I grew up going to two different churches where I never heard about what has been called “the second blessing” or the “baptism in the Holy Spirit”. It was only after I was in high school and was visiting a Pentecostal church with my friend that I began to learn about it (after graduating from high school, I lived with my friend and her parents for one semester while attending a community college and I attended this church while I was staying there). One of the main things I noticed in this church is how much enthusiasm the praise and worship leader had when leading worship and how anointed it was. What I mean is I could tangibly feel the presence of God during the praise and worship and it would give me goose bumps (not that I had never sensed this in the other churches I went to, but this seemed to be on another level). In addition to that, sometimes someone would give a message in tongues and then an interpretation or a prophetic word and I sensed the presence of the Lord when that was happening also, so I knew that this was from the Lord, but being the analytical type of person that I am, I studied about the baptism in the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit for a few months before asking the Lord to allow me have this experience.
I had been in church since the age of five and had been born again at age 14. It was a wonderful experience when the Lord entered my heart and life at that time, but after a few years, I reached a point where I felt stagnant, like I was not growing any more and I was hungry for more of the Lord. Shortly after moving back to Dade City, when I was 19, I received the baptism in the Holy Spirit and it was a glorious experience, which increased my walk with the Lord in so many ways. Along with receiving some of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, I grew in discernment and my ability to hear from God and be led by the Holy Spirit was greatly increased also.
The Promise of the Father
For those who are not familiar with this, I would like to share some scriptures. When Jesus was still on the earth, he told his disciples “The Holy Spirit is with you, but he shall be in you” (John 14:17). Just prior to ascending back to heaven, Jesus breathed on his disciples and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22). Then in Acts 1:4-5, it says: “And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, which, He said, you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” In verse 8, we read: “But 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.” (NKJ).
Notice that even though Jesus had breathed on them and told them to receive the Holy Spirit prior to going away, He still told them to go and wait in Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high before going out to spread the gospel. They waited and prayed for 10 days before the Holy Spirit was poured out on them and it manifested as a mighty rushing wind, then divided tongues, as of fire, that sat upon each of them and then they all began to speak with other tongues (languages that were unknown to those speaking), as the Spirit gave the utterance (Acts 2:1-4). Some have said that this was only a one time event or something that only occurred in Bible times, but if you read through the book of Acts (as well as other New Testament references to the gifts of the Holy Spirit), there are several occasions where it says that they were all filled with the Holy Spirit again and spoke with other tongues. On the day of Pentecost, Peter said: “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized 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.” (Acts 2:38-39, NKJ). So Peter, speaking by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, said that the promise of the Holy Spirit was not just for them, but for their children, to all who were far off and as many as the Lord would call (meaning all of us).
Outpourings of the Holy Spirit in Church History
This outpouring of the Holy Spirit has been experienced by many throughout church history. John Wesley, the founder of the Methodism movement (the early Methodists) in England (during the 1700s), referred to it as the “second blessing”. He said he had an experience where he rolled on the ground (probably where we get the term “holy roller” from, lol) and spoke in another language he did not know and afterwards he preached the same messages as before, but they were powerful and effective.
The Asuza Street Revival occurred in California in the early 1900s and the participants experienced the same kind of gifts of the Holy Spirit; speaking in tongues, miraculous healings, etc. as they did in the book of Acts, including a supernatural fire on the roof, which the fire department was called to put out, but were unable to because it was not a natural fire.
If you are born again, the Holy Spirit lives in you and that is wonderful, but if you’re hungry for more, I just want to let you know there is more. Jesus, the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Matthew 3:11) is still giving the Holy Spirit (the second blessing) to those who ask him (Luke 11:13). –Kelly Rowe
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