Grace Tidings: Believe and receive you don’t have to wait and tarry

As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, it's our responsibility to boldly preach the Gospel and faithfully teach God's Word.

As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, it's our responsibility to boldly preach the Gospel and faithfully teach God's Word.

“Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things...So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:13-15,17).

The manifestation of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost arrested the people's attention. Seizing the opportunity, Peter stood up and preached Christ. The people responded by asking, "What must we do to be saved?" Peter answered: Repent, and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are far off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call (Acts 2:38,39).

Considering the context, the day of Pentecost and looking back to Acts 1:4-5 and 8, it's clear that the promise being spoken of here is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Almost everyone would agree that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit is part and parcel of true revival. Peter was saying, "What you have seen, this outpouring of the Holy Spirit, this manifestation of the coming of God's Spirit, the in-dwelling of the Holy Ghost, and the miraculous manifestations this has caused — is not only for you, but also for your children, for your children's children, and all those who will follow."

Peter was looking into the future to the generations to come, saying that this promise they were experiencing of the outpoured Holy Spirit is for us today too. God never quit pouring out His Holy Spirit. This promise was intended to go from generation to generation to all believers throughout time. Although the baptism in the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit have only been widely recognized and received by the body of Christ at large for the last century or so, it's not because they weren't available. An honest look at church history will reveal pockets of believers down through the centuries ever since the book of Acts who received the Holy Spirit and operated in His power.

However, somewhere along the way, perhaps around the beginning of what's now called the Dark Ages, the church at large, for whatever reasons, stopped believing in and receiving this promise. In the early days of the Pentecostal movement, believers didn't fully understand how they received this powerful manifestation of the Holy Spirit. They didn't understand exactly what they had to do to receive the Holy Spirit. As a result, one of dominant doctrines that emerged from those early days of the Pentecostal movement was to "tarry" for the Holy Spirit.

They said, "You have to beg and plead with God to pour out and fill you with His Holy Spirit." They would just wait, sometimes years for this cataclysmic experience where God would touch them and baptize them in the Holy Spirit. It's almost as if we've swung over to the opposite extreme today. Many people come forward who have never even heard about the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

They don't know why they need the Holy Spirit. They don't know what to expect. There's no anticipation and no desire. I have seen people receive prayer from the baptism in the Holy Spirit, walk back to their seat, and it seems to have zero impact on their life. That's not good either. 

One good thing about the way the old-time Pentecostals did it was that when they finally received the baptism in the Holy Spirit, it meant something to them. They would pray desperately, wailing and travailing before God, sometimes for years. But once received, the Holy Spirit had a profound impact on their lives. We know today that we don't have to "tarry" or wait for God to pour out His Spirit. We don't have to beg and plead for the Lord to send the Holy Ghost. We can just believe and receive the free gift He's given. Still, it would be wonderful to see the hunger that the "tarrying" produced.

In Acts 1, Jesus told His disciples to wait for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Being assembled together with them, Jesus commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father.. .you shall be baptised with the Holy Ghost not many days hence (Acts 1:4-5). At the time, Jesus had resurrected, but He hadn't yet ascended. He was still bodily upon the earth. Soon after He ascended though, He poured out the Holy Spirit on His disciples on the day of Pentecost.

Now that the Holy Spirit has already been given, there's no need to wait any longer. In light of that, if you're going to take this admonition to wait literally, then you must also physically go to the city of Jerusalem to do it. “Behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry you in the city of Jerusalem, until you be endued with power from on high (Luke 24:49). Jesus commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father (Acts1:4).

Jesus told these disciples to wait because there was about fifty more days until Pentecost. That's not the case anymore. Now that the Holy Spirit has already been poured out, you can just believe and receive. I have seen many people pray for and receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, speak in tongues, and have a life-changing experience with God right away simply by believing and receiving. You don't have to wait and "tarry."

Most people would agree with what I'm sharing about the baptism in the Holy Spirit, but when it comes to revival, they just shift gears saying, "Oh, but we have to beg and plead, wail and travail. We must get a million people praying and fasting together so God will send revival and pour out His Spirit." No, you just have to believe and receive. And as you get revived, you'll have an opportunity to influence and share that revival with the people around you. As you, your friends, your family, and your workplace get revived, they go out and share too, and it spreads.

The reason we aren't seeing a greater revival isn't because we don't have millions of people praying and asking God to pour out His Spirit. It's simply that we have very few people who are flowing in revival — believing God's Word, taking their authority, and making the power of God manifest. Duncan Campbell, an outstanding Scottish preacher in the early to mid-twentieth century, preached the Scottish Hebrides Revival. This was a powerful manifestation of the Holy Spirit that was received over a hundred years ago.

He told how there were two little Scottish women who prayed for over twenty years; then there was a Scottish pastor and his seven elders who also prayed nearly a year, all asking the Lord to pour out His Spirit. Finally, one day the power of God hit, and they experienced all of these glorious things. He said this happened because of all that begging and pleading with God for over twenty years.

There is absolutely no need to beg and plead and wait for that long because it is the desire of your Father for you to have the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Just believe and receive this free gift. At times we complicate the Word of God by manufacturing our own doctrines and traditions. It is these traditions of man that make the Word of God non effective.


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