How To Receive The Holy Ghost
By Bennie Demerchant
The Overseas Ministries of the Foreign Missions Division sent Evangelist Lee Upton on request to Amazonas, Brazil, for four different local church evangelism crusades with resident missionary Bennie DeMerchant. In these local church meetings over nine hundred Amazonian believers received their personal baptism of the Holy Ghost.
In response to a pastor’s question, Brother DeMerchant wrote this article on five basic biblical factors he observed in individuals as they prayed to receive the Holy Ghost. This article is written to help others to create the atmosphere in which they will receive the Holy Ghost.
THE “THREE PERSONS INVOLVED in your birth into the New Testament church
are: YOU are to repent of your sins; YOUR PASTOR will baptize you by immersion in water in the name of Jesus Christ for their cancellation; and JESUS will baptize you with the Holy Ghost. The baptism of the Holy Ghost will be the greatest present you will receive on this planet!
If you have not already repented of your sins, do not hesitate any longer. If your pastor has not baptized you in water in Jesus’ name (Acts 2:38), make arrangements with him to do so immediately. You are to take these two steps in preparation for the baptism of the Holy Ghost.
As you seek to receive the Holy Ghost, there are five basic things you should do. These are so simple that you can check them off mentally with the fingers of your hand. Yet these are so vital that they all must be combined when you pray. If you miss one in this biblical combination, you may miss your opportunity to be born of the Spirit. As an automobile needs an engine, fuel, oil, transmission and wheels to operate, these basics, which are discussed below, are required of those who seek the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Desire the Gift of the Holy Ghost
You must have such a strong, overwhelming desire to receive the Holy Ghost that you will press your way to God in prayer. This desire will help you forget all who are around you and how you may appear to others when you pray. Jesus said that when you hunger and thirst after righteousness, you will be filled. The Holy Ghost Baptism is as a pearl of great price, the object of your present needs.
“The law and prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it” (Luke 16:16).
You must give yourself totally to a desire to receive the Holy Ghost
Think on the Lord
When you pray, you must bring your thinking into focus. You may discover that as you pray, your mind will want to wander to things you failed to do during the day; all kinds of thoughts may come to your mind until what you say may become no more than empty and vain repetition. But you must resist this trick of the devil. You must keep your mind on the Lord Jesus. It is commanded that you love the Lord with all your mind.
If your mind is not captured and brought to synchronize with the words you say, then you are not praying but merely repeating phrases. You must put all thoughts of your activities-past, present and future-out of your mind and think only of Jesus who died on the cross to purchase your salvation, to bring you the gift of the Holy Ghost. When you really concentrate on doing this while praying, your next step will be easy.
Praise God From Your Heart
It will be easy to praise the Lord when gratitude fills your soul as you think on the fact that Jesus went to the cross for you. In the environment of genuine praise, God can perform His will in you. We are to offer Him a sacrifice of praise: “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name” (Hebrews 13:15). It is hard work for a tired body to offer wholesome praise, but you are exhorted to offer a sacrifice of praise. It is praising God when you are tired that pleases God, and He will reward you with His blessings.
I have seen many services start in a “cold turkey” manner with tired bodies and high tropical temperatures outside the church building and still much hotter inside. Yet out of this sleep-conducive atmosphere a leader starts to encourage the people to praise the Lord. At the beginning it appears difficult, but soon the refreshing comes with waves of glory.
The stage for the Day of Pentecost was set by those who obeyed Him, returning to Jerusalem where they praised and worshiped Him with great joy and with one accord.
Speak the Praise of God
It is impossible for a person to praise the Lord with all his soul, heart, mind and strength without using his voice. Praises that emanate from the inner soul of the seeker in sincerity must be spoken for them to be complete. People hear the praises! The angels hear them! But best of all the Lord hears them.
When God fills your empty vessel with the Holy Ghost, you will experience joy unspeakable and full of glory! And this joy will be expressed in your speaking in tongues by the inspiration of the Spirit.
Due to fear, many who want to receive the Holy Ghost often muffle their praises to God by praying with their mouths closed or almost so. Some will even try to pray through their teeth. Like the driver with no muffler on his jalopy driving by a police station, they go along easy lest they have to pay a fine for making too much noise. However, if you are to receive the Holy Ghost, you must open your mouth and remove all “mufflers” from your praises.
Of course, the Lord has baptized people in a hospital in their weakened condition when they were hardly able to whisper. He knew that was all they had!
Praises are not complicated but are simple words and phrases such as “Hallelujah,” “I love You, Lord Jesus,” “Thank You, Lord,” “Glory to God,” “Praise God,” and “I praise You, Jesus!” If you have repented, you need not tell the Lord your life’s history or beg Him for the gift of the Holy Ghost. You must believe that God has forgiven you of your sins and that He wants to fill you with His Spirit.
As you intensely praise the Lord, you will probably feel a great inner joy and happiness. Do not be afraid of this feeling or that you will lose control of your actions. God will take care of you as He makes you a new person, changing you into His image. Press on with praises! Let God perform His miracle in you. When God fills your empty vessel with the Holy Ghost, you will experience joy unspeakable and full of glory! And this joy will be expressed in your speaking in tongues by the inspiration of the Spirit.
Believe that God Will Fill You with His Spirit.
Do not entertain the thought that you will receive the Spirit in the next service. The Holy Ghost baptism is for you now. Right now! Why Not? He is everywhere present all the time!
Little children begin to learn a language by repeating words long before they know their meanings. Their early expressions may be stutterings, stammerings, or the repeating of one-syllable words. Many times when we are intensely praising the Lord in worship, we may forget where we are and begin to stammer the way a small child does. Later we may notice that our speech has changed and we start saying words we do not understand. At this point, we must not let personal pride cause us to revert back to our standard words of praise. For Jesus said, “Except ye be converted, and ye become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3).
Isaiah spoke of the time of the baptism of the Holy Ghost as following: “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest. . .and this is the refreshing” (Isaiah 28:11-12). When you are praying and begin to speak or think strange words, do not recoil in doubt but continue to speak in faith what the Spirit inspires you to speak. The Bible says that those present in the upper room were “filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4).
The biblical common denominator of the Holy Ghost experience is that all the recipiants spoke with other tongues (languages). When you begin to speak strange words, you should not fear, for this is the work of God. He is filling you with the Holy Ghost.
When I received the Holy Ghost, the problems of life still came. After a few days of troubles, I even wondered if I had been baptized with the Spirit. At the next opportunity in church, however, I received a renewal with such power and victory and speaking in tongues that I literally shook my finger at Satan and called him a liar. I knew that I had received the Holy Ghost just as they did in the Early Church. I knew that the Bible record and promises are true. I heard myself speaking in other tongues. It was real, powerful, and victorious!
On four or five occasions on the mission field (once in the middle of the jungle), I have heard nationals speak praises in perfect English or French when they received the Holy Ghost. I heard one jubilantly declare in English, “I have just received the Spirit and Christ is coming!” Another one said in French, “My great God!” God!”
Speaking in tongues is a heavenly language that belongs to a celestial country. Whether a person speaks many different words and long phrases in tongues or short phrases in tongues repeatedly, he will speak with other tongues by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost when he is filled. Everyone receives the “well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14).
The prophet Isaiah declared that stammering lips and other tongues is the sign of the rest given by Jesus, the Spirit-Baptizer. (Compare Matthew 11:28 with Isaiah 28:11.) When you hear yourself speaking in other tongues, you can know that you have received the Spirit, for you have the same conclusive evidence as they did at Pentecost and throughout the New Testament up to this day! (See Acts 10:46.)
The Apostle James wrote that of all the members of the body the most difficult to tame is the tongue. When a person repents of his sins in faith, he is preparing his body (house) for the occupancy of the Holy Ghost. The “strong man” of the physical “house” is the tongue. When he yields his tongue to the Holy Ghost in intense desire, thinks on Jesus Christ, praises Him with his voice, his “strong man” (tongue) of his physical house is subdued by the “stronger man” (Holy Ghost) who comes in with His righteousness, joy and peace (Romans 14:17). You and those around you will know that you have received the Holy Ghost when your tongue comes under subjection of the Spirit, who will speak through you with “stammering lips and another tongue.”
The Above Material Was Published By The Pentecostal Herald, Vol. 58, No. 9., Pages 18-20. This Material Is Copyrighted And May Be Used For Study & Research Purpose Only.