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                                              BIBLE STUDY - BAPTISM WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT.

The baptism with the Holy Spirit is a New Testament doctrine and is one of the most misunderstood subjects of the Bible. Men in general was not baptized with the Holy Spirit until Jesus was glorified - John 7:39, "But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified", the Bible express here that no one has as then, received the fullness or baptism with the Holy Spirit; and on the day of Pentecost - Acts 2:4, "And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance". We read in the Old Testament that people had the Holy Spirit 'upon' or 'over' them, but not the fullness. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is not the fruit of the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:22 or the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, 1 Corinthians 12:1 - 11.

1.  The Holy Spirit was 'within' Jesus from His birth, Luke 2:40; but He was 'baptized' with the Holy Spirit only thirty years later, John 1:32 - 33; Luke 3:23, Jesus only received the fullness of the Holy Spirit then. We read in the following Scriptures that Jesus will baptize us with the Holy Spirit, Matthew 3:11c, "He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire"; Mark 1:8,"I indeed baptize you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit"; Luke 3:16c, "He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire"; John 1:33c "This is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit". So Jesus is the only person that can baptize us with the Holy Spirit.

2.  In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit come upon people temporarily. They also did not receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit, but portions of the Holy Spirit. God gave them the Holy Spirit by measure, Numbers 11:16 - 25; 2 Kings 2:9 etc. Jesus received the Holy Spirit not by measure, but the fullness of the Holy Spirit, when He was baptized with the Holy Spirit, John 3:34. The Holy Spirit remained on Jesus permanently as can be seen in John 1:33, "Upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit".

3.  The difference between a 'filling' and a 'baptism' in the Spirit, or the spirit 'by measure’ and 'without measure' can be illustrated by a glass of water. One pours water into a glass, to that extent it is filled. You can fill the glass by pouring different measures into it at different times until it is full, or one can fill it at one pouring. You can keep pouring until the glass is running over and still it is not 'baptized'. It is only full and running over. But if you take the glass and immerse or put it under water it is both 'filled' and 'baptized'.        

4.  We read in John 14:16 - 26, where Jesus was speaking about the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in His name, God the Father and Jesus will come and make Their home in us, verse 23. We must remember when Jesus walked the earth with His disciples; He was next to them. After Pentecost and now, the days we are living in, He can be within us. This is always our own decision. Jesus will not leave us unless we decide we want to turn our back on Him and God the Father. There is no such thing as once saved always saved, once baptized in the Holy Spirit always baptized in the Holy spirit. Jesus said in John 14:16, "And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever". The Greek word used here for another is, "Allos", which means another one the exact same as He. The Greek word used for Helper or Comforter is, "Parakletos" which means one that helps. If we read John chapter 14, 15 and 16 we will clearly see that there is a condition to receive all these promises, we must stay in Christ.

5.  Is it possible then, not to stay filled with the Holy Spirit? The answer to this is yes. Many Bible scholars will not agree with me here. I do not care. One must stay in Christ to stay filled in the Holy Spirit. The minute one gets out of the fullness of the Holy Spirit and lives in one self, that person is no more filled than the glass would be if it were taken out of the water. Like the glass it is possible to retain a certain measure or be half full, or to be empty. Jesus stayed filled in the Spirit by submitting to God every moment of His life and by praying constantly for power to stay in God the Father. We also read in the Book of Acts that the disciples received new fillings and anointing from day to day, Acts 4:8; Acts 4:31; Acts 13:52 etc. To be able to stay filled in the Holy Spirit one must live very close to God every moment of our life or we will lose the Spiritual anointing.

6.  We see in Acts 1:5 - 8, that the sole purpose of the Spirit baptism is to endue men with power from God. As can be seen in the New Testament, Jesus wants us to be baptized with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit convict of sin and unrighteousness and the world or worldly Christian cannot receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Read, John chapter 14, 15 and 16. We understand by reading Acts 5:32 that God gives the Holy Spirit to them that ask and obey Him.

7.  Joel prophesized 850 years before Christ about what will happen, Joel 2:28. We read in Acts 2:17 what Peter said about what the Prophet Joel said about the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

8.  Speaking in tongues? There are two types, 'other tongues' as in Acts 2 and 'different kind' (un-known) of tongues as in 1 Corinthians 12:10. Let us look at what happened when someone was baptized with the Holy Spirit - Acts 2:4b, "and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance", and Acts 19:1 - 6, "And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied". Here we see that tongues was an outward sign of the baptism with the Holy Spirit. Then there is a tongue as one of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit - 1 Corinthians 12:10, "To another different kinds of tongues".

A language you have never heard, learnt or studied before. What advantage is there in this you might ask? Well, firstly, praying in other tongues is your spirit, by the Holy Spirit, speaking mysteries and secrets to God. 1 Corinthians 14:2;2:9 - 12. Secondly, by praying in the Spirit you are able to pray God's perfect will into a given situation, when you are lost for words or limited in your vocabulary in trying to express yourself in prayer before God, Romans 8:26 - 27. Praying in tongues builds and simulates faith as well as magnifies God, Jude 20; Acts 2:11; John 4:24. Fourthly, by daily praying in the Spirit you become more conscious of the presence of God in your life. Greater victories as you can now utilise this mighty weapon against the devil. Holy Spirit helps to tame your tongue into line with God's Word. Ephesians 6:18; James 3:1-12.

Please note that there is a difference between a believer speaking in tongues in his or her devotions and the operation of the gift of tongues and interpretation in the local congregation, 1 Corinthians 12:7 - 11. In the last of the mentioned instances the speaker is in control. It will be like, John 7:38; ‘He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified’.

9.  We read in John 20:22, Jesus breathed over them and said receive the Holy Spirit; He prepared them for what was to come. They received more of the Holy Spirit, but they only received the fullness of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. That was the day that they were baptized with the Holy Spirit.

10. Jesus will give the Spirit to them that ask. He was the first person to receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Luke 11:11 - 13, "If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Verse 13b, "How much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him".

11. We summarize by seeing that every believer receive a measure or portion of the Holy Spirit when born again. So we do not receive the baptism or the fullness of the Holy Spirit immediately, but nothing can prevent that to happen as seen in some places in the Book of Acts. That is God's decision; He knows our hearts. We then grow in Scriptural knowledge and God's wisdom and learn to live very close to Him. Jesus will then baptize us with the Holy Spirit when we ask Him to do that if our hearts are right with Him. The Gifts of the Holy Spirit, or the 'tools' of the Holy Spirit will then operate through us as He, the Holy Spirit sees fit. 

                                                             Compiled by: Chris Mengel Snr.

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