Q: On June 9th, believers around the world will celebrate Pentecost. Describe what this holiday commemorates and why it’s so significant to the Christian faith.
A: Well, Pentecost is important because that is when the Holy Spirit was poured out and believers began to be indwelt by the Holy Spirit. We see in Leviticus 9, I Kings 7, and Acts 2 that every time the tabernacle was dedicated, fire fell from heaven and consumed the sacrifice. On the day of Pentecost, when we became the temple of the Holy Ghost, fire fell from heaven and consumed us. So, it’s very significant.
Q: Why did Jesus need to ascend to Heaven in order for the Holy Spirit to be poured out on those gathered together on Pentecost?
A: For one thing, He said that He would go to the Father and send the Holy Spirit. So, that was one of the proofs that He made it to heaven. Because He said He would send the Holy Spirit when He was through. He also said that He would send the Comforter, and it was even to our advantage to have the Holy Spirit.
Q: What is the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and why is it so controversial among believers today?
A: I believe that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a second experience with the Lord, separate from the forgiveness of sins. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit has been with you and He will be in you, that’s out of John chapter 14. And the reason it’s controversial was because every time a person gets filled with the Holy Spirit, even apart from the gifts of the Holy Spirit, there is just a new zeal, it’s like they start being possessed and controlled by the Spirit and it goes against religion. And religion hates it. It’s an attempt to excuse their ineffectiveness and say that healing doesn’t happen today, miracles don’t happen today, and that way they don’t have to take any responsibility for building their faith for believing, and so, it’s a cop-out, is one of the reasons it’s so controversial.
Q: Describe the ministry of the Holy Spirit and His role in our everyday lives.
A: There are a lot of things the Holy Spirit does. For me, the number one that changed in my life when I received the Holy Spirit is that He is the one who wrote the Scriptures. The Word of God just came alive to me! So, the greatest ministry of the Holy Spirit is inspiration, understanding, making the Word of God come alive. But then, I pray in tongues. When I pray in tongues – I spend a lot of time praying in tongues – I interpret it and God speaks things to me through that. When I don’t know how to pray, I pray in tongues because the Holy Spirit makes intercession through me accurately. It’s just essential. I believe that a person without the baptism of the Holy Spirit will never reach their full potential. It’s absolutely essential for maturity.
Q: Saved at age 8, describe how your life radically changed after experiencing the baptism of the Holy Spirit years after accepting Christ.
A: Well, that’s what I was just talking about, the Word of God came alive to me immediately. I began to start taking a stand on things and boldness entered. I was an introvert before and I got totally changed; became an extrovert all through confidence that I received through the Holy Spirit.
Q: How has a relationship with the Holy Spirit impacted and influenced the teachings of Andrew Wommack Ministries?
A: I believe the Holy Spirit is the one who has taught me everything. I didn’t go through college and nobody taught me this stuff. It’s just studying the Word and I credit it all to the Holy Spirit. I wouldn’t even have boldness to stand in front of people if I didn’t have the Holy Spirit.
Q: Each week on Daystar, people across the globe watch your program, The Gospel Truth. What can new viewers who tune in expect to hear?
A: Well, they can definitely hear about the Holy Spirit, and they’ll hear those teachings that have been inspired by the Holy Spirit. I’d have to say that the heart of my ministry has been the balance between grace and faith. And that’s kind of unique – a lot of people teach on grace, a lot of people teach on faith, but very seldom do they combine the two. That’s kind of the niche that God has given me.
Q: Why is it so critical for Christians embrace a relationship with the Holy Spirit and the gifts He offers those willing to receive them?
A: Well, there are multiple reasons, part of it is that people are having the Word choked by the cares of this life and other things entering in and they just aren’t seeking more of God. But, for those who are seeking more of God, when you receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, it pushes you to a new level, and there immediately, your expectations go through the roof. And there’s a lot of people who refuse to get their hopes up because they don’t want to be disappointed. Hope deferred makes the heart sick, so a lot of people would rather be living a sub-standard life and be accepted by everybody than get into the power of the Holy Spirit and risk the criticism and the rejection. A lot of its tradition and doctrines of man. Mark chapter 7 says that the traditions and doctrines of man make the Word of God of none effect. And so, a lot of people are just not receptive to the Holy Spirit because they’ve been taught against it.
Q: How can believers experience the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
A: All you gotta do is ask. Luke 11:13 says that if you being evil know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more will the Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask. So, all you’ve got to do is ask. But you have to believe that you receive when you pray (Mark 11:24). So, you can’t just pray and say, “God, if you want me to have it, I’ll have the Holy Spirit.” That doesn’t work anymore than you praying and saying, “God, if you want me to be saved, then save me.” You have to believe and receive. If you doubt, you do without.
Q: What is the gift of tongues, and how can it transform our lives?
A: The gift of tongues is speaking in a language that isn’t yours. I Corinthians 13 says “if I speak with the tongues of man and of angels.” So, there are tongues of man, that’s what was spoken on the day of Pentecost where they spoke in known languages, and the tongues of angels are unknown languages. It says in I Corinthians 14:2 “when you speak in an unknown tongue, you edify yourself.” That means promote spiritual growth, you build yourself up spiritually. So, speaking in tongues is good! If all you did was speak in tongues and just get spiritual growth, that would be great; but you can also interpret your tongue. As you are speaking in tongues, you are speaking the hidden wisdom of God, a mystery, and you can get it interpreted. So, it’s one of the ways of drawing wisdom out of your spirit. It says in I Corinthians 2:16 that you have the mind of Christ, so you can draw it out by speaking in tongues and asking for an interpretation.
Q: What should leaders in the Body of Christ do to help shift church culture toward a biblical understanding of the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
A: Well, for one thing, they need to teach on it. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. And in the absence of teaching on the Holy Spirit, people don’t have faith for it. And then those who are teaching against the gifts of the Holy Spirit need to quit giving their traditions and doctrines of man that make the Word of God of none effect. So, there needs to be accurate teaching on the Holy Spirit, and demonstration. If people would demonstrate the power of the Holy Spirit, that would go a long ways towards people receiving more of the Holy Spirit’s ministry in their life.
Q: Why is it so important for the next generation of believers to be empowered by the Spirit?
A: Zechariah 4:6 says “not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord.” So, you gotta have the Holy Spirit. Jesus said that you would receive power, after that the Holy Ghost has come upon you and you would be witnesses unto me. So, our witness, our personal victory, and our effectiveness as a witness is all dependent upon the power of the Holy Spirit. It says in John 2 that Jesus would not commit Himself to men, even though He wanted to be known as the Savior, He wouldn’t commit Himself to these people because He knew what was in man and needed not that any should testify of man. And then, even after Jesus was raised from the dead, He would not allow His disciples to go out and tell anybody about the great news until they received the baptism of the Holy Spirit because you have to be empowered by the Holy Spirit to be an effective witness. And it says in Mark 16, “these signs will follow them that believe; in my name, they will cast out devils, they’ll speak with new tongues, they’ll take up serpents, if they drink any deadly thing it shall not harm them, they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.” And then the last few verses of Mark 16 say that the Lord went with them confirming the Word with signs and wonders following. And so, the gifts of the Holy Spirit are what confirm the Word of God. If you don’t have the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, then people just rely on your word. They need the confirmation. Hebrews chapter 2 talks about Jesus was a man approved of God by mighty signs and wonders and miracles which He wrought through Him. So, if Jesus needed His word to be confirmed, man who are we to think that we can affect people without having the Holy Spirit confirm the words we are preaching?