THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

(Acts 1:4-8)

THERE are many conflicting theories regarding this
subject among religious people of to-day. Many
fail to understand the doctrine of Christ. Some will
not read it in order to understand it. We are not
dealing with opinions, but with facts. It makes no
difference what we believe about a certain thing; the
teaching of the Bible in regard to the matter is the
only thing that counts. Much religious controversy
could be avoided if men would go to the word of God
as the only infallible guide in faith and practice. We
propose to turn the searchlight of infinite truth upon
this great question of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

1. The promises of Jesus regarding the coming of
the Holy Spirit.

a. There was a time when the Spirit was not given
(John 15:26- 27; 16:7-13).

b. The Spirit was not given before Jesus was glori-
fied (John 7:38, 39).

c. He was to be sent from the Father (John 14: 16,
17).

d. He was to be sent after Jesus had gone back to
the Father (John 16:7).

e. When He came, He was to abide with us forever
(John 14:16).

f. The world can not receive Him. His mission is
to the church and the Christian. It is useless for the
sinner to pray for the coming of the Spirit. He came
once to abide forever with the church (John 14:17).

g. His mission was to bear witness of Jesus (John
15:26); to bring to the remembrance of the apostles
all things that Jesus had taught them concerning the
kingdom of God (John 14: 26) ; to guide them into all
truth (John 16:13); to convict the world in respect
of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment (John
16:8).

2. God never sends out special ambassadors with a
divine message before giving them the credentials to
prove the truth of the message. Moses before Pharaoh,
as an example (Ex. 4:1-9; chaps. 7-12).

a. The message of repentance and remission of sins
was to begin at Jerusalem (Luke 24:45-48).

b. The apostles were commanded to tarry in Jeru-
salem until endued with power from on high (Luke
24:49).

c. The promise of the Father was to be in the nature
of a baptism, or immersion (Acts 1:4, 5). Notice that
this statement was made to the apostles only.

d. This power was to enable them to be competent
witnesses (Acts 1:8). In other words, it was to give
them the credentials to confirm the message of Christ
and Him crucified.

3. The fulfillment of this promise upon the day of
Pentecost (Acts 2).

a. Peter said it was the fulfillment (Acts 2:33).
Therefore, it was the baptism of the Spirit.

b. The characteristics of it. An outward manifesta-
tion (Acts 2:2, 3); something they could “see and
hear” (Acts 2: 33). It was not an inward feeling, but
an outward manifestation. It “filled all the house,”
consequently being a complete immersion; the apostles
were submerged, or baptized, in this wonderful power.
Note that it was the sound which filled the house, not
the Spirit.

c. What persons were baptized? The apostles had
been promised the Spirit; they were to be witnesses of
Him; they were to be guided into all truth; they were
to tarry in Jerusalem until this power came upon them.
The apostles were baptized in this wonderful power on
the day of Pentecost; not the brethren present nor the
three thousand who believed and were baptized in
water. Hence Peter stood up with “the eleven” (Acts
2:14).

d. The effect upon those baptized. They spoke with
tongues so that the Jews present “out of every nation
under heaven” could understand, each in his own
language. They were transformed from doubters into
bold champions of the truth (Acts 2: 1-13).

e. The purpose of it. A special miracle to start the
preaching of the gospel, and to endow the apostles with
power necessary to their ministry. It had nothing to
do directly with the salvation of the three thousand
who asked what they must do, and were told to repent
and be baptized (Acts 2: 37-42).

4. The completion of the fulfillment in the conver-
sion of Cornelius and his household (Acts 10).

a. The circumstances. This was several years after
Pentecost.. The gospel as yet had not been preached to
a single Gentile. The apostles thought it was for the

Jews only. It required a special vision to convince
Peter that he ought to preach to Cornelius and his
household (Acts 10:9-16).

b. The baptism of the Holy Spirit occurred while he
was preaching (Acts 10:44).

c. Persons baptized. Those who heard the Word,
having reference to Cornelius and his household (Acts
10:44, 45).

d. The characteristics of it (Acts 10:47). Peter
says it “fell upon them” (the household of Cornelius)
“even as on us at the beginning” (the apostles on the
day of Pentecost) (Acts 11: 15). It was the same sort
of outward manifestation.

e. The effect. Those baptized “spoke with tongues
and magnified God,'” just as on Pentecost (Acts 10: 46).

f. A special miracle for a special purpose; to con-
vince the Jews that the gospel was for the Gentiles as
well as Jews (Acts 10 : 45 ; 11 : 18) . It had nothing to
do with the direct salvation of Cornelius and his house-
hold. They already feared God. They believed and
were baptized (Acts 10:47, 48).

5. The fulfillment of prophecy.

a. The prophecy of Joel (Joel 2: 28, 29). Quoted, as
fulfilled, by Peter (Acts 2:16-21). “All flesh” proba-
bly has reference to both Jew and Gentile. Poured out
upon the Jews at Pentecost; and upon the Gentiles in
the conversion of Cornelius and his household.

6. The prophetic statement of John the Baptizer
(Matt. 3:11, 12).

The baptism of the Holy Spirit occurred only twice
in the divine record. In each case those baptized spoke
with other tongues. If a man were baptized with the
Holy Spirit to-day, he could speak so that a French-
man, German, Italian, Chinaman, or any man of any
nation, could understand what he is saying, each in his
own language.

In each case, it was a special miracle for a special
purpose. Miracles ceased soon after the lifetime of the
apostles (1 Cor, 13:8),