Derek Prince - Three Successive Phases of Baptism in the Spirit
Now, almost all commentators on the Bible agree that the fulfillment of this promise of Jesus is recorded in Acts 2:1–4, the Day of Pentecost. So I want to read what the Bible says there and then briefly consider exactly what is implied. Acts 2, beginning at verse 1, Now when the Day of Pentecost had fully come they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing, mighty wind and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues as of fire and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues [or other languages] as the Spirit gave them utterance [or as the Spirit gave them to speak].
So there are three successive phases of that experience.
— First of all, it was a baptism. The Holy Spirit came from above and immersed them. It filled the whole place where they were sitting, they were immersed from above.
— Secondly each one of them was individually filled with the Holy Spirit. It was not just a collective experience but it was an experience in which each individual had his personal share.
— And thirdly there was an overflow, a supernatural outflow from the infilling.
This is in line with a principle that’s stated in Matthew 12:34, Matthew 12:34 just the latter part of the verse. Jesus is saying, for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. I represent that by saying when your heart is filled it overflows through the mouth in speech. There are a number of passages in the New Testament where it speaks about people being filled with the Holy Spirit. I’ve looked at each passage and in every case the next thing that happened was that person spoke prophesied, spoke in tongues, whatever it might be. This is a universal principle. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. When the heart is filled to overflowing then the overflow takes place through the mouth in speech. And that’s what happened on the Day of Pentecost. When they had been filled then they all began to speak with other languages as the Spirit gave them utterance or as the Spirit gave them to speak.
It’s very important to understand that this is a matter in which God and man have to cooperate. God filled them but they began to speak. The Holy Spirit didn’t do the speaking; they did the speaking, the Holy Spirit gave them the language. I’ve met so many—and my background for many years has been in the Pentecostal movement who said, Brother Prince, I want God to do it all. I met a man who said, I’ve been tarrying twenty-five years. He said, I’m waiting for God to do it all. I said, You’ll tarry for the rest of your life, because it’s not scriptural. God will do His part; you have to do your part. You do the speaking, God gives the language. But, God will not do the speaking. They all began to speak as the Holy Spirit gave them to speak.
And let me say it’s true, they tarried or waited until the Holy Spirit came on the Day of Pentecost. After that there’s no record that anyone ever tarried for the Holy Spirit He had been given and after that when they prayed and met the conditions they immediately received the Holy Spirit. I want to say to each of you here tonight... if you meet the conditions, and I’ll go into them later, and you’re thirsty you can be filled with the Holy Spirit here tonight. If you’ve never received it, this can be your night. We’ll come to that later.