Day 6 Devotional Before United Prayer: (about 2:18 minutes reading)
RECEIVING THE BAPTISM OF THE SPIRIT AFTER PENTECOST
Not every believer was present at Pentecost. A practical question might be, “How did believers receive the baptism of the Spirit after Pentecost?” The answer is found in the book of Acts. On a couple of occasions, the Spirit fell on a group while Peter spoke to them (Acts 10:44-46; 11:15-17). It also appears that God led the church to receive the baptism of the Spirit in a more orderly way by the laying on of hands (Acts 8:12-17; 19:1-6).
Note in Acts 8, the individuals of Samaria were led by the Spirit to accept Christ and be baptized. Yet, they had not received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Peter and John went to them from Jerusalem for the specific purpose to lay hands on them and pray for the baptism of the Spirit to anoint them. This is a clear indication that water baptism and Spirit baptism are two separate experiences. The Spirit leads an individual to accept Christ and be baptized in water. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a different work that must be sought separately when individuals become aware of its necessity. We see in Acts that Paul also received the baptism of the Spirit by the laying on of hands and prayer (Acts 9:17). In Paul’s case, he received the baptism of the Holy Spirit before his water baptism. The one performing the prayer with laying on of hands should be a believer who has already received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
When a Christian asks for prayer to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, a simple prayer claiming God’s promise with the laying on of hands on the requester should be performed.
A believer desiring the baptism of the Holy Spirit does not necessarily have to have someone pray for him or her with laying on of hands. When I first began sharing this teaching with our church, one of the members decided that very evening to seek the baptism of the Spirit. She earnestly prayed for God to fill her with His Spirit. She told me later that she felt the greatest peace that she ever experienced come over her.
God has not limited Himself to only one method of receiving the baptism of the Spirit. I do believe that the special ceremony of praying with laying on of hands is a wonderful way to seek the infilling of the Spirit. It is always a special blessing to share in this sacred experience with a fellow believer.
Personal Reading for Discussion:
GOD CALLS EVERY CHRISTIAN TO RECEIVE SPIRIT BAPTISM
Ellen White stated many years ago: “What we need is the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Without this, we are no more fitted to go forth to the world than were the disciples after the crucifixion of their Lord.” REVIEW & HERALD, FEBRUARY 18, 1890
“Impress upon all the necessity of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the sanctification of the church, so that they will be living, growing, fruit-bearing trees of the Lord’s planting.” TESTIMONIES FOR THE CHURCH, VOL. 6, P86
In reading Ellen White’s statements on the baptism of the Holy Spirit, it is clear that she saw its importance and urged every believer to seek this indwelling. It was clear to her that the baptism of the Holy Spirit was essential for God’s work to be finished in the lives of His people and in this earth. These statements also indicate that the Christian does not automatically receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit at conversion or water baptism. If that were the case, Ellen White would not tell Christians that this is an experience they need.
God sought to again draw our denomination’s attention to this very important experience in the spring of 1928, when Elder LeRoy Froom was led to present this subject to delegates and workers at the quadrennial ministerial institutes held in conjunction with the union conference sessions. The book, The Coming of the Comforter, resulted from these presentations. Referring to our neglect of understanding and receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit, LeRoy Froom stated:
“I am persuaded that this is our colossal blunder. I confess it has been mine. We are not to “go” until we are endued. … All true service begins at our personal Pentecost.” THE COMING OF THE COMFORTER, P94
Froom continued: “For there is an experience beyond and above the initial step by which the Holy Spirit first reveals sin, and begets a new life in the soul, and that is to be filled with the Spirit. For the lack of this, one’s testimony is feeble and the spiritual life but partial.
Froom’s study led him to believe that the “baptism of repentance,” which refers to water baptism was not enough. He concluded that the Holy Spirit’s infilling is also necessary in order for the believer to be victorious through the time of trouble to Christ’s coming.
“It is a relationship into which we may or may not enter, though we are exhorted, yea divinely commanded to, in Ephesians 5; and in order to abide through the time when there will be no high priestly intercession, when mercy ceases and forgiveness for transgressions is ended, we must enter.” IBID., 170
Day 6 Prayer Focus: Pray for
- The Baptism of the Holy Spirit
- Revival for yourself and the church
- God to lead the church and you to experience a daily
- Spirit-filled ministry for Jesus
- Those on your prayer list
Day 6 Going Deeper Discussion Questions: (based on pages 22 to 25 of “Righteousness by Faith” by Dennis Smith [pages 42 to 45 of the PDF version])
- Why do we need the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
- To whom did Elder Leroy Froom present the subject Baptism of the Holy Spirit in 1928?
- How has the Holy Spirit revealed sin to you?
- How can a believer be victorious through a time of trouble?
- What steps will you take so that you may enter into a relationship with Jesus?
- Is water baptism and Spirit baptism two separate experiences?
- Is laying on of hands always necessary for an individual to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
- How important did Ellen White say the baptism of the Holy Spirit is?
- What did LeRoy Froom say in 1928 about our neglect of understanding and experiencing the baptism of the Holy Spirit as a denomination?
- According to Froom why is the baptism of the Holy Spirit necessary for last day Christians?
Day 6 Heart preparation/challenge:
- Throughout the day ask God to remind you what He is speaking to you in today’s reading and going deeper discussions and to help you to apply them in your life.
- Read “Righteousness by Faith” by Dennis Smith pages 25 to 28 (pages 45 to 48 of the PDF file) in preparation for Day 7.
- Prayerfully answer Day 7 discussion questions in preparation to share on Day 7 Going Deeper segment of united prayer.