Seven Steps To Receiving The Holy Ghost
by Kenneth Hagin,
These next two lessons have a twofold purpose: to help those who have not yet received the infilling of the Holy Ghost, and to help Spirit-filled believers who pray with those seeking to receive the infilling. Any lay member can take these seven steps and help anyone get filled with the Holy Ghost right away. I share here the seven steps which I have used in my revival meetings across the country to helps seekers receive the Holy Ghost.
STEP 1 — THE GIFT HAS ALREADY BEEN GIVEN
Help the candidate see that God has already given the Spirit, and that it is up to that person to receive the Gift now. Above all, help him see that he is not to beg God to fill him with the Holy Ghost. That promise was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost. The Holy Ghost came then and has been here ever since. After that God hasn’t given the Holy Ghost to anyone, but people have received the Holy Ghost.
For example some nineteen or twenty years after the day of Pentecost we read in Acts 19, ” Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy ghost? He said, “Have ye received …?” And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost … And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them.” Paul didn’t teach them to pray that God would give them the Holy Ghost, but the “Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.”
Notice in the eighth chapter of Acts — eight years after the day of Pentecost –
“Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost (Acts 8:14-15). They didn’t pray that God would give them the Holy Ghost. They prayed that they might receive the Holy Ghost. Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost” (Verse 17). God hasn’t given the Holy Ghost to anyone since the day of Pentecost, but people have received Him. He is here for them to receive. He is here for them to invite Him to live inside their body.
STEP 2 — SALVATION IS THE ONLY PREREQUISITE
Help the person to see that anyone who is saved is ready to receive the Holy Spirit. Now when they (the multitude that had gathered after the 120 had received the Holy Ghost and Peter had preached to them quoting Joel’s prophecy) heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2: 37-38). Anyone who is saved is ready to received the gift of the Holy Ghost now. Some people think that there are certain things they have to do to qualify to receive the Baptism, However, if a person is saved, he couldn’t possibly be any cleaner than he is right then. the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin. We believe that saved people go to heaven when they die. If they are good enough to go to heaven, they are good enough to have a little bit of heaven in them.
Some people think that they have to follow certain standards of dress in order to receive the Holy Ghost. Others have the mistaken idea that they have to court God’s favor to get Him to do something for them. All we have to do is to be saved and walk in the light of salvation. A person who is out of fellowship, of course, would have to come back into fellowship with Him.
Some people have imagined that one has to be perfect before he can get the Holy Ghost. However, even the great apostle Paul himself said, “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect ,,, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before” (Phil. 3:12-13). If you could do everything you ought to do and be everything you ought to be without the Holy Ghost, what would you need Him for? If you can do it yourself, why would you need Him?
Carnal Christians can be filled with the Holy Ghost. The Bible said the Corinthian Christians were carnal. And yet Paul said of the, “… Ye come behind in no gift” (1 Cor. 1:7). He was not endorsing carnality, to be sure. He was trying to get them to grow up in God and outgrow carnality.
Baby Christians can be filled with the Holy Ghost. Certainly carnal Christians and baby Christians need to be filled more than anyone because they will then receive power that will help them, if they walk in the light of it, to outgrow some things. So, if a person is saved, he is ready to receive the Holy Ghost.
STEP 3 — LAYING ON OF HANDS
I always tell people that when I lay hands on them they are to receive the Holy Ghost. Anyone can lay hands on another in faith, for God honors faith. There is a ministry of laying on of hands, and some are used along some of these lines more than others. But anyone could lay their hands on a person as a contract of faith, and tell them, “This is the minute — right now — you are to receive the Holy Ghost.” The Holy Ghost is received by faith.
STEP 4 — EXPECT TO SPEAK IN TONGUES
Tell the candidate what to expect. If we don’t he won’t know what is going on when the Spirit moves on him. Tell him that he is to expect the Spirit to move upon his vocal organs and to put supernatural words on his lips which he is to speak out in cooperation with the Holy Spirit. Remember, the man speaks — he lifts his voice by an act of his will. The Holy Spirit gives the utterance, but man does the talking.
STEP 5 — THE CHILD OF GOD NEED NOT FEAR RECEIVING SOMETHING FALSE
Some people may fear that they might receive something false or counterfeit. I have heard people say, “There is a wrong spirit as well as a right one. I want to get the right thing.” To these people I point our this scripture:
If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?
Or if he shall ask an egg will he offer him a scorpion?
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
Jesus was saying here, “If your child asked you for bread, would you give him a stone? If your child asked you for a fish, would you give him a serpent?” No, you wouldn’t. “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children: how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” we can be assured that God will not give His children a counterfeit when they ask Him for the Holy Spirit.
It is a different thing entirely, of course, when an unsaved person is seeking the Holy Ghost. But if a person is a child of God, he is not going to receive an evil spirit.
Notice that the expressions “serpents’ and “scorpion” were also used in Luke 10:19. “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy ….” Jesus used the terms “serpents’ and ” scorpions” to talk about evil spirits. He said you are not going to get a “serpent” or a “scorpion” then. If you are a child of God and you come to your heavenly Father for the Holy Ghost, then that is what you are going to get.
When I have given these scriptures to those who have been misled by false teachers, I have seen them immediately begin to speak with tongues. Later they told me, “If I had known that, I could have been speaking with tongues and could have known the fullness of the Spirit for many years. But I was afraid that I might get a wrong spirit.” We can be relieved of our fears through the Word of God.
STEP 6 — RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT AND SPEAK THE LANGUAGE HE GIVES
Tell the candidate to open his mouth and to breathe in as deeply as possible. At the same time he should tell God in his heart, “I am receiving the Holy Spirit right now by Faith.” I like to insist absolutely that they not speak one word of their natural language. Then when the Spirit begins to move upon them, I tell them to lift their voice and speak our whatever sounds seem easy to make, regardless of how they sound. I tell them to begin to speak the words and language the Spirit gives them, praising God with those supernatural words until a clear, free language comes. When that person can hear himself speak in tongues, he will have assurance and confidence that the has received the Holy Ghost.
The supporting scriptures for this are:
Unto me men gave ear, and waited, and kept silence at my counsel.
After my words they spake not again; and my speech dropped upon them.
And they waited for me as for the rain; and they opened their mouth wide as for the latter rain.
As every Bible student knows, the latter rain refers to the Holy Ghost,
Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.
Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain; so the Lord shall make bright clouds and give then showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.
The Holy Spirit will come to us as the rain. Jesus said to come and drink. In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying. If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. he that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive, for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) Receiving the Holy Ghost, Jesus said, is like drinking water. The same principle is involved. In the book of Job God said. They waited for me as for the rain; and they opened their mouth wide as for the latter rain. No one can drink with his mouth shut.
Secondly, no one can drink and talk at the same time. The Bible said they “kept silence at my counsel. after my words they spake nor again; and my speech dropped upon them. It is scriptural then to expect the speech of the Holy Ghost to drop upon you.
I have seen people come to receive with their mouths open. I haven’t seen anyone who would open their mouth wide that didn’t receive instantly. Once I saw five businessmen walking down the aisle with their mouths wide open, and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost. Jesus said, Come and drink.” If you will act on God’s Word, He will honor His Word, and you will receive.
STEP 7 — NO CONFUSING CROWD SHOULD GATHER AROUND THE CANDIDATE
I like to have a few workers whom I have specially instructed to come and help seekers, because many times folks are a little slow about yielding to the Spirit and someone else can lead them and help them yield. Sometimes when going swimming it is hard to get some folks to go into the water, but if you go in and swim around, saying. “This is surely good,” they will come on in. Sometimes you can be there talking in tongues, and this will helps to encourage them to follow you on in.
Don’t crowd around candidates who are seeking the Holy Ghost, everyone trying to give instructions at once and getting them confused. Let one person instruct them, let one person tell them how to yield to the Spirit. If you are among those praying with the seekers, do one of two things. If you are going to pray aloud, pray in tongues. Otherwise, pray to yourself quietly. If you are praying in English, that person can hear what you are saying and will get his mind on you. Many times they will not yield to God because they are listening to what people around them are saying.
I have been in Full Gospel circles about a quarter of a century, and I have seen nearly everything you can mention – – and a lot I hate to mention. I have seen dear folks at the altar seeking to be filled while someone on one side of them yells in one ear, “Hold on, brother, hold on.” someone else might be hollering in the other ear, “Turn loose, brother, turn loose.” Someone kneeling right behind them would be beating them on the back, yelling, “Let go, brother, let go.” Then someone sitting right in front of them shouts something else at the top of his voice. Not because of it, but in spite of it, many multitudes have received. But at the same time many good people, many honest and sincere people have been driven away. We will see more folks filled with the Holy Ghost if we will follow scriptural practices.
By following these seven steps which we have outlined in these two lessons, you will be able to help people to receive the Holy Spirit and will feel personally blessed and rewarded for your part in their receiving this wonderful infilling of God’s power.