What is the baptism of the Holy Spirit and when does it occur?

Scripture: Acts 2:1-47, Acts 10:1-48, Acts 19:1-41
What is the baptism of the Holy Spirit and when does it occur? Holy Spirit works in different degrees. The Bible says the Spirit brings conviction of salvation. The Spirit guides us in decisions. When we need more of the Spirit, we receive more of the Spirit. There is a counterfeit receiving the Spirit as well.
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Co-Host:  We want to talk to Linda in Portland, Oregon.  Hi Linda.

Caller:  Hi.

Pastor Doug:  Hi – how are you doing?

Caller:  Fine.  I had a couple of questions, and the first one is – well there are a couple of ways that people believe of the Holy Spirit coming upon you…

Pastor Doug:  Yes.

Caller:  …one is you’re saved and you’re baptized, and then you’re baptized in the Holy Spirit and the way I feel is that when you’re saved, the Holy Spirit comes in you.

Pastor Doug:  Well the Holy Spirit comes in different degrees.  Now for one thing Linda, the Holy Spirit is working in your life to bring conviction for sin before you’re ever even baptized or saved.

Co-Host:  Right.

Pastor Doug:  The Bible says Jesus said, ‘the Holy Spirit, when He is come, He will bring conviction’ – and so it’s God’s Spirit.  It’s a gift when He says we need salvation that comes from the Spirit.

It’s the Holy Spirit that leads us and teaches us in our understanding as we hear the truth.  The Holy Spirit guides us in our decisions.

The Holy Spirit comes in different degrees, and it’s not always an upward flow.  The Holy Spirit sometimes comes in waves in our lives.  When we need more of the Holy Spirit, we get more.  Jesus said when you’re brought to bear witness for your faith, the Holy Spirit will be given to you in special portion men, to defend the truth.  And so you know, the Bible is clear – the Holy Spirit comes as we need Him for what we need.

But, I understand and agree with what you’re saying – that God does give us the gift of the Comforter when we accept Him.  Jesus promised if I’m crucified and I rise again, I’m going to pray the Father and He’s going to send you the Holy Spirit.  And He did ascend to Heaven He did send the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit is still available today.

Caller:  Ok, but you don’t really get baptized in it do you, I mean like it’s a certain thing you do?

Pastor Doug:  Well, baptism in the Holy Spirit happens a variety of ways.  Now let me give you a Bible story that is an example of this – I preached about this subject this week – is the first person that you see being baptized in the Holy Spirit like this is Elisha.

When he was following Elijah, he said when you go up to Heaven, I want a double portion of your Spirit.  And when Elijah went up, the Holy Spirit came in double portion on Elisha.  Well it’s the same thing.  When Jesus ascended, He then sent the Spirit in Pentecostal power to His followers.  But Samson, when the Holy Spirit came on him, it was the Holy Spirit that gave him that supernatural strength.

Holy Spirit came on King Saul and he prophesied.  The Holy Spirit came on David, and he wrote psalms.  So people were baptized in the Holy Spirit in a variety of ways in the Old Testament before we ever see it in the New Testament.

Caller:  Hm.

Pastor Doug:  Now you may also be wondering, many people, when they say baptism in the Holy Spirit, they automatically think of what?  Speaking in tongues, right?

Caller:  Well yeah – that was going to be my second question.

Pastor Doug:  Ok.  Well then I’ll let you ask the question.  Go ahead ?

Caller:  Well the speaking in tongues, um, well some people believe that you’re taught this, but I always thought that it was like a gift from God and only certain people have that gift.

Pastor Doug:  I am of the persuasion – first of all, for the record, everybody listening – Pastor Doug believes in all the gifts of the Spirit.  I believe in the Bible.

Caller:  Right.

Pastor Doug:  I believe in the gift of tongues.

Caller:  Right.

Pastor Doug:  I believe there is a counterfeit gift of tongues that is just absolutely taking the Protestant church in particular by storm.

Caller:  Right.

Pastor Doug:  This idea that when you receive the gift of tongues you start rattling and babbling and no one knows what you’re saying and you don’t know what you’re saying, I don’t see an example of that anywhere in the Bible.

Caller:  Right.

Pastor Doug:  Now here’s my evidence.  There are three examples of speaking in tongues in the Bible:  Acts chapter 2, Acts chapter 10, Acts chapter 19.  No more.  No less – three examples of people speaking in tongues in the New Testament there.

In all three examples, the people listening understood what was being said.

Caller:  Right.

Pastor Doug:  Peter and the Apostles on Pentecost were given the ability, in a miraculous way, to speak in languages they did not formally know or study, for the purpose of preaching the Gospel to others in their native tongues.

Then in Acts chapter 10, they went to see Cornelius who spoke Latin, and there were other servants there from the Roman Empire that spoke different languages.  Peter said in Acts chapter 10, they received the Holy Spirit the same way they had earlier in Acts chapter 2 – languages that could be understood.  They heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.  They heard them speak with tongues and glorify God.  They understood.

And then in Acts 19 – same thing – 12 Ephesian believers.  Paul lays hands on them.  They received the Holy Spirit, and they began to speak in tongues and prophesy.  Prophesy means “to preach.”  They began to preach in other languages.

Now Paul spoke many languages.  He says I speak with tongues more than you all.  He was more widely traveled, more educated.  He spoke Greek and Latin and Hebrew, and a number of other tongues perhaps.

So, in the Bible, Jesus said you will speak with other tongues.  He didn’t mean you’ll babble because the Bible says avoid vain babblings.  Paul says that twice.

Caller:  Right.

Pastor Doug:  Matter of fact, one of the characteristics of ancient Babylon – you know the Tower of Babel?

Caller:  Yes.

Pastor Doug:  It was a confusion of tongues.  And so when people start babbling, it’s never an indicator of the Holy Spirit.  Paul in 1st Corinthians 14 says I’d rather speak five words with my understanding so I might instruct others, than 10,000 in an unknown tongue that no one understands.  God wants us to speak in these languages for the purpose of spreading the Gospel.

Caller:  Now what were you going to say about the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues?

Pastor Doug:  Well I believe that the Holy Spirit gives us the ability to understand other languages for the purpose of spreading the Gospel.

Caller:  Ok.

Pastor Doug:  The idea that you start speaking in tongues so you can feel good is un-Biblical.  And then some people say, ‘Oh I can prove I’ve got the Holy Spirit because I speak in tongues.’  That’s un-Biblical Linda because the Bible says you can tell if a person has the Holy Spirit by their fruits.  Not the gifts.  The fruits of the Spirit are love and joy and peace, so forth.

Caller:  Right.

Pastor Doug:  That’s Galatians 5:22.  The gifts of the Spirit – different people get different gifts – you don’t prove that someone has got the Holy Spirit by the gifts.

Caller:  Right.

Pastor Doug:  So – well I’ve said too much on this.

Caller:  Ok thank you.

Pastor Doug:  Hey thanks so much.  Good question Linda.

Caller:  Bye-bye.

Pastor Doug:  Bye-bye.

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