Baptisms by the Holy Spirit
In our study of the Holy Spirit I want to start with a few odd texts. In John 14:4-11 Jesus states that if you have seen Jesus you will have seen the Father. My question to you is if you have seen Jesus do you understand something about the Holy Spirit? Is the Holy Spirit the same yesterday, today, and forever? Hebrews 13:8 Does every member of the Godhead reveal similar things about the other members. The idea being if you know how Jesus functions do you know how the Holy Spirit functions.
The next issue is what is the primary tasks of the Holy Spirit? Well according to Scripture He is to reveal all truth and is referred to as the Spirit of Truth. John 14:16-17. He will bring all things to your remembrance and teach you all things. John 14:26. The Bible also states that He also reproves for sin, convicts of righteousness, and instructs regarding judgment. John 16:7-10. And lastly, there are many other things that the Holy Spirit does but for the sake of this study I want to keep it short and to the point, His job is to glorify Jesus, and not Himself - ever. John 16:13-14 Whatever you think about the baptisms of the Holy Spirit it is not to glorify the Holy Spirit but to glorify Jesus. This is very important. In the baptisms of the Holy Spirit the Holy Spirit is working to uplift and glorify Jesus.
With this brief outline lets study the baptisms of the Holy Spirit. In the Bible baptism means to go through an experience with God, not to be just immersed in literal water. See Matt 20:22-23 in which Jesus says that His experiences with Gethsemane and Calvary are baptisms. So any spiritual experience in which the Holy Spirit is involved can be a baptism - positive or negative. So lets try out a list of experiences/baptisms of the Holy Spirit.
1. Creation. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit was present at the creation. Gen 1:1-2. Since Adam was not present at the creation do you think that Holy Spirit had to help him understand, by faith that Jesus, not the Holy Spirit, was the Creator? For Adam to get that truth do you feel that the Holy Spirit had to perform His task of the instructor and the revealer of Jesus in order to help Adam?
2. The flood. Do you feel that the Holy Spirit, as revealer of truth and Jesus, was tyring to bring conviction on the people just before the flood? Gen 6:3 If they rejected the Holy Spirit do you feel that they were committing the unpardonable sin. Matt 12:31-32. If you reject the source of power of truth and conviction how will you know that you need to ask for forgiveness from Jesus?
3. The Exodus. Do you believe that the Godhead, including the Holy Spirit, was in the Exodus experience to provide conviction, power, and miracles in order to release the people? Compare Exodus 4:12 with John 14:23-26.
4.Spiritual Gifts. Do you believe that the Holy Spirit was the source of the spiritual gifts in Exodus 35:30-36:7? See also Romans 12:4-16; Ephesians 4:11-16; I Corinthians 12-14.
5. King Sauls conversion. After reading the chapter do you believe that the Holy Spirit was changing heart and minds and giving His power to change? I Samuel 10:6,9-10 And do you see that when Saul turned his back on Jesus he was committing the unpardonable sin by shutting off every avenue of change? I Samuel 13:13-14; 15:10-29,35; 16:14; 18:12; 28:5-7,15; I Chronicles 10:13-14
6. Outpouring of the Holy Spirit. In Numbers 11:16-17,24-29 can you see an Old Testament versiion of Pentecost?
7. Dedication of Solomons temple. Did the Holy Spirit reveal power and truth to inspire Solomon with truth (II Peter 1:21) and then with signs and wonders.
8. The last in this list of Old Testament revealings of the Holy Spirit would be the experience of Elijah. In I Kings 18 the Holy Spirit empower Elijah in a display of truth, brings conviction on the people and brings the nation back to Jesus. In I Kings 19 Elijah has a Hagar experience and loses his hold on God. Jesus then brings him to Mt. Sinai and refreshes his mind that it is not through displays of power, tongues, healings, mass movements of people, that God is revealed but through the "still small voice." I Kings 19:9-12. It is truth - the revealings of Jesus, settled into the heart by the power of the Holy Spirit , that brings permanent God like change and that produces fruit to the glory of God.
In the New Testament I would like to share a few stories re. the baptism of the Holy Spirit and try to establish a few principles to guide your study.
1. The baptism of Jesus. In Matthew 3:11-17 John the Baptist states that Jesus will baptize with the Holy Ghost and with fire. Then Jesus comes and asks John to baptize Him. Jesus is doing this to fulfill all righteousness. When Jesus comes up out of the water the Holy Spirit baptizes Him by settling on Him in the form of a dove. In the Pentecost story the Holy Spirit comes in the form of tongues of fire, in the story of Jesus' baptism He comes in the form of a dove. Then a voice from heaven says "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." So at the start of the New Testament, and at the anointing of the Messiah (Daniel 9:24-27) the Godhead, in its entirety is present. These things are important for the rest of the story in the whole New Testament - Jesus obeys the promptings of the Holy Spirit, He is baptized by the church, He is filled with the Holy Spirit, and the Father pronounces that He is well pleased with this man.
2. The Temptation of Jesus in the Wilderness. Jesus is now led by the Spirit into the wilderness. In Luke 4:1 the Bible says that Jesus was full of the Holy Ghost...and was let by the Spirit into the wilderness. In this arena Jesus, the real Israel - God's first born son, must go over the same path that Adam failed on and that Israel the nation failed on. Jesus must be exposed to Satan on the point of appetite, presumption, and wanting to accomplish spiritual things outside of the plan of God. In every temptation Satan asks for a sign, or a display of supernatural power. In each case Jesus, truely God refuses to display any supernatural sign of His own. He must walk just like we do and overcome just like we must do. But Jesus did participate in a supernatural event. He had learned from the experience of Elijah, He knew that it is not by power or might but it is by the Holy Spirit that we have victory. He cooperated with the Holy Spirit and quoted Scripture at each temptation. Each time He quoted out of Deuteronomy. He revealed for us that it is by the power of the Holy Spirit throughout the Word of God that we have victory. The greatest display of supernatural power in the Bible is a person standing up to Satan, using the weapons of the Word through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit.
3. The 70 disciples. Jesus sends out the 70 disciples Luke 10:1-16, just as He had done with the 12 (Matthew 10:1-15). Jesus gave them power, through the Holy Spirit, to do all kinds of miracles Luke 10:17-19. However, when Jesus finished He said do not get too overwhelmed with the display of power, for Jesus did all kinds of miracles but most people were not convinced to follow Him, but rather rejoice that your names are written in heaven. Jesus says that display of power does not convert but the Holy Spirit revealing truth, the ways, teachings, and life of Jesus, and you responding to it is the most important factor in your Christian experience.
4. The Testimony of Peter. In Matthew 16:13-17 Jesus asks His disciples, a sample of us today, who do men say that I the Son of Man am? The disciples said all kinds of interesting things. Then Jesus asked who did the disciples say that He was. Peter says that Jesus was the Christ(or the Messiah)the Son of the Living God. Jesus commends Peter for responding to the truth that His Father had revealed to him. Do you think that the Holy Spirit had baptized Peter in this interchange? Had the Holy Spirit revealed truth and had He lifted up Jesus?
5. Post Calvary Disciples. I want to jump over many important issues because there are just too many things to discuss. Now I want to explore a revealing of the Holy Spirit to the disciples after Calvary. They were discouraged, confused, and wondering what happened to them. Jesus came to them and solved their dilemma in an interesting way. Jesus walked with a couple of His disciples on the way to Emmaus in Luke 24:13-24. But instead of revealing Himself He gave them a Bible study to reveal Scripture Luke 24:25-27. To solidify them in the concept that it is not by display but by truth that the Holy Spirit moves. He opened their understanding and revealed Scripture to the disciples while they were hiding in the upper room. Luke 24:36-48. John records this event in a different way, he says that Jesus breathed on them and said unto them "Receive ye the Holy Ghost" John 20:19-23. The Holy Ghost is always connected with Scripture.
6. The Baptisms in Acts. In the book of Acts there are many stories of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I was going to list them all in this study but each chapter is another revealing of the Holy Spirit and I didn't want to get too much into one study. In each revelation of the Holy Spirit we have the same pattern revealed. The Holy Spirit empowering, revealing, judging, convincing people to accept that Jesus is the Messiah, that He died for their sins, was resurrected from the dead, and is in heaven ministering in the Heavenly Sanctuary for us. You must remember again, the healings, and the tongues, and the various miracles are not the key focus point of the Holy Spirit. His "job" is to lift up Jesus, to teach truth, and to bring conviction of sin so that people will be looking for a Saviour. As in Jesus' life miracles were a testimony that supernatural power was available the miracles in them selves can not change a persons mind. In John 6 Jesus fed the 5000 but when the whole discussion was done most of His disciples went and walked with Him no more. John 6:66. The people in Acts saw the miracles, they heard the preaching of the gospel, they reasoned in the Scriptures, were converted through the power of the Holy Spirit and many joined the church. But even here Paul predicts that many, even in the church would fall away. Acts 20:28-31. Miracles, helpful though they may be, do not change people, they get their attention for a period of time, but if their hearts, thoughts, and minds are not grounded in Scripture they will not be settled into the truth.
7. God's Final Display. Jesus has prophesied that before the end comes He will have a people on the earth that will have living waters coming out of their bellies. John 7:38. He says that before the end He will have a group of people, the remnant, who will give the dew and showers of rain of truth (Deuteronomy 32:1-3) to the last peoples. Jesus prophecies that He will have a people who will keep His commandments, who will have His faith ( Revelation 14:12), who will have the Fathers name written in their forheads (Revelation 14:1), who will not be defiled with women , not be in apostates churches, who will follow the Lamb where ever He goes, they will have no guile in their mouths - speak the truth only, and be found without fault before the throne of God. Revelation 14:2-5. This group of people will have gotten the victory over the beast, over the his image, over his mark, and over the number of his name, and will be able to sing the song of Moses and the Lamb. (Revelation 15:1-3) This group of people will be able to call out God's people from Babylon - all false religions (Revelation 14:6-11; 18:1-5). This group of people will be sealed with the seal of God (Revelation 7:1-4) and will be in the final war with Satan. (Revelation 12:17) All this will take place because the Holy Spirit will fulfill all of His graces upon Jesus's church. He will fulfill Ephesians 4:1-13 and John 17. Jesus will be the central theme of all of these Christians and Jesus will be glorified because they will be His ambassadors to the world. When the world has been warned and they have either accepted or rejected Jesus in the person of His saints then the end will come and Jesus, revealed spiritually through His people, will be revealed literally at His second coming. This will be the final baptism of the Holy Spirit.