What it means to be baptized in and by the Holy Spirit

“Baptized in and by the Holy Spirit”

John 1:29-34 The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ I did not recognize Him, but so that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water. John testified saying, “I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’ “I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.”

Two facts concerning the Spiritual Baptism

The Baptizer of the Holy Spirit- Jesus
The Baptized of the Holy Spirit- Believers
The Greek word “baptizo” is used from Acts forward through Galatians 34 times.

Acts 1:5; 2:38, 42; 8:12,13, 16, 38; 9:18; 10:47,48; 11:16,33; 18:8; 19:3,4,5; 22:16;  Romans 6:3;   1 Corinthians 1:13, 14, 15, 16, 17; 10:2; 12:13; 15:29 and Galatians 3:27.
Used three times in reference to the Holy Spirit
Used thirty one times in reference to water
Acts 1:4-5 “Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, which He said, you heard from Me; for John baptized (immersed) with water, but you will be baptized (immersed) with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

Acts 11:16 “And I remembered the Word of the Lord, how He used to say, John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

1 Corinthians 12:13 “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.”

All but three times the term baptism in the book of Acts refers to water baptism by immersion.  The other three times refers to an act that would happen to believers in the near future or the act of baptism by the Holy Spirit that had already taken place.

In Acts 2 when the outpouring of the Holy Spirit took place the Holy Spirit became the gift of God to man.

*** READ Acts 2:1-13 ***

Speaking in tongues on the day of Pentecost was actually a known language for the people who were gathered in Jerusalem that day.  In the KJ translation the word (unknown) is placed in italics before tongues which means the word is not found in the original writings.  This was initially added to bring clarity, however, I believe adding the word (unknown) has brought  much confusion that has ultimately led to interpretation errors.  The word unknown was added in Acts 2 to imply that the person speaking in tongues was speaking in a language not known by the person speaking in tongues but known by the people listening to them speak.  However, we are not told that the person did not know what they were saying it has to be inferred. Today, there are many that believe speaking in unknown tongues allows them to speak babel and utterances that have no known meaning.  But, that is not what happened at Pentecost.  On the day of Pentecost the people who were speaking in tongues was not speaking unknown languages they were speaking languages known by the people who were gathered in Jerusalem on that day. Truthfully there is no such thing as an unknown language.  If the Gentiles in Acts would have been speaking in an unknown tongue at Pentecost the people listening would not have known what they were saying. If you study the context of Acts chapter 2 you understand that there were many nations gathered in Jerusalem. When the Day of Pentecost came, the people from those nations heard the wonderful works of God in their native language from people who in the natural did not speak their language.  The purpose of tongues at that point was for people of every nation to hear the mighty and wonderful works of God.  This use of tongues prepared the people to hear the gospel when Peter later stood up and preached the gospel to the crowd that had gathered together.  Some people mocked them (probably the ones that did not understand what they were saying), however Acts chapter 2 says there were over 3,000 souls that repented of their sins, believed in Jesus as Lord and Savior, that were baptized in water and that all received the gift of the Holy Spirit at their conversion.  I personally believe God used the gift of tongues (speaking in languages) to prove that the receiving of the Holy Spirit would include both Jews and Gentiles along with fulfilling the promise of Father that Jesus spoke of in the Gospels. The promise was for all who would repent and believe in Jesus both the Jew and the Greek.

On page 122 of the book Encountering the Holy Spirit by French Arrington it says; In Acts, those who prayed for the gift of the Holy Spirit were already Christians.  At Pentecost the Holy Spirit was poured out on 120 servants of the Lord: “my servants, both men and women” (Acts 2:18 NIV).  But, if we believe the reason the Holy Spirit was poured out was because the 120 people prayed for the gift of Holy Spirit we are wrong.  The Holy Spirit was poured out on the 120 because God had promised He would, not because they people in the upper room was praying for the gift of the Holy Spirit.  They were told to go to Jerusalem and wait for the promise of the Father.

We must remember the 120 in the upper room were believers living under the Law up until that point, and no one had received the out pouring of the Holy Spirit under the Old Covenant.   It was not until the New Covenant was established in Christ that God would fulfill His promise.

Acts 1:4 says, “Gathering them together, He (Jesus) commanded them (120) not to leave Jerusalem, but to WAIT (not beg) for what the Father had promised; Which He said, you heard from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” This is an unconditional statement given by Jesus that required only for the Disciples to go to Jerusalem and wait for the promise of the Father.

Verse 14 says the 120 were praying, like we should all do, but they were not tolling before God to pour out His Spirit, they were preparing themselves for the coming of the promise, seeking God’s will for the disciples and what to do next.   “These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.”

Several denominations and non-denominational doctrinal statements teach the doctrine of “Second Blessing” directly or indirectly. They teach that one must speak in tongues as the Spirit gives utterance and that it is the initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This troubles me for two reasons.  The first issue is this doctrine is not ever taught by any of the Prophets, the Apostles or by Jesus.  Secondly, it is troubling because they teach that the gift of the Holy Spirit that Jesus promised must now be authenticated with speaking in tongues, which was also never taught anywhere in Scripture.

The term used throughout the Scripture that refers to the Holy Spirit and the believer after salvation and the receiving and the baptism of the Holy Spirit at the Spiritual Birth is the word “filled.” Being filled with the Holy Spirit can only be realized after we are Spiritually Born Again and after receiving the free gift of the Holy Spirit.

We are never commanded to be baptized with the Holy Spirit, we are told by John the Baptist and Jesus that at Pentecost this would happen to all believers.   Why? Because the Holy Spirit had not yet been pour out.
The 120 in the upper room were commanded to wait for the promise of the Holy Spirit however, today we do not have to wait, we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit at our conversion when we are Spiritually Born Again.
One may ask why we are never commanded to be baptized with the Holy Spirit.  It is simply because the Holy Spirit baptism is a free gift from God that is received at one’s Spiritual Birth.
Acts 2:38 “Peter said to them, Repent, and each of you be baptized (water) in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Acts 9:17 “So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

Acts 2:4 “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues (known languages by the people listening), as the Spirit was giving them utterance.”

Being baptized with the Holy Spirit is to receive the Holy Spirit which literally means to be in-dwelled by and filled with the Holy Spirit. This indwelling of the Holy Spirit is given to us when we repent and put our faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord.
To be filled with the Holy Spirit is to be controlled and immersed in the Holy Spirit that already dwells in us.  This is not a second blessing, it is a continual blessing given to us from God.
The evidence of being born of the Spirit is to have the Holy Spirit. When we receive the Holy Spirit we then and only then are able to walk in and by the Spirit, be filled with the Holy Spirit, exercise our Spiritual gifts, pray in and by the Spirit and witness empowered by the Spirit. The gift of speaking in languages and interpreting languages are included in the gifts of the Holy Spirit that one might receive, but these gifts are not necessary in order to receive the Holy Spirit. Not all speak in tongues or have the gift of tongues according to 1 Corinthians 12:30.
The evidence of having the Holy Spirit is revealed in many ways like our Spiritual walk, our Spiritual praying, our Spiritual gifting’s, in our understanding of the Word of God and our witnessing to others in the power of the Holy Spirit just to name a few.

1 Corinthians 12:27-31 profoundly clarifies this issue.
The confusion comes when people or denominations try to teach that if a person has not spoken in tongues then they have not received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  (Where is that in Scripture?)  No where in Scripture does it teach a doctrine called “Second Blessing” or “Initial Evidence.” These are man made words and man made doctrines.

Acts 19:6 “And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues (languages) and prophesying.”  The language was not native to the persons speaking the language, but it was known by those who were listening.

Think about it, if someone were to teach tongues as the initial evidence because of this verse, you would also now have to include prophesying as an initial evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit.
Also, if you want to take this experience farther and make it a doctrinal statement then you would have to include the laying on of hands by an Apostle in order to receive the Holy Spirit.
Why didn’t Paul say in Acts 19:2 like most people who believe in the second blessing today, Did you speak in tongues when you believed?”  No he said, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?  And they said no “we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.”  (Just like all the other believers before Pentecost)
When do you receive the Holy Spirit today?  When you believe!  Not when you believe and then speak in tongues.
Even at Paul’s conversion it was never mentioned that he spoke in tongues when he was filled with the Holy Spirit in Acts 9:17.  He said that he wished that all believers spoke in languages as he did, but he would rather that we all prophesy.

Truth is everyone does not have the gift of tongues, but every person that is born again does have the gift of the Holy Spirit!!!

Proof from God’s Word…

1 Corinthians 14:13-19 “Therefore let one who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret.

14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.

15 What is the outcome then? I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also.

16 Otherwise if you bless in the spirit only, how will the one who fills the place of the ungifted say the ‘Amen’ at your giving of thanks, since he does not know what you are saying?

17 For you are giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not edified.

18 I thank God; I speak in tongues more than you all;

19 however, in the church I desire to speak five words with my mind so that I may instruct others also, rather than ten thousand words in a tongue.”

Listen to this Quote from page 53 of the book “Christian Doctrine” A Pentecostal Perspective volume three

Quote: “At the time of conversion, every believer in Christ is baptized into the body of Christ (the church) of or by the Holy Spirit.  Then, subsequently, the believer in Christ can be baptized with or in the Holy Spirit by Christ.  In the first, in regeneration, the Holy Spirit is the agent.  In the second, the reception of the fullness or gift of the Spirit, Christ is the agent.”

The only Problem with this statement it is not in the Bible.

Truth is Romans 8:9 says if the Spirit of God doesn’t dwell in us then we do not belong to Him (God).  Romans 8:9 “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.  But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.”
What is the evidence of belonging to Jesus? (Christ in us through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit)
What is the evidence of being born again according to John 3:1-8 (Being born of the Holy Spirit)
Matt 3:11 “As for me(John the Baptist), I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals (Jesus); He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
John 1:33I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.”
John 14:15-17 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.  I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you (Now O.T. time) and will be in you (Later after the resurrection and Pentecost).”
Peter said this after Pentecost to the ones who had heard the gospel and wanted to be saved in Acts 2:38-39 “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  For the promise is for you and your children and all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”

Peter commanded them to repent, not be baptized with the Holy Spirit.  You do not earn a gift you simply receive it.
Because, the Holy Spirit is a gift from God not a reward for only those who are willing to speak in tongues.

The Word of God teaches us that we are Baptized by the One Holy Spirit into the One Body of Christ through Jesus Christ when we are born again. The Word of God then instructs us to Pray in the Spirit, Walk in the Spirit, Sing in the Spirit and to be Filled with the Spirit.  We would not be able to participate in these Spiritual things if we did not have the Holy Spirit.

Romans 8:26-27 “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” (Did you notice something profound here, It says “the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words.” We are not saying a word, it is the Holy Spirit that is speaking and interceding on our behalf before God the will of God).
Ephesians 6:18 “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints…”
Jude 20-21 “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.”
Ephesians 5:18 “Do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Holy Spirit….”

Fact: The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a gift from God according to Jesus and the Apostles not a reward for those who speak in tongues.

Fact: Praying in the Holy Spirit is a privilege that only comes through being Born of the Spirit and filled with the Holy Spirit.  This is a privilege that allows every person in the body of Christ to participate.

Speaking in tongues is a spiritual gift given to individuals in the body of Christ as God wills. God’s Word says, “Not all speak in tongues do they?”

A Word from The Word

Be Blessed, 

Pastor Tony Sig

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