What Is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?
  • Introduction
  • What is the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
  • The terms “to be baptized with the Holy Spirit,” “to receive the Holy Spirit,” “to receive the Holy Spirit,” “to be first filled with the Holy Spirit,” “the Holy Spirit came down,” “the Holy Spirit is poured out”: do they all refer to different things or to the same thing: baptism with the Holy Spirit?
  • How can one receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
  • What does “one baptism” (Eph. 4:5) mean?
  • Does the baptism of the Holy Spirit take place immediately after believing in Jesus Christ?
  • Baptism and the Spirit of Christ
  • Did the disciples receive the Holy Spirit when they were blown by the Lord (John 20:22)?
  • What are the signs of the baptism with the Holy Spirit?
  • Until when is the Holy Spirit given to Christians?
  • Does the baptism of the Holy Spirit save?
  • Why is the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit needed in the Church?


Introduction

There are many doctrines today that attempt to answer these questions in one way or another. Christians, all those who sincerely seek the truth, wonder what the Bible has to say on the subject and whether all these questions can be answered accurately.

I have encountered doctrines claiming that baptism is one, as it is written:

5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, (Eph.4:5).

And, therefore, at the moment of water baptism there is also the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

There are teachings that claim that after the Lord Jesus Christ blew on the disciples:

22 When He had said this, He blew, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. (John 20:22),

All who believe in Jesus Christ received the Holy Spirit.

There are doctrines that claim that the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the receiving of the Holy Spirit are different things…

There are doctrines about the present day that argue that the gifts of the Holy Spirit spoken of in the Bible were only given by God until the time all the books of the Bible were written, confirming this by a place in Scripture:

8 Love never ceases, though prophecy shall cease, and tongues shall be silenced, and knowledge shall be abolished.
9 For we know in part and prophesy in part;
10 But when the perfect comes, then that which is in part will cease. (1 Corinthians 13:8-10).

Well, what else could be perfect but the Bible? And, therefore, believers who to this day are baptized with the Holy Spirit and work for the Lord with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, are none other than possessed by demonic powers. Although to say so is the worst of all sins, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit

And so on.

Let’s start with what the baptism of the Holy Spirit is.

The very word baptism means immersion, penetration.

4 And when he had gathered them together, he commanded them, “Do not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which you heard from me,
5 For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.
6 So they came together and asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?
7 And he said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has set in his authority,
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the end of the earth. (Acts 1:4-8).

These words were spoken by Jesus Christ about what was to happen on the day of Pentecost, ten days after His ascension into heaven. The apostle John also testifies that the Lord spoke of the baptism with the Holy Spirit:

15 If you love me, keep my commandments.
16 And I will plead with the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, that he may be with you always,
17 The Spirit of truth, whom the world can neither see Him nor know Him; but you know Him, because He is with you and will be in you. (John 14:15-17).

Thus, the baptism with the Holy Spirit of the disciples of Jesus Christ, which took place on the Feast of Weeks, the day of Pentecost, ten days after Christ’s ascension to heaven, was not “the descent of the Holy Spirit to earth,” as we often hear today: He was already with believers, and the Old Testament prophets were filled with the same Holy Spirit, but the moment they were baptized with the Holy Spirit, He entered into them, poured into their hearts

5 But hope is not ashamed, because the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit given to us. (Rom.5:5).

Now let’s define the terms: to be baptized with the Holy Spirit, to receive the Holy Spirit, to receive the Holy Spirit, to be first filled with the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit has come, the Holy Spirit has been poured out. Are these all spoken of different things, or are they all the same thing: the baptism with the Holy Spirit?

The apostle Peter gives us the answer when he explains to the church in Jerusalem what happened in the house of Cornelius of Caesarea, where the Holy Spirit had sent him to preach the Word of God. There was a large assembly, for preaching to the Gentiles, their belief and the baptism with the Holy Spirit was at that time a novelty; the church had not preached to anyone but the Jews:

1 The apostles and the brothers who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God.
2 And when Peter came to Jerusalem, the circumcised rebuked him,
3 saying, “You went to uncircumcised people and ate with them.
4 But Peter began to tell them in order, saying:
5 And while I was praying in the city of Joppa, I saw in a trance a vision, as of a great cloth coming down out of heaven at the four corners, and coming to me.
6 And I looked into it, and, behold, I saw four-footed beasts of the earth, and reptiles, and birds of the sky.
7 And I heard a voice saying to me, “Arise, Peter, kill and eat.
8 And I said, “No, Lord, nothing unclean or impure has ever entered my mouth.
9 And a voice answered me again from heaven, “What God has cleansed, you shall not consider unclean.
10 This happened three times, and again all went up into heaven.
11 And behold, at that very hour three men stood before the house where I was, sent from Caesarea to me.
12 The Spirit told me to go with them without any hesitation. And these six brothers also went with me, and we came to the man’s house.
13 He told us how he had seen a holy angel in his house, who stood and said to him, “Send men to Joppa and call for Simon, who is called Peter;
14 He will speak words to you, with which you and your whole house will be saved.
15 When I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came upon them, as at first upon us.
16 Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said, “John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
17 So if God has given them the same gift as He has given us who have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who am I that I can hinder God?
18 When they heard this, they calmed down and glorified God, saying, “It seems that God has also given repentance to the Gentiles in life. (Acts 11:1-18).

How this happened is recounted in Acts 10:

44 While Peter was still continuing this speech, the Holy Spirit came upon all who heard the word.
45 And the believers of the circumcision who came with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles,
46 For they heard them speaking with tongues and praising God. Then Peter said:
47 Who can forbid the baptism with water to those who, like us, have received the Holy Spirit? (Acts 10:44-47).

  • And what happened, as the apostle Peter said, in the beginning, that is, on the day of Pentecost, a few days after the ascension of Christ? This is what chapter 2 of the book of Acts tells us:

1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all with one accord together.
2 Suddenly there was a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were.
3 And there appeared to them divided tongues as of fire, and one rested on each of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
5 And there were pious Jews from every nation under heaven in Jerusalem.
6 And when the noise was heard, the crowd was assembled and was disturbed, because everyone heard them speaking in his own language.
7 And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans?
8 But how do we hear each one in his own dialect, in which we were born.
9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus, and Asia,
10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, and those who came from Rome, Jews and proselytes,
11 Cretans and Arabians, do we hear them speaking with our tongues about the great things of God?
12 And they were all amazed, and, perplexed, said one to another, “What does this mean?
13 And some scoffed, saying, “They have been drunk with sweet wine.
14 And Peter stood with the eleven, and lifted up his voice and said to them, “You men of Judah, and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words:
15 And they are not drunken, as you think, for it is the third hour of the day;
16 But this is that which was foretold by the prophet Joel:
17 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 be instructed by dreams.
18 And on my servants and on my maidservants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they will prophesy. (Acts 2:1-18).

So, as it follows from the explanations given to us by the Apostle Peter and the account of events in the Bible, the terms outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the descent of the Holy Spirit, receiving of the Holy Spirit, receiving of the Holy Spirit, being filled with the Holy Spirit for the first time mean the same thing: the baptism with the Holy Spirit.

(There is a command of God to believers to be filled with the Holy Spirit:

18 And do not be drunk with wine, from which there is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, (Eph.5:18).

Therefore, those who have received the Holy Spirit can and should be filled with the Spirit. For example, Stephen, being filled with the Holy Spirit, testified about Christ before the Sanhedrin:

55 Now Stephen, being filled with the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God (Acts 7:55),

but in the baptism of the Holy Spirit this can happen for the first time).

How does one receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit?

Without a doubt, the Holy Spirit comes from God:

26 But when the Comforter comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will testify of me; (John 15:26)

And He will do what pleases Him:

27 But he who searches the hearts knows what the Spirit’s thought is, because he intercedes for the saints according to [the will of] God. (Rom.8:27).

The Lord Jesus Christ spoke of receiving the Holy Spirit:

11 Which of you father, [when] his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or [when he asks for] fish, will he give him a serpent instead of fish?
12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he give him a scorpion?
13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him! (Luk.11:11-13).

So, in order to receive the Holy Spirit from God, this can be asked for.

Moreover, in this passage we also see a guarantee that it is the Holy Spirit that the believer will receive when he asks for the Holy Spirit. Since we, being evil, are able to give good gifts to our children, we can be confident in our God, who is faithful in His word, that He will give the one who asks for the Holy Spirit, not a demon, as false teachers in some churches scare us.

But as we read the above explanation of the baptism with the Holy Spirit in Cornelius’ home, we could see that the Holy Spirit came upon those who believed without the prayer for baptism with the Holy Spirit. They were filled with the Holy Spirit simply by hearing the good news about Jesus Christ! (Acts 10:44-47, Acts 11:1-18). The above Scriptures have already been quoted above.

So, one can be baptized with the Holy Spirit simply by listening in faith to the Word of God.

We also read of the “laying on of hands” in which the baptism of the Holy Spirit takes place:

14 The apostles who were in Jerusalem, when they heard that the Samaritans had received the word of God, sent Peter and John to them,
15 who came and prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit.
16 For it had not yet come upon any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
17 Then they laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. (Acts 8:14-17).

And after Philip preached, the eunuch of the queen of Ethiopia was baptized with water baptism, and when he came out of the water, the Holy Spirit came on him:

36 Meanwhile, as they continued on their journey, they came to the water; and the eunuch said, “Here is water; what hinders me from being baptized?
37 Philip said to him, “If you believe with all your heart, you can. He answered, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
38 So he commanded the chariot to stand still, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and baptized him.
39 But when they came up out of the water, the Holy Spirit came down on the eunuch, and Philip was caught up by an angel of the Lord, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. (Acts 8:36-39).

Thus, the baptism of the Holy Spirit and water baptism are not the same thing and occur independently of one another. For the eunuch of the Queen of Ethiopia received the Holy Spirit immediately after water baptism (Acts 8:36-39), the Samaritans received the Holy Spirit when they laid hands on the Apostles, long after they had been baptized with water baptism (Acts 8:14-17), and in the house of Cornelius, the believers received the Holy Spirit even before they were baptized into Jesus Christ with water baptism. And seeing this, the apostle Peter gave orders that they should be baptized in water (Acts 10:44-48). All the citations of the above Scriptures have already been given above.

Hence, “One Baptism:

5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, (Eph.4:5),

is not written that water baptism and Holy Spirit baptism are one and the same, but that those who have been baptized into Jesus Christ in one locality or in one church should no longer be “crossed over” by moving to another locality or by going to another church. This should be clear to us.

Therefore, all who believe in Jesus Christ, if you do not already have the Holy Spirit, you need not “cross over to another faith. The faith is one. But just ask the Lord earnestly for the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and He will surely give it to you!

Is the baptism of the Holy Spirit immediately after you believe?

Another popular false teaching is that whoever believes in Jesus Christ receives the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

This is supposedly seen in Christ’s words that those who believe in Him will be accompanied by signs, including those Scripture references to the gifts of the Holy Spirit: tongues, healings, and so on.

But in the Gospel of Mark, where the prediction of Jesus Christ is witnessed, there are signs that will accompany those who believe in Him:

17 But these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new languages;
18 They will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will be well. (Mk.16:17,18),

It does not say that ALL of these signs will accompany EVERYONE who believes IMMEDIATELY after believing, and therefore the presence of faith is NOT determined by the presence of all of these signs, nor does believing mean the IMMEDIATE and OBLIGATORY baptism of the believer with the Holy Spirit.

Just as the apostles and disciples of Christ, having believed, had no sign of speaking with new tongues until they were baptized with the Holy Spirit, so in Acts we read of the events after the memorable day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit first came upon the disciples of Christ. There we see that there were believers who received the Holy Spirit and spoke with tongues some time, even a long time, after they believed and were baptized with water, only after they were baptized with the Holy Spirit. Until the first Pentecost, after the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, none of those who believed in Jesus Christ spoke with new tongues.

Read also “All About the Gift of the Holy Spirit in Tongues” (http://bibleinstruct.blogspot.com/2016/06/blog-post_63.html).

So, the signs that should accompany those who believe in Christ listed in Mark chapter 16, including “new tongues” and healings, do accompany them, but in the way that is written in chapter 12 of 1 Corinthians: not all gifts, powers, ministries are given to everyone who is baptized with the Holy Spirit. But TO ANYONE is one thing, TO ANYONE is another. As a result, the saints in the churches have tongues and other gifts and signs. BUT NOT necessarily ALL OF THEM ALL AT ONCE!

So, signs according to Mk.16:17,18 accompany those who believe in Jesus Christ, but not necessarily all and not necessarily immediately after believing.

This should also be remembered by those who mistakenly believe that if he has believed in Christ, Scripture supposedly guarantees that he can eat and drink poisoned things so that they will not harm him, take hold of snakes and cast out demons by word. Scripture does not say that ALL of these signs accompany ALL believers at once after believing. No. But to whom it is given, it is given, and to whom it is not given, it is not given.

Thus, the account of the apostle Paul tells of one such sign with him:

3 But when Paul had gathered a lot of brushwood and was setting it on the fire, the viper came out from the heat and hung onto his hand.
4 And when the strangers saw the snake hanging on his hand, they said one to another, “Surely this man is a murderer, when the judgment of God leaves him who has escaped from the sea.
5 But he shook the serpent into the fire and suffered no harm. (Acts 28:3-5).

There is also a known heresy, preached in Pentecostal churches, that the sign of speaking in tongues described in Mark 16:17 or 1 Corinthians 14:22 and the gift of the Holy Spirit in tongues described in 1 Corinthians 12:10,28,30, 13:1,8, 14:2-39 are different things. It is not true that the “sign of tongues” is received when a person is baptized with the Holy Spirit, but the gift of tongues is received separately, and also together with the gift of the interpretation of tongues.

There is no point in writing much about this heresy. It is enough to say that the Bible says nothing of the kind.

That is enough for those who fear the Lord. Heresies are works of the flesh (Gal. 5:20,21). Those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

For more information, see “All About the Gift of the Holy Spirit in Tongues” at http://bibleinstruct.blogspot.com/2016/06/blog-post_63.html.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit and water baptism are not the same thing and occur independently of one another. In fact, the eunuch of the Queen of Ethiopia received the Holy Spirit immediately after water baptism:

36 Meanwhile, as they continued on their journey, they came to the water; and the eunuch said, “Here is the water; what hinders me from being baptized?
37 Philip said to him, “If you believe with all your heart, you can. He answered, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
38 So he commanded the chariot to stand still, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and baptized him.
39 But when they came up out of the water, the Holy Spirit came down on the eunuch, and Philip was caught up by an angel of the Lord, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. (Acts 8:36-39).

The Samaritans received the Holy Spirit at the laying on of the apostles’ hands long after they had been baptized with water baptism:

14 The apostles who were in Jerusalem, when they heard that the Samaritans had received the word of God, sent Peter and John to them,
15 who came and prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit.
16 For it had not yet come upon any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

17 Then they laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. (Acts 8:14-17).

In the house of Cornelius, however, those who believed received the Holy Spirit even before they were baptized into Jesus Christ by water baptism. And seeing this, the apostle Peter gave orders that they should be baptized in water:

44 While Peter was still continuing this speech, the Holy Spirit came upon all who heard the word.
45 And the believers of the circumcision who came with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles,
46 For they heard them speaking with tongues and praising God. Then Peter said:
47 Who can forbid the baptism with water to those who, like us, have received the Holy Spirit?
48 He commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay with them for a few days. (Acts 10:44-48).

Baptism and the Spirit of Christ

The Spirit of Christ is Christ himself:

9 But you do not live according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit, if only the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not his.
10 But if Christ is in you, the body is dead to sin, but the spirit is alive to righteousness. (Rom.8:9,10).

Christ and the Holy Spirit are different persons.

One receives the Spirit of Christ, or in other words, Christ dwells in a person immediately after believing, regardless of baptisms. After all, as we know:

9 But you do not live according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit, if only the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he [also] is not his. (Rom. 8:9).

In other words, whether a person is or is not a child of God depends on whether he has the Spirit of Christ, that is, whether Christ himself lives in him.

Therefore, both the robber, crucified on the cross next to Jesus, who did not receive any baptism, and the Ephesians, about whom we spoke above (Acts 19:3-5), who did not even hear whether the Holy Spirit was present and only received the Holy Spirit after the laying on of the hands of the Apostle, and all the others, about whom we read that they received the Holy Spirit long after believing, how soon they believed in Jesus Christ already, which is the condition of salvation, as it is written

16 Nevertheless, having learned that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but only by faith in Jesus Christ, we also believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. (Gal.2:16),

(Galatians 2:16) had without any doubt the Spirit of Christ, that is, Christ lived in them.

And if they had to, like the robber who received Christ while hanging on the cross, accept death before the apostles came and laid hands on them, by which or otherwise they received the Holy Spirit, they would still be saved as children of God, by faith.

Moreover, the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the reception of water baptism, unlike the reception of the Spirit of Christ, does not guarantee salvation to man. Many believers who have received water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit return to the world.

See the section on “Does Holy Spirit Baptism Save?

Only those who remain faithful to the Lord thereby show that they have the Spirit of Christ. And they are His.

From which we can also conclude that the Spirit of Christ and the Holy Spirit are not the same thing. Receiving water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, the baptism with the Holy Spirit does not mean a person has the Spirit of Christ.

The presence of the Spirit of Christ is determined only by having sincere faith in Jesus Christ, by remaining faithful to God to the end:

14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if only we keep the life we have begun firmly to the end, (Heb.3:14).

But does the Spirit of Christ enter a person once and for all?

There is reason to say so, because the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of Adoption, or Jesus Christ Himself, whatever we call Him, tells us that there are people among those who call themselves children of God, of whom He will say at the last day, “I have never known you” (Matt.7:23).

From which we can conclude that the Spirit of Christ enters and lives only in people who will be saved, chosen in Jesus Christ before the Creation of the world, including true Christians, people who will remain faithful to God to the end. And those who, in their time, depart from God, lose their faithfulness to Him, thereby testifying that Christ, the Spirit of Christ, never abided in them and did not know them as children of God, born again in Him, in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Let us now examine what is the case with the “blowing” of the Lord Jesus Christ, which we spoke of at the beginning of the subject:

22 When he had said this, he blew, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. (John 20:22).

Is there any reason to say that immediately after this blowing, Christ’s disciples received the Holy Spirit? Certainly not! In fact, it was not until the day of Pentecost, ten days after Jesus’ ascension to heaven, that the disciples received or were baptized with the Holy Spirit. That is, it happened in the future, but not in the same hour.

Other passages of Scripture also testify to this:

38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture says, out of his womb will flow rivers of living water.
39 This he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Holy Spirit had not been on them, because Jesus had not yet been glorified. (John 7:38,39),

7 But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go; for if I do not go, the Comforter will not come to you, but if I do, I will send him to you (John 16:7),

16 And I will plead with the Father, and he will give you another Comforter, so that he may be with you forever,
17 The Spirit of truth, whom the world can neither see Him nor know Him, but you know Him, because He is with you and will be in you. (John 14:16,17),

4 And when he had gathered them together, he commanded them, “Do not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which you heard from me,
5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit a few days after this. (Acts 1:4,5).

So in order for believers to receive the Holy Spirit or be baptized with the Holy Spirit, it was necessary that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended in glory to heaven:

16 And without question is the great mystery of godliness: God appeared in the flesh, justified Himself in the Spirit, showed Himself to the angels, preached to the nations, received by faith in the world, ascended in glory. (1 Timothy 3:16),

(1 Timothy 3:16), begged God the Father for it, and only on the day of Pentecost did He send the Comforter Spirit, the Holy Spirit, to those on whom He had blown at the time with the words, “Receive the Holy Spirit:

33 Being therefore lifted up by the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he poured out that which you now see and hear. (Acts 2:33).

So how do we know if a person has received the Holy Spirit and can there be a baptism of the Holy Spirit without the gifts of the Holy Spirit?

On this question Scripture says bluntly:

4 The gifts are different, but the Spirit is one and the same;
5 And the ministries are different, but God is one and the same;
6 And the actions are different, but God is the same, producing all things in all.
7 But to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for his benefit.
8 To one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom, to another the word of knowledge, by the same Spirit;
9 To another faith, by the same Spirit; to another gifts of healing, by the same Spirit;
10 Some with miracles, some with prophecy, some with discerning of spirits, some with speaking in tongues, some with interpreting tongues.
11 All these things the same Spirit works, dividing them all apart as He wills.
12 For as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of one body, though many, are one body; so also is Christ.
13 For by one Spirit we have all been baptized into one body, whether we are Jews or Gentiles, whether we are slaves or free, and all have been filled with one Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:4-13).

So, there can be no baptism by the Holy Spirit, into the body of Jesus Christ, as we read, without the gifts of the Holy Spirit. But to each one the Holy Spirit gives something of those gifts, manifestations, ministries, actions of the Holy Spirit that please Him.

It can be difficult to determine whether a believer has the Holy Spirit if there are no obvious manifestations: the gift of tongues, prophecy. In the days of the apostles, as we have read above, it was by these manifestations: tongues, praise to God, that they determined that believers had received the Holy Spirit. It is still the custom of saints in churches today. Although, of course, the gift of tongues is not necessary in the baptism of the Holy Spirit:

28 And some were set up by God in the church, first as apostles, second as prophets, third as teachers; further, [some were given] powers [miraculous], also gifts of healing, aids, administrations, various languages.

29 Are all the apostles? All the prophets? All the teachers? Are all miracle workers?
30 Do all have the gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Are all interpreters?
31 Be zealous for great gifts, and I will show you a still greater way. (1 Corinthians 12:28-31).

For more, see “All About the Gift of the Holy Spirit in Tongues”

But believers are taught to ask specifically for this gift of the Holy Spirit, to know for certain that they have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and then to be zealous, that is, to zealously ask, plead with God, for greater gifts: prophecy, visions, healings, and so on.

It must also be said that the presence of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the church is one of the marks of the church of the saints:

26 What then, brethren? When ye are gathered together, and each one of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation, let all these things be for edification.

27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let two of you, or many three, speak apart, and let one of you interpret.
28 But if there be no interpreter, be silent in the church, but speak to yourself and to God.
29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others reason.
30 But if another of those seated is to have a revelation, let the first keep silent.
31 For you may all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be comforted.
32 And the spirits of the prophets are obedient to the prophets,
33 because God is not [God] of disorder, but of peace. This [happens] in all the churches with the saints. (1 Corinthians 14:26-33).

You can learn more about this in the topic “How do I find the church of the saints?” (http://bibleinstruct.blogspot.com/2016/05/blog-post_88.html).

Until when is the Holy Spirit given to Christians?

When the apostle Paul spoke of the end of prophecy and tongues and the abolition of knowledge, he also said that at that time we Christians will know everything, not in part, but fully, face to face:

8 Love never ceases, though prophecy shall cease, and tongues shall be silenced, and knowledge shall be abolished.
9 For we know in part and prophesy in part;
10 But when the perfect comes, then that which is in part will cease.
11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I thought as a child, I reasoned as a child; but when I became a man, I gave up childish things.
12 Now we see as through a [dim] glass, guessing, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I know, just as I am known. (1 Corinthians 13:8-12).

Has this time already come? Have we already known everything, just as we are known? Of course not. There are plenty of things we don’t know. Here are a couple of examples:

36 But of that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, but my Father alone; (Matt. 24:36),

9 But, as it is written, “The eye has not seen it, and the ear has not heard it, nor has it come to a man’s heart, which God has prepared for those who love him.
10 But God has revealed it to us through his Spirit, for the Spirit sees through everything and the depths of God. (1 Corinthians 2:9,10).

Revealed by the Holy Spirit, that is, again, in part.

We are talking about the time when believers in Christ will be resurrected and reclaimed from the Lord, when the Lord’s kingdom on earth will come. That is when we will know, clearly see everything. That is when the perfect will come. Until then, everything is partial: tongues, prophecy, and knowledge.

We also read:

13 In him you also, having heard the word of truth, the good news of your salvation, and having believed in him, are sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,
14 Who is the pledge of our inheritance, for the redemption of [his] inheritance, to the praise of his glory. (Eph.1:13,14).

The pledge is given until the time of repayment of the loan. In our case, that “loan” is our inheritance or the inheritance of the Lord Jesus Christ:

15 For you have not received the spirit of bondage, [so that] you may live [again] in fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!”
16 This very Spirit testifies to our spirit that we are children of God.
17 And if we are children, we are heirs, heirs of God, and co-heirs with Christ, if only with him we suffer, that with him we may also be glorified.
18 For I consider that this present temporal suffering is worthless in comparison with the glory that will be revealed in us. (Rom.8:15-18).

So the Holy Spirit will be with us until the glory bequeathed to us from the Lord, the resurrection and eternal life, the earth, New Jerusalem, and all the other things that the Lord has promised us are revealed.

The Scripture already quoted above says the same thing:

15 If you love me, keep my commandments.
16 I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, who will be with you forever,
17 The Spirit of truth, whom the world can neither see Him nor know Him; but you know Him, because He is with you and will be in you. (John 14:15-17).

Forever means until the end of the age. This age, of course, not the age to come.

Therefore, believers in Jesus Christ need not be afraid of asking and jealousy before God for things that can no longer be. The promises of God remain in force:

17 In the last days, says God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters will prophesy, and your young men will see visions, and your elders will be instructed by dreams.
18 And on my servants and on my maidservants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they will prophesy. (Acts 2:17,18).

Does the baptism of the Holy Spirit save?

As chapter 13 of 1 Corinthians suggests, you can have no love and be nothing, but have the gifts of the Holy Spirit:

1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have no love, I am a ringing brass or a sounding cymbal.

2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries, and have all knowledge and all faith, so that I can move mountains, but have no love, I am nothing.

3 And if I give away all my possessions and give my body to be burned, and I do not have love, it is of no profit to me. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).

And there is no benefit to such a man from the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus also 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.

22 Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord! Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name? Didn’t we cast out demons in your name, and in your name did we work many miracles?

23 Then I will declare to them, ‘I have never known you. (Matthew 7:21-23).

Believers who receive gifts from the Holy Spirit may later depart from the Lord. There are many such examples.

However, Scripture says:

29 For the gifts and calling of God are immutable. (Rom.11:29),

(Rom. 11:29), and so it is not uncommon to see the continued manifestations of the Holy Spirit in apostates.

So it was with Saul when he went to kill David, although the Spirit of God had departed from him, and he was demon-possessed (1 Samuel 18:10).

23 And he went there to Nabath in Ramah, and the Spirit of God came upon him, and he went and prophesied until he came to Nabath in Ramah.

24 And he also took off his clothes, and prophesied before Samuel, and all that day and all that night he lay undressed; therefore they say, “Is Saul also in the prophets?” (1 Samuel 19:23,24).

So it was with Balaam…

So, the baptism of the Holy Spirit does not give a person salvation.

Is the baptism of the Holy Spirit necessary and are the gifts of the Holy Spirit necessary?

In the churches of the saints, the Holy Spirit is like a lamp that illuminates, by means of the revelations given from God to the prophets, the visionaries, the teachers of the Church, all the dark places in the body of Christ, which is the Church, that is, the sin in our hearts:

34 The lamp of the body is the eye; therefore if thy eye be pure, thy whole body also shall be light; but if it be evil, thy body also shall be dark.
35 Watch therefore, for the light that is in you, is it not darkness?
36 But if thy whole body is full of light, and hath not a single dark part, then the whole shall be full of light, as though a lamp had shone upon thee. (Luke 11:34-36).

Such illumination for the church is essential.

As mentioned above, the presence of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the church is one of the signs of a church of saints:

26 What then, brethren? When ye are gathered together, and each one of you has a psalm, and each one of you has a doctrine, and each one has a tongue, and each one has a revelation, and each one has an interpretation, let all these things be unto edification.
27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let two of you, or many three, speak apart, and let one of you interpret.
28 But if there be no interpreter, be silent in the church, but speak to yourself and to God.
29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others reason.
30 But if another of those seated is to have a revelation, let the first keep silent.
31 For you may all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be comforted.
32 And the spirits of the prophets are obedient to the prophets,
33 because God is not [God] of disorder, but of peace. This [happens] in all the churches with the saints. (1 Corinthians 14:26-33).

For more, see “How do I find the church of the saints?” (http://bibleinstruct.blogspot.com/2016/05/blog-post_88.html).

The Lord gave prophecies about the Holy Spirit and his manifestations in God’s people:

17 In the last days, says God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters will prophesy; and your young men will see visions, and your elders will be instructed by dreams.
18 And on my servants and on my maidservants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they will prophesy. (Acts 2:17,18).

And when the Lord Jesus Christ commanded his disciples:

4 And when He had gathered them together, He commanded them, “Do not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which you have heard from Me,
5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit a few days after this. (Acts 1:4,5),

He asked and exhorted them to receive the Holy Spirit as a promise from God the Father. But the disciples who received the Holy Spirit were also to receive power to serve the Lord:

8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the end of the earth. (Acts 1:8).

So, although not always immediately and equally for all, after the baptism with the Holy Spirit, God gives believers power.

The Bible also teaches:

12 In the same way, while you are zealous for spiritual [gifts], strive to be enriched [by them] for the edification of the church. (1 Corinthians 14:12).

The gifts of the Holy Spirit, then, are the riches of Christians and the church! Therefore, all who desire to please God should pray for the gifts of the Spirit and strive to enrich themselves with them for the edification of the Church, zealous before God for greater gifts.

Also:

5 I desire that you all speak with tongues; but it is better that you prophesy; for he who prophesies is more excellent than he who speaks with tongues, unless he also expounds, so that the church may be edified. (1 Corinthians 14:5).

(1 Corinthians 14:5) Therefore he who has the Holy Spirit must be zealous before the Lord to receive the gift of tongues from the Holy Spirit, that he might pray in the Holy Spirit, according to the commandment which the apostle Judas gave us:

20 But you, beloved, edifying yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,
21 keep yourselves in the love of God, expecting mercy from our Lord Jesus Christ, for eternal life. (Jude 1:20,21).

For a detailed discussion of praying with the Holy Spirit, see “All About the Gift of the Holy Spirit in Tongues”.

In the churches of the saints do not resist the Holy Spirit, and therefore do not reject, but accept the gifts of the Holy Spirit and work with these gifts, as the talents from Christ’s parable of the talents (Matthew 25:13-30).

The Christian who obeys God seeks to do God’s will and therefore receives the baptism of the Holy Spirit and is enriched with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Although it is obvious that the robber on the cross was saved with neither water baptism nor spiritual baptism. It is simply that God does not demand the impossible from us.

If we know God’s will for the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but are unwilling to accept it, but, moreover, denigrate the Holy Spirit and Christians who have received the spiritual gifts, how can we call ourselves Christians and hope for salvation in Christ? We must first be reconciled to the Holy Spirit.

And disobedience to the Lord:

22 And Samuel answered, “Are burnt offerings and sacrifices as pleasing to the Lord as obedience to the voice of the Lord? Obedience is better than sacrifice, and obedience is better than the fat of sheep;
23 For disobedience is the same sin as witchcraft, and opposition is the same as idolatry… (1 Samuel 15:22,23)

and is one of the iniquities of which in the Sermon on the Mount Christ spoke:

23 Then I will declare to them, “I have never known you; depart from me, you who do iniquity. (Matthew 7:23).

God is an unmerciful God. What man sows, so shall he reap.

May God bless and have mercy on us!

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Joel D. Brown
Joel D. Brown

Evangelist and blogger, writing Bible advices pages

Sandy Huston
Sandy Huston

Certified psychologist and blogger, writing Relationship advices pages

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