Pentecostal Apologetics

"There is No Such thing as The Baptism of The Holy Spirit"

Bible college professors like to make the following statement:

"There is no extra 'baptism in the Spirit' for believers. When they become born-again they are filled with the Holy Spirit so there is no need for an extra 'baptism.'"

Cessationists are confused over the Holy-Spirit baptism because they are confused over the different shades of meaning that are expressed by the word "baptism."
Cessationists see verses such as Rom 6: 3, 1 Cor. 10: 2, Gal. 3: 27 (below), and they rightfully interpret that all who are saved are "baptized" into Christ. Their confusion is manifested when Bible writers use the word "baptism" for its primary meaning, which is, "to drench." The Greek word "baptizo" actually means, "drenching" or "immersion." For instance, every day, at fast-food resteraunts, people baptize french fries in oil. Therefore, a precise definition of a Christian "baptism" would have someone being fully submerged under water. The verses below show a more vague usage of the word "baptize."

"Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?" Rom. 6: 3

"Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea" 1 Cor 10: 1-2

"For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." Gal. 3: 26-27

Baptizo is a soaking
But the proper definition of the word "baptizo" ("drenching") is something that not all Christians receive. For instance, there are many Christians who have never been baptized (drenched) in water, yet they may be said to be "baptized" in a more general sense. Therefore, within the church, are people who have been baptized according to the verses above, and yet, have never been "baptized."

When Bible writers use the word "baptism" to describe the Holy Spirit falling on someone causeing him to speak in tongues and prophecies, they are not speaking of "baptism" in a vague sense; rather they are speaking of a "drenching." They were speaking of a Holy-Spirit drenching that is a spiritual equivalent of a water-baptism. It was Jesus, Himself, who set this presidence by saying:
"For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence" Acts 1: 5

Jesus Breathed On Them

 Realize that Jesus spoke these words to people who already had the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, because Jesus had already breathed on them, commanding them to be filled with the Holy Ghost (John 20: 22). And later, Jesus' words in Acts 1: 5 were fulfilled when they were "baptized" at the Acts 2 Pentecostal outpouring that was accompanied by prophetic speech.

 On the first day of the week, when Jesus rose from the dead, He made several appearances. His last appearance of that day was in the evening when he breathed on His disciples [the apostles and others staying with them, per Luke 11: 24, 33] saying, "receive the Holy Spirit" (John 20: 23). At that point the Holy Spirit entered them and recreated their spirits, and they became born-again.

If the apostles were not saved before, they certainly were when Jesus breathed on them (when God brought spiritual life to Adam and Eve in the garden, he did so by breathing on them). The apostles had received the permanent indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit when Jesus breathed on them. After that, Jesus told them to wait for the promise (written of by Joel) of the Holy Spirit that they would be filled (again).

The Promised Holy Spirit

Some time before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at the Acts 2 Pentecost, the risen Lord Jesus spoke to His disciples (the 11 apostles plus others) calling the outpouring, "the promise" that would be from the Father:
"ye are witnesses of these things. 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" Luke. 24: 48-49

That is why Jesus refered to power that is the Holy-Spirit baptism; for a few verses after Acts 1: 5,  He describes the Spirit-baptism as power:
"But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost has come upon you" Acts 1: 8

In the above verse, Jesus is not referring to the indwelling of the Spirit as a baptism. He is using the word "baptism" to describe a spiritual waterfall drenching a person causing prophetic speech/praises. Jesus, in Acts 1: 5-8, is using the word "baptized" not to describe the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that people receive at salvation. He is using baptism to describe the realization of Joel's prophecy that all believers may have prophetic knowledge, speech, and dreams.

1: 4 "And being assembled together with [them], commands them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, [saith he], ye have heard of me

1: 5 "For John truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence

1: 8 "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you..."

Because there is a first-time that a person is overwhelmed by the Holy Spirit (sometimes accompanying the salvation experience, but many times at a later date than their salvation), and filled to overflowing so that tongues and prophecies of praise flows from his lips; the apostles (and Jesus/God) recognize it as a "drenching" that is said to be poured out onto the believer.

The promised "gift" of the Holy Spirit is so distinct from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that people receive at salvation (and that the apostles received 50 days before Pentecost, per John 20: 23 ) that it is refered to not as an "indwelling," but oftentimes as an "outpouring" that will "come on" the believer:
Acts 1: 8 "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost has come upon you"

Acts 2: 16-17 "But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy"
Acts 2: 33 "Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, [the word "shed" is the same Greek word as "pour" in the verse above] which ye now see and hear" (Notice that the baptism of the Spirit is not the invisible indwelling; but, rather, "which ye now see and hear")

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.)"

Acts 10: 44-45 "While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all... because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost"

Acts 19: 6 "And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied" A striking example, that the Holy-Spirit baptism is refering to a pouring-drenching, is in Acts 11: 16. When Peter was describing the events at Cornelius' house (the tongues-speaking in Acts 10). Notice that it was the prophetic speech that he realized was Jesus' description of a "baptism"

Acts 11: 15-16 "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" Jesus' words in the two verses below show that to Jesus, the Holy Spirit coming on them at Acts 2, and later Cornelius' house is actually a "baptism;" not simply an indwelling at salvation.
Acts 1:5 "For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost"
Acts 1:8 "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you" A rendering of Jesus' words in Acts 1:5, and 1:8 may be understood as:
"when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; you will be baptized with power." or, "You will be baptized with power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you," or "The Holy spirit baptism is a power baptism," or any other such words.
But in no way, are Jesus' words refering to just the "indwelling" of the Holy Spirit that one has when he becomes born-again. And in Acts 8, Simon the sorceror saw that the Holy Spirit was given to the Samaritans when Peter and John laid their hands on them. When the sorceror attempted to buy this power, Peter refered to it as the "gift," saying: "And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money." (Acts 8: 18-20)
The "gift" spoken of by Peter to the sorceror was not simply the indwelling one receives at salvation. The "gift" was the baptism of the Holy Spirit because that was what was promised and given at the Acts 2 Pentecost. (although, in the verses above, it is not mentioned that there was a "baptism" or tongues, and prophecies--but the sorceror certainly saw something powerful happen or he would not have been desireous to buy it).

Cessationists ask, What purpose does this "baptism" serve? The answer to that question is that the baptism is a filling-to-overflowing that causes prophetic praise (not just an indwelling); for example:  

 "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance... we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God" Acts 2: 4, 11
The result of the baptism is tongues and prophecies. But it may also be the time that God anoints the believer, and bestows upon him the spiritual gift(s) that He has for him. The baptism may cause the believer to evangelize with signs, wonders, and various miracles, and acts of faith. But Jesus does refer to the baptism as the source of power that is available to all Christians:
"ye are witnesses of these things. 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" Luke. 24: 48-49

The words above are not just for the apostles and disciples (followers) of Christ, but for us also; as it is we and our children that will take the Gospel to "all nations" and "to the ends of the earth." All who reject the idea of a Pentecostal extra baptism have never spoke in tongues. Every single person who speaks in tongues knows it to be an extra baptism. Cessationists do not understand, as they are on the outside looking in--which is why they liken it to emotion.

One Faith, One Lord, and One Baptism

Cessationists like to qoute the verses below to say that there is only one baptism (meaning, the salvation experience is the only baptism):
"There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all" Eph. 4: 4-6
"For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body" 1 Cor. 12: 13
If there is only one baptism, it includes tongues and prophecies. Concerning the Ephesian verse above, it needs to be noted that the baptism contains the gifts of the Spirit, as that is the very next verse:
"But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men... And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers" Eph. 4: 7-11
Concerning the Corinthian verse, it needs to be noted that both before, and after that verse the "one body" is made up of spiritual gifts:
"The manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man... to another the gifts of healing... to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy... to another divers kinds of tongues... For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body... And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles... diversities of tongues" 1 Cor. 12: 7-28
Copyright 2006 - 2007. Peter Kwiatkowski.  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Public Domain License.