Baptism of the Holy Spirit

By Carol R. Lumpkin

The baptismal measure of the Holy Spirit is misunderstood by many people in the religious world. It will be my purpose to present a short study of this important subject as presented in God’s word. The prophet Joel said, “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions” (Joel 2:28).

Jesus said, “For John (that is, John the Baptist) truly baptized with water; but ye (apostles) shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence” (Acts 1:5). “But ye (apostles) shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judean, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (Jn. 14:26). The apostles were instructed to tarry in Jerusalem until they received this power of the Holy Spirit (Lk. 24:49).

“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were ail with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them, And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:1-4). The apostles were the only ones who received the baptismal measure of the Holy Spirit on the Pentecost day. This power came upon them to enable them to speak in tongues, thus to proclaim the gospel of Christ. The power was not for the purpose to save anyone. Peter declared that the Holy Spirit which was poured out upon them was that which was spoken by Joel (Acts 2:16-17). Since the prophecy said, the power would be poured out upon all flesh; we must look for a second case of this baptism upon the Gentiles.

The second, and only other case, of this measure of the Holy Spirit came upon the household of Cornelius, as recorded in Acts 10. “While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all them which heard the work. And they (Jews) of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Spirit. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God” (Acts 10,44-46). The purpose for the Holy Spirit falling upon the Gentiles was to convince the Jews that the Gentiles were to have the gospel preached to them. The purpose could not have been to save them, for Peter said, “Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Spirit as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. . .” (Acts 10:47-48).

Peter said that which fell upon the house of Cornelius was like that which fell on them (apostles) in the beginning (Acts 11:15). There is no one going to receive the baptismal measure of the Holy Spirit today. No one has received it since Cornelius and household received it. Truly, the prophesy of Joel was fulfilled in Acts 2 and Acts 10.

Truth Magazine XXI: 45, pp. 711-712
November 17, 1977