6. The Holy Spirit speaks through the written Word of Scripture: 2 Peter 1:19-2:1: “And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:20, 21: “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
Note from the Editors: In March 2014, Charles Carrin wrote to us to say that his list should have been “Seven Ways.” Here is Brother Carrin’s Addendum.
7. The Holy Spirit speaks through visions and dreams: Acts 2:17: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams.” 2 Corinthians 12:1-2: “It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.” Acts 9:10-12: “Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision , ‘Ananias’. And he said, ‘Here I am, Lord’. So the Lord said to him, ‘Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.’” Acts 16:9: “And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’”
The Vital Question
Are you experiencing the Holy Spirit’s communication in all these ways? No matter where we are in our present walk with God, the Holy Spirit offers us far more than we are accepting. if our relationship with the Holy Spirit is not being enlarged and if we are able to remain comfortable with our limited contact with Him, then we have not fully encountered Him—either in Scripture or in Person. It is impossible for us as limited, human beings to be brought into contact with the infinite Holy Spirit and find that we already have a full, comprehensive, satisfactory, understanding of Him and His work. Any church or pastor who makes such a claim is already in profound error and spiritual ignorance. Those who claim that all their questions about the Holy Spirit were answered years ago and they have no need of further enlargement, are merely revealing the emptiness of their religious wells—plus the deception of their pride. Eternity itself will not provide us with sufficient time to master the incomprehensible work of the Holy Spirit.
Please hear this carefully: It is absolutely impossible for any of us—now—later—ever—to fully explore the Being and ministry of the Holy Spirit. He is God. He cannot be restricted to the interpretation of our denominational boxes. All of us are learners on earth and will still be that 100 million years into eternity. The Holy Spirit is illimitable, inexhaustible, inexplicable, unreachable, unfathomable, impenetrable, inconceivable—and much, much more. Our attitude before the Holy Spirit must remain one of unrelenting reverence, complete awe, and utter submission. When we have accepted this fact, submitted to this truth, and established this quality of relationship with Him, we will experience more quickly and deeply His influence in our lives.
On the Day of Ascension, Jesus told the disciples at the Mount of Olives, “John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now … You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” Acts 1:5, 6. In a single statement, Jesus connected baptism in the Spirit to the imparting of His power. That wonderful event occurred on the day of Pentecost when 120 disciples in the Upper Room received the blessing. Scripture carefully explains that others who were not present at Pentecost experienced the same empowering later. That included the Samaritans, Acts 8:14-17, Saul of Tarsus, Acts 9:17, the household of Cornelius, Acts 10:44, and the Ephesians, Acts 19:1-7. Young Timothy followed the example. II Timothy 1:6. Of the two billion Christians worldwide, some 500,000,000 now accept the validity of the Spirit’s Baptism. In 1977, I received the Baptism through the laying-on-of-hands by a born-again, Spirit-filled prisoner in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary. Without question, that was the most phenomenal, earth-shaking day of my life. Would I go back to my previous life and ministry? Never!