What is the Baptism in the Spirit? 
Part 1

Portal to Supernatural Power: Third of Seven

Guidelines: The United Methodist Church and the Charismatic Movement

John Wesley was not a charismatic figure at 5' 2" tall. His sermons are exceedingly dull. But people flocked to here him preach. Somebody asked him why anybody even bothered to come. Wesley replied, "I set myself on fire, and people come to watch me burn."  It was the fire that attracted folks like moths to a flame.

For a deeper exegesis of the language of our subject, try this link ('eight days to wait').

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Codex Sinaiticus

New Testament:

from the famed discovery

 

The earliest, oldest New Testament text has finally been released to the public.  You may read the Codex Sinaiticus online - but only if you know Greek!  To read it inCodex Sinaiticus New Testament H T Anderson English English, you need the only English translation we know.  The H. T. Anderson English Translation of the Codex Sinaiticus, with the three extra early New Testament books and the Sonnini Manuscript of Acts 29 included, and the original absences of certain verses (put in there later by the 'church') is now available only at here.  

THIS IS NOT A CHEAP, SCANNED-IN FACSIMILE. This is a first edition of the text published in easy-to-read Georgia font with plenty of room between verses for your notes.2 points between verses, hard or soft cover.

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The Nazarene Acts
of the Apostles

Also known as
The Recognitions of Clement

Ever wonder why PAUL and not PETER received the mission to the lost tribes?  Wasn't Peter the stone upon which the "church" was to be built?  In this new translation of the Nazarene Acts, we follow Kefa (Peter) as he itinerates from Jerusalem and up the Mediterranean coast up to Tripoli, as recorded in the journals of his successor, Clement of Rome (Phi 4:3).  Every message Kefa preached, the company he kept, and the great works of faith the the Almighty accomplished through him are herein recorded.  This 300 page volume has been 'hidden' in the back of an obscure volume of the "Church Fathers" all this time.  Could it be that, in establishing the Gentile 'church' by pushing away from Judaism, this history was purposely hidden?

Acts 2: 4-8 4. And they were all filled with set-apart Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7. And they were amazed and wondered, saying, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans?  8. And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language?

The Bible - A Supernatural Book

  Of the many descriptions of the Bible, the one most appropriate to our study is that the Bible is a supernatural book. This is true for a number of reasons:

(1) It's supernatural in its origin -- coming to us by divine inspiration.

(2) It's supernatural in its durability -- surviving all the attempts of its enemies to exterminate it.

(3) It's supernatural in its results -- transforming the lives of all those who read it and believe it.

(4) It's supernatural in its harmony -- agreeing in all its parts, even though written over a period of 1600 years by about 40 different authors.

(5) It's supernatural in its message -- telling of many occasions when Yahweh intervened in the affairs of humans to accomplish his redemptive purposes.

(6) It's supernatural in its preservation -- maintaining its accuracy and reliability down through the centuries, even despite modern attempts to pervert its message.

   If the Bible is a supernatural book, then it can be our textbook to learn about the supernatural world.  If we emulate the beliefs, practices and actions of the righteous characters it portrays, then eventually we become the same kind receiving the same gifts that were received by the great saints. Please take your copy of the Supernatural Book and turn to Luke 3:16 and we'll begin.

 

Yochanon the Dunker - A Prophet for All Time

   John the Baptist was the herald of the Anointed Messiah Yahshua. Yahweh’s people in John's time understood that, before the Messiah could come, the prophet Elijah would appear to "make the Messiah's way straight." When that Messiah came on the scene, Yahshua actually called John “The Elijah, which was to come."  Now, when John's followers asked him if he was the Messiah, he answered them all,

(Luke 3:16) "I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with set-apart Spirit and with fire."

John was a powerful prophet of Yahweh. Yet he prophesied that Yahshua would be more powerful than he and would baptize you with the set-apart Spirit and fire. Today, this baptism in the set-apart Spirit is one of the most controversial subjects in the world, often unknown in congregations. But if baptizing in set-apart Spirit’s what Yahshua came to do, then it's up to us to seek it out so that we might enter this "Portal to the Supernatural" ourselves.

   John the Baptist here prophesies to all people -- those who were standing there and those who are present every time the prophecy is read.  So John's message is still true today: that Yahshua not only came to save, but also to baptize in set-apart Spirit with fire.

 

Opinions Now and Then

   Some church folks today say, "I was baptized in the Holy Ghost and fire automatically when I was saved."  This may indeed be the case. 

But I would ask, "Does your life reflect the passion and fire of set-apart Spirit?" "Are you working with spiritual resources now?" "Are you living in victory?" "Do folks know you 'got it' when they see you?" The fire-baptized are a-burn! 

   Others say, "The supernatural died out with the Apostles." But I would ask, "Did the scriptures become false when they died as well?"  If our church tells us something contrary to the Bible, which will we believe?  If the spiritual Gifts died out, then how might one be born again?  To these, I might add, "Isn't it true that you are also spiritually dead?"

 

Another Yochanon

    John Wesley was not a charismatic figure at 5' 2" tall. His sermons are exceedingly dull. But people flocked to here him preach. Somebody asked him why anybody even bothered to come. Wesley replied, "I set myself on fire, and people come to watch me burn."  This fire was certainly not that of emotion, charisma, or fame.  Yet it was the kind of fire that attracted folks like moths to a flame. Are you on fire and burning for set-apart Spirit?  If "Yes," then you do indeed exhibit evidence of the baptism in set-apart Spirit. But if you don't have the evidence, then you can't have the Baptism. But you need this empowerment to fulfill His perfect will for your life. It will qualify you to use the greatest power the world has ever known. 

   And if not, then you need to prepare your heart for what set-apart Spirit has in store for you -- not only for your own sake, but also for the sake of the coming Kingdom.

PRAYER: Love Divine, all loves excelling:

Breathe, O breathe thy Loving Spirit
Into every troubled breast!
Let us all in thee inherit;
Let us find that second rest.
Thee we would be always blessing,
Serve Thee as Thy hosts above,
Pray and praise Thee without ceasing,
Glory in Thy perfect love. Amen. The entire hymn is here.

 

The Baptism with Set-apart Spirit and the Risen Yahshua

   In Acts 1:4-5,8 we read that Yahshua has risen and he reclines at the table with his disciples, instructing them what to do before they dared to go forth and witness to his resurrection. Yahshua gave them this command:

"Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the promise (ten epangelian) of my Father, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with set-apart Spirit. {8} You will receive power when set-apart Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the land."

Here Yahshua affirms John's prophecy. Furthermore, Yahshua distinguishes baptism in Spirit from baptism in water.

   Lesson 1: So we learn first that the baptism in set-apart Spirit is not the same thing as water baptism. Also, this baptism has been promised by the Father and originates not on Earth, but in the spiritual dimension.

Yahshua's disciples were already cleansed, "saved" (actually, we might say "justified") and water-baptized; yet they needed something further in order to go forth. Yahshua told them they would receive it soon.

   Lesson 2: So we learn that baptism in the set-apart Spirit is not the same as salvation, nor does it necessarily automatically happen when someone accepts Yahshua. This Baptism has a different function. Through it the disciples received supernatural power, not only in inspired speaking, but also in miraculous abilities. This baptism in the set-apart Spirit with fire is the doorway to wonderful spiritual realities and resources. A believer’s spiritual abilities are dormant until she has entered through this door. 

   Lesson 3: So we learn that we may be 'saved' and baptized in water, even be a professional minister, yet still not have experienced baptism in set-apart Spirit. We need not wonder what holds us back from living a fulfilled and "perfected" lives. If we're not baptized in Spirit then our power for victorious living is very limited. Yet this baptism is not a "gimme"; it doesn't usually happen without our knowing it.  For He instills in us tangible evidence that it has that he has come powerfully into his temple. We immediately receive a wonderful gift that we may hold precious for the rest of our lives.

   Let's pray the Father for this Baptism:

PRAYER OF PREPARATION:

The Upper Room Down

All these were found in one accord in hopeful prayer

Before they claimed the right to climb the higher stair.

But we have little claim on heaven's higher space!

We pray, Send down your upper room into this place. JHS 2009

 

Father in Heaven, You who favors Israel,

Prepare our hearts for immersion in your Spirit.

Through Yahshua Messiah, our Sovereign. Amein.

 

It Happened One Pentecost

   A few days after Yahshua told his disciples to wait on set-apart Spirit, they came together in a second-story apartment to watch and pray. The KJV tells us that they were "in one accord," or "single-minded." The city of Jerusalem was full of Jews from all over the world that had come to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost. The story of what happened in the "upper room" is found in

Acts 2:1ff.  When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. {2} Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. {3} They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. {4} All of them were filled with set-apart Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Who was there? Acts 1:6-7 tells us that the twelve disciples were there along with Yahshua's mother, family, and all his women friends, all "constantly in prayer." They heard a sound like the wind then saw "flames of fire" alighting. In other words, specks of fire fell upon them from above. Then everyone in the room - men, women, and children - was baptized with set-apart Spirit and they spoke praise and exhortation in languages they’d never learned.

   Lesson 4: So we learn that the baptism in set-apart Spirit is not just for some Pentecostals. This Baptism is for everyone who will seek it out in prayer.  In this first instance, languages were given so that these folks might be able to proclaim the good news to all the pilgrims present in the city. Later on in the chapter, Peter interprets the languages. We will learn about “the gift of tongues” later so as to clear up any confusion. But for the time being, let’s note that all in the upper room were baptized with set-apart Spirit and all spoke out in languages.

   If the Baptism with set-apart Spirit was for these men, women and children, then the Baptism is for me and for you. Whatever good thing set-apart Spirit of Yahweh has for me, I want. Don't you?

PRAYER OF ACCESS: Breathe on us we ask, Father Yahweh, Ruach haQodesh. Pour out your shekinah kavod. Baptize us with power. Manifest your presence with fire. We have been a scattered people. Gather us into your oneness. Send a mighty wind and bursts of flame. Let us hear and see and feel. And let us speak with new tongues, the languages of our homeland.

 

Wings Over Cliff College

   In the first month of 1993, I was sent from as a delegate to the World Methodist Evangelism Institute's congress at Cliff College in Manchester, England. There were over a hundred delegates from all over the world representing 20 million Methodists. There were many different cultures, races and language groups represented.

   On the last morning of the congress, we were all invited into the auditorium for worship. A Welsh lay pastor testified that he had been baptized in the Spirit.  When it happened to him, said he, he began spontaneously praising his Yahweh in a language he had never learned, just as it says in the Bible. He pleaded with the group to open their hearts to the power of set-apart Spirit’s baptism. Then he began to lead the singing of old Welsh hymns in a way that took the old starched stoics by surprise. The Spirit wind began to blow in that place.

   Some raised their hands in praise. The Set-apart Spirit moved over the crowd, and some got excited. Others burst into tears of joy. Then some began to speak in unlearned languages. As praise from a hundred mouths filled the room, all of a sudden, out of nowhere, there came the mighty blast of the rushing wind overhead. The wind came in waves, and lingered for nearly a minute before it all subsided. Everyone in the room was astounded at how the Spirit was moving in their midst. It was like a new Pentecost. The event was a fitting climax to two weeks of seeking the Almighty in "one accord."

  What about the sound of the wind heard and felt there in Manchester England in 1993? As it turned out, several RAF jet fighters chose just that moment to make a low pass over the auditorium. We experienced a "sonic boom" baptism.  You see, Yahweh Sabaoth had called in the RAF just for the occasion!  Isn't that just like Him to provide the sound effects for a new Pentecost?  And set-apart Spirit will provide signs, wonders, gifts and resources for us when we're ready to receive in like fashion.

I might also mention that the meetings we had over the previous week were for the purpose of seeking the move of the Spirit that would help all cultures among the convention to communicate better with each other so that we all might communicate something like "second blessing holiness" to our individual worlds.

 

Don't Be a Squencher

   It's critical for us to be open to what the Spirit has for us and that we must wait and watch expectantly and prayerfully for His arrival; that we must be in one accord -- nobody may be contrary. To be against the move of set-apart Spirit is the same as going head to head against Yahweh. The Apostle Paul, who wrote the book on spiritual resources, admonishes us in his earliest letter that we "Quench not the Spirit" when He comes to us.

   Pastor Vance Havner's friend created a word by combining the two words "squelch" and "quench." He'd say, "Don't 'squench' the Spirit." He once preached that,

We squench the Spirit in more ways than we suspect. When we criticize or discourage others by an unspiritual attitude, we 'throw cold water' on their inner fire. The Spirit can be grieved very easily. A frivolous attitude, a rebellious frame of mind, or a fed-up complacency will do it.

As in every congregation, there may be some who are simply spiritually dead.  They feel nothing but boredom.  But there also may be some who are excited about receiving spiritual realities. If you don't believe in it then don't be a spoilsport and "squench" it for others. Always make an effort! We should be unified in our desires for Messiah’s best. If we could create a new word for what the church needs, it might be one-accord-ness, especially in regards to the second blessing baptism. Or we might just go back to the pure tongue and say we must be "echad."

 

The Millionaire

   And “How much more will your heavenly Father give set-apart Spirit to those who ask him?”  If set-apart Spirit has gifts hidden for you, are you willing to seek them out?  The Millionaire was a TV series thirty-five years ago. It was about the philanthropist John Baresford Tipton who sent his agent out to give someone he picked a $1,000,000 check. In one episode, the check was to go to a righteous man who worked hard in his life, yet he was poor -- and proud of it.  He liked to say that he "pulled himself up by his bootstraps." The man certainly deserved the million, but try as he might, the millionaire's agent couldn't get him to take the check.

   At first the man wouldn't believe the check could be for him. Next, if it was for him, there were strings attached. Finally, he’d never take the check because he'd always made it on his own; his pride wouldn't allow him a handout.  Although the millionaire never took the check back, the man it was intended for would never receive it, and so he remained poor and powerless.

   The Great Spirit has a gift for you worth much more than a million! I wouldn't take ten million for the Spirit-baptism I received in 1967. He's promised that the same fire, glory and power that fell upon the first disciples will also fall on you, if only you will only be receptive and diligent. He offers tangible evidence when you receive; evidence that will convince you that it’s real.

   Let's make an effort to receive what we deserve as children of Yahweh. Let's expect Heaven to come down and glory to fill our souls! Let's claim a new Pentecost for our church, and ask that it come soon!

Heavenly Father, I want to experience all that You have in store for me in Messiah Yahshua. I am sorry for my pride that may have kept me from experiencing any part of the life in the Spirit.  I do repent of this pride and I ask You to reveal Your life and love to me. I want You to take over my guidance and be my Master. I don't know all that this means now, but I trust You to teach me. Father, I ask You to baptize me in Your Set-apart Spirit. I want all You have suffered to give me. O, Sovereign Yahshua, I empty myself of all that I thought I knew if it stands in Your way of baptizing me in your Spirit.  Pour out your power upon me so that I might live a life worthy of Your name. I thank You Father; I do now receive all of Yahshua; I thank You Yahshua, I do now receive all of Your Set-apart Spirit; I thank you Set-apart Spirit that You have made all this possible by Your faithful love. I thankfully pray in Yahshua's name. Amen.

 

To the tune of Blaenwern

Love divine, all loves excelling,

Joy of heaven to earth come down;
Fix in us thy humble dwelling;
All thy faithful mercies crown!
Yesu, Thou art all compassion,
Pure unbounded love Thou art;
Visit us with Thy salvation;
Enter every trembling heart.

Breathe, O breathe Thy loving Spirit,
Into every troubled breast!
Let us all in Thee inherit;
Let us find that second rest.
Take away our bent to sinning;
Alpha and Omega be;
End of faith, as its Beginning,
Set our hearts at liberty.

Come, Almighty to deliver,
Let us all Thy life receive;
Suddenly return and never,
Never more Thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
Serve Thee as Thy hosts above,
Pray and praise Thee without ceasing,
Glory in Thy perfect love.

Finish, then, Thy new creation;
Pure and spotless let us be.
Let us see Thy great salvation
Perfectly restored in Thee;
Changed from glory into glory,
Till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before Thee,
Lost in wonder, love, and praise.

 

Prayers for the Healing of Cancer

Precious Anointed Yahshua,
   Look with mercy and compassion upon our brother / sister.  To your glory and the glory of your Father, pour out the Set-apart Spirit as anointing oil to heal our sister.  Anointed Yahshua, you are the Great Physician.  Take away her
pain, speed her recovery, begin a work even now that will restore and renew her.
   Spare her further disfigurement and regenerate past damage.  If
surgery is a must, O Anointed One, bless the physicians and surgeons, whom you have created, gifted, and called to be healers and helpers.  Make them better than they could ever be on their own. Re-create them perfect instruments of your healing, fit for your use. Guide their minds, imaginations, and hands.  Let all that is done for her by the doctors be to her greatest profit and benefit and healing.  Yet we call upon the name of the Anointed Yahshua-Yahweh to bring miraculous healing – complete healing.  By His authority, I rebuke this cancer, and any spirits of cancer or infirmity.  Eradicate this cancer to the uttermost cell.  Unclean spirits of cancer, disease, and infirmity, I command you straightway back to Yahshua Messiah for his judgment, for his judgment alone is true. Qodesh Father, pour out your peace upon our sister – that perfect peace that passes understanding, that is "unlike anything that the world can give."  Do this all in Yahshua's name to the esteem of the Father. Hallelu Yah.  (Banks Brazell, 2002)

  We pray you, blessed Yahweh, for a healing miracle for our sister, a woman whom we cherish.  We know that you are not stingy with your restorative power, for you've preserved us through every difficulty for all these many years together.  Today is no exception.  Pour out your curing balm upon her body from head to toe, touching especially the area to be restored, that we might have all the more reason to praise you and testify to your power.  Restore! Restore!  In the name of Yahshua Messiah and believing by his shed blood and resurrection.  Amein.

Jackson Snyder, July 19, 1992, January 16, 2002, August 21, 2009