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The Baptism in the Holy Spirit


And it shall come about after this that I will pour out of My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and daughters will prophecy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.  (Joel 2: 28)

For I will pour out water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring, and my blessings on your descendants.  (Isaiah 44:3)

Until the Spirit is poured out upon us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fertile field, and the fertile field is considered as a forest.  (Isaiah 32: 15)

Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all tour idols. Moreover I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will pour my Spirit and cause you to walk in My statutes; and you will be careful to observe my ordinances.  (Ezekiel 36:25-27)

The baptism with the Holy Spirit is inextricably connected with the pouring out of the Spirit when Peter cited the prophet Joel and said, “This (the baptism in the Spirit) is that (the pouring out of the Spirit on all mankind).”   (KJV)  Baptism with the Spirit is an aspect of the pouring out of the Spirit because the Spirit is poured out richly and abundantly, without measure.

Such are some examples of the prophecies and promises of God.  We should note that the pouring out of the Spirit is preceded by a cleansing of the individual by clean water, a reference we believe to baptism.  Then the stony heart is removed and replaced with a heart of flesh whose concern is adherence to the will of God.   See: Proverbs 1: 23; Ezekiel 39: 29; Zechariah 12: 10; Isaiah 59: 21; Jeremiah 31: 9, 31; Micah 5: 7


What are some of the views concerning baptism with the Holy Spirit?

According to Wikipedia:

As you can see there is a great variety of opinion but one thing stand out, they all hold the baptism in the Spirit as applicable to all believers.  The oldest traditions, the  Orthodox and Catholics  are correct I believe if they hold that baptism in the Spirit occurs during the baptism in water.  But then Catholicism posits a second anointing to coincide with their sacrament of confirmation.  This second anointing may be the origin of the second work of grace of the Wesleyans and others.


What is the position of the Restoration Movement in trgard to baptism in the Spirit?

In contrast, most, but not all, in the Restoration Movement hold that the baptism in the Holy Spirit is one of four measures of the Spirit-  received only by the apostles and Cornelius and his houdehold.  The other measures are the unlimited measure- received by Christ; the miraculous measure- received by those upon whom the apostles laid hands; the ordinary or indwelling measue- received at regeneration when baptized in water.  Some hold that the Spirit is received representatively.

Plain Talk no longer hold this view for several reasons; the most compelling is that the Scriptures clearly state that God does not give the Spirit by measure.  (John 3: 34)


What is the baptism in the Holy Spirit according to the Scriptures?

IMMERSION    When dealing with an unknown we should try to find something that is similar, but known.  “Baptism in water” is similar and it is known.  “Baptism in water” is simply immersion in water.  Similarly, the baptism in the Spirit is simply immersion in the Spirit.  No mysterious experience; no over whelming that some claim.  The baptism of the Spirit has to do with how the Spirit was given, not what was given nor the powers or gifts that the Spirit gives as He wills. The “baptism in the Holy Spirit” is a metaphor for immersion in the Spirit.  Just as we are baptized with water when immersed in water, likewise we are baptized in the Spirit when we are immersed in the Spirit.  Since the Spirit is not a physical being, the term is metaphorical.  When the gift of the Spirit is poured on all mankind who believe and obey, they are immersed in the Spirit.

PROMISE  The pouring forth of the Holy Spirit is a promise of God available to all mankind, not just the elect.  The promise is based upon the grace of God, not law or a contractual agreement.  God was under no obligation other than His love for the world He had created.  In His sovereignty, He further defined the promise in giving the Spirit to those that believe and obey.  (John 7: 39; Acts 2: 33; 38. 39; 5: 32; Galatians 3: 14; Ephesians 1: 13)  Jesus administers this promise as He wills; we do not have to “pray through” or go through any other gyrations.  The baptism in the Spirit is not a command.

TERMS OF IDENTIFICATION   We have two identified, verified instances of baptism in the Spirit with several identifying marks.  When we find those marks in the other Scriptures, we can be assured that the context includes Spirit baptism. Consider:

When Jesus pours out or gives the Spirit, we are baptized in the Spirit and receive the Spirit.

POURING FORTH OF THE SPIRIT  The baptism occurs when God through Jesus our Lord pours forth of His Spirit.  Peter confirmed this fact when he said, but this is what was spoken of the prophet Joel: and it shall be in the last days, God says, that I will pour forth of my Spirit upon all mankind.  (Acts 2: 16, 17)  The “this” is the baptism in the Spirit, just experienced by the apostles, and the “that” is the pouring forth of the Spirit upon all mankind.  I like the statement as found in the KJV.  “This is that”  The baptism in the Spirit is an aspect of the pouring forth of the Spirit.  Everyone upon who God pours the Spirit is baptized in the Spirit.

REGENERATION  The baptism of the Spirit occurs at regeneration.  Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.  (John 3: 5)  One cannot be born (come forth) of water unless he is first immersed in water.  Similarly one cannot be born (come forth) of the Spirit unless he is first immersed in the Spirit.


Who was promised the baptism in the Holy Spirit?

The Restoration Movement holds that only the apostles and Cornelius and his household were baptized in the Spirit (some even deny that Cornelius was baptized in the Spirit).  The Scriptures, however, indicate that Jesus would baptize all the multitudes who came out to hear and be baptized of John the Baptist in water, In the Spirit and fire. (Matthew 3: 11; Mark 1: 8; Luke 3: 16)  The tense of the verb in John 1: 33 indicates that the baptism in the Spirit is to be an ongoing event. Cornelius and his household were never specifically promised the baptism in the Spirit but Peter applied the promise that was made to the apostles, to Cornelius also.  And of course the apostles were promised the Baptism in the Spirit.  (Acts 1: 5)  Interestingly Cornelius was not specifically promised the baptism in the Spirit but he received it.

John answered and said TO THEM ALL,  One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am mot fit to untie the throng of His sandals; He shall BAPTIZE YOU WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT AND WITH FIRE.  (Luke 3: 16)

Please note that the baptism with the Holy Spirit and the baptism with fire (eternal punishment) was promised to the entire multitude who came our to hear and be baptized by John the Baptist.  We who are from the Reformation Movement have been short changed in that we have been incorrectly taught that only the apostles and Cornelius and his household received the baptism with the Holy Spirit.  This is the primary verse that changed my mind about the baptism in the Spirit.


When does the baptism in the Spirit occur?

Normally the believer receives the baptism in the Spirit  when he repents and is baptized in water in the name of Christ for the remission of sin.   At that time Jesus pours out the Spirit, the believer is immersed in both water and metaphorically in the Spirit and the obedient believer receives the Spirit as a gift to be with him and in him.  (John 7: 39; Acts 2: 38, 39, 5: 32).  There were time variation with both the conversion of the Samaritans and Cornelius as God was dealing with particular problems.  (Acts 8: 4- 24; Acts 10: 44- 48)  The Orthodox churches are correct, I believe, in their position.


Why does the baptism in the Spirit occur when the Spirit is poured forth?

The baptism occurs at that time because God pours forth His Spirit richly and abundantly and without measure.  (Titus 3: 5, 6; John 3:34)  Please note that the KJV incorrectly inserts the words, “unto Him,” in the passage from John.  The NASB, among others, gives the correct reading.  This has caused some in the Restoration Movement and perhaps elsewhere to incorrectly infer that God gives the Spirit by measure to man.


What additionally happens at the pouring forth and subsequent baptism in the Spirit?

Just as the Spirit remained with Christ when the Spirit descended on Him at His baptism, we also receive the Spirit to dwell within us when we are baptized.  Both the apostles and Cornelius demonstrate this.  The Spirit was poured forth, they were baptized and they “received” the Spirit to remain with them.  (Acts 10: 45-47)  Our bodies become the temple of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.  (Romans 8: 11; 1 Corinthians 6:19)  The same is said of the apostles, the Spirit was to be with them and in them forever.  (John 14: 16, 17)


What work does the Holy Spirit do for us?

He regenerates, renews by transforming us into the image of Christ, leads, assures, comforts, strengthens with power, enlightens, prays for us, intercedes for us, sanctifies, gives the sense of the presence of God in our life.  He is our seal that we are children of God and He is our pledge that God will raise our mortal bodies   (Titus 3: 5; Galatians 5: 14; Romans 5: 5; 8: 11, 14, 26; Acts 9: 31; Ephesians 1: 13, 14;2: 22; 3: 16; 1 Corinthians 2: 9-14; 2 Thessalonians 2: 13)  God is working in us and through us beyond all that we ask or think.  (Ephesians 3: 20; Philippians 2: 13)


How may we know the extent of baptism in the Spirit?

The baptism in the Spirit was promised to all the multitudes,  (Luke 3: 16)

The Spirit is to be poured out on all mankind.  (Acts 2: 16)

The gift of the Spirit is for all who repent and are baptized.  (Acts 2: 38, 39)

All are baptized in the Spirit into one body.   (1 Corinthians 12: 13)

Plain Talk concludes that the baptism in the Spirit is for all believers.


What is the evidence that we have received the Spirit?

The evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit is:

1.  The promise of God.  God said so.  (Acts 2: 38, 39)

2.  The evidence is His product, the fruit of the Spirit, in our lives.

     (Galatians 5: 22- 23)

3.  The mind set on the things of the Spirit.  (Romans 8: 5)


Is “speaking in tongues” the universal sign of being baptized in the Spirit or receiving the Spirit?

Speaking in tongues did accompany the reception of the Spirit in several notable instances in the first century, but it was not the universal sigh of receiving the Spirit.

1.  The number of conversions accompanied by speaking in tongues is limited to

      Pentecost, Samaritans (doesn’t specifically say speaking in tongues),

     Cornelius and John’s disciples.  These are special instances of

     Conversion that required a special demonstration of power to validate there

     authenticity.  Many were converted and received the Spirit but  did not speak

     in tongues. In the New Testament we have a record of over 3, 000 who were 

     converted but did not speak in tongues.  (Acts 2, 8, 10 and 19)

2.  All believers received the Holy Spirit but not all believers spoke in tongues.

     There is no record that Jesus spoke in tongues  (1 Corinthians 12: 13, 30) 

3.  Speaking in tongues was to cease when the “perfect” (the fully revealed will of

     God) came.  Speaking in tongues confirmed the word of God, in the first

     century.  When it was no longer needed, it ceased.  (1 Corinthians 13: 8)

4.  Speaking in tongues were speaking in other, recognized languages.  This is

     not true today.  Those who claim to be speaking in tongues today, do not

     speak in recognizable languages.


Was the baptism with the Spirit intended to empower the Apostles to do the work of an apostle?

No, the Apostles received power when they received the Holy Spirit but the power was not the baptism per se.  Cornelius received the baptism with the Spirit and he was not empowered to do the work of an apostle. .  Paul was never said to be baptized with the Spirit but he was fully empowered to be an apostle.   The Spirit gives gifts as He wills.  The seventy received miraculous powers but were not baptized in the Spirit.  (Acts 1: 5, 8; 1 Corinthians 12: 11; Luke 10)


Is there a passage that shows the baptism with the Spirit has general application?

Yes there is.

For by (with, in) 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.       (1 Corinthians 12: 13)


Is the baptism with the Spirit separate and distinct from baptism with water?

No, there is only one baptism.  Just as there is one birth, but two elements, water and Spirit, there is also one baptism but two elements.  (Ephesians 4: 5; 1 Corinthians 10: 1- 3; 12: 13)

In the second generation of the Restoration Movement, Moses E. Lard, Robert Richardson and Robert Milligan held that each convert receives baptism in the Holy Spirit at his water baptism, the two elements, water and Spirit, acting together to make the one baptism of Ephesians 4: 5, just as the two elements act together to bring about the one birth of John 3: 5.  This position did not prevail and baptism with the Holy Spirit became regarded as on of the four measures of the Holy Spirit, which the apostles received to empower them for their work

God bless.

Arland Pafford,


Book: Christian You Were Baptized in Water and the Spirit by Leon Gibson


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Last Update   09/26/12