Baptism of The Holy Spirit
Thursday 14th November 2013 was the BEST DAY of my life!
Here's the reason why....
On Wednesday 13th November, I received a txt from my friend saying that Bill Subritzky was coming to my town the next day (Thursday 14th). Bill was an evangelist specialising in the healing ministry (see www.doveministries.com). My friend had never mentioned him before, but fortunately I had heard of Bill, so I knew who she was talking about. I texted back saying,
"He does healing doesn't he? Hmmm.. not sure if I will go; not my kind of thing"
It was too short a notice and I had already planned something else with my husband, Rob.
As I continued my work throughout the day, I found myself thinking why did my friend text me about Bill out of the blue like that? Could it be that God wanted me to go to his meeting? So, I prayed to ask God about it, and a gentle answer came into my heart, saying that I should go. So, I asked Rob if we could go to the meeting. His reply was a quick "no", it was too short a notice, and the meeting was not his kind of thing (so similar to my own response to my friend). However, he was happy for me to go to it - he would simply drop me off, wait in the car, and pick me up when I finished. I agreed, though disappointed with Rob not wanting to go.
Thursday morning came, I prayed to God to change Rob's heart to go. Then, as Thursday evening approached, I asked Rob if he would reconsider going. To my surprise, he said,
"Yes, I suppose I could go. I am not that tired from work as I usually am"
I could hardly believe my ears. Praise be to God for answering my prayer! So, we went to the meeting together; I had in mind to ask for a prayer of healing from an operation I had and to Rob's back problems.
As we were rather sceptical of healing meetings, we sat ourselves right at the back, by the aisle, to give ourselves the chance to "escape" without disturbing or drawing attention to ourselves.
The Scent of The Holy Spirit
Bill began his meeting by listing all manner of sins from which we could repent. The list was long, and I had done most on that list! So, I started repenting in my heart.
After this, Bill asked if anyone could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. He asked if we could smell His scent as quoted in:
All your robes are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Cassia is a beautiful-smelling flower, much like Jasmine.
Many put their hands up to say that they could smell Him. As for me, I smelled the scent of beautiful flowers, but with many women sitting in front of me, on my row, and the row behind, as well as those walking up and down the aisle, I couldn't be sure if I was smelling the Holy Spirit, or the perfumes of these women. So, I shrugged off the possibility of smelling the scent of the Holy Spirit.
The Wind of The Holy Spirit
Then, Bill asked if everyone could feel the wind of the Holy Spirit rushing through the whole place? A few people put their hands up. I felt nothing, Rob felt nothing, so we just sat there thinking either all these things are nonsense, or we were really missing out!
The meeting continued, Bill called up people with certain diseases and prayed over them for healing. He called out back problems for people such as Rob. So Rob was prayed for, but my conditions were never called out, so I never came forward to be prayed for.
The meeting was coming to an end, not everyone's sicknesses and diseases were called out, so Bill instructed the crowd that his assistants would be available for people wanting prayers. They were divided into four groups: Cancer, Addictions (such as alcohol, drugs, etc.), Healing (of other sicknesses), and Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Bill also told everyone that he had a sacksful of prayer cloths that have been prayed over to heal the sick (see Acts 19:11-12).
11 God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.
The prayer cloths contained the power of the Holy Spirit. He demonstrated this by calling someone up to touch the cloths. As soon as that person touched the cloths, his whole body shook like crazy - from head to foot.
As we witnessed the man's whole body shaking, Rob whispered to me,
"Do you think he's acting or he's genuine?".
I completely understood where Rob was coming from, I too have had the same thoughts many times before (I had been to similar meetings where there had been people shaking, and falling flat on their faces). I told Rob, I had no idea if it was genuine or not, but Jeremiah 23:9 did mention something to this effect. Nevertheless, even if it was something that could easily be faked (if anyone ever wanted to fake it, of course), the only way to know for sure was to experience it for ourselves.
My heart is broken within me;
all my bones tremble. (If your bones tremble, then your body will also tremble)
I am like a drunken man,
like a strong man overcome by wine,
because of the Lord and his holy words. (God's word is the Sword of the Spirit)
Baptism of The Holy Spirit
The meeting ended; people started to queue in all four different groups. I went to the Healing group to get prayed for my conditions. The prayer was quick, and nothing to write home about. Then Rob & I went to the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit" group. To my knowledge, Rob had never experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit, so I was set to get him there.
We were met by a lady who asked us what we wanted prayer for. I asked for Baptism of the Holy Spirit for Rob, and for myself, I asked for the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the anointing to cast out demons (seeing as I have had to do some work in this area already - see my other stories Daring Deliverance, and Wresting with Demons). So, she started to pray for us. As she did so, she asked if we could smell the Holy Spirit? Both Rob and I responded that we could smell a strong burning smell (which we knew was not what the Holy Spirit smell was supposed to be like). Later, I discovered that the burning smell was the smell of the Fire of God (but I didn't know this at the time).
As the lady prayed, nothing was happening. Then for some strange reason, she turned to me and said,
"There is something you are holding back"
I told her I couldn't think of anything that I was holding back. If I knew I would let it go (it turned out later that it was my doubt and skepticism that were holding me back). Anyway, the lady then told me to submit to God wholeheartedly. So, I said a silent prayer in my heart (that the lady could not have heard),
"God I submit to you, I give myself and my all to you, do whatever you want with me"
After this I heard the lady said,
"The Holy Spirit is coming; can you feel Him? He's coming on your feet"
Rob and I stood there, neither of us could feel anything on our feet; we were just normally standing. We looked blankly at her for a moment, but she kept smiling at me, saying once again,
"He's coming on your feet"
I thought she was being absurd, but then I started to feel a tingling on my feet. I said,
"Why, yes I feel something! It's like pins and needles!"
I was so surprised! What was happening to me?
The pins and needles got bigger and bigger, and I felt them travel up my legs. It was the most bizarre sensation! When they got to my knees, I realised I could no longer feel my legs, and I began to collapse. I could no longer stand.
"Ah so this is why I had seen people fall flat on their faces, now I understand. Goodness me, it was happening to me!"
Rob quickly held me up on my left arm, whilst the lady held me up on my right. Then she said,
"You will feel the Holy Spirit going through every part of your body now, and you will feel His heat"
I started to feel hot, I was sweating, sighing, and groaning. It was almost as if I was out in the scorching sun getting burned (though it was not painful at all). All the while this was happening to me, I remembered thinking,
"Lord you are baptising me with your Holy Spirit! I thank you Lord, but I want this to happen to Rob more than I do to me"
Nevertheless, the experience continued on me, so I just went with it.
I began to mutter many things - the sins of my youth, the many Christians that have hurt me, my health condition, my father who had cursed me when I was younger. I was in tears, repenting, and unloading big time! The lady then prayed for the curse that my father had laid upon me to be forever broken, as I cried out,
"God, I forgive my father with all my heart. I love him Lord, please also forgive him."
While all these things were happening, my left arm (that Rob was holding) began to shake all by itself (my right arm that the lady was holding was perfectly fine). I could not control the shakes. At that moment, I knew then that the man whose whole body was shaking earlier on stage, when he was holding the prayer cloths, was for real - it was genuine, he was not making it up. Now I know what it felt like. The Lord had been gracious to let me experience it, and to confirm that the power of the Holy Spirit could make a man shake. Then, I realised why it was only my left arm that was shaking; it was to be a witness to Rob (since he was holding it). Rob would know that as his faithful wife, I would never make up something like this. So, his skepticism about the shaking was also dispelled. Praise be to God!
After a while, things began to calm down. The lady asked me if I could smell the Holy Spirit. All of a sudden, a beautiful scent of flowers brushed up against my nose.
"Yes, yes, I can, It's the same smell that I smelled when I sat earlier at the back!", I exclaimed.
"Hah, so it was the Holy Spirit I smelled before, not the perfumes of those ladies, after all!"
Very soon after this, I also felt a rush of wind blowing onto my face, my hair even moved!! I knew then I had also felt the wind of the Holy Spirit. I felt so blessed, so humbled that the God of the universe should come inside me to cleanse me, and empower me with His Holy Spirit. Praise be to Him forever and ever! Amen!
The shaking stopped, and I was once again able to feel my legs. The lady ended the prayer session by praying for both of us. I was gutted that nothing happened to Rob, but felt God saying to me that Rob's time will come. His heart was not yet ready at this time. Rob did enjoy himself though; it was interesting and different for him. Rob especially loved being in a room of hundreds of Christians from different nationalities, all believing in Jesus; all in unity.
We walked to the car to go home, the tingling on my feet was still there, right up until the time I went to bed. I never felt so happy in my life. It was indescribable, beyond words, out of this world! I came to the meeting tonight to be healed, but instead I received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit which was far more than what I could have ever expected. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit was better than the healing I was seeking. It was priceless, worth more than all the gold and precious jewels in the world - because it was God's manifest presence filling my physical body.
This Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the baptism spoken by John the Baptist:
7 And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I baptise you with water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.”
Many Christians have had the baptism of water, but not of the Holy Spirit. Many had never even heard of Baptism of the Holy Spirit, or even sure whether they have had such a baptism. Jesus encouraged us all to ask Father God for His Holy Spirit:
If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
For more information on the study of the Holy Spirit (including Baptism of the Holy Spirit), I recommend the excellent sermons of David Pawson on this subject:
David's sermons give amazing insights into the Holy Spirit which you may find interesting and enlightening; they certainly did for me.
© Elma Larsen. All rights reserved.