Question: Should I expect some supernatural manifestation like tongues of fire, the voice of God, ecstatic feelings or special manifestation when I receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?
Answer: It is not necessary to experience some special sensation when receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. The miracle takes place through faith in God’s word. His word supplies the tangible manifestation that gives the assurance of the baptism of grace.
Question: Can I tell whether or not I have received the Holy Spirit by the way I feel?
Question: I’ve often wondered how it works to be baptized by the Holy Spirit and what is supposed to happen next. Does it mean I know everything to say and that I will act just like Jesus in every situation? Will I be able to sense a voice telling me where to go next and what to do? Will I read people’s minds like the Bible says Jesus did?
Answer: The Bible tells what will happen when we receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit (see previous posts). The Holy Spirit will prompt our words to speak a word in season to the one who is weary if we ask Him and remain observant. The Holy Spirit will abide in us and manifest the character of Christ through us. The Holy Spirit will guide us by means of inspired words. Some who receive the Holy Spirit have the gift of discernment that enables assessment of genuine Christian experience.
Question: Does the Holy Spirit empower us so that we need to do absolutely nothing to gain the victory over sin?
Answer: Romans 8:12 says that we put to death the deeds of the body by the Spirit. The Spirit accomplishes what we cannot do in our own strength. The Spirit operates in us to do this work when we received the Spirit by adoption (Romans 8:15,16). Our part is to ask for the mind of Christ and believe we receive. Sometimes we struggle to ask and believe.
Question: Will I speak in tongues when I receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
Answer: Speaking tongues in a known language for the purpose of sharing the Gospel, is a gift of the Spirit, not the means of receiving the Holy Spirit. Jesus received a baptism of the Holy Spirit and there is no record that He spoke in unknown tongues. The Apostle Paul says: “But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking in tongues, what will I profit you unless I speak to you either by way of revelation or of knowledge or of prophecy or of teaching” (I Cor. 14:6)?
Question: What about laying on hands to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
Answer: Laying on hands to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit is biblical, however there are cautions. One should avoid thinking that there is power in the act itself or in the one who lays on hands. In times past there were those who fell into the trap of seeing some supernatural power in the act itself. There are Biblical accounts of those receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit without laying on of hands.
I have participated in the laying on of hands, however, I prefer to do so within a small group where all hands are placed on the one requesting it.
Question: I have believed in the Holy Spirit all my life. I believe I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit at water baptism. Why should I pray for the baptism of the Holy Spirit when I already have the Holy Spirit?
Answer: “From the day of Pentecost to the present time, the Comforter has been sent to all who have yielded themselves fully to the Lord and to His service” (AA, 49).
“Whenever minor matters occupy the attention, the divine power which is necessary for the growth and prosperity of the church, and which would bring all other blessings in its train, is lacking, though offered in infinite plenitude” (AA, 50).
“Since this is the means by which we are to receive power, why do we not hunger and thirst for the gift of the Spirit? Why do we not talk of it, pray for it, and preach concerning it? The Lord is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to those who serve Him than parents are to give good gifts to their children.
For the daily baptism of the Spirit, every worker should offer his petition to God. Companies of Christian workers should gather to ask for special help, for heavenly wisdom, that they may know how to plan and execute wisely” (AA, 50).