Fulfilled in Jesus

Our pilgrimage with our Beloved in Japan -- Yoko & Ramone on the journey with Jesus!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire




I've been wanting to write about this for awhile. Around this last weekend I drew these pictures that had been in my heart for a couple weeks about the baptism of the Holy Spirit. On Monday, a good friend told me that another good friend we've been praying for was baptized by the Holy Spirit over the weekend! God is so awesome!

When I say, "Baptism of the Holy Spirit", what comes to mind first? Perhaps its whatever experiences you've had with Pentecostal or Charismatic Christians, or perhaps it's only what you've heard others say about them. Maybe you grew up with the idea, like me, that the Holy Spirit is simply your "conscience".

Whatever you've heard and you haven't heard, you need to know that God is real. Yes, He is beyond science. He is supernatural. This is the God we serve, and He is a reality. He is totally "other". He exists outside of you and me and He is the only real objectivity. And He wants to give Himself to you, to pour Himself into you!



The promise of the Spirit is all over the Old Testament. Isaiah 44:1-4, Ezekiel 11:19-20 & 36:25-29, Joel 2:28-29, and Zechariah 12:10. It's the meaning behind Jeremiah 31:33-34. The Jews knew these scriptures and looked forward to the promise, and so they were not mystified when John the Baptist cried out about Jesus:

"I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come One who is more powerful than I... He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will clear His threshing floor, gathering His wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire." (Matthew 3:11-12)

Why is the baptism of the Spirit such a point of contention? Maybe it's because many older Pentecostals have made it an issue of salvation and believe it must be accompanied by speaking in tongues. For myself, it was difficult also because I hadn't had that kind of real-meeting-God experience in my life, and was afraid of feeling deficient.

But in offering the Spirit, God isn't meaning to say, "You aren't a real Christian" or be demeaning. He simply loves us so much He wants to pour Himself into us and let us know that He's poured Himself into us!

And there is a difficult pill to swallow for many of us: Pentecostals and Charismatics have known that God wants to pour His Spirit into us, and they've received it. It doesn't make them any more perfect or better than us (goodness, there is only One who is right, and that is Christ! He is "The Lord Our Righteousness" - see Jer.23 & 33). But it's hard to admit we've been missing something.

Yet the Holy Spirit has been with us, and if we've believed Christ, then we have been born of the Spirit. Some of us have thought the Spirit was only our conscience, and have to some degree missed out on the different intimate ways He'd love to share with us. No matter, He's waiting to hug you now.

(Oh, the Spirit is so much more than your conscience! People had consciences before the day of Pentecost in Acts 2, you know!)

Tongues have been a sticky point. Don't worry about that. Sometimes He bursts out of your mouth in tongues when He pours Himself into you, sometimes He doesn't. He didn't do that for Charles Finney. The baptisms of the Spirit in the Bible tended to be accompanied by tongues, but I don't believe it's a rule for identification, primarily because God is not giving His Spirit so we can include or exclude one another from fellowship or identify who is saved and who isn't. The Spirit is not given so we will judge one another, but because we have released each other from judgment and chosen to live in Christ's agape love!

In fact, as I've walked with Christ and grown in the Spirit, I've learned that there is no set of rules to how He can baptize you in the Spirit and how He can't. As soon as we think it has to happen a certain way, He is sure to thwart us and do it another way (like He did by baptizing the Gentiles in His Spirit before they'd even had a chance to profess belief in Christ and receive water baptism from Peter).

What I believe I've learned is that it's intensely personal. There is a depth of meaning to the filling of the Holy Spirit and I can't hope to explain it all. Why? Because the Spirit is God! Can I explain the depths of God? Ha!!! Of course not! What I can tell you is what it's meant to me -- what He, the Holy Spirit, has meant to me, done for me, and taught me:

Many Christians will talk about the Spirit as if it's all about the power He gives and the gifts He gives. But He is so much more. He has a personality, and He is simply God Himself pouring Himself into you. If the idea of God pouring Himself into you doesn't thrill you, I don't know what will!!



When I heard the Gospel in late 2000 (yes, in 2000!) and learned of the gift of the Holy Spirit, I wanted to be filled. Mainly because hey, it was cool and I wanted that gift, that power, that reality. But you know what? He told me I needed to repent to someone and forgive them. He showed me how I had felt rejected by someone, and in turn rejected that person. I needed to repent and choose to forgive. In short, God was calling me to obey His commandments: "Love one another as I have loved you." While we were still His enemies, He loved us and died for us so we could have His righteousness and be with God forever.

Someone once told me that unforgiveness is the biggest block to the Holy Spirit. I've found it true in my own life! How often I've been stressed or upset, and how often I've felt so right and unjustly wounded by another! And in those times I've wanted God's peace and deliverance, but He seemed to take His sweet time, and I then began to feel rejected by Him... "Not You, too, God! Don't You care?" And as time went on and I waited in His presence, that difficult word came: "Can you let go? Can you choose to forgive and let go of the right to be angry and get back?" As I chose to forgive, His peace flooded my heart, and I was no longer wounded, but healed and restored.

On October 27, 2001, I was baptized by the Holy Spirit. By that time, the desperation for it was gone, though. I had accepted Him more and more by faith, and believed that whether or not I felt Him, He was living inside of me because of what His Son had done for me. I was at a conference at the Mott Auditorium, hosted by Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena, California. I was overwhelmed by His love. We were crying out for our neighbors, for the nations, for those who didn't know Him, for laborers to go forth into the harvest. And He flooded me with His Spirit. A lady near me received a word for me: "You have your Father's eyes". She told me of His love for me (Song of Songs 8:6). I remember smelling the sweet smell of the fire... it was all around. A day later, back at university in Riverside, God suddenly brought the smell back to me and filled me with His joy. Just so I wouldn't forget!



There is so much more! Recently I've struggled with some temptations and it's been difficult. Sometimes it seems like your heart hasn't changed at all, you know? But in those times He reminds me that I need to keep my eyes on Him, not on myself. The more I stare at myself, the darker it will seem. But looking at Him, He is light! And then He told me that His fire was in me! He had baptized me! Yes, I had professed my baptism long ago. I had repented and confessed Him. But He had answered and baptized me -- His sovereign act! Just like He said over His Son with His Spirit, "You are My beloved Son, I'm well pleased with you," He reminded me that His Spirit in me said the same thing: "Ramone, you are My beloved son, I'm well pleased in you!"

He reminded me that He had put a new heart in me, that His Spirit lives in me. And that He is *winnowing* me! He is sifting me! His fire of love is unquenchable! He is separating the chaff (the outer hard part of the grain) from the wheat within! Those rotten things of me are chaff, not the real me within which He has created anew! He's sifting the old things, and His fire is unquenchable! In those times when everything is dark, He had me remember that He'd baptized me with His Spirit and His fire is more powerful than my chaff! He is sovereign and powerful, even in me! Praise You, God! I love You!

Lord, open our hearts to freely ask You to pour Your Spirit into us! I know You want to fill us with Yourself more than we want to be filled! You want to testify of Your Son's finished work by Your Spirit and show us what You've freely given us! You've promised to manifest Yourself to us (John 14:15-27) and give us a peace that is not of this earth! Overcome our belief, our pride, our judgment, our unforgiveness, and anything that stands in the way of You making Your home inside us! Call Your people to be struck by the radicalness of what You've promised and what You've enabled by Your Son's death! Lord, we receive You! Pour Yourself into us Jesus, again and again! Amen.

4 Comments:

  • At June 17, 2005 11:43 AM, Anonymous Sam Massey said…

    The Agreement Made Between YHVH And The Sons Of Jacob AT Sinai !

    Greetings in YHVH's name ! Please understand that I am only sharing with you what I have found to be truth. What you now believe and what you believe after you read the articles , is strictly up to you. I am only putting this truth before you, what you do with it is your business. I understand that we can not make a horse drink if he is not thirsty so to speak. I will be very sincere with you concerning our Fathers instructions, for I realize that if I share untruth with you, I will be judged for it ! As you know our Father made an agreement with the sons of Jacob at Mount Sinai, that if we keep His Statutes and Judgments that we would live in the promised land for ever more.

    Deut.4:40, You shall keep therefore His statutes and His commandments which I commanded you this day, that it may go well with you, and with your children after you, and that you mayest prolong your days upon the earth, which YHVH giveth you, forever.

    The Covenant consisted of Ten Commandments !

    Ex.34:28, .....And He wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments

    Deut.4:13, And He declared to you His covenant, which He comanded you to perform, even Ten Commandments; and He wrote them upon two tables of stone.

    Notice our Father says Ten Commandments, not 613, or any other number of laws ! What we have seen here is our Father made an agreement with us that if we keep His Ten Laws which are the Statutes and the Judgments written in Ex.20:3-17, and Deut.5:7-21, we will have life forevermore in the promised land. What He has told us is, we are to keep his commandments.
    Notice in Deut.5:22, He added no more ( LAWS )

    Eccl.12:13, Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear YHVH and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man .

    Contrary to the N.T. the agreement made with the sons of Jacob is the keeping of the Commandments for life forevermore ! ( WORKS ) Take heed to this ! This is the agreement our Father made with us ! This is in accord with the Law and the Testimony of our Father YHVH, through His Prophet Moses ! The N.T. says faith not works ! The Father of the N.T. loves workers of iniquity John 3:16, this same father supposedly caused a married woman called Mariam to be impregnated ! Matt.1:18-19, this is called adultery, ( sin ) as having his supposed innocent son murdered ! ( sin ) This makes the father of the N.T. an adulter and a murderer. YHVH on the other hand hates all workers of iniquity Ps. 5:5, ... You hatest all workers of iniquity.

    Ps.34:16, The face of YHVH is against them that do evil, to cut off remembrance of them from the earth.

    In truth, the father of the N.T. is not our Father YHVH ! YHVH does not break His own Law ! YHVH will not commit adultery, and His son is not the supposed son, Jesus or Yahshua ! Ex.4:22, And you shall say to Pharaoh, Thus saith YHVH, the sons of Jacob is My son, even My first born.

    V 23, ...Let My son go....

    You need to realize that YHVH can only have one first born son ! The sons of Jacob was His son about 1491 years before the N.T. was even thought of ! Haven't you ever wondered why YHVH calls the sons of Jacob His children, it is because they are, they are His Son !
    Have you read in the writings of the prophets where YHVH tells His children to return to Him ? If you do read the prophets you would have read this, probably many times in different places ! The false N.T. says that there can not be forgiveness without the penalty of a death ! This is not what our Father says ! He says through His prophet Ezekiel, that all a transgressor has to do is stop sinning and keep His Statutes and Judgments again and there after, and he will surely live ! And if the person does, his past sins will not be mentioned to him at judgment time, because he has become righteous by keeping the Ten Commandments !

    Deut.6:25, And it shall be our Righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before YHVH, as He has commanded us.

    Ezek.18:21, But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he has committed, and keep all My statutes and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die .

    Ezek.18:22, All his transgessions that he has committed, ( past sins ) they shall not be mentioned to him: in his righteousness that he has done he shall live.

    Ezek.18:27, Again, when the wicked man turn away from his wickedness that he has committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.

    This sounds like a person saves his own soul by keeping the commandments ! Wasn't that the agreement at Mount Sinai ?

    People that have been taught the N.T. all there life will not accept our father's word here, because they love the lie they have been taught !
    Ezek.18:28, Because he considered and turned away from all his transgressions that he has committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.

    You need to read Ezek.18:4-32 Also read Ezek.33:11-20

    Why are these scriptures here unless they are truth and are our Fathers instructions ?
    YHVH has given us a guide to find truth, and we are to use it !

    Isa.8:20, To the LAW and to the TESTIMONY: if they speak NOT according to this word, it is because there is no truth in them.

    The law is the Ten Commandments, and the Testimony is the writings of YHVH through His Prophets. What anyone says, or anyone writes, including the N.T. if it is not in accord with the Ten Commandments and the Testimony of YHVH prophets, it is because, it is lies ! Be advised that the N.T. is not in accord with the Law and the Testimony !
    The N.T. is not our Father's word, it is the word of the head and Mother of all Christianity, the Roman Church .
    If you are interested in receiving more articles, let me know !

     
  • At June 17, 2005 2:09 PM, Blogger Ramone said…

    Hi Sam, thanks for visiting. I'd be glad to share the good news about Jesus to you... do you have a homepage? If you'd rather email me, please click on my profile (above right) and after that click on the "email me" link.

    The New Testament pre-dates the Roman Catholic church, and Jesus is the Messiah, fulfilling the many, many, countless words spoken about Him in the Old Testament. God agreed to make a *New* Covenant with Israel, and to give His light to the Gentiles -- to all nations! HalleluYah!

    In His hesed,
    Ramone

     
  • At June 27, 2006 10:51 PM, Blogger Art for Jesus said…

    Hey Ramone,
    I appreciate your message for this day. I cried when you wrote about forgiveness because sometimes forgiveness takes longer than I would like it to but it is so very important. To walk in God's love, to be one in the Spirit, and reaching out to help the hurting can all be done on a superficial level but never in depth until we are free of bitterness, unforgivess and grudges against others.
    I also wanted to comment that I thank God for the baptism in the Holy Spirit. When we have asked Jesus into our hearts He is in our hearts. The prayer language that comes after we are baptized in the Spirit gives voice to the Spirit within us. It is the most wonderful promise and gift. We allow the Spirit to utter what we don't know to pray. Many times I don't know what to pray, what is needed in a certain situation. God knows and I can trust Him. We are the voice crying in the wilderness. We now speak His word into the earth and into our lives.
    Praying in the Spirit has freed me to pray anytime, anywhere, as long as I want which many times is quietly all day as I work and play. I know that God hears me because it is HIS Holy Spirit within me that gives me the words, as strange as they may be sometimes. I hear people talking of how they meditate for 20 minutes a day. I'm sorry but I couldn't hold still that long if I were tied down. But I can sing and pray to the Lord all day long (not in a loud way or anything--it's just between God and I). He has taken my burdens and made it so easy to pray. In the middle of the night when I'm awakened to pray for someone, do I feel like praying? No! But I can pray in the spirit because it bypasses the mind. It's not work!
    Yes, I pray with the understanding also. I pray in any way that God gives me to pray. That's why he gave me this mouth--so that I can talk to Him anytime, anywhere, and as long as I will move my lips. He has no limits. We put limits on ourselves. God wants to remove the limits and free us to touch and to change the world. Thanks Ramone, Blessings,
    Jenni

     
  • At September 29, 2006 12:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It is awesome to see someone elses journey in finding the Holy Spirit so simular. It is two babtisms. and once we have the Holy Spirit, He becomes our teacher! Oh am I being taught so much now - like a child!!! God bless,

    Michelle Detweiler

     

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