THE BAPTISM

IN THE

HOLY SPIRIT

By Carl E. Sadler

Pastor: Trinity Baptist Church

Richmond, Kentucky

 

 

 

 

A. The Baptism In The Holy Spirit

 

Much ignorance prevails concerning this aspect of the Scriptures; namely, the "baptism in the Holy Spirit". This is due to the abuse and the perversion of the Person and the work of the Holy Spirit. It is very important that we be properly instructed concerning Him whose work is so important for it is He who convicts, renews, sanctifies, guides, and seals the souls of men.

 

Much has been written and spoken contrary to Biblical teachings concerning Him. Much erroneous character is found mingled with Truth, while fanaticism and nonsense have made their toll upon others.

 

Unless we have the right thoughts about Him, (the Holy Spirit) who guides us in Truth, it will be impossible to have the right concepts of God, because He (the Holy Spirit) is the third Person of the tri-unity with whom we have our communion, whom we worship, and upon whom we depend for our salvation.

 

Below are all of the Scriptures that mention the "baptism in the Holy Spirit".

 

Matthew 3:11 - "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire".

 

Mark 1:8 – “I indeed baptized you with water, but He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost”.

 

Luke 3:16 - "John answered saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water, but One mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire."

 

John 1:33 -"And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shall see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost".

 

Acts 1:5 - "For John truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence."

 

Acts 11:15-16 – “And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them as on us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that He said, John indeed baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost."

 

There are two other passages of Scripture that describe the instances of the "baptism in the Holy Spirit"- Acts 2:1-13 and Acts 10: 44 - 48.

 

There are some other Scriptures that some use to apply to the "baptism in the Holy Spirit" but they are about the work of the Holy Spirit rather than the "baptism in the Holy Spirit" by Christ Jesus.

 

It is very needful that we are careful to distinguish between these two (the works of the Holy Spirit and the baptism in the Holy Spirit) as well as to be sure we distinguish between the different works of the Holy Spirit.

 

 

B. False Notions of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.

 

Before one can rightly know about the "baptism in the Holy Spirit" he must get rid of any false notions he has concerning it; therefore, let us consider a few that are prevalent among them.

 

1. The Second Blessing

 

Some folk have a notion that the "baptism in the Holy Spirit' is a "baptism by the Holy Spirit" which the Holy Spirit does something to them that eradicates sin entirely from them.

 

Some call this a "second blessing", while others call it "entire sanctification". By whatever name it is called, those who hold this view say it is impossible for that person to ever sin again. These teach that the carnal nature is slain in this one to never show itself again, and that the fullness of life in the Spirit is then rea1ized.

 

The Scriptures do teach that the saved should strive for holiness and live Godly lives, but it does not teach that the saved reach that state in this world. In fact, it teaches the very opposite in:

 

1 John 1:8-10 - “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”

 

Neither did the Apostle Paul believe the carnal nature had been eradicated from his life. In the 7th chapter of Romans he clearly stated that there was a warfare going on in his life between the spiritual and the carnal natures that were within his being.

 

Paul said in his early ministry that he was the "least of the apostles;" later, he said he was the "least of all saints"; and not long before he died, he said that he was the "chief of sinners". The closer he got to God, the more he could see his sinfulness.

 

Why do we need a high priest to intercede for us if we do not sin? God's children are in a bad way when they do not see the sins in their lives so they can confess them to their Heavenly Father.

 

Now, these Scriptures and others also, plainly teach (No matter how loud men shout contrary to them) that men do not live in this mortal body a perfectly sinless life. Therefore, we can with assurance say that the "baptism in the Holy Spirit" is not the “second blessing.”

 

 

2. The Gifts of the Spirit

 

A movement being revived with great fervor is a teaching that the "baptism of the Holy Spirit" is the giving of gifts to men as in the days of the Apostles.

 

These folks are trying, to make Christianity today as it was in the early days of the church when men did have extraordinary gifts given to them. They believe they obtain the same miraculous powers the Christians of the first century enjoyed and that it comes by such baptism.

 

The early church did have extraordinary gifts given them. Let us notice these:

 

Christ, while here on earth, gave His disciples power to perform miracles. On the day of Pentecost and at the house of Cornelius, when the "baptism in the Holy Spirit" did take place, these extraordinary gifts were given directly from God. All other instances when gifts were given, they were given by the laying on of hands by the apostles. No other person could do this. Read the book of Acts carefully and you will observe this; especially, the 8th chapter that shows Philip able to perform miracles, but not able to give the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Peter and John came and did give gifts of the Spirit to those there at Samaria.

 

The Scriptures teach that these extraordinary gifts would cease (I Corinthians 13:8-10) when that which was perfect came. The Scriptures have been completed of which Paul had reference, and; therefore, we do not need those extraordinary gifts today. Those gifts were given to verify the testifiers of Truth during the first century of the new and living way.

 

It is also evident from the things we see in those who claim these extraordinary gifts. They do not teach the truth about salvation. They teach that salvation is either by the efforts of men or that men must keep themselves; whereas; the Scriptures are very plain upon this subject: We are saved by grace and not of works. The Bible also says that if anyone brings another gospel "let him be accursed" (Galatians 1:9).

 

If there is such a thing as "speaking, in tongues" as these claim, why does not God give this gift to missionaries who go to foreign fields? Even their missionaries who claim such gifts must learn a foreign language. Answer me that!

 

 

3. The Placing of Believers in the Church.

 

There is a very wide spread teaching that in regeneration (when a person is saved) the Holy Spirit baptizes the believing sinner into the mystical body of Christ (the church) and in this act the regenerated sinners become a part of the "true church".

 

Notice: The Holy Spirit does not do the baptizing. It is Christ that baptizes in the Holy Spirit. The only instances recorded in the Bible of the "baptism in the Holy Spirit" was on the day of Pentecost and the house of Cornelius, but the work of regeneration continues even until now, yea, and shall continue.

 

A.C. Gabelin, ("Baptism of the Spirit"), Central Quarterly, Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Minneapolis, Minn., 1932, page 38) states this view:

 

“The baptism with the Spirit brings the one who is thus baptized into the organic union of the body and under the imputed blessings and power of Christ who is the Head. It establishes an identity between the believer and his Lord which is as a member of a body to the head, or a branch to the vine. There are upwards of 130 passages which declare that the Christian is in Christ... By the most explicit terms it is declared that the Spirit is the Baptizer and the body of Christ is that into which He baptizes. There was a time when the individual was not in Christ, which is the present state of all who are unsaved. There follows a time when the individual, being saved is in Christ, This great change is wrought by the Spirit and results in eternal transformation for the saved one.”

 

There are several things to be considered about this statement. We do not get into Christ by any kind of baptism. We do not get into Him by water baptism (as some would say) nor by a so-called "Spirit baptism". We get into Him by faith and we get Him into us by faith. The Spirit does do a work in our hearts as we receive Christ, but it is a stretch of the imagination to call that a baptism. It is an internal work of the Spirit; whereas, baptism is an immersion.

 

Another thing that is not found in the Bible that this teaching advocates is the so-called "invisible universal church".

 

Those who teach an "invisible universal church" theory composed of all believers (whether of believers since the day of Pentecost or of all believers from the time of Adam) have confused the family of God with the church of God and the Kingdom of God.

 

The family of God consists of all the saved. The kingdom of God deals with the several aspects of His rule, but the church of our Lord is a local assembly of baptized believers organized to carry out His will on earth.

 

There is only one kind of church. It is a local visible body of believers, who have been scripturally baptized and formed into a body to carry out the wishes of Christ. The word translated "church" is translated from a Greek word (ecclesia) that means assembly or congregation. This is the only usage the Bible has of this word. Some men have made it mean something else, but the idea of a local visible body of baptized believers organized to carry out the work of God could be used in every instance that word occurs in the New Testament with perfectly good sense.

 

There are several things that are not in harmony with the Scriptures when trying to make the work of the Spirit in regeneration and the "baptism in the Holy Spirit" the same thing.

 

Notice the following things:

 

The subject (the one being baptized) of the "baptism in the Holy Spirit" was an assembly of believers (both in Acts 2 Jewish and in Acts 10 - Gentiles); whereas, the subject in regeneration is a sinner.

 

The "baptism in the Holy Spirit" was visible, audible, and external; whereas, the new birth is invisible and internal.

 

The purpose of regeneration is to save a sinner; whereas, the purpose of the "baptism in the Holy Spirit" was to empower or to show God's pleasure upon the church that Jesus had built. It was to prove this new and living way was of the Lord.

 

Even the elements of the baptisms were different. Jesus baptized in the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit uses the word of God to save sinners.

 

Again, let me emphasize: The Holy Spirit does not do the baptizing, Jesus did the baptizing in the Holy Spirit!

 

 

4. Indwelling Believers

 

There is another common teaching: that the "baptism in the Spirit" was for the purpose of the Spirit indwelling the believer. Those who hold this notion teach that the Holy Spirit did not continually dwell in the saved before the day of Pentecost, but on this day He began His work of continually abiding within the believer.

 

Evidently this idea comes from the many places in the Old Testament that speak of the Holy Spirit's leaving men whom He previously had worked in and through King Saul is given as one instance and Samson as another person the Holy Spirit left after having used them and being upon them. These say the Holy Spirit came and went as He pleased upon believers before the day of Pentecost, but since that time when He comes upon, a believer He does not leave that believer.

 

This is also true in the writings, of the New Testament. He comes upon men now to empower them for certain services as He did men in the Old Testament. The instances in both the Old Testament and the New Testament where this existed were for the purpose of service rather than salvation. We should seek His power now also.

 

With a little thought it should be evident that the Holy Spirit dealt with the Old Testament saints in very much the same way He deals with men today. Men have always been saved by the Spirit "of God. He is the One of the God-head that gives life. He is the One that saves. He is the One that keeps us saved; therefore, He must continuously dwell in the believer if they are to be kept saved.

 

That eminent Puritan, John Owen said: "On whomever the Spirit of God is bestowed for the renovation of the image of God in him, He abides with him forever."

 

A.W. Pink says regarding-this:

 

“…it is a great mistake to say, as many have done, that the Holy Spirit was never in any believer before Pentecost. Numbers 27.18; Nehemiah 9:30, 1 Peter 1: 11 clearly prove otherwise... That the Holy Spirit indwelt saints under the legal economy is clear from any consideration: How otherwise could they have been regenerated, had faith, been enabled to perform works acceptable to God? The Spirit prompted true prayer, inspired spiritual worship, produced His fruits in the lives of believers then (see Zechariah 4:6) as much as He does now. We have the same Spirit of faith (II Corinthians 4:13) as they had. All the spiritual good which has ever been wrought in and through men must be ascribed to the Holy Spirit. The Spirit was given to the Old Testament saints prospectively as pardon of sin was given - in view of the satisfaction which Christ was to render unto God.”

 

Paul tells us we are sealed by the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption. Is there any place in the Old Testament that tells us differently?

 

The Spirit's coming on the day of Pentecost was not for the purpose of indwelling the believer; but the indwelling of the Lord's church.

 

 

C. Some Type in the Old Testament

 

It may help us if we examine some types in the Old Testament that are parallel to the work of the churches of our Lord. In these we will get a view of the way God manifested His will to men as to the method of His work for them and how He wanted it done.

 

There are at least three things in the Old Testament that have a parallel meaning to this coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost: the tabernacle in the wilderness when it was covered by the cloud of glory after its construction; Solomon's Temple when filled by the same cloud after its construction; and Ezekiel's vision of a future Temple covered with the cloud of glory and water flowing from it. The Scriptures that tell of the covering, of the tabernacle the wilderness are: Exodus 25.21-22; 40.-34 and Leviticus 16.2.

 

Moses was commanded to build the tabernacle like a pattern he had been showed by the Lord while he was upon Mount Sinai. After it was completed, Aaron and his sons were consecrated to the office of priests for their work concerning the tabernacle. After this, they made the sacrifices prescribed for the people. It was then the cloud which had guided them to this place moved so as to completely cover the tabernacle.

 

This was a sign to the Israelites that God was pleased with the tabernacle Moses had made. It was evident to them that this would be the place God dwelled among them. This would be the place He would talk to them. There is no other instance where the cloud covered the tabernacle in the same manner. It did rest over it and guided them through the wilderness. From that time forward there was a light that shined between the cherubims over the mercy seat. This was called the glory of the Lord (Shekinah glory) and it symbolized the presence of God in the Holy of Holies. It was from this place the Lord spoke to His people.

 

Moses, who built the tabernacle, was a type of Christ Jesus (Deuteronomy 18.1.5). His building of this house is compared to Jesus building His church (Hebrews 3:1-6). As Moses established a new way for Israel to worship and serve God, so did Jesus establish a new way for His people to serve Him. We are speaking of service and not salvation.

 

Men have always been saved the same way: By faith in Jesus Christ; either by looking forward to what He would do in their behalf, or backward to what He has done.

 

Notice the likeness of the order of these two: (The church and the tabernacle).

 

The tabernacle was built, the offerings for the people were made and the glory came.

 

The church was built (by Christ), the offering was made (He was made sin for us) and the Holy Spirit came to accredit the church (The Glory).

 

As the cloud manifested to the Israelites the value of the tabernacle in their service to God, so the Holy Spirit manifested the importance of the church (a local, visible body) in God's plan for doing His work in this age. As God dwelt in the tabernacle between the Cherubims (the symbol of His presence being the Shekinah Glory) over the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies, He dwells in the churches of the Lord Jesus in the Person of the Holy Spirit. He is there to speak to His churches and bind them together (Ephesians 2:-19-22).

 

After many years and after Israel had been established as a kingdom, there came a need for a more permanent place of worship. As a result of this need, the Lord had a Temple built. Some of the same things happened to this Temple that had happened to the tabernacle. The cloud filled the Temple and the light (Shekinah Glory) appeared over the Mercy Seat in the Temple.

 

The third instance that parallels the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost was Ezekiel's vision of a temple. This vision was of a far distant future and may be a vision of the New Temple in the Millennial reign of Christ.

 

Both the tabernacle and the temple were built according to God's plan and for a dwelling place among His people. There He would guide them in doing His work if they would listen to Him. This is also true of His New Testament church.

 

All of these point to another temple when Jesus shall reign upon the earth and a greater temple than Solomon's will find a greater usefulness. We do not believe the church nor any of these temples to be the anti-type, but rather a type of Jesus who is the Temple in the New Jerusalem.

 

 

D. The Work of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament

 

Grave errors have been made concerning the work of the Holy Spirit under the Mosaic economy. (That way of worship that God desired under the Old Testament Law).

 

A. W. Pink, a noted Bible scholar said:

 

"The crudest ideas are now entertained as to the relation between the Third Person of the God-head and the Old Testament saints. Yet this is scarcely to be wondered at in view of the fearful confusion which obtains respecting their salvation, many supposing that they were saved entirely different than we are now. Nor need we be surprised at that, for this in turn, is only another of the evil effects produced by the misguided efforts of those who have been eager to draw as many contrasts as possible between the present dispensation and those which preceded it, to the disparaging of the earlier members of God's family. The Old Testament saints had far more in common with the New Testament saints than is generally supposed".

 

That teaching which objects to the Old Testament saints being born by the Spirit is contrary to God's word. All believers in all ages have been convicted, renewed (born again), sanctified and indwelled by Him. Why would Jesus have reminded Nicodemus that he should know this truth, if there were no such thing (John 3)? How else could the image of God be restored to them except by the same Spirit that gave God's image to Adam? How could they have been saints, children of God, etc. apart from the inner working of the Holy Spirit? Without the application of the redemptive work of Christ to hearts by Holy Spirit, that work would have been in vain.

 

A. W. Pink says concerning this:

 

"Without the Spirit's sanctification the redemption would avail no man. The gracious Holy Spirit pledged Himself to sanctify such wretches, and frame and fit them to be partakers of Holiness, and live forever in God's spotless presence. How then could unholy, unregenerated, unsanctified sinners dwell in that ineffable place into which "there shall in no wise enter anything that defileth..."

 

"Suffice it to say that aspect of it, which is now before us is the blessed work of the Spirit upon the soul whereby He internally makes the saints meet for the inheritance in the light (Colossians 1:12): Without this miracle of grace none can enter Heaven... Nothing, but the supernatural operations of the Holy Spirit will avail...."

 

"The imperative necessity, then of the Spirit's work of sanctification, lies not in the sinlessness of man, but in the state of spiritual death whereby he is unable to live, breathe, and act Godward as the corpse in the graveyard is unable to leave the silent tomb and move among the busy haunts of men."

 

 

E. Meaning of Words Must Be Considered.

 

There are two words whose meaning are vital to a proper understanding of the "baptism in the Holy Spirit":

 

1. The Word Translated "Baptise"

 

The word, itself has no meaning of its own, because it is derived from the Greek word "bapto" (English letters are used), but is a transliteration or Anglicized. By this we mean it was retained in its own form by substituting English letters for the Greek letters. Therefore, the only rightful meaning of it must come from the original word "bapto."

 

In the classical Greek it meant "to dip" or "dip under". It was used of a smith when tempering red-hot steel or of the dyer when dipping, cloth in dye. It was used of a ship when it sank.

 

The Septuigent (The Old Testament translated into Greek language) used this Greek word in Leviticus 4:6 - "And the priest shall dip (bapto) his finger in the blood and sprinkle (prosraino) of the blood seven times before the Lord".

 

In the New Testament, every time the word "bapto" or any form of it is used, it is used with the idea of immersion.

 

In every instance this immersion meant something, in particular to that thing or person being immersed. Whether cups, pots, etc. were being washed (bapto - dipped) believers were being immersed to show their death and burial to sin, Christ describing His suffering as a baptism, or the body of believers (a local assembly were being baptized in the Holy Spirit; all had the meaning of immersion (Complete covering or dipping into).

 

The early church practiced immersion as the mode of baptism. Bible scholars of the Greek language say there is no Greek-English lexicon that gives sprinkling, or pouring as the translation of the Greek word "bapto". All agree that it means to dip or to sink in water.

 

Martin Luther said: "Baptism is a Greek word and may be translated immersion". The church he founded practices sprinkling.

 

John Wesley said: "The ancient mode of baptism was by immersion." He was one of the founders of the Methodist church which practices sprinkling.

 

John Calvin (founder of the Presbyterian church. It practices sprinkling), said: 'The word baptize signifies immersion, and it is certain that immersion was the practice of the early church".

 

E.P. Gould (A leader among Episcopalians) said: "The form of the rite of baptism was immersion into the stream".

 

Cardinal Gibbons (Catholic) said: "For several centuries after the establishment of Christianity, baptism was conferred by immersion, but since the twelfth century the practice in the Catholic church has been by affusion as this is attained with less inconvenience".

 

Therefore, it should be evident that the baptism in the Holy Spirit was a complete immersion into the Spirit rather than a sprinkling upon or pouring upon.

 

 

2. The Word Translated "With"

 

The King James Version of the Bible translates the Greek preposition "en" in each instance it speaks of the "baptism in the Holy Spirit" "with". It is preposition of which "the Holy Spirit" is the object.

 

The word in the Greek is "en" (English letters used). This word occurs in the Greek New Testament 2518 times. In the King James Version it is translated "in" 1863 times. It is translated "with" 139 times in the King James Version. In some of the instances of the King James Version, when this word is translated "with" it is in harmony with the context, therefore, it may be permissible to render it "with".

 

The instances in question in this article are those passages in which the King James Version translated this word (en) "with" in connection with baptism. When words have a variety of meanings or usage's (This is a characteristic of prepositions, even in our own language.) their usage's must be in harmony with the text being studied.

 

Since the translators of the King James Version translated “en” more often "in" than "with" to be fair with the Scriptures "in" should be considered as the meaning here.

 

Since "baptism" means an immersion into something, it should be evident that "en" should be translated "in". Notice some of the times it is used with the word "baptism".

 

John 3.23 - "... baptized in (en) Aenon.

 

This cannot mean "with" Aenon.

 

Matthew 3:6 - "baptized of him in (en) Jordan"

 

surely means they went into the River Jordan, rather than bringing Jordan to John so he could baptize "with" Jordan.

 

In the third chapter of Matthew, John the Baptist was comparing his work of baptizing in water to the work of Christ and His baptizing in the Holy Spirit. Therefore, if it was in (en) water, it is evident that "en" means 'in' the Holy Spirit also. Since John was baptizing in water any Bible scholar should recognize that John meant Jesus would baptize in the Holy Spirit.

 

F. The Prophecy

 

There is no prophecy in the Old Testament that speaks specifically of a "baptism in the Holy Spirit".

 

Joel 2.28-32 does prophecy of some of the things that happened on the day of Pentecost. He prophesied of the "Day of the Lord" and of some things that would be evident during that time. He prophesied of the results of the baptism in the Holy Spirit rather than of the baptism. The baptism took place inside the house; whereas, what the people saw and heard took place outside the house.

 

Peter said to the people that what they saw was a fulfillment of Joel's prophecy. The filling of the Spirit and the baptism in the Spirit are not the same thing. We still need a filling of the Spirit even as Peter and the others did after the day of Pentecost (Acts 4.31).

 

The prophecies that were made by John the Baptist concerning the baptism by Jesus are of two different kind: "baptism in the Holy Spirit" and "baptism in fire".

 

The baptism in the Holy Spirit and in fire are recorded by Matthew and Luke. In these instances John was speaking to both disciples and enemies of Jesus. The only place in the Bible that could describe a "baptism in fire" is in the 20th chapter of Revelation. There Satan and sinners are cast into the lake of fire. The "tongues like fire" in Acts 2 can not fulfill the prophecy of a "baptism in fire".

 

Mark and John record only a "baptism in the Holy Spirit". In these instances John the Baptist is speaking only to or about disciples. Jesus promised only the "baptism in the Holy Sprit" in Acts 1:5 and He also was speaking only to­ disciples.

 

 

G. The Occurrences

 

Acts 2:1-13 gives an account of the "baptism in the Holy Spirit" that pertained to the Jewish believers.

 

There is actually no mentioning of a "baptism" here, but Peter in Acts 11 explains that it did occur on the day of Pentecost. John the Baptist did not say when it would occur. Jesus did say in Acts 1.5 - "not many days hence."

 

On the day of Pentecost the believers were assembled in one place and for one purpose. This was the church Jesus had built. This is the church in which He placed the apostles first (I Corinthians 12.28). This is the church He began to build after a night of prayer when He called His disciples to Him and from them He selected the twelve and placed them in His church. This is the church He said "I am building" in the sixteenth chapter of Matthew. This is the church He was speaking about when He said: "tell it to the church" in the eighteenth chapter of Matthew. This is the church He died for as recorded in Ephesians 5.

 

Yes, it was a local visible body that received the "baptism in the Holy Spirit.” It was this body of believers (120 names were recorded) that was completely immersed in the Holy Spirit. Other things happened such as: all were filled with the Spirit, tongues like as fire sat upon each, and they spoke in languages other then their own.

 

Before Pentecost this church had baptized believers in it. They had an organization (Christ was the head. Judas the treasurer, and perhaps more). They had performed both ordinances (baptism and the Lord's Supper). The commission had been given to them. They had had a business meeting. They were waiting for the power to come upon them as Jesus told them to do.

 

The book of Acts records other places where the disciples were filled with the Spirit and no baptism took place. It also records men speaking in tongues and no baptism took place.

 

Acts 10.44-48 gives the account of a group of Gentile believers being "baptized in the Holy Spirit". Neither does this place mention a baptism", but Peter in the eleventh chapter of Acts says that is what happened at Cornelius' house. He said the same thing happened to them as to us.

 

The instance at the house of Cornelius was a sign to both Peter and Cornelius that Gentiles were to have a place in the new economy in the same manner the Jews were to have a place. The middle wall or partition had been broken down and they were to work as one body to do the will of God.

 

Because Peter realized this, he was willing to baptize these Gentiles in water. The Jews at Jerusalem agreed that Peter was right.

 

I believe it is evident from the Scriptures that the "baptism in the Holy Spirit" that occurred on the Jews at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost and the "baptism in the Holy Spirit" that occurred on the Gentiles at Cornelius' house was for the purpose of God showing to His people:

 

The temple is no longer the place where I will dwell among men to carry out my work through men. I will use from henceforth My church. This church will be a local body of believers associated together under My direction, indwelt by My Spirit, composed of both Jews and Gentiles, and it shall go into the ends of the earth proclaiming the good news of salvation.

 

This was God's visible sign that there was a new way of doing His work.

 

As in other instances when God presented something new to His people, He proved Himself and it, so He proved His church by this "Baptism in the Holy Spirit"

 

There were three periods of great miracles done by men recorded in the Bible. The first time was by Moses when God chose him to lead Israel out of Egypt and the giving of the law. Elijah and Elisha were the next ones to be used. These ushered in the prophets to replace a corrupt priesthood. The other instances was by the apostles who carried out God's commands through a new and living way - the church.

 

This was God's way of accrediting His church. We do not need that baptism today for His church has already been accredited -that is - the kind that was in existence then.