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What is the Scriptural Baptism with the Holy Spirit and How do I Receive it? 

 

  Renette Vermeulen

 

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BEFORE JESUS’ ASCENSION, HE PROMISED TO BAPTIZE HIS BELIEVERS WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT 

During the Old Testament as well as in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, which portray the Old Testament Covenant or dispensation before Jesus’ crucifixion, resurrection and ascension, the Kingdom of God, (or Jesus’ salvation, redemption, and the many other supernatural works of the Holy Spirit) only came “near” the Old Hebrew nation, because the “Holy Spirit was not yet given.”  Until Jesus died on the cross, the Hebrew nation was under the Old Testament Covenant of the Law.  The Old Hebrews did not have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit; He only came ‘upon’ them.  They could not be personally and spiritually born again yet, therefore, they could not be the holy temple of the Holy Spirit.  They were yoked to the old, physical temple-covenant without the complete atonement of Christ.  That is why, during Jesus’ ministry on earth, He ministered mainly to the Hebrews.  At this time, “The... [indwelling] Kingdom of God was at hand,” [because Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection was near.]  Therefore, John the Baptist called the Old Hebrew nation to “repent [from Judaism and the temple worship of the Old Covenant,] and believe the Gospel [of Christ,]” (Jn. 7:37-39; Mark 1:15.) 

In Jn. 7:37-39, Jesus prophesied the inauguration of His New Testament Covenant, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.  He who believes in Me… out of his heart [or born again human spirit] will flow a fountain of living water springing up into everlasting life...  This Jesus spoke concerning the Spirit, Whom [all] those believing in Him [after His resurrection and ascension] would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given [until that day of Pentecost,] because Jesus was not yet glorified…”  This promise of Jesus was  actually the prophecy of John the Baptist in Mt. 3:11, that Jesus would baptize [every one of His Scripturally born again believers] with the Holy Spirit and with fire,” (Mt. 3:11; Mark 1:8: Jn. 14:26; 16:7-15.)  The Holy Spirit is Jesus’ Free “Gift” to all those who sincerely believe in Him, and personally accept and follow Him.  He is the Spirit of Grace, through Whom Jesus ‘indwell,’ ‘fill,’ or ‘possess’ every one of His sincere believers.  Since Pentecost, in the life of every single true believer in Christ, the Gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit Himself became the fulfilment of Jesus’ promise, “the Kingdom of God will be in you,” (Acts 1:8; 2:38; 1 Cor. 3:16-17; 6:15-20.)  

Paul declared in Eph. 1:13-14, ‘After [the disciples] heard the word of Truth, the Gospel of your salvation, in Whom also, having believed, [and accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior,] they were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, Who is the guarantee of our [heavenly] inheritance until the [day of] redemption of the [blood] purchased possession to the praise of His glory.’  The Holy Spirit Himself fully possesses all sincerely and personally born again disciples of Christ from the moment of their rebirth in Christ. 

This statement concerning salvation and the “possession,” or constant indwelling of the Holy Spirit, means we must first personally believe in, and then decidedly accept Jesus as our Savior, (Jn. 1:12-13.)  At that moment, Jesus Christ Himself implants His living, spiritual Kingdom in our born again spirits or ‘hearts’ though the Holy Spirit, Whom He sends to indwell us, (Jn. 3:3-5; Gal. 4:6.) 

This is God’s one and only Scriptural “baptism with the Holy Spirit,” and being born again does not happen in stages.  Just as natural birth, spiritual rebirth happens at a particular moment in time and never again.  One cannot truly accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and then be indwelt with the Holy Spirit ‘at a later stage.’  That would be like being born as a physical baby, but only taking the first breath of life ‘at a later stage.’  Paul declared in Rom. 8:9, “Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.”  We are “His” from the very moment we sincerely accept Jesus as our Lord, Redeemer and Savior, not when, and if, we manifest the Holy Spirit’s gift of tongues and/or prophecy.  To believe the false Restoration doctrine of gradual initiation into the Kingdom of God through so-called ‘mediating’ and ‘Holy-Spirit baptising’ pastors, evangelists, prophets, who supposedly “baptize people in the Holy Spirit,” is completely unscriptural and illogical.  What’s more, we cannot be baptized “in” the Holy Spirit; Jesus baptizes us “with” the Holy Spirit.  He does not place us ‘in’ the Spirit; He places the Spirit in us, His blood-cleansed temple.  Only God Himself baptizes with the Holy Spirit; placing the Holy Spirit into our born again ‘hearts’ or human spirits at the moment we accept Jesus. 

At that moment when Jesus Himself baptizes, fills, ‘seals,’ and possesses every born again child of God with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit Himself becomes our personal “Guarantee” from God the Father that ‘He will complete the good work that He had started in us.’  [Please do not think that this is the false doctrine of ‘eternal security,’ and the ‘unconditional love’ of God, where religious church members and even born again believers are led to believe they may sin without consequences!] 

The Spirit Filled Bible explained in Gal. 4:6, “The Spirit Himself is God’s Seal, or Stamp of Personal Possession’ in us,’ [so that no one can claim us spiritually until that day when He comes to take us home, unless we personally decide to unrepentantly turn away from God to go back into Hades, or spiritual death, Heb. 6:4-8.]  His seal or guarantee is literally a deposit, down payment, or first instalment.  The Spirit invested in us is the Father’s title to possessing us entirely and forever — with our consent,” and of course, through our decided obedience to His Moral Law of Love,”  (Jn. 7:21-24; 13:34; 14:15,23; 1 Jn. 4:2!] 

The Matthew Henry Commentary says more, ‘God’s Seal is the Spirit of Promise Himself, that is, believers are sealed or separated, and set apart for God, and distinguished and marked as belonging to Him.  The Spirit [in us] secures the full sum, [which Jesus had paid for us.]  So Jesus’ Gift, Who is the Holy Spirit Himself; all His influences and operation, both as the [Possessor] and Sanctifier, are heaven begun; glory in the seed and bud.  The Spirit’s illumination is an earnest of everlasting light… until the [final earthly] redemption of the purchased possession.  We may be called the “possession,” because the Spirit makes us heirs as though we already possessed all of [God’s Heavenly Kingdom,] as all of this was purchased for us by the blood of Christ.  Our redemption is mentioned because it was mortgaged and forfeited by sin; but Christ restored it all to us, and so is said to redeem us.’  ‘Therefore,’ Paul wrote in 2 Cor. 5:17, ‘if anyone is in Christ, [spiritually] he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, ALL things have become new!’

A temple of the Spirit can never be empty, thus, a believer cannot be reborn, but later, through the laying on of hands, ‘get’ the baptism of the Spirit.  “If anyone does not have the [complete and full] Spirit of Christ, he is not His,” (Rom. 8:9b.) 

We cannot have the Holy Spirit ‘in part,’ because Jesus “does not give the Spirit by measure,” (Jn. 3:34.)  As we will see from the truth of Scripture, one does not “get the baptism in the Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.”  No such (second) ‘baptism’ exists either in Scripture or in practice.  Neither is the gift of tongues, as any of His other gifts,  ‘evidence’ of anything.  Jesus said we shall know one another by our “fruit,” not our gifts.  “Fruit” are the things we do, and this is ’evidence’ or proof of what goes on in our hearts and minds; but God gives the gifts of the Spirit entirely free and without merit.  All the true, Scriptural gifts are therefore “signs” that people are disciples of Jesus.  These “signs” do not  ‘prove’ anything to believers, because believers should know that the Spirit indwells all His sincere disciples whether He manifests His gifts through them or not.  These “signs’ are actually to show unbelievers that God is real, (Mark 16:16-18, 1 Cor. 14:22; 1-5.)  Most importantly, all the different gifts of the Holy Spirit manifest “as the He Alone wills” and cannot be forced on anyone by the laying on of hands or otherwise, (1 Cor. 12:11.)  Additionally, under the New Covenant of Christ, gifts, just as the indwelling Holy Spirit Himself, do not come from the outside but from within the believer, (Jn. 4:14.)  In fact, this deadly second ‘baptism in the Spirit’ is a deadly doctrine, which, although used by Pentecostal  Charismatics, takes even sincerely born again believers back to the ‘mediating’ control of the papal priesthood of the Roman Catholic Church

 

JESUS HIMSELF DECLARED, “THE [spiritual, invisible] KINGDOM OF GOD DOES NOT COME WITH OBSERVATION, FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS [already] WITHIN YOU [from the moment you personally accepted Me into your heart, mind, and life!]” (Lu. 17:20-37.)  

During the entire duration of the New Testament Covenant, which was inaugurated at the cross and which will stand “until the end of this world,” Jesus Himself would mystically, (mostly without the born again believer’s knowledge, and not necessarily with the same visible signs as the first Holy-Spirit Baptism at Pentecost,) manifest His Spiritual Kingdom in the hearts or blood-cleansed human spirits of each and every one of His personally born again believers, (1 Cor. 3:16.) 

From that first day of Pentecost until the end of the world, (Mt. 28:19-20,) every reborn child of the Most High God — with His accompanying authority over evil spirits, and with the Holy Spirit’s full ‘anointing,’ or power from “within them,” must preach the Gospel of Christ to the “whole world,” -  (Mark 16:16-18; Acts 5:32; Jn. 1:12-13; Gal. 4:6.) 

1 Jn. 2:20, 27, “You [already] have an [abiding] anointing from the Holy One [Who indwells you..] The anointing which you have received, [that day when you accepted Jesus wholeheartedly,] abides [or stays] in you….”  2 Cor. 1:21, “Now He Who establishes us with you in Christ has [past tense] anointed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts [or born again human spirits] as guarantee [that He will possess you completely to lead and teach you, and to bring you to heaven, Acts 5:32.]”     

It was mainly to evangelize the whole world, that Jesus baptized His believers with the Holy Spirit, (Acts 1:5-8.)  At His ascension He commanded, “...You shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now…  You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come [to indwell you on that day of Pentecost,] and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, [your home,] in all Judea and Samaria, [your neighbours,] and to the end of the earth.” 

There is no middle-path in our spiritual walk.  According to Scriptural truth, mere religious church membership and attendance mean absolutely nothing.  Either one belongs wholeheartedly to Christ, or one falls into the spiritually dead, religious clutches and domain of the devil, (Hades.)  Either the Holy Spirit of God, or the evil spirit Satan possesses a person.  ‘The whole world, [the religious church world as well,] is in the power of the evil one,’ but ‘we [truly born again followers of Jesus and His true Word] are of God,’ (1 Jn. 5:19; Jn. 12:31; 14:30; 16:111; 2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 2:2; 6:12.) 

 

AFTER JESUS’ BAPTISM WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT, THE HOLY SPIRIT BAPTIZES BELIEVERS INTO CHRIST 

Once Jesus had baptized His disciples with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit Himself instantly but mystically baptize every one of Jesus’ believers into Christ.  In this too, no human being plays any part.  The Spirit Himself places or build each one as a living stone into the spiritual building of God, which is His Personal Holy Spirit filled temple – the blood-cleansed body of Christ.  (These are definitely two separate spiritual baptisms; one by Jesus with the Spirit, and the other by the indwelling Holy Spirit into Jesus’ body, please read Mt. 3:11; 1 Cor. 12:13; 6:19; 12:4-11; Rom. 8:15-17; Eph. 1:13-14; 1 Pet. 2:9-10.) 

Churches have derived a terrible fallacy from the Jesus’ baptism with the Holy Spirit and with fire, as well as the indwelling of the Holy Spirit’ misinterpreting even whole portions of Scripture.  John said in Mt. 3:11-12 that Jesus’ Holy Spirit baptism saves His disciples, while obedient water baptism of His sincere disciples is the type or symbol of their salvation.  “The Scriptural water baptism places the believing disciple under water, which is the symbol of Christ’s death and resurrection,’ (Rom. 6; Mt. 28:19-20.)  But Jesus’ baptism with the Holy Spirit places the Kingdom of God inside the born again believer, while the Spirit Himself baptizes or places the believer into Christ.  As Christ is the Head of His body, the Spirit therefore actually places the believer into the body of Christ, completing the spiritual rebirth and ‘binding the believer to God,’ (1 Cor. 12:13.)  In effect, Jesus’ baptism with the Holy Spirit, just as the Spirit’s baptism into Christ and His body, pertain to the instant salvation of the believer” — [from the Spirit Filled Bible.] 

 

GOD ALSO COMMANDED, “BE FILLED WITH THE WORD,” (WHICH IS OUR SPIRITUAL ‘WATER’)   

God commanded in Col. 3:16, “Let the Word of God dwell (or live) in you richly in all wisdom…  True believers have inside our born again human spirits, just as we have the indwelling Holy spirit, the living Word of God: Jesus is the Word of God, (Jn. 1:1-13.)  Since the fall in Eden, God’s Moral Law of Love has always been the Universal Guide of all humanity, not just of believers.  Even during the Old Testament Covenant dispensation, when the Holy Spirit only ‘came upon’ Hebrew believers but did not indwell them until after Jesus’ ascension at Pentecost, He was “near” them; reminding them of everything that was written in the Moral Law of Love.  Deut. 30:11-20, “This commandment… is not far off…  Very near you is the Word, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may DO it.  I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, and I command you to love the Lord your God, [in deed and truth,] walk in His ways, and keep His [Moral Law] commandments…”  Even complete unbelievers ‘know’ the Moral Law of Love, and have therefore no excuse to commit sin against “their neighbours.”  Rom. 2:13-16, “Not the hearers of the [Moral] law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the [Moral] law will be justified; for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the [Moral] law, these, although not having the law, are a law unto themselves, who show the work of the [Moral] law is written in heir hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them…”  [Obedience to the Moral Law in itself cannot save anyone without personal faith in, and acceptance of Jesus.  This only proves that even unbelievers know the great difference between truth and lies, love and hate, etc.]  So, during the New Testament Covenant dispensation, it is no wonder that “The Word is near you; in your mouth and in your [born again] heart [or human spirit...]”  Therefore, Jesus warned, “If anyone hears My words and does not believe… rejects Me, and does not receive [and obey] My words, has that which judges him — the words that I have spoken will judge him in the last day…  And this command is everlasting life…”  (Jn. 12:47-50.)   

Eph. 5:26, “That He [Jesus] might sanctify and cleanse her [the believing bride] with the washing of Water by the Word…” 

1 Pet. 1:22, “Since you have purified your souls [minds or thoughts] in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love…  having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, but through the Word of God, which lives and abides [in you] forever.”  Tit. 3:5, “[You are not saved] by works of righteousness which you have done, [because these works can glorify Jesus but ‘buy’ or earn nothing from Him,] but according to His mercy, through the washing of regeneration, [being born again through personal faith in Jesus, Who is the Word of God,] and the renewing [of your minds or souls] by the Holy Spirit,”  (Rom. 12:1-2.)  Jesus promised in Jn. 7:37-38, “If anyone thirsts let him come to Me and drink.  He who [personally] believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart [or born again human spirit] will flow rivers of living water.  [This is not the false river of anointing in churches!] This He spoke concerning the Spirit, Whom those [personally] believing in Him would receive...” 

These verses do not speak of water baptism.  Neither do they say that we are saved by water baptism itself!  Baptismal Regeneration is an extremely false and dangerous doctrine, which initiates new converts into that church’s system by the so-called “power” of the occult water godScriptural water baptism (by immersion, which symbolizes personal spiritual death and resurrection in Christ, Rom. 6,) must only be administered to sincerely believing disciples of Jesus, not to mere church members or to their babies, who are incapable of personal faith in God! 

In the true context of these words of Jesus “water” is the symbol of life — spiritual life.  Jesus Himself is Water (or the Word God;) and the Light, Life, Truth, and Way.  

Thus, only Jesus’ Truth or the True Gospel (and not the so-called ‘anointing’ of pastors and prophets and false church doctrine) is Life.  God’s Truth (or real Scriptural Gospel) is Light.  As a result, Jesus Himself, God’s Truth, Water, or Word is the Only Way to the Father, (Jn. 14:6.)  James explained in 1:21-22, “Lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness and receive with meekness [not weakness] the implanted Word, which is able to save your souls, [not for the purpose of saving your human spirits only, but also for the continual “renewal” of your sin-polluted minds or “souls,” so that you would be able to understand the will of God.]  But be [obedient] doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves…”  (See Rom. 12:1-2!) 

God’s Truth (the Word of God,) in the Most Capable Hands of the Teacher, the Holy Spirit, is therefore the Power of the Holy Spirit unto the salvation, blessing, and redemption of the whole world! 

True believers need to be so “filled” with the Word so that the Word can overflow like life-giving water into the whole world! 

Therefore, we should not be amazed that God said that His people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge! (Hos. 4:6.)  “Because you have rejected [My Scriptural] knowledge, I will also reject you from being a priest for Me.  [Who of these mad, modern preachers can be a true priest of God according to this warning?]  Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.”  Please note that Jesus did not say ‘you will receive power to howl like wolves, fly through the air, laugh hysterically, etc.!’  These manifestations are not the ‘power’ which Jesus was referring to in Acts 1:8.  In fact, these manifestations are definitively not from God, Who is not the author of confusion, but of peace and order, (1 Cor. 14:32-33.)   

 

GOD ALSO COMMANDED, “BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT” - WHAT DOES THIS REALLY MEAN? 

We must be “filled” with the Word to know Jesus’ will for every situation in our lives, thus being able to do His will.   In the truthful context of the whole Bible,  true believers need to be [continually] “filled” with the Holy Spirit - which is not the “baptism with the Holy Spirit” at the moment of our rebirth.  Per say, “being filled with the Holy Spirit” is also not the manifesting of the gifts of the Holy Spirit such as tongues, prophecy, healings, a word of wisdom, word of knowledge, supernatural faith, working of miracles, discerning of spirits, different kinds of tongues and interpretation of tongues - all of which the Spirit Himself gives solely “as He wills,” (1 Cor. 12:4-11.) 

It is not written, “Do not be drunk from wine, but be drunk from the Holy Spirit; lose your mind, etc...” 

God actually commanded in Eph. 5:18, “Do not be drunk, [never get drunk at all] from wine [or anything else,] in which is dissipation,” [meaning depravity, wantonness, immorality, shamelessness,] but be filled with the Spirit [of Order, Self-control, Peace, and a Sound Mind…”  The context of this commandment begins in Eph. 5:11, “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.  For it is shameful even to speak of the things which they do… Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.  See then that you walk circumspectly, [cautiously, carefully, suspiciously, thoughtfully,] not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  Therefore… understand what the will  of the Lord is.  And do not be drunk with wine…  but be filled with the Spirit.” 

Being drunk in any way, giving our minds to the control of substances, false preachers and spirits — and being filled with the Holy Spirit are two irreconcilable opposites!  Not even the Holy Spirit of the Bible expect us to give up control of our minds, because He commanded us to “be vigilant [against the schemes of the evil one,]” be watchful, sober minded, of a sound mind, and take captive our thoughts to obedience to Christ.  Our spirits must be subject to us and not the other way round, and we must do everything “orderly,” because God is not the author of chaos and confusion, (1 Pt. 5:8-9; 2 Tim. 1:7; 2 Cor. 10:5; 1 Cor. 14:31-32.) 

Even the Old Testament prophet Isaiah wrote in 29:9-13, “...Blind yourselves [by believing false dogma and giving your mind over to false spirits,] and you will be blind!  They are drunk, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with intoxicating drink.  For [because of your disobedience to ‘test the spirits, 1 Jn. 4:1-4,] the Lord has poured out on you the spirit of deep sleep... These people draw near with their mouths...  But have removed their hearts [of obedience] far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the commandments of men, [or false doctrines.]” 

Paul explained in Eph. 5:18-21, that “being filled with the Spirit “[will produce the Godly result of] speaking to one another in psalms, [Scriptural and Spirit inspired lyrics in song!] hymns, [humanly inspired lyrics in song,] and making melody in your heart to the Lord, [or spiritual songs; “impromptu rhythmic lyrics given by the Spirit in one’s own spiritual language or in known or unknown tongues,” as explained in 1 Cor. 14:15,]  giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another [in everything good, true, and Godly] in the fear of God.”  Acts 24:24 plainly states, “Now as Paul reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgement to come, Felix was afraid…” 

(Continued)