Lucia's Blog: BAPTISM WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Friday, September 23, 2016

BAPTISM WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT

"When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.  And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance."  
Acts 2:1-4



October 31st is just around the corner and movies about ghosts and goblins are flooding the marketplace. Halloween is really a blast from our past pagan superstitions. It is not just the children who thrill to the prospect of disembodied spirits floating down the hallways. A lot of us mature folks struggle to escape the carnal chill up our spine of imagining a spirit in the room, even the Bible's Holy Spirit. In our times we have paganized the Gospel teaching and struggle to understand the promise that John the Baptist taught of a baptism of the Holy Spirit. What was it really? Does the Holy Spirit haunt the churches today? Let us set aside our pagan prejudices and consider what the Bible actually says about this first-century marvel.

There is significant confusion about the baptism with the Holy Spirit among evangelical churches. The confusion is a direct result of failing to search the Scriptures well and rightly handle the Word of Truth.  They believe that baptism with the Holy Spirit “is a needed and promised experience for every believer.”  They claim that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is still taking place today. Of course, they believe to have personally experienced it.  However, their description of personal experience does not match what is recorded in the New Testament when it actually occurred.  The question at stake is, does the New Testament teach that such a baptism is promised to every believer?  Does every believer need it?  To whom was this Holy Spirit baptism promised?

Let’s begin our study by addressing the issue of to whom the Holy Spirit baptism was promised.  It is crucial that we understand the inspired words of John the Baptist.
“As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”  (Matthew 3:11).

In Matthew 3:11 John is speaking mainly to the Jews who were coming to him to be baptized.  You see the Jews had to repent and be baptized confessing their sins to be forgiven, (Matthew 3:2,5,6; Mark 1:4).

John baptized in the Jordan River.  He baptized (immersed) them in water.  “23 John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because water was plentiful there, and people were coming and being baptized.”  (John 3:23).  The One coming after John who was going to baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire was evidently Jesus Christ.  The baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire would come from Him.

Before I go any further, I would like to discuss the baptism of fire.  I want to stress this since many have wrongly connected the baptism of fire with the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  They connect this with the events that occurred on the day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2.  


I.   BAPTISM OF FIRE:
“3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them.”  (Acts 2:3).

In Acts 2:3 we are told that tongues like (or as) of fire appeared to the apostles and rested on (sat upon)  each of them (the apostles).  It does not say “tongues of fire” but rather “tongues as of fire.” There is a big difference between the fire and something that is like fire.  You see the tongues that rested on the apostles were not fire.  They were “as of fire.”  

According to some, the phrase, “divided tongues as of fire” refers to the baptism of fire.  This error is evident when you examine the context of Matthew 3:10-12 where we see a contrast between the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the baptism of fire.  
“10 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 11 “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”  (Matthew 3:10-12)

Here, John is speaking of two different baptisms:  Baptism of the Holy Spirit and a separate and distinct baptism of fire.  There is no evidence that both baptisms were to occur at the same time. Nowhere in Matthew  3:11 or the parallel statement in Luke 3:16, do we see this happening.  It is crucial that we understand this. 

In Acts 1:4-5, our Lord Jesus Christ repeated “the Promise of the Father” that He had spoken of earlier to the apostles, He instructed them saying, 

"And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, 'you heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.' 15 In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120)."'  (Acts 1:15)
“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.”  (Acts 2:1-4).

Although there were 120 disciples gathered, Acts 1:15, Jesus had given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen in verse 2 renewing the promise of the baptism of the Holy Spirit in verse 5 to them. He further told the apostles that they would be “My witnesses” in verse 8. When we arrive at the beginning of Acts 2, it is the witnesses who receive the power of the Holy Spirit, speak with other tongues and testify in verse 14 and 32 where Peter says, “we are all witnesses.”   Acts 1:5,“but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now,” does not mention anything about a baptism of fire.  It does not say, “you will be baptized with fire not many days from now." Neither John nor Christ ever promised a baptism of fire to the apostles.

Other Bible students suggest that the baptism of fire refers to the severe trials all Christians have to endure.  Peter does mention a “fiery trial” that Christians have to endure in I Peter 4:12.  There is no doubt that the early church endured severe trials. Jesus called His own suffering a baptism when speaking to the sons of Zebedee, Mark 10:38. However, going back to Matthew 3:11, there is no indication  that the “fire” here is the “fiery trial.” In verse 10, the fire burns up the trees that do not bear good fruit (also 7:19).  In verse 12, Jesus explains that He will use unquenchable fire to burn the chaff, after He gathers the good wheat into His barn. Throughout Matthew, Jesus uses the figure of unquenchable fire to describe His judgment of those that He rejects. Notice Matthew 5:22; 13:42; 18:8; 25:41; Mark 9:44.

My next question, did Jesus promise a baptism of fire to purify His people?

Some like to quote Malachi 3:2-3 to prove the baptism of fire was for all the disciples.  They apply the baptism of fire to the preaching of Jesus to purify and refine the people “like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap." But Malachai 3:1-2 is speaking of John, “Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me...  For He is like a refiner’s fire.”  These verses are referring to the ministry of John the Baptist who prepared the way for Jesus Christ.

So, when John stated, “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire,” was he speaking of everyone?  Some argue that the pronoun “you” means all people who would hear him, that is, John promised that Jesus was going to baptize everyone with the baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire. But look again at Mark 1:8, “but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” There is no mention of the word “fire” at all.  If John had spoken of only one baptism, with the Holy spirit and fire, then Mark would have made mention of both.  In Mark 1:8 the omission of fire proves that John was speaking of two different baptisms.  John said, 
“ I baptize you with water.” (Matt. 3:11).  
John did not baptize everyone in water (since many like the Pharisees and Sadducees rejected the baptism of John, (Luke 7:30).  Nor did Jesus baptize everyone with the Holy Spirit and fire. “But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?”  (Matthew 3:7).

Furthermore, John the Bapist was not addressing the apostles.  When Jesus repeated the promise of the baptism with the Holy Spirit to the apostles, Acts 1:5, He did not say anything about a baptism of fire.  John did not speak only to those who were baptized but to everyone who would come to hear Jesus.  He rebuked the Pharisees and Sadducees , verse 7, and demanded of them fruits of repentance, verse 9, then he warned them that they should not trust in their physical relationship with Abraham, verse 9, and then he spoke to them about God's judgment, verse 10.  Matthew 3:11 is the verse under consideration.  In verse 11 John is referring to two classes of people and two baptisms.  Some that would be baptized with the Holy Spirit and some that would be baptized with fire.  The pronoun “you” here is not universal since it does not refer to all the world.  You see John is not declaring that all the world, everyone, will be baptized with the Holy Spirit or with fire, but rather he is using the pronoun “you” in an indefinite way meaning that among those in that group some will be baptized with the Holy Spirit and some will be baptized with fire.

In Matthew 3:10 and 12 John is explicitly speaking of two classes of people.  Likewise, he is speaking of the separation of those who were good and evil (fruitful and unfruitful trees).  That is, those who would be saved and those who would suffer eternal punishment.   That eternal punishment would thus be a baptism of fire, (Matt. 3:10-12; Luke 3:9, 17; Revelation 20:14-15).  Verse 11 portrays two baptisms so as to show blessings for the righteous ones and punishment for the unrighteous ones.  That simple!

So what is the fire?

Our context shows that the fire will be God's instrument of punishment on that Final Day.   Matthew 3:10, “10 The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”  Here, it is evident that he is talking about the judgment of the unrighteous.  In verse 10 John explains what was going to happen with those who did not bear good fruit worthy of repentance.  They will be cut down and thrown into the fire.  Verse 12 goes on to say, “12 His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” 

Notice that the word “fire” appears three times in Matthew 3:10-12.  Without any doubt, verses 10 and 12 is referring to the coming punishment of the unrighteous.  Therefore, it is unreasonable to affirm that the word “fire” mentioned in verse 11, between verses 10 and 12, is talking about something else.  Verse 12 answers the question, when is the baptism with fire administered?  It refers to the Final Day, Judgement Day, when our Lord “will thoroughly clear His threshing floor.” That is, He will make a final separation between the righteous and unrighteous.  There are other Scriptures that teach the same Truth, (Matthew 10:28; 13:41-43; 25:35-46; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; Rev. 12:14, 15; 20:11-15; 21:8).

Therefore, after reading Matthew 3:11, without taking into account other Scriptures, it would be possible to conclude that both baptisms should be administered at the same time, but John is referring to the future without indicating the time of fulfillment of both these baptisms.


II.  BAPTISM WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT:
“As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”  (Matthew 3:11).  
“16 John answered and said to them all, “As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”  (Luke 3:16). 

  • The Promise of John the Baptist:
John never commanded anyone to be baptized with the Holy Spirit.  Why?  Because the baptism of the Holy Spirit was never a command but rather a promise.  However, the baptism mentioned in Matthew 28:19 was a commandment for everybody: “baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”  

John never said that those who would be baptized with the Holy Spirit were to be purified or cleansed from original sin.  There is no verse in the New Testament that speaks of original sin, much less does there exist any Scripture that speaks of a baptism with the Holy Spirit as a remedy for sin.  Nor did John ever promise that all believers would be baptized with the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues to prove it.

You see, John did promise that Christ “will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” (Matt. 3:11). The fire here as I mentioned earlier is eternal punishment, Matt. 3:12.  There is no other Scripture that can explain this baptism of fire better.  John never said who would be baptized with the Holy Spirit.  For one to grasp this better, he would have to study diligently the Scriptures that deal with this subject.  It is vital that we let the Bible explain itself on this issue.  There is no other way!

  • The Promise of Jesus to His Apostles:  "Wait for what the Father had promised."
“Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”   (Acts 1:4-5)

Jesus instructed His apostles to wait in a specific place, that is, Jerusalem, verse 4.  They were to receive "what the Father had promised." there, verse 4.  That promise was:
    • Baptism with the Holy Spirit, verse 5.  
    • They will receive power, Acts 1:8.  
    • They will be Jesus' witnesses to the world, Acts 1:8.  
All the apostles indeed received the promise of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost with power and did bear witness of the risen Christ, (Acts 1:26; 2:1-4; 7, 14, 32, 37, 42-43).  
    • The Holy Spirit as promised by Jesus in John 14:26 taught the apostles all things and brought to their remembrance of all things that Jesus had said to them earlier.  
    • The Holy Spirit testified of Jesus with the Spirit of Truth as promised by Jesus in John 15:26.  
    • The Holy Spirit indeed bore witness of Jesus as promised in John 15:27.  
    • He guided the apostles into all the Truth as promised by Jesus in John 16:13-14.  
    • The Holy Spirit came upon all the twelve apostles revealing the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ (The New Testament).  
All these promises were only given to the apostles and no one else, no other Christian.  Period!

Now in Acts 2:1-4, we read, “2 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.”

Here in this text, the word “all” does not mean all 120 disciples but rather the 12 apostles.  The antecedent of the word “all” is the last word of Acts 1:26, “26 And they drew lots for them, and the lot fell to Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.”  

The rest of chapter 2 confirms the following conclusion:
  1. They were all Galileans who were speaking in tongues, languages, Acts 2:7, (the apostles were Galileans).
  2. The apostles were preaching, Acts 2:14.
  3. There is no evidence at all that all 120 disciples that were gathered were baptized with the Holy Spirit.
  4. In Acts 1:5, Jesus applied the promise of John to the apostles by saying, “not many days from now.”   This is exactly what happened ten days later when the Holy Spirit came upon all the twelve apostles on the day of Pentecost.

In Acts chapters 10 and 11, Luke describes for us the baptism of Cornelius and his household with the Holy Spirit.  The apostle Peter explains this in Acts 11:15-17, “15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as He did upon us at the beginning. 16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 Therefore if God gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?” 

Stand in the way of what?  Well, why not read Acts 10:47-48 to get the answer?  “47 “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.”

Obviously, this passage is referring to the baptism in water of Cornelius and his household.  The baptism with the Holy Spirit of Cornelius and his household assured Peter and the other Jewish brethren that now God also wanted the Gentiles to hear the Gospel of grace of His Son.  In Acts 11:18 we read, “18 When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.” 

This passage clearly explains God's purpose in baptizing the Gentiles with the Holy Spirit.  Luke describes for us how the Lord showed Peter that now He “shows no partiality, 35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.”  (Acts 10:34-35).  God opened the door in this way to all the Gentiles (all nations, all those who were not Jews).  The baptism of Cornelius and his household with the Holy Spirit was necessary or vital to assure or convince the Jews of this great change.  When the Jewish brethren learned that God had granted Cornelius the same gift of salvation as He did to the apostles, they “glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.” (Acts 11:8)  Isn't this remarkable!!!

Therefore, there are only two cases or examples (the apostles and the house of Cornelius)  recorded in the New Testament regarding baptism with the Holy Spirit.  We must speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent.  “11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God.” (1 Peter 4:11).  Period!

When the apostles were baptized with the Holy Spirit, what did they say or do?
  • Was it an ecstatic experience? 
  • Did they begin to shout repeatedly, “Glory to God!” and “Hallelujah?”  
  • Did they make a lot of loud noises?
  • Did they bounce and jump?  
  • Did the fall on the floor and go into convulsions?
  • Did they speak with exaggerated emotion about their experience?  
  • Did they describe the sensation of the power?  
  • Did they say it was a unique experience that could only be felt but cannot be described?  
I am asking all these questions because this is the concept many have when they speak of the baptism with the Holy Spirit.

Also, it would be good to ask if the apostles ever pointed out that the purpose of the baptism with the Holy Spirit was to remove original sin.

In Acts 2:36 when the apostles concluded saying that God had made Jesus both Lord and Christ, the people, the Jews, that were listening asked, “what shall we do?”  Peter said to them,Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins... “  (Acts 2:38).


IV.   WATER BAPTISM:

Some argue that water baptism is not essential for salvation.  They see it non-essential and  unnecessary.  Others agree with the statement above and claim that it is necessary only for church membership.  So is water baptism vital for salvation or is it conditional for salvation?  The answer is a big "YES." One must be baptized to enter the kingdom of heaven (the kingdom of righteousness) regardless of his view about the subject.  If one is baptized with the wrong purpose in mind, it is not in accord or harmony with the will of God, and it is not valid.  To do the will of God, one must detach himself from all emotions, prejudices, preconceptions and follow with open and honest hearts the plain and simple teaching on this subject.

When one teaches the necessity of baptism, he is usually accused of teaching “water salvation.” What they don't want to acknowledge is that the Bible does indeed affirm water baptism for salvation.  Take for instance what the Bible says about Noah and his family.  “Eight souls were saved by water.”  (1 Peter 3:20).  My question is, was this water salvation?  What about Naaman in 2 Kings 5:10,14 who “dipped himself seven times in the Jordan.”?  He had to do this before God could cleanse him of his leprosy.  When Naaman followed God's command, submitting to it, his cleansing obviously  involved “water salvation.”

Moreover, the Scriptures tell us that God “saved Israel” from the hands of the Egyptian army when He parted the Red Sea so that they could walk on dry land in the midst of the sea, (Exodus 14:29-30). Was that water salvation?  Did the water save them? Of course not!  These were just examples of conditional salvation.  God used these as examples to demonstrate that water saved certain men from destruction.  The only reality here is that God used these examples to demonstrate how vital water is to salvation, i.e, “water baptism.”

Though some would agree that baptism is vital, they still claim that the baptism of the New Testament was not water baptism.  When Peter asked in Acts 10:47-48, “47 Can any man forbid the water, that these should not be baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit as well as we? 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.”  You see this baptism in the name of the Lord is baptism in water.  Again, on the day of Pentecost, Peter told the Jews who were guilty of the blood of Jesus to “repent and be baptized... “ (Acts 2:38).  Again, baptism “in the name of Jesus Christ” is baptism in water for the remission of sins.  Another example is the Ethiopian who after learning the Truth about Jesus and while he was driving his chariot down the road said to Philip “Behold, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?”  (Acts 8:36).  Verse 38 says that both (Philip and the eunuch) went down into the water and he (Philip) baptized him.

The apostle Peter describes baptism as an antitype of the water salvation that saved Noah and his family, 1 Peter 3:20-21.  Peter affirmed that baptism now saves us and cleases our evil conscience (from the stain of sin) for a good conscience. Hebrews 10:22 speaks of how our hearts are cleansed of an evil conscience in relation to the washing of our bodies with pure water.  Yes, this is the “one baptism, water baptism, of the Gospel of Christ for the remission of sins!!

John the Baptist preached in the wilderness a baptism of repentance and forgiveness of sins, (Mark 1:4).  This baptism opened the door and later replaced it with the baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, water baptism.  And though many knew the baptism of John after Christ's death, they still were commanded to be baptized “in the name of Jesus Christ” for the remission of sins.  Forgiveness of sins resulting from John's baptism was primarily established upon the death of Christ.  They were forgiven as promised.  Without the shedding of Jesus' blood, John's baptism would have been worthless.  Thus baptism for the forgiveness of sins depended upon the death of Christ.  The one baptism Ephesians 4:5 speaks of is based completely upon the death of Christ.  

In Mark 16:16 we read, “16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.”  The word “and” is conjunctive here joining two other words. The word “believed” is joined to baptism (baptized).  The word “and” not only joins faith and baptism, but it also joins both of these acts that lead to salvation.  So if baptism is not vital to salvation, then neither is believing essential to salvation.  Faith and baptism together produce salvation.

So according to Mark 16:16 and many others Scriptures, baptism is as important as faith to our salvation!  In Acts 2:38 we see again the conjunctive “and.”  In this case, the word “and” joins another important act in relation to baptism.  Peter commanded the believers to repent and be baptized.  Forgiveness of sins resulted from Peter's command.  Therefore, repentance is attached to baptism for salvation.  Baptism is as important as repentance and forgiveness of sin.  Period!

Remember what Ananias told Paul in Acts 22:16?  “Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.’”

The above Scripture does not advocate faith alone since one cannot be saved on the basis of faith alone.  Jesus plainly stated that just “calling upon the name of the Lord” was not enough.  Jesus said, “21 Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.”  (Matthew 7:21).  The Lord is very explicit here about what it means to call upon His name.  It demands believing and obedience.  This is exactly what Paul did in Acts 22:10-16.  He believed, obeyed and was baptized, (cf. Mark 16:16).  Thus according to Acts 22:10-16, there is a process that begins with teaching in order to believe and ends with immersion in water (baptism).  This is calling upon the name of the Lord (cp. Acts 2:21 with 2:38).  So baptism in water is crucial to have sins washed away.

We have other Scriptures, (Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:12, Matt. 28:19-20; John 3:3-5; Acts 3:19; 8:12, 13,26-37;9:18; 10:47-48; 16:14-15, 30-33; 18:8 and 1 Cor. 12:13) that place significant emphasis on water baptism (immersion) as an act for the penitent believer to be united in Christ's death and have freedom from sin.  All this is the result of one obeying the “form of teaching” to which one is committed, (Romans 6:17-18).

In Romans 6:3-4 Paul stresses that after believing the details of the gospel, the believer then practices a “form” of those details when he is baptized.  It is simple!  And as Paul stated in Romans 6:3-4, the penitent believer dies to sin.  Just as Christ was buried, so is the believer “buried” in baptism (no sprinkling or pouring here!!).  And just as Christ was “raised from the dead,” so we are also raised to walk in newness of life as “new creatures” from the waters of baptism.  You see Jesus shed His blood when He died and so baptism buries us into the likeness of the death of Christ, Romans 6:4. Today this is the ONLY baptism that saves.  

In Galatians 3:26-27 we read, “26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.  Here again, we see faith and baptism conjoining.  Salvation is then the result of both (faith and baptism), though the thought is the same but stated differently.  Faith and baptism are vital conditions for one to “put on Christ,” i.e., become a Christian.

In Hebrews 9:14 we read, “14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”  Here, again we learn that Christ's blood cleanses the conscience as 1 Peter 1:22 states it.  Peter states that “obedience to the truth purified your souls.”  That we may have a good and cleaned conscience, 3:21.  The truth is simple in that the blood of Christ saves the penitent believer through his obedience to the Truth in baptism.

My fervent prayer is that I may help the reader to understand God's simple Truth concerning the only baptism that saves as commanded by the Lord Himself.


CONCLUSION:

When the apostles were baptized with the Holy Spirit, they preached the gospel of Christ, (Matt. 28:19), quoting many Scriptures with the purpose of convincing the Jews of their sin, (John 16:8). They pointed out what they should do to be forgiven of their sins.  This was what the apostles of Christ actually did when they were indeed baptized with the Holy Spirit.  

Years later (circa 62 A.D.) Paul told the Ephesians “one Lord, one faith, one baptism.”  The baptism of John was of short length or duration.  Very few people received the baptism with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2, 10, 11 records and nails down the only two cases of this kind of baptism).  Therefore, the only baptism that should be of great importance today is the baptism with water for the forgiveness of sins.  This is the only baptism acceptable and authorized by God in Ephesians 4:5.

The baptism with the Holy Spirit was only promised to the apostles and not to all the penitent believers.  The purpose of the baptism with the Holy Spirit that was promised to the apostles was to equip them for their commission work.  The baptism with the Holy Spirit was not a commandment but rather a promise.  It had nothing to do with the so-called “original sin” or any supposed “second work of grace.”

The baptism with the Holy Spirit is not a blessing for today.  Ever since before the close of the first century, there has always been only "one baptism,”  (Ephesians 4:5).  The Great Commission baptism administered by men, i.e., water baptism, is that  "one baptism" and it was to continue to the end of time according to Matthew 28:19, 20.

Therefore, the only baptism that Jesus has authorized began on the day of Pentecost, 33 A.D., Acts 2:38-41.  It is authorized by Jesus' authority, Mark 16:16; Matt 28:18-19.  It is only by immersion, Romans 6:3-4; Col. 2:12.  It is preceded by faith in God and His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, Mark 16:16; Acts 8:36.  It is preceded by repentance, Acts, 2:38.  It is preceded by confessing faith in Christ, Acts 8:36-37.  It is for the forgiveness of sins, Acts 2:28; 22:16.  It is freely offered to all believing penitents, Matt. 28:18-19; Mark 16:16.  It clothes us with Christ, Galatians 3:27.  And it is the only one that is acceptable and valid today by God, Acts 10:48; Eph. 4:4.

May the Lord bless us as we strive to do His will.

Luci