What is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?
Rev Gary L Evensen
@2005 NJUPC INC
When John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus Christ, came preaching he spoke of one who was mightier than himself that would baptize not with water, but with the Holy Spirit
7And he preached, saying, “There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. 8I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
Here John the Baptist put a name to the experience that was prophesied of by the prophets of old.
You see the baptism of the Holy Spirit, or Baptism of the Holy Ghost, as it is also referred to as, is an Old Testament prophetical experience given a New Testament name
Let’s look at some of the Old Testament prophecies:
We start in the book of the prophet Jeremiah
32not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord.
33But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
Jeremiah spoke of a time when the law instead being written upon scrolls would be written in the hearts and minds of men.
This of course would be a supernatural experience as we cannot take a newspaper and write it in our hearts and minds, much less the law of God.
We can also look to the book of the prophet Ezekiel:
26I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.
Here the prophet elaborated a little more than Jeremiah and told us that he would put his spirit within us
As you well know if it’s not in your heart to do something you will not do it. God answered that problem by promising that in this New Covenant he would put the spirit of God inside our hearts.
John the Baptist was prophesied to come in the book of the prophet Isaiah
And of course John the Baptist was the one who cried in the wilderness, and Jesus Christ was the glory of the Lord, and it is also Jesus who would baptize us with the Holy Spirit!
The law was incomplete in that it could only reveal sin and transgression to the adherent, but it gave that believer no power over sin and transgression.
As the Apostle Paul so aptly wrote in the New Testament in 2 Cor 3:6
the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
But this would take a change in the way that God covenanted with his people and that’s what the prophets prophesied about and that’s what began to happen at the birth of Jesus Christ and culminated on the cross of Calvary when he cried out it is finished.
When Jesus cried “it is finished” as recorded in John 19:30, it signaled a change in the way that God would deal with his people. No longer would it be done through the external written letter of the law, but rather, by putting the spirit of the law inside of the believer.
The beginning of this new covenant was also prophesied by the Prophet Joel
28 “And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions.
He spoke of a time when the spirit of the Lord would be poured out upon both men and women. This was not to be an experience limited to the sphere of male influence but would be for all nations, all tongues and for men women and children.
The prophet Isaiah spoke of
2 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the Lord’S house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit was not to be limited to the Jewish nation alone but would be for all nations
In Isaiah 60 the prophet spoke of a time when the Gentiles would come to his light
Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. 2 For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people;But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you.
So the baptism of the Holy Spirit is an experience promised by almighty God himself in which a portion of the spirit of God would be given to the believer to give them power to live for him, not merely show the need and expose the sin in a persons life as the law did, but to give them the power to be overcomers.
That promise was first poured out on the day of Pentecost in Acts chapter 2:
1And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
According to the Apostle Peter this is that was that spoken of by the prophet Joel (Acts 2:16) and this experience continues to be poured out today, for the promise is to you and you children, and to all who are afar off (that’s the Gentiles!), even as many as the Lord our God shall call ( Acts 2:39).
My friend, God is calling you today, right now, to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit for yourself. The first thing you need to do is believe in Jesus Christ, that he was the Son of God and died for your sins. The second thing you need to do is to repent of your sins, for no man will get anywhere with God unless they repent. The third thing you need to do is to exercise simple faith in the promises of God, by faith believe that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is for you right here and right now.
Let the promise that Jesus Christ spoke of in John 7:37-39 encourage you right now
37On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39But 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.
This is the reason the thief of the cross could go and be with Jesus in paradise, because the Holy Spirit was not yet given, the new covenant was not yet in effect but today the new covenant is in effect and Jesus Christ wants to pour out his Holy Spirit on all who will believe.
But you shall receive power when the Holy
Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in
How about you?
Will you open your heart to the spirit of God today and begin to seek him for the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
He can give you a new heart and put a new spirit inside of you things don’t have to be same for you, you can be different. Your old hard heart of stone can become a soft supple heart.
You don’t have to be bound, He can give you power when his spirit comes upon you.
Its all up to you
Its up to your faith
Will you believe the promises of God today?