Last night I could not go to sleep.  No, it wasn’t a bad taco keeping me up, but rather something deep down in my spirit that was not at rest.  It wasn’t concerns about the normal stuff like bills or the like, but rather a very unsettling feeling that something just isn’t right, and the Holy Spirit is grieved.  So after a time, I just said, LORD, I’m listening, what are you trying to tell me?
   He said, Jerry, so many of My children are not baptized in the Holy Spirit.  They love Me to a certain extent, but they are not continuing to develop their walk with Me.  They are like babes who are satisfied with milk when they should be eating meat. This is a very dangerous time for them and they don’t even know it.  How well I understand what the LORD is saying there.  And what concerns the LORD, concerns me.  Every day I deal with people needing prayer for healing, or for some other trouble in their family, and each time I ask them how much time are they spending with the LORD daily in His Word.  You guessed it:  most of them say not much, and many don’t study God’s Word at all except to take their Bible with them to church.  Yet they know they need the LORD, but they don’t take the time to know Him.
   Surely the LORD knows they are busy, especially this time of year when school is out and they need to take their kids here or there, and don’t forget about vacation.  There’s always time for God when there’s nothing more important to do that day.  Problem is, there is ALWAYS something more important than God on their schedule.  There’s the yard to mow, or the garage to clean, or flowers that must be planted, or the car to fix.  You know, important stuff?  And God is patient, and He’s always there waiting for when we get done, right?  Now I’m talking about church people here, friends, not the unsaved.
  Ever since the LORD pointed Matthew 7:13-14 out to me, I’ve been deeply worried.  Jesus said;  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:   Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.   Most people believe if we just call out to the LORD, we will be saved, and it takes no further effort on our part.  But even the example of how relationships work between two people show us there is much more to it.  When a couple become involved in a romantic relationship, do they stop seeking each other after the first date, or do they continue to try to know one another?  Do they not develop that relationship until it becomes so compelling that they marry?  What happens after marriage?  That’s where the problems start, and I believe it’s because they stop pursuing each other.  Now, with Christ Jesus, He doesn’t stop pursuing US, it is we that stop pursuing HIM.  A relationship requires more than one person to be involved, right?  So we need to get involved and stay involved!
   Here’s a picture of what happens: we hear the Gospel, sometimes several times, and the Holy Spirit moves in your heart to pursue God.  And the Bible tells us, if we seek Him, we will find Him.  So we find Him, and begin to worship Him, and at some point we feel compelled to receive Him and make Him the LORD of our life.  So far, so good.  We all know what those people are like, all of a sudden, God has touched their lives, and they turn from their sins, and start loving one another, their diseases are healed, they start coming out of their troubles and some “pillar of the church” pulls them aside and tells them, Just settle down a little, you’re getting too radical.  So, they let the fire of God go out, and they become just like the other “pillars of the church”, becoming the stoniest hearted bunch of people you ever saw.  They stop praying and seeking God, and they stop studying their Bible.  They become the “status quo Christian”.  Now they’re in trouble and they don’t even realize it, and the Holy Spirit is grieved, because He misses their fellowship!
   Here’s the scary part:  without the baptism of the Holy Spirit, you miss out on what the Holy Spirit is trying to do in your life, and I’m not just talking about spiritual things.  Here’s an example from my own life.  Years ago, my wife and I were going to a church convention, and we stopped in Oklahoma to pick a lady up to take along with us.  It was raining in that area and I stopped for fuel at a certain convenience store.  I had filled up, and my wife and her friend were inside the store looking around, when suddenly, the Holy Spirit urgently told me, LEAVE RIGHT NOW!
   I couldn’t see any obvious reason to leave so quickly, but I told my wife and her friend we must leave.  They said they wanted to go to the restroom, and I said, No, we need to leave RIGHT NOW!  So we all got in the car and continued on to the convention.  Nothing eventful happened as far as I knew.  However, when coming back, I saw the store where we had stopped was gone!  The local newspaper said a tornado suddenly came and destroyed part of the area, and it gave the exact time the tornado hit.  I pulled out my fuel receipt, and the tornado had struck TWO MINUTES after we left!  So how is it, there were three of us and only I heard the Holy Spirit say LEAVE RIGHT NOW?  The only explanation I can come up with is that I was baptized in the Holy Spirit, and they were not at that time.  The LORD saved our lives that day, by speaking urgent instruction to one who was “tuned in” to the Holy Spirit.  And of course, I had to obey, but when you come to recognize the LORD’s voice, you obey.
   You see, the baptism of the Holy Spirit gives you a direct connection between your spirit man and the Holy Spirit.  It’s like the red phone that sits on the President’s desk that connects him directly to the leaders of other countries.  When there is an urgent need, he doesn’t have to go through several other ambassadors in order to reach the one he needs to speak to.  I’m telling you that to tell you this:  If you don’t have the baptism of the Holy Spirit, you will miss God when He instructs you to do this or that, and it could possibly cost you your life or the life of a loved one.  Why?  Because you won’t recognize His voice, and you’ll just continue on your merry way, unaware of what awaits you.  The LORD will warn you in time to avoid trouble.  And He will give you instructions that will bless you in every area of your life, if you are listening.
   Well, here’s another example, odd but true.  Another time I was getting fuel at a convenience store and I heard the Holy Spirit say, Buy a lottery ticket.  I dismissed that as NOT the will of God because He doesn’t want us to gamble, so I didn’t buy one.  But, the guy in line behind me DID, and won $500.  NUTS!!!  But, the LORD later told me, I knew that winning ticket was up next, and I’d rather see one of MY children blessed, than of the devil’s kids.  So there’s an example where I missed out on a blessing of God because I didn’t obey.  Am I telling you to go buy lottery tickets?  NO!!  But if GOD tells you to, then do so, don’t miss your blessing like I did.  After all, the LORD says “All the gold is MINE…” Don’t try to put God in a box.  He can bless you any way He chooses.  Remember it says in Proverbs 13:22 A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.
   The LORD was trying to move some of the sinner’s wealth to bless the just, but He needed my cooperation, and that time He didn’t have it.  My loss, right?  Yes, I learned my lesson that day.  Now, the Holy Spirit may instruct a sick person to eat a certain food that will enable them to recover, but if they aren’t baptized in the Holy Spirit, they won’t perceive His voice, and therefore they won’t obey.  Or, He may instruct that person to go to a particular person for prayer, that he may be healed.  There are an infinite number of ways the Holy Spirit may move upon someone to get a blessing to them.  He may tell you, as He did me, to offer a certain amount for a home that was for sale.  It was WAY beyond what I could afford, but the LORD told me to offer a contract on it, which I did, without questioning Him.  Over a period of a few weeks, the LORD worked it out for us to buy that home, in a way that was nothing short of supernatural, and we’ve lived in it now for fifteen years.  Without the baptism of the Holy Spirit, I would probably not even be alive today. 
   There are events coming upon the world that are nothing short of scary that are foretold in the Bible, and if you have the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, the LORD will be able to guide you safely through them.  Otherwise, you are on your own, and your chances of success will be next to none.  It is NOT God’s will that you be cut off from His leading, nor is it His will that you fail in any area of your life.  But the Holy Spirit will not intrude into your life uninvited.  You may receive Him (and the Holy Spirit is not an “IT”), by simply asking Him, or you may receive Him by the laying on of hands, or by hearing the Word of God preached, like Paul preached in Acts 19:2-6:
Act 19:2  He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
Act 19:3  And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.
Act 19:4  Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
Act 19:5  When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Act 19:6  And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

   The Lord Jesus spoke of the Comforter being sent after He returns to His Father in heaven.  Well, the Lord Jesus went back to His Father just like He said He would, and sent the Holy Spirit to minister to us.  The term the Lord Jesus used in referring to the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in the ancient Greek is BAPTIZO.  Now, there are two words referred to in Greek that we simply translate as “BAPTIZE”, and therefore, much of the true meaning is lost.  The first word is BAPTO, which means to dip or immerse.  BAPTIZO is different, in that it not only means to dip or immerse, but that the item baptized is fully saturated through and through.  It’s like an old Greek recipe for making pickles, you BAPTO the cucumber in boiling water (dip), then you BAPTIZO it, leaving it in the pickling solution until it becomes a pickle through and through.  Baptizo is a picture of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. 
   The Lord Jesus purposely used the word BAPTIZO instead of BAPTO.  When you get baptized in water in front of witnesses, (BAPTO) you are as much as saying, I am following those who have been identified with Jesus, even to the loss of my life if necessary.  But you are only getting wet, do you understand?  When you become BAPTIZO, every cell of your being is filled with the Holy Spirit, and you become empowered from on high just like the early disciples did in the upper room in Acts Chapter two.  Those 120 people turned the whole world upside down when they received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. 

 How about YOU?  Will you become BAPTIZO??
The next move is up to you.  If you have not received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, YOU NEED HIM more than anything else in your life right now.  And if you have received Him, go minister to others so they may receive Him, too.  If you need help in this area, you may call me at 1-573-690-4367 anytime day or night and I’ll pray with you, or lay hands on you if you’re nearby.