No, You Have Not Been Baptized In (With) The Holy Spirit

It is written:

Revelation 16:14-For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

I hear it said quite often, “Mark, the baptism of the Holy Spirit is for all believers since Pentecost of Acts 2.”

This is incorrect.

Let’s study some facts about Holy Spirit baptism which show that it does not continue today.

Fact One: Paul Said That There is Only “One Baptism” Received By All Believers In The Christian Age-And It Is Not Holy Spirit Baptism

Ephesians 4:4-6-There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5  one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6  one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

By the time Paul writes Ephesians, he is making the case that there is only one baptism available to all believers. That one baptism is identified throughout Ephesians as baptism in water (cf. Ephesians 5:26). This makes sense because Jesus taught that the baptism of the Great Commission would last till the end of the age (world-Matthew 28:18-20). This baptism was water baptism since the text shows that it is the disciples of Christ who administer it. Since only Jesus can administer Holy Spirit baptism (Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33), then the baptism of the Great Commission which is to last until the end of the Christian age and which all believers share in common is water baptism.

Fact Two: Holy Spirit Baptism Was Almost Always Administered Through The Laying On Of The Apostles Hands-And Since There Are No More Apostles Today There Is No More Holy Spirit Baptism

Throughout the New Testament, Holy Spirit baptism is often referred to as the Holy Spirit “falling” on certain individuals.

For example:

Acts 8:16-For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Acts 10:44-While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word.

Acts 11:15-17-And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning. 16  Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, ‘John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17  If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?”

Now, notice that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is directly referred to as the Holy Spirit falling on certain ones (especially seen in Acts 11:15-17).

In Acts 8, several Samaritans believe the Good News of Jesus and are baptized into Christ (Acts 8:12-13). Philip, a Gospel preacher, had been preaching the Word there and had been performing many miraculous signs to demonstrate evidence that Christianity is true (Acts 8:5-11). When these believers were baptized into Christ, word was sent to Jerusalem to have the Apostles come and lay hands on them that they may receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

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, 15  who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16  For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17  Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

Simon himself acknowledged that it was only through the laying on of the Apostles’ hands that this baptism of the Spirit was conferred:

Acts 8:18-And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money,

Please don’t miss the fact that even though Philip was there and had the ability to work these miracles, he wasn’t to able to confer them to others. Indeed, it was only through the imposition of the Apostles’ hands that this baptism of the Spirit could be conferred. We see the same pattern throughout Acts. For example, Philip received the baptism of the Spirit through the laying on of the Apostles’ hands (Acts 6:1-6), as did the Samaritans (Acts 8), and the disciples in Ephesus (Acts 19:1-6). The only definite exceptions to this were the Apostles (Acts 2:1-4), and the household of Cornelius (Acts 10:44-46). Indeed, Peter points out that these two occurrences were extremely rare (cf. Acts 11:15-“at the beginning,” linking the baptism of the Apostles and Cornelius household with the Spirit in rare circumstances). The Bible goes on to teach us that in order for one to be an Apostle of Christ, he had to be an eyewitness of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead (Acts 1:22). Since the Apostle Paul was the last eyewitness of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:8), the Apostle Paul was the last Apostle. He himself points out that the Apostles were part of the church’s foundation (Ephesians 2:20-22), which links the office of Apostle to the church’s beginning/foundation.

Since there are no more Apostles today, there is no more Holy Spirit baptism today.

Fact Three: Holy Spirit Baptism Was Accompanied By Physical Supernatural Phenomena

When the Apostles received the baptism of the Spirit, we are told:

Acts 2:1-4-When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3  Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Please notice that these events were in direct fulfillment of Jesus’ promise that the Apostles would receive the baptism of the Spirit (cf. Acts 1:4-5). With that in mind, notice that we are told of several physical supernatural phenomena that accompanied the baptism of the Spirit including: a “sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind;” “divided tongues, as of fire,” which then “sat upon each of them;” and the Apostles beginning to “speak with other tongues.”

Alleged accounts of Holy Spirit baptism today lack these physical demonstrations of the Spirit.

If it is argued that there are many people who speak in “tongues” today, let it be remembered that the true Bible gift of tongues was the ability to speak fluently in the languages of another nation without the speaker having previously been taught such.

For example:

“Does the Scripture support the view that the tongues-speaking found in the N.T. were always actual foreign languages? This seems to be the case. Consider the following arguments Norman Geisler has presented in favor of this view.[ 335] First, every time tongues appear in Acts they were actual foreign languages. It is clear that they were real languages at Pentecost in Acts 2, “because each one [devout men from every nation under heaven] heard them [the apostles] speaking in his own language” (Acts 2: 5-6). And Peter declared that the “tongues” in which Cornelius and the Italians spoke in Acts 10 were “the same gift as He gave to us also [in Acts 2]” (Acts 11: 17). And in Acts 19, the only other mention of tongues in Acts, Luke used the same terms to describe their experience, i.e., “the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying” (Acts 19: 6). This implies that the nature of the phenomenon was the same as the other two occasions. Thus, the gift of “tongues” throughout the book of Acts from chapter 2 (A.D. 33) to the end (A.D. 60) was real human languages. Since 1 Corinthians was written during this same time period (A.D. 56), there is no reason to believe that the tongues referred to in 1 Corinthians is anything but real language. But “ecstatic speech / free vocalization” (i.e., unintelligible and non-meaningful speech) which might appear to a naive listener as a mysterious or unknown language, is merely a string of nonsensical syllables-sound combinations usually uttered by those in or wanting to enter into a state of emotional and spiritual ecstasy.[ 336] Ecstatic speech are utterances that are empty of cognitive content and essentially unknowable, unintelligible, and meaningless. Hence, if the tongues in which the apostles spoke were ecstatic speech in Acts 2, then the miracle was in hearing, not speaking-because ecstatic speech is essentially incomprehensible and meaningless sounds. The phrase “tongues of angels” in 1 Cor. 13: 1 (which is the first of three hypothetical and conditional sentences) is probably a figure of speech (i.e., hyperbole-a deliberate exaggeration for emphasis, not meant to be taken literally) meaning, “Even if I had the ability to speak in every conceivable kind of language with the skill and eloquence of the greatest of men or angels, without love-it is just a lot of worthless religious noise.” But if this phrase is taken in a wooden-literalistic sense as the actual language of angels, this still would not support the view that tongues are humanly unintelligible, since every time angels spoke in the Bible they spoke in real human languages that people could understand (e.g., Gen. 19: 1-21; Josh. 5: 13-6: 5; Luke 1: 11-37). Indeed, in all cases of conversation and revelation between human beings and supernatural beings (i.e., God, angels, Satan, and demons) found in the Bible, the communication was always in understandable human language.[ 337] Furthermore, angels are spirit beings by nature. They do not have or normally take on physical form unless God directs them to, so that they may interact and communicate with those in the material world. So normally and most likely, angels communicate directly through immaterial thought, not indirectly through material sound symbol sequences, characteristic of human language. Thus, on the basis of these precedents and considerations, it is logical to conclude that biblical tongues-speaking, even if it is seen as angelic tongues, it would still manifest itself in real knowable and understandable human languages, not in ecstatic gibberish. Second, Paul compares tongues to existing earthly languages in 1 Cor. 14: 6-13 saying, “There are, perhaps, a great many kinds of languages in the world, and no kind is without meaning” (v. 10). It is obvious, then, that Paul believed that the gift of tongues, with which he made the comparison, like a real language which conveys conceptual thought, is something that has actual meaning. But ecstatic speech is intrinsically void of rational content and is incapable of conveying conceptual thought and meaning. Hence, ecstatic speech is just meaningless mumbo jumbo. Indeed, when Paul addressed the subject of tongues in 1 Corinthians chapters 12-14, he offered no redefinition of the tongues found in the book of Acts, which were real and knowable languages. Third, the fact that tongues-speaking in 1 Corinthians could be and needed to be “interpreted” shows that it was a real and meaningful language. Otherwise, it would not be an actual “interpretation,” but would simply be a subjective creation of meaning out of a multitude of meaningless sound combinations spoken into the air. This latter position is often held by default by modern groups who in practice take the gift of interpretation as a kind of intuitive, empathetic capacity by which the essentially meaningless ecstatic utterance of one member of the congregation is given intelligible meaning by another “Spirit-inspired” member. But such a view is contradicted by the fact that the content of what the biblical tongues-speaker articulated was capable of being interpreted or translated. The interpretability of tongues-speech shows biblical tongues to be genuine and meaningful language. The only reason tongues-speech is unintelligible to some listeners is that they do not understand the foreign language being spoken by inspiration of the Spirit. Interpretation functioned to remove that barrier to understanding. So the biblical gift of “interpretation of tongues” (1 Cor. 12: 10, 30; 14: 5, 13) supports the fact that tongues were existing and knowable languages that could be translated for the benefit of all by those given the special gift of interpretation. Fourth, when Paul said, “Tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe, but to unbelievers” (1 Cor. 14: 22), he quoted the Old Testament (Isa. 28: 11-12) saying, “In the Law it is written [Deut. 28: 49], ‘By men of strange tongues and by the lips of strangers I [the Lord] will speak to this people [Israel]’” (v. 21). But the “strange tongues” spoken of here were real languages used by Israel’s captors (i.e., the Assyrians). So yet again Paul compares tongues to real languages. Ecstatic utterances, conversely, would not constitute a sign for unbelievers. Fifth, the positing of “a private devotional prayer language” is suspect because it is unfalsifiable. This means that there is no objective way to test and verify the evidential claims that are made. Yet, we are commanded to test and examine everything carefully and to hold fast to that which is good and true (1 Thess. 5: 21). Remarkably, many Pentecostal leaders believe that modern tongues-speaking is not objectively verifiable or falsifiable. For instance, Ray Hughes, twice general overseer of the Church of God (Cleveland, TN), wrote, “Many phases of a true religion defy logic. . . . Speaking with tongues is a spiritual phenomenon. Therefore, the Holy Ghost, a Biblical and spiritual experience, is not researchable by modern methods. To be sure, one can do historical and descriptive research, and even some experimental research, but one must receive (experience) the Spirit in order to discern His operation.”[ 338] This is “experiential apologetics.”[ 339] So then, according to Hughes and most Pentecostals and Charismatics, the biblical phenomenon of speaking in tongues is a subjective, self-verifying, and self-validating experience which defies logic and is not researchable or falsifiable by modern scientific methods. Thus, it must be received by a faith that is not supported by either reason or modern linguistic evidence. This is “fideism” (i.e., the view that there are no rational ways to justify one’s belief; faith alone is necessary)[ 340] and simple “credulity” (i.e., basing one’s belief on either insufficient/ inconclusive evidence or on no evidence or good reason at all). This kind of credulous faith violates the biblical command to avoid and turn away from opposing and self-contradictory arguments and beliefs (1 Tim. 6: 20). God is a logical being and He wants His people to be logical and reasonable as well (Isa. 1: 18).” (James O’Loughlin, The Truth about Speaking in Tongues: An Examination of the Pentecostal and Charismatic Doctrine and Experience-From Word Of Faith To Faith In The World, 2416- 2484 (Kindle Edition); Fort Mill, SC; Veritas International Institute)

In contrast, what is practiced today in charismatic churches and mistakenly called the “gift of tongues” is a gibberish speaking that is actually commonplace and historically identifiable with demonically empowered and guided individuals and religions.

For example, O’Loughlin later documents:

“The phenomenon of glossolalia is not unique to the Christian religion. Occurrences of tongues-speaking have been reported in many cults and world religions both past and present. Glossolalia spoken in religious ecstasy has occurred in many ancient Mesopotamian, African, Egyptian, Canaanite, Arabic, Greek, Asian, and Western pagan religions and cults.[ 447] Ecstatic speech (ranging from unintelligible moans, groans, and animal noises to more language-like sounds) has been a recurring religious experience in both the ancient and modern world religions. Ecstatic speech, for example, is reported to have occurred in the following cults and religions: the Hellenistic mystery religions (e.g., the priestess of Apollo known as the Oracle of Delphi), Shamanism, the Aborigines of Australia, Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhist monks, “Christian” Gnosticism (i.e., Montanism of the 2nd century) Catholic monastic asceticism (in the middle ages) Islamic mysticism, French Protestant Huguenots or Camisards (17th and 18th centuries) Catholic Jansenists (17th and 18th centuries) some Methodists (18th and 19th centuries) some early Quakers and Shakers (17th and 18th century) Irvingites of the Christian Catholic Apostolic Church (19th century) early Mormons (19th century) Voodoo, Pentecostals and Charismatics (20th and 21th centuries).[ 448] Furthermore, there are a number of similarities, to paraphrase Gromacki, between the glossolalia occurrences of both “non-Christian” and post-apostolic “Christian” participants. First, the person was in religious worship of some kind and through some method entered into an altered state of consciousness, a passive mental state, and religious ecstasy. Second, in this state the person is possessed (i.e., controlled or influenced to varying degrees) by powerful spirit beings (usually the divine kind). Third, the person then loses some control of his mental or physical faculties. Fourth, the person speaks in strange and mysterious “languages” (i.e., ecstatic speech) to communicate with and as evidence of possession by the divine spirit( s). Fifth, there may be an interpretation of the tongues utterance, often for instruction and guidance.[ 449] Is there a Relationship between Glossolalia and Demonic Influence? Is there a connection between tongues-speaking, altered states of consciousness, and demonic influence? Yes, in some cases. John Ankerberg and John Weldon have cautioned that mental passivity, heightened suggestibility, mental illness, occult bondage, and demon possession are among the potential dangers of “altered states of consciousness.”[ 450] If this is true, then it makes sense that many cults and world religions embrace various forms of mysticism that often encourages their adherents to turn off (i.e., neutralize or bypass) their rational minds, through intoxicating drugs/ drinks or through other repetitive methods (e.g., dancing themselves into frenzies, rhythmic music or chanting, controlled breathing, tongues-speaking, sensory deprivation, etc.). These cultivated and unnaturally occurring altered states of consciousness are the supposed means of attaining an esoteric knowledge of mysteries that supposedly transcends the rational mind. The ecstatic speaking that often accompanied such hypnotic conditions is thought to be the language of the gods and evidence of possession by the divine.” (James O’Loughlin, The Truth about Speaking in Tongues: An Examination of the Pentecostal and Charismatic Doctrine and Experience-From Word Of Faith To Faith In The World, 4195- 4224 (Kindle Edition); Fort Mill, SC; Veritas International Institute)

The true baptism of the Holy Spirit manifested these physical phenomena, while the alleged instances of Holy Spirit baptism today have nothing of the sort. This lack of physical evidence of the Spirit’s baptism argues strongly against the phenomenon continuing today.

Fact Four: There Is No Continuing Need For The Baptism Of The Holy Spirit Since The Word Of God Has Been Completed And Confirmed

The purpose of the Holy Spirit baptism was to miraculously deliver and confirm the Word of God (cf. John 14:26; 16:13; Acts 10:43-36; 11:15-17). The Apostle Paul, however, pointed out that these supernaturally given Divine revelations and miracles would one day cease:

1 Corinthians 13:8-10-Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9  For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10  But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

Paul here teaches us that the miraculous knowledge and gifts of the Spirit would cease when the “perfect” had come. The Greek word here means something which is complete, and at least three things in the passage show us that Paul is talking about the Word of God being completed.

First, there is a clear antithesis between that which is “in part” and that which is “perfect” (complete). The Apostle identifies it clearly: for we “know” in part,” and we “prophesy”in part.” The knowledge and prophecy Paul is here talking about is the miraculously revealed and confirmed Word of God (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:7-11). So, when Paul was writing the Word of God was only “in part” when he wrote 1 Corinthians, he was saying it it had only been partially revealed (at that time). Yet there would be a time in the future (from Paul’s vantage point of writing 1 Corinthians) when the “perfect” (complete) Word of God would be delivered, and then the things which were “in part” (i.e., the Word God was giving to the Apostles “bit by bit”) would cease.

The Word of God was completed, and hence the things which were “in part” ceased (cf. 2 Timothy 3:16-17; James 1:25).

Second, Paul uses an analogy here which demonstrates that he is identifying the Word of God as the “complete.”

1 Corinthians 13:12-For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

Paul tells us that when the “complete” comes, it will be like we will be looking “face to face.” This illustration is drawn directly from the Old Testament Scriptures, when God was giving Moses a “more complete” revelation of Himself to the people through His Word!

Exodus 33:11-So the LORD spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle.

Deuteronomy 5:4-The LORD talked with you face to face on the mountain from the midst of the fire.

Deuteronomy 34:10-But since then there has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face,

Paul uses this picture drawn from the Old Testament which focused on God revealing His Word in a more complete way, and then applies that same imagery to describe the “complete” that would be accomplished.

In other words, the “complete” is the completed Word of God.

Third, there is an interesting connection here in the original Greek and the Old Testament that must be further explored.

“First, we shall consider this part of the verse: “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face.” Here is the Greek for this: blepomen gar arti di’ esoptrou en ainigmati, tote de prosōpon pros prosōpon. The contrast is usually thought to be between “seeing in a mirror dimly” and “seeing face to face.” The “face to face” seeing is taken to mean seeing Jesus face to face, after the second coming. But this is not the idea at all. The contrast is between “seeing in a mirror DIMLY,” and “seeing in a mirror face to face,” or CLEARLY. The “seeing in a mirror” applies to both sides of the contrast; the difference is that one mirror is of poor quality and the other is bright, shiny, and clear. Thus the point is that both sides are referring to forms of revelation (revealed knowledge), the latter being superior to the former. The former (“ dimly”) represents enigmatic, incomplete revelation; the latter (“ face to face”) represents clear, complete revelation. Both occur within history, prior to the eschaton. The key to this understanding is the Greek phrase en ainigmati, translated “dimly.” Literally it means “in a riddle.” (I seriously recommend that everyone read the article on the word ainigma, “riddle,” in Kittel’s Theological Dictionary of the New Testament [TDNT], I: 178ff.) When we follow the trail of the word ainigma, it leads us to the Greek Septuagint translation of the Old Testament (the LXX), in Numbers 12: 8. Here Yahweh is explaining to Aaron and Miriam the difference between the way He usually spoke to Moses, in contrast with the way He spoke to most prophets. “With him [Moses] I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in riddles.” The phrase “mouth to mouth” is equivalent to “face to face” in 1 Corinthians 13: 12; and “in riddles” is the same as “dimly” in 13: 12. What we see here is that the apostle Paul is using the language of Numbers 12: 8 to contrast the partial and the complete in 1 Corinthians 13. And the contrast in both cases is between two kinds of revelation: the less clear, and the more clear. It has nothing to do with an alleged heavenly form of speaking as distinct from a this-age revelation. Even the idea of “seeing in a mirror” should be understood in terms of the Rabbinic reflections on Numbers 12: 8. First, we must certainly reject the idea that Paul is talking about seeing “through a window” at all, whether dimly or clearly. The reference is to seeing “in a mirror.” According to the article cited above from Kittel’s TDNT, this concept comes from an idea common in Rabbinic literature, i.e., depicting revelation in terms of occultish mirror-gazing or crystal-ball gazing. This is by no means an endorsement of such a practice, but we should note that in reference to Numbers 12: 8 the Rabbis said that Moses saw God in a clear mirror, while other prophets saw Him in a cloudy mirror (TDNT, I: 178). As applied to 1 Corinthians 13: 12, the distinction is not between (1) seeing ONLY in a mirror—all ancient mirrors being cloudy by nature, and (2) seeing IN PERSON. This is not the point. Rather, the distinction is between (1) seeing in a cloudy mirror, and (2) seeing in a clear mirror—which were available in Paul’s day, contrary to a popular myth. See TDNT, I: 179. The point is simply that the present gifts of prophecy, tongues, and knowledge were like looking into the cloudy mirror; whereas using the coming teleion would be like looking into a clear mirror. We should also note that the text does not say that when we look into the clear mirror, we shall “see HIM face to face.” There is no “him,” and no object at all. The expression “see face to face” is not about whom we will see, but how we will be seeing once the teleion comes. The expression refers to the kind of seeing, namely, to the clarity of the revelation. It will be as clear as seeing one’s face in a sharp and clear mirror. (See Numbers 12: 8; Genesis 32: 30; Judges 6: 22; Deuteronomy 34: 10.) Incidentally, the Greek expression for seeing another person “face to face” was kata prosōpon, as in Acts 25: 16; 2 Corinthians 10: 1, 7; Galatians 2: 11, not the expression in our text, prosōpon pros prosōpon. See the article on prosōpon in Kittel, TDNT, VI: 768-779. This is not the only New Testament reference to “looking in a mirror,” and the other such references to “looking in a mirror” and seeing clearly refer to looking into the Word of God in the form of the New Testament. See 2 Corinthians 3: 7ff. (verse 18 specifically) and James 1: 23-25. In 2 Corinthians 3: 18 especially, the comparison is between the Old Covenant Scriptures, the reading of which is like looking through a veil, and the New Covenant Scriptures, the reading of which is like seeing Christ without a veil, i.. e., face to face. The point is that we do not have to wait until the second coming to see Christ, as it were, “face to face.” See TDNT, VI: 776. Also, 2 Corinthians 4: 6 refers to seeing the face of Christ in the gospel. The comparison with 1 Corinthians 13: 12 is obvious. The piece-meal revelations (tongues, prophecy) are to the completed New Testament what the Old Testament is to the New Testament. Here is an extended paraphrase of the first part of 1 Corinthians 13: 12–“For now, while we depend on occasional revelations through prophecy or interpreted tongues, it is like trying to see yourself in a scratched and cloudy mirror. But then, when the completed New Testament has been given, it will be like seeing a sharp, clear image of yourself in a bright new mirror.”” (Jack Cottrell, Spirits: Holy and Unholy (The Collected Writings), 2241-2294 (Kindle Edition); Mason, OH; The Christian Restoration Association)

Since the baptism of the Holy Spirit was for the purpose of miraculously revealing and confirming the Word of God, and since the Word of God has now been miraculously revealed and confirmed, there is no more need for the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Indeed, this serves to remind us again that the baptism of the Spirit was only for a limited time, for a limited group of people, and with very specific purposes….all of which have been fulfilled.

Fact Five: The Holy Spirit Will Not Lead People Into Teachings Which His Word Condemns

There is an intimate connection between the Holy Spirit and God’s Word.

John 6:63-It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.

John 14:16-17-And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17  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.

There are many people in our world today who claim to have received the baptism of the Spirit; yet these same people proclaim that the Spirit leads them into beliefs which are wholly opposed to the Word of God.

For example, many people that I work with who tell me that they have been baptized in the Spirit go on to tell me that water baptism is not part of the plan of salvation, despite the teaching of the Word of the Spirit that water baptism is most definitely part of God’s plan of salvation! Indeed, every passage in the New Testament Scriptures which mentions both baptism and salvation places baptism before salvation (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:15-16; John 3;5; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 3:26-27; Ephesians 5:26; Colossians 2:12-15; Hebrews 10:22; 1 Peter 3:20-21).

Are we to believe that the Holy Spirit baptized these folks and then led them to something which the Holy Scriptures flatly contradict?

Again, our Mormon friends claim the baptism of the Holy Spirit and yet they reject the teaching of the Scriptures that the Word of God would be preserved by God (Psalm 12:6-7; Matthew 24:35), that Jesus’ way is the only way of salvation (John 14:6), that there are no Apostles today (Acts 1:22; 1 Corinthians 15:8), that the Bible is a sufficient guide for us in things pertaining to life and godliness (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:3), etc.

Our “latter-day saints” friends claim the baptism of the Holy Spirit, yet they reject the clear teachings of the Spirit in God’s Word.

Again, Calvinists claim the baptism of the Spirit and then go on to claim that God individually predestined certain individuals to Hell before they were even conceived, despite the teaching of Scripture that God desires even the most wicked to repent (Ezekiel 18:23; 2 Peter 3:9). I even had one Calvinist tell me that there would be babies in Hell because “they deserve it,” even through Jesus teaches that children are innocent and free of sin and that we should become like them and that they will be in Heaven (Matthew 18:3; 19:14)!

Should we accept Calvinist claim that they have been baptized in the Spirit, when their teachings clearly and completely contradict what God’s Word teaches?

Making it even more complicated, different religious groups which all claim the baptism of the Spirit are usually in contradiction not only to the Word of God, but to each other as well!

Are we really to believe that this is of the Holy Spirit?

1 Corinthians 14:33-For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.

Friends, I do not deny that you may have had a supernatural experience. However, we need to remember that Satan can provide quite enthralling supernatural experiences as well (cf. Exodus 7:11, 22; 8:7; Matthew 7:21-23; 24;24; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-10; Revelation 16:14).

Compare your experiences with the Word of God-and let God’s Word lead you. When we do this, I believe you will find that there is only “one baptism” today that is common for all believers-and it is not Holy Spirit baptism!

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.

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