After the cross, the most important doctrine in all of Christendom is the doctrine of the baptism or in-filling of the Holy Spirit. Yet, it is the most neglected and misunderstood of Christian beliefs.
The purpose of this book is to demonstrate that the filling of the Spirit is not merely a teaching to believe in but an enlightening, empowering encounter to be experienced each day. It is the throbbing heart of a vital, dynamic Christianity. It’s result is the establishment of a precious moment by moment intimacy, a constant union with God through Jesus Christ as we learn to become more God-conscious and to practice His loving presence.
This mystical, marvelous gift, won for you and me by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross as certainly as He won eternal life for us, is available to every believer right now, solely by faith in the One who promised it to us and who commanded us to receive it.
Goal: To move from a traditional doctrinal paradigm as the foundation of one’s religious experience to a new, relational-spiritual paradigm which recognizes that connection, moment by moment connection, with the Divine through the in-dwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, is everything.
Could it be that we are now approaching a time of major transition? A time of great spiritual awakening? A time when new dreams will be dreamed? Incredible, never-before-imagined truths revealed? Deeper spiritual levels accessed and experienced? A whole new spiritual paradigm introduced? This is indeed beginning to happen now as Christian consciousness rises as we move the foundation of our spiritual lives from law to grace, from rules to relationship, from dogma to devotion, from belief to experience.
I dare you to believe for yourself the words of the Master when He promised; “But when the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth.” John 16:13 Are you ready to begin to experience more joy, peace and love than you could ever imagine possible? Can you actually accept the fact that the kingdom of heaven begins now? Are you aware that you do not have to wait for the Second Coming to begin enjoying and experiencing it!
Warning to the reader: this is not a book for the spiritually faint of heart. It is intended to help you examine the very foundation of your spirituality. It is offered with the hope that it will assist you in daring to take the next step in your spiritual growth. (Baby step or quantum leap? That is up to you.) It recognizes that one of the things we all need most is the readiness to learn and experience something new. God is infinite! It is so exciting! Life is a great spiritual adventure! To seek the presence of God is the greatest adventure of all! There is always more of Him to encounter, more of His love and truth to experience! More of His power to tap! Every Christian should be an evolutionist! A spiritual evolutionist that is because truth is progressive The light is increasing! The Spirit is able to keep us in a place of constant growth and increasing enlightenment. Consciousness rising. That should describe your inner state. Like the man said in Romans 13:11, "…now it is high time to awake out of sleep."
This book will encourage you to stop depending on others and move on to spiritual maturity, to move on to being in charge of your own incredible, exciting, blossoming spiritual destiny! Religious stagnation or vibrant spiritual growth. Those are really the only two choices.
Here is the best summary I can give you of what is at stake in these pages. The New Testament teaches plain as day that every Christian is to seek and receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit as a definite experience. An experience beyond conversion, beyond the new birth, beyond water baptism, beyond salvation by faith. The baptism of the Spirit is simply put, the Spirit of God coming upon a person by that person’s full surrender of his or her will to God and specific invitation to the Spirit to live within in a new and powerful and mysterious way. It is a mystical experience. That is, it cannot be comprehended with the intellect or explained with logic or defined by dogma. Paradoxically, it is only in letting go of trying to explain or understand or make a doctrine out of the Holy Spirit that will allow one to experience it.
Sometimes one has to stop trying so hard to be filled with the Spirit and just allow it to happen. Surrender is always the path to the truly spiritual encounter. Permission is given to the Spirit to take possession of oneself, of one’s time, energy, talent, money. The seeker will receive a new and passionate love for Jesus Christ, a new personal intimacy with God and a gift or gifts not otherwise his or hers which will empower the person for the kind of unique loving service to others God calls them to.
The Holy Spirit is not a topic about which one can easily maintain a disinterested neutrality. In fact, it carries inherent within it the potential for radical inner transformation. The deeper more mystical truths and experiences of Christianity can indeed be very unsettling to someone leading a self-centered or complacent life, a life centered more on acquiring than serving. Here’s the big question for you personally when it comes to the Holy Spirit: Are you going to ignore it? Do you want to analyze it? Debate it? Or start experiencing it? I don’t want to just talk about the Holy Spirit or write about the Holy Spirit. I want you and I to experience the Holy Spirit. Now.
Let the journey begin! “If you then, being human and 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? Luke 11:23