The purpose of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit

SERMON TOPIC: The purpose of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 10 March 2012


Sermon synopsis: Q: What is the primary purpose for the baptism in the Holy Spirit? Is it to speak in tongues or to perform miracles? Is it to get goosebumps and fall over?
A: NO – Jesus gave his disciples the reason. Shortly before his ascension he instructed the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the promised baptism in the Holy Spirit:
Acts 1:8 'But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.'
So the primary reason for the baptism in the Holy Spirit is that we may receive power to be witnesses worldwide i.e. evangelism and missions.
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The baptism in the Holy Spirit

There are 3 main baptisms 1 for the Christian:

Baptism into the body of Christ

Baptism in water

Baptism in the Holy Spirit

In the Greek baptizo simply meant ‘immersion’. Although we often associate baptism with a religious rite and normally water baptism, this was not the case with the early readers of the Greek NT books. They would have understood these terms as “immersion in water”, “immersing in the Holy Spirit”, etc.

1 The Bible also talks of John’s baptism of repentance (Mark 1:4, Luke 3:3, Acts 19:4), a baptism in fire (Matt 3:11, Luke 3:16) and a baptism in suffering (Matt 10:38-39, Luke 12:50).


While John the Baptist’s main ministry was baptism in water, Jesus came to baptize with the Holy Spirit.

John said, “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” (Matt 3:11)

1) Baptism into the body of Christ

2) Baptism in water

3) Baptism in the Holy Spirit


Holy Spirit

A believer



A repentant sinner

A believer

A believer


Body of Christ


Holy Spirit

All of these baptisms are mentioned by Peter in Acts 2:38 on the day of Pentecost: “(1) Repent and (2) be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And (3) you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”





100 A.D.

Are the gifts of the

Holy Spirit for today?

In Christian theology, Cessationism is the view that the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as tongues, prophecy and healing, ceased being practiced early on in Church history. Cessationists usually believe the miraculous gifts were given only for the foundation of the Church, during the time between the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost … and the fulfillment of God’s purposes in history, usually identified as either the completion of the last book of the New Testament or the death of the last Apostle. 1

Cessationists argue that since the completion of the NT, the gifts of Prophecy and Knowledge have been rendered useless since no new knowledge from God needs to be given.

1 "http:// wiki/ Cessationism">http:// wiki/ Cessationism


They appeal to Church history to substantiate that this cessation of the gifts indeed occurred. However we cannot base doctrine on one’s experience, or lack of it, but upon the Scripture. In any event when we look at the historical evidence, we see that supernatural gifts and tongues were always present to some degree or another. Here are just a few examples of the gifts and tongues being in operation after the 1st century AD.


Justin Martyr (AD 100-165) says:

“For the prophetic gifts remain with us even to the present time,” and “Now it is possible to see among us women and men who possess gifts of the Spirit of God.” 1

Irenaeus (~AD 125-200) states:

Others still heal the sick by laying their hands upon them… the dead even have been raised up... In like manner we do also hear many brethren in the Church who possess prophetic gifts and who through the Spirit speak all kinds of languages, and bring to light for the general benefit the hidden things of men, and declare the mysteries of God.” 2

1 Dialogue With Trypho 2 Against Heresies


Novatian (AD 210-280) an elder of the early church in Rome writes, “This is he [the Holy Spirit] who places prophets in the Church, instructs teachers, directs tongues, gives power and healings, does wonderful works, offers discrimination of spirits, affords powers of government, suggests counsels, and orders and arranges whatever other gifts there are of charismata; and thus making the Lord’s Church everywhere, and in all, perfected and completed.” 1

Augustine the bishop of Hippo (354-443) wrote, “We still do what the apostles did when they laid hands on the Samaritans and called down the Holy Spirit on them by laying on of hands. It is expected that new converts should speak with new tongues.” 2

1 Novation: The Trinity 2 Augustine, ‘The City of God’


According to the New World Encyclopedia certain of the orthodox Franciscans reportedly spoke in tongues.

Hildegard of Bingen (1098- 1179) is also reputed to have spoken and sung in tongues, and her spiritual songs were referred to by contemporaries as “concerts in the Spirit”. 1

1 New World Encyclopedia


Hildegard of Bingen

The movement that became the Moravian Church was started by Jan Hus in the late 14th century Bohemia (now in the Czech Republic).

The Moravians are referred to by detractors as having spoken in tongues. John Roche, a contemporary critic, claimed that the Moravians “commonly broke into some disconnected jargon, which they often passed upon the vulgar, ‘as the exuberant and resistless evacuations of the Spirit.’ ” 1

1 Stanley M. Burgess. “Medieval and Modern Western Churches,” Initial Evidence


The Anabaptists insisted upon the ‘free course’ of the Holy Spirit in worship, yet still maintained it all must be judged according to the Scriptures. 1 It was not unusual for them to dance, fall under the power of the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues. 2 In Germany some Anabaptists, “excited by mass hysteria, experienced healings, glossolalia, 3 contortions and other manifestations of a camp-meeting revival.” 4 One Swiss Anabaptist document states that the reason for not attending the state churches is these institutions forbid the congregation to exercise spiritual gifts according to “the Christian order as taught in the gospel or the Word of God in 1 Cor 14.” 5

1 John S. Oyer, Lutheran Reformers Against Anabaptists 2 Franklin H. Little, The Origins of Sectarian Protestantism 3 i.e. speaking in tongues 4 George Williams, “The Radical Reformation” 5 “Answer of Some Who Are Called (Ana)Baptists - Why They Do Not Attend the Churches” (1532-1534)


The Huguenots (16th - 18th Centuries) … exhibited the dynamic power of the Holy Spirit. Thus they were called, ‘The French Prophets.’ They affirmed, “God has nowhere in the Scriptures concluded Himself from dispensing again the extraordinary gifts of His Spirit unto men.” 1

Sir Richard Bulkey, a wealthy English nobleman, tells how he heard John Lacy, one of their leaders, “repeat long sentences in Latin, and another refugee speak in Hebrew, neither one of whom could speak a single word in these languages when not in spiritual ecstasy.” 2

In the 1700s Wesleyan revivals across Europe and North America included many reportedly miraculous events, including speaking in tongues. 3

1 Hamilton, The Charismatic Movement 2 Cutten, Speaking With Tongues 3 Jennings Supernatural occurrences of John Wesley -


South African Dutch Reformed minister Andrew Murray is considered to be a forerunner of Pentecostalism.

During a youth fellowship meeting, an African servant girl arose and asked permission to sing and pray. The Holy Spirit fell upon the group as she prayed. In the distance, there came a sound like approaching thunder. It surrounded the hall, and the building began to shake. Instantly everyone burst into prayer. Murray who had been speaking in the main sanctuary was notified. He came running and called in a loud voice, “I am your minister, sent from God. Silence!” No one noticed as all continued calling out loudly to God for forgiveness. Murray asked his assistant to sing a hymn, but the praying continued undiminished. 1

1 Source:





100 A.D.

On the Day of Pentecost Peter made it clear that the promised gift of the Holy Spirit did not have an expiry date set on it when he said, “And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call.” (Acts 2:38-39)


The modern



The Welsh revival (1904-1905), with its strong emphasis on the Holy Spirit, had a direct influence on American and British Pentecostalism.

One night Evan Roberts was woken from his sleep and led into a deep communion with God for hours. This experience continued every evening for the next few months. Later Evan attended a Convention where he received what he termed a fresh ‘Baptism of the Spirit’ which transformed the young student into a Revivalist with a message for Wales. 1



Evan Roberts (1878-1951)

… it is generally accepted that modern Pentecostalism dates from 1901 when Agnes Ozman received the gift of tongues during a prayer meeting at Charles Fox Parham’s Bethel Bible College in Topeka, Kansas. Parham, a minister of Methodist background, formulated the doctrine that tongues was the “Bible evidence” of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. 1

1 SOURCE: Wikipedia


Charles Fox Parham (1873 - 1929)

The expansion of the movement started with the Azusa Street Revival, beginning April 9, 1906 at the Los Angeles home of Edward Lee, who experienced the infilling of the Holy Spirit during a prayer meeting. The attending African American pastor, William J. Seymour, was also overcome with the Holy Spirit on April 12, 1906. 1 1 Source: Wikipedia


William J. Seymour (1870 - 1922)

They rented an abandoned African Methodist Episcopal Church at 312 Azusa Street and organized as the Apostolic Faith Mission.

The Assemblies of God grew out of this Pentecostal revival that started in Kansas and Azusa Street and quickly spread around the world.


The mission at 312 Azusa Street

Smith Wigglesworth, often referred to as ‘the Apostle of Faith,’ was one of the pioneers of the Pentecostal revival.

The miracles that accompanied his ministry were of the sort that have seldom been seen since the days of the apostles. People born blind and deaf, cripples - twisted and deformed by disease, others on death’s door with cancer or sickness of every kind, - all were healed by the mighty power of God. It has been recorded that he raised 23 people from the dead in total, over the years of his ministry. 1

1 SOURCE: http:// revival


Smith Wigglesworth


The PRIMARY purpose

of the baptism in

the Holy Spirit

Q: What is the primary purpose for the baptism in the Holy Spirit? Is it to speak in tongues or to perform miracles? Is it to get goosebumps and fall over?

A: NO – Jesus gave his disciples the reason. Shortly before his ascension he instructed the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the promised baptism in the Holy Spirit:

Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

So the primary reason for the baptism in the Holy Spirit is that we may receive power to be witnesses worldwide i.e. evangelism and missions.


The Holy Spirit is a witness (within us) to the resurrection:

Acts 5:32 “We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”

John 15:26-27 “When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.”


And so on the Day of Pentecost we see Peter who previously denied the Lord to a servant girl, boldly proclaiming the gospel even to those who crucified Jesus.

Acts 2:23 “This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.”


Before the mob that will kill him, Stephen is empowered by the Holy Spirit to witness boldly:

Acts 7:54-56 When they heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”


Subsequent to being released with threats of further punishment if they did not refrain from speaking about Jesus, the disciples pray:

Acts 4:29-31 “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.


The Holy Spirit equips us to witness effectively:

He teaches us what to say:

Luke 12:11-12 “When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”

He emboldens us:

2 Tim 1:6-8 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner…


Q: In the parable of the sower, what was the test of the good seed?

A: It reproduced itself. The first 3 types of soil were all unfruitful:

Matt 13:22-23 The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”


And so Jesus says that the Holy Spirit is given that “you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

And so it’s not surprising that we’ve seen a phenomenal growth in Christianity corresponding to the Pentecostal and Charismatic resurgence.

Rise & phenomenal

growth of Pentecostalism

God said that in the last days, “I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh” (Joel 2:28).

On November 9, 2003, St. Petersburg Times writer Sharon Tubbs stated in an article entitled Fiery Pentecostal Spirit Spreads into Mainstream Christianity that Pentecostalism is the world’s fastest-growing Christian movement. 1

From only one million in AD 1900, Pentecostals / Charismatics / Neocharismatics have mushroomed to 524 million affiliated (with unaffiliated believers, 602 million). It is, after Roman Catholicism, the largest Christian tradition.

It is said that Pentecostalism has probably been the most influential social movement of the twentieth century. 2

1 Wikipedia 2


From the late 1950s onwards, the Charismatic movement, which was to a large extent inspired and influenced by Pentecostalism, began to flourish in the mainline Protestant denominations, as well as the Roman Catholic church. 1

Missions expert David Barrett estimated in a Christianity Today article that the Pentecostal and charismatic church is growing by 19 million per year. 1

While communism and fascism have died or are dying out, Pentecostals are growing at an unprecedented rate and will eventually make up the majority of all Christians worldwide. 2

1 Wikipedia 2 "


The World Assemblies of God Fellowship… is the world’s largest Pentecostal denomination, with over 283,413 churches and outstations in over 110 countries … and approximately 60 million adherents worldwide. It is the fourth largest international body of Christians. 1

A/ G leaders credit their church’s rapid and continuing growth (20.4% in U.S. adherents in the decade between 1989-99) to its acceptance of the NT as a model for the present-day church. Brazil has the largest number of A/ G adherents with over 15 million.

In 1990, the A/ G Church in Nigeria had 3,682 churches with 707,782 members. By 1999 the number of churches increased to 7,726 with 1,811,396 members. 2

1 Wikipedia 2 SOURCE: celebrate/ ezemandu.htm


The largest church in the world, Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, South Korea, is an A/ G congregation. By 2007, membership stood at 830,000, with 7 Sunday services translated into 16 languages. 1 Its pastor, Dr. David Yonggi Cho, was chairman of the World A/ G Fellowship from 1992 to 2000.

1 http:// wiki/ Yoido_Full_Gospel_Church


Hillsong Church is another megachurch which is affiliated with Australian Christian Churches (the Australian branch of the A/ G. Located in Sydney, Australia, over 20,000 people attend services each week. Hillsong is known internationally by its worship music which has topped Australian charts, with albums achieving gold and platinum sales. International offshoots include London, Kiev, New York, Cape Town, Stockholm, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam and Moscow.


In the 1940’s A/ G Zulu evangelist Nicholas Bhengu had a crusade in PE. Miracles of healing took place through the ministry. Crowds flocked in and 1000 conversions were recorded in a few weeks. By 1959 there were 50 assemblies that had been started through Bhengu’s ministry. His meetings were characterized by power, both in preaching and healing, and attracted thousands. In 1957 a church in the shape of a cross and seating between 4000 to 5000 was opened in Duncan Village, East London.


More than 1000 people were baptised in the Buffalo River in East London

The function of

the Holy Spirit

The gifts (1 Cor 12:8-10):

The word of wisdom

The word of knowledge


Gifts of healing

Miraculous powers


Distinguishing between spirits

Speaking in tongues

Interpretation of tongues


Q: For whose benefit are the gifts?

1 Cor 12:7 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.

1 Cor 14:12 So it is with you. Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the church.

Power to destroy the works of the devil

Acts 10:38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.


The fruit (Gal 5:22-23):











To know God better – a deeper relationship:

Eph 1:7 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.

2 Cor 13:14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Rom 8:14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”


Encouragement & comfort

Acts 9:31 Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord.

John 14:26 But the Comforter, 1 even the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you. (ASV)

1 ‘Comforter or ‘paraclete’ comes from the Greek word paráklētos, that can signify “one who consoles or comforts, one who encourages or uplifts; hence refreshes, and/ or one who intercedes on our behalf as an advocate in court”. "http:// wiki/ Paraclete">http:// wiki/ Paraclete


Spiritual satisfaction:

John 7:37-39 “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive.

The Holy Spirit is given for spiritual guidance:

John 14:25-26 “All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

Acts 15:27-28 Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements:

Acts 10:19-20 While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Simon, three men are looking for you. So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.”


To have the mind of Christ

1 Cor 2:12-16 We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment: “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.


To be led by God

Acts 13:2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

Luke 2:26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts.

Acts 8:29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”


He will sometimes stop us going where we want to go:

Acts 16:6-7 Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.


And at other times lead us where we do not want to go:

Luke 4:1-2 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil.

The Holy Spirit warned Paul of his imprisonment in Jerusalem:

Acts 21:10 After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, “The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jews of Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.’”


Through the Spirit the disciples at Tyre urge Paul not to go to Jerusalem:

Acts 21:4 Finding the disciples there, we stayed with them seven days. Through the Spirit they urged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem.

Yet note that although the Holy Spirit warned Paul of prison and hardship, he said he was “compelled by the Spirit” to still go to Jerusalem despite the danger:

Acts 20:22-23 “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me.”


Leads us into truth (prevents us going into spiritual error):

John 16:12-13 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.”

John 14:16-17 “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever - the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.”

1 John 2:27 As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit -just as it has taught you, remain in him.


We are led either by natural instincts or by the Spirit:

Jude 19 These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.

Some churches have lots of programs but no Christ! Paul says that in the last days people will “have a form of godliness but denying its power.” (2 Tim 3:1-5) i.e. occupied with religious ritual which has lost the significance.

A Chinese Christian recently visited churches on a US tour. When asked what he thought about American spirituality, he answered, “I am amazed at how much the church in America can accomplish without the Holy Spirit.” 1

1 “Why Isn’t the American Church Growing?” - by Kevin Turner


Zech 4:6 So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.”


To have spiritual liberty

2 Cor 3:6 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant - not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

2 Cor 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Gal 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.


Worship in the way God desires:

John 4:23-24 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”

Phil 3:3 For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh


To pray in accordance with God’s will:

Jude 20 But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.

Rom 8:26-27 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.


Conviction of sin

The Holy Spirit brings conviction of sin to the sinner.

John 16:7-9 … Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me;

Acts 7:51 “You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit!”


On one occasion, Smith Wigglesworth recalled, “I was traveling to Cardiff in South Wales. I had been much in prayer on the journey. The carriage was full of people whom I knew to be unsaved, but as there was so much talking and joking I could not get in a word for my Master. As the train was nearing the station, I thought I would wash my hands… and as I returned to the carriage, a man jumped up and said, ‘Sir, you convince me of sin,’ and fell on his knees there and then. Soon the whole carriage of people was crying out the same way. They said, ‘who are you? What are you? You convince us all of sin’...” 1

1 Stanley Frodsham, ‘Smith Wigglesworth, Apostle of Faith’


Sinners were often brought under conviction of sin almost as soon as they entered the cities where Charles Finney was preaching.

Finney seemed so anointed with the Holy Spirit that people were often brought under conviction of sin just by looking at him. When holding meetings at Utica, New York, he visited a large factory there and was looking at the machinery. At the sight of him one of the operatives, and then another, and then another broke down and wept under a sense of their sins, and finally so many were sobbing and weeping that the machinery had to be stopped while Finney pointed them to Christ. 1

1 Source: J. Gilchrist Lawson, “Deeper Experiences of Famous Christians” (1911)


The TIME magazine of 23rd Nov 1959 called Bhengu “the black Billy Graham” and stating that his ministry resulted in the crime rate dropping by as much as a third in some areas. At one meeting the police took away 3 vanloads of stolen goods and weapons that people surrendered when they came to Christ. The TIME article states, “it is not unusual for Evangelist Bhengu to end up by walking down to the police station hand in hand with someone on the wanted list.”


Nicholas Bhengu

But not only does the Holy Spirit bring conviction of sin to the sinner; he brings conviction of sin to the Christian.

The Holy Spirit is a HOLY Spirit and is grieved when we sin:

Eph 4:29-30 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.


And so we are sanctified (made holy) by the Spirit:

Rom 15:16 … so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

Rom 8:13 For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live

2 Thess 2:13 … God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.

1 Pet 1:2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood:


In the Daily Chronicle of 13 Dec 1904, William Stead, a leading journalist of his day and editor of the Pall Mall Gazette in London, relates this about the Welsh revival:

The most thorough-going materialist… could not fail to be impressed by the sincerity of these men; nor, if he were just, could he refuse to recognize that out of their faith in the creed which he has rejected they have drawn, and are drawing, a motive power that makes for righteousness, and not only for righteousness, but for the joy of living, that he would be powerless to give them… Employers tell me that the quality of the work the miners are putting in has improved. Waste is less, men to go their daily toil with a new spirit of gladness in their labour. 1



In the long dim galleries of the mine, where once the hauliers swore at their ponies in Welshified English terms of blasphemy, there is now but to be heard the haunting melody of the Revival music. The pit ponies, like the American mules, having been driven by oaths and curses since they first bore the yoke, are being retrained to do their work without the incentive of profanity. There is less drinking, less idleness, less gambling… 1

1 Ibid


Assurance of salvation

Eph 1:13-14 … Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession - to the praise of his glory.

Eph 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.


Gal 4:6-7 Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.

1 John 3:24 Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us. (also 1 John 4:13)

Rom 8:14-16 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.



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