In the fall of 1999 the Lord began leading my wife, Patty, and me into the understanding and experience of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This book is the result of that experience, which began several years ago now and continues in our lives to this day.
Through the infilling of the Holy Spirit, we were led to a closer walk with Him, experiencing a return to that “first love” of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Personal changes began happening within us that only the Spirit of God could bring about. in my ministry, I began seeing a power as I had never seen before.
In the preparation of this material, I am indebted to LeRoy Froom’s book, The Coming of the Comforter, and Douglas Cooper’s book, Living in Our Finest Hour. These two books have been an inspiration and confirmation that there truly is available a much deeper experience in the Spirit than most Christians realize, it is an experience that goes beyond accepting Christ and water baptism. It is, in fact, an experience that does not always occur at water baptism. in addition, I consulted the book entitled The Complete Word Study Dictionary—New Testament by Spiros Zodhiates for many of the Greek word studies.
This booklet is not intended to be an exhaustive study on the subject of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, an experience also referred to as the “infilling” or “anointing” of the Spirit. My sincere desire is that every reader will be blessed as he/she comes to understand the Biblical teaching and to experience the baptism of the Holy Spirit. My prayer is that the spiritual teachings and principles in this book will bring victories in every area of life as never before experienced.
Paul expressed well the desire I have for everyone who reads this book:
“That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:16-19
In September of 1999 God began challenging my wife, Patty, and me through various means to look at the Biblical concept of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, also called the “anointing” and “infilling” of the Holy Spirit. After careful study and prayer, we decided to seek Him for this baptism. Since then we have experienced wonderful things in the Lord both personally and in our ministry. The experience can be best described as a return to our “first love.” Changes in life style began happening as the Spirit quietly worked in us. What we were (and are) experiencing should not be confused—as have some Christians—with the gift of tongues. In the baptism of the Holy Spirit that we experienced, tongues played no role.
The concept of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is that there are two works of the Spirit: one is to lead us to accept Christ and be baptized; the second is to fill us so we can truly live the Christian life and do the works of God. Jesus is our model or example in all things. He was “horn” of the Spirit, led by the Spirit from childhood into manhood, and baptized. Soon after this water baptism, He was baptized with the Holy Spirit which He had prayed for at the time of His water baptism. After the infilling of the Spirit, He was prepared to go forth with power to do battle with Satan as never before (the wilderness temptations). He was empowered to preach and teach the kingdom of God, carry on a ministry of healing, and cast out devils.
Jesus said all who believe would do even greater works than He. When the believer receives the baptism of the Holy Spirit, he/she is empowered to do the same works as Christ because the same Spirit that filled Christ has filled him. Before experiencing this Spirit infilling, God is with the believer because He called and led him to be baptized. However, he will not have the fullness of the Spirit’s power within him until he receives the baptism of the Holy Spirit. That is why Jesus told the disciples to wait for the outpouring of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost.
Not every one was present at Pentecost. The book of Acts indicates that God continued to baptize the believer(s) with the Holy Spirit after the day of Pentecost. One way of doing this was by prayer and the laying on of hands (Acts 8:12-17; 19:1-6). This is the model I have followed. However, the laying on of hands is not always necessary. One can receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit by earnestly committing his life to God, and by claiming in prayer His promise to give the Spirit in fullness.
When the subject of the baptism of the Holy Spirit was first presented at the churches where I pastored, I found that members were at first somewhat skeptical. Many thought I wanted them to begin speaking in tongues. Some felt that I was saying that the Spirit had not been with them previously. They thought they already had the infilling of the Spirit. However, if they did not really understand or had never specifically claimed the promise for the baptism of the Spirit, chances were they had not experienced the infilling.
It took some time for my congregations to fully understand the concept; however, through much prayer and earnest Bible study, the Lord led both congregations to a correct understanding. I began preaching various aspects of the baptism of the Spirit on Sabbath mornings and at prayer meetings. I also went from home to home sharing my understanding of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. As I visited members, I offered to pray with them, laying hands on them to claim God’s promise to fill them with His Spirit.
Receiving the baptism of the Spirit is a matter of faith. The infilling of the Spirit comes from God, not from the one laying hands on the individual. The laying on of hands is simply a ceremonial act similar to ordaining a deacon or elder for his office. One mayor may not feel something at the time of the infilling; however, in all cases, the Spirit will make His presence known soon after the request is made in faith.
What happens when we ask God for the infilling of the Spirit? A few examples of the changes the infilling of the Spirit will bring to the life of the receiver are: a stronger desire to study God’s Word; more earnest prayers; and changes in lifestyles and activities.
I am convinced that the infilling of the Spirit is necessary for the believer to walk victoriously in Christ. I have come to the understanding that according to the Bible, one does not “know” Christ in the fullest, biblical sense without the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This is illustrated in the parable of the 10 virgins as well as in other Scriptures where Christ speaks of not “knowing” someone. (I have covered this subject in greater detail in another chapter.) It appears that the water baptism is similar to the wedding service, while the Spirit baptism is symbolized by the consummation of the marriage when the bride “knows” her bridegroom. Satan will resist this work fiercely, for he is aware that the Spirit’s infilling will break his power in the believer’s life.
I am convinced that understanding and experiencing the infilling of the Holy Spirit is second in importance only to understanding and accepting Christ as our Savior. Nor is there any more important work for the believer than to seek the Spirit’s infilling and learn to walk victoriously in the Spirit.
Whether seeking this wonderful experience for oneself or seeking to lead others into this experience, one must move prayerfully. Satan will do all he can to cause confusion and prevent it. We must guard against outright rejection of the teaching, which will lead to rejection of the Spirit. We must also guard against fanaticism, holier than thou attitudes, pride, a feeling or belief we already have achieved it (which is Laodicea’s problem), or the attitude of feeling unworthy to receive it. I have found that many who believe they already have the infilling of the Spirit are willing to have special prayer to ask for even a greater infilling. Elisha saw no problem in requesting a greater portion of the Spirit than had his predecessor, as evidenced in 2 Kings 29.
As one reads the book Acts, one fact stands out. The church grew phenomenally and immediately alter the day of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit took charge of the work of God and thousands were converted to Jesus Christ. Such tremendous growth caused some problems. Chapter six of Acts informs us that some of the widows were being neglected in the “daily administration.” The Holy Spirit led the twelve disciples to call a meeting of believers. Seven deacons were to be chosen. Their qualifications were simple: “honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom.”
Such qualifications must have been observable in order to use them as guidelines. Hence, the qualification of being filled with the Holy Spirit must have been observable, as well. But one might argue, “Isn’t every believer filled with the Holy Spirit at baptism?” Apparently not, otherwise the qualification of Holy Spirit filling for the position of deacon would have been redundant. For example, if one were choosing men for a job and all men had blue eyes, it would be redundant to tell someone to select only men with blue eyes.
The experience of the Samaritan believers seems to verify the fact that not all baptized believers are filled with the Holy Spirit at their baptism. In Acts (Eight) we read that when Philip baptized a number of men and women, the disciples in Jerusalem heard about it and sent Peter and John to Samaria. Luke records what happened next:
“who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.” Acts 8:15-17
In the selection of the seven deacons, men who were not known to be filled with the Holy Spirit were not selected. Hence, being filled with the Holy Spirit was something distinct and observable. What then was this observable difference? It seemed that these Spirit filled men had developed a reputation among the believers. The qualification of “honest” would appear to indicate that perhaps these men were living exemplary, victorious lives under the power of the Holy Spirit. Their being asked to “serve” might indicate that under the filling of the Holy Spirit, their lives were a great blessing to others. Their lives were perhaps more of a blessing than the believers who did not have the Spirit’s infilling.
Outstanding Christians throughout the ages have also understood this. Dwight L Moody wrote:
“God has got a good many children who have just barely got life, but no power for service The Holy Ghost coming upon them with power is distinct and separate from conversion. If the Scripture doesn’t teach (this statement) I am ready to correct it …. I believe we should accomplish more in one week than we should in years if we had only this fresh baptism
“A great many think because they have been filled once, they are going to be full for all time after; but O, my friends, we are leaky vessels, and have to be kept right tinder the fountain all the time in order to keep full Let us keep near Him.” They found the Secret, p.85-86
Paul seems to indicate that this infilling of the Holy Spirit is also something that the believer can lose. Paul instructs the Ephesians:
“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” Ephesians 6:18
The Greek verb form used for “filled” denotes a continuous action. Paul was instructing the believers to continue to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Everyday we must ask God to fill us with the Spirit, for it is a promise we must keep claiming in order to keep receiving. Perhaps God established this principle of receiving the Spirit so we would continue to be conscious of our dependence upon Him and the daily need to be filled anew.
“Spirit filled” Christians make a church “Spirit-filled.” Let’s consider for a moment what a Spirit filled church is not. Chapter Three of Revelation describes God’s last day church. God uses the word “lukewarm” to describe her (Revelation 3:14-16). “Lukewarm” and “Spirit filled” are not compatible terms. A believer is either one or the other. Hence, the conclusion is clear. Holy Spirit infilling is what will change “lukewarm” believers into zealous, obedient followers of Jesus Christ.
The parable of the ten virgins also supports this truth, as in Matthew 25:1-12. The wise virgins, who were ready to meet the bridegroom, had the extra oil. I believe this extra oil refers to the baptism or infilling of the Holy Spirit. Commenting on this parable, Ellen White writes:
“The name ‘foolish’ virgins represents the character of those who have not the genuine heart-work wrought by the Spirit of God. The coming of Christ does not change the foolish virgins into wise. The state of the church represented by the foolish virgins, is also spoken of as the Laodicean state.” Review & Herald, August 19, 1890
LeRoy Froom in his book The Coming of the Comforter, comments on the foolish virgins:
“The foolish think the wise are unduly worked up over this question of the oil.” (p.294)
Observing what happened in the early church in the book of Acts and comparing that church to the Christian church today I am forced to admit that I believe the Christian church is not presently Spirit-filled. I include the Seventh-day Adventist Church in this assessment. Does that mean God is not using the Adventist church to carry on His work? Not at all. It simply means there is so much more that God could accomplish through us if we were as Spirit-filled as He desires us to he.
I think statistics verify the spiritual state of the Christian church today. The majority of members and even pastors take little time for personal prayer and devotions. Most Christians will try to be present for their church’s worship service once a week but that’s about it. Prayer meeting, which some have said is the barometer of the spirituality of the church, is either non-existent or sparsely attended. Do such facts describe a Spirit-filled church or Spirit-filled Christians? I think not.
It has been said, if the Holy Spirit were withdrawn today, the majority of the work of the church would continue as usual and most Christians wouldn’t even know it. As a Christian and pastor, I have to admit that one easily becomes so involved in the work of God that one begins doing his own planning and doing, giving little consideration as to whether the planning and doing are under the promptings and guidance of the Holy Spirit. I’m afraid that much of the activity in the church is the result of man’s plans and efforts, not those of the Spirit.
The Bible gives us a few descriptions of Spirit-filled Christians. Peter is a clear example of the before and after experience. Before Peter received the baptism of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, he was weak, fearful and operated in his own strength. Just a few weeks before the Pentecost experience, he had denied his Lord three times; the final time was with cursing. After receiving the infilling of the Spirit, Peter was a very different man. A powerful change had taken place deep within him. In Acts Chapter Four, we read of the Jewish leaders threatening Peter and ordering him, “not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus” (Acts 4:18). Once he was filled with the Spirit, instead of cowering under the pressure and being afraid, Peter and John answered, “Whether it be right in the sight of God to harken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:19-20).
In Acts, Chapter Eighteen and Nineteen, we read of two men, Paul and Apollos. One was filled with the Spirit and one was not. When we read about Apollos, we get the impression that he was a very capable minister for Christ. He was eloquent and fervent; a powerful speaker. However, he taught Jesus and water baptism only. He did not understand nor experience the baptism of the Holy Spirit. In spite of this, he was confirmed by the brethren and was a powerful public apologist. The results of his efforts were twelve converts.
Paul’s appearance and public speaking was not as polished and appealing as Apollos. We are told that his speech was “contemptible” and his bodily appearance “weak” (2Cor. 10:10). On numerous occasions the brethren had shunned Paul. However, Paul understood, experienced and preached the baptism of the Holy Spirit along with other truths about Christ. The results of his ministry are described with the words, “all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks” (Acts 19:10).
Perhaps one reason we often hesitate to earnestly seek the fullness of the Spirit in our lives and church is that He often works in unpredictable ways. Things may seem out of control when He begins moving in and through the church. We like things to be predictable and somewhat under our plans and control. We get a little fearful when, according to our judgment, things seem to be moving too quickly.
The early church didn’t seem to mind this aspect of the Spirit’s working. They had no buildings or facilities, not much organization, and few leaders. Yet in Acts 2:41 we read of 3,000 joining the church and 5,000 in Acts 4:4. This was even before there were deacons.
I think if such things began happening today, many would become uneasy. I know from personal experience, for I have seen members and local church leaders react negatively when the Spirit was clearly moving. The problem was that the Spirit was not moving in a way they had expected. I have seen such reactions both in local church growth and in church school situations.
Spirit-filled Christians will stir up Satan’s anger. We see clear examples of his efforts to hinder the Spirit’s moving in the experience of the apostles after Pentecost and in Stephen’s experience.
Nevertheless, Spirit-filled ministry will have amazing results. What appears to man’s eyes as of little consequence will amount to much when it is done under Spirit-filled power. Much effort performed in the wisdom and strength of a man or woman who is not Spirit filled will amount to little in comparison.
Jim Cymbala relates the following story in his book Fresh Power, a book that wonderfully illustrates the power of Holy Spirit ministry. In 1921 a young couple named David and Svea Flood from Sweden went with their two-year-old son to serve as missionaries in Africa.
They and another Scandinavian family, the Ericksons, felt led of God to go beyond the main mission station and serve in a remote area. They went to the village of N’dolera, but were rejected by the chief who feared they would anger the local gods if he let them minister in his village. So they built a mud hut a half mile up the mountain.
They continued to pray for God to touch the hearts of the villagers in some way, but no apparent breakthrough came. The Ericksons decided to give up the effort and returned to the central mission station.
Twice a week a boy from the village was allowed to sell the Floods chickens and eggs. This one boy being their only contact to the villagers, Svea Flood decided to tell him about Jesus. God blessed her efforts, and the boy accepted Jesus as his Savior.
Svea became pregnant and gave birth to a daughter whom they named Aina. The delivery was exhausting, and Svea had been stricken with malaria. Her condition worsened, and she died seventeen days later. Her husband, David, became very discouraged. He dug a grave and buried his wife, then returned to the mission station and gave his new born daughter to the Ericksons with the words, “I’m going back to Sweden. I’ve lost my wife, and I obviously can’t take care of this baby. God has ruined my life.”
The Ericksons became very sick themselves and both died within eight months. The baby, Aina, was given to an American missionary family who changed her name to Aggie and brought her with them to the United States at age three. This family served the Lord in pastoral ministry in South Dakota. Aggie grew into young womanhood and attended a Bible college in Minneapolis where she met and married a young man named Dewey Hurst.
The young couple served the Lord in ministry and had two children, a son and daughter. Her husband, Dewey, became president of a Christian college in the Seattle area. The Scandinavian heritage of the area interested Aggie. Not knowing where it came from, Aggie received a Swedish religious magazine one day and was shocked to see a photo of a white cross marking a primitive grave which read, “SVEA FLOOD.” Aggie rushed to a faculty member who could read the magazine in Swedish.
The faculty member told Aggie that the article was about a missionary couple that had come to N’dolera years ago. The wife had given birth to a baby girl, but died soon afterward. The article told of the young African boy who had accepted Christ, who after the white missionaries had left the area, grew up and convinced the chief to allow him to build a school in the village. This young man shared the Christ he had learned about from Svea Flood with his students, and they all accepted Christ. The children then influenced their parents to become Christian, even the chief. The article then stated that one village had six hundred Christian believers.
A few years later God providentially led Aggie to an evangelism conference in London, England, where she met a man who reported to the conference of 110,000 baptized believers in the nation of Zaire. She couldn’t resist asking him if he ever heard of David and Svea Flood.
To her amazement he replied, “Yes. It was Svea Flood who led me to Jesus Christ. I was the boy who brought food to your parents before you were born. In fact, to this day your mother’s grave and her memory are honored by all of us.” After a long, tearful embrace, he told her, “You must come to Africa to see because your mother is the most famous person in our history.”
As a footnote to this story, God gave Aggie the opportunity to meet her father, David Flood, who was still living in Sweden. He had remarried, had several grown children, but was in failing health. David had become very angry and bitter toward God. However, as a result of Aggie’s visit with him, he renewed his relationship with Christ and experienced peace with God. A couple months after Aggie’s visit he died.
God provided a way for Aggie to visit Africa and her mother’s grave and see the white cross that had caught her attention in the magazine article. Aggie knelt by her mother’s grave and with tears in her eyes, thanked God.
May we each be willing to yield totally 100 percent to God, withholding nothing. If we in sincere faith ask God for the baptism of the Holy Spirit, He will give us what we desire. Then our lives will be a great blessing to others, and the results of our service for the Lord will reach into eternity.
Since seeking the baptism of the Holy Spirit in the fall of 1999 the Lord has led us into many and varied experiences. I have sought to share this important teaching with the churches I have pastored since then. The following is an experience the Lord gave us when we sought Him during a series of revival meetings in New Haven, CT. I will never forget what happened, and pray that God will continue to lead us into deep, meaningful experiences with Himself.
As part of the New Haven, CT, church’s plans for 2002, we scheduled two coinciding events. One event was a 10-day prayer fast. The second was a six night series of revival meetings. The prayer fast and revival meetings both began Sunday, February 17. The revival meetings were to end Friday, February 22, and the prayer fast end Tuesday, February 26.
The concept of the 10-day prayer fast was to follow the pattern in Acts chapter one when the disciples prayed for ten days before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. The goal was to shut out outside media distractions: TV radio, secular magazines, computer surfing and games, etc. and seek God as much as possible during this time. During the 10 day prayer fast the members were encouraged to pray for the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) and revival in their personal lives (2 Chronicles 7:14, Psalm 85:6) and in the church. They were also to ask God to pour out His Spirit (Zechariah 10:1).
The revival meetings began the same night the prayer fast began. The focus was the same: seeking the baptism of the Holy Spirit, revival and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. I had never conducted revival meetings before. So I wasn’t sure what to present or what would happen.
The results of this effort of earnestly seeking God and asking Him to revive us far exceeded my expectations as pastor, and the expectations of those attending. During the first six days of the revival meetings we experienced the presence of God as I have never experienced Him before. It is difficult to describe in words. One would have to be there to understand. His presence and blessing seemed to grow from meeting to meeting. The moving of the Spirit in personal lives, the joy, the fellowship was wonderful. One lady described it as “falling in love with Jesus again.” Night after night I would hear individuals making comments about the renewed experience they were having with God.
God led in the format of the meeting since I didn’t know exactly what He wanted. We participated in praise singing from contemporary praise songs and hymn singing from the hymnal. Those attending participated in two sessions of prayer. The attendees were instructed to pray “unitedly” (Acts 1:14) (not for every need that came to mind). Rather all were to pray for revival, the personal baptism of the Holy Spirit, the outpouring of God’s Spirit and the special prayer focus I had presented from God’s Word for that night. This united focus in prayer proved to be a great blessing. I believe it played a major role in what we experienced. We came to understand more clearly what Christ meant when He stated: “... if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 18:19).
The Lord led in a very direct way concerning the subjects to be presented each night. My personality is to have everything planned well in advance. Normally I would have had my sermons outlined and prepared well before the first night of the revival meetings. The Lord didn’t allow that this time. I was unable to determine what to give beyond each upcoming meeting. Then each night following the meeting as I began praying about what the Lord wanted presented the next night the subject would clarify in my mind. By the next meeting the message for that night was complete. This happened every night except for Friday night. On Friday the Lord gave me the message for both Friday and Saturday night, which I very much appreciated, knowing how busy I would be all day Sabbath with little or no time to prepare for the Saturday night meeting.
The general outline and order of the subjects the Lord led us to study is given below.
1. Laodicean Warning — Laodicea was known for its therapeutic hydrotherapy, which implements hot and cold treatments. The Laodicean church is neither "hot” nor “cold". Hence, she is of no therapeutic value to God in her present condition. Therefore revival is urgently needed. The prayer focus was the three requests we made to God every night: the baptism of the Holy Spirit, revival and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. There was no additional prayer focus the first night.
2. Our part in seeking revival — (2 Chron. 7:14). Prayer and complete surrender to God is necessary if we are to experience revival. The additional prayer focus was to ask God to make us willing to submit 100% to Him.
3. In revival new life is found only in Jesus. Revival is not seeking some feeling, emotion, or ecstatic experience. Rather revival is seeking Jesus and letting Him into our lives more fully, (Rev. 3:20). The additional prayer focus was to ask God to remove anything blocking the door - letting Jesus in.
4. In revival we exchange our life for Jesus living in us. We are to become just like Jesus. The additional prayer focus was to give our life to Jesus in exchange for Jesus living in us.
S. The subject was the passion for souls. We looked at the passion Jesus and the early church had for souls. The additional prayer focus was to ask God to give us the passion for souls Jesus had.
6. Deliverance was the subject for this night. We studied how Jesus has made it possible for us to be victorious over all known sin. The additional prayer focus was seeking God for complete deliverance.
7. It is essential we learn how to walk in the Spirit. We discuss how we keep walking in the Spirit every day. The additional prayer focus was to ask God to subdue every sinful and wrong desire in us.
8. It is important we understand the power and authority we have in Jesus. We discussed the power and authority Jesus has given the believer over Satan. The additional prayer focus was to ask God to give us understanding of our power and authority over Satan.
9. We discussed what the fruit of the Spirit are and how Jesus living in us will manifest the fruit of the Spirit in us. The additional prayer focus was to ask God to manifest the fruit of the Spirit in us.
10. The gifts of the Spirit were the study for the last night. The additional prayer focus was to ask God to manifest the gifts of the Spirit He has chosen for us and to give us the courage to begin ministering in those gifts.
When I do another revival meeting the Lord may have a different order of subjects. The lesson the Lord had for me was the importance of earnestly seeking Him to direct in the entire program including the subjects and their sequence.
Several things happened that I have never experienced before. First, was the sweet presence of the Spirit every night. Second, were the obvious changes that were taking place in the hearts of all who were present; a quiet moving of the Spirit.
The revival meetings were originally planned to continue Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights. As we approached Friday night members started coming to me asking if we could extend the meetings for the remaining 10 days of the prayer fast. They were experiencing God’s presence in their lives in such a dramatic way that they didn’t want it to end that Friday. So we decided to continue through the following Wednesday, which was one day past the 10 day prayer fast time period. Here too was something I had never experienced before — members asking for more nightly meetings.
The blessings of God were so pronounced that we decided to have a testimony service for the Sabbath worship service, February 23. Several shared the experiences they were having in the Lord. We invited the church to come to the meeting that night. We had been having around 40 in attendance through the week, which was very large compared to the usual number that attend prayer meeting. I didn’t know what would happen that Saturday night. Especially since the worship service had continued much longer than usual and many who had been attending the revival meetings went out witnessing that afternoon in the community around the church. Hence, many had already spent all morning and afternoon at the church. To my astonishment, around 60 members came to that Saturday night revival meeting. I thought that had to be the power of God to get us Adventists out to a prayer meeting on Saturday night after such a busy Sabbath. One thing this exceptional turn out told me was that our people very much desire more than they have in their present relationship with God. We feel the need, but haven’t known how to get it met.
The prayer fast continued through the following Tuesday and the revival meetings continued through Wednesday. The blessings of God didn’t stop. Each night brought more depth and breadth to what we were experiencing from God. The last meeting of the eleven night revival series ended Wednesday, February 27. I once more wondered how many would attend since this was the eleventh consecutive night of meetings. Again I was amazed. We had the largest attendance of all except for the Saturday night meeting. The sense of God’s presence and the joy we all felt are indescribable. We plan to continue the revival meetings every Wednesday night.
I don’t know what God plans for the weeks ahead. One thing I do know, I will never forget what God did in New Haven and how He revealed Himself during this special time. I ask myself; “WilI we loose the experience we have had?” It all depends on us. If we continue to personally, earnestly seek God and avail ourselves of the future times of fellowship such as our Wednesday revival meeting, we will not loose it. Some have suggested continuing a weekly meeting in their homes also.
One side note: a man from Africa of Islamic faith, who had been attending our church for several weeks and was taking Bible studies, attended the revival meetings. The ninth night of the meetings he gave a testimony that he had given his life to Jesus Christ. A thrill of godly joy surged through everyone present.
I personally feel the baptism of the Holy Spirit in each of our lives is essential to achieving the relationship we desire with God. Seeking the Spirit’s infilling was a major focus during those eleven days. Ellen White strongly encourages us to daily seek this experience. God heard our request during those eleven days and His answer far exceeded our expectation. We should not have been surprised. He always blesses abundantly. Paul knew this when he wrote: "Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” (Ephesians 3:20).
About the Author
At the time of the writing of this book, Dennis Smith is serving as pastor in the Southern New England Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Dennis has served the church as an active layman, and in pastoral and departmental positions for over 35 years.
Dennis received a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Colorado State University. While at Colorado State, he became a Seventh-day Adventist Christian. After working in engineering for a short time, he felt the call to full time ministry. To fulfill that calling, Dennis attended Andrews University Theological Seminary and received a Masters of Divinity degree. Dennis has also done studies in the area of public health from Loma Linda University.
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