Is the baptism of the Holy Spirit still being given today?

Is the baptism of the Holy Spirit still being given today?

John the Baptist made the following statement showing that there are two kinds of baptisms.

Mark 1:8 (NIV) I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

This fact is further emphasized by Jesus when He said the following:

Acts 1:5 (NIV) For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

Acts 1:8 (NIV) But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

If there was any doubt about it, this passage will clear that up:

Acts 10:44 (NIV) While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.
Acts 10:45 (NIV) The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles.
Acts 10:47 (NIV) “Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.”

As you can see from the above passage, these people that Peter was preaching to, received the baptism of the Holy Spirit before they were even water baptized. And notice that the Holy Spirit was *poured out* on each of them, not just the men.

Jesus had much to say about why we need the gift of the Holy Spirit. Let’s look at what Jesus said about it.

John 14:16 (NIV) And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever–
John 14:17 (NIV) the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

Notice that Jesus said in verse 17 “For He lives WITH you (presently) and WILL BE in you (after the baptism of the Holy Spirit when He came upon them).

Jesus told them to wait in Jersalem for the promised Holy Spirit, as is pointed out in Act 1:5 which I posted above.

So now they are waiting in Jersalem like Jesus instructed them to do. Notice what happens now.

Acts 2:1 (NIV) When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.
Acts 2:2 (NIV) Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.
Acts 2:3 (NIV) They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.
Acts 2:4 (NIV) All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Notice it didn’t just happen to SOME of them, as verse 4 points out, it was ALL of them. So who are all the ones that were there. The Bible shows us it was about 120 people, His Mother Mary was one of them.

Acts 1:14 (NKJV) These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.
Acts 1:15 (NKJV) And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples (altogether the number of names was about a hundred and twenty), and said,

The people hearing what was going on, when the Holy Spirit came upon all those who were in the house, gathered and Peter spoke to them. They heard the message of the gospel in their own languages. Peter explained to them that this was the fulfillment of Joel’s prophesy. (Joel chapter 2)

Acts 2:16 (NIV) No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
Acts 2:17 (NIV) “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.
Acts 2:18 (NIV) Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.
Acts 2:19 (NIV) I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke.
Acts 2:20 (NIV) The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
Acts 2:21 (NIV) And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

Notice again that Joel said this gift of the Holy Spirit would be poured out on SONS and DAUGHTERS. MEN and WOMEN ALIKE.
After all the people heard this message, they said to Peter, what should we do?
This is what he said.

Acts 2:37 (NIV) When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
Acts 2:38 (NIV) Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:39 (NIV) The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off–for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

As you can see in verse 39, this promise of the Holy Spirit was for THEM as well as “FOR ALL whom the Lord our God will call”. So everyone who is called to salvation can receive this gift of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said we only need to ask for it.

Luke 11:9 (NIV) “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
Luke 11:10 (NIV) For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
Luke 11:11 (NIV) “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?
Luke 11:12 (NIV) Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?
Luke 11:13 (NIV) If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Pay close attention to what Jesus said in verse 13. What did He say your Father in Heaven will give to those who ask? The Holy Spirit.
He knew we would need Him in our lives. Jesus said we would need this POWER from on high to help us to be His witnesses and to use these gifts of the Spirit to help people to know Him and be in relationship with Him.

The difference is Holy Spirit’s power to help people. I wouldn’t have been able to survive all the trauma that I have endured in my life if not for the precious gift. He is the One Who gives victory and along with that victory He renews hope to the hopeless. Jesus said we would need this gift. He told His followers to wait for it. He wouldn’t tell them or us to pray to receive something that wasn’t necessary.

They went to Jerusalem as He instructed them to do and they prayed. Men and women alike. All of them. And they received this precious gift of the Holy Spirit Who was then poured out on ALL of them.

Acts 1:8 (NKJV) “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.”
Acts 1:9 (NKJV) Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.
Acts 1:10 (NKJV) And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel,
Acts 1:11 (NKJV) who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
Acts 1:12 (NKJV) Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey.

I believe the Lord wanted me to share these scriptures so that anyone who has ever wondered about this topic would have His word to explain what it is really all about. I received this precious gift of the Holy Spirit in January of 1999. I cherish having the Holy Spirit living on the inside guiding me, helping, encouraging and teaching me every step of the way. 

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Why are you downcast, oh my soul?

Why are you downcast, oh my soul?

Psalms 42:11 (NIV) Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

How do we know that the soul is the mind? Many times it is thought that the mind is our brain. But we know that this is not the case because once a person has passed away, their brain is in the grave, but their mind is not. The brain doesn’t tell the mind what to think, the mind tells the brain what to think. That is how we can re-format our thinking.

2 Corinthians 10: 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Our mind, will and emotions can be taken captive so to speak by changing what we think into a “what would Jesus think” kind of thinking. Joyce Meyer once said ” If Jesus wouldn’t think it, neither should you.” Jesus always allowed the Holy Spirit to control His thinking. Unlike us, who have a tendency to follow our flesh. Notice this text.

Galatians 5: 17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. 18 But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses. (NLT)

The enemy wages war in our minds, wills and emotions. But the battle can be won by taking every enemy thought as a captive. The Greek word used for the word captive literally means to take captive at spear point, as if you were capturing an enemy. So when a fearful, anxious or depressing thought comes to you, you immediately take it captive. One huge way to do this is by not *memorizing* the thought. How often when you were in school did you have to memorize something for a test or quiz? You kept thinking about it over and over and over until it became a memory.
When you do this with a negative thought you are making it a memory. Right at the onset of a thought, replace it with a scripture that you have memorized ahead of time. If you don’t have one, grab your Bible and read one and keep repeating it over and over again until it becomes a memory. That is what meditating on scripture is all about.

One more thing also that Father God showed me has to do with the cause of fear and anxiety. Man teaches that these things are medical in nature, and that they are caused because of heredity. Father God calls fear a *spirit* not an inherited trait. The enemy might use a spirit of fear in families but it can be overcome because of the following reason.

1 John 4:4 (ICB) My dear children, you belong to God. So you have defeated them because God’s Spirit, who is in you, is greater than the devil, who is in the world.

Because of the Holy Spirit Who is in *YOU* is GREATER than the devil. And YOU belong to GOD, you have the ability to overcome the lies of the enemy and re-format those thoughts into new memories of Father God’s beautiful promises. Especially this one which is my very favorite 🙂

Psalms 34:4 I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears. 

What spirit are you of?

What spirit are you of?

Acts 9:1 (NIV) Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest
Acts 9:2 (NIV) and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.
Acts 9:3 (NIV) As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.
Acts 9:4 (NIV) He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
Acts 9:5 (NIV) “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied.
Acts 9:6 (NIV) “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
Acts 9:7 (NIV) The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone.
Acts 9:8 (NIV) Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus.
Acts 9:9 (NIV) For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.

The Lord dropped this passage into my heart this morning as I was praying. There was some insight He gave me at the same time.
Saul, later was know as Paul, was a man full of zeal. He thought he was doing what was a good thing by “breathing out murderous threats” against the Lord’s disciples. But Jesus showed him something entirely different. Paul didn’t realize what spirit he was actually operating under. He wasn’t the first one to have to be told this by Jesus. Notice what Jesus did in the following verses.

Luke 9:53 (NKJV) But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem.
Luke 9:54 (NKJV) And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?”
Luke 9:55 (NKJV) But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.
Luke 9:56 (NKJV) “For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village.

Verse 55 sums up how Jesus wants us to respond in each circumstance we encounter. He rebuked the disciples by telling them they didn’t know what manner of spirit they were of. In other words, it wasn’t the same Spirit that He is of. Paul was under that same kind of spirit the disciples were under. They thought they were doing a good thing, but it wasn’t God’s way. It looked good, and in the case of the disciples, what they proposed was righting something that was wrong. But Jesus told them that was not the right spirit. In Paul’s case, he was going against a group of people who weren’t doing anything wrong. Jesus told Him he was wrong and told him He would show him what He wanted him to do. As a result, rather than breathing out murderous threats, he became one of the most influential people in history, writing 2/3 of the New Testament and teaching us the beautiful message of grace in those same writings.
The most important question we can ask ourselves before we do anything in life is, what spirit am I operating under if I do this thing? Love is the only spirit we must operate in if we want to be on God’s side.
This is what love does:
Proverbs 10:12 (NLT) Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love covers all offenses.

1 Peter 4:8 (NLT) Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. 

You are not an orphan

You are not an orphan

Romans 8:14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

There is something that every single human being longs for. We all long to know our identity. We long to know who we really are, and why we were created.
I learned some really interesting things that I hadn’t ever understood before.
Luke 3:38 (NIV) the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

Adam was a son of God. That could not be said, nor was it said about any of his offspring. The reason. Because after he sinned he became an orphan. He was separated from his Father. His sin wasn’t because of deception. Eve was deceived but Adam never was. He was willfully disobedient. It wasn’t about eating a piece of fruit. All the fruit of all the trees, including the *tree of life* he could have all he wanted anytime. He betrayed his Father. He wanted to be god for himself. Because of that, he spread the curse of sin and death to all his offspring.
Recently I saw a video that showed an experiment that some researchers did where they cracked open a chicken egg after it had been fertilized to see how the chick formed. They carefully put it in a plastic cup, with some plastic wrap and put it in the incubator. They thought the yoke would turn into the chick, but to their surprise it was the sperm that started to grown into chick. What they learned is what shows how important that seed that comes from the male is. It truly IS what forms the child.

When Jesus was sent to save mankind, that is exactly what He was doing !! He was SAVING mankind from the curse of sin and death. Notice what He said to Nicodemus.

John 3:5 (NIV) Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.
John 3:6 (NIV) Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.

Did you catch that? Flesh (Adam) gives birth to flesh(sin nature). But the Spirit gives birth to spirit.
When you are born again, your spirit comes alive, and that spirit is what is eternal, and will inherit an incorruptible body that will never die.
1 Corinthians 15:22 (NIV) For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

1 Corinthians 15:42 (NIV) So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable;
1 Corinthians 15:43 (NIV) it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;
1 Corinthians 15:44 (NIV) it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.
1 Corinthians 15:45 (NIV) So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being” ; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.

The spirit body is INCORRUPTIBLE. It doesn’t get old, sick or die. It might be sown in dishonor (through the sin of Adam) but it is raised in glory. It might be perishable, but it is raised imperishable. Sown in weakness, raised in power.
Jesus was born of a woman, but His Father was God, not Adam. Therefore He didn’t inherit the sin nature. He reconciled us back to our Father. Now we could be adopted into the family of God with all the rights and privileges that come from being in this family. And this was the ONE NEW MAN that Paul talked about.

Ephesians 2:13 (NIV) But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.
Ephesians 2:14 (NIV) For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,
Ephesians 2:15 (NIV) by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace,
Ephesians 2:16 (NIV) and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.
Ephesians 2:19 (NIV) Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household.

Since we have the spirit of God living in us, we are no longer slaves to fear, the spirit of God has brought about our adoption as the children of God. Now our genealogy could read ________ (fill in your name), son/daughter of God. Does this make more sense to you now?

Be a Prisoner of Hope

Be a Prisoner of Hope

Zechariah 9: 11 As for you, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will free your prisoners from the waterless pit.
12 Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you. (NIV)

Instead of being a prisoner of hopelessness, Father God has made you a “prisoner of hope”, freed from a waterless pit.
Does this sound inviting based on your current situation? Does your life seem like a waterless pit? Dry and devoid of hope? You try to get up and you just seem to go deeper. You want to hope for something better, but it seems to elude you.
Did you notice what the first part of verse 11 said? “As for you, because of my blood covenant with you”, this is the method for freedom from the pit.
I learned something earlier today that I didn’t know, but it was a wow moment which ties right in with this topic Father God put on my heart to write.
Revelation 2:17 (NLT) “Anyone who is willing to hear should listen to the Spirit and understand what the Spirit is saying to the churches. Everyone who is victorious will eat of the manna that has been hidden away in heaven. And I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one knows except the one who receives it.

Back in Biblical times in a court of law, stones were given based on the verdict. A black stone meant you were guilty, but a white stone meant you were innocent. Do you see what Father God is showing you here?
His blood covenant results in you getting the white stone. Because of this blood covenant, you become a prisoner of hope instead of hopelessness. All the victory in your life stems from this. No greater love was shown than that the Son of the Most High God would lay down His life for you and me. But you have to return to the “fortress”. Once there, He restores DOUBLE what the enemy has stolen from you.
What has the enemy stolen from you? Your health, your peace, your marriage, your children your finances? What has he stolen? Whatever it is, Father God promises to give you double what was taken from you, if you return to the fortress.
That old hymn of the church which says “A Mighty Fortress is our God, a Bulwark NEVER FAILING” describes Him perfectly. He is bigger than your enemy. He is bigger than your solutions to your problems. His solutions NEVER FAIL. Now that is shouting ground !!

THE GOD-DEPENDENT LIFE

THE GOD-DEPENDENT LIFE

“Don’t let life just happen *to* you, let life happen *through* you.” “Be a clear pipeline.” This quote came from a woman who received this word from the Lord as she was going through a time of inner healing from anxiety, agoraphobia, and worry. She went on to be a staff writer for Our Daily Bread and wrote many devotionals that helped countless people while she lived a full and enriching life. Her prayer when she was in the middle of her turmoil was “Lord help me to heal in such a way that I can help others going through this as well.” She reasoned that there had to be many other people struggling just like she was. What she learned is how to live the God-dependent life. She and her husband ministered to countless people and opened a home for people dealing with substance abuse to heal and be made whole. She understood the prison they lived in because she lived it in a different sort of way. Anxiety is just as big a prison as addiction is, and both have the same way of deliverance.

Psalms 103:2 Bless and affectionately praise the Lord, O my soul,
And do not forget any of His benefits;
3 Who forgives all your sins,Who heals all your diseases;
4 Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you [lavishly] with loving kindness and tender mercy;
5 Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the [soaring] eagle. (AMP)

It is interesting when you think about it that addiction happens as a result of people trying to cover up inner pain, and anxiety comes from the same thing, trying to stifle pain.
How wonderful that the God-dependent life comes by way of His deliverance. He *redeems* your life from that pit, satisfies your life with good things, so that your youth is renewed like a soaring eagle. He teaches you how to let life happen *through* you, instead of spending your energy trying to fight off all the tensions and trials that assail you daily. You don’t have to just let life happen *to* you. Paul said it this way.
Romans 12: 21 Do not be overcome and conquered by evil, but overcome evil with good. (AMP)
The God-dependent life says, God will show me the way to walk through this situation and make me a victor. He will fight for me, and give me favor. I will make it, because He promises that I am more than a conqueror and have the assurance of victory because of Jesus. A tall promise by a powerful God Who will most assuredly deliver what He promised. And if this isn’t enough to encourage the socks off of anyone who is stuck in a pit like situation, I don’t know what is !!

The Mustard Seed

The Mustard Seed

Luke 17:6 (NIV) He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.

Do you ever think about your faith in terms of it’s size? Do you ever have times when you think your faith isn’t big enough to overcome that mountainous obstacle in front of you? Well if not I will write this for myself, because I certainly have those times. I know for sure and for certain I haven’t arrived. But interestingly as I was talking to the Lord about it, He reminded me of the scripture text above. He said “you only have to have faith as big as a tiny little mustard seed, and it will be enough, because when a mustard seed is *planted* it grows into a great BIG TREE.”

That conversation blessed the socks right off of me, and I hope it will for you as well, because we all have those times and seasons where we wonder how much faith it will take to see our breakthrough. Maybe that describes your situation as well. If it does, let me encourage you to think of a mustard seed. A teeny tiny mustard seed of faith is all it takes for breakthrough and you and I have that already. Here is how I know this.

Romans 12:3 (NASB) For through the grace given to me I say to every man among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.

Father God has given each of us a measure of faith. So we all have it, and it is enough to move mountains. You don’t have to think more highly of your own faith and how much or how little of it you have in order to see your mountain move. You only need to know how powerful your God is, and that doesn’t take huge faith. Jesus said it best this way:
Mark 11:22 (NIV) “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered.
Mark 11:23 (NIV) “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.
Mark 11:24 (NIV) Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

“Have faith in God” because “His invisible qualities are evident” all you need is a mustard seed size for that.