Think about it. That same Spirit that invaded the borrowed tomb of Joseph of Arimathea and raised to life the crucified body of the Prince of God has taken up residence on the inside of your mortal body! (See Romans 8:11.)
The baptism in the Holy Spirit is God's method for delivering His divine endowment of power to His people for end-time ministry. The fires of controversy and the fire of God's convicting power seem to be stirred everywhere the Holy Spirit shows up.
Modern religious scorners who join those of the first century by saying, "These are drunk with new wine" (Acts 2:13), do so at great cost. The loss to the church in terms of power, gifts and the fruit of the Spirit is beyond calculation.
Reclaiming Valuable Gifts
In 1 Corinthians 12, the apostle Paul lists nine spiritual gifts distributed to believers that are of great value to the supernatural church (vv. 3-11). The motivational gifts, operated by the Holy Spirit out of your natural motivations, are listed in Romans 12.
If you embrace the doctrine that these powerful supernatural gifts ceased operation after the first century, then they must be blotted out of your Bible. Because of the influence of heresies and compromise, the power of the Holy Spirit seemed to ebb from the first-century church, but the charismatic gifts of the Spirit never died out of the church altogether.
Founders and key leaders of many mainline denominational churches in the United States and the United Kingdom, such as John Wesley (founder of the Wesleyan and Methodist movements) and George Whitefield (a Presbyterian), were personally baptized in the Holy Spirit. These men witnessed the manifestation of the Spirit in countless ways in their revivals. What happened?
Perhaps we should ask the same thing of Pentecostal leaders today! There are many full-gospel or charismatic churches today in which the baptism of the Holy Spirit is rarely mentioned.
Christians who insist on explaining away the validity of God's promises limit themselves to receiving only a portion of His reward. But it is time to reclaim this gift that comes directly from the hands of Jesus Christ, the Great Baptizer.
The cost of rejecting this experience is a lifeless, fruitless, powerless church. But God is searching for people who are willing to lay down their theological arguments and receive His priceless gift of power as He extends it.
As for me and my house, we will believe the Word of the Lord from cover to cover. We will serve Him in the fullness of His promises and divine power. You can too!
Rod Parsley is the author of Ancient Wells, Living Water, published by Charisma House, from which this article is adapted.
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