Lightning Bolts from Pentecostal Skies – By Martin Knapp

Chapter 2

The Pentecostal Baptism

Someone has said that there is a scarlet thread running clear through the Bible, and that this thread is the blood of Jesus. There is another thread running through it. It is the white one of the promise of the Pentecostal outpouring of the Holy Ghost. Of all the promises of the Bible, God exalts this as “The Promise” of all the ages. Of this the prophets wrote and sang, and when the kingdom of heaven came its great prophet proclaimed not only the advent of the King, but the coming of the Holy Ghost. Above all other truths Jesus himself heralded the fulfillment of this promise, which should be the artesian well of water overflowing and transforming the deserts of sin and formality into gardens of Paradise. This incoming and indwelling, and cleansing and filling of the Holy Ghost was to be an epochal experience in the lives of his people. Among the many names divinely given it is that of a “baptism.” “He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire” (Matt. iii. 2).    It is a promised baptism. “I send forth the promise of my Father upon you” (Luke xxiv. 49). Even the promises which found fulfillment on Calvary are no more numerous or strong than those which center at Pentecost. (See John xiv 16; xv. 26; xvi. 13; Acts xviii and references) After such strongly repeated promises, God would cease to be God were they not fulfilled. The veracity of the Godhead is at stake; the Holy Ghost must be poured out upon the Church, or the Eternal Throne crumbles.

It is a commanded baptism. “Be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. v. 18). Believers are under as great obligations to obey this command as any other in the Bible. All who refuse to thus “tarry” until filled disobey God and imperil, not only their own souls, but those of all whom they might win if thus filled. We can not teach obedience unless we exemplify it. A citizen who disregards the supreme requirement of the government never would be commissioned to represent it. All who knowingly ignore this commandment are thus guilty. Hence multitudes of self-constituted ministers, where there should be God-called, heaven-qualified flames of fire.

It is a spiritual baptism. “John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence” (Acts i. 5). John’s was with water. This is with God. The disease which this baptism cures is spiritual, and deeper than skin, bones, blood and nerves. Hence the remedy must be spiritual and efficient. The dross which it is to eliminate permeates the entire soul so that nothing but celestial fire can melt and purge it. It is the glorious spiritual reality of which water is the outer sign.

It is administered by Jesus. “Being therefore by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath poured forth this, which ye see and hear” (Acts ii. 33). Hence all cavil at it, is cavil at him, All criticism of it, is criticism of Him. All opposition to it, is opposition to Him. As John administered water, so Jesus administers the Holy Spirit.

It is one baptism. Some have supposed the baptism with the Holy Ghost to be distinct from the baptism with fire — two baptisms, one with the Holy Ghost, and one with fire. That this is a mistake is seen from the fact that Jesus, in Acts i. 5, referring to the fulfillment of the promise, made no mention of fire at all, and that when it came the tongues of fire were simply attendants of the Spirit, and that it was never again repeated. Fire evidently was the outer token that the promise was fulfilled. When Jesus came, His advent was signaled by a star; when the Holy Ghost descended, His was by these tongues of fire. In answer to the question, “Is there a second baptism of fire for truly sanctified people?” Commentator W. B. Godbey says: “No. There is but one baptism (Eph. iv. 5). But you may have many revivals of the fire already in your heart. II. Tim. i. 6, Greek: ‘Therefore I remind thee to revive and refire the gift of God in you.’ Timothy had received the gift of the Holy Ghost, which is sanctification. Here Paul admonishes him to revive and refire it. The Greek anazoopureo, translated ‘Stir up’ in English, is from ana, again, Zooe, life, and pur, fire. Hence it means to revive and refire. These Scriptures certainly relieve us of the difficulties. If you have not received the baptism of fire, you are not sanctified. If the fire has gone out, you have lost your experience. Timothy was no backslider. He was in the sanctified experience. Yet Paul reminds him to revive and refire his experience. Regeneration gives life, and sanctification gives purity and energy. If Timothy needed showers from the heavenly ocean to revive the divine life in him, and showers of fire from heaven’s altars to keep his sanctification red-hot, would we not do well to profit by Paul’s advice to Timothy? The fact that you enjoy spiritual life does not contravene the conclusion that you can be refreshed and revived indefinitely. The fact that you have been baptized with the Holy Ghost and fire, and have the fire of God burning on the altar of your heart, in sin-consuming flames going through your entire being, does not disqualify you to receive more fire. Get hotter and more zealous for God and souls. We all, like Timothy, need to be ‘revived and refired,’ ever and anon, from God and of heaven. No danger of getting too hot.”

It is a verified baptism. When the “long looked for” day of Pentecost had come, and the conditions were all met, the promise was fulfilled; the baptism fell upon the waiting people, and they were all “filled with the Holy Ghost.” This, with Cornelius and his company (Acts x.), the Ephesian converts (Acts xix.), and with others, was repeated, making the early churches pre-eminently Spirit-baptized churches, and thousands of witnesses, some living, many now translated, attest to the same blessed baptism. Thus the reality of the baptism and its obtainability by the believer has been settled. In the months of multitudes of unimpeachable witnesses all has been established. It is a verified baptism.

It is a purifying baptism. Peter, divinely inspired, declaring the nature of its effect upon himself and others, said: “God, which knoweth the heart, bare them witness, cleansing their hearts by faith” (Acts xv. 8, 9). This is a deathblow to the popular notion that the baptism with the Holy Ghost does not eliminate carnality or inbred sin, but that one may be fully sanctified, and still have pride, lust, fear, envy, temper, impatience in the soul. No, no; a thousand times, no Away. forever away, with the travesty on the work of the Holy Ghost, which would thus paralyze His power to expel the hornet’s nest of depravity from the human heart. The purifying fire of the Holy Ghost eliminates all the dross of inbred sin, expels the seed of sin’s disease, ejects the “old man” of indwelling evil, and fully sanctifies the soul. As regeneration, of which water baptism is the type, purifies the outer life and washes away all actual transgressions, so this baptism, symbolized by fire, melts and burns until all inner dross is purged away, and the soul thus purified is made “whiter than the snow.” Glory!

It is an empowering baptism. It is the promised “power from on high,” the “power of the Holy Ghost,” eliminating the cancer of carnality that was sapping away the very citadel of the forces of spiritual life. It not only does this, but also imparts perfect soul-health; and not only this, but so enthrones Jesus within that His wisdom and power become continually available. Then when the enemy assaults or is charged, he finds One greater than himself or ourselves within, and in Jesus’ strength through this blessed baptism we become “more than conquerors.” This baptism transforms weaklings into giants, imparts all needed power to effectively witness, work, pray, preach, give, endure, deny, stiffer, sing, write, shout, vote, or die for God as He may will. Henceforth the soul is so “strengthened with all power, according to the might of His glory, unto all patience and longsuffering with joy” (Col. i. 2), that in Jesus’ name it is invincible.

It is a liberating baptism. Under its influence, the believer fully realizes “whom the Son makes free is free indeed,” and emerges from a lower plane into the “glorious liberty,” which is the privilege of every Christian. All bondage is henceforth broken. The soul at last is liberated. The cage of conventionalities and opinions and preconceived notions and dreaded censures is broken, and soaring away up into its native air, it mounts upon wings as eagles, and is sweetly, blessedly, fully free.

It is a joy-bringing baptism. It is included under the “these things” which Jesus revealed unto His disciples, that “their joy might be full.” God wants glad people. Sin has made them sad, the Holy Ghost will make them glad; so that, under all circumstances, the joy of the Lord is their strength, and they can take joyfully anything God sends or permits, from the snapping of a cur to the “spoiling of their goods,” or even the executioner’s ax.

It is a fear-dispelling baptism. Under its influence cowardly Peters became hold conquerors. Fear of the world, of the dark, of robbers, of poverty, of enemies, of death and the future, like howling wolves, all flee before the Pentecostal fire. The “perfect love” which it, and only it, imparts, indeed “casteth out all fear,” that we “may have boldness in the day of judgment.”

It is a carnality-killing baptism. In a preceding paragraph we showed that it cleanses from all inbred sin. A stronger figure is needed and given in the Word. Sin within is represented as being “dead,” that the “body of sin might be done away” (Rom. vi. 6). The electric current from the Pentecostal battery completely electrocutes the “body of this death,” so that the believer henceforth becomes dead indeed unto sin and alive unto God. It is as if a defiant and boastful robber, chained in the cellar, should suddenly be executed and his body ejected.

It is an establishing baptism. Its recipients become “steadfast in the faith,” “rooted and grounded in love,” “able, having done all, to stand.” It puts to shame the shallow counterfeit of holiness which imparts no backbone, and yields easily to enticements and opposition. The gifts of an empire, the allurements of pleasure, or threats or tortures of the world, can neither move nor confound those who possess this transforming gift. Hence the primitive preachers proclaimed this experience early to believers. If such a course, as many false teachers claim, is calculated to “discourage young converts” then the Apostles were guilty of a great wrong. How Satan delights to substitute the nonsense of the schoolmen for the practices of the Pentecostal Church. Multitudes of saints who might have been confirmed established, and mighty through God have been wrecked through this stratagem of hell. Somebody will have their blood to answer for at the judgment. The plea that one might be accused of being “cranky” or a “hobbyist” will bring little comfort then.

It is an exhilarating baptism. It caused such intense spiritual intoxication that the people thought its possessors were drunk. They laughed and shouted so uproariously that it brought multitudes of people to see the strange new sight. It so planted the ecstasies of heaven in human hearts heretofore strangers to such soul-thrilling vibrations that they could not control their transports, and evidently they did not care to. Doubtless Rev. I. Culture was confused and disgusted at such a spectacle, Rev. F. O. R. Mality was shocked beyond expression, and Mr. and Mrs. H. Y. Pocrisy could not conceal their rage, and the whole Love Sin and Self Indulgent families, then, as now, could not “see that there was any religion in it,” but the saints rejoiced, Peter preached, God took care of the consequences, three thousand were converted in a day, and heaven and earth rejoiced. The disciples were so “drunk” that they were oblivious to “reputation,” “dignitaries,” political and ecclesiastical perils and persecutors. Is not a joy like that worth having? How the devil and his aids would like to persuade us that this was only for ministers and primitive times! Woe to the sham preachers who are propagating such a lie!

It is illuminating. It clarifies the spiritual vision, so that great Bible truths, which before were seen only in dim outline, appear to be gigantic Rocky Mountain ranges; what before seemed like narrow channels and little lakes of grace are transformed into Amazons Niagaras and Atlantic Oceans. It puts people where they see in every sinner the possibility of a saint, and in every believer, of every clime and color, a near relation. It sweeps the soul suddenly into a glorious suntide of celestial light, where, walking in the light as God is in it, it realizes fellowship with Him and His family, and continually sees and feels and magnifies the cleansing blood.

It is the mainspring of true liberality. “Neither was there among them any that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet” (Acts iv. 34). Real Pentecostal fire consumes penuriousness and stinginess and closefistedness like a forest fire dry leaves. It melts the soul into a Pacific Ocean of divine love, on which fleets of salvation vessels continually move to save the lost. Niggardliness in a person who claims to have this baptism is like the eruption of small-pox on a man professing perfect health. (See chapter on “Pentecostal Giving.”)

It is a drawing baptism. “And when this sound was heard, the multitude came together” (Acts n. 6). For weeks people have en coming, afternoon and evening, to a Pentecostal meeting in this city. Where there is Pentecostal preaching, Pentecostal testimony, prayer, exhortation, convictions, conversions, sanctification, shouts, tears and triumph, there will the people be drawn together. A young man spoke in our yesterday’s meeting who had been drawn all the way from Pennsylvania, for he knew not what, until he received this baptism.

It is a convicting baptism. “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, Brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts ii. 37). This is a standing answer to the twaddle that this baptism should not be preached before the unsaved. Because John Wesley taught that only believers were eligible to this gift, many have perverted this into the error that the doctrine should not be preached in their presence. This is a device of the devil, as its preaching and testimony is one of the mightiest of convicting agencies, not only to unsanctified believers, but to the unconverted, as illustrated at Pentecost. How can a rebel be more effectively conquered than by telling not only of a pardon but of position and enjoyment in a life of complete loyalty? A drowning man will not slacken his efforts to board the life-boat if told that there is not only life in it, but clean clothes and an abundance of provisions. Conversion puts a man in the life-boat of salvation; this baptism clothes, arms, feeds and furnishes with a life-preserver. Hence its proclamation deepens conviction for these things.

It is a unifying baptism. “For in one Spirit were we all baptized into one body” (1 Cor. xii. 13). It burns away all barriers of creeds and color and clime, and cements in sacred bonds of holy love. Regeneration brings the believer into the family of God. This baptism eliminates all elements that would separate and alienate the members of the family. In meetings where this baptism is honored, all denominations mingle, of one heart and mind. Like a fierce, fiery furnace, it melts believers into one stream of liquid love.

It is essential to prevailing prayer. “For we know not how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which can not be uttered ” (Rom. viii. 26). Only Spirit-filled believers can be giants in prayer. Carnality in the heart, which is destroyed only by this baptism, obstructs the wires between the soul and God and often hinders communion with Him Spirit-filled, Spirit-prompted, Spirit-answered, is God’s order in the realm of prevailing prayer.

It is a tongue-loosening baptism. “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Wherever the waters of a Pentecostal experience are turned on, the wheels of Pentecostal testimony begin to move. It was so at the upper chamber, with Cornelius, with the Ephesian converts, and is in all instances where it is received. It is God’s cure for the spiritually tongue-tied and the spiritually dumb.

It is a confirming baptism. “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts ii. 42). Paul “confirmed the churches” by leading them to receive this experience. One reason why so many professed converts lapse is because so few ministers follow the Pauline example. And the reason why they do not follow this example is that they do not possess the experience. If all who aspire to be Johns and Pauls in leadership would actually follow their example in experience, they would swiftly lead multitudes up into the Canaan land of Pentecostal purity and power.

It is a soul-winning baptism. “And the Lord added to them day by day those that were being saved” (Acts ii. 47) It enables to so “teach transgressors’ that sinners “shall be converted unto God.” It is to real revivals what steam and fire are to the engine — the power that makes them go. The customary protracted meetings where this imperative Pentecostal condition is ignored thus advertise a deplorable lack of Scriptural knowledge and experience, and their meager, transient and frequently fraudulent fruits are a forceful comment on the folly of substituting human manipulation for celestial dynamos.

It is abiding. “That he may be with you forever” (John xiv. 16). The incoming of the Holy Ghost cleanses the temple and adorns it. This is the baptism with the Spirit. His indwelling, like the constant flow of an artesian well, keeps it clean. Unless the conditions of His remaining be violated, He will abide forever. The soul-temple was created for this, redeemed for this, and possessed by Him for this. He never will leave it unless He should be grieved away. (See “Pentecostal Light,” by Rev. A. M. Hills.)

It is essential to final glorification. “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwelleth in you, he that raised up Christ Jesus from the dead shall quicken also your mortal bodies through his Spirit that dwelleth in you” (Rom. viii. 11). Unless first baptized and purified by the Spirit, He can not dwell in us, and if He dwell not in us He can not quicken these bodies and glorify them when Jesus comes, and thus culminate and climax all the work of redemption which has preceded this.

It is a wonder-inspiring baptism. “And they were all amazed and marvelled” (Acts ii. 7). The multitude could neither understand the source of it nor the methods of its operations. “Spiritual things are spiritually discerned.” We have often seen crowds gather at Pentecostal meetings to look on with like amazement at manifestations which were Spirit-born. One of the proofs of the defectiveness of much which is now called Pentecostal is that it excites no wonder.

It is a perplexing baptism. And they were all amazed, and were perplexed, saying one to another, What meaneth this?” (Acts ii. 12). This baptism is supernatural. It is as mysterious as the incarnation of Jesus. It is as high above unenlightened human thought as the heavens are above the earth. Spiritual-minded people accept it and proclaim it as a divine revelation and work; unspiritual people, whether in the ministry and church or Out, try to analyze it, and are always amazed, perplexed and confounded at its essence and manifestations. As well attempt to fathom infinite space, or understand all the mysteries of creation, as for the natural man to know this work of God.

It is a derided baptism. “But others mocking said, They are filled with new wine” (Acts ii. 13). Derision is usually an advertisement of weakness and lack of argument. It is one of the world’s favorite weapons. It accused a Spirit-baptized people of being on a drunken spree. It attributed the work of the Holy Spirit to the work of unholy spirits. Modern formalists are guilty of the same Sin. If you laugh or weep or shout or leap under the effect of this new wine of the kingdom, marvel not if false professors at once turn upon you the gatling guns of devilish derision, and rejoice that you are in good company; for so persecuted they the prophets that were before you.

It may be quenched. “Quench not the Spirit” (1 Thess. v. 19). As water quenches fire, so the holy fire kindled by this baptism may be quenched by turning upon it the cold water hose of neglect of duty, failure to confess and disobedience to its promptings. (See “Quench not the Spirit,” by Rev. A. M. Hills.)

It is a death-dealing baptism. First, it electrocutes the “old man” of carnality in the believer’s heart; and, secondly, it, like a live electric wire, deals death to all who tamper with it. Witness the victim who tried to steady the ark, Korah and his companions (Numbers xvi.), Ananias and Sapphira and King Herod. It is far safer to play with lightning rods in a thunder storm than to oppose this baptism or any of its manifestations.

It is limited to neither rank, sex, office nor nationality. “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ. There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither bond nor free, there can be no male and female: for ye all are one man in Christ Jesus” (Gal. iii. 27, 28). The women received it at Pentecost, and are divinely exhorted to use the gifts which it imparts. Stephen was one of its first fruits among the laymen, and the baptism of Cornelius and his house is Heaven’s object lesson that it is for every name, age and nationality. Sammy Morris, the Kru boy; David of India, and Amanda Smith, the sanctified slave, are among the many modern proofs of this truth.

It is a transforming baptism. “Now when they beheld the boldness of Peter and John, and had perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus” (Acts iv. 13). It transforms spiritual weaklings into giants, spiritual simpletons into philosophers, spiritual cowards into fearless captains of King Jesus, that shout victory, breasting the combined assaults of men and demons, of church and state.

It is subsequent to conversion. It is promised only to God’s children. All whom the Scripture records as receiving it were already believers, like those at Pentecost, Cornelius and his family, the Ephesian converts, and others. All who really have it witness that they were convicted of the need of it, and received it after they were converted. To confound it with conversion is like confounding the planting of a garden with the destruction of the weeds in it. All who claim that the two are identical thus advertise both their own ignorance and lack of it, for all who feel its fiery flow have no trouble in telling the difference.

It is for believers only. “Whom the world can not receive” (John xiv. 17). “Now the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; and he can not know them, because they are spiritually judged” d. Cor. ii. 14). Both Christ and Paul agree that this baptism CAN NOT be received by worldlings. God builds His spiritual temples only on the foundation of a regenerate life. He resurrected Lazarus before He liberated him. He does not propose to cleanse and furnish the devil’s houses. John did not baptize corpses with water, nor will Jesus baptize dead souls with fire. Only believers living in the glorious light of conscious sonship of God received this baptism at Pentecost, or ever have since. Others “CAN NOT.” God says so. Hence the question is forever placed beyond controversy. Hence the folly of pressing it upon the unconverted inside of church membership or out. Yet it may be preached in their presence, and is one of the mightiest agencies for their conviction.

It is instantaneous. The three great works of Redemption which redeem man from the wreckage of sin, and restore him to final perfection are all instantaneous. First, the Birth of the Spirit which embraces the pardon of all his actual sins, the resurrection of his soul from spiritual death and the enrollment of his name in the Lamb’s book of life. Second, his final glorification when Jesus comes, by which all the effects of sin on his mind and body are to be eradicated, and his whole being celestialized. This is divinely declared to be wrought in the “twinkling of an eye.” Third, the baptism with the Holy Ghost, by which inbred sin is eliminated and he is filled with God. This, like the two other epochal works above mentioned, is always instantaneous. It is preceded and followed by gradual unfoldings and enlightenments, but is, in the very nature of the case, wrought in an instant.

The Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to his temple” (Mal. iii. 1). “And suddenly there came from heaven a sound … and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts ii. 2-4). It is represented as a baptism to be administered, a “gift” to be taken, “water” to be drank, medicine to be administered and a Person to be received. Hence, as quickly as one may be baptized with water, reach out the hand and take a present, drink a draught, or “open the door” and welcome a friend, just so quickly may this baptism be obtained, yea, even quicker, as spiritual movements are more swift than physical. Every Scripture example of persons receiving it like the commandments, promises and figures, which teach its obligations, proclaim its instantaneousness, while the experience of all believers in all ages, of all names and ranks, which have verified its reality, like a mighty Niagara, unitedly and overwhelmingly testify to the same fact. Satan, through the teaching of “gradualism” by befogged schoolmen, has beguiled multitudes into the malarious fogs of indefiniteness who otherwise might have been rejoicing on the mountain tops of Pentecostal victory. One reading of the Bible through should convince the most stupid that this glorious spiritual baptism can not be obtained by growth or death or works or degrees, but must be an instantaneous act administered by Him whose right it is to baptize believers “with the Holy Ghost and fire.” Beware, lest Satan and his preachers befog you, as all hell unite with him and his ministers to blind believers as to the present obtainability of this “inheritance of the saints in light.”

It is conditioned on absolute abandonment to God. “Given to them that obey him” (Acts v. 32). If the ore refuses to submit to the fire it never will become pure gold and receive the governmental stamp. The great Teacher can not award this great prize to refractory pupils. They may seek it, pray for it, fast for it and sacrifice for it, but while a spark of dictation remains it never will be bestowed. Whatever the will is set on must be relinquished to the wiser will of God. It may be a friend, or a position, or reputation, or an anticipated feeling or experience, or unwillingness to go to the altar or to meet some similar test. God must be obeyed or this baptism must be given up. It is divinely declared that only those who OBEY HIM can inherit this priceless legacy.

It is received by faith. “That upon the Gentiles might come the blessing of Abraham in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith ” (Gal. iii. 14). Like justification, this baptism is not through works nor growth, nor death, nor creeds, but THROUGH FAITH. As Israel crossed the Red Sea and the River Jordan by faith, so the penitent’s sins, through HIS FAITH, are drowned in the Red Sea of the Saviour’s blood, and the believer, by FAITH, sweeps triumphantly through the Jordan of death to carnality into the spiritual Canaan-land promised to all the true children of Abraham. It is only those who BELIEVE that enter in to this “rest.” When the soul dies to all but the will of God, drops every toy and treasure and grasps this promise in both bands with present abandonment to all of its conditions, then and thus its power is proved and benefits appropriated. Beware, reader, lest like backsliding Israel at Kadesh-barnea, you harden your heart by drawing back and so “enter not in because of unbelief.”

It is received by earnest asking. “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?” (Luke xi. 13).” “These all with one accord continued stedfastly in prayer” (Acts i. 14). Importunate, united, believing, expectant prayer was the key that unlocked the Pentecostal chamber, and it is the only key that will unlock it. Jacob-like, the candidate for this degree must pray and fast and plead, “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.” When God’s children, with a complete and reckless abandonment to Him, ask for this blood-bought gift, He will not say them nay. So His Word declares, Pentecost proves, and scores of living witnesses testify. Hallelujah!

The need of it must be confessed. Pardon and sonship are obtained on confession and abandonment of actual sins, and by faith in extended promises. The baptism with the Holy Ghost is received by the confession of inbred sin, death to everything contrary to God’s will, and faith in the promises which offer it. As water baptism is administered to a yielding subject by the baptizer, so this baptism from the skies is bestowed by Jesus upon all who meet the conditions upon which it is promised. It is not received by growth or works, but by meeting the conditions above named. Reader, are you meeting them?

It is an indispensable baptism. Else God would not have proclaimed it, provided it and commanded it; else Jesus would not have purchased it and stand ready to administer it to all who will meet its conditions; else the Spirit would not create a hunger for it, and deepen conviction for it until all other lights grow dim if it be not possessed. Without it the old serpent of inbred sin, with all his children — Pride, Unbelief, Fear, Envy, Unholy Temper, Impatience and Selfishness — will lurk and coil and hiss in the dark jungles of the unsanctified heart. Without it there may be love, but never perfect love; peace, but not perfect peace; joy, but not fullness of joy; boldness, but not without fear; patience, but not perfect patience; life, but not fire; growth, but not without disease. Without it God is displeased, His commandments and promises unappropriated, spiritual gold mines of opportunities neglected, and souls lost that, with it, might be won, and the believer a burden for others to nurse and carry, when he should be an electric motor, radiating spiritual light and heat and motion. Reader, have you received this baptism? Are you now enjoying its glorious impartations? Are you heralding its blessedness?