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"And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you" (John 14:16-17).

"This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear" (Acts 2:32-33).

There are seven things we can do to help a person receive the Holy Spirit:

Step 1: Help the Person See That God Gave the Gift of The Holy Spirit on the Day Of Pentecost
This gift has been available ever since. Help the individual know it is up to him or her to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. He is not to beg God to fill him with the Holy Spirit. Unbelief begs. Faith shouts the victory.

Step 2: Lead the Person To See That Anyone Who Is Saved Is Ready To Receive The Holy Spirit
"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 2:38).

We have incorporated many man-made traditions into our theology. People think they have to do certain things, or somehow clean up their lives before receiving the Holy Spirit. If we could clean up our lives ourselves, what would we need with the blood of Jesus Christ? I'm blood-washed, blood-bought. If you're saved, you're clean too.

When you are born again, there is a change that comes inside. Your spirit is recreated. And if you're saved, you are ready to be filled with the Holy Spirit. You don't have to do anything but ask to receive.

Step 3: It Is Scriptural To Tell the Person To Expect To Receive the Holy Spirit When Hands Are Laid on Him
Some are given the gift of laying on of hands for people to receive the Holy Spirit and healing. This gift is given by God, as we see from Acts 8:18-20.

Even if a Spirit-filled believer does not have the ministry of laying on of hands, it is all right for him to pray with the candidate, because it releases the candidate's faith. When the believer lays hands on the candidate, he cannot give the candidate the Holy Spirit. His prayers can bring God's power on people, but they must receive on their own.

Step 4: Tell the Person What To Expect (People Get Every Idea Imaginable Otherwise.)
Tell the candidate he is to speak! The Holy Spirit will act on his vocal cords, lips, and tongue, and will put supernatural words on his lips, but the candidate must put the sound into action and speak out.

The Holy Spirit gives the utterance, but man does the speaking.

"And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2:4).

"They" is the subject of the sentence. They did the talking. The Holy Spirit gave them the utterance.

"While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God... (Acts 10:44-46).

"And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and and they spake with tongues, and prophesied" (Acts 19:6).

Similar scriptures are First Corinthians 14, where Paul said, "I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all (v. 18); " ...He that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God; for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries" (v. 2); "If any man speak in an unknown tongue..." (v. 27).

Acts 19:6 says, "And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied."

Therefore, it is to be expected that when the candidate receives the Holy Spirit, he will speak in tongues as the Spirit gives utterance.

The Holy Spirit does not speak in tongues. The Holy Spirit does not take hold of our tongues and do the talking for us. We do the speaking in tongues.

Nowhere in the New Testament does it state that the Holy Spirit speaks in tongues. Always the individual does the speaking, but the Holy Spirit gives the utterance.

Many people say, "I'm afraid I'm going to receive in the flesh." You can't receive any other way! Speaking in tongues is men and women in the flesh worshipping God in the Spirit. God promised in Joel 2:28, "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh...."

In dealing with a candidate, be sure to use only Bible terms, not man's manufactured expressions. Otherwise, the instructions become confusing - and sometimes even frightening.

Step 5: Tell the Candidate To Disregard All Fears He Received From Foolish Teachers Who Said That He Might Receive Something Counterfeit
(Help Him See That He Will Not Receive a Substitute for The Holy Spirit.)

"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?" (Luke 11:11-13).

Step 6: Encourage the Candidate To Act
Encourage the candidate to open his mouth (this can be an act of faith), breathe in, and then tell God, "I am receiving the Holy Spirit right now by faith."

When Jesus said, "Come and drink," He was speaking of the infilling of the Holy Spirit. When a person takes a drink of water, he opens his mouth and takes a breath. You can't take a drink of water with your mouth closed, and you can't receive the Holy Spirit with your mouth closed.

Insist that the candidate not speak a single word in his native language (you can't speak two languages at once). The mind cannot enter into this experience; it comes from the heart.

Encourage the candidate to relax and then fearlessly, boldly, lift his voice and make those supernatural sounds that want to come, working his tongue and lips as he would if he were speaking his native language.

Instruct the candidate that speaking in tongues is actually cooperation between him and the Holy Spirit. Tell him to expect that the Holy Spirit will give him words; that his tongue will seem to want to say something. This is so in every case.

The Holy Spirit gives the utterance; the person must do the talking. The supernatural part is what is being said; it is not who is talking.

When you can see that the Holy Spirit is moving on the candidates' lips and tongue, tell him to speak any sounds it seems easy to speak, regardless of what they are. That's faith. He is lifting his voice and trusting God for guidance.

Tell him to go right on speaking, praising God with those supernatural words until a free, clear language comes and he has the inner assurance that he has received.

The word "inspiration" means breathing in the Spirit of God. By having a candidate simply look to God and "breathe" Him in, he can thus relax and "drink in" or be filled with the Holy Spirit.

There are two ways the utterance comes:

Many people hear the supernatural words forming inside their inner being, and the words bubble up until they are spoken through the mouth.

Another way is by a fluttering of the lips. The candidate may feel a tightening of the jaw, and his tongue may feel thick. The Holy Spirit does this because the lips and the tongue are the organs we use to form words. This is the way He gives us utterance, or prompts us to speak. But we have to speak out the sounds ourselves.

You get full by drinking. Ephesians 5:18, 19 says, "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord." (The "spiritual songs" spoken of here do not mean songs out of songbooks, but songs given by the Holy Spirit.)

Step 7: Never Crowd Around A Person Who Has Come To Receive the Infilling of the Holy Spirit, and Never Permit a Crowd To Gather Around Him

There have been instances in meetings where people gathered around a candidate and offered conflicting instructions.

A person on his right would shout in his ear, "Hang on!" The person on his left would shout, "Turn loose!" Another person would pound him on the back and shout, "Die out!"

In spite of this, many candidates received the Holy Spirit. Not because of it, but in spite of it! The ignorance of these people, bless their darling hearts, often cheated the candidates out of the blessing because it frightened them, and they went away without ever receiving the Holy Spirit.

Those present should pray in the Spirit if they pray out loud; otherwise, they should pray quietly in their natural language.

These seven steps are the steps I have used to get people filled with the Holy Spirit since 1938 without having to tarry, without having to wait, and almost without exception.

Source: Seven Vital Steps To Receiving the Holy Spirit by Kenneth E. Hagin
Excerpt permission granted by Faith Library Publications

Author Biography

Kenneth E. Hagin
Web site: RHEMA
Rev. Hagin served in Christian ministry for nearly 70 years and was known as the "father of the modern faith movement." His teachings and books are filled with vivid stories that show God's power and truth working in his life and the lives of others.

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