The Baptism in the Holy Spirit
John G Lake said…
“It is God in man, for the baptism of the Holy Ghost is the actual incoming of the real Spirit of God to live in man.” 6
Smith Wigglesworth stated…
“I can see that if we are going to accomplish anything we are going to have it because we are under the power of the Holy Ghost.”7
Andrew Murray wrote of the baptism of the Holy Spirit-
The second is the higher and more advanced phase of His working, when we receive Him as an abiding gift—as an indwelling Person—concerning whom we know that He assumes responsibility for our whole inner being, working in it both to will and to do. This is the ideal of the full Christian life.8
If we look at chapter fourteen in John we read-
“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.”
John 14: 16-17
Notice the keywords “will be in you.” Through the ministry of Jesus, He was abiding with them, but on the day of Pentecost, He came to dwell in them.
In the Old Testament, we see the Holy Spirit would anoint certain people for a specific purpose. When the Spirit came upon them, they could do extraordinary tasks. Gideon delivered a nation, Samson had super strength, and David was a one-man army.
“But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises.”
Hebrew 8: 6
We have in Him a better Covenant with better promises. In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit is poured out on all flesh and now abides in all who receive Jesus. We have become in Christ, the temples of the Holy Spirit.
Ken Hagin wrote-
Through the Holy Ghost, the third Person of the Godhead, God Himself indwells the believer through the new birth experience. No longer does God dwell in the earth-made Holy of Holies. Our bodies have become His temple.9
At the new birth, the Holy Spirit comes and takes up residence in the hearts of every believer to enthrone Jesus as Lord. So, what is the difference between the new birth and the baptism? If we consider a glass and we fill it full of water, the glass has the water. When we receive Jesus as Lord, the Holy Spirit fills us, and we have the Holy Spirit. But if we take the glass full of water and put it in a sink full of water, now the water has the glass. In the same way, when the believer is baptized in the Holy Spirit, the believer goes from having the Holy Spirit to the Holy Spirit, having them. Now the Holy Spirit moves to crown Jesus as Lord in the life of the believer.
Does the Scripture support two distinct events? Does a believer who is baptized in water need to be baptized in the Holy Spirit?
Two Separate Events
In Acts chapter eight, we see that persecution of the Church, spearheaded by Paul, caused the disciples to be scattered.
“Therefore, they that were scattered went every where preaching the Gospel. Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ unto them…But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were all baptized, both men and women. Then Simon believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were being done. Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the Word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost” (For as yet He was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus.) Then they laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.”
Acts 8: 4, 5, 12- 17
Philip was an evangelist (Acts 21: 8), and he came simply preaching the salvation message with signs and wonders following. However, no one received the baptism in the Holy Spirit. The apostle’s Peter and John came down, and they lead the new converts in the baptism in the Holy Spirit. What we see here is that the baptism of the Holy Spirit was a separate and distinct event from the baptism in water.
Now we know that in order for a person to be born again, they need the Holy Spirit (John 3: 3-8). However, the apostles understood that there was something more available for them regarding the Holy Spirit. While they had the Holy Spirit there is a place where the Holy Spirit would have them. If we think of a glass and we put water in it, the glass has the water just like a believer has the Holy Spirit when they receive Jesus and become born-again. However, if we take the glass and we dunk the glass in a sink full of water, now the water has the glass. The same is true with the baptism in the Holy Spirit; now the Holy Spirit has the believer.
Philip preached the Gospel of salvation to the Samaritans, and as we can clearly see, the apostles understood that they “had received the Word of God “ (Acts 8: 14). They had accepted and received the Word, and as we know from Peter, we are born again by receiving the Word (1 Peter 1: 23).
So, why didn’t Philip simply pray for the people to receive the Holy Spirit? God has called us all to different purposes and calls. Philip is simply preaching salvation. The apostles recognized that the people had not received the Holy Spirit immediately acted. Today is most Spirit filled churches; we forget to led people in the baptism. We have forgotten the importance and value of the baptism. The early Church, however, recognized it was essential for the believer, and so we see the leaders immediately act to ensure those in Samaria received all that Jesus provided for them.
And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, saying, ‘Give me also this power, that on whomever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
Acts 8: 18, 19
The Early Church fathers wrote
They had received the Spirit, namely, of remission of sins: but the Spirit of miracles they had not received. ” For as yet He was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. ” (v. 16, 17.) 10
They identified that there were two events from the above account in Acts chapter eight. But is there more evidence? Let’s look at Paul’s conversion
If we read Acts chapter nine, we discover the account of Paul’s conversion. If we read verses one through nine, we see that Paul encounters Christ and receives Him as Lord.
Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; and leading him by the hand, they brought him into Damascus.
Acts 9: 8
We then discover that the Lord spoke to Ananias and told him to go to Paul. Ananias was reluctant because he knew all about Paul and how he persecuted the Church. But the Lord responded to him saying…
But the Lord said to him, ‘Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My Name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for My Name sake.
Acts 9: 15, 16
So Ananias follows the Lord’s instruction and goes to Paul.
So Ananias departed and entered the house, and laying his hands on him said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, Who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
Acts 9: 17
Ananias recognized Paul as a brother in Christ. We know from the Word that all who call upon the Name of the Lord will be saved-
“And he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ And he said, ‘Who are You. Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus Whom you are persecuting.”
Acts 9: 4-6
Paul’s whole life was radically changed through this event and he gave the rest of his life to serving the Lord.
Smith Wigglesworth wrote-
“He (Ananias) recognized him as a brother that already his soul had been saved and that had come into relationship with the Father and with all the family of God, but there was something necessary beyond this. The Lord had not forgotten his physical condition and there was healing for him. But there was something beyond this. It was the filling with the Holy Ghost.” 11