Spirit Baptism – Baptized by Fire

When Jesus brought us the new covenant He had a plan that would allow us to have a closer walk with God. This ‘newness of life’ is a baptism of fire that is the Spirit of God dwelling in us, giving us power and strength to live an overcoming life. Spirit baptism is not just an extra benefit- it is part of salvation. Spirit baptism is as much as part of the new birth as water baptism. Several terms in scripture refer to Spirit baptism, including filled with the Spirit, born of the Spirit, filled with the Holy Ghost, and many others. Let’s look at scripture and see what Holy Ghost baptism is all about and see who it’s for.

John the Baptist taught about Holy Spirit baptism, referring to it as a baptism of fire.

Matthew 3:11  I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

John was teaching that we should expect to be baptized with the Holy Ghost.

Jesus told Nicodemus that being born again is to be born of the water and of the Spirit.

John 3:3-5  3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?  5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Jesus compared Holy Spirit baptism with wind.

John 3:8  The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

Jesus referred to Holy Spirit baptism as Living Water.

John 4:14  But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

John 7:37-39  37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.  38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.  39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

Jesus told His disciples they would receive the Holy Ghost.

Luke 11:13  If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

The book of Acts is where we find New Testament believers being filled with the Holy Ghost.

Acts 1:4-5  4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.  5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. 

The Holy Ghost wasn’t given until Jesus ascended. The Old Testament filling was not a baptism of the Holy Ghost (Bernard, p. 196). No one received Holy Spirit baptism before Jesus ascended.

John 16:7  Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

Acts 1:8-9  8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.  9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

The Holy Ghost was given on the day of Pentecost. They knew they had received the Holy Ghost because they spoke with other tongues.

Acts 2:1-4  And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.  2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.  3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.  4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Peter was given the keys to the kingdom.

Matthew 16:19  And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Peter preached the first message on the day of Pentecost. This message included being filled with the Holy Ghost.

Acts 2:14-18  14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:  15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.  16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;  17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:  18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

Acts 2:33  Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.

They knew something was going on because they heard them speak with tongues. This is what Peter was referring to when he said ‘which ye now see and hear’. The crowd asked Peter what they should do, since they crucified the one that came to save them. Peter’s reply included being filled with the Holy Ghost.

Acts 2:37-38  37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?  38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

A parallel passage to Acts 2:38 is Acts 3:19. This verse describes the Holy Ghost infilling as a refreshing.

Acts 3:19  Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

The baptism of the Holy Ghost is clearly mentioned in many accounts of someone being saved in the book of Acts.

Acts 8:15-17  15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:  16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)  17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

Acts 10:44-46  44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.  45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.  46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God

This case also mentions that they knew they received the Holy Ghost ‘for they heard them speak with tongues’.

Acts 19:6  And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

This case also mentions they spoke with tongues.

Holy Spirit baptism is part of salvation.

1 Corinthians 12:13  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

This is the experience that Jesus promised in Acts 1:5 (Bernard, p. 192).

In the New Testament, the Holy Ghost is called Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit of Christ (Witherspoon Toole, p. 22).

The baptism of the Holy Spirit is Christ in us.

Romans 8:9-11  9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.  10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.  11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

Ephesians 3:16-17  16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;  17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

2 Corinthians 3:17-18  17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.  18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Jesus said that He would be the Comforter.

John 14:16-18  16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;  17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.  18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

There is only one Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:13  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Ephesians 4:4  There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

Jesus was made a saving spirit.

1 Corinthians 15:45  And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

Once we receive the Holy Ghost, we must walk with God to stay filled. The Apostles continued to be filled with the Holy Ghost.

Acts 4:8  Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel,

Acts 4:31  And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

Being filled with the Holy Ghost is not a one-time event. Once we are baptized with the Spirit we should stay filled with the Holy Ghost through prayer. Baptism of the Holy Ghost is just the beginning of our walk with God. Being filed with the Spirit doesn’t make us perfect, but it does give us strength to be over-comers if we walk with God and allow His Spirit to lead us.  

Old Testament prophets prophesied that God would pour out His Spirit upon all flesh.

Ezekiel 39:29  Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.

Joel 2:28-29  28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:  29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.

Acts 2:16-18  16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;  17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:  18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

God promised that He would write His laws in our hearts.

Jeremiah 31:33  But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Holy Spirit baptism is the fulfillment of this promise.

Romans 8:3-4  3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:  4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 3:3-6  3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.  4 And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward:  5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;  6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

The Holy Ghost will lead and guide us to all truth.

John 16:13  Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

Holy Spirit baptism is promised to us today. It is part of salvation. It is the birth of the Spirit that Jesus spoke of. The evidence of receiving the Holy Ghost is speaking in tongues. Anyone can receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost by repenting of their sins, having faith in God, and asking for the gift of the Holy Ghost. It is for everyone. If we allow the Spirit of God to lead us, we will bear the Fruit of the Spirit and live clean, holy lives. Only with the Spirit of Christ in us can we truly be Christ-like. Only with the Spirit of Christ in us can we be baptized by fire.

 

References

Bernard, David K. (1984). New Birth, The

            Hazelwood: Word Aflame Press

Witherspoon Toole, Jet (2001). Acts

            Hazelwood: Word Aflame Press

 

David Bernard The New Birth

Jet Witherspoon Toole Acts

1 Comment

  1. Fabulous

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