Thu, 10/31/2019 - 2:15pm



What Is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?

The easy answer is, it depends who you ask. The answer to this is not as straightforward as one may think. There are two views as to exactly what the Baptism of the Spirit refers to. Before we even try to sort this out, we will need to understand some terminology. Without this, the understanding of this topic would be extremely confusing. The first word we will attempt to define is regeneration.

What is regeneration?

By the Washing of Regeneration
Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Regeneration refers to the new birth, being born again, being made a new person, being born of the Spirit. This takes place when an unbeliever repents and believes in Christ and as a result receives the impartation of divine life in the person of the Holy Spirit.

This brings us to the next question.

Could an Old Testament saint become regenerated (born again, born of the Spirit)?

No, because the sin issue had to be addressed first. Someone had to come and pay the penalty owed to the justice of God because of Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden, otherwise heaven would remain closed to all mankind. When an Old Testament saint believed in God, when He revealed Himself to him/her and eventually died, they didn’t go to heaven, but to a waiting (holding) area in hell called Paradise or Abraham’s bosom.

So how would one describe the relationship of the Holy Spirit to the person who believed in God (Jehovah) in the Old Testament?

And the Spirit of the Lord Will Come upon Him
Suggested Reading: 1 Samuel 9:1-27; 10:1-10

When the children of Israel were demanding that a king be placed over them, God told the prophet/judge Samuel, that He would send a man from the land of Benjamin to meet him at the gate of the city the following day at the same time. This man would become Israel’s first king. Sure enough, Saul arrived at the gate at the appointed time, where he met Samuel. Samuel showed him the word of God, anointed him to be king, and told him to undertake a journey, where at some point, he would meet up with a company of prophets at which time the Spirit of the Lord would come upon him, and he would prophesy with them.

What does it mean that the Spirit would come upon him?

1 Samuel 10:6 And the Spirit of the Lord will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man.

The words come upon thee refer to the Spirit rushing upon him; coming mightily upon him; or passing upon him as fire does when it breaks out and spreads18. Another way to describe this occurrence is to say that the Spirit was “on-resting”. The on-resting Spirit does not refer to the Spirit’s indwelling, which began on the day of Pentecost.

Psalm 51:11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

And by the way, the on-resting Spirit could be removed because of sin. An example of this is in regard to King David, who after having committed adultery with a woman named Bathsheba along with having her husband Uriah murdered, he prayed to God that He would not take the Holy Spirit from him.

Now you might be wondering, why did I introduce regeneration (which relates to the indwelling Spirit) and the on-resting Spirit as something we should keep in mind in regard to the Baptism of the Spirit? I introduced both the indwelling and the on-resting Spirit in order to help us better understand the meaning of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. You might be thinking, how can this help?

As you will notice next, there is one verse that I believe contributes to the differences of opinion as to the meaning of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Let’s go to the book of John and take a look at this verse.

Receive Ye the Holy Spirit
Suggested Reading: John 20:22-31

Following Jesus’ resurrection, He appeared to Mary Magdalene, who was told by Him to give the news that He was risen to the disciples. At a certain time later, while they were gathered together for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst. He proceeded to show them His hands and side and then He made a statement, which, depending how it is interpreted, will determine how the leadership of a church will explain what the Baptism of the Spirit means.

John 20:22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them (the apostles), and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

Genesis 2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Some commentators would suggest that the word breathed is analogous to the breath of God in the creation of man, when God breathed ruwach °Elohiym into man’s nostrils the breath of life and he became a living soul. As the breath of God in the first creation meant physical life, so the breath of Jesus Christ in the new creation meant spiritual life19.

There are two views in regard as to how literally the word breathed is to be taken in relation to the words Receive ye the Holy Ghost. One view says that this breathing is the literal sending of the indwelling Holy Spirit into the life of each of the disciples. If this was the case, then each of them would be regenerated or born anew at this time. The other view says that this breathing was literal, but not in the receiving of the indwelling Holy Spirit, but rather in the sense of the influence that would come upon them, and the source of that influence20 on the day of Pentecost. In other words, the disciples were given a limited awareness of the knowledge, understanding, and empowerment21 that would take place at Pentecost. In this sense, the Spirit would still be considered as “on-resting” them at this time.

These two views not only will perpetuate two different perspectives as to the meaning of the Baptism of the Spirit, but in one of them the use of what is called prayer tongues will surface. As you will see, some who advocate the exercise of this prayer tongue will use it an indicator to determine whether a person is truly saved. Before we attempt to answer the question, “Are prayer tongues the evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?” let’s come up with a meaning for the Baptism of the Spirit based on the two views which were generated above.

A meaning of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit from two different views.

View #1: The disciples received the indwelling Spirit before the day of Pentecost, when Jesus breathed on them. However, the power (the filling) of the Spirit occurred on the day of Pentecost when they would speak in tongues. We could restate this and say that on the day of Pentecost the disciples were Baptized (filled) with the Spirit.

View #2: The disciples did not receive the indwelling Spirit before the day of Pentecost. At Pentecost, they received the indwelling Spirit at which time they were simultaneously filled with the Spirit. We could restate this and say that on the day of Pentecost the disciples were Baptized (indwelt) with the Spirit.

We have become aware that there are two words that are mentioned in each of these views. These are the words indwelling and filling. We should find out what the differences are between them before we try to determine whether prayer tongues is the evidence of the Baptism of the Spirit.



What Is the Difference Between the Indwelling of the Spirit and the Filling of the Spirit?

What does it meant to be indwelt by the Spirit?
1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
The indwelling of the Spirit refers to the Holy Spirit entering the believer’s body and providing him/her with divine life. This is otherwise known as being born-anew or being born-again.

What does it mean to be filled with the Spirit?
Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

To be filled with the Spirit means the Holy Spirit fills the believer with himself. This filling enables the believer to be able to experience the Spirit’s presence (power) and manifest his fruit (e.g. love, joy, peace, etc.). This fruit is a divine love, a divine joy, a divine peace, a divine longsuffering, a divine gentleness, a divine goodness, a divine faith, a divine meekness, and a divine temperance; and not a human love, a human joy, a human peace, etc.

This fruit expresses a Godly nature to others. Divine love evidences self-sacrifice for the benefit of the one loved. Divine joy is reflective of a rejoicing within that is not dependent on outward circumstances. Divine peace seeks reconciliation between offending parties. Divine longsuffering patiently endures wrong while under ill-treatment without anger or thought of revenge. Divine gentleness treats others with politeness, making them as happy as possible. Divine goodness gives graciously without strings attached. Divine faith is being faithful to God’s promises. Divine meekness involves compliance to the teaching of the word. Divine temperance involves a mastery of one’s desires and impulses.

There is another verse which talks about the filling of the Spirit which can provide for us a fuller understanding of its definition.

Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

The word filled means to be filled with God’s power for witness (of the Gospel) and service22 (exercise the gifts of the Spirit). It can also mean miraculous power.

Another difference between the indwelling and filling is as follows.

The indwelling of the Spirit is permanent.

Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

However, the filling of the Spirit could be rendered ineffectual due to non-confession of sin (mental, verbal, and overt). Recovery of the filling occurs when the believer confesses known sin to God the Father and reflects on God’s perspective (His word) in respect to the sinful perspective that he/she confessed.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Ephesians 4:22-24 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Now that we have a clearer understanding as to the two different views of the Baptism of the Spirit and the differences between the indwelling and filling, we are now ready to attempt to answer in the next chapter the following two questions.

Are Prayer Tongues the Evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?

Should Every Believer Speak in Prayer Tongues?

19The Bible Exposition Commentary.1989, 24 March 2012 ˂>.
21Bible Knowledge.

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