Pastor Charles Leiter

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit

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A Thorough Study of the Baptism

of the Holy Spirit with God’s Word

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KEY WORDS: “Pour Out”, “Upon”, “Anointed”, “Fall On”, “Promise”, “Baptism”, “Filled”, “Receive”, “Gift”, “Given”, “Seal”, “Pledge”, “and”

BASIC PASSAGES: Joel 2:28–32, Lk 3:15–17, Acts 1:4–8, Acts 2:1–42, Acts 11:15–18

*Note: Acts 11:15–18 (referring back to Acts 10:44–48) shows that the term, “baptized in the Holy Spirit, ” applies not only to a once-for-all event at Pentecost, but also to subsequent outpourings of the Spirit upon later individuals.

 

I. CANNOT BE IDENTIFIED WITH THE NEW BIRTH OR REGENERATION.

  1. Even in the O. T., all true saints were regenerate (i. e. the Holy Spirit was within them). Rom 4:1–25 (esp. v. 1–8, 11–12, 18–24) ; Heb 11:1–40 (cf. 12:1f) ; 1 Pet 3:1–6; Eph 5:18–19 (cf. Psa 119:47–48, 97 with Rom 8:7–8) ; Jn 3:10 (cf. v. 3–9) ; Jn 1:47 (cf. Psa 32:1–2) ; 1 Pet 1:11
  2. Our Lord was always a Son, yet needed to receive the anointing of the Spirit prior to His public ministry. Lk 3:21–22; 4:1–2,14,18–19
  3. The disciples were regenerate before Pentecost. Mt 16:13–18; Jn 13:10–11 (15:3) ; Jn 17:6–8
  4. The Samaritans were regenerate, yet the Spirit had not yet “fallen on” them. Acts 8:4- 8,12,14–17
  5. The Ephesian disciples had believed and were baptized (i. e. were regenerate) before Paul laid his hands on them and the Holy Spirit “came on” them. Acts 19:1–7

II. ALWAYS KNOWN, WONDROUS, SUPERNATUAL, “EXPERIENTIAL”: “AND. .. ”

  1. Old Testament: Num 11:17, 25–29; Num 24:2–3; Num 27:18–20 (w/ Dt 34:9) ; Judges 3:10, 6:34, 11:29, 13:25, 14:6, 14:19, 15:14; 1 Sam 10:6f, 19:20–24; 1 Chr 12:18; 2 Chr 15:1–8; 2 Chr 20:14–15; 2 Chr 24:20–22; Isa 11:1–5; Joel 2:28–32; Micah 3:8
  2. New Testament:

a) Examples—Mk 1:9–12; Lk 1:41–45,67f; Lk 2:25–32; Acts 2:1f, 4:31, 8:14–19, 10:44–48, 19:2–6; I Ths 1:4–6; Heb 2:4

b) Questions asked and statements made in the N. T. imply that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was something known. Acts 19:2; Gal 3:2–5; 1 Jn 3:24, 4:13

c) The whole concept of the Holy Spirit as a “seal” (Eph 1:13; Acts 15:8; Rom 5:5; Rom 8:15–16; Jn 6:27 w/1:33 and Mk 1:9–11), a “pledge” (Eph 1:14; 2 Cor 1:21–22, 5:5), and “firstfruits” (Rom 8:23) implies something known.

III. YET, NOT A “SECOND WORK”

(i. e. Not something meant only for advanced Christians, or a guarantee of instant spiritual maturity, but an integral part of the gospel, the privilege of a new convert.)

  1. New Christians, babes in Christ: Acts 8:14–15, 9:17, 10:44–48, 19:2–6; Eph 1:13–14; 1 Th 1:4–6; etc.
  2. An integral part of the initial gospel message and offer: Acts 2:38–39, 8:16—“yet”, 19:2; 2 Cor 11:4; Tit 3:5–6; Jn 7:37–39; Gal 3:2,5; etc.
  3. Not “Christian perfection” or “crucified life”—those who have experienced may yet have much immaturity or fall into sin. 1 Cor 3:1f (cf. 1:4–7, 12:1—14:40) ; Gal 3:1f

IV. ESPECIALLY RELATES TO ASSURANCE OF SALVATION.

  1. General verses—Jn 14:20; Rom 5:5; Rom 8:15–16; Gal 4:6
  2. The concept of the “seal” implies this—i. e. a “seal” shows approval, ownership, identification, authentication, security. (Compare Jn 6:27 with Jn 1:33 and Mk 1:9- 11. Compare Eph 1:13–14 with Acts 15:8.)

V. RESULTS IN “POWER”, ESPECIALLY TO SPEAK THE THINGS OF GOD

(i. e. “WITNESS” OR “PROPHESY”).

  1. General verses—Lk 4:14–18, 24:48–49; Jn 15:26–27; Acts 1:8, 2:4–12, 2:14, 2:17–18, 4:31–33, 5:32, 6:5–10, 9:17–20, 10:45–46, 13:9–10, 19:6; 1 Ths 1:4–8; etc. (cf. O.T. also!)
  2. Not “raw” power, but a glory and radiance resulting from a revelation of Christ, of God, and of His truth and works. Jn 14:15–24, 16:12–16; Acts 2:11, 10:46, 19:6

VI. “TONGUES” NOT AN ESSENTIAL ASPECT

  1. Acts 8:14–19, 9:17–18 Tongues not mentioned or necessarily implied. (See Lk 1:41- 42, 1:67, 2:25–27.)
  2. Acts 2:9–11 Some were from “Judea”, implying that not all spoke in a foreign language (“tongue”).
  3. Acts 2:16–20 Peter recognizes Pentecost as a fulfillment of Joel 2, where “prophecy, dreams, visions, wonders, and signs” are the keynote, not “tongues”.
  4. All O. T. examples of Spirit-outpouring prove that there is no necessary connection of any kind with tongues. (See verses in II. 1. above.)
  5. Tongues were significant and prominent in Acts because:

a) The phenomena of Pentecost demonstrated clearly that God was empowering the church to go to “all nations. ” (Acts 1:8, Lk 24:47–49, Mt 28:18–20, Gen 11: `1–9)

b) The identical phenomenon in the case of Cornelius (Acts 10:44–48) was necessary in order to persuade skeptical Jews that God had truly received the Gentiles. (Acts 11:1–18, esp. v. 15–18)

c) Tongues were given as a judgmental “sign” to the unbelieving Jews, leading to their hardening. 1 Cor 14:20–23; Acts 2:13; Isa 28:9–13

  1. All tongues in the Bible are languages of some sort, including those at Corinth. Acts 2:4–12, 10:46, 19:6; 1 Cor 12:10,28; 13:1; 14:2, 10–11, 13, 17, 19, 21, 26–28; Isa 28:9–13. This implies syntax and content.

VII. NO EXTREME “CONDITIONS”, ONLY TRUE CONVERSION

(i. e. All-out abandonment to the Lord.)

  1. General verses—Jn 7:37–39; Acts 2:38–39; Prov 1:23
  2. Verses such as Jn 14:21 (cf. v. 23–24) and Acts 5:32 (cf. Heb 5:9) refer to the general “obedience” of the Christian versus the non-Christian, not some special “conditions” for receiving the Spirit.
  3. There are no examples of “agonizing” for the Spirit in Scripture, other than the agonizing involved in true repentance and conversion. “Tarry” means “wait”, not “agonize”, and was commanded with reference to the coming historical outpouring of the Spirit upon the church on the day of Pentecost. Acts 2, 4, 8, 10, 19; Gal 3:2–5; cf. all of O. T.
  4. Ask! Persist! Jn 4:10; Lk 11:5–13
  5. In three of the four relevant cases in Acts, older Christians prayed for new believers via laying on of hands. Acts 8, 9:17–18, 10, 19

VIII. REPEATED SOVEREIGNLY IN TIMES OF NEED, ACCORDING TO GOD’S GOOD PLEASURE (Sometimes in response to prayer.)

  1. General verses—Acts 4:8, 4:31, 13:9, 7:55?
  2. Some “crisis experiences” of older Christians fit under this category.

IX. CANNOT “TAKE” BY FAITH

  1. Lk 3:15–17 “He Himself will baptize you. ” The baptizer is active, (“baptizes”), and the candidate for baptism is passive, (presents himself, “asks”, “receives”).
  2. In every example from Scripture, God is active and man is passive in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. There are no examples of “believing” or “taking” baptism in the Holy Spirit by an act of the human will. See all O. T. examples; Lk 1&2; Acts 2, 4, 8, 10, 19; etc.

X. DIFFERENT THAN THE COMMAND TO “BE FILLED” (EPH 5:15–21)

  1. Have been told in Eph 1:13–14 and 4:30 that these people have already experientially “received” the Spirit.
  2. Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a definite experience at a particular point in time, but this is a continuous condition (“be being filled”).
  3. In baptism in the Spirit, man is passive, but here man is active (a command— something we’re to do).
  4. “Be filled” means “be controlled by completely. ” Col 1:9; Lk 4:28 Same as the command to “walk in the Spirit. ” (Gal 5:16–26) Those baptized are, at least for the time being, “filled”; those filled have not necessarily just been “baptized. ”

~ Charles Leiter

 

© Lake Road Chapel | www.lakeroadchapel.org
Used with permission.

 

Charles Leiter

Pastor Leiter lives in Kirksville, Missouri, with his wife, Mona and their five children. He has served as co-pastor of Lake Road chapel since 1974. He has been a conference speaker in the United States and Eastern Europe. Brother Leiter is the author of numerous tracts and highly regarded books including “Justification and Regeneration” and “The Law of Christ“. You may learn more about his ministry at www.lakeroadchapel.org.

 

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