You Need the Baptism in the Holy Ghost!
By David Wilkerson
Some of you have been saved for a number of years, some perhaps a year, and some just months or a few weeks. Being saved from sin is wonderful! Old things fade away - and all things become new, I am so glad you're saved!
But to be a good soldier in the service of our Lord Jesus Christ, it’s not enough just to be saved. There is much more for you! You need to be baptized with the Holy Ghost!
In Paul’s time, some believers didn't even know there was a Holy Ghost. “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” (Acts 19:2). These people were saved, but it is clear they were not filled or baptized with the Holy Ghost.
I believe we are saved through the power and ministry of the Holy Ghost. But Scripture tells us that in addition to this, there is also a baptizing, an infilling, a possessing that the Holy Ghost does in us!
Jesus Himself did not send His disciples and followers into the world until they were baptized with the Holy Ghost. Certainly His disciples had pure hearts. They had faith to heal the sick, to cast out devils. They had the word of the Lord and already had been preaching Christ and gaining converts. They were witnesses to His resurrection. What more could there be? They were willing to die for Jesus! Wasn't their love for Him enough to send them into the world to do His work?
Beloved, none of that was enough! Clearly, there was more: “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 Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
These great apostles - this inner circle of followers who knew Him so intimately, who had done such mighty works, who had been baptized in water and fully taught by Christ - needed still to be baptized with the Holy Ghost!
“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind....And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:1-4).
The need for the Holy Ghost was evident after Philip went down to Samaria. He saw a great move of God there: “Then Philip...preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did....And there was great joy in that city....Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John” (Acts 8:5-7, 14).
God's “Holy Ghost Squad” came down! There had been signs and wonders, miracles, unclean spirits fleeing, people crying out to God. The city was full of joy because of all these things! Yet there was still more! “(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost” (Acts 8:16-17).
We have another example in Cornelius. He was a devout believer, “one that feared God with all his house...(who) prayed to God always,” and was a kind and generous man as well. He and his family were pure and holy, their hearts wholly given to the Lord. Yet his devout heart told him there was more.
Cornelius sent for Peter at the direction of an angel. When Peter arrived, he preached for a while - and suddenly the Holy Ghost fell on the people: “While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished...because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost....Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized” (Acts 10:44-48).
[This Scripture clearly settles the issue that water baptism is not the baptism of the Holy Ghost. “John indeed baptized with water: but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost” (Acts 11:16).]
Even after his dramatic conversion experience with Christ on the road to Damascus, Saul needed the Holy Ghost. He was hidden in a room in the city, broken in spirit and receiving a glorious revelation of Jesus Christ! God sent Ananias to him with the word that Saul was a special, chosen vessel for the Lord. Yet, still, Saul needed the Holy Ghost to fall on him:
“And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized” (Acts 9:17-18).
You Need the Holy Ghost to Help you
Break with the World Once and for All!
When the Holy Ghost baptizes you, He takes over! “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19).
The Holy Ghost comes to drive out all the remaining claims of the old sinful life! He purges all evil powers. He puts down all rule and authority of the enemy. He raises up a holy standard, and He notifies Satan and his demon hordes that this temple belongs wholly to Jesus! “All principalities and powers of darkness, take heed: Your claims is lost! This is my house, and I have moved in to make Jesus Lord of this body, soul and mind!”
If you have the Spirit of Truth, you will soon line up with God’s Word and love to do so! He begins to reveal the mind of Christ to you. And when you read and hear the Word, you tremble and have the power to obey!
The first message He discloses is this: “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26).
I have often wondered how those calling themselves Christians can distort the Word of God - how they can read the clear warnings contained in the Bible and yet ignore them. They lead a double life! They invent their own standards and mix freely with the world. They are two people - split personalities. One part continues to do everything sinful and evil, while the other one says, “But that's not me. The real me loves Jesus!”
Scripture makes this division clear: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers; for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial?...And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?...Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18). How can any lover of Jesus miss or distort this?
How can an actor and actress play in raunchy, sex-and-violence movies and say with a straight face, “God told me to”? How can Christians rent evil movies or go to filthy places and say, “I am a witness for Jesus”? It is because the Spirit of truth is not in them! They need the Holy Ghost to come in and open their blinded eyes!
Jesus said, “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of Truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you” (John 14:16-17).
All the preaching, counseling and Bible reading you can absorb will be dead to you unless you have the Holy Ghost living in you! He makes you to understand and know it is God speaking! Some in our church here in New York have heard these words and warnings over and over again. Yet, after a year or two, they are still babies - still not separated, still half in the world. Why? It is because they don’t have the Holy Ghost! He has not yet been called upon to possess the temple of their body! They still have control of their body - and they don't want to yield control to Him!
You need the Holy Ghost, for He is the Spirit of Truth who “shall teach you all things.” You won't be sidetracked by a distorted, compromised gospel.
“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you” (John 16:13-14).
Holy Ghost Baptism Is For You!
Do you really want the Holy Ghost? Do you want Him to fall upon you and baptize you with fire? You have to be convinced this is for you. You must come to the place where you know you are nothing, have nothing and can do nothing without the power and leading of the Holy Ghost.
You must know He is still baptizing, still falling upon believers - possessing their bodies! “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. 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” (Acts 2:38-39).
Every hour of every day, multitudes worldwide are being baptized with the Holy Ghost! They have read of this promise in the Bible or have heard it preached. So they cried out claiming the promise, and they have been baptized!
The baptism is especially for those living in these last days. “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh... will pour out in those days of my Spirit” (Acts 2:17-18).
Jesus told a parable about a certain man who got up at midnight, went to a friend’s house and asked for three loaves of bread (Luke 11:5-13). This parable is about the need for the Holy Ghost - about seeking, asking and knocking!
This man had been in his home when a friend arrived from a long journey and was hungry. But the man had nothing to give him. This represents a lack of power, spiritual weakness! So the man who had nothing to give went to the one who had bread.
This man who had nothing to give needed the power of the Holy Ghost. He was desperate!
Beloved, it is midnight and you have family and friends who are hungry and needy - yet in yourselves you have nothing to offer. You need the Holy Ghost! And He is yours for the asking: “How much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:13).
God wants you to live and walk in the Spirit. You should not have to run to find someone else to meet a person's need. You are called to speak the Word of God as the Spirit moves on you, and to lay hands on the sick and cast out devils just as the apostles did. We are all called to be witnesses who are full of the Holy Ghost and power!
You Must Realize You Do Not Have All Jesus Wants You
to Have Unless You Are Baptized With the Holy Ghost!
John the Baptist preached, “I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire” (Luke 3:16).
Beloved, the Bible makes it very clear: When Jesus comes to you, He desires to baptize you with the Holy Ghost and fire! The Holy Ghost brings fire - a red-hot, consuming love for Jesus. Why are so many believers hot one minute and then cold the next, never totally yielded, never sold out? Is it because they refuse to let Jesus baptize them with the Holy Ghost?
“When (the Holy Ghost) is come, He will reprove... of sin” (John 16:8). Could it be that these believers are not convicted because the Holy Ghost has not yet moved in - that He has never been invited to take His rightful place in them? If the Holy Ghost were in residence He would be convicting, convincing, probing - holding them to the Word. He is God’s plumb line. Anything that does not measure up to Christ, He reveals - and He convicts us and empowers us to conform to His Word! Truly He becomes our Comforter in this, because as He convicts us of sin He empowers us to remove it. That is true comfort!
You Must Be Willing to Let Go of Decorum!
That is Your Pride:
Etiquette - Primness - Starchiness!
In both the Old and New Testaments, the Holy Ghost fell upon people in the most unusual ways! He shook buildings. People's tongues began to praise Him - in new tongues. The Holy Ghost took full control!
At Pentecost he came with a mighty, rushing wind! Fire fell! “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2;4). Can you imagine what this crowd looked like to passersby - 120 people, all preaching and praising God at the same time and in different tongues? It must have looked like drunken chaos!
When the Holy Ghost comes down, things get shaken up. “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together: and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spoke the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31).
Some say, “The Spirit came down at Pentecost. We don't need to pray for Him to fall on us now.” But throughout the Book of Acts, after Pentecost, the Holy Ghost was still falling on believers!
He fell at the house of Cornelius: “While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them” (Acts 10:44). Again, they spoke with tongues!
He fell at Ephesus: “The Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied” (Acts 19:6).
The Holy Ghost will never make you do anything stupid. But He will come upon you in such a way that sinners may think you are drunk! He is not welcome in many churches because He is thought to be too noisy, too upsetting, too unpredictable!
The Holy Ghost Is Received by Faith!
“This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” (Galatians 3:2). Saints, this message should ignite your faith, - and by faith you should lay hold of God's great promises! “Let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think he shall receive anything of the Lord” (James 1:6-7).
The Lord says, “Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it” (Psalm 81:10). Praying for the gift of tongues should not be our focus; we ought to pray to be baptized in the Holy Ghost - and speaking in tongues is an expression of His indwelling.
Have you asked God for this gift? Are you seeking the Holy Ghost? Are you continually knocking? “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?” (Luke 11:13).
Simply ask and you will receive! Seek your heavenly Father for the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and He will give it to you!
Here in New York City we have come to realize our desperate need to be constantly filled with the Holy Ghost, always dependent on His power and presence, and fully trusting in His ability to do the impossible. For example, we have been led to pray for HARD CASES - praying in the Holy Ghost for the salvation of those considered too far gone to be saved: the pornographers, the drug dealers - the evil-minded big-shot business men who have lost all sense of morality.
We are witnessing great miracles as a result. The most wicked, evil-minded sinners are being strangely convicted by the Holy Ghost: and they are getting right with God.
The Holy Ghost is the HOUND OF HEAVEN, and He is hunting down sinners and the backslidden everywhere. They are falling under an incredible “misery,” and are beginning to hate their sin for the first time. They are feeling an urge to seek spiritual help. That, my friends, is the powerful ministry of the Holy Ghost.
We face a mad devil on the loose in our world today. He is unleashing all the power at his command; and legions of evil powers are digging in for the final conflict with heaven. It is going to take more than the dead, powerless religion practiced by most denominations. Our modern church programs are silly - carnal - and the laughing stock of hell. Demonic hordes will simply walk all over backslidden, apostate Christians and pastors. Unclean, unholy Christians are weak, powerless and afraid of Satan's power. They can no more stop the onslaught of Satan than an ant can stop an armored tank.
But Satan cannot stand up to a righteous, Holy Ghost-filled child of God who walks in faith and obedience. Show me a truly Holy Ghost-possessed believer, and I'll show you one who puts the legions of hell to chase.
We don’t need bigger churches or more Christian TV or more sophisticated religious methods! We need more Holy Ghost-baptized saints - separated and sanctified - who will live and walk and talk in the power given them! We need to be on our faces crying out to God for a fresh Pentecost: that the Holy Ghost would again fall upon us, our churches, our pastors and evangelists - and rid ourselves once and for all of everything profane and fleshly.
God, send the Holy Ghost! Fall upon us! Baptize us mightily. And send us forth against satanic strongholds with an uncompromising faith that He will prevail in our day!