Jesus promised His disciples and all believers a separate and subsequent experience from the new birth indwelling of the Holy Spirit with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon believers and only for believers! Jesus taught His disciples about the Baptism with the Holy Spirit after He was raised from the dead and before He returned to His Father in heaven (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-8). Peter also spoke of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit as the promise and gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:32-33; 38-39).
When Jesus gave His disciples the “Great Commission” (Matthew 28: 19, 20), He knew that they couldn’t fulfill it in their own power and so told them to wait in Jerusalem until they received the power from on high or the Holy Spirit.
“Behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” Luke 24:49 (NKJV).
“For John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Acts 1:5 (NKJV).
“But 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.” Acts 1:8 (NKJV).
There are numerous baptisms mentioned in the Bible i.e. Baptism of Moses (1 Corinthians 10:1-3; Exodus 13:21); Baptism of John (Mark 1:4; Acts 18:24, 25); Baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3: 13-17); Baptism of Fire (Matthew 3:11, 12); Baptism of the Holy spirit (Ephesians 1:13, 14; 1 Corinthians 12:13); Baptism of the cross (Mark 10:35-39); and Baptism of believers (Matthew 28:19; Romans 6:3,4).
Most of us are familiar with water baptism as seen in the Bible by John the Baptist’s activity in the Jordan River that most churches practice today. Still, the Bible mentions two other baptisms which involve the Holy Spirit that you can’t see with your physical eyes only the after effects of them in a person’s life. Let’s briefly look at these three to understand the difference:
We will start with the Baptism of the Holy Spirit or baptism of salvation which occurs when we experience salvation and are baptized into the body of Christ. The Holy Spirit draws us to Jesus Christ and does a supernatural work of regeneration in our spirit, making us spiritually alive when we ask Jesus to be our Savior. This is the baptism of the Holy Spirit and He is doing the baptizing.
For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free – and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:13 (NKJV).
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Galatians 3:27 (NKJV).
Water baptism is a second baptism we can choose to experience according to the command of Scripture. Water baptism symbolizes our death, burial and resurrection to new life in Christ Jesus (Romans 6:3, 4).
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19, 20 (NKJV).
Baptism with the Holy Spirit is a third baptism mentioned in Scripture. Each one of the Gospels tells the story of Jesus coming to John the Baptist from a different perspective (Matthew 3:11-17; Mark 1:6-8; Luke 3:15-16; John 1:29-34; 3:27-36) but in each one of these accounts, John testifies that it is Jesus who will be doing the baptizing with the Holy Spirit.
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 (NKJV).
We see these two separate experiences of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit with salvation and the in-filling of the Holy Spirit with the baptism with the Holy Spirit in the following scriptures: Acts 8:5 – 8; 12 – 17; 9:1-9; 15-17; 10:45, 46; 11:13-15; 19:1-7.
The Baptism with the Holy Spirit means immersion or in-filling with the Spirit’s life and power and Jesus is the one who is doing the baptizing. It is an empowering for service reproducing the ministry of Jesus including signs, wonders and miracles! As believers and children of the King, we are to enforce His Kingdom on the earth but we need a power greater than our own to serve and minister Christ’s Kingdom here. Not only does His presence dwell within us but flows through us!
This Holy Spirit outpouring occurred on the Day of Pentecost or 50 days after Passover, (Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:14-18) to the same disciples that Jesus had breathed on to receive the Holy Spirit for new birth. All the disciples were waiting in the Upper Room in Jerusalem as Jesus had instructed them (Acts 1:13-15). The Baptism with the Holy Spirit is for believers only so the disciples had to be born again before they could receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
We don’t have to tarry or wait to receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit because He came to earth on the day of Pentecost and remains here at work in the earth (John 16:8-11) as well as restraining evil until Jesus comes to take His Body, the church, out of the world (2 Thessalonians 2:7). He will also be at work during the Great Tribulation because we see that multitudes will be saved (Revelation 7:4, 9-10; 14:4; Zechariah 12:10). It is the Holy Spirit that convicts and draws people to Jesus (John 6:44; 15:26; 16:13-14; 1 John 5:6).
The Baptism with the Holy Spirit is received by faith on the Word of God just like all the other blessings of God (not by our feelings); (2 Corinthians 5:7). Remember, it is not just an experience but the reality of the person of the Holy Spirit in us and working through us. The Bible reveals different ways that people receive the Baptism with the Holy Spirit i.e. by asking, by prayer and by the laying on of hands, etc. (Luke 11:9-13; Acts 8:14-17; 10:44-46; 19:6).
“So, I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you, seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” Luke 11:9 – 13 (NKJV).
We see in Acts 2:1-4 that Baptism with the Holy Spirit brought the initial evidence of speaking in tongues (a heavenly language or language unknown to the one speaking; Acts 2:6; 1 Corinthians 13:1) followed by boldness (Acts 4:13, 31). When we speak in tongues, we’re not speaking to men but to God however, in the spirit we are speaking mysteries (1 Corinthians 14:2-4). Speaking in tongues edifies or builds us up and refreshes us (1 Corinthians 14:4; Jude 1:20; Isaiah 28:11, 12). It is nothing to be fearful of. We simply need to trust Jesus and receive this gift by faith. He is the one who is doing the baptizing with the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:8).
The Holy Spirit speaks to us in our spirit or inner man, not by our natural mind, intellect or reasoning. He may show you a word or phrase in a language you don’t know. Speak it out. He will give you more to speak as you start putting your voice and lips to what He gives you. We allow the Holy Spirit to speak and pray through our spirit as we will and as He gives us utterance and the inspiration (Acts 2:4; Romans 8:26, 27). He doesn’t just take over. Don’t allow the devil to bring fear into your life to keep you from experiencing this wonderful gift!
In the late 1980’s, I had a hunger for more of God and so I prayed and asked Jesus for the Baptism with the Holy Spirit I had received teaching about but I had a difficult time receiving speaking in tongues by faith. I had grown up in a church that believed speaking in tongues was just for the early church. When the Holy Spirit gave me a word or phrase and I would speak it out, the devil would whisper into my thoughts and say that it was “just me” making up words and not the Holy Spirit speaking them through me. However, I knew I had received the Baptism with the Holy Spirit because I also had a new boldness and power in my walk with the Lord and sharing Him with others.
It wasn’t until much later in 2014 when I realized I wasn’t living the abundant life that Jesus came to give me that I understood that speaking and praying in tongues was part of the abundant life since the Holy Spirit only prays the perfect will of God and knows His mind completely (1 Corinthians 2:11; Romans 8:27). I had been allowing the devil to rob me in this area by believing his lies about it. So I started listening to teachers in the Word to build up my faith concerning speaking in tongues (i.e. Joseph Prince; Kenneth Copeland; Kenneth E. Hagin; Bill Winston, etc.) and began speaking and praying in tongues, until now I speak and pray in tongues freely!
If you would like to receive the fullness of God by the Baptism with the Holy Spirit, you can have a Pastor or ministry leader pray for you, lay hands on you or you can pray this prayer out loud yourself and receive by faith:
I ask you to baptize me with the Holy Spirit. I fully expect to receive by faith power from on high, and to speak with other tongues, as the Holy Spirit gives me utterance. Thank you for pouring out the Holy Spirit upon me and immersing me in Him.
In Your Name I pray, Amen.
Now, begin to praise and worship and when the Holy Spirit brings words and syllables to you, then speak them forth. They will be in a heavenly or an unknown language to you! Continue using this blessing God has given you and speak and pray in the Spirit every day! Speaking in tongues will help to stimulate your faith in God and help you to learn to trust Him because you don’t know what the words are that you are speaking (Jude 20). The Holy Spirit is directing you as you speak them by faith. Trusting God in one area will help you learn to trust Him in another area.
Praying in the Spirit is part of the Armor of God (Ephesians 6:18) and includes being led by the Spirit in prayer on how and what to pray as well as praying in tongues (1 Corinthians 14:14, 15). When we allow the Holy Spirit to pray through us by praying in tongues, God’s perfect will is being prayed and strategies for victory released for the angels of the Lord to carry out His Word (Psalm 103:20, 21). The Holy Spirit knows what to pray for even when we don’t know. Continuing to pray and to worship God in tongues helps us to be conscious of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling presence in us.
Prayer generates power and our prayers are powerful when we pray according to His Word and His leading (James 5:16). Our power increases as we pray in tongues because our spirit man is edified and built up. Don’t neglect your prayer life including speaking in tongues. Spiritual battles are won in the prayer room in the realm of the supernatural!
We receive power from on high or Baptism with the Holy Spirit with the same Holy Spirit who re-created our spirit when we became born again! We can experience more of God when He brings the fullness of God to us (Ephesians 3:19, 20). Each person’s encounter is unique and special. Some speak in tongues right away; others need the laying on of hands for an increase in their faith or have agreement in prayer, some ask in prayer by themselves. It doesn’t matter how you receive the Baptism with the Spirit that Jesus gives, He knows the way that you personally need to receive Him.
The Holy Spirit gives us the power to live victoriously, to witness and minister for Christ, helps us to pray and has nine gifts to impart to us that are a gateway to the supernatural. When you are a believer filled with the Holy Spirit, you have the potential for all the power God has (Matthew 28:18; Luke 10:19; Mark 16:17, 18) and we need to learn to cooperate with Him since He is our power source!
Jesus ministered on the earth by the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:38; Matthew 12:18; Isaiah 42:1). The anointing is the power of God to accomplish anything because all things are possible with God (Matthew 19:26). Even though Jesus was 100% God, He was also 100% Man so that He could restore our humanity and relationship with God the Father (Philippians 2:6-7). He didn’t set His Deity aside but the rights and privileges of it as He did the will of the Father on earth.
Then Jesus being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. Luke 4:1 (NKJV).
The Jordan river was where He was baptized in water by John the Baptist and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove (Luke 3:21, 22). Jesus was given the Spirit without measure (John 3:34). It was after He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness and Satan tempted Him (Luke 4:1-15) that Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit (Luke 4:14) and began His ministry. Jesus stated His life mission in the following verses fulfilling Old Testament prophesy concerning Himself found in Isaiah 61:1,2:
“The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.” Luke 4:18, 19 (NKJV).
We also see in Isaiah 11:1-3 a prophecy concerning the Seven-fold Spirit of God that would rest upon HIm: the Spirit of the LORD, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might and the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD. Jesus did everything by the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit and was led by the Spirit (Luke 4:1, 18-19).
It is the same Holy Spirit that Jesus received His anointing and power from that belongs to us as the body of Christ. We need the Holy Spirit’s anointing and power in our lives to bring the Kingdom of heaven to earth as well (Matthew 4:17, 23). The anointing supplies us with that power to do what He is calling us to do and shows us how to live. In other words, He enables and equips us! Jesus even said that we would do greater works than He did since He was going to His Father (John 14:12).
Power is connected to obedience and humility as we see in Jesus’ life as our example (Philippians 2:5-8). So even though the anointing dwells in us (1 John 2:27), we need to surrender our lives and wills to the work of the Holy Spirit so that the anointing increases and we can walk in the fullness of His anointing and power, that same power that raised Christ from the dead!
Are you living the abundant life by walking and living in the fullness of God that is offered to us through the work of the Holy Spirit? So whether you believe you receive the Baptism with the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation or at a later time, I believe it opens the door to the in-filling of the Holy Spirit which can be repeated and increased according to your desire for more of God in your life or when needed for Kingdom assignments the Lord gives you. We need His anointing and power that Jesus said is available for all who believe!
“And these signs will follow those who believe: In My Name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Mark 16:17, 18 (NKJV).
Next, we will look at the Holy Spirit as the giver of gifts. (1 Corinthians 12:1-11).