Im sending this in hoping I dont spark any controversies in other areas here, and that it will help with your questions and some you may not have asked yet.
I would say by your testimony that you were filled with the Holy Spirit at your friends house when you asked God to do so. And yes, in most terminology, being filled with the Holy Spirit is the same as being baptized in the Holy Spirit, however, I prefer personally the term 'being filled with the Holy Spirit', but I will address this below.
Please be aware of the following:
1. As a Christian, you received the Holy Spirit as the guarantee of your salvation the moment you were born again as a child of God. Without Him, there is no transformation. At that time you were baptized into the body of Christ through His presence in you. It was the Holy Spirit that brought you to the place where you cried out Abba Father. In other words, through the inner witness of the Holy Spirit, you came to a place of realization that God was your Father; that you were now in a relationship with Him where you felt comfortable to call God your Father. Romans 8:15-16
2. The initial filling of the Holy Spirit, which some would call the baptism of the Holy Spirit, is an event which is separate from salvation, although it can happen so close after conversion for some that it is almost simultaneous, yet for others, years may pass. It is more an enduing of power which is usually accompanied by boldness and a gift or gifts; which as many testimonies attest to, can revolutionize your walk in the Lord. The disciples were told by Jesus not to leave Jerusalem until they had received it, as it would and did directly impact their ability to spread the Gospel in a powerful way. A simple reading of the book of Acts will give many examples.
3. Many people believe that when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, that the initial evidence of this is speaking in tongues, but I would partially disagree with this by saying it can be evidence of being filled. For many this is the case, as tongues is a rather common gift. But there are a number of different gifts which you could receive other then this, so do not let a lack of the gift of tongues confuse you if you did not receive that gift. For many, a new power and boldness in Christ is their evidence. In Acts you can see that while often tongues did accompany the filling of the Holy Spirit, so also did prophecy. I Corinthians 12:4-11 explains that the gifts, which are a manifestation of the Holy Spirit through us, are given to us individually as He sees fit. Later Paul compares the gifts to the parts of a human body, and shows that not all can be an eye or an ear, and that some gifts are quite hidden from common sight. For any local church body to grow, it is of great assistance if there is a well-balanced distribution of gifts. (Used in an orderly fashion some maturity is required here)
4. The filling of the Holy Spirit also empowers us to serve God within the body of Christ, and to witness more effectively to those around us. While the gifts function to edify other Christians around us, a boldness in Christ also comes from being filled that enables us to step out and witness in the power of the Holy Spirit to those around us. Every evangelist from Wesley to Moody, and Finney to Billy Graham, will attest to the need of the filling of the Holy Spirit to be effective in bringing the lost to Christ.
5. The fruit of the Holy Spirit, as detailed in Galatians 5:22-23, is produced in a Christians life as a result of submission to the Holy Spirits working in our life, and begins to appear in a true Christians life regardless of whether they have been filled with the Holy Spirit or not. As many Christians who have experienced the filling of the Holy Spirit can attest, the grace of God worked in their lives to bring about many changes before they may have experienced their first filling of the Holy Spirit. However, I would also be the first to say that the filling of the Holy Spirit intensifies many aspects of the grace and love of Christ in our lives, including the fruit that appears in us. To be filled, we must be first emptied of many things of self, so we come, as you did, to a place where we desire more of what God has already given us and we cry out for Him to fill us. The soul that comes to that place of brokenness is no longer satisfied and drawn by self-will, is apt to be given new power and strength when he asks for it. Like the father that will not give his child a stone when he asks for bread, how much more will our Father in heaven give His Holy Spirit to those who ask.
6. In answer to your confusion over why some things were not overcome in your life when you received this filling, and why your prayer life has not improved significantly, I would say the following, take Pauls advice in Eph. 5:18, where he says be filled with the Spirit, which as many will tell you, can also say, be being filled with the Spirit. Simply said, we leak. We need to get up each morning with the intention of surrendering ourselves to the Lord anew. Being filled with the Holy Spirit comes with the requirement to be obedient to Him. He immediately convicted you in a stronger way about sin in your life, your part is to surrender and to learn obedience. Open your bible and become thoroughly acquainted with what scripture says concerning your particular weak areas of sin. The Holy Spirit will open up the word to you, and show you great promises which you can lay hold of. I promise you, if you allow Him to, He will lead you to the cross of Jesus, and enable you to die to the fleshly life which produces the fruit of sin, and take upon you instead the life in the Spirit which will enable you to produce the heavenly fruit which you so desire. As to prayer, He comes also to teach us how to pray. Prayer is one of the hardest things to learn in the Christian life, but is also one of the most powerful. Not many walk that path effectively. The gift of tongues may help if sought after and received, or is initially received, but it is not a replacement for the normal pattern of prayer but rather an accompaniment to it for those that receive it. Most who pray in tongues never have an understanding of what they pray unless they have also received the gift of interpretation. To pray in the Spirit is not always to pray in tongues, but it is to be assisted and be led of Him. He desires to accomplish the work of Christ in you, and if you afford Him the time, your prayer life will increase.
7. The filling of the Holy Spirit is not instant maturity, but rather a stronger and bolder walk at whatever level of maturity we have attained to. Neither is He a replacement for becoming familiar with and obedient to the word of God. He loves the word, and comes to us to illuminate it, as by it we grow and become strong. One of the quickest ways to lose what we have gained in being filled with the Holy Spirit, is to neglect reading the word and prayer. He is not too enthralled with empowering the self-willed who chose to rely on themselves rather then what scripture says. While scripture says that the gifts of God are without repentance, it does show that we can be filled again and again. Many testify to deeper experiences that followed. If Finney noticed a loss in power in converting the lost, he immediately stopped and went back to a season of personal prayer until he was filled anew, and then resumed his activities in evangelizing.
8. In scripture, you will see the Holy Spirit represented as a dove at times, and I believe it was Leonard Ravenhill that said a dove has nine main feathers on each wing for flying. He said that you will find nine fruits represented in Galations 5:16-17 which come through the Holy Spirit, and nine gifts represented from Him in 1 Corinthians 12:7-11. For the Church to soar the way God intends it to, it needs both wings with all 9 feathers intact on each. Some tend to emphasize the fruits, some the gifts, but the Holy Spirit emphasizes them all.
Hope this helps, sorry if it is long. May God bless you in your walk and the desires of your heart.
| 2007/1/8 5:17||Profile|
| Re: the ear, the thumb, and the great toe!?|
Dear brother K_DAY, I know what you mean here(please read through this if you can)...
I actually have a similar story that I am unable to really make sense of.
Much, much, changed in my life, yet there was sin. There is sin. In all truth, my life and mind became a battleground and sometimes to my utter bewilderment! I would be buffeted by all sorts of terrible thoughts, perhaps coming from the nature of my actions in the past. And there were also times of victory and the supernatural.
Brother, there is a message here at sermonindex given by Paris Reidhead that really made sense to me. I think it might speak to you also given what you described.
The message is titled [i][b]The Baptisim with the Holy Spirit[/i][/b] and is [url=https://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/singlefile.php?lid=3091&commentView=itemComments]Here[/url]
Scroll down most of the page to find it.
Now, he is unfolding something here and I think it is nescessary that you follow along carefully in this message. He is taking some time to lay something out. I think it makes some sense of my own experience. You may even want to open the Bible to Exodus chapter 29 to follow along ahead of time and even read over it yourself to just be familiar with it afresh.
One morning I woke up with the thought of Judges chapter 3 on my mind. I remember I had been seeking God about the difficulties and struggles I was still going through in my walk before Him. I went downstairs and opened the Bible to this chapter. The first four verses really spoke to me, especialy where it says
...[i]these are the nations which [b]the Lord left[/b][/i]
...[i]to teach them war...such as before knew nothing thereof[/i]
...[i]they were to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the Lord[/i]
I thought this was definitely me, and even though I had servered in the *Army, I don't think I had ever known anything of this sort of internal war or of this sort of discipline. In fact when I was in the Army, even though my life was outwardly disiplined in terms of Army structure, inwardly and secretly I was a total wreck and it showed in the vices I indulged in.
Outwardly I may have appeared strong, but inwardly I was conquered ground.
I wish you all the fullness of God's grace, both for you and for me.
EDIT: *I thought I should mention here that my time in the Army was years before my conversion to Christ.
Christopher Joel Dandrow
| 2007/1/8 9:11||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
| What manners now|
Chris, Kathy ... Tremendous testimonies and great examples of a great truth ... The Lord's ways are indeed mysterious and often quite different than our expectations.
My confusion is that I never really experienced the strong conviction of my sins before it happened. I was changed, but my prayer life still struggles, I still havn't had victory over certain sins that I still deal with. All these things seem to be staples of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, as I understand it from the Bible and other's testimonies.
Is there a difference between the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and being filled with the Holy Spirit?
This confusion you speak of may be just the same expectation, that a certain sequence must follow and be in order and I do not see that as evidential, even Chris and Kathy's showing as much. My own, being something closer to Kathy's (It's linked under my profile) even more peculiar because it had the same sort of ... 'effect' that Chris described as well and came about from a recognition of the very depravity I was swimming in ... A tremendous moment, a great change in one respect, a great repentance and struggle to give up and yet on the other hand it was just the very first inception in a long drawn out process. It would still be a year or so off before I even started plying into Gods word. I heard no preacher, no testimony, wasn't in a church, had no Christian accomplices, not that there was no witness prior to all this, but the only way I can put it and with a great backward looking is that it was a sovereign thing that God did. Have always loved the old bit about the [i]The Hound of Heaven[/i] because in my case, it was perfectly applicable and evidential, something I can say with all earnestness, yes, the Lord hunted me down. And for the life of me it is still an amazement, at the time it brought forth that almost demonic like expression of "What do I have to do with Thee?" (Luke 4:34)
Maybe all I am trying to forward here is that there need not be a running order of things, a form or formula to follow. In due time, in the Lords time and desire and will, these things will come, conviction of sin is something ongoing and internal, personal, different I would say for each of us individually. Even in my case where there was such a strong overwhelming sense of the cesspool like thing I had allowed and even desired, that thing I loved to hate and hated to love at the onset and this would be all that is expressed in that testimony. And as bad as that was, in debauchery and lust and mind altering drug use and on and on and on, it was hardly but the tip of the iceberg of what I would latter come to find buried deeper within; Bitterness and pride, pretense and hypocrisy, self-love, dishonesty, vain imagination, evil imagination, the overlooked aspects of judging others by climbing into their heads so to speak ... presumption.
K_DAY, I wouldn't be too bothered about that order, that you express it now in [i]strong convicition[/i] is telling enough of a concern yet it could be and may well be that the very avenue to this is bypassed or addressed quite differently than you ever anticipate. Leave even that expectation in the Lords hands. I am more than convinced this is the trust He would have us give Him, to do as He sees fit.
I was changed, but my prayer life still struggles, I still havn't had victory over certain sins that I still deal with.
Thank God for it! I mean, that your prayer life is a struggle, if it wasn't it wouldn't be much of a prayer life at all. [u]You[/u] will not have victory over your sins alone and you well may recognize that ... victory will come as you give way to the Lord.
K_DAY what matters is now. Where you are now, where the Lord is leading now. What He is concerned with now. Expect the unexpected, expect to be surprised, expect to be changed, expect that what you may wish to happen may be delayed by something entirely out of your perspective.
Anticipate wonder and awe and paradox, the Lords ways [i]are[/i] mysterious and I can tell you they are blessed above anything I could articulate and full of thanksgiving and praise and worship and sheer astonishment.
There is just a great relief in trusting Him completely even with what we suffer, even in conviction and brokenness and contrition and being humbled.
It is the endurance of the saints to just keep on keeping on and a great joy to never know what the Lord has in store for those who love Him.
| 2007/1/8 9:53||Profile|
| Re: What manners now|
such a good word Mike. Thanks
| 2007/1/8 10:56||Profile|
I appreciate your input, but I didn't see any scriptural evidence in your post for the emotional ecstaticism you and several others went on to describe. I know that it will seem as if I am attacking your experience. I'm sorry.
I can only evaluate your experience or even Duncan Campbell's by what the scriptures clearly demonstrate.
I belonged to a charismatic church in the 1980s. They placed a great significance on these emotional experiences and used some of the same scriptural proofs you listed. I've come out of that movement for reasons too numerous to bore you with here.
I don't apply those scriptures the way you apparently do. Please don't take offence, I just have to reject it based on my understanding at this time.
| 2007/1/8 16:42||Profile|
God is good all the time
| 2007/1/8 19:36||Profile|
| Re: Baptism of the Holy Spirit|
It seems to me it is a matter of opinion that what I and others experience is as you put it
Quote " appreciate your input, but I didn't see any scriptural evidence in your post for the emotional ecstaticism you and several others went on to describe. I know that it will seem as if I am attacking your experience. I'm sorry."
In the new testament account of the day of Pentecost the people recieving were thought drunk.
Act 2:6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
Act 2:14 ¶ But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all [ye] that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
Act 2:15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is [but] the third hour of the day.
Act 2:16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
Act 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
Act 2:18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
I tried to look up the word you used "ecstaticism" in Mirriam Websters dictionary and could find no definition for it.
This is one sites definition for Ecstasy:
Ecstatic (Ec*stat"ic) (?), a.
[Gr. ¿, fr. ¿: cf. F. extatique. See Ecstasy, n.]
1. Pertaining to, or caused by, ecstasy or excessive emotion; of the nature, or in a state, of ecstasy; as, ecstatic gaze; ecstatic trance. "This ecstatic fit of love and jealousy." Hammond.
2. Delightful beyond measure; rapturous; ravishing; as, ecstatic bliss or joy.
Meaning of ecstatic (adjective)
I a quite sure that every person who has experienced this infilling or overwhelming or what ever title you want to call it would have a different story, however, I have read numerous accounts and they all say that the love they experience in thier hearts was a major factor in changing their lives.
If the Holy Spirit overwhelms you and fills you with His love it seems wrong to me to attibute this to emotionalism. If it is a gift of the Holy Spirit that would seem to demean the gift and therefore the Giver. If however what was birthed in us is a gift from the Holy Spirit we should count it as a treasure.
The way these words " emotional ecstaticism " makes it sound, it would appear we became a bunch of brainless babblers, who are right up there with the mentally off. Nothing could be further from the truth. It caused my understanding and delight in the scriptures to excell. I'm not saying that I immediately understood everything I read, but I knew that I knew that I knew it was all real. There was no longer any question in my mind that this was a way of life worth living.
I think if you call our experience emotionalism then you would have to say the same of the believers on the day of Pentecost, however as Peter pointed out, it was the fulfillment of Joel's prophecy.
I know some would say that it was poured out once and for all on that day, but each of us needs power for service and testimony. After you receive power you shall be witnesses.
If you are really in love with someone you can't wait to tell how beautiful he is and share with folks just what he means to you. This is what the baptism means to me. At that moment He became altogether lovely to me and that hasn't changed in all these years.
Rom 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
[color=CC0033]I can not help but feel if the love of a human being causes us to experience ecstasy and joy, how much more should the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost do so. This certainly doesn't make us brainless, just powerful to effect the world around us.[/color]
I am not offended by your comments. I just wanted to clarify, that emotional ecstaticism is an opinion about what happened and I don't find scriptural references in your post to back that up.
God's blessing and peace unto your house.
| 2007/1/9 10:19||Profile|
I deny saying you were brainless, a babbler, or mentally off.
I affirm that I believe that Pentecost was a unique event. I affirm that I believe that every soundly saved person is also indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
I believe that the Joel passage alluded to in Acts is a foretaste of a condition in the millinium kingdom when everyone will be saved and filled with the Spirit. Thousands were saved on Pentecost, but the Spirit wasn't poured out on everyone, only those who believed. The same can be said of today; so, the "all flesh" is still a future event. (One I am really lookling forward to.)
My scriptural support for not trusting any emotional experience which can not be affirmed by a sound understanding of scripture is
Jer 17:9, "The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it?"
We may have to respectfully disagree on this issue.
Yours in Christ,
| 2007/1/9 22:44||Profile|
| excuse the post|
excuse the post
| 2007/1/9 23:28||Profile|