This study is long…but only those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled (Matthew 5:6) and only those who ask, seek, and knock will be given, find and have the door opened (Matthew 7:7).
The baptism of the Holy Spirit has often been misinterpreted and falsely taught, so we MUST go to God’s Word about it:
John the Baptist prepared the way for Yeshua/Jesus, but also for the Holy Spirit saying:
“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Matthew 3:11
Yeshua/Jesus prepared for the coming Holy Spirit by saying:
John 7: 37-39, “On the last day, that great day of feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 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.”
John 14: 15-18, 26, “If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever – the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you…..But the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”
Appearing to His followers after His resurrection, He gives instruction concerning His coming Holy Spirit:
Acts 1:4-5, 8, “And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which” He said “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now……you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Then, we find the first receiving of the Holy Spirit by baptism of fire in Acts 2 at Pentecost:
Acts 2: 1-9, “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is it that we hear each in our own language in which we were born?”
Peter than preaches to that crowd :
Acts 2:38, “Then Peter said to them, “repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
This filling of the Holy Spirit baptism did not end that day!
Acts 8: 14-17, “Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.”
Then, we have Saul of Tarsus who become Paul the Apostle after meeting Yeshua Jesus on the road to Damascus, he becomes blinded and waits for God’s instructions. God sends His disciple Ananias:
Acts 9: 17-18, “And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.”
Paul later confirms his baptism including speaking in tongues when discussing this gift in 1 Corinthians 14:
1 Corinthians 14: 18, “I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than you all…”
1 Corinthians 14: 1-6, “Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men, but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification. But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you unless I speak to you either by revelation, by knowledge, by prophesying, or by teaching?” (I believe prophesying means speak out about God’s future plans based on His Scriptural Word or speaking by divine Holy Spirit inspiration, not the kind of fortune telling or prophesy so prevalent in today’s world.)
In Acts, we also see that it was not only the disciples/apostles who were baptized in the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues. They were surprised to find that God gave this baptismal gift to even the Gentile believers!
Acts 10:44-48, “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered, “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.”
In Acts 19: 1-5, we see that Paul discovered believers in Ephesus who had only heard about John’s baptism in water for repentance. Paul goes on to explain salvation in Yeshua Jesus and another baptism in the Holy Spirit. When these 12 men receive Yeshua Jesus and the Holy Spirit, they speak in other tongues. So here, “speaking in unknown languages” was evidence of the immersing of the Holy Spirit (second baptism) being experienced after being “born again” (first baptism).
AND this filling of the Holy Spirit not just a one time deal! It has a beginning, but is intended to stay and abide. We need to keep being filled up continually with the Holy Spirit! The verses below occurred AFTER Pentecost:
Acts 4:31, “And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.”
Acts 13:52, “and the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.”
Ephesians 5:18, “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.”
We need to get to know who the Holy Spirit really is. He is not a euphoric feeling or a powerful “it”. He is a person. The same way you received the person of Yeshua/ Jesus into your life by mind and heart, you also need to receive the person of the Holy Spirit. This should start as a vow to committed relationship forever, but then continue on in keeping Father, Yeshua/Jesus, and Holy Spirit as Lord and Master of your life! “Until now you have asked nothing in My name, Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” John 16:24
So, we have the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It is the baptism of fire! It is the indwelling and outer presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer and follower of Yeshua Jesus. It is being baptized (“immersed” inside and outside) in the Holy Spirit!
I recall the night in my dorm room, when I repented and turned to God, pledging my commitment, asking Him to give me the Holy Spirit to help and guide me……I experienced praising Him in an “unknown to me” language (speaking in tongues). At that time, I did not know much about the Holy Spirit baptism of fire and speaking in tongues. I took some wrong turns because there are many false prophets and false teachers. It took some serious searching in God’s Word led by His Holy Spirit to learn to manage this gift rightly. Now, I can agree with Paul and thank God for the gift!