in certain circles. Now, I am not a Pentecostal. I have never identified as Pentecostal, but I used to be a cessationist and now I am not. Let me give you several reasons why this is not a biblical teaching:
        1. It violates the basic rule of biblical interpretation: A text cannot mean for you what it did not mean for its original audience. What that means is, the scriptures do not mean something for its original audience, like “don’t do this”, and today that same scripture means for you “go ahead”. The only exceptions would be things that are cultural (rare) or possibly prophetic texts from the Old Testament.
        2. Gordon Fee talked about his briefly in his book “How to Read the Bible for All its Worth” (2nd edition): “You will recall from chapter 1 that we set out as a basic rule the premise that a text cannot mean what it never could have meant to its author or his or her readers. This is why exegesis must always come first. It is especially important that we repeat this premise here, for this at least establishes some parameters of meaning. This rule does not always help one find out what a text means, but it does help to set limits as to what it cannot mean.”
        3. “For example, the most frequent justification for disregarding the imperatives about seeking spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 14 is a particular interpretation of 1 Corinthians 13:10, which states that “when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away” (RSV). We are told that the perfect has come, in the form of the New Testament, and therefore the imperfect (prophecy and tongues) have ceased to function in the church. But this is one thing the text cannot mean because good exegesis totally disallows it. There is no possible way Paul could have meant that—after all, his readers did not know there was going to be a New Testament, and the Holy Spirit would not have allowed Paul to write something totally incomprehensible to them.” (pp. 64-65)
      2. The early Christian writers recorded the exact opposite. Prophecy, divine healing, casting out devils, etc., all these things occurred AFTER the closing of the canon for hundreds of years. John Wesley wrote a sermon in the mid-1700s defending the idea that these things have continued throughout church history in its entirety. A.W. Tozer was quoted as saying that there is not a single verse in the NT that teaches that spiritual gifts have ceased.
  • Most cessationists still claim that other spiritual gifts have continued. That is, they claim that the gifts which cannot be substantiated or verified have continued; but the “sign” gifts have ceased. I honestly say that most teach this because it is what they have been told or because they use it to justify their own denominations.
  1. Most cessationists can only cite examples from the NAR or the Prosperity gospel movement as examples of tongues or these things when there are many outside of these movements that accept them as well—they’re just not Baptist or reformed.
  2. Most cessationists associate people like David Wilkerson or Leonard Ravenhill with heretics like Kenneth Copeland or Benny Hinn simply because they’re ignorant. They presuppose the perfection of their own church’s doctrine and therefore condemn all others as inferior. I know, because that’s what my church’s pastors, preachers, and teachers did, and I learned it from them.
  3. The bias of Cessationists is clearly seen when they use as a reason for justifiably denying spiritual gifts the example of the radicalist snake-handling churches. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that from Baptists. But this cuts both ways because if that is a justifiable reason to deny the doctrine of continuationsim then I can certainly deny Eternal Security because of the adulterers, fornicators, liars, etc., who claim to be Christian because of that false doctrine.
  • The fact of the matter is that Cessationism cannot provide one single text from the New Testament that can exegetically be shown to TELL Christians that spiritual gifts would stop before the second coming of Christ. It is therefore, by definition, unbiblical.
  1. Tongues being necessary is certainly wrong.
    1. It cannot be shown scripturally that tongues are a necessary manifestation of being filled with the Spirit of God. The only thing that can be made clear is that it may manifest if you are filled with the Spirit. There is no single, consistent, pattern in the book of Acts that gives us that picture. On some occasions we are told that a person was filled with the Spirit and tongues is not mentioned at all. There is no text that tells us it will always happen or that it is a sign of it. On the contrary, it is usually described in conjunction with the gift of prophecy.
      1. “But when they believed Philip preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike. Even Simon himself believed; and after being baptized, he continued on with Philip, and as he observed signs and great miracles taking place, he was constantly amazed. Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit.” (Act 8:12-17)
        1. In this passage we have a clear text where new believers were being “baptized in the spirit” or “filled with the spirit” after their conversion. Neither tongues or prophecy is mentioned in the entire chapter.
      2. “So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit." And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized; and he took food and was strengthened. Now for several days he was with the disciples who were at Damascus, and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, "He is the Son of God." (Act 9:17-20)
        1. Paul the Apostle’s conversion specifically mentions him being “filled with the Spirit” but the only thing we see is that he begins boldly proclaiming the gospel. Tongues are not mentioned. Now, we know from his other writings that he later spoke in tongues, but that gives no support for tongues being a sign of being baptized in the Spirit because it cannot be shown that when he was filled with the spirit it happened. Actually, even when Paul recounts his conversion later in Acts 22 he doesn’t mention tongues or prophesying either.
      3. “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered, "Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?" (Act 10:44-47)
        1. Here in the instance of Cornelius’ conversion and those with him we do see tongues mentioned when these people received the Spirit of God. But that’s not all we read. We see that some of them were speaking a language that was known also. It says that some were “exalting God”. So either these new believers were hopping back and forth from speaking in tongues to speaking in their own language, or some spoke in tongues and some prophesied. Either way, a definitive case for ALL speaking with tongues as the ONLY sign of being “baptized in the Spirit” cannot be made.
      4. “And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should 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 his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.” (Act 19:1-6)
        1. The disciples of John at Ephesus are said to speak with tongues and some prophesied. This is the same as the last passage. Were they going back and forth from tongues to prophesying, or was it simply that some prophesied and some spoke in tongues? Out of the four passages that I gave you I can make the same case for prophesying being the sign of being baptized in the spirit instead of tongues because it occurs the same number of times in connection with it.
      5. The fact is that there is simply no consistent pattern given in the book of Acts to which every Christian should expect to conform. You have to understand the problem with looking for one also: we are given no reason in the text to expect that there is a consistent example of what should happen regarding gifts of the Spirit of God. Just because certain things are described for some believers in the book of Acts does not mean that it is prescribed for all believers. If that were the case then we would expect a consistent example and plain statement and imperatives telling us to expect it a certain way.
      6. Those who would go on to say that we should use the apostles as examples regarding experience, referencing the day of Pentecost, I would like to ask was there a tongue of fire that rested on you? No? Then it’s not the same thing is it—at least not in how it manifested.
      7. That’s the real issue about the tongues thing: how does it manifest? In the passage we just read about Cornelius’ household from Acts 10 it doesn’t sound like what happened to the Apostles on the day of Pentecost at all. There was no sound of a mighty rushing wind. There were no tongues of fire. But when Peter describes what happened to the elders back at Antioch in chapter 11 this is what he says:
        1. “And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?” (Act 11:15-17)
      8. Peter says that the same thing happened to them: they were baptized in the Spirit of God. But you need to see what was different. It wasn’t at the same time as the Apostles. The apostles already had the spirit of God, but they were later baptized in the spirit and endued with power from on high to go preach the gospel. Cornelius’ household was baptized in the Spirit when they heard the gospel and believed it. It happened simultaneously with their conversion. The Apostles already knew a lot of doctrine and stuff. Cornelius and them just heard the gospel. The apostles had sound and tongues of fire, but Cornelius’ household didn’t. The apostles spoke with tongues, and at least some of Cornelius’ household did. The emphasis was that both were given the same gift: they were endued with power from on high by the Spirit of God. That is the emphasis. Tongues may happen, but they might not.
    2. My View
      1. This has been a very difficult episode to prepare for. The issue of the “baptism in the Spirit” has been a point of confusion for me for several years. I am certain that there is an experience to be sought from God and confusion and disillusionment has kept me from really seeking it confidently for a long time.
      2. If you read R.A. Torrey then you are told that you just need to ask and believe that you have it and eventually it happens.
      3. If you read Charles Finney you read that you need to seek God and tarry in prayer until it happens, and the only thing that will hinder it is unbelief or sin.
      4. If you read Andrew Murray you get a mixed bag of what to expect, but he says that it is for the power to overcome sin as well.
      5. If you read Richard Taylor then you’ll believe that it is entire sanctification.
      6. If you read traditional Pentecostals then you believe that you are to expect tongues and that you should not get involved in ministry unless you have it.
      7. If you follow the Azusa Street people then you will be told that you are infallible when you receive it.
      8. If you read any of the Apostolic Pentecostal preachers they’ll tell you that if you don’t speak in tongues that you aren’t saved.
      9. If you read the Calvary Chapel stuff you’ll get their view.
      10. I’ve read so many books, and heard so many sermons that all I got was confused. It is hard for some to simply maintain a desire to just be close to God. You get so focused on seeking this experience because it will fix your walk or make you feel spiritual. Or, you start to seek it in order to prove to yourself that you are a Christian. It gets especially difficult to maintain your focus on just drawing close to Christ if you get confused doctrinally. That is what happened to me and it has taken several years for me to get my footing again. So I want to simplify the issue for those of you who are seeking this experience.
  • My Advice
    1. Don’t use other people’s experience as an example.
      1. There’s a reason that Paul wrote that we should not compare ourselves with other believers. Consider 1 Corinthians 12:
        1. “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.” (1Co 12:4-11)
      2. We are specifically told that there are “varieties of effects”. That means that the Spirit of God does different things in different ways to different people. There is diversity within the body of Christ. This is not just true about spiritual gifts but about how the Holy Spirit works in each believer. Yes, there are things common to all believers such as conviction of sin, our being drawn to God, being born of the Spirit, learning to walk in the Spirit, etc. But not everyone came to Christ through the same operations of the Spirit. Some have some miraculous thing happen to them to wake them up. Some people God seems to practically put a billboard up with their name on it saying, “Get right with me.” But some are just raised in a Christian household and repent when we understand the gospel and are convicted. It’s the same Holy Spirit doing it all. Don’t get so concerned with the details of how—as long as it doesn’t violate the scriptures because that’s not the Holy Spirit then—and just be happy when people become Christians and seek the Lord. The same thing with this issue. God can manifest Himself any way He feels and to whatever extent He feels and we need to understand and trust that God knows what He is doing. Some people need a great manifestation because of where they are at, and God knows it. Some don’t need it like that, and God knows it. Don’t use other people’s experience as a false expectation of what you should expect. Just stick with the scriptures. You are only free to have an expectation of what is specifically stated in scripture as an expectation.
    2. Don’t get bogged down with the nitty-gritty details in Acts.
      1. I have been through every text having to do with the baptism in the Spirit I don’t know how many times. I was labor to parse Greek words and exhaust the text trying to find the “missing key” to make it all make sense. As I told you earlier, there is no clear through-line or example in Acts that’s going to give you that. That Acts of the Apostles is not meant to be an instructive book it’s only an historical narrative. Can we glean doctrinal things from it? Absolutely. But there is a reason that certain things are not explicitly stated in the other books of the New Testament. Everything that matters is explicitly stated. Here are some passages that tell us things explicitly:
        1. “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,” (Rom 8:14-16)
          1. There is supposed to be a close relationship between believers and the Spirit of God. How that happens is another matter, but there is supposed to be a definite fellowship between our spirit and God’s.
        2. “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.” (Rom 8:9)
          1. You are not a Christian if you don’t have the Spirit of God. Does this mean that you need an experience to confirm that to you? No. Just remember what Paul says: “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” (Gal 3:26) It is simply faith in Jesus Christ that makes you a child of God. Yes, there are things such as repentance, but those are not “works” that add to this.
          2. In John 6:44 Jesus told us that no one can come to God unless the Father draws him. You cannot even begin to think about God unless the Spirit of God is already working in you. If you believe the Gospel and have put your trust in Christ then you have been born of the Spirit. You have the Spirit of God. There are different aspects and/or ministries of the Spirit of God though. Conversion is one thing, spiritual gifts are another.
          3. The fact that Paul tells the Corinthians to desire spiritual gifts makes clear that some of them were still seeking these things even though they were already Christians.
        3. “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware.” (1Co 12:1)
          1. Paul makes clear that there are certain things about gifts and manifestations of the Spirit that we ought to be aware.
        4. “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons.” (1Co 12:4-6)
          1. There are different gifts of the Spirit. There are different ministries. There are different effects by the Spirit. You need to really understand that. There is no cookie-cutter mold or formula that the Spirit has to follow in how He manifests Himself through believers so long as it is not contradictory to what we are given in the scriptures.
        5. “But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” (1Co 12:7)
          1. When the Spirit manifests Himself through a believer it is not just for Himself. Yes the Spirit of God can absolutely comfort you personally, but we are talking here specifically about gifts and manifestations.
          2. I remember reading one of the early Christian writers talking about this. He remarked about when a Christian casts out a devil from a lost person in the name of Jesus with prayer. He said that such things were not for the benefit of the one who God used to do it but it was for the benefit of those who saw the power of the name of Jesus and were convinced of the truthfulness of the gospel.
        6. “For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.” (1Co 12:8-11)
          1. Again, Paul goes out of his way to explain that the Spirit of God does different things through different believers but every one of them (except contrary to the written Word) is from the same Holy Spirit. We need to remember this when seeking to be baptized in the Holy Spirit.
        7. “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,” (Eph 5:18)
          1. This verse is sometimes used to talk about the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. That is incorrect. This verse cannot be referring to that experience. If we look at the context we’ll see why.
        8. “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.” (Eph 5:18-21)
          1. First of all, the phrase “be filled with the Spirit” is an imperative. That means that it is in your power to perform the action. This cannot be referring to the baptism in the Spirit because that is not something that is in our control. It is something that is sought from God. That’s our first clue.
          2. Second, look at the context. The imperative, or command, to be filled with the spirit is followed up by a description: speaking in psalms, hymns, spiritual songs, singing, giving thanks for all things, and being subject to one another.
          3. What Paul is talking about here is the state of being filled with the Spirit of God. Remember, if you are a Christian you already have the Holy Spirit. You just might not be walking in the Spirit. This is a command to continually walk in the Spirit that you already have. That is separate from being baptized in the Spirit.
        9. I could go on with other passages but we can see from these few several things that ought to inform our understanding of being baptized in the Spirit.
      2. Focus on Jesus Christ.
        1. The beginning of a lot of mistakes and errors made in seeking the baptism of the Spirit is when you take your eyes off of the real focus. It begins to be about having the experience—for any number of reasons—and not about seeking to be closer to Jesus. It’s supposed to be about being all that He wants, and as made possible through His sacrifice, for us to be in Him. This connects with the next point.
      3. Make sure your heart is right about why you are seeking it.
        1. Not to convince you that you’re saved.
        2. Not to strengthen a ministry.
  • Not to make yourself feel spiritual.
  1. We seek Christ, and Him only.
    1. Our sole purpose is to draw closer to Him, to be all that He desires us to be, and to further the kingdom of God.
  • What to do
    1. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is an experience. It’s sole purpose is stated in scripture:
      1. “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth."” (Act 1:8)
    2. The sole purpose for the baptism in the Spirit that is explicitly stated in scripture is endowment of power for service. It is to enable us, and to strengthen us, to be effective ministers of the gospel. Whereas things such as spiritual gifts are for the community of believers to be edified and built up the baptism in the Holy Spirit is for service. Let me briefly tell you how to seek it.
      1. Keep your focus on Jesus Christ. You are seeking Him and not necessarily an experience. Guard your heart from any ulterior motives.
      2. Abide in Christ continually. In everything make Christ the Lord of your life. Seek to root out all worldliness and anything that God is dealing with you about. You cannot compartmentalize your life.
  • Strengthen your prayer life. Learn to tarry in prayer. Don’t only pray about the baptism in the Holy Spirit, but pray about everything. Learn to pray throughout your day. Learn to praise God throughout your day and to cast down anything contrary to His Word in your mind. Pray for others continually. And in addition to that, be asking God to endue you with power from on high. But pray for it leaving it in God’s hands. Persist in prayer day by day AS you follow Christ in every other area of your life.
    1. If you feel led to, you can spend long seasons in prayer about the baptism in the Holy Spirit or even fast when you want to, but be seeking it from Jesus as you follow Him with your life. If you aren’t letting God have the rest of your life then don’t expect much from God.
  1. Read the Word of God. Read it more and more. Learn to love it. Memorize it. Let it become the guiding principle of your life. When you see promises that are for Christians today then begin to pray about them. When you don’t understand something pray and ask God to give you understanding.
  2. Learn to walk in the Spirit. As a Christian you already have the Holy Spirit. You CAN overcome sin already. Learn to stop quenching Him in your daily life. Deal with sin in your life. Learn to deny yourself and discipline yourself to do these things continually. The Christian life is about pressing forward. It takes conscious, concerted, effort on your part.
  3. Persist. Endure. Continue to seek God and continue to pray to God about the baptism in the Holy Spirit and asking, seeking, and knocking for it. Trust God that He will be faithful to His Word, and trust that He knows when you are ready for it.
  • (Testimony of praying for a wife)
  1. Closing
    1. I know that I will surely disappoint some people. I didn’t go in-depth about some things and some will feel that I’ve oversimplified. No. It really is that simple. It’s just that sometimes people don’t want to press forward into a closer relationship with God. They simply want an experience.