E.R. Hall, Jr.

            There are many today who claim to have received Holy Spirit baptism. Numerous preachers from pulpits, radio, and television are preaching you must receive Holy Spirit baptism to be saved or as evidence of salvation. Did Jesus or His apostles ever teach these things about Holy Spirit baptism? Let’s look at some facts about Holy Spirit baptism. (1) We see from such passages as Matthew 3:11, Mark 1:8, Luke 3:16, and John 1:33 that Holy Spirit baptism was always a PROMISE but NEVER A COMMAND! When Holy Spirit baptism was promised, it was always promised to the apostles (John 14-16; Acts 1:5). (2) There are only two recorded cases of Holy Spirit baptism: one in Acts 2 and the other was seven years later in Acts 10. Those who received Holy Spirit baptism in Acts 2 were Jews and the ones in Acts 10 were Gentiles. Both cases fulfilled Joel’s prophesy of Joel 2:28 concerning God’s Spirit being poured out on “all flesh”. (Joel’s prophesy was quoted by Peter in Acts 2 to explain the occasion of Holy Spirit baptism upon the apostles.) (3) Every time the Scriptures refer to the Holy Spirit, it is not referring to baptism. A dollar is money but not all money is a dollar. If we can understand this, we should likewise understand the Holy Spirit can be mentioned in the Scriptures and it not always refer to Holy Spirit baptism. (4) When the Holy Spirit fell on the Gentiles in Acts 10, Peter had to go all the way back to Pentecost in Acts 2 to find another case (Acts 11:15). This shows it was not a common thing to happen as it is tried to be made into today.

            The PURPOSE of Holy Spirit baptism was to guide the apostles into “all truth” (John 14:26; 15:26-27; 16:13). The “you” in these passages refer to the apostles. The other purpose was to confirm to the Jews that the Gentiles were accepted under the same terms of the gospel (Acts 10:45,47; 11:15-18).

            In Ephesians 4:5 we read there is “ONE BAPTISM”. At one time there was Moses’ baptism (1 Corinthians 10:2) and the baptism of John (Mark 1:4). After the Judgment Day there will be the baptism of fire (Matthew 3:11). In the first century, there was Holy Spirit baptism to serve the purpose of the things we’ve already stated. Today, there is but “one baptism” and it is commanded to be done in water for the purpose of remitting sins (Acts 2:38; 8:36; 10:48). No, there is no Holy Spirit baptism and water baptism for that would make TWO BAPTISMS! The Scriptures teach there is only ONE just as there is only ONE God, ONE Lord, ONE Spirit, ONE faith, ONE body, and ONE hope (Ephesians 4:4-6).

            There is no need for Holy Spirit baptism today. God’s Word has been revealed in its total truth so that we have the “perfect law of liberty” (James 1:25; Jude 3). If people today have received Holy Spirit baptism, why don’t they preach what the Holy Spirit says about salvation, worship, and the Lord’s church?

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