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2021 online sermons » Jimmy Evans » Jimmy Evans - Power Connection

Jimmy Evans - Power Connection

Jimmy Evans - Power Connection
Jimmy Evans - Power Connection

Hey, I want to welcome everyone on this special Father's Day weekend. Happy Father's Day to all the fathers and grandfathers. And Karen and I have two children, our son, Brent and then Julie, our daughter, and they're both married, and we have five grandchildren. Our daughter, Julie in San Antonio has twin girls that just turned 18. They're staying with us right now. And our son, Brent, they have a daughter, 12, a son eight, and a son six. Those are our grandkids right here in Southlake. And we have three of the granddaughters staying with us right now. It is wonderful being a father. It is even better being a grandfather. And I'm saying that to encourage all the dads out there to just tough it out because it just gets better and better. But happy Father's Day. It's such an important, important day to remember the special dads and granddads in our lives.

I want to say, Michael Jr., our dear friend here at Gateway, hilarious comedian, world known for his comedy. He has a new movie out called "Selfie Dad", and this is available wherever movies are sold, iTunes, wherever you go to get your movies. Selfie Dad, hilarious, wonderful, great opportunity to bless dad and also to bless the family. So we encourage you to get that. And before I get into my message today, I want to pray one more time. We need a healing in our nation, both physically and also racially. We need a healing. And this is Juneteenth weekend. The 19th, Friday was Juneteenth, a very, very important day in Black history and also in American history.

And never has it been more important for us to remember that we are all children of God. We're all descendants of Adam and Eve. When we are all absolutely equal, and skin color means nothing as it relates to the intrinsic value of a human life. We're different, but we are equal and we need to value and cherish our differences and also our equality. It Is what America should be about. And so I want to pray and I want you to join me in this prayer for breaking COVID-19, this horrible disease that is coming against us physically; but also racism, this horrible disease. It's infected the human race for thousands and thousands of years and still is doing it today. But we need to trust in the power and the love, and I want to use that word love because only the love of Jesus Christ will ever truly be able to eradicate racism and injustice wherever it exists. So I want you to join me in prayer.

Father, we come to you and we're trusting you to break the power of COVID-19 over the world and over America and over our communities, I pray for anyone right now sick and they're struggling physically that you would supernaturally heal them. We come together as a body of Christ, and we pray that prayer right now, specifically against COVID-19. Protect the elderly, the vulnerable, the young people, the people out on the front lines serving our communities. God, we pray for them. The business people, the first responders, the people in the medical communities, Lord, we pray for them. Supernaturally protect them, God, and protect us. And we pray for a healing of our nation physically.

We pray for healing of the racial divisions in our nation, Lord. We pray the love of Jesus Christ would sweep across America and sweep across the world. Jesus, you're the only answer. There is not a human solution for this problem. And the definition of a miracle is God doing what man cannot. And Lord, we're praying for a miracle in our nation on this Juneteenth weekend. Lord, we just pray that you will cause there to be a revival of the love of God, that we would see every person the way that you see them, that we would see every person, regardless of what they look like or the difference in their ethnicity or the difference in their socio-economic position or anything else, that we would see them as a fellow human being of intrinsic value and of equal value as us. Lord, we pray in the name of Jesus Christ for racial healing and reconciliation in America in Jesus' name, amen.

We're going to keep praying for both of those things and praying for God to do a miracle. You know, I honestly believe this. We're at a very difficult place in our nation's history related right now to our economy and coronavirus and the racial tensions. But you know something? It's not such a bad thing when your only answer is Jesus. Sometimes the greatest things that happen in world history happen when our backs are up against a wall and we have to have Jesus and we cry out to him. And the Bible says that he is a very present help in trouble, and right now he's our only hope. And that's a good thing. We need to hope in Jesus and put our faith in him.

I want to continue on this series, Essential Foundations. I hope this has been a blessing to you. And we're reading from Hebrews 6, this very important text where the writer of Hebrews says, "Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits". So these are the foundations. I've said there are six, there are actually seven, and I'll explain that here in just a minute, but there are foundations of our faith in the writer of Hebrews is saying, now when you become a Christian and you're laying the basic foundations of your faith, this is where you begin. And you can go on to maturity once these foundations are laid.

If these foundations aren't laid, God will not permit you to go on to maturity because you don't have the basic foundations. Foundations create safety. They protect us against stress. They allow God to build the superstructure of our lives upon a solid substructure. And I've talked about those things the last couple of weeks. So these are essential foundations. And I want to talk about another one today and going back there when it talks about the doctrine of baptisms. Okay? So when I talk about, there are six foundations of the faith. Actually the doctrine of baptisms is plural. And I talked last message about baptism in water, the importance, the covenant seal of the new covenant being baptism in water. But there's another baptism. It's called baptism in the Holy Spirit. It is an absolutely essential foundation of our faith in God. And we cannot move forward in spiritual maturity without the baptism of Holy Spirit.

Now, some of you, as I talk about this, you're not baptized the Holy Spirit. Maybe you've never even heard about it before. Some of you are, but I want you to listen to this message because you may hear some things that you haven't thought about before, and just talking about the importance of our dependence on the Holy Spirit. So where does baptism in the Holy Spirit come from? Well, it's many places in the new Testament. Let's begin with Acts 1:4, "And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth”".

Now we're not prepared to be witnesses for Jesus until we've received the baptism in the Holy Spirit. These were saved disciples that Jesus was talking to, and he told these saved disciples, Don't go out and begin to try to be witnesses to me until you have first received power when you have been baptized in the Holy Spirit. And I received the baptism in Holy Spirit about 45 years ago, and I'll tell you my story here in just a little bit. When Jesus said you'll receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, let me be more specific. In John 16, Jesus said, the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth and he will lead you into all truth and he will tell you things to come. He will prophetically show you certain things about the future.

Mental power. When you don't operate in the power of the Holy Spirit and you haven't been baptized in the Holy Spirit, you only have human power. You don't have supernatural power with your mind. But when you've been baptized in the Holy Spirit, you have supernatural power, physical power. Romans 8 says, "If the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he will give life to your mortal body". He will give you zoe life to your mortal body. Physical power, he endues us with physical power. Emotional power, Galatians 5, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control". He gives us the supernatural, emotional power of God to live our lives above the natural state that we would live in without him.

And by the way, joy. Think about the discouragement, the depression, much of what's happening in the world today. Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Peace, peace. Look, the world needs peace today. That's a fruit of the Holy Spirit. And so as human beings, we do not have those things unless they are imparted to us from God. Spiritual power, Jesus said you'll receive power. That's dunamis. It means spiritual power, enduement from God to know God and to do the works of God. And so we cannot serve God without the power of the Holy Spirit. And that power begins with the baptism of Holy Spirit.

So let me talk about four important truths about the Holy Spirit in our lives, basic foundations. Number one, the Holy Spirit is God. Over half of Christians believe that the Holy Spirit is an impersonal force, but he's not God. And that's just as wrong as it can be. This is Genesis 1:2, "The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters". The Holy Spirit shows up in Genesis 1:2, the Spirit of God. Remember, this is in Matthew 3. Jesus is being baptized by John in the Jordan river. Okay. He's being baptized by John, the Holy Spirit descends on him as a dove, and God the Father says, this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. Okay. So there you have the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, three in one, Trinity, God, all there together in one scene. And then in Matthew 28:19 Jesus said, Go into all the world and make disciples of the nations. Then in verse 19, he says, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is co-equal and co-eternal with God the Father and God the Son. We have to remember when we're praying for the Holy Spirit to come into our lives, this is the Spirit of God, and he is God.

Number two, we are born of the Spirit at the moment of salvation. Now some people say, "Well, Jimmy, doesn't everyone who's saved have the Holy Spirit"? Yeah, but they're not baptized in Holy Spirit necessarily. Let me show you the scripture. This is John 3. This is Jesus. "Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit”". I remember the day that I received Christ as Lord of my life when I was 19 years old. And I said, Jesus, come into my life. I'll serve you for the rest of my life, and I'll never turn back. And when that happened, my spirit was regenerated. We're all born dead in our spirits because the sin of Adam and Eve. We all have spiritual death that we inherited from Adam and Eve. Okay. So when we ask Jesus to come into our hearts, we're born again. Our spirit is revived, okay? That is not the baptism of the Holy Spirit. That is salvation.

This is number three truth. Being baptized in the Holy Spirit is a separate and subsequent experience to salvation. These are two separate events, salvation and baptism of the Holy Spirit. Now sometimes like on the day of Pentecost, I'll read you another example, there are cases where people are born again, baptized in the Spirit, and then water baptized. But typically you're born again, water baptized, and baptized in the Spirit. Okay? Salvation is about Jesus and eternity. Baptism in the Holy Spirit is about living our lives in this world for Jesus. You can be saved and on your way to heaven and powerless to live for Jesus if you have not received the baptism of Holy Spirit. Let me give you a scriptural examples of this, and it begins on the day of Pentecost. Saved disciples were commanded by Jesus to stay in Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high, then they could be his witnesses.

Another example in the New Testament here, these are the Sumerians. This is Acts 8. Listen to this text now about these saved people who have not heard about the Holy Spirit. Acts 8:12-17, "But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done. 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 had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit".

Now there are people in the scriptures who received the Holy Spirit without hands being laid on them. But in many cases, hands were laid on them. It goes back to the scripture that I talked about last week, but these were saved disciples who were water baptized and not baptized in the Spirit. This is Acts 19:1-6, "And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.” Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied".

And so here you have a group of people... See, I received Jesus at 19. I had never heard the words Holy Spirit in my entire life. And when I got saved and started going to church, I never heard the words Holy Spirit. I never heard that there was a Holy Spirit or not. And then I received the baptism in the Holy Spirit. God doesn't want us to have to wait years or even months until we received the baptism in Holy Spirit. It should be an experience that happens right around the time that we're saved we're baptized. But this gives you an example here. The Apostle Paul evidently has seen a lot of people who had received Christ but were not baptized in the Holy Spirit. And it's one of the first questions he asked. "Have you guys received the Holy Spirit"? They said, "Who's that? We haven't heard of the Holy Spirit". Many people are like that.

The pattern of the feasts of Israel. The feasts of Israel, God gave Israel seven feasts to celebrate three times of the year. One set was in the spring, early in the spring, and then the feast of Pentecost was later in the spring, and then another was in the fall. Listen, so the first three feasts of Israel were Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits. Jesus died on Passover. He was buried on Unleavened Bread, and he was resurrected on First Fruits. Those are called the Salvation Feasts. 50 days after the feast of First Fruits was Pentecost. A completely separate feast. 50 to the Jews means Jubilee. It means fullness.

You get all your inheritance back. All your debt is remitted in the 50th year, the year of Jubilee. 50 days after the resurrection of Jesus, the Holy Spirit fell in a subsequent experience, fell upon the disciples and the church was born on the day of Pentecost. That's called the Impartation Feast. The next three feasts that happen in the fall, Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles, those are the glorification feasts. Okay. So there are different sets of feasts, but those feasts show us a prophetic grid of God and how God operates. And so I'm saying in all of that simply to say that when you are, when you're saved, yes, your spirit is regenerated and you're born of the Spirit. No, you have not received the baptism of the Holy Spirit necessarily. Okay.

So here's my fourth statement about the Holy Spirit. It is impossible to fulfill God's will for our lives without the fullness of the Holy Spirit within us. It's impossible. You simply can't do it. Okay. So in Matthew 3, Jesus was filled with Holy Spirit. The Son of God was in the Jordan river and the Holy Spirit descended on him like a dove, and everything he did, he did through the power of the Holy Spirit. Now if Jesus could only do what he did through the power of Holy Spirit, how much more do we need the Holy Spirit? The saved disciples, once again, were commanded, "Don't leave until you've received the promise of the Father, you've been baptized in the Holy Spirit".

Well, let me tell you my story. Well, first of all, I grew up in a church. From the time I was young 'til I was 13, I never heard the name of Jesus for... I had to go to church every Sunday. Now, my parents sent me to church every Sunday. So I'd go to church every Sunday, and the church was called St. Paul. I never heard the name of Jesus until I went at 13 to another friend's church of mine, and I heard the name of Jesus for the first time, and I was absolutely fascinated at just the concept of this man who gave his life for me and all of these things. It really, it baffled me, but it fascinated me at the same time, but I had never heard the name of Jesus. Then I got saved at 19 and I felt trapped. And now that may surprise you.

Now, I was not going to go back into the world. Sin was not attractive to me at all at that point in my life. I had sinned a lot, and the world had no lure. I had experienced all that nonsense, all the broken promises and heartbreak of that, but I felt trapped in Christianity because here's the way I felt: I'm not going to go back, but I feel powerless to live for Jesus. Every day, I woke up hoping to do these things and hoping not to do these things. Every day, I didn't do this, and I did this. Every single day I went to bed feeling defeated. And one day I was reading my Bible and I read about the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus' promise about the Holy Spirit. I never heard the words Holy Spirit before. I mean, I didn't know who he was.

And then I watched a preacher on TV preaching one day about the Holy Spirit. And he did a wonderful job of just explaining what I'm explaining to you right now. You can't live without the power of the Holy Spirit. And so I made the mistake of going to church and asking one of the teachers, Karen and I had a couples Sunday school class. And I went to class. Our church was very denominational, very anti Holy Spirit. I made the mistake in class of asking if they would explain to me the baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues. Well, I didn't do it again. I can tell you that right now. It was an awkward moment. And I mean, the teacher turned purple, never answered my question. I didn't know what I had done. I just, I just thought, I don't know what I said wrong, but I said something really wrong.

Well, in that class, there was a couple who were baptized in the Holy Spirit. And after the class, they came up to us and said, we're Spirit-filled, and let us help you to understand this. So they took us to some places where they were talking about the Holy Spirit. And I couldn't understand the Bible. The Bible was a completely closed book to me, had a hard time praying, hard time saying no to sin, just everything of the Christian life to me was like dragging a rock uphill. It was the hardest thing in the world to do. And I just thought, I've got to do this for the rest of my life. I'm saved. I want to live for God. I don't want to go back and do all that stuff, but I don't know how in the world I'm going to live this life this way.

So I went to a meeting, a Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship meeting. Demos Shakarian was the head of that ministry at that time. This was probably around 1973... or 1974. We went to this Full Gospel Businessmen's meeting, and there was a pastor there that night who had received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and he was telling me about his experience. And he prayed for me. He prayed, he prayed for Karen and me and many others that were there. And then I went home. He laid his hands on me and prayed for me, and then I went home that night. And I was desperate. I mean, I really felt a desperation in my life because I just felt so powerless. And so I went home and Karen and I, Karen went to bed and I stayed in the living room, and I got down on my knees and I said to the Lord, and I remember these words very, very clearly. I said, "Lord, I don't just want what you have. I want you, but I want the Holy Spirit to give me the power to live for you".

Because I didn't want the Lord to think, I just want what's in your pocket. I wanted what was in his heart. I wanted to know him and I wanted to serve him. At that moment, it was like someone took a big barrel of hot oil and poured it over the top of my head. I mean, I felt heat from the top of my head down to my toes, and I saw Jesus. This was the first time I'd ever seen the Lord. And I saw Jesus hanging on the cross, in my spirit. And I mean, very clearly, at the moment I felt this heat, I could see Jesus on the cross. And he looked at me and his eyes pierced me. He didn't sat anything. He said, he told me he loved me, but here's what I knew: I put him there. I knew that my sins had put Jesus there. And I knew that he loved me beyond any love I'd ever experienced before in my life. And I mean, it was just this transforming experience I was having. And then I started speaking in tongues.

Now, today I've been speaking in tongues for 45 years. I spoke tongues in the car on the way over here. And so, but it was caveman talk. And by the way, I had such a perverse mouth up until the time I got saved, I'm telling you I had the worst mouth of anyone you could imagine, but it was like caveman talk. It was a ugh and arg and just these, but I felt something down here trying to come out here. Okay. And so I went to bed that night and I just laid in bed and it was just this incredible power and love and peace. I'd never, ever, ever experienced anything like it. Well then the next morning I got up and I woke up and I told Karen what had happened to me. And obviously so excited about it. And she received the baptism right after that.

Listen, I never understood a word of this book. I mean, I could not understand the Bible, but I was trying to read it because someone told me I should. And I woke up every morning and I read it, boring, slept, my mind wandered. And I was just thinking, who in the world wrote this thing? You know, they need writing lessons or something because this stuff's hard to understand. Oh no, the morning after I received the baptism of Holy Spirit, I opened the Bible and I started reading the New Testament. And I thought, how do I know all of them? I know Peter. I know John. I know all these people and understand everything for the first time. When the author is inside of you, giving you the ability to understand what he wrote, It changes everything. And now I had the Holy Spirit inside of me. And what was a closed book to me was now an open book that I began to understand.

I got so excited about reading it, and here's the other thing. So remember I said, I had a list of things every day. I don't want to do these things, but I want to do these things. And every day I did the things I didn't want to do, and I couldn't do the things I wanted to do. Oh, no, that all changed. I wasn't perfect by any means. I had supernatural power to begin to live my life for God and I no longer felt trapped. I felt so incredibly excited about living the rest of my life for Jesus. Listen to me, that was in May of let me say 1974, around then. Now I'm standing here in the summer of the year 2020, and it's as real to me today as it was 45 years ago. Every day of my life has been transformed by the Holy Spirit's power. Everything has been transformed. That's when I got baptized in the Holy Spirit. That is, and that's the testimony of millions of people. That's just not my testimony. That's the testimony that millions of people.

So let me tell you how to receive the Holy Spirit. Let's go through here and I want to answer some questions about the Holy Spirit.

The first is purity. You don't have to be perfect to receive the Holy Spirit by any means, but you know, if you have unforgiveness to somebody. If, you know, you're into some kind of a lifestyle of sin or something, repent of it. Just turn away from that.

Number two is humility, and I need you. The words the Holy Spirit loves are, "I need you Holy Spirit". And then you're never going to receive the Holy Spirit, and you're never going to walk in the Holy Spirit if you think you can do life on your own. That kind of pride blocks the Spirit of God from operating in our lives. Holy Spirit, I need you in my mind. I need you in my body. I need you in my emotions. I need you in my relationships. I need you in my spirit. I need you. He loves that prayer and he answers it every time.

Number three, faith in God's grace. This is Galatians 3:5-14, "Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? — just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham. The Law Brings a Curse for as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.” Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.” Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith".

Listen to the words of Paul here in the book of Galatians, specifically written now about the law versus faith concerning the Holy Spirit. What Paul is saying here is people of the law can't receive the Holy Spirit. Abraham was not of the law. He was before the law. And it was by faith that he became righteous. And it says the blessings of Abraham, the bloodline blessing of Abraham that Jesus came to graft us back into that comes through the Holy Spirit is only available through faith. See the devil's favorite trick is to convince you that you're not good enough for the Holy Spirit. Can I, can I just give you a little little secret here? You're not good enough for the Holy Spirit. I'm not good enough for the Holy Spirit. All of our righteousness is like filthy rags, and the only way that we can receive the Holy Spirit is by faith, just the way you received Jesus.

We don't deserve Jesus. We don't deserve salvation, but Jesus died for us that we don't have to deserve it, that now through his blood, all of our sins have been paid for, and God does not relate to us based on our merit or based on the law. God relates to us through grace, and somebody needs to say amen. That's really, really good news. So right now don't let the devil condemn you and put you down and say, Well, you better get better before you ask the Holy Spirit to come into your life. Listen, we can only get better if he comes into our lives. And so, yeah, we need to be repentant, deal with sin issues in our lives, and all of that and be humble, but by faith say, Holy Spirit, I believe in you.

Number four, ask Jesus to baptize you in the Holy Spirit. This is John 1:32-34, "And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God”". Listen, there's no one who loves you more than Jesus. He's your absolute best friend. And he wants you to have the power of the Holy Spirit in your life. Say, Jesus, would you baptize me in your Holy Spirit? We're going to pray here in just a little bit, but let me say one other thing, and that is be sensitive to the presence of the Holy Spirit and to his promptings to speak in tongues. And so the initial evidence of the baptism of Holy Spirit is speaking in tongues. I'm gonna talk about this for quite a bit.

This is Acts 10. Okay, these are the first Gentile converts. "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 were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered, “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days". And so this is kind of an opposite order here, and that is, these are the first Gentiles to get saved. Peter comes in. The Holy Spirit falls. They all began to speak in tongues, which is the evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and then they're baptized with water. Okay?

So these are essential foundations. You see them all through the New Testament. Okay? Water baptism, Holy Spirit baptism. And so here's a question and that is, "Do I have to speak in tongues to be Holy Spirit baptized"? Well, let me say NO, but let me say it in this context. I know people who speak in tongues that are not good people. I mean, they're weird. Some of them are, they just act crazy. They do all kinds of crazy stuff and blame it on the Holy Spirit, and they do not have the fruits of the Spirit in their life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Let me say this. Some of the meanest people I've ever met in my life, who did me a lot of damage call themselves Spirit-filled and spoke in tongues. So you cannot say that just because a person speaks with tongues, they're necessarily, you know, a godly person.

Let me say this. I know people who don't speak in tongues, who attribute all of the, or exude all of the fruits of the Spirit. They don't go around bragging about speaking in tongues. They don't go around bragging about how spiritual they are, loving, joyful, peaceful patient, good, wonderful people who actually exude the fruits of the Spirit, and don't go around bragging about the gifts of the Spirit. Now, having said that, I want to say, by the way, there are three kinds of speaking in tongues that you need to understand, because if you don't understand this, you might get confused when the issue of tongues comes up.

The first kind of speaking in tongues is called the miracle of languages that happened on the day of Pentecost. All the disciples were speaking in tongues, but everyone around them heard them in their own language. People from all the nations of the world were there on the day of Pentecost surrounding them, and they all heard them in their own language. I've heard of that happening on the mission field. I've never seen it. I've never experienced it, but I've heard of people in the mission field speaking in tongues and people hear in their other native language. Okay.

There's also tongues and interpretations of tongues. 1 Corinthians 12, 1 Corinthians 14. That equals a prophecy. It's like a prophetic word, but it begins with a tongue, and then there is an interpretation. Okay, I have experienced that. I've had both tongues and interpretations throughout my Christian life that were miraculous, that God was speaking, and what was spoken was fulfilled.

The major area of speaking in tongues is a private prayer language. This is the third type of speaking in tongues, and I want to read you some scriptures about that. This is first Corinthians 14:18. Paul says, "I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all". Okay. So it's such a huge blessing. If you fear speaking in tongues, you don't understand it, and I hope I can explain it to you right now. So some people fear losing control. Some people, because of nutty people that they've seen, they think, well, if the Holy Spirit comes in my life, you know, I'm going to start doing all kinds of crazy stuff that I can't help. Self-control is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. You are more in control when you're under the power of the Holy Spirit than you ever have been in your entire life. Listen to scripture. This is 1 Corinthians 14:32-33, "And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints". Then Paul goes on to say, let everything be decently in order.

See there are people, and I, you know, came up in the church during the charismatic movement. I don't want to, you know, tell you all the stories that I could tell you. I could tell you stories for hours upon hours of the crazy stuff, unbiblical stuff that I have seen Christians do in the name of God and in the name of the Holy Spirit that were just a total embarrassment that all they brought was hurt and confusion. The spirit of the prophet is subject to the prophet. What does that mean? That means I can't do crazy stuff and blame it on the Holy Spirit because self-control is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Being out of control happens when I'm not under the power of the Holy Spirit. So never fear when you're filled with the power of the Holy Spirit that he's going to cause you to do something that you don't want to do. You're totally... It's your will that he operates through, and he's not going to force you to do something that you don't want to do.

I'm going to make this statement now, 'cause in the last message I made this statement. I want to make another statement now. In my last message talking about the baptism in water, I said, I've never seen a person live a great Christian life who wasn't baptized in water, because if you won't do the first thing that God tells you to do, it's very doubtful you're going to do much else. Okay? I want to make another statement. I've never seen a person operate powerfully in the Spirit who wasn't baptized in the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues. It's a threshold gift. Water baptism is threshold. This is the threshold of obedience. You're stepping into your new life in God, and there's a threshold that you're stepping over. It's called water baptism, your first act of obedience. In the Holy Spirit, when I was baptized in the Holy Spirit, I felt something coming up. And my point here is when you're being baptized in Holy Spirit, be sensitive to what the Holy Spirit is wanting to speak through you.

Now, listen to what I'm about to say. If God doesn't have your mouth, it doesn't matter what else he has. This is the most powerful part of your body. Proverbs 18 says the power of life and death is in the tongue, and he who loves it will eat its fruit. See, will you surrender your tongue to Jesus and to the Holy Spirit? And if God gets your tongue, when I, like I said, I was very vulgar before I got saved. And when I got saved, the first thing that God went after was my tongue. When I was baptized in the Holy Spirit. And when I surrendered my tongue for him, I could never be doing what I do right now if I would not have surrendered my tongue to the Holy Spirit. And so he wants your tongue. Okay? And tongues is how that begins. It's a threshold gift.

Do you want to operate powerfully in the Holy Spirit? Well you can't understand everything. You can't intellectualize everything. There are certain things that we can understand. The rest we follow by faith, and let the Holy Spirit operate through us. So let me ask this question. Why do I have to pray in tongues? Well, the first is, you don't know how to pray and neither do I. Let's listen to scripture, Romans 8:26 "Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession". Well, I woke up this morning and prayed. I'm sure you did too. And when I was praying, I could only pray what I knew to pray. And I did. I knew some things that were going to happen today, and so I prayed for what I knew. But what if my brother is having a heart attack and I don't know it. What if one of my grandchildren is in trouble and I don't know it? What if something is happening in my family or in someone that I care about and I don't know it? The Holy Spirit knows everything.

See, if you only pray with your understanding, you are extremely limited in your ability to pray because you can only pray for what you know, and you don't know much, and I don't know much. Praying with your understanding is important, but the Holy Spirit helps us in our weaknesses. So when I'm praying in tongues, when you're praying in tongues, this is 1 Corinthians 14:2. This is Paul. "For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries". You're praying directly to God. Someone said one time praying in tongues, this is the language the devil can't understand. It's directly between you and God. 1 Corinthians 14:14-15, "For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding".

So the first reason that we pray in tongues is because we're very limited without the Holy Spirit. The second is intimacy with God. 1 Corinthians 14 says that he just speaks in a tongue edifies himself. And I can tell you this because I've spoken in tongues for all these years. It just blesses you. You can't understand it. It's just every time I speak in tongues. In fact, sometimes when I feel stress or sometimes when I just feel like I'm just confounded about something, I just speak in tongues. I pray in tongues. I sing in tongues. And what happens is, I sense the presence of God, I sense the peace of God. And what I know is, because I'm praying in tongues, I'm surrendering my tongue to the Holy Spirit and I'm allowing him to pray for something beyond my ability to pray for. Sometimes it's me that's being prayed for. Sometimes it's Karen. Sometimes it's my kids or grandkids. Sometimes it's somebody else, but I'm not going to limit my prayer life by only praying for that which I understand.

The baptism in Holy Spirit is a one time event, but Ephesians 5 tells us to keep being filled with the Holy Spirit. It's like drinking water. We need to stay hydrated, especially in hard times. We need the Holy Spirit in our lives, not as a one time battery installed within us that's just this impersonal power source, but daily we drink of the Spirit and keep being filled, that he hydrates us, especially during difficult times, that we say spiritually hydrated. And he's not just this impersonal force, he is our dear friend that we're constantly dependent upon. And so the baptism of the Holy Spirit is a one time experience. But being filled with the Holy Spirit is a daily experience that we constantly depend upon him. I'm saying to you, you cannot fulfill God's will for your life without the Holy Spirit in your life. You need the baptism of Holy Spirit. You need him. I need him. If you're ready to receive him, by the way, you can ask a leader to pray with you. Sometimes in the Bible that you know, if you're having a hard time receiving, ask somebody who's already Spirit-filled. Ask them to lay their hands on you and pray for you. Let me pray for you right now:

Father, we come to you and we say, we want your Holy Spirit. Jesus baptize us in your Spirit. We open our hearts to you, Holy Spirit, and we say, we need you. We need you in our minds, our hearts, our bodies, our emotions. We desperately need you. And we pray that you would fill us with power from on high, that you would give us the power to live for Jesus victoriously, to overcome our sins and to live for God and to do the works of God. And we pray right now, fill us from the top of our head to the tip of our toes. We give you permission over our tongues. We submit our tongues to you, and we pray that you'll give us a prayer language, that we can pray beyond our understanding and pray directly to God. But Lord, I pray for everyone watching, listening right now, fill them, fill all of us. And even those who have already been filled before, maybe they're feeling dry. Fill us again with the power of your Holy Spirit in Jesus' name, amen.

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