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Signs of Receiving the Holy Spirit

1. Introduction


The transformation brought about by the Holy Spirit in Jesus' disciples is truly remarkable. It turned them from fearful individuals who abandoned Jesus in His time of need into bold advocates and proclaimers of God's plan for humanity's salvation. Their understanding of Jesus' teachings, once incomplete, became deep and insightful, allowing them to interpret his parables with unprecedented clarity. James and John, who once sought positions of power, became fervent evangelists spreading the message of God's kingdom far and wide. The Holy Spirit played a crucial role in this incredible change, as detailed in the book of Acts. It empowered the disciples to remember and fully grasp everything Jesus had taught them, guiding them in their mission to spread the gospel. The impact of the Holy Spirit on Jesus' followers cannot be overstated.


Are you unsure whether you have truly experienced the Holy Spirit's presence? Or are you curious about what to expect when the Holy Spirit comes into your life? This article aims to guide you in recognizing the distinct signs of receiving each of the nine gifts and manifestations of the Holy Spirit. For those who have not yet welcomed Him, it will ease any apprehension or doubt about whether God intends for you to receive the Holy Spirit, and whether He will indeed bestow Him upon you. While each individual's encounter with the Holy Spirit is unique and personalized based on their character, knowledge, abilities, and talents, there are common physical and mental indications that accompany the reception of each gift or manifestation. To provide insight, this article will be divided into 10 sections that explore the signs of: conviction, fear, response, prophecy, tongues, interpretation, miracles, knowledge, discernment, and love. Ultimately, we will examine the purpose behind the Holy Spirit's presence, with the hope and prayer that this discussion on the signs of His empowerment will encourage many to finally invite Him into their lives.


1.1. Importance of the Holy Spirit


One effective solution to address this issue is through offering training sessions such as seminars focused on "Receiving the Fullness of the Holy Spirit in Our Lives", which should involve participation from Christian leaders and church workers. Additionally, organizing chain fasting prayers can be a specific way to seek out the gifts of the Holy Spirit. When individuals exhibit actions such as speaking in tongues, making prophecies, healing, or sharing testimonies, these are clear indications of the Holy Spirit's presence. Embracing these gifts can result in significant life changes, a deeper desire for prayer and Bible study, an eagerness to spread the message of God, the ability to worship and praise the Lord, strengthened faith, increased humility, kindness, self-discipline, a willingness to serve others with love, and displaying the fruits of the Holy Spirit in daily life.


The Holy Spirit plays a crucial role in strengthening the faith of Christian believers. It serves as a guide in spiritual life, purifies the body, soul, and spirit, leads individuals to God's teachings, and manifests the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Upon publicly confessing faith in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit enters a Christian through the laying on of hands after receiving baptism. Since the time of the apostles, this act has also revealed the spiritual gifts within believers, such as speaking in tongues, prophecy, and healing. However, in modern times, the practices of early Christians have significantly shifted. How can we address this issue and restore the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives?


1.2. Overview of the Signs


The inquiry also delved into the essence, identity, and purpose of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is an integral part, symbolizes, and embodies God and His Will, Kingdom, Truth, Word, and Power. It can be perceived in various forms such as a bird, dove, star, light, fire, flame, or even a gentle touch. Through sensations like warmth, tingling, burning, or goosebumps, individuals can experience the presence of the Holy Spirit in the forehead, head, face, mouth, hands, or other body parts. The Holy Spirit is also symbolized as anointing oil, water, and cross, while its presence can be heard through sounds like rushing wind, loud noises, or complex sounds.


This research emphasizes the significance of categorizing the indicators of receiving the Holy Spirit based on the occurrence, timing, outcomes of the experience, and the emotions felt by the individual receiving the Holy Spirit. This classification is essential for helping new believers comprehend the distinct qualities of the Holy Spirit's work so they can demonstrate them and introduce others to the Holy Spirit. For instance, the initial indication of receiving the Holy Spirit, which represents the new life granted through the Holy Spirit, is the sensation of tasting something in the mouth. This sign not only encompasses the essential elements of the Holy Spirit's work but also signifies the Holy Spirit's presence as the divine breath received by the original apostles in the form of tongues of fire or small stars in their mouths.


2. Biblical References


The prophecy of Joel and Peter foretold a time when individuals of all ages and backgrounds would be filled with the Spirit and prophesy. This prophecy came to fruition on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was poured out and everyone present began to prophesy. People from different nations were amazed to hear others speak in their own languages, praising the greatness of God. This was a powerful demonstration of the Holy Spirit's presence and the fulfillment of ancient prophecies.


When the Holy Spirit comes down upon a person, it is in two different forms. In the first scenario, the Holy Spirit takes control completely, with the individual having no say in the matter. This type of experience involves speaking in new languages or delivering prophecies right away. This article focuses on this initial type of encounter. The most significant indication that the Holy Spirit has entered a person is the immediate display of speaking in tongues or prophesying. The Bible provides countless examples of this manifestation of the Holy Spirit's presence.


2.1. Act 2: 4 Speaking in Tongues


Why is speaking in tongues important? According to 1 Corinthians 14:22, tongues are a sign not for believers, but for non-believers. Without this gift, verses 10 and 11 in the same chapter would be meaningless. Imagine someone speaking to you in a language you don't understand - they would seem like a stranger. However, if the same person spoke in English, you would be able to comprehend their message. Speaking in tongues is sought after because it is the only clear indication of being baptized by the Holy Spirit. This is why Paul emphasizes its importance, along with references in the book of Acts and other scriptures.


Speaking in tongues, a clear indication of being baptized in the Holy Spirit, showcases a remarkable ability to communicate in unfamiliar languages. It is intriguing to note that those speaking in tongues were able to converse in languages recognized by the listeners, despite being ordinary individuals from Galilee. This extraordinary phenomenon left the witnesses in awe, leading them to glorify and exalt God for the incredible display of linguistic prowess. Such a gift of speaking in tongues is undeniably a manifestation of divine intervention, granting believers the miraculous capability to converse in authentic languages understood by others.


2.2. Galatians 5:22-23 Fruits of the Spirit


Having joy in our hearts is a clear indicator of the presence of the Holy Spirit. It's that overwhelming feeling of happiness that can't be contained, like a song bursting forth from within us. Take, for instance, the joyful song of praise sung by Mary in Luke 1:46-55, celebrating the Lord during her visit with Elizabeth. Acts 2:4 also shows us how the disciples were filled with joy on the day of Pentecost, as they gathered and were empowered by the Holy Spirit to speak. Let us never underestimate the power of joy as evidence of the Holy Spirit's presence working in our lives.


One clear indication that the Holy Spirit is within us is our ability to show love. This divine presence is evident when we embody love in our actions, reflecting the characteristics of love that are emphasized in the Bible. Failing to demonstrate love causes this light within us to dim. As Jesus emphasized in Matthew 5:16, it is crucial to let our love shine through our good deeds so that others may witness and give glory to our Heavenly Father.


The virtues that the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) brings are essential for a harmonious and fulfilling life: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These qualities are invaluable and cannot be constrained by any law.


2.3. John 14:26 - The Helper


Jesus reassures his followers (John 14:26) that they will never be left alone in times of struggle. He pledges to send the Paraclete (Greek), also referred to as the Holy Spirit, to provide them with guidance. Jesus clarifies that the Father will dispatch the Holy Spirit to serve as a replacement for him. This divine presence will serve as an educator for the disciples, motivating them to stay united and seek wisdom and moral conduct.


This passage builds upon the idea presented in the previous one, emphasizing the importance of the disciples recalling the teachings of the Lord. The Helper, who is revealed as the Holy Spirit sent by the Father in Jesus's name, is the same Helper mentioned in John 14:16-17. This divine presence is promised to remain with believers for an extended period, spanning across all generations. Acting as the Helper, the Holy Spirit guides and reminds the disciples of Jesus's teachings, offering practical assistance in applying these lessons to their daily lives. By doing so, this verse underscores the vital role of the Holy Spirit in aiding believers in their everyday experiences and assisting them in grasping the scriptures, a central theme of the passage. Ultimately, having the Holy Spirit in one's life grants the disciple immediate access to all of Jesus's promises and words, ensuring a close connection to his teachings.


3. Understanding the Signs


In order to truly comprehend the signs, it is crucial to grasp the transformative experience that occurs when one receives the Holy Spirit. The Spirit does not simply enter your physical body (although many do feel its presence on a physical level). According to the Bible, the Holy Spirit is poured into the very essence of one's being - their heart. Your heart is in fact your spirit, the core of who you are within your physical form. When the Holy Spirit enters your spirit, a rebirth takes place. Your spirit is now infused with the divine life of God, no longer a mere empty vessel housed within your flesh, indistinguishable from the spirit of an animal. This divine life within your spirit cannot remain hidden. In the scriptures, it is often depicted as a flowing river, a consuming fire, a mighty wind, or a surge of new vitality. These are just a few ways to phenomenologically describe the profound impact of having one's spirit suddenly filled with the life and power of God's Spirit.


If you've ever felt drawn to experience the powerful baptism of the Holy Spirit, you may be curious about the clear signals that indicate you have indeed received Him. While many anticipate speaking in tongues right away, this is just one of the many signs that accompany the baptism with the Holy Spirit. Understanding what to expect can help alleviate any uncertainties that may arise. The Bible outlines several consistent signs that manifest in various ways when one has truly received the Spirit, making them a reliable guide for all believers. Furthermore, it also highlights potential obstacles that could hinder the Spirit's flow or indicate that one has not yet been filled. It's essential to be aware of these signs and indications as we delve into this transformative experience.


3.1. Discerning Spiritual Gifts


When you start to notice the Holy Spirit gifts manifesting in your life, one of the first signs will be a supernatural understanding of the Bible. Concepts that once seemed confusing will become clearer, although you won't have all the answers. God does not grant you omniscience, but He reveals things to you in His own time and manner. Along with this deeper understanding, the Holy Spirit may bless you with spiritual gifts like healing, speaking in tongues, prophecy, and more. These spiritual gifts are outlined in 1 Corinthians 12, providing a guide to recognize them. In the book of Acts, the experiences of believers highlight the manifestation of these gifts, with speaking in tongues and prophecy being common occurrences. Notably, Acts 12:12 shares the story of Lydia, who embraced Paul's teachings and opened her home to believers. This account suggests she was ready to receive the Holy Spirit. Similarly, after Philip baptized new believers in the name of Jesus Christ, they received the Holy Spirit, leading them to speak in tongues and prophesy. This demonstrates how the Holy Spirit empowers believers to spread the message of God in various ways.


3.2. Surrendering to God's Will


Dedicated church members are already fully committed to carrying out God's wishes (Romans 12:1-2). Those who claim to be believers or members of the church, but do not prioritize following God's plan (Matthew 7:21-23, Hebrews 10:25), leaves a lot of questions. According to the Bible, someone within the church who claims to be reborn but refuses to adhere to God's will is considered spiritually stagnant. The Father's desire is for us to have faith in His son, Jesus Christ, be baptized with water and the Holy Spirit, pursue holiness, and ultimately enter His kingdom as holy beings. By following God's plan, we gradually develop a deeper trust in Him, as faith is essential for entering the kingdom of God. Let's not forget that Adam and Eve lost their way due to a lack of faith. By submitting to God's will, we strengthen our ability to trust and believe in Him, as stated in Hebrews 11:3, and we must actively seek God in order to receive His promised blessings.


The act of surrendering one's will to do God's will is a crucial step towards truly being born-again and Spirit-filled. Jesus emphasized the importance of this by knocking insistently on the door of the lukewarm Laodicean Church. This serves as a wake-up call for believers who may be lacking in zeal and dedication. It is clear that without true repentance and a firm commitment to follow God's will, one cannot claim to be born-again or Spirit-baptized. Believers must persevere and remain faithful in order to secure their salvation. It is essential to keep striving to enter through the narrow gate to inherit the kingdom of God in the second coming. Let us not risk being barred from entering by neglecting this call to dedication and devotion, as the Bible warns us.


4. Conclusion


The evidence of the Holy Spirit's presence can be clearly measured in this new awakening. According to 1 Corinthians 14:24-25, those who truly recognize Him are filled with conviction and insight, revealing the secrets of their hearts. When someone encounters individuals who are guided by the Holy Spirit, they are compelled to worship God and acknowledge His truth. One of the most unmistakable signs of being a child of God is a genuine love for Him. The strongest indicator of God's blessings and growth in a community is the outward expression of love shown through the actions, gifts, and services of those who are influenced by the Holy Spirit.


In essence, accurately conveying God's word relies on interpreting and grasping His Word correctly. It is crucial, therefore, that we seek God’s guidance to acquire the right knowledge, understanding, and interpretation of His Word as inspired by the Holy Spirit after being born again. When a person is filled with the Holy Spirit after experiencing revival, others are deeply impacted by the new power that demonstrates the presence of the Holy Spirit and the unveiling of His Word. Consequently, a powerful revival takes place as new believers receive continuous empowerment through comprehension and application within the growth of this 'life-giving stream of the Holy Spirit'. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit can be attributed to the revelation and understanding of the transformed Gospel of Jesus Christ, which results in a profound change in the lives of individuals who have the Holy Spirit working within them, and in the operations of the Holy Spirit itself, leading to the conviction, persuasion, and transformation of sinners.


4.1. Embracing the Holy Spirit's Work


It is imperative for every believer to embrace the power of the Holy Spirit in order to exercise their faith in the teachings of God. The Holy Spirit's guidance offers crucial direction in various situations and equips individuals to lead a steadfast and well-structured Christian life. Just like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob diligently followed the Holy Spirit to achieve success, believers today can also tap into this power by fully embracing the Holy Spirit. It is crucial for every Christian to invite the Holy Spirit into their lives right after experiencing spiritual rebirth.


Embracing the influence of the Holy Spirit signifies that the individual will experience a triumphant, conquering existence as a Christian, reminiscent of the lifestyle of the apostles in the book of Acts. The apostles led a life characterized by victory and triumph as followers of Christ because they wholeheartedly accepted the guidance of the Holy Spirit. In contrast, many believers find themselves living with a limited understanding of their faith because they have not fully welcomed the Holy Spirit into their lives. Therefore, immediately after conversion, it is essential for believers to embrace the Holy Spirit in order to attain strength and direction in their spiritual journey, enabling them to embody a life marked by triumph, faith, and blessings.


May the peace of God dwell within you throughout this week. If you've been touched by today's message and wish to explore deeper faith, join us for Sunday services at AFM in Canada. Together, we can grow in love, strengthen our community, and uplift each other in our spiritual journeys. We look forward to welcoming you into our family. Blessings and grace be upon you.

 

Senior Pastor

Leo T Mukumba

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