Derek Prince - Have You Been Baptized in The Holy Spirit?
What is the seal? This is a question that people might dispute. I want to say that as far as I’m concerned, the New Testament only indicates one seal and that is speaking with other tongues as the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, gives you to speak. I’m aware, and probably some of you are, there are movements— the Rastafarians in Jamaica is one, where people who are in other cults speak in tongues. This frightens some people, they say, How do I know I’m going to get the right thing? Well, Jesus said if you’re a child of God, please note that and if you ask your heavenly Father for a piece of bread He will not give you a snake. Okay? In other words, if you ask for the right thing you have a written guarantee from God you’ll get the right thing. You don’t need be afraid. Now, if you’re not a child of God that promise doesn’t apply. You have to be a child of God. Jesus said if you ask your heavenly Father for the Holy Spirit, He will give it to you.
So the seal is something visible, something audible, something public. A seal cannot be secret, otherwise it doesn’t accomplish its purpose. The seal is, as in Acts 2, they all began to speak with other languages as the Spirit gave them to speak. I want to say four things about that. First of all, that was the seal the apostles themselves received in their own experience. Jesus said wait in Jerusalem until you receive the Father’s promise. So they waited for ten days. When the Holy Spirit came and they spoke with tongues they never waited any more. It was the seal they had received in their own experience. Secondly, it was the seal which they accepted in others. And we’ll look at one remarkable case in a few moments. Thirdly, they never asked for any other seal. Let me repeat that because it’s very important.
See, I’ve met so many people over the years who said, Brother Prince, how do I know if I’ve been baptized in the Holy Spirit? I’ve had this or that experience, I’ve really been praying and seeking God, but how can I know? My answer is you can know when you receive the seal. When you first begin to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gives you to speak, you’ve got it. I’ll go further to say you have Him because it’s not just an it, it’s a person you’ve received. So, let me say those three things again. It was the seal the apostles received. It was the seal which they accepted in others. And they never asked for any other seal. Furthermore, the New Testament does not offer us any other seal. There’s no alternative offered in the New Testament. Let’s look at what Jesus said in Luke 24:52-53 after His resurrection when He was taking farewell of His disciples, He said Luke 24:52–53 They worshipped Him. I'm sorry... excuse me. This is a different thought that I want to bring out. A lot of people have said, Well, I got so happy... I’m filled with joy, I was praising the Lord all the time. Isn’t that the seal? Not according to the New Testament. It’s wonderful to be filled with joy, it’s wonderful to be praising the Lord but it isn’t the New Testament seal.
I’ll tell you how I know, because after the resurrection of Jesus it says right at the end of Luke’s gospel: When He had been taken up into heaven they worshiped Him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. So they had great joy, they were continually praising and blessing God but they had not received the seal. They did not receive that until the Day of Pentecost. Jesus said tarry or wait until. They never waited any longer. After the Holy Spirit came and they spoke with tongues, that was the end of waiting. Now I think there’s one particular case in the book of Acts which demonstrates this so vividly, I would like to turn there. It’s in Acts 10, right at the end of the chapter. You know the story Peter had been supernaturally directed to the household of Cornelius. He really didn’t want to go there because it wasn’t correct for him as a Jew to enter the house of Gentiles and, much less to eat with them. But under pressure from God he went and he took with him six other Jewish believers. He wanted to have witnesses.
And while Peter was speaking to them, talking to them about Jesus, in Acts 10:44 it says, While Peter was still speaking these words the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. It’s interesting how far he’d come in his sermon. The previous verse he says, To Him [Jesus] all the prophets give witness that through His name whoever believes in Him will receive remission [or forgiveness] of sins. And those simple-minded people in the household of Cornelius believed it and received forgiveness of sins. Once they’d received forgiveness of sins the Holy Spirit was prepared to come upon them. See? So it says, While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. And those of the circumcision who believed [that’s the Jewish believers] were astonished, as many as came with Peter because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. Remember, they came there not believing that the gospel was for anybody but for Jews. They didn’t believe Gentiles could become Christians. But when they heard them speak with tongues they said, This is it. We can’t argue. Why did they believe? It says, For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. They didn’t have any other evidence and they didn’t ask for any other evidence.
Now, some people today would say, Well, they should have hung around and waited for about six weeks to see if they really brought forth the fruit. But they didn’t. You see, we’re not talking about fruit, we’re talking about a gift. They are two different things, both of them very important. A gift is received in a single transaction. Fruit comes by a slow process of growth. Some of you have just been celebrating Christmas. and doubtless some of you had a Christmas tree. Is that right? And on the Christmas tree or under the Christmas tree you placed your gifts. And the people for whom the gifts were designed came, picked the gift out and received it. That’s all. A gift is received by a single transaction. Fruit, on the other hand, grows on apple trees, it doesn’t grow on Christmas trees. That takes time, it’s a process.
Now please understand, fruit is extremely important but don’t confuse fruit with a gift. What we’re talking about is the gift of the Holy Spirit something that can be received in one simple transaction. And so, then Peter answered about the people in the household of Cornelius: Can anyone forbid water that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we? In other words, he made no difference between these people and what happened on the Day of Pentecost. Later on, reporting to his fellow Jews who were criticizing him and complaining that he shouldn’t have gone and spoken to Gentiles, Peter says in Acts 11:15: As I began to speak the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning. There’s no mention there in the household of Cornelius of a mighty wind or tongues of fire but the one thing that identified the experience was they all began to speak with other tongues. So I say, and I believe it cannot be questioned, this was the seal the apostles received this was the seal they accepted in others. they never asked for any other seal and I cannot find any other seal offered in the New Testament.