Sabbath, May 29, 2004
“Just prior to His leaving His disciples for the heavenly courts, Jesus encouraged them with the promise of the Holy Spirit. This promise belongs as much to us as it did to them, and yet how rarely it is presented before the people, and its reception spoken of in the church. In consequence of this silence upon this most important theme, what promise do we know less about by its practical fulfillment than this rich promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit, whereby efficiency is to be given to all our spiritual labor?… Other blessings and privileges have been presented before the people until a desire has been awakened in the church for the attainment of the blessing promised of God; but the impression concerning the Holy Spirit has been that this gift is not for the church now, but that at some time in the future it would be necessary for the church to receive it.” – Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 174.
• To consider the preparation that is necessary in our life and the changes that must be made before the water baptism.
• To acknowledge in our prayers the great need for the baptism of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
• To think about the baptism by fire, what this means for us, and when it may be performed.
• To understand the three main processes of spiritual growth under the influence of the Holy Spirit and the baptisms that accompany them.
THE WATER BAPTISM, PREPARATION AND PROMISES
1. Speaking about the baptism that Jesus had to perform, which three elements did John the Baptist mention?
Ephesians 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism
Matthew 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.
2.Before the water baptism may be performed, what changes must take place in our lives with the help of the Holy Spirit?
Mark 1:4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
“Repent, repent, was the message rung out by John the Baptist in the wilderness. Christ’s message to the people was, ‘Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.’ Luke 13:5. And the apostles were commanded to preach everywhere that men should repent.
“The Lord desires His servants today to preach the old gospel doctrine, sorrow for sin, repentance, and confession.… The sinner must be labored for, perseveringly, earnestly, wisely, until he shall see that he is a transgressor of God’s law, and shall exercise repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ.” – Evangelism, pp. 179, 180.
THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
3.What other baptisms have to take place in us after water baptism has been performed?
Acts 2:38, 39 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
Romans 8:14,16 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
“God desires to refresh His people by the gift of the Holy Spirit, baptizing them anew in His love. There is no need for a dearth of the Spirit in the church. After Christ’s ascension the Holy Spirit came upon the waiting, praying, believing disciples with a fullness and power that reached every heart. In the future the earth is to be lightened with the glory of God. A holy influence is to go forth to the world from those who are sanctified through the truth. The earth is to be encircled with an atmosphere of grace. The Holy Spirit is to work on human hearts, taking the things of God and showing them to men.” – Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, p. 40.
THE THIRD FORM OF BAPTISM
4. After a baptism by water and the Spirit in the Jordan River, which other baptism awaited Jesus?
Luke 12:49, 50 I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!
THE BELIEVER UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
5. What special guidance will the believer receive when he is under the influence of the Holy Spirit?
John 16:13, 14 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
“Without the co-operation of the Spirit of God, no amount of education, no advantages, however great, can make one a channel of light. Before one book of the New Testament had been written, before one gospel sermon had been preached after Christ’s ascension, the Holy Spirit came upon the praying disciples. Then the testimony of their enemies was, ‘Ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine.’ Acts 5:28. “Christ promised the gift of the Holy Spirit to His church and the promise belongs as much to us as to the first disciples. But like every other promise, it is given on conditions.” – Gospel Workers, p. 284.
6. Which blessed fruit can also be seen in the character of the victorious Christian?
Romans 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
Galatians 5:22, 23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
“As you receive the Spirit of Christ–the Spirit of unselfish love and labor for others–you will grow and bring forth fruit. The graces of the Spirit will ripen in your character. Your faith will increase, your convictions deepen, your love be made perfect. More and more you will reflect the likeness of Christ in all that is pure, noble, and lovely. “ ‘The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.’ Galatians 5:22, 23. This fruit can never perish, but will produce after its kind a harvest unto eternal life.” – Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 68, 69.
7. What are the three forms the Holy Spirit uses in His saving work in the world to convince the people of truth?
John 16: 7-11 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
“Christ Himself will decide who are worthy to dwell with the family of heaven. He will judge every man according to his words and his works. Profession is nothing in the scale. It is character that decides destiny.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 74.
• Do you have the great desire to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
• In order to receive this baptism, are there special prayers and preparations that must be done?
• What would you do if today you received this great gift from the Lord?
• How you seen the fruit of the Holy Spirit abundantly in you life?
• Do you feel prepared for the baptism of fire?