Torrey - Holy Spirit - 7.1- What is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?

I. WHAT IS THE BAPTISM WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT? Acts 1:5 — "For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence." Compare 2:4, 38 — "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." Acts 4:8 — "Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and leaders of Israel." Acts 10:44-46 — -"While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as may as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God." Acts 11:15-17 — "And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, what was I, that I could withstand God?" Acts 19:2-6 — "He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied." Hebrews 2:4 "God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with diverse miracles and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will." 1 Corinthians 12:4,11,13 — "Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit .... But all these worketh that one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will .... For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit." Luke 24:49 — "And behold I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high."

First Proposition: A number of phrases are used in the New Testament to describe one and the same experience: "baptized with the Holy Ghost," '"filled with the Holy Ghost," "the Holy Ghost fell on them," "the gift of the Holy Ghost was poured out," "receive the Holy Ghost,' "the Holy Ghost came on them," "gifts of the Holy Ghost, ' "I send the promise of my Father upon you," "endued with power from on high.' Acts 19:2 RV — "And he said unto them, Did ye receive the Holy Ghost when ye believed? And they said unto him, Nay, we did not so much as hear whether the Holy Ghost was given."

Second Proposition: Baptism with the Holy Spirit is a definite experience.

One may and ought to know whether he has received it or not. Compare to Acts 8:15-16 — "Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus." Galatians 3:2 — "This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?" Acts 1:5 — "For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence."

Here was a company of regenerated men, pronounced so by Christ. (Compare to John 15:3 — "Now are ye clean through the word which I have spoken unto you," and to John 13:10 — "Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.") And yet the baptism with the Spirit lay for them some days in the future. Acts 8:12 — "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women."

In this company of baptized believers, there were certainly some regenerated people, but we read in verse 15:16, "Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)" We see the same example of believers regenerated but not baptized with the Holy Ghost in Acts 19:1-2 — "And it came to pass, that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts, came to Ephesus; and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? and they said unto him, we have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost." Compare to verse 6 — -"And when Paul had laid his lands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied."

Third Proposition: Baptism with the Holy Spirit is an operation distinct from, additional to, and subsequent to HIS regenerating work.

A man may be regenerated by the Holy Spirit and still not be baptized with the Holy Spirit. In regeneration there is an impartation of life, and the one who receives it is saved; in baptism with the Holy Spirit there is an impartation of power and the one who receives it is fitted for service.

EVERY TRUE BELIEVER HAS THE HOLY SPIRIT

Romans 8:9 — "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now, if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." (See also 1 Corinthians 6:19.)

But not every believer has the baptism with the Holy Spirit, though every believer may. Baptism with the Holy Spirit may be received immediately after the new birth, as, for example, in the household of Cornelius. In a normal state of the church every believer would have the baptism with the Holy Spirit, as in the church at Corinth ( 1 Corinthians 12:13 — -"For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit").

In a normal state of the church, baptism with the Holy Spirit would be received immediately upon repentance and baptism into the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins ( Acts 2:38). But the doctrine of baptism with the Holy Spirit has been allowed to drop out of sight. The church has had so little expectancy along this line, that a large portion of the church is like the churches in Samaria and Ephesus: someone has to come and call the attention of the believers to their privilege in the risen Christ and claim it for them. Acts 1:5,8 — "For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth." Luke 24:49 — "And behold I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high." Acts 2:4 "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the spirit gave them utterance." Acts 9:17,20 — "And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God." 1 Corinthians 12:4-14 "Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.

And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit: to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit: to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of Spirits: to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh out that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit."

Fourth Proposition: The Baptism with the Holy Spirit is an experience connected with and primarily for the purpose of service.

Baptism with the Holy Spirit is not primarily intended to make believers happy or holy, but to make them useful. In every passage in the Bible where the results of baptism with the Holy Spirit are mentioned, they are related to testimony and service. Baptism with the Holy Spirit has no direct reference to cleansing from sin. It has to do with gifts for service rather than with graces of character. The steps by which one ordinarily receives baptism with the Holy Spirit are of such a character, and baptism with the Holy Spirit makes God so real, that in most cases this baptism is accompanied by a great moral uplift, or even a radical transformation. But the Baptism with the Holy Spirit is not in itself either an eradication of the carnal nature or cleansing from an impure heart. It is the impartation of supernatural power or gifts in service.

It is indeed the work of the Holy Spirit to cleanse from sin, and to lead one into a life of victory over the world, the flesh and the devil, but this is not baptism with the Holy Spirit. It is, however, more fundamental and important.