Baptism In The Holy Spirit
The Baptism with the Holy Spirit is a very controversial subject. So many automatically assume that they became anointed with this Baptism simply because they accepted the Lord as their Savior.
Praise the Lord! Glory Halleluiah! I’m Born Again!!!
Yes! The end result of your spiritual and prophetic journey is that you will eventually become “Born Again”, but the interpretation of what this actually means runs the gamut, with ideals, concepts, translations, and understandings so broad that it is literally confusing.
Let’s take a look at the human physiology; from the moment of conception, there is an average gestation period of about nine months, just for the embryo to develop into a little human being. Even after birth, many years pass by before the child reaches the age of accountability; many more into full adulthood. There is a constant need for growth and development, so that the person could attain the age of wisdom, responsibility, and maturity.
I personally believe that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is not a singular event, as I have just mentioned, before a child could even be born, there must be an exchange of spiritual seed, then there is conception. The embryo begins its stages of development, and at the completion of this process, the mother goes into hard labor, and she squeezes that child out into the real world. It is a never-ending process…
Each of these steps must begin with prophetic activity, overshadowed by the power of the Holy Spirit; each of these steps is a Baptism in itself…
In essence, there are a multitude of Baptisms of the Holy Spirit, just to reach the point of becoming Born Again. That Baptism of the Holy Spirit is required for the Salvation process to be completed is a consensus that all Christians believe equally; but all do not agree as to the time and manner in which a believer is baptized with the Holy Spirit.
Even though the Holy Spirit Baptism is promised to every believer regenerated by faith in Christ; not every believer is baptized with the Holy Spirit at the time of conversion.
As we examine the New Testament record found in the book of Acts, we will discover, that it is indeed possible to be converted to Christ and regenerated by the Spirit, but yet not receive the experience known as the Baptism with the Holy Spirit until some time afterward; if ever.
There are some who hold the view, to be born of the Spirit and to be baptized with the Spirit are essentially one and the selfsame experience. Others hold the view, to be born again of the Spirit is indeed different from the baptism with the Spirit, but both always occur simultaneously. However, does the Acts’ record support these positions?
Without studying the book of Acts, one cannot understand or appreciate the distinction between being “Born Again” of the Spirit, and being “Baptized” with the Spirit. The theological contribution of many historical accounts involving early believers with the Holy Spirit, is recorded with adequate detail in biblical scripture.
For example, as we examine the book of Acts, we shall soon discover that the Baptism with the Holy Spirit is indeed different from the Birth of the Spirit. When we examine both experiences closely we find the following to be true:
- The birth of the Spirit is an act of regeneration; it represents the re-birth of the believer into the Christ, and into Salvation.
2. The baptism with the Spirit is an act of sanctification and the setting apart of the believer for service; in other words an anointing into the higher degrees and abilities of spiritual manifestation.
Why is this distinction important?
In regeneration: every believer is baptized by the Spirit into Christ.
In sanctification: every believer is baptized by Christ into the Holy Spirit.
Into One Body verses Into One Spirit
The following scriptural references will show that there are two distinct operations of the Godhead with regard to being born-again of the Spirit and subsequently being baptized with the Spirit.
I Corinthians: Chapter 12
- “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”
John: Chapter 1
- “And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
- “And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost”
The word, “ by”, in I Cor. 12:13 describes the regenerative agency of the person of the Holy Spirit, while the word, “with”, in John. 1:33 describes the sanctifying agency of the person of Christ. Two separate persons of the Godhead are involved in the operation of being, “Born of the Spirit”, and in the operation of being, “Baptized with the Spirit”.
Notice carefully! In one operation, the regeneration, the Holy Spirit is the baptizer into Christ. In the other operation, sanctification, Christ is the baptizer with, and into, the Holy Spirit.
Have you received the Holy Ghost since you have become a believer?
Is every believer, presumed to be Baptized with the Holy Spirit immediately upon believing in Christ? The doctrine and dogma of World Christianity preaches this philosophy, however, in Acts chapter 19 there is an occasion where Paul found certain former disciples of John the Baptist and asked them a remarkable question, “Have you received the Holy Ghost since ye believed”?
Now, if every believer is automatically presumed to be Baptized with the Holy Spirit upon faith, conversion, and regeneration, then Paul’s question to these disciples makes no sense at all.
The only way Paul’s question makes sense is if there was an expectation of a pending subsequent experience of the Holy Spirit after faith, conversion, and regeneration by the Spirit.
There is a continuous progression of steps, taking us higher up the ladder of salvation; and the Living Manifest Holy Spirit is the hand, which rests upon as we are guided upon our journey.
Do not make the mistake that the masses do in regards to the salvationability of your soul. Take nothing for granted! We are not given free reign to assume anything. The Holy Spirit is the guide! But this is established upon the true foundation of truth based upon verifiable facts.
The Holy Spirit is the comforter; this is accomplished through the baring-of-witness, provided by the Manifold Acts of a Manifest Spirit. Once we know where we stand with our Heavenly Father; peace shall come upon us.