How to receive and be filled with the Holy Spirit
In the scriptures, there are several ways that we are shown [that] we can receive the Holy Spirit or the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The number one way is an act of faith – when we receive the Holy Spirit, because He’s the bringer of the gifts. You see, [every time you receive the Holy Spirit] anybody who receives the Holy Spirit automatically [actually] has certain gifts of the Spirit. So, [but] after you’ve received the Holy Spirit, there are other gifts you might want. And the Bible says that the one who speaks in tongues should covet also to interpret [1 Corinthians 14:13] which means that we can ask God for the gift of interpretation. Then again, He tells us to all desire the gift of prophecy because the gift of prophecy is important in the Church of God. So he wants us all to have the gift of prophecy, which means you can ask. So you ask as an act of faith. Now, remember the words of Jesus, when He said “Ask, and ye shall receive; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”[Matthew 7:7] Then he says “Which of you, as a father, if his son should ask for bread would give him a stone? Or if a son should ask for fish, would give him a serpent or a scorpion?” Then he says, “If ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”[Matthew 7:9-11]. See, which means that when we ask, the Father can give us the Holy Spirit. So you can ask and receive the Holy Spirit.
Now, if you can ask and receive the Holy Spirit, it means you can ask and receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit. And you ask in faith, nothing wavering, as James the Apostle tells us [James 1:6]. When we ask, we must ask in faith, nothing wavering. Now, how do you ask in faith? It means that when you ask, you believe – like Jesus taught on the prayer of faith. He said “what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them” [Mark 11:24]. So when you pray or ask, believe that you receive and you shall have, which means when you ask God, you must have it in your mind that when you asked, He also heard you and granted your heart’s desire. And from then on, act by faith that you have received what you’ve asked for. So, that’s receiving as an act of faith, through prayer.
The other way is by the laying on of hands. Now, in the scriptures, we also find that the apostles had hands laid on certain people to receive the Holy Spirit. Plus that, they also laid hands on others and they received the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Some even were commissioned into the ministry through the laying on of hands. Now, even back in the Old Testament, the Bible does tell us that Joshua had the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him, which means that we can actually communicate (transfer) the gifts of the spirit through the laying on of hands. So, what I ask you to do is: get across to someone who already has the gifts of the Holy Spirit – maybe your Pastor, maybe the minister of God with you has the Holy Spirit (the gifts of the Holy Spirit); he can lay hands on you, and you will receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit. And even now, maybe when I begin praying, you can actually receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit when I pray for you. And, I would ask you that you get ready for that in a short while. We’ll minister to you.
Jesus said “…if you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Heavenly father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” [Matthew 7:11]. Now, one of the problems that we have observed around the world with a lot of people is that even after that they have asked for the Holy Spirit [some even have fasted and prayed for the Holy Spirit], they still, somehow, don’t believe they have received the Holy Spirit because they are listening for something. You know, maybe, thinking that a voice would just speak through them to speak in other tongues, particularly. They’re thinking a voice will just force their mouth open. They think “If I’ve received the Holy Spirit, then the Holy Spirit should speak through me and speak in tongues”. No! When we speak in other tongues, it’s not the Holy Spirit that’s speaking in tongues; it’s our spirit that’s speaking in other tongues. It’s our spirit – that’s what the Bible says. So, it says “If I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful” [1 Corinthians 14:14-15]. It is my spirit that is praying, and my understanding is unfruitful. So, [continues quoting 1 Corinthians 14:14-15] “What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also. I’ll sing with the Spirit, and I’ll sing with the understanding also.”So, it’s our spirit that prays in other tongues, not the Holy Spirit himself. But the Holy Spirit gives us the ability. He gives us the language. So when you receive the Holy Spirit, He puts that language in your spirit; He puts the ability within you. So don’t wait for a voice – act by faith! It’s like walking on water. You remember Jesus walked on water, and Peter said “Master, if you are the one, ask me to come to you on the water” and Jesus said “Come” [Matthew 14:26-29]. And Peter stepped out of the boat and walked on the water to go to Jesus. So that’s what you do – you step out in faith, like the Bible says, “Open your mouth, and I will fill it” [Psalm 81:10]. So you have to trust that when you asked God for the Holy Spirit, He gave you the Holy Spirit; you don’t need to ask twice. If you ask once, God hears you. He’s more willing to give you the Holy Spirit than you are willing to receive the Holy Spirit. Trust that, and so believe that, and act accordingly. And begin to say: “I have the Holy Spirit!”
Now, for example, did you know it’s the same faith that we exercise in salvation that we need to exercise in receiving the Holy Spirit? If I asked you now, “Have you received salvation?” You’d say “yes”. If I asked you, “Have you received Christ into your heart?” You’d say “yes”. Then, how do you know? You’d say “Because I asked, and according to the Word of God, I believed, and I received.” That’s the same thing you’re supposed to do about the Holy Spirit. See? And then He will confirm that faith by granting you his divine presence. Don’t wait till you feel something physical – you don’t need to feel anything physical. It’s an act of faith on your part, and it will be made real to your spirit. Praise God!