“And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:4
The promise of the Holy Spirit is one of the most anticipated experiences in the Bible, second to the arrival of the Messiah. Before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2, the Holy Spirit was encountered on a temporary basis and under specific conditions. Jesus’ death and resurrection met every prerequisite for the indwelling and baptizing experience in the Holy Spirit for every believer.
“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh;” Joel 2:28
John the Baptizer said of Jesus that, “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Matthew 3:11
“And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” Luke 24:49
“And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me;” Acts 1:4
This was so important that Jesus repeats the command in verse 8 to not leave Jerusalem until they receive the Holy Spirit and explains;
“you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.” Acts 1:8
The word “power” comes from the Greek word, “dúnamis” and is defined as achieving power. The root word “duna” means being able, capable. The empowerment of the Holy Spirit through Spirit-baptism makes us able and capable of accomplishing the will of God.
Two of the three signs that accompanied the first encounter with the Holy Spirit were distinct and exclusive. The disciples were simply told that the Holy Spirit would come. They had never met Him. It was unclear if He would look like Jesus, if He would be wearing a name tag or if they would recognize Him. So let’s unpack the meaning of these signs.
The first sign was of the sound like a mighty rushing wind.
The word “pneuma” is translated from the Greek as spirit, wind, or breathe. Wind and breath are used symbolically in the Bible of the Holy Spirit’s presence and activity. In Genesis 2 God “breathed” life into Adam. That was the act of mankind receiving his spirit, making him alive.
The second sign was what appeared as tongues of fire resting on them.
In Exodus 3 God presented Himself to Moses in the form of unquenchable fire. During the exodus from Egypt (Exodus 13), He showed Himself as a pillar of fire at night to lead the people. In 1 Kings 18 Elijah challenges 450 prophets of Baal and God sent fire from Heaven to declare Himself as the one true God.
The third sign is the sign of tongues, languages.
In Genesis 11, the people conspired to make themselves equal or greater than God. To halt their rebellion before it went too far, God confused their languages, and the people dispersed.
Jesus told the disciples that when the Holy Spirit comes upon them, that they would be His witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth. The Holy Spirit baptism is for us today to empower us to be bold witnesses to the ends of the earth.
If there are people in your world that need to be saved, the Holy Spirit baptism is for you today. Can you share your faith without the baptism of the Holy Spirit? Yes. But why do it without the Holy Spirit when God has given Him to you to accomplish this purpose?
One last thing.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is not a one and done experience. There is a need for us to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit. That’s not because of the Holy Spirit is undersupplied in power but that our carnal nature has a way of growing cold towards spiritual things.
“And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 13:52
“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,” Ephesians 5:18
Ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit and empower you to be His witness with an ability that goes beyond your own!