Derek Prince - How The Baptism In The Holy Spirit Is Administered
Let’s go on. Now, there are two ways that the baptism in the Holy Spirit is administered in the New Testament. One is direct from heaven it just falls on people. That was on the Day of Pentecost, that was in the house of Cornelius. The other is by the laying on of hands. That is described in three places. In Acts 8:14–19 Acts 8:14–19. This is in Samaria. Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the Word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who when they came down prayed for them that they might received the Holy Spirit. Now those people had heard the gospel preached by Philip. They believed and they had been baptized. That’s stated clearly earlier in that chapter. They were saved but they had not yet received the Holy Spirit. And the apostles were not satisfied. they didn’t rest content with the fact that these people had been wonderfully saved, they wanted more. For as yet, It says in verse 16, He [the Holy Spirit] had fallen upon none of them, Notice it speaks about Him falling upon them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. They [the apostles] laid hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.
So that... In that instance the Holy Spirit was ministered through the laying on of hands by other believers. And in the next chapter you’ll read how when Saul of Tarsus, who became Paul, was there in the city of Damascus a disciple Ananias was sent to him, laid hands on him, prayed for him that he might be healed and receive the Holy Spirit. So Paul received through the laying on of hands by Ananias. And in Acts 19, a passage that we looked at in another such situation Paul at Ephesus found certain disciples. When he asked them if they had received the Holy Spirit when they believed, they hadn’t even heard of the Holy Spirit. So he knew they weren’t disciples of Jesus. He discovered they were disciples of John the Baptist. So then he said that was all right in those days but now you need to be baptized in faith in Jesus. So they were baptized in water and then it says, and when Paul laid his hands upon them the Holy Spirit came upon them, they spoke with tongues and prophesied.
Let me suggest to you don’t just stop speaking with tongues. That’s wonderful, but why not go on to prophesy? God isn’t jealous. He’ll let you experience that. Now What are the purposes of the baptism in the Holy Spirit? The real primary purpose is to receive supernatural power from God. This is how Jesus expressed it in Acts 1:8 Acts 1:8 Jesus was about to leave them and this is almost the last thing He spoke to them. In fact, it is. These are the last recorded words of Jesus on earth. He said: But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you. The word for power there in Greek is dunamis from which we get the English word dynamite. And dynamite is what causes explosions. You’ll observe that when the Holy Spirit descended it caused an explosion. A lot of people say they were empowered by the fact that Jesus had risen from the dead. But that isn’t accurate because Jesus had risen from the dead fifty days earlier but no one in Jerusalem had heard about it. But when the Holy Spirit came, all Jerusalem heard about it in a few hours. That was dynamite, you see? It was an explosion.
Some people don’t welcome explosions, they’re frightened. Well, if it’s the Holy Spirit I say let Him explode. Let Him do whatever He wants. I never have hung from the chandeliers, as some people say, but if that was what God wanted me to do I'd be happy to do it. I’ve found He hasn’t really led me in that direction! Now, what did they receive? Power to be witnesses. You shall receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses. You see, the message of the gospel is supernatural. It’s not a record of natural events, it’s something totally supernatural. Jesus died, He was buried and rose again and ascended into heaven. That’s supernatural. If you’re going to testify to a supernatural event you need supernatural power. Just a little theology isn’t enough. You need to be empowered. And people are discerning. Sinners are sometimes more discerning than Christians and they know when it comes with real supernatural power, and they’ll listen.
I’ve discovered this in many different cultures. Sinners can discern the presence of supernatural power. It does something for them. It commands their attention and that’s what Jesus said. You shall receive power, then you shall be witnesses to Me. And then in Romans 15:18–19 Paul is speaking about his own ministry and he says, I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me in word and deed to make the Gentiles obedient by mighty signs and wonders by the power of the Spirit of God. So Paul said the only things that are worth talking about in my ministry are the things which the Holy Spirit has done. I wouldn’t even mention anything else. He said the Holy Spirit by supernatural power, by signs and wonders has made the Gentiles, the non-Jews, the unevangelized people, obedient. I’ve dealt with Gentiles in many countries.
I always think back to my five years in East Africa. I was principal of a college for training African teachers. At that time the ambition of every African was to get an education. So I was purveying something that they desperately wanted. They would come to the college as students and they would be very cooperative, very obedient, because they wanted their education. Whatever we missionaries said, basically they would do it. I remember one day calling the student body together I want to tell you something. I want to thank you, you’re very obedient, you’re very cooperative. Whatever we want you to do, you do it because you want your education. But I said, In the minds of most of you, there is a question that has not been answered. And then I got their attention. I said, I can’t tell you the answer to the question. And then I really had their attention.
I said, The question is this, Is the Bible really a book for Africans, that we can believe or is it just a white man’s religion that doesn’t work for Africans? And that is exactly what their own elders were telling them. Then I said to them, Listen, you’ll never know the answer to that question until you experience the supernatural power of God in your own life. When you do, you’ll know that it didn’t come from America, it didn’t come from Britain, it came from heaven. I left them, continued to put the Word of God before them, but mainly I prayed. A few months later there was a sovereign supernatural outpouring of the Holy Spirit on those students. Every student in the college was baptized in the Holy Spirit. Up to that time you had to urge them to pray. From then on it was difficult to stop them praying, they’d spend half the night in their dormitories praying because they’d received the supernatural seal, the supernatural enduement with power from on high.
My fellow white missionaries used to have this attitude, I’m sorry to say this but it was true You can only lift Africans so high. They won’t go any higher. I didn’t argue with them, I just spent my time with the Africans. But when the Holy Spirit fell, do you know what happened? The missionaries came down to see what was going on. They suddenly discovered that Africans could go higher. So, this is just an illustration. Those young people, men and women, needed a supernatural experience on their own. It was not enough just to get a message from a person from another race and another culture. And then in the next few months amongst those students, most of them under the age of twenty-five, we saw all nine gifts of the Holy Spirit in operation. In fact, we also saw two people raised from the dead.
People say, Do you ever see that? My answer is definitely I have seen it. I don’t want to go into the details because we don’t have time. But believe me, when people are raised from the dead, people sit up and listen! Jesus said to His disciples, As you go, preach the kingdom of heaven, heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons, cleanse the lepers. When does He ever retract that direction? Never. I’ve said to the Jewish people amongst whom we live, We non-Jews like me, we really owe an apology to you Jewish people for ever asking you to believe a gospel that was not supernaturally attested. Because, your whole background in the Scripture tells you that whenever God sends a message through a special messenger, in some way or another He always gives supernatural attestation. That’s really the purpose of the baptism in the Holy Spirit, it’s to bring us into the realm of the supernatural. Which is the only realm in which the gospel really can be effectively proclaimed.