What is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?

Baptism with the Holy Ghost or Spirit is obtainable by a definite act of appropriating faith on the part of the fully cleansed believer in Christ (Luk 11:13; 24:49; Acts 1:5, 8; 2:38, 39). It is not required to get to Heaven, as salvation is already established ‘by faith.’

The baptism with the Holy Ghost is a separate and distinct experience from salvation. It is only attained by those who willingly desire and pursue it.

Power from on High

We believe this great spiritual baptism provides the enduement of power to witness for Christ and available to all believers whose hearts are cleansed from sin by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Since the Bible teaches our bodies are temples of the Holy Ghost (1 Cor 6:19-20) and the temple of God is Holy, which temple you (believers) are (1 Cor 3:16, 17), we do not believe God will fill an unclean vessel with His Holy Spirit.

In other words, we believe, because the Bible teaches and requires it, that to receive the baptism with the Holy Ghost, a person must have a clean heart as a prerequisite for this great blessing. Remember, the blood of cleansing must first be applied (salvation), then the oil (baptism), which is one of the many ‘types’ of the Holy Spirit (Lev 14:14,17).

Where’s the Evidence?

We believe the “initial” (or first) evidence of the reception of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is speaking with ‘other tongues’ as the Spirit gives utterance (Jn 15:26, 27; Acts 2:1-4; 8:17, 18; 10:44-46; 19:6; 1 Cor 12:7). There is no other sign of initial evidence in Scripture, save prophecy in some instances.

We do not believe this is the only evidence of the Spirit’s baptism, but it is the initial evidence, as outlined in the successive accounts of Holy Spirit’s outpouring in the Book of Acts. On occasion, ‘prophecy’ is mentioned accompanying the manifestation of tongues but never exclusively without tongues. Where tongues are not explicitly mentioned with the Spirit baptism, it is inferred in Scripture.

We believe the initial evidence of speaking with tongues is for everyone who receives the baptism with the Holy Spirit, and we distinguish between this initial manifestation and the ‘gift of tongues’, which is not given to every Spirit-filled believer. The ‘gift of tongues’ is a spiritual gift for the edification of the Body of Christ largely for public settings and if accompanied by interpretation, is equivalent to the gift of prophecy.

The Gifts are for Today

We believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit as set forth by the Apostle Paul in 1st Corinthians 12, 13 and 14. We believe these gifts are “set in the Church” by the Holy Spirit. He retains custody and control of said gifts or “enablement’s,” distributing or operating them “severally as He will.”

We believe any statements along the lines of, “tongues are of the devil” or “spiritual gifts have passed away” espouses ignorance of the Holy Scriptures and a presumption that God has ceased working supernaturally, in the earth today. Spiritual gifts have not ceased but what might have ceased is faith to operate in these gifts (Rom 12:6). This is man’s responsibility, not God’s.

Have you believed on the Lord Jesus Christ? If not, click here to find out more…

Author – Carl G.M. Joseph

Excerpts taken from, “Foundations of Pentecostal Theology”
– Dr. Guy P. Duffield and Dr. N. M. Van Cleave