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In the previous sessions, we discussed how to identify our focus and purpose as a congregation and as church leaders. We need to determine what we are required to do before we can decide on the strategy that we should follow. We also discussed the Luke 10 method of evangelism which is all about finding a man of peace, making him and this family and friends disciples of Christ whilst we are practically equipping the previous outreach’s new converts. We have seen that success is all about the way that the new converts are utilized. We also discussed the need for church leaders to make the necessary changes to enable leaders and denominations and congregations to accommodate as many people as possible, even people who do not necessarily agree with their doctrines and the way that they do church.
This is all about the need for more leniency when it comes to Christian doctrines and practices which were previously not accepted in particular denominations. It already happens in many churches and denominations but it is not yet officially approved, which complicates things and causes a lot of hindrances in the body of Christ. Many ministers know that some of their members believe differently than they teach and they have accepted that. In many denominations already, people who believe differently are all serving God in the same congregation and there is nothing wrong with that. This is a reality. More and more church leaders understand that the more lenient they are the more people they can accommodate.
It is not a case of allowing outrageous doctrines and practices. It is allowing people to make choices and then allowing them to live out their faith. We have seen that particular denominations who have initially opposed Pentecostalism have decided to embrace Pentecostalism. We have seen denominations who were not willing to go that far decided to at least accept people within their ranks to practice Pentecostalism. These denominations benefited tremendously by being more lenient and more tolerant in this regard. They took note of the pros and cons and they convinced their leaders and members to be more lenient and more tolerant with regards to things previously opposed. Pentecostalism does not damage the church and it does offer the laborers the opportunity to preach a gospel of hope and deliverance. We have discussed this aspect in Session 3 and we did explain the benefits that this has. It is for this reason that Pentecostalism is the fastest-growing Christian movement in the world and its popularity is increasing tremendously every day. It is because of this that the denominations that I mentioned have decided to become Pentecostal or to at least allow it to function within their structures.
We also analyzed and discussed the reasons why new converts are a powerful resource in the hands of God and in the hands of church leaders? We discussed the ways and means how we as church leaders can utilize the laborers to their maximum potential and how we hinder or block this amazing resource?
In this session, we are going to look at the Biblical aspects of the baptisms. We are going to discuss the reasons why the water baptism is such a powerful experience in the church. We are going to discuss the reasons why it is not merely a symbolic act but actually an act of obedience for the remission of sin that literally rocks the spiritual world. It literally causes havoc among demons and it literally has a powerful impact on the spiritual realm. Just take a look at some of the YouTube videos of water baptisms that were carried out for the remission of sins as an act of obedience and repentance. I have left a few links to some of these videos at the bottom of this page.
There is a huge difference between the two. The symbolic baptism has no power and has no spiritual value. To follow Jesus Christ through the water by dying with him and rise with him is something different. It is not a symbolic act but an act that has a powerful impact on us and the spiritual world. It changes a lot of things in our lives. It brings freedom. It delivers us from a lot of negative things. It sets us free from bondage and it washes away our sins.
In this session, we are also going to discuss the power of the baptism in the Holy Spirit but let’s start with the water baptism first. To understand water baptism, we need to answer questions like the following: When people are baptized the Biblical way, why are demons putting up a fight and manifesting when people are on their way to be baptized or when they are standing in the water, about to be baptized, and very often, when people are under the water just before they come up out of the water? No, it is not always because of the anointing on the person who baptizes the person.
I had such an experience once. I baptized a man in the name of Jesus Christ and the moment he was under the water demonic spirits started to manifest and I had to grab the man and pull him out of the water. The demonic spirits were then cast out and this person was delivered from bondage. Why did this happen when he was baptized?
We also need to look at questions like, does the water baptism save us? What happens when a person did repent but failed to be baptized? What do I need to do if I am not sure whether I was baptized the right way? I am going to answer all these questions and many more.
First, let us start by looking at a few Scriptures about water baptism:
Jesus answered, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
In this Scripture we see that we cannot enter the kingdom of God unless we are born of water and the Spirit. There is a very important “and” between water and Spirit. This Scripture seems to suggest that we need to be baptized to be saved but is it really a requirement? We will answer this question in a minute.
15 And he said unto them, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
16 “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”
Just as the previous Scripture this Scripture makes a similar suggestion. It says that if we believe and is baptized, then we shall be saved. Is this suggestion really the truth? Do we have to be baptized to be saved? We will answer this question in a minute.
1 Peter 3:20-21
20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
In this Scripture we see the full Gospel of Jesus Christ. We see all the steps that everybody has to take to be truly saved. We see repentance, we see baptism in water, and we see baptism in the Holy Spirit. This is the full Gospel and this full Gospel sets people free. This saves us completely.
11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses.
This Scripture emphasizes the fact that when we are baptized, we are dead to sins. This suggests that the old man was buried and we rose in Christ as a new creature. This is the full Gospel of Christ. This is true repentance.
26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
The previous Scriptures suggested that when we are baptized the Biblical way we die with Christ and we rise with Christ. This Scripture probably refers to our spiritual baptism into Christ and does not refer to water baptism or the baptism into the Holy Spirit. It is a very significant Scripture and needs to be discussed as well.
To understand all these Scriptures, we need to understand the following: Man is a spirit, has a soul and lives in a body. We actually have three “bodies” that look identical and they are exactly the same size yet they are different. Many people do not know this but the three bodies are not saved at the same time and we will include the Scriptures that proves this. Our spirit is saved immediately when we truly repent. So we are saved immediately after we have decided to repent and to follow Jesus Christ. So if we die at that moment we go to heaven, to paradise where Christ is, even if we were not yet baptized in water or the Holy Spirit.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
So our spirit is saved through grace and not through works.
However, at that moment, our souls and our bodies are not saved yet. We can even be demon possessed and oppressed in our souls and in our bodies, after we repented, which means that the demons need to be cast out of our souls and bodies although our spirits are completely saved and in harmony with God. Please take note that soul-possession and spirit-possession are two different things but both requires the casting out of demons in a similar way. The bottom line is, after we repented, our souls and our bodies still need to come in line with the spirit. It needs to be set free completely and it needs to be healed completely and it needs to be holy completely. As you can imagine, this is a gradual process. We all know that Paul has written letters to Christians who were seriously involved in sin, although they were saved. They were saved but they lived in sin. Their spirits were in harmony with God but their souls and bodies were acting the same as people who were not saved yet.
1 Corinthians 5:1
It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.
1 Corinthians 11:18
For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
These are all Christians who are still slaves of sins in their body and in their soul although their spirit is set free by the grace of God.
We need to repent and follow Christ through the water and be baptized in the Holy Spirit to be completely free.
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Yes, this Scripture does refer to the gift of the Holy Spirit that we all receive when we repent, even before we are baptized in the Spirit. So this is not the Holy Spirit baptism but I do need to mention that the Gift of the Holy Spirit, referring to the baptism in the Holy Spirit does occur many times just after people are baptized in water. Is this just coincidence? Might be but still, in practice, the practical experience of many people do support this Scripture. I am just mentioning this because I believe that the Scripture should support doctrines and what we observe or experience should not be used as proof of our doctrines. It is just interesting that this happens.
The water baptism is not just a symbolic act. It is a powerful act of obedience that causes changes in our lives. It fast-tracks us in our spiritual journey. We experience instant deliverance or at least a lot of success in our spiritual growth and development when we are baptized the Biblical way. It means we are serious about Christ Jesus and our faith and that is why demonic spirits hates it. They know that they won’t be able to do whatever they do when they possess or oppress people. When this happens they know that they will not be able to keep such a person in bondage. There is power in obedience and there is power in water baptism.
Symbolic baptism is not an act of obedience. It is just a religious act and therefore it has no power at all. It s just a waste of time. That is why demons have no problem with such baptisms, even if it is done the Biblical way by full immersion in water. That does not change anything at all. Is is either a religious act by a person who did not truly repent or it is done by a person who does what the church that he is a member of practices. The former does not intend to follow Jesus Christ and the latter is put in a bad position by his church. Some people are baptized merely to please other people or to feel better about themselves or something similar.
Such an act is similar to the sinners prayer. The sinners prayer usually precedes a symbolic baptism. These two acts are very similar. It is just religious acts. The sinner’s prayer, as popularly known today, has roots in Protestant Christianity. It was first used in the seventeenth century Methodist church and made popular by Charles Finney. The sinners prayer is not Biblical. It is not found in the Scriptures and it does not have the same meaning or power as true repentance which is done through water baptism.
This is why demons have no problem with both. However, when a person truly repents and decides to be baptized for the remission of their sins, the Biblical way, demons start to shiver and panic because they know that the person that they possess or oppress will be set free.
In Biblical times, people responded to the gospel by being baptized in water and by becoming a follower of Christ. They usually took all these steps in one day. Sometimes they are baptized in the Holy Spirit even before they are baptized in water but, the bottom line is that the three acts are linked together.
We need to repent or we will be judged.
2 Corinthians 5:10
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
1 Peter 4:17
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
This Scripture says that we are accountable for the sins in our soul and body. Our spirits cannot sin according to 1 John 3:9 and therefore there is not condemnation for us. We are saved and righteous because of that. But our soul is something else. We need to save it by doing something important. It is our job. We read this in James 1:21
Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which can save your souls.
So we save our soul and body by laying apart all sins. We see also that the word of God saves our soul if we receive it in meekness. This Scripture was written to Christians. It is not addressed to unsaved people. So the word in this sense has everything to do with renewing their mind and to submit themselves to the word and the will of God.
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
We save our soul and body by walking in the Spirit. We do it by being led by the Holy Spirit. We do it by crucifying the flesh.
1 Peter 1:9
Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
Some Scriptures proves that our souls are saved by ourselves. God saved our spirits but we have to save our souls. Lets look at the Scriptures that supports this:
1 Timothy 4:16
Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
We save our soul by looking at how we live and if our lives conforms to the word (doctrines) of God.
1 Thessalonian 5:23
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
This Scripture proves that we have to renew our minds so that we can do the perfect will of God.
We need to save our soul and body, as this Scripture suggests. God saves our spirit through grace. We save our souls and bodies through pursuing holiness and renewing our minds and by being obedient.
So the saving of our souls is not through grace but through works. We read that in James 2:24
Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
Many people do not know of this Scripture in the Bible. It does not contradict Ephesians 2:8-9 which says that we are saved through grace and not by works. Ephesians 2:8-9 refers to our spirit and James 2:24 refers to our soul and body. So if the soul and body are saved by works then it is saved by us. We have to do the job. We need to pursue holiness. We need to crucify the flesh. We need to walk by the Spirit. We need to renew our mind. All these things are not so easy to do.
This is why the water baptism and the baptism in the Holy Spirit are required. We need God to help us with this and we need the “tools” that He gave us to help us with this. The baptism in the water helps us to get rid of the old man by crucifying him on the cross and by dying with Christ and rising with Christ and by the washing off of our sins. These things happen in the water.
Many people think that we need to be pure and holy and that we need to deserve the Holy Spirit before we can be baptized in the Holy Spirit. The truth is that the exact opposite is true. We need the Holy Spirit to help us and lead us and teach us and remind us what the word of God says and what Jesus said and what the Father said and exhort us and motivate us and comfort us and intercede for us and reveal the truth to us and inspire us and build us up. We need the Holy Spirit in his fullness. When we go out to be obedient to Christ and to fulfill the great commission we need the Holy Spirit to empower us to preach the gospel of Christ and to heal the sick and to cast out demons and to do miracles and to raise the dead. Without the Holy Spirit the nine gifts of the Spirit cannot function in our lives.
This is the true gospel of Christ and if we follow these three steps we are immediately on a path of success, victory and freedom. This is real freedom. This is divine dominion. We repent, we follow Jesus Christ through the water, we are baptized in the Spirit and the moment all this happens, we are free and ready and able to do what God wants us to do. If any of the three steps are missing we are spiritually not at such a good place in our lives as we should be. We are not completely saved when one or more of these things are missing.
We are completely saved when we are obedient in all three these steps and if we truly pursue holiness. When we do this, our spirit and our soul and our body have all been set free completely. How do we know if a person has been saved and set free completely. We know this when the soul is like the spirit and when the body is like the spirit. This is when the body is completely healed. No more sicknesses and diseases are evident in such a person’s life. We know it when the soul is completely submitted to God and his word and his will. This means that there is no more struggle and wrestling and fighting and bad emotions and bad attitudes. The soul has completely submitted himself to the Holy Spirit and allows the fruit of the Spirit to flow through him continuously.
So most of us are still in the process of saving our soul and our body. Some are very successful with this and others not. Some are more obedient and others not. Just think of a person who repented fifty years ago but who was never baptized for the remission of his sins and who was never baptized in the Holy Spirit. How successful do you think he is in this area. Did such a person save his soul and his body completely? No he did not because it is impossible to do these things without the help of God and without making use of the “tools” that He gave us.
Such a person probably experienced quite a lot of turmoil and hardships and problems in his life. Such a person never could reign as a king in the kingdom of God. Such a person experienced quite a mediocre life in Christ. He or she is like the nation of Israel who could only conquer about ten percent of the promised land. Such a person failed to claim his or her inheritance. They are poor in spirit and they lack a lot. They are not spiritually developed like they should have been.
So what happens if our soul is not saved and what is the consequences thereof? It means that you will go to heaven but that you will suffer on earth. You will experience bad circumstances and you will become sick and you will lose and you will suffer defeats. You will not be completely free. You will still be in bondage regarding to certain aspects in your life. You will act in ways that you do not want to and you will still be a slave to specific sins and bad behavior and bad emotions. So the water baptism does save us. It does set us free.
There is another consequence which is just as serious, we will not be able to be the instrument of excellence in the hands of God that we are supposed to be. We will not be able to fulfill the great commission as we are supposed to. We will not be able to be used of God as He and we desire. We will fall short.
To come back to the Biblical way of water baptism, if we are not baptized for the remission of sins, we will always struggle to live in freedom. We need to lay down the old man and we need to die with Christ by sacrificing the old man so that we can rise with Christ as a new creature. We cannot carry the old man on our backs. The water baptism is the first step to follow Jesus and at that moment, we are disciples. Not before that. Before we go through the water we are just saved and this statement refers to our spirit. However, when we are baptized, at that moment we become a follower of Jesus Christ.
To be sprinkled with water as a baby is a dead and religious act. To be baptized by full immersion for any other reason other than what I explained in this session, it is a dead and religious act. If you have not been baptized the right way then you will have to be baptized again. However, when you do, make sure you go to the right person who will do it the right way, preferably go to a person who has the power of the Holy Spirit in his life so that he or she can set you free.
So the baptism in water according to the Bible is a very powerful thing. It delivers us from bondage. It delivers us from sin. It gives us a new life in Christ. It gives us power to pursue holiness successfully so that we will never be slaves of sin anymore. It empowers us to get rid of sins in our lives. Together with the baptism in the Holy Spirit it changes our lives completely. The best thing that we can do is to take all these steps as soon as we can.
Cornelius and his whole household took all these steps in one day as we can see in Acts 10:42-48
42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.
43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.
The eunuch did not waste any time to be baptized when Philip preached the gospel to him as we can see in Acts 8:35-36. He decided to follow Jesus Christ through the water and he became a disciple immediately.
35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
Let’s briefly discuss the baptism in the Holy Spirit. We are not going to deal with this aspect extensively but I do want to discuss the most important aspects about this wonderful experience with God.
God knew that mankind would not be able to fulfill the great commission in their own power. Whatever man possesses and whatever they use to make such an attempt is just a waste of time. We cannot save people. We cannot set people free. We cannot deliver people. We need God to do that through us. That is why we need the baptism in the Holy Spirit. We need power. The great commission is nothing else but preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ in word and power. We cannot even preach the word without the help of the Holy Spirit. We need divine power to set people free. We need divine power to heal the sick and to raise the dead and to cast out demons. Without the Holy Spirit we just cannot do that.
Jesus paid the price for this world. He has set us free on that cross. He did not only pay for sin, He also paid for the penalty of sin. Because of sin we are spiritually dead. Because of sin we are in bondage. Because of sin we are blind. Because of sin we are sick. Because of sin we go to hell. So the sins of man have devastating consequences and effects in and on their lives. Jesus did not only carry our sins, He also carried the penalty of sin. Those are all the bad things that I have just mentioned.
This means that healing and restoration is in the atonement. That is why Jesus did two things when He walked this earth. He forgave people their sins and he restored people’s lives. He healed the sick, He cast out demons and He delivered people. No wonder that He gave us the same job to do. He said, go, preach the gospel, make disciples, heal the sick, cast out demons and raise the dead. This is what we need to do. This is the great commission. However, this is not easy. We need the power of the Holy Spirit to that.
It is for this reason that Jesus told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they have received the power from on high.
And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but “wait for the promise of the Father, which,” saith he, “ye have heard of me.”
5 “For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.”
8 “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judæa, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
Remember they all have received the Holy Spirit already before this happened.
It happened the first time that Jesus appeared to the eleven disciples after his resurrection.
19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, “Peace be unto you.”
20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.
21 Then said Jesus to them again, “Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.”
22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost.”
This experience was similar to what every believer ever experienced the moment that they experience the rebirth. This was the beginning of the rebirth. At that moment, when they received the Holy Spirit they were born of the Holy Spirit. That is when they became new creations. However, they lacked something. The power of the Holy Spirit. They received that on the day of Pentecost as is written in Acts 2:1-4
1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Ans so this wonderful experience repeated itself right through the new Testament and even today. It usually happens when the disciples of God lay their hands on people although it can happen in other ways as well.
Lets’ discuss an incident that happened after the day of Pentecost:
1 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,
2 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.
3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.
4 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.
5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
In this Scripture we see a few very interesting things. These people were Christians and they were saved but they were not yet baptized in the Holy Spirit. So Paul laid his hand on them and He prayed for them and then they were baptized in the Holy Spirit. They immediately spoke in tongues.
This is proof that we all receive the Holy Spirit when we are saved but we are not baptized in the Holy Spirit until somebody pray for us by the laying on of hands. The evidence that we are baptized in the Holy Spirit is speaking in tongues. Of course there are other manifestations of the Holy Spirit that are also evidence that we are baptized in the Spirit but there is one specific one that we all have, the speaking in tongues as a prayer language. The other tongues and the rest of the gifts of the Spirit manifest randomly in the lives of people and cannot be forced. The Holy Spirit manifests through his gifts and we do not have control over the gifts. The prayer language, the praying in tongues is something that we do have control over, although we do not understand it. This is the general or universal evidence of the fact that we are baptized in the Holy Spirit.
We need the power of the Holy Spirit and any child of God attempting to fulfill the great commission without the Holy Spirit is setting himself up for failure. This is the reason why I appeal to church leaders to accept or at least tolerate this Christian experience. It will change people’s lives and it will empower people to fulfill the great commission the way that Christ intended.