“For John baptized you with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
There a quite a few Christians that accept the scriptural validity of the Spirits Baptism. After all, it is mentioned by name in all four of the Gospels as well as in the book of Acts. What people question is the teaching that a believer receives the Baptism in the Holy Spirit AFTER they have been saved. Some maintain that salvation and the Spirits Baptism are one and the same. In this blog, I will with the backing of scripture demonstrate how the Separate and Subsequent teaching is valid.
Fist there are the Apostles. After his resurrection, Jesus remained on the earth for forty days then he ascended to heaven(Acts 1:3). The apostles did not receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit until ten days later(Acts 2:1-4). We know from Christs words that the Apostles were indeed saved before the day of Pentecost.
“However, do not rejoice that the evil spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
We can see from this verse that the apostles names were already “written in heaven” prior to Pentecost making their experience of the Spirits Baptism a separate and subsequent work.
The next passage is most compelling, and most supportive of the separate and subsequent teaching.
“When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.” Acts 8:14-17
In this passage we find people who are clearly believers. The verses above state that these people have “accepted the word of God”, and have been “baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus”. This passage also clearly says that these people had not received the Holy Spirit. Now, if it is true that the Baptism in the Holy Spirit occurs at the moment of salvation, how can this passage be valid? According to that line of thinking this passage doesn’t make any sense. How can someone be a Christian and not have the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is the one who convicts us of sin, reveals to us Gods salvation through Christ, and regenerates us. He indwells in every believer. As was the case in the people described in the above passage. What they had not received was the Baptism in the Spirit. This is a clear demonstration that the Spirits Baptism is a Separate and Subsequent work from Salvation and only occurs after one is Born Again, not at the same time, and certainly not before.
“While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”
They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.'”
This is always an interesting passage to read. Here the Apostle Paul encounters some disciples. We know that these are disciples following Christ and not disciples of John the Baptist or pseudo-Christians for one distinct reason. The word “disciple”(Greek mathetes) occurs thirty times in the book of Acts. All the times before and after this passage it always means a disciple of Jesus. The only exception is in Acts 9:25 when the word “his” is used to designate a disciple of Paul. There is no reason being as meticulous and technical in his writing as the writer of Acts was, that he would deviate from his standard usage of that word. Once again, we see from this passage people who are followers of Christ but had not yet received the Spirits Baptism.
Some people argue that the book of Acts does indeed clearly illustrate examples of believers receiving the Spirits Baptism after and separate from their initial converseion. They maintain that because those are historical accounts they cannot be used to formulate doctrine. That although Acts does record the Spirits Baptism in such a way, it is nowhere commanded in scripture that it must happen that way. What proponents of this idea fail to realize is that each writer of scripture must be understood in their own terms and styles. Luke is viewed by most biblical scholars as a theologian as much as he is a historian. To the point that he clearly shows his theology through his telling of historical accounts. In other words, the reason Luke recorded the Spirits Baptism occurring separate and subsequent from salvation is because he believes that to be theologically correct.
If you are a Born Again follower of Christ but have not yet received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, I encourage you to study the subject in God’s Word, pray for the fullness of the Spirit, and openly receive this blessing so that you may be empowered to live for God, and be an effective wittiness for Christ.
One of the most common objections and charges brought against the Church is that it is full of hypocrites. This is false. I know, that’s a substantial claim. First let me define what I mean by the word, “hypocrite”. If a Christians wakes up at 2am for a late nights snack and while wondering around in the dark stubs his toe and lets a four letter cuss word slip out, he is not a hypocrite. That was an accident, a mistake. He doesn’t make a habit of using profanity. He let his flesh get the best of him in that moment. However, if a Christian constantly has profanity rolling from his tongue, sleeps around, lives a life of drunkenness, gossip, anger, selfishness, and willingly knowingly continues to live a life of Sin while claiming to be a follower of Christ, that person is a hypocrite, and people maintain that the Church is full of them. This is because of their misunderstanding of the Church. People think that the Church is the four square building with a steeple on top of it. They think that the people in the Church are the people who sit on the pues on Sundays. The Bible says that the Church is the Body of Christ which consists of only true believers(1 Corinthians 12:12-30). Hypocrites are pretenders among God’s people like goats among sheep, bad fish among good fish, weeds among wheat until the day when God separates them at Judgment. The Bible says that hypocrites are false converts, false brethren, and imposters(2 Corinthians 11:13-15, Galatians 2:4, 2 John 1:9-11). Christians are commanded in 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 not to have anything to do with hypocrites. Jesus said that they would end up in Hell(Matthew 24:51). In short, there are no hypocrites in the Church. If a person is hypocrite, they are not a Christian, and are therefore not part of the Church.
Before Jesus ascended to Heaven he commanded his disciples to go into all the world and proclaim the Gospel. However, you will notice that he instructed them not to carry out the “great commision” immeditely.
“I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
Jesus made it clear. Altough he wanted his followers to continue his mission in his absence and go out into to the world to do the work of the ministry, he did not want them doing this without the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. The reason being is because the work of the ministry as well as the life of a Christian is tough work as it is. In addition to this, there are outside forces internal, external, and spiritual working against us. We need to be Supernaturally Empowered to do what we are called to do. Jesus also told his followers that this was indeed the purpose of the Spirits Baptism.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
That is why I teach that being Baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of Speaking in Tongues is the most important thing that can happen to a person next to being Born Again. I say, and as you can see our Lord does too, that once a person becomes a Christian they should immediately begin seeking the Baptism in the Holy Spirit so that they may be empowered to do the work God was called them to do, and be the person God has called them to be. If you have not received this blessing, seek it today.
On April 14, 1906 the Spirit of God started a mighty revival at 312 Azusa St. This revival was the beginning of a move of God that eventually became to be known as the “Pentecostal Movement”. The movement started when William Seymour started preaching on the Biblical experience of the Baptism in the Spirit with the evidence of Speaking in Tongues. The movement lead to new churches starting in abandoned buildings on street corners. Today the street addresses have changed. People no longer go a street address to hear the message, they now go to a Web Address. People no longer meet, interact, or discuss new ideas at public places. Human interaction and discussion is now on the internet. That is why this blog is called, “AzusaOnline.