35. Fire

John the Baptist prophesied that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire (Matthew 3:11-12, Mark 1:7-8, Luke 3:15-17). Jesus said he had to go away before the Holy Spirit could be sent (John 16:7).

Later, after his death, Jesus told his followers to wait in Jerusalem and they would receive the Holy Spirit and power (Acts 1:4-8). They waited. On the Day of Pentecost, all were amazed when the Holy Spirit fell on each person in the group, with visible tongues of fire as confirmation (Acts 2:1-21, esp. verses 3 and 4). Christianity's validity and vitality depend on God baptizing all who seek this gift.

Two important things happen to every person who receives this spiritual experience. First, baptism with the Holy Spirit witnesses to the truth of Jesus (John 15:26,27). Jesus' promises about the Holy Spirit are fulfilled for you. Next, when God's power overcomes you, you are changed. Now you can witness to the reality of God from your personal experience.

Read these New Testament citations. If you believe them, you will become willing to receive the baptism with the Spirit. As you asked to be reborn in the prior section, ask God to baptize you with the Holy Spirit. Jesus said all you have to do is ask (Luke 11:9-13).

The Holy Spirit proceeds from God the Father and Jesus, God's son (John 14:12-17), so a prayer to the Father in Jesus' name is appropriate. When you seriously want this spiritual experience, ask and keep asking until you receive it (Luke 11:5-13; 18:1-8).

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