By Robert Wurtz II
BAPTISM IN THE HOLY GHOST
By Robert Wurtz II
The Announcement of John the Baptist
John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable. (Luke 3:16,17)
John the Baptist was the greatest man born among women save our Lord Jesus Christ. He opened no blind eyes, no deaf ears, and raised none from the dead. He left no long-standing prophecies and called no fire from Heaven. Yet his message was one of fire itself. He essentially tells the people of two different fires: the fires of hell and the fire of the Holy Ghost. He said that the ax is now laid to the root of the tree and any tree that does not bring forth good-fruit is cast into the fire. The trees are symbolic for people, the fruit is the fruit of the Spirit, and the fire is that of eternal hell. In the above passage he repeats his assertion with a different analogy. In this case the people are either wheat or chaff. Wheat is gathered together and is useful to God- the chaff is swept up and burned with unquenchable fire. The wheat are symbolic of those who have rightly responded to the word of repentance and have the hope that causes them to purify themselves even as Christ is pure (I John 3:3). The chaff are void of this hope and it is evidenced by the fact that they feel no desire to be purified. The wheat are to be gathered into heaven (God's barn) and the chaff are to be cast into the everlasting fire. Christ is central in all of this. The passage reads, 'Whose fan (winnowing fork) is in His hand and He shall thoroughly purge His floor.' This speaks of the method of threshing. Wheat is brought in by laborers and trampled under foot by the hoofs of the oxen on the threshing floor. When it breaks apart it is tossed into the air (winnowed) during a night celebration and the cool evening breeze carries away the chaff and the wheat is gathered up. This tells us of the nature of evangelism. We are part of the great end time harvest. We bring the wheat into the churches and the word of God begins to do its work. People decide if they shall be wheat or chaff. Once all of human history is complete God will send forth His reapers (the Angels) and they will gather the wheat into Christ's barn and will cast the chaff into everlasting torments.
The Purpose of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and Fire
John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother's womb. He was utterly sanctified to God for God's work. That work was to tell the people the truth about how everything in terms of eternity works. The people needed to be informed so that they can make an informed decision. But in themselves men are cowards to bring this message of God's dealings with man. This is where the Holy Ghost comes in. The Holy Spirit works in us to say what God would say if He were here and to warn the people in His place. The Holy Spirit empowers man for service to this end. Through the power of the Holy Spirit Christians themselves can destroy the works of the Devil. It's what Christ did and it's what we should be doing. If we are not- we are not Christians. If we are not we have a form of godliness- but deny the power thereof. God hath used the power of the Holy Ghost to make many mortal men and women famous, but none of them were popular. Herein lies one of the great hindrances to men and women being full of the Holy Ghost today- they want the power to fuel their popularity and not to further the Kingdom. They want God to power their agenda- and God is not going to be a means to anyone's end but His own.
Getting Ready for an Outpouring
When the disciples got serious and went apart to pray between the feasts of Passover and Pentecost in Acts chapter one there were some unseen things taking place. God was working in them to utterly surrender to Him and to learn the patient waiting of the moving of the Holy Ghost. Frankly, some people do not want a move of God. They want everything to continue in its lukewarm state that does not invade their comfort zone. They don't want anyone rocking the boat. Sin has so sapped their zeal that they would reject and be angered by a real move of God. When God shows up things have to change. Everyone has to get right and that angers most people. This is why laughing revivals and weird manifestation revivals are so popular. The people can laugh and call it the Holy Ghost outpouring while they are in their sins. Had the Holy Ghost really have been poured on them under those conditions it would have been a mass judgment.
The Initial Preparation
Some people already have more of God than they want. If they were to be honest they would tell you they are tired of the Holy Spirit hounding them about their sins. These people will never receive the Baptism in the Holy Ghost. You can't RESIST and RECEIVE at the same time. That is a contradiction. You have to first be convinced that you need to repent of your sin and be utterly willing to turn loose and be free from it. This lays the groundwork for you to soon receive the baptism in the Holy Ghost. This is why John the Baptist preached hell fire. He was making strait a highway for His God. Nothing works until people have a firm grip on what Hell really is and how God is going to judge the world in righteousness. What other reason will jar a person to rethink their ways? Christianity is 'sold' to people these days with a cheap sales pitch that doesn't last. They are told how God will put springs on their wagon if they will follow Him. This more than anything, speaks to the absence of the Holy Ghost today in ministry. There is no real boldness to tell the truth these days and it is growing less by the hour.
Love Thy Neighbor!
Love in the last 200 years has gone from a God centered concept of desiring a person's best interest- to a word that essentially tries to take a person for all they have got (lust). The world has so confused love and lust that today the Church thinks its ‘loving a sinner' more to allow them to slip into hell than it would be to perhaps appear offensive and tell them the truth. When the real Holy Ghost shows up, men and women will be so overcome with the love of Christ that they will speak the truth as did Stephen and forgive the persecutors as they are being stoned to death. Who could argue that Stephen did not love those Jews who killed him? He begged God forgive them for killing him as he was dying- yet look at what he told them. Look at what a person says when they are really FULL of the Holy Ghost. Look at his concern for their souls. Look at how long and patient he was in preaching. Look at the love that brings such an urgency and boldness as to forsake its own well being. Look at how he saw the glory of God in that passage. When we finally get full of the Holy Ghost we will become lights in this world once again. We will be full of love, joy, peace, gentleness, meekness, and faith and all the attributes attributed to Stephen. The wicked flee when no man pursueth- but the righteous are as bold as a lion. Why? Because they have the fullness of the Holy Ghost fueling that great boldness. What level of boldness do we need in our day? What kind of anointing do we need to slow the tide of wickedness in our society? If you don't have enough anointing to keep your own life pure you don't have enough to effect anyone else's life. God wants us to be FULL and stay full so that we can influence this world for His glory. We can't preach what we don't have. We can't talk victory if we are defeated- we cannot preach righteousness if we have secret sins. God is searching the hearts. God is searching the minds. God is looking at the hands. If we REALLY want to see an outpouring of the Holy Ghost every one is going to have to decide whether they want God or their pet sins; God or this world; immortal souls or temporal pleasures; permanent fame or fleeting popularity; the glory of God or the works of the Devil.
Tongues Like as of Fire
In Acts two the people were baptized in the Holy Ghost and spake with tongues as the Spirit gave them the utterance. Tongues of fire appeared over their heads. The tongue is an unruly member that is full of deadly poison. It is strange to me that a person could have the boldness to curse a man, but not have the boldness to love him (or her) enough to tell them the truth about their situation before God. The tongue, that rudder of the soul, can sail the high seas of all sorts of madness and abominable talk- but can't find as much as a creek bed to dock and speak the truth. Man is wretched. Their hearts are deceitful and wicked and who can know them. The poison of Asp's is upon their lips and with them they do hurt. The first thing that God gets a hold of when the Baptism of the Holy Ghost takes place is the unruly member, the tongue. No man could tame it, but it lies quiet at the feet of its master the Holy Ghost. It arises to speak bold truths and condescends to whisper glad tidings. It reproves, rebukes, and exhorts with all long suffering and doctrine- and it speaks the words of life with a soft answer that turns away wrath. The Holy Ghost is the ultimate tongue tamer and if that man has his tongue tamed, the same is a perfect man and shall likewise bridle his entire body.
In the Midst of the Years
Time is running out to see a REAL move of God in our day. Christians are being hardened in their sins as we speak and are loosing the desire to be full of the Holy Ghost all the time. There is a battle waging for fullness. The enemy wants the Church to think they are full and increased with goods- not knowing that they are wretched, poor, miserable, blind, and naked. The Church is substituting marketing for the anointing. They are becoming more concerned with loosing ‘customers' than loosing that favor of God. Some have already figured out how to fill their Churches up without God. We are birthing Church goers and not Holy Ghost filled Christians.
The Only Hope of our Youth
If our youth are lost without God it is because we do not have a move of God. It is because people have decided that they will not live or pray in such a way as to see God move. The cares of this life have snuffed out the only hope of our youth. What won and kept the youth in the past will win and keep the youth today- and it's the fire of the Holy Ghost. Keep giving the youth more of the world and we are killing them Spiritually. The youth need a dose of the fire of God. They need to see some people keeping the standard and not compromising the faith. What reason do they have to believe God when so many older Christians live as though God is a fairy tale? Their life does not exalt the reality of Christ- therefor the youth feel like they can take God or leave Him. Is God real in your life- don't ask yourself- ask someone else if they see God in you? Do you make people feel like God is near? Do you provoke people to good works through your life?
The last hope of our youth is for those who know how to get right and pray- to do it and do it now. If the children and youth do not see a move of God the enemy is going to ravage their lives and the parents are going to wonder what happened. Anyone who knows God knows that you cannot compromise and half-heartedly serve God and see a move of the Holy Ghost. I am sad to say that we as Pentecostal's have promised the power and didn't deliver the goods until it's a wonder any have any faith for a Holy Ghost outpouring. It's time to get serious. It's time to take up the burden for souls. It's time to seek an outpouring in your own life like you have never had. It's time to be leaders and lead. It's time to get rid of pet sins that are stopping God from moving. It's time to quit telling yourselves God understands. It's time to lay aside bitterness and love our neighbor until we weep for their souls. It's time to fast and prevail in prayer. It's time to lay hold of the promises of God with anointed faith. It's time to do what God wants to do. It's time to preach with eternity in our eyes. It's time to feast on God's holy word. There are more souls slipping into hell at this moment than at any time in history. Its time, yea, high time- to awake out of sleep! It's time to pray and seek God until we are utterly FULL of the Holy Ghost and FIRE.