INTRODUCTION BY STEPHEN
For today’s written article I wanted to share with you the story of Smith Wigglesworth’s baptism in the Holy Ghost which led to several moves of God following the encounter. In this story you’ll hear the powerful testimony told in Smith’s own words which can be found in his legendary book “Faith That Prevails” in chapter four, a book which I’m currently reading and would highly recommend. Smith thought He had the baptism of the Spirit until He attended some meetings in Sunderland, England where a “Mrs. Boddy” (the episcopal vicar’s wife) prayed for Smith to receive the baptism with unction; that is the baptism of the Spirit with the evidence of tongues and the infilling of power. The account that follows is both fascinating and inspiring. Smith recalls that after Mrs. Boddy laid hands on him He was immediately baptized in power. When He returned home with this new baptism of power everyone immediately noticed the difference and knew that something had changed with him. His ministry and his meetings were never the same after that moment. Many moves of God and outpourings of the Spirit were traced by Smith back to that one encounter that happened that night after He came earnestly desiring that fresh touch from God. You may know of a baptism of sorts but have you known the baptism of the Spirit that comes with the mantling of fresh power from on high? That is the baptism that Jesus promised and that is the baptism the disciples experienced in the book of Acts! That’s the baptism we need today!
Are you hungry for a fresh touch from the Lord? Are you in need of a fresh baptism of the Spirit of God with power and unction? I know I am! Oh how we need it today. Oh how this lost and hurting world needs a church on fire because of a fresh baptism from on high! I pray that this story would bless your heart and stir you to fresh encounters with the Lord! It’s available for those who would seek the Lord like Smith Wigglesworth did in his time!
In his Service,
THE MOVE OF GOD WHICH CAME FROM SMITH WIGGLESWORTH BEING BAPTIZED IN THE HOLY GHOST
It was about thirty-one years ago that a man came to me and said, “Wigglesworth, do you know what is happening in Sunderland? People are being baptized in the Holy Ghost exactly the same way as the disciples were on the Day of Pentecost.” I said, “I would like to go.” I immediately took the train and went to Sunderland. I went to the meetings and said, “I want to hear these tongues.” I was told, “When you receive the Baptism in the Holy Ghost, you will speak in tongues.” I said, “I have the Baptism in the Holy Ghost.” One man said, “Brother, when I received the Baptism I spoke in tongues.” I said, “Let's hear you.” He could not speak in tongues to order, he could only speak as the Spirit gave him utterance and so my curiosity was not satisfied.
I saw these people were very earnest and I became quite hungry. I was anxious to see this new manifestation of the Spirit and I would be questioning all the time and spoiling a lot of the meetings. One man said to me, “I am a missionary and I have come here to seek the Baptism in the Holy Ghost. I am waiting on the Lord, but you have come in and are spoiling everything with your questions.” I began to argue with him and our love became so hot that when we walked home he walked on one side of the road and I on the other.
That night there was to be a tarrying meeting and I purposed to go. I changed my clothes and left my key in the clothes I had taken off. As we came from the meeting in the middle of the night I found I did not have my key upon me and this missionary brother said, “You will have to come and sleep with me.” But do you think we went to bed that night? Oh, no, we spent the night in prayer. We received a precious shower from above. The breakfast bell rang, but that was nothing to me. For four days I wanted nothing but God. If you only knew the unspeakably wonderful blessings of being filled with the Third Person of the Trinity, you would set aside everything else to tarry for this infilling.
I was about to leave Sunderland. This revival was taking place in the vestry of an Episcopal Church. I went to the Vicarage that day to say goodbye and I said to Sister Boddy, the vicar's wife, “I am going away, but I have not received the tongues yet.” She said, “It isn't tongues you need, but the Baptism.” I said, “I have the Baptism, Sister, but I would like to have you lay hands on me before I leave.” She laid her hands on me and then had to go out of the room. The fire fell. It was a wonderful time as I was there with God alone. It seemed as though God bathed me in power. I was given a wonderful vision. I was conscious of the cleansing of the precious blood and cried out, “Clean! Clean! Clean!” I was filled with the joy of the consciousness of the cleansing. I saw the Lord Jesus Christ. I saw the empty cross and I saw Him exalted at the right hand of God the Father. As I was extolling, magnifying, and praising Him I was speaking in tongues as the Spirit of God gave me utterance. I knew now that I had received the real Baptism in the Holy Ghost.
I sent a telegram home and when I got there one of our boys said, "Father, I hear you have been speaking in tongues. Let's hear you." I could not speak in tongues. I had been moved to speak in tongues as the Spirit of God gave utterance at the moment I received the Baptism, but I did not receive the gift of tongues and could not speak a word. I never spoke again in tongues until nine months later when I was praying for someone, and it was then that God gave me the permanent gift of speaking in tongues.
And so Saul was filled with the Holy Ghost and in the later chapters of the Acts of the Apostles we see the result of this infilling. Oh, what a difference it makes. When I got home my wife said to me, "So you think you have received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. Why, I am as much baptized in the Holy Ghost as you are." We had sat on the platform together for twenty years but that night she said, "Tonight you will go by yourself." I said, "All right." As I went up to the platform that night the Lord gave me the first few verses of the sixty-first chapter of Isaiah, "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek: He hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound." My wife went back to one of the furthermost seats in the hall and she said to herself, "I will watch it." I preached that night on the subject the Lord had given me and I told what the Lord had done for me. I told the people that I was going to have God in my life and I would gladly suffer a thousand deaths rather than forfeit this wonderful infilling that had come to me. My wife was very restless. She was moved in a new way and said, "That is not my Smith that is preaching. Lord, you have done something for him." As soon as I had finished, the secretary of the mission got up and said, "Brethren, I want what the leader of our mission has got." He tried to sit down but missed his seat and fell on the floor. There were soon fourteen of them on the floor, my own wife included. We did not know what to do, but the Holy Ghost got hold of the situation and the fire fell. A revival started and the crowds came. It was only the beginning of the flood-tide of blessing. We had touched the reservoir of the Lord's life and power. Since that time the Lord has taken me to many different lands and I have witnessed many blessed outpourings of God's Holy Spirit.
The grace of God that was given to the persecuting Saul is available for you. The same Holy Ghost infilling he received is likewise available. Do not rest satisfied with any lesser experience than the Baptism that the disciples received on the Day of Pentecost, then move on to a life of continuous receiving of more and more of the blessed Spirit of God.â€
- Smith Wigglesworth, “Faith that Prevails”, pg.32-36