May 7, 2001 re-worked May 2003, re-edited again November 29, 2005
A certain preacher was speaking about how believers often are wanting what they don't need. This got my attention. He was speaking of the Crippled man, laying at the Beautiful Gate, whom Peter and John looked intently at and then healed in the Name of Jesus. The cripple was desirous for something less than his primary need. He wanted some money so that he could keep on keeping on, so he could eat and then be brought back to beg some more. At least the cripple was desirous for something secondary. We, sometimes, are worse than that. We often desire things that shouldn't even be on anyone's list!
We may lust after a sporty car, or we may notice an alluring face that tempts us, or we may see the man with that big roll of "greenbacks" from which he pulls out a hundred for the cashier. All of a sudden we are tempted to want something that we REALLY DON'T NEED. In fact that something could be the death of us if we should get it. It could be the death of us even if we only long for it.
Our fallen man, or fallen woman...our old-man, if we let the fallen old self live, that old man has many desires that are evil, selfish, perverted, wicked, wanton, unholy.
We must count the old-man, the old-woman as crucified with Jesus...dead. Too many of us keep giving the old man or the old woman CPR. We are laying hands on that old corpse and resuscitating it. You probably wonder how you could do such a wrong thing, unwittingly. But you can. Read on.
The Baptism in the Holy Ghost is the basic answer to the dilemma of how to have victory over our old self. Only when the Holy Ghost, the Holy Spirit of God, fills every nook of our being is our old-man totally crucified. We need that old self to get into the coffin and to be dead, forever dead! We need the Holy Spirit to cause our spirit-man to arise and our old man to decay.
With the Holy Ghost living in your inner being, you can have victory and start down the road to becoming an "overcomer," as described in Revelation chapters two and three.
Nevertheless, just having the Holy Spirit, when you are in a static, parked or unmoving condition, is NOT enough!! The Spirit-filled believer must be "...WALKING...in the comfort of the Holy Ghost..." [See Acts 9:31] "...WALKING...in the comfort of the Holy Ghost..." is when you daily, hourly, continuously seek God's face, when you read the Bible under the anointing of the Spirit of God, when you pray in the Heavenly language [See Jude 1:20] and also pray in your native language, when you think on heavenly things and obey God's leadings. Such activity feeds the spirit-man. Colossians explains this. We must "walk" in Christ. [See Colossians 2:6]
There is warning there in Colossians!! Why does Paul warn us to "walk." It is because the only way you can stay "in Christ" is to walk with Jesus. Jesus is on the move. The miracles of salvation and holiness are ONLY "in Christ." It is not in the World. Just as we are supernaturally "translated" into Christ [See Colossians 1:13] we can also park and find ourselves supernaturally fading out of Christ. Jesus is a moving target. And our job is not to hit HIM, like a gun shot, but to stay within HIM, like one rides in a passenger train.
Salvation and Spirit Baptism take a miracle to enter into and they take a miracle to maintain! We need maintenance, spiritual maintenance! That is why Philippians 2:12 tells us to "work out your OWN salvation with fear and trembling." The maintenance is up to us. Your car doesn't get oil and lubrication unless you take it in for regular maintenance. The responsibility is on the owner, not the dealership. It is up to you to seek God everyday!
Christians should be like sharks IN ONE WAY: always on the move. A shark is one kind of fish that can NEVER park or sleep. A shark's gills only work properly, giving him oxygen, when he is moving. Most shark breeds can NEVER stop. They must move forward from the moment of birth until they pass away! If you hold a shark still he will suffocate!
So it is with Spirit-filled believers. The moment you park, the moment you cut back in your devotion and obedience and communication with God your spirit-man begins to suffocate! Worse yet your old-man, in the coffin, starts to be resuscitated. And if you "dilly-dally" too long you will find that your old-man will arise and your spirit-man will faint. You will find yourself under a temptation that you cannot escape from or barely can escape from!
"Lord, sanctify us, purify us, separate us for YOUR purposes. Baptize us in the Holy Ghost. Let that vanity, that lust, that bitterness, that love of pleasures, immodesty, covetousness, jealously, hate, manipulation, flattery, gluttony, love of money, all those wicked works of the evil old-man, the evil old-woman cease! Lord, I curse those ways. May they DIE, that Jesus Christ may reign in glory in each of our temples!! And may we stay on the move for God!!! May we not regress, so that the old-man will decay in the casket and the spirit-man will go all-out for God."
The Bible teaches that this wonderful work of being Spirit filled has already been done in potentiality. Jesus has paid the price. But, it only exists IN Christ. We must come into THAT DOMAIN, that KINGDOM, totally into the depths of Christ's Kingdom, HIS heart!
We receive the Baptism by waiting and tarrying and seeking and believing for the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. It is a second, definite work of God's goodness and grace. When all the Lord's conditions are met we receive the in-dwelling and overflow of the Spirit of God.
Now, I must warn you strongly of a terrible trap. If you are seeking this wonderful second experience and you make that experience your goal you may never receive it! Why? Because the Baptism in the Spirit is a consummation of a marriage to God Almighty! You don't win your spouse's hand in marriage by badgering them to get married to you! Instead you seek them and woo them. You don't beg for the signing of the papers. You fall in love with the spouse and the formalization of the marriage is the next proper step. The experience cannot be your goal. The Lord, HIMSELF, must be your goal, more of HIM!!
If you are going to consummate a marriage with the Almighty and become truly and deeply one with HIM you must seek HIM, not the sanctification, not the in-filling. Otherwise you are just a "gold digger," begging for gifts from HIS hands and never seeking HIS face!
Some argue that "tarrying" is unneeded because the disciples did that long ago while they waited for the Holy Spirit to be given on Earth and that the Spirit is now here. So they will tell you that tarrying is not necessary. Yes, it is true that the Holy Spirit is now here and ready. But WE are not always ready! Remember you are not seeking HIS gifts you are seeking HIM and it is a courtship! It takes time to woo God!
God does not fill unprepared vessels!! HE does not fill proud vessels and unyielded temples! Tarrying is still necessary for US to be made ready. For some this may be a minute, but for others it may be years. If you don't believe this read your Bible and notice that Saint Paul had to tarry for three days before he was filled with the Holy Ghost. He didn't receive his Spirit baptism on the Damascus road!
After we receive the Baptism of the Holy Ghost we must then keep that Spirit-filled life by feeding the Spirit-man. So we "walk," through daily, godly activities; through prayer, through Bible reading, through using the gift of tongues to build up our spirit-man, through obedience, through seeking God's face daily, through regular and timely devotional times, through fasting, through private and group worship and praise. These things strengthen. They keep the spirit-man alive and well and they poison the old-man and keep the old-man dead and dying.
The World has no miracle from Heaven, but Christ Jesus does!! And HIS miracles are only IN HIMSELF. We are in the World, but not OF the World. And the reason we are not OF the World is because we are coming into the Kingdom of Jesus Christ....into HIM! IN HIM IS ALL THE FULLNESS of God. [See Colossians 2:9] Jesus is not just the second person of the Trinity. HE is the DOMINION, the DOMAIN, the Kingdom. [See Colossians 1:17] PLEASE read COLOSSIANS OVER AND OVER. Feeding the spirit man by walking with Jesus brings us deeper and deeper into Christ. Colossians has an answer that is needed in the churches today!
Seek HIS face...look seriously into this wonderful work, the fullness of the Holy Ghost: The Baptism in the Spirit.