“Baptism in the Holy Spirit?” What is the Truth?
Thirty-years ago, as a new Christian, I involved myself in John Osteen’s “Lakewood Church” in Northeast Houston, Texas. John Osteen, a former Baptist Preacher turned Charasmatic, tongue-talking, full-Gospel, Minister is the deceased father of the infamous Joel Osteen of the modern day “Lakewood Church” in near West Houston, Texas.
John Osteen’s Church was alive, active, busy, (John Osteen was an incredibly charismatic preacher) and “speaking in tongues” and “Baptism in the Holy Spirit” were the “in-things” and these doctrines were taught as evidences of the infilling Holy Spirit and these doctrines were touted as mandated evidence of one’s salvation; in other words, if you did not speak in tongues you were not baptized with the Holy Spirit and therefore you were lost and remained in your sin. This is abuse, this is heresy.
Personally, I was so engrossed in studying the Scriptures while simultaneously captivated by the draw of Charismata that I joined the Ministry of Lakewood Church. During my brief tenure there, I was commanded by administrators to teach children to speak in tongues, then, as a tenured Houston police officer, I was asked to provide security for Benny Hinn’s revival crusade. NEVER in my life, up to that point and subsequently, have I personally observed such mass hysteria, embarrassment, demonically rooted deception under the guise of spiritual enlightenment as what I observed and participated in during my tenure in Churches of Charismata. Needless to say, the Holy Spirit provided me a “front row” to all that is “Full-Gospel” Charismata very early in my walk with Jesus Christ via the indwelling Holy Spirit via sanctification.
Fast forward 30-years of walking with my precious Lord and listening to the indwelling Holy Spirit as He teaches me the Scriptures with such faithfulness and purity. “Baptism in the Holy Spirit,” as taught by Churches of Charismata, is an abused, false doctrine, and today’s tongues find their origin NOT in the Biblical Pentecost or the “Acts of the Apostles” but in paganism; specifically, the Delphic Oracles.
Truth concerning “Baptism in the Holy Spirit,”
The moment one repents of their sin and sincerely believes in their heart that Jesus Christ is Messiah who died for them; that is, Jesus died to pay their sin-debt owed the Father, a debt they could never pay them self (John 3)…it is at the moment one “believes” that Jesus is their Messiah that they receive every ounce, the complete infilling, of the Holy Spirit, forever (Ephesians 1:13-14).
Receiving the fullness of the Holy Spirit is NOT contingent upon the laying-on of hands or the efforts of another but the fullness of the Holy Spirit is received by faith; that is, faith – trust – belief that Jesus Christ is Messiah who died for you. Receiving the fullness of the Holy Spirit is a personal, intimate, resultant of having trusted in Jesus Christ as your Messiah and no man, no Church, can provide you the Gift of the Holy Spirit, ONLY the Father, by covenant promise (Ezekiel 36:27; Jeremiah 31;31-34; Ephesians 1:13-14) provides the Holy Spirit to the one who does His will (John 6:29); that is, believes in the One He has sent into the World to provide you blood atonement for your sin; that is, Jesus Christ our Messiah (John 14:6).
The anointing of the Holy Spirit,
The anointing, the power, the strength, the influence, the veracity of the spiritual gift(s) received when one truly believes in Jesus Christ as Messiah (1 Corinthians 12:8-10) is completely dependent, wholly contingent, upon how much of one’s self, how much of one’s own personal will, they’re willing to surrender to the will of the Father for their life; in other words, the power or “exousía” or “dunamis” of the Holy Spirit in your life is not dependent upon a Church, the laying-on of hands by others, speaking in tongues, but the Holy Spirit’s anointing in one’s life is completely contingent upon “obedience” to the Father’s will, that is, exercising the courage to step-out in faith and do what the Father commands of you with boldness. The Father’s will for your life is manifest and understood by exercising the Spiritual Gifts He has granted you as His child by faith in His Son.
DO NOT allow the deception of today’s Charismata, Full-Gospel Pentecostalism, to thwart or stymie your walk with Jesus through the Holy Spirit via doctrines of demons that tell you one must “speak in tongues” and be “Baptized in the Holy Spirit” by the laying on of hands or that you must provide evidence of your salvation by speaking in tongues; this is demonic in origin and has resulted in personal horror for far too many as they honestly know they don’t speak in tongues and as a consequence they worry, fret, that they’re lost in sin and that the Lord has rejected them or the Father won’t hear their prayer; tragically, these feel unworthy, rejected, dismayed, and through fretful sleep and daily doubt, their life is replete with spiritual confusion and defeat. DO NOT ALLOW THE deception of CHARISMATA to destroy your walk with Jesus and the JOY of the precious indwelling Holy Spirit.
If one seeks a “sign” concerning their salvation, let them examine their heart and the “fruit of the Spirit” that is produced by the “new creation” in Jesus Christ (Galatians 5: 2 Corintians 5:17). Trust in Jesus with all your heart and the Holy Spirit will direct your path and bathe you in His peace (Proverbs 3:5-6; Romans 5:1). Salvation is “personal intimacy” with our Creator by faith; therefore, walk in peace through the reconciliation provided you by Jesus Christ.