Tarrying For The Holy Spirit
Is It Scriptural?
The idea of "tarrying" for the Holy Spirit came out of the Pentecostal Revival which started in 1906 around the turn of the 20th century. It started in a "mission" church on Azusa St., in the now doomed city of Los Angeles, California. There, according to His promise to restore all things, God began to pour out His Spirit upon all flesh, manifesting "the Gift" and "gifts" of the Holy Ghost - exactly like it was in the early church. From here the Pentecostal revival spread around the world like wild-fire. Signs, wonders and divers manifestations of God's Spirit were multiplied beyond number.

Professor David Edwin Harrell, Jr., in his very unbiased and informative book, "All Things Are Possible" clearly sets forth (in Chapter 2) the "Origins" or beginnings of the Pentecostal Revival. But it wasn't long before the revival cooled down and a denominational spirit began to overtake the next generation of Pentecostals. Pentecostal theologians began to put their own interpretations to what God had done at Azusa Street and the few years immediately following the initial out-pouring of the Spirit. The leadership of the Holy Ghost was predominately ursurped by the leadership of men as they moved to denominate or organize the Revival which God had started. The emphasis began to move away from the "Giver" to the "gifts"; and because many failed to understand the purpose of the 'gifts', they were used, mis-used and abused. The predominate 'gifts' were healing, speaking in tongues, the interpretation of tongues, prophesy and the experience which came to be called in Pentecostal circles, "The Gift or Baptism of the Holy Ghost".

Salvation was fervently preached in a 'fire and brimstone' saw-dust trail manner. Men and women were commanded to "repent and be Baptized in water, for the remission of their sins." All-be-it, they preached a false water baptism in the "titles" of Father, Son and Holy Ghost and when God attempted to make known the revelation of these "titles" for the true water baptism - in the "NAME" of the Lord Jesus Christ, most Pentecostals rejected it; and those who accepted it also eventually succumbed to a denomination spirit and made a denomination around their revelation of water baptism and the Oneness of the Godhead.

But following "repentance" and "water baptism", the converts were encouraged to 'go on' and 'seek' for the "Baptism of the Holy Ghost", with the "evidence" of speaking in other tongues. Instead of just accepting (by Faith) God's FREE gift of the Holy Ghost, the people were taught that they had to "seek, tarry and perhaps pray all night" to receive the Holy Ghost. The basic and simple teaching of the Bible was ignored: "Repent and be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ.....and you SHALL receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." The instructions says nothing about seeking, tarrying or praying all night for it.

We do know that the Bible plainly teaches that there is an experience of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost and that Jesus is the Baptizer (See: Mark 1:8; John 1:33; and Acts 1:4-5). In fact there is no "new birth" or "born again" experience without the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. Repentance, Water Baptism and Spirit Baptism are all tied into the "New Birth". It is Justification (in repentance - showing God's call in our life); Sanctification (in water baptism - symbolic of the washing or cleansing of the life to be presented as a "living sacrifice" (Romans 12:1); and the "New Birth" (in Spirit Baptism - literally sanctifying, cleansing and empowering to be a living witness and testimony of the saving and keeping power of the Lord Jesus Christ).

But there's no waiting or 'tarrying' involved. It's like a 'natural birth', there is water, blood and the spirit of life. If you waited for the child to start breathing it would become a still-born child. Usually there is a sudden, yet gentile spanking of the child, causing the breath of natural life to be sucked into it's lungs, etc. According to the Bible, on the day of Pentecost there were three thousand souls added to the body of believers, but there is no record of them "tarrying" or waiting for the Holy Ghost. The Bible says, "Then they that gladly received his Word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the Apostles doctrine and fellowship, and in the breaking of bread and in prayers." (Acts 2:41-42).

But verses 43-47 bear witness to the fact that they did receive the Holy Ghost. They genuinely repented, were baptized and God - true to His promise - filled them with the Holy Ghost. The disciples were commanded to "Tarry" or "Wait" in the city till the Holy Ghost "Came"; and when He came on the day pf Pentecost, the Holy Ghost despensation was issued in and there was no more need to tarry for the Spirit - just opening up your heart and receive Him in as Lord and Saviour - Christ in us the hope of glory.

Those who teach that the believer must 'tarry' or 'wait' for the Holy Ghost base their teaching on their 'misunderstanding' of Luke 24:49 and Acts 2:4 - Luke refers to Jesus' command to His disciples to "Tarry in the City of Jerusalem until ye be endued with Power from on high." Acts chapter 2 refers to the "historical" account of the first out-pouring of the Holy Ghost (the Power) on the early church - ushering in the despensation of the Holy Spirit. The theologians putting the two together came up with the doctrine of "tarrying" for the Holy Ghost and receiving the Holy Ghost with the evidence of supernaturally "speaking in other tongues".

In fact, some Pentecostal Evangelist and Pastors would have special 'tarrying meetings' wherein people could tarry for the Holy Ghost. No doubt in some Pentecostal circles and Charismatic Movements this is still practiced today. From personal experience I know that 'seekers' were (and are yet today) encouraged to "let their tongues go" They were taught that if they spoke in tongues, then they had attained to the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. Over the years thousands "tarried" and "received" the Baptism of the Holy Ghost WITH speaking in other tongues, with sensations, etc., not because it was the Scriptural way but because thats the way they were taught.

Looking into the Scriptures we find this to be an absolutely unscriptural teaching. After the Holy Ghost came on the Day of Pentecost, NEVER once did they have to "tarry" for the Holy Ghost again. Why "tarry" for that which is already here? It's only a matter of, by faith accepting it. God said in His Word, "Repent and be baptized everyone of you in the NAME of Jesus Christ, for the remissions of your sins, and YOU SHALL RECEIVE the gift of the Holy Ghost". It doesn't say anything about 'tarrying' for Him - YOU SHALL RECEIVE!. The Lord asks us to (by faith) do two things: (1) Repent of our sin and unbelief; (2) be baptized, by total immersion in water, in the NAME of the Jesus Christ. The 'third' step is God's step - giving you the gift of the Holy Ghost. If you excerised genuine faith in the first two steps - God has obligated Himself to fill you with the Holy Ghost - a portion of His Eternal Life IN you.

The evidence that you have "received" the Holy Ghost is NOT speaking in other tongues. The Apostle Paul tells us in 1st. Cor. 14:22 that "...tongues are for a sign, NOT to them that believe, but to the unbelieving". The evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost is a life that 'continues in the Word' and 'a changed life' - hungering and thirsting for more and more of God - for a closer walk with Him (John 8:31; John 16:13 and 2nd. Cor. 5:17). AFTER you have received the Holy Ghost you are "born again" by the "incorrupible Seed of the Word of God" quickened (made alive) in our hearts by the Holy Ghost. AFTER you're born again you will experience some emotion and sensation - you may speak with tongues and you may not. But one thing is sure YOU WILL "continue in the Word daily"; YOU WILL have an attitude, motive and objective governed by the Word of God - zealous for the things of God; YOU WILL be sit free from self and "old things will have passed away and all thing will have become new".

If we desire some evidence of the Holy Ghost in our lives, let's look at the life of one who had the Holy Ghost without measure - our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he learned obedience by the things which He suffered (Hebrews 5:8), there were three things which governed what He did and how He did it. First, He did only those things which the Father showed Him (John 5:19). Second, He did only those things that pleased the Father (John 8:29); and thirdly, His meat (reason for living) was to do the will of Him that sent Him (John 5:30). Let's ask ourselves these questions: 1. Do we only do those things which God shows us (in His Word)? 2. Do we do only those things which please the Father? 3. Do we live only to do His will, according to His Word?

The Prophet Speaks.......

Speaking of the mysteries revealed in the Opening of the Seven Seals, Brother Branham stated that one of the mysteries was, "The Baptism of the Holy Ghost without sensation". The true baptism of the Spirit is known, not by emotion but by the Revelation of the Word to the Heart. "When He the Spirit of Truth is come, He will guide you into ALL Truth." Therefore, to receive the Word for this Age is to receive Him, the Holy Spirit, because He is the Word.


"...Well, people say, "Let's have a tarrying meeting. Glory to God, let's go back." And say, "Glory to God, let's tarry for the Holy Ghost." There's no such a thing. "Tarry" don't mean "pray." "Tarry" means "wait." How many knows that the word "tarry" means "wait"? Jesus said, "Wait up there in the city of Jerusalem until the promise is given you." I don't know what they were doing. They was probably praying. I don't know.

But never did they have to wait after that. "While Peter spake these Words, the Holy Ghost fell on them." And when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Ghost came on them. Is that right? See, no waiting, the Holy Ghost was there and give them the baptism of the Holy Ghost in confirmation of their faith.

And when you say, "I believe God; I believe Jesus Christ," then God gives you the baptism of the Holy Ghost as a sign that He's accepted your faith. Hallelujah. And then you're sealed in the Kingdom of God, not till the next revival, but until the day of your redemption: Ephesians 4:30, "Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God whereby you're sealed until the day of your redemption." There you are.


Every man and woman here who has a need of God can receive it right now. Do you believe that? How many believes with all your heart now? Now, you sinners and people seeking the Holy Ghost, here's what the Holy Ghost is friends... - You don't have to seek and beg and tarry. It's right with you now. See?

You say, "Well, we need a tarrying meeting." "Tarry" means "wait," not pray.....They had to wait till the end of the forty days or fifty days for Pentecost. There's no more waiting after that. Right now you can receive It. No more tarrying, just now, just have a willing heart. Reach right up to God.....While Peter spake these words, the Holy Ghost...[fell on them that heard the Word].

Questions And Answers - A IMAGE OF THE BEAST - 54-0515

But now, in laying on of hands - Now, I'm going to differ with...you dear Pentecostal people, now don't fall out with me. But now when you come to a place and say, "We'll go tarry for the Holy Ghost,"; what a word's been used in Pentecost.....not hurting your feelings...but I must be honest if I've got to come to the Word. There is no such a thing as tarrying meeting. You've been in error.

Now, notice, the Holy Spirit come back there. The Pentecostal people waited, "And suddenly there came a sound from heaven like a rushing mighty wind, filled the house where they were sitting." Not one time did they ever have to wait after that. While Peter spake these Words to the Gentiles, the Holy Ghost fell on them, even before they was baptized. Is that right? (Acts 10:49).

The apostolic way, God had no set rule: When the heart's hungry He'll give you what you're hungering for. If you want the Holy Ghost, It can fall on you right now.

Questions And Answers - A IMAGE OF THE BEAST - 54-0515

QUESTION: Brother Bill, please tell me how to obtain the baptism of the Holy Ghost -i is it by prayer, surrendered life, accepting it as we do healing? Do you pray and lay hands on for the baptism of the Holy Ghost?

Now, my dear Christian friend, I am not telling you what to do. I'm only laying the Scripture down. And you know how the Holy Ghost can come right now while we're speaking. The Holy Ghost is a gift of God. See? It could come while we're speaking. If the people was taught right - let me ask you something: You old-timers that's been in the Tabernacle, watch when I baptize people, and you ministers take this for an example. I taught those people till they had that life cleaned up before they went to that water. And I had them believing that God was obligated to keep His promise. As soon as they was baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit was right there to receive it, and when they come up out of the water they received the Holy Ghost. That's right. If you Shepherds teach your sheep; get them in the Bible here. Get away from that old textbook of some church and get down here in the Bible where God talked, and you won't have those troubles.


Now, I was going to study just a little while this afternoon on a few things to talk on for tonight, but I didn't get in in time to do so...And so on that, I was holding that off for in a few days, the Lord willing, so when we have a lot of time. And then I found the 10th chapter of the Acts, speaking of the early church. If anyone desires, and have a Bible, that would turn to Acts the 10th chapter... Last Sunday we studied in the book of Acts, concerning the early church. We were in Acts 2, I believe. Peter told them, about how they had to repent, and to be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins, and receive the Holy Ghost.

Now, I'm thoroughly convinced that many things that's in the Scripture, that's apostolic, that we don't carry out this day. And for instance, one thing, many people has said "How, when you're out in those evangelistic meetings, how do you get thirty thousand people to the altar to get saved?" They don't have to come to the altar to get saved. The only thing they have to do is believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. That right?

I can't be a Catholic. But the Catholic believes this Word's inspired, but the church is over the Word. I can't be a Protestant, for the Protestant just take as much as they think it's all right, and the rest of it ain't inspired. So I believe what the Bible says to be the truth. I believe that that's God's Word. And in order to believe that, I've got to surrender my whole life and my whole will to that, to believe that that is the truth, that there's nothing else truth but that. There's no more to be added to it, or none taken away from it. That's just the way it's supposed to be. "And anybody that'll take out of that book, or add to it, the same will be taken out of the Book of life," said God in Revelations. That is God's complete will and revelation of Jesus Christ to the people.

And in Acts 2:38, They said, "Men and brethren, what can we do first?" They wanted to be saved. Now, watch. He's talking there to unbelievers. Now, watch what he [Peter] said. He said, "Repent, every one of you." Now, what does repent mean? "Repent" means "to be sorry for what you've done." For instance, what if I turned right around here now and hit my brother without a cause, and I want to repent for it. I'd say, "Brother Neville, I'm sorry I did that." See? Well then, if I say, "I'm sorry I did it," and mean it from my heart, I am repentant.

And if I'm sorry for my sins, and ask God to forgive me, I am repentant. Is that right? All right. Peter said, "Repent (or be sorry for your sins), and then be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." Is that true? All right.

Now,... I just want to take it easy, so it'll soak real deep. If a man is sorry for his sins and repents, being sorry for his sins, and accepts Jesus Christ as his Saviour from his sins, and is baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ, God's under obligation at that very minute to give the man the baptism of the Holy Ghost. If He doesn't... He didn't keep His Word. Is that right? Now, why all the tarrying meetings then? Why all the evidences and things we got to have?

Now, Jesus said, Saint John 5:24, "He that heareth My Word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath Everlasting Life." Now, what does the word "Everlasting" mean? That means, "Without end." "He that heareth My Words, and believeth on Him that sent Me, has Life without end." Why all the coming back and trying to get saved over, and all these things then? If you got life without end, you can't perish. Now, if some of you might want to look the word up, you'll find in there, the Greek word, has "Z-o-e," the Greek word, which means "The life of God." Because if it's everlasting, there's only one thing that is everlasting, and that is God. He is, "From everlasting unto everlasting, Thou art God."

Now, if He's from everlasting and to everlasting, and has give you everlasting unto Everlasting Life, then you'll have to become a part of His everlasting Being. Is that right? And if you become a part of His everlasting Being, that makes you a son or a daughter to Him; which exactly fulfill what the Scripture says, "We're sons and daughters of God." Is that right? When did you get it? When you shouted? When you went to the altar? When you spoke in tongues? When you believed. We baptize so many that don't believe. We hear so many speak in tongues, that don't believe. We have worked them up to evidences, and say, "When you do this, you got it." There's nothing in the Bible, no where in the Bible, that you can pin a man down, because he does this, that he's a Christian. He's a Christian because he believes. And his own life bears the fruit of the Spirit, no matter what he does. See? That's it.

Now, and when you believe, you receive Everlasting Life. And Everlasting Life is God, and God is the Holy Spirit. Is that right? If God and the Holy Spirit isn't the same Person, Jesus had two fathers. Jesus said that God was His Father, and the Bible says that the Holy Ghost was His Father, so they both was the same Person. And if you receive God, Everlasting Life in you, then what have you received? That's what I want to know. You get the idea?

We're so full of theory, the church has been, because it's been denominationalized. This denomination finds this; they believe in this; they make a denomination out of it. They can't move no farther than that. But God's Church is constantly moving, moving on. It just moves right off and leaves the denominations setting in the back. It moved away from Luther. It moved away from Methodist. It moved away from Baptist. It moved away from Presbyterian. And it's moving away from Pentecost. Sure. because Everlasting Life is moving on. See? And you get it because (Why?) you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.


That's the same thing we do today. Yes, sir. Walk over the top of this (Bible) which is God in letter form (That's right.), and accept some man's creed or dogma instead of it: selling your birthrights for a mess of pottage, for a popularity, for a church that'll let you wear bobbed hair and shorts and send you to cocktail parties, and things like that; and then call yourself a Christian. Shame on you. Right.

I'm not scolding you. But through godly respects and love... That's right. Get away from such a thing as that. Come back to God and His Bible. Come back to the Gospel truth. Yeah. Let some organization wrap you away from the things of God, don't you never do that. You come back to God's simple way. Just fall on your knees and say, "Lord God, I don't care how You give it (Baptism Of Holy Ghost) to me, but I'm here for it." Watch what happens. Be sincere about it. He's more anxious to give it to you than you are to receive it. You don't have to tarry, and tarry, and tarry. There's no such a thing. "While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on them that believed." The trouble of it is we don't want it enough. We don't want to humble ourselves. That's right.

The Gentile Bride stands by faith alone - not by feelings, not by sight but by Faith (revelation ) alone - that which is revealed by the Holy Ghost. The New Testament teaches that the Gospel to the Gentiles is totally a "Faith Gospel". We see this in the example of the Roman Centurian seeking the healing of a servant. He said to Jesus, "I am not worthy that you should come under my roof; SPEAK THE WORD ONLY and my servant shall be healed" (Matthew 8:8). But for the Jew, their request was always, "Come lay hands on ....." (Mark 5:23).

Even in the receiving the Holy Ghost, the Jews required the laying on of hands of the Apostles but for the Gentiles it was just a matter of receiving the Word by Faith. As we have already stated above concerning Peter in the house of Cornelius: "While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on those who heard the Word." (Acts 10:44).

The evidence of the Holy Ghost in the Believer, guides the believer into ALL truth (John 16:13). He keeps changing us and pointing us, with All humility to the Word for this Age. On the day of Pentecost the Holy Ghost in Peter declared, "THIS IS THAT WHICH WAS SPOKEN BY THE PROPHET." Therefore, the true evidence is to "receive the Word for your day" - that which the Holy Spirit prophesied for this age - The Holy Spirit will not deny His own Word - Praise the Lord!

Thus Saith The Lord Return To Home Page