John G Lake and Understanding the Baptism in the Holy Spirit
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.”
1 Peter 3: 15
As believers, especially in these last days, we must be able to defend from the Word the hope we hold dear inside us. We have to understand the enemy is subtle in his deception, and when we don’t have a solid Word foundation with clarity, we can fall for his subtle attacks. When it comes to the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, it is important that we take the time to understand it from the Word.
John G Lake explained-
“This is subject so profound and so comprehensive, that to intelligently understand it we must view it from the scope of continuous and progressive revelation. Like water baptism of the Christian believer, the operations of the Holy Ghost must be apprehended in its successive stages of revelation, otherwise we shall be unable to distinguish between the operation of the Spirit in the Old Testament and the baptism of the Holy Ghost in the New Testament.”
John then added
“A successive dispensation of God never destroys a preceding one. One contrary, it conserves its spirit but broadens its scope.”
Throughout the Word, we see different dispensations and operations of God on the earth. The way God operated and the authority on the earth would change as the progressively moved in restoring mankind back. The Lord keeps revealing His heart, His character, and His nature to man.
“Revelation reaches its climax in this, the Christian dispensation. God in man! For the baptism of the Holy Ghost of the actual incoming of that third person of the glorious Trinity to live in man. This, then, brings us to where we can see the purpose of God in revealing Himself to man by progressive stages of revelation.”
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is something beyond anything we can imagine and is the most glorious thing we can imagine. We see Paul explain how the ministry of Moses saw great glory such that Moses had to have his face covered until his face stopped shining with the glory. We saw the Lord divide the Red Sea and the fire consumes the mountain. But this is nothing in comparison to the glory of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
The Presence of God going with the Children of Israel lifted them above all nations and made them His peculiar people. The Holy Spirit now comes to abide with us and in us.
“As the Christian dispensation supercedes and eclipses all other dispensations, so the real Christian is to excel all who have preceded him. He is the culminating point of God’s effort for mankind. Man is not only to be forgiven, but through the blood of Jesus to be cleansed from the nature of sin, from the evil principle which causes him to be transgress. This cleansing from the ‘inbred sin’ is the actual and experiemental taking out of our breast of the desire for sin.”
Since the fall, the prince of the power of the air has held man captive. Evil spirits do what they are and seek to manifest their personality through the victim they have taken possession of.
“And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”
2 Corinthians 3: 4-6
The enemy seeks to gain control over mankind through his insufficiencies and lusts. The word for sufficiency here is “hikanos” meaning:
- Able to meet the need
Life is simply too great, and no one person is self-sufficient. The cares and problems of life are beyond us, and we need Him. But the wonderful Holy Spirit comes in His mighty power to work in us and through us. He is the Almighty God, the More than Sufficient One.
Further, the Holy Spirit comes and ministers life to us. Everything of the enemy produces death and always brings the person into deeper and deeper bondage.
“Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
2 Corinthians 3: 17-18
The Holy Spirit brings us into liberty, and as we yield to Him, He lifts us and brings us into ever-increasing degrees of glory. The Holy Spirit brings out the best in us and seeks to reveal to us our true worth in Christ. This transformation is to bring forth in us His image and likeness. This baptism in the Holy Spirit is a submerging into the Person and Personality of the Holy Spirit, and as we yield to Him, He brings forth the wonderful image of Christ in us and through us.
In this Baptism, the Holy Spirit takes the vessel and makes it like Himself holy. Lake explained-
“The inner heart cleansing that John and the disciples of Jesus, demanded before they would baptize a man is the necessary preparation for the baptism of the Holy Ghost. A holy God must have a holy dwelling place.”
No wonder Peter said-
“As obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.”
1 Peter 1: 14, 15
In ALL our conduct, we are to be holy. How can we walk holy in all our conduct? In our obedience and submission to the Holy Spirit! Peter added-
“And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear;”
1 Peter 1: 17
The Father does not discriminate towards any but judges without partiality. In the Old Testament, we see the Lod God raised up prophets as His voices, and he protected these prophets. But in the New Testament, the call to touch, not His anointed, is extended to all believers. We are to walk in holy fear by keeping our hearts soft to the Holy Spirit in order that we are quickly convicted. We walk right toward God, and man always walks in holy fear before the Holy Spirit.
Lake then explained:
“The personal coming of the Holy Ghost into human consciousness is the crowning fact of God’s manifestation in history!”
The Holy Spirit came to make a man a habitation for the Lord God to dwell within and amongst. In the Old Testament times of Moses, the Presence of God going with the Children of Israel lifted them above all other nations and ensured that they always had victory. The Stronger Strongman dwelling un and with us! We should never fear any devil, no matter how great they claim to be, because:
“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
1 John 4: 4
Amen and amen! So many walk in fear of the enemy because they fail to see who dwells in them. The Lord sought to demonstrate to the Children of Israel that it was simply because of Him that no enemy, no matter how great, would fall before them. There was no nation that could stand in their way if He was with them.
If God is for us, who can be against us?”
Romans 8: 31
Lake went on to explain:
“The Holy Ghost entering into us, taking possession of our personality, living in us, moving us, controlling us, and lifting us into heavenly experiences in Christ Jesus is the baptism in the Holy Ghost, through which we become participators in the ascended life of Christ in glory.”
When we read the Book of Acts, it is the Acts of the Holy Spirit through and with the Church. The Holy Spirit working through these humble vessels of earth defeated the enemy’s strongholds and turned the world upside down. They understood the importance of the Holy Spirit and the need for His fellowship every day. His personality realized in our lives changes us and lifts us.
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.”
2 Corinthians 13: 14