The three baptisms
This is being symbolically immersed (buried) in water and rising from the dead like Jesus as He did in His death and resurrection when He carried our sins and punishment for us on that cross (Redemption).
It is very hard to have the same degree of identification and symbolism when a person is only sprinkled. But as baptism is not necessary for salvation it is identification with Jesus that is important and not the way it is done. In the early church if you were not able to immerse the person wholly you were doused three times with water and not sprinkled.
From reading the Didache we can see that sprinkling was not a procedure done by the early church so was not taught by Jesus.
It is the anointing for service and is the result of obedience, and is both a spiritual state and a spiritual reward, as we are given more service to do for Him as well as the anointing to do that service. The reward for service in The Kingdom is greater service and responsibility.
It is identification with Jesus resulting in a willingness to suffer for His Will and purposes just as He did for The Father (Rev 12:11).
What is this baptism of fire in Mat 3:11?
This occurs when God immerses you in trials and sufferings to purify you and mould you into His image through the denial of yourself (flesh) for the purposes of doing His Will. Fire signifies refining and God refines you by immersing you in fiery trials as Peter called them. Any Christian not facing their trial is a Christian not growing. Hence the lukewarm church in revelation was comfortable as they did not oppose the works of evil or were not willing to pass through the trials associated with the resisting of evil. They were also not growing as they were not making a stand for the things of God.
It is probably the same as the baptism of suffering but just being viewed from a different perspective.
This is different to the trials we fac as God tries to restore us to Him after we have rebelled.
Is either Baptism necessary for Salvation?
Is the speaking in tongues necessary to evidence salvation?
Speaking in tongues can occur as a result of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. If the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is not necessary for salvation then speaking in tongues is not necessary for salvation.
Consider the following passage in Acts 19:
Acts 19:1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.
4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
vl The people at Corinth were declared to be followers of Jesus. They were called disciples and were not asked to confess Jesus as Lord as they already had done so.
v2 had never even heard of The Holy Ghost let alone being Baptized by him. However, they would have been sealed by Him as they belonged to Jesus.
v3-5 had been baptized by John the Baptist so to identify them with Jesus they were baptized in Jesus' Name.
v6 Then were later baptized with The Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues.
As it can be seen they had a salvation before they even knew of the Holy Spirit so to say that any type of baptism or speaking in tongues is necessary for salvation is to contradict The Word of God.
It also means that many Christians are going around saved but not baptised by The Spirit so are not living the life they could as they are not listening to Him to be led by Him in all they do, but only where The Bible shows what you are to do.
Many people are troubled by this Baptism. The problem arises because many people believe Pentecost was when The Holy Spirit was the first given to the apostles and disciples and as this happened only once to anyone in Acts it appears you are only filled only once with The Holy Spirit, even though Paul uses a present continuous tense - Keep on being filled with The Spirit- when talking about The Holy Spirit's filling.
The filling Paul refers to is of the soul and not of the spirit. As demons are cast out of the soul The Holy Spirit is asked to replace them in the soul or seven worse ones will come back and enter the house of the soul along with the original demon that was cast out. I have seen this happen from personal experience in a close relative.
This filling by The Holy Spirit replaces the demons that have left and is separate to the Baptism of The Holy Spirit which is a specific anointing for the purposes of serving Jesus in His Kingdom (what we call ministry).
The anointing of the Baptism of The Holy Spirit surrounds the person like a cocoon so that the person is immersed in it. This is why it is called a baptism and not a filling.
People do not realise The Baptism of The Holy Spirit was the second time The Holy Spirit had been given to the disciples and this second filling was to empower them. The first filling was before Jesus left earth and was to mark them as belonging to Him and authorized by Him to do the ministry t hey did as disciples..
John 20:23: Jesus gave them The Holy Ghost to mark them as His so able to minister in His Name.
Luke 24:49: and Acts 1:8 they were to wait until they were empowered from on high (By The Holy Spirit). There is always a condition (preparation) for the filling of The Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:2-4: This is when they were given the actual the empowering from on high (the anointing and empowerment for service).
We are all sealed by The Holy Spirit when we choose to follow Jesus as our Lord and are not necessarily empowered by The Holy Spirit for any ministry as we first need to grow in (mature in) "The Grace and Knowledge of Our Lord Jesus Christ". This empowerment for ministry is a result of aligning ourselves more and more with God's purposes, growing more and more in intimacy with Him and separating ourselves from the values of the kingdom of darkness (Holiness to The Lord) so that Jesus can entrust us with a ministry (a service for Him, and not necessarily one associated with a church or denomination). The more of ourselves we give to Jesus the more of the soul He can fill with The Holy Spirit.
The filling of the Holy Spirit is to do with Lordship, holiness and purification. As we are delivered from demons through deliverance our soul is more purified and we walk in greater holiness, The Spirit takes more control of our soul and personality and we are able to hear The Spirit more clearly. This results from continuously choosing to make Jesus Lord in all we do, removing Satan (deliverance) and then asking The Holy Spirit to take his place.
The Christian receives The Holy Spirit as their seal (or mark) that the person belongs to Jesus:
"Rom 8: 16 The Spirit himself doth testify with our spirit, that we are children of God;"
The disciples also received The Holy Ghost from Jesus after He had died. The Holy Spirit could not come in His fullness until the requirements for His coming had been fulfilled (namely Jesus leaving the earth) so that the disciples could not receive the empowerment of The Holy Spirit before then.
This also shows that salvation is separate to the Baptism of The Holy Spirit.
"John 20:22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:"
The Baptism of The Holy Ghost in Acts 2:4 was separate to their receiving The Holy Spirit as a mark of being a follower of Jesus. Another example of this subsequent filling is noted in Acts 4:34 (as a result of other disciples wanting to do the work of Jesus).
It can be seen that the Baptism of The Spirit (anointing) is for the purposes of doing the work of God and a request of this for any other purpose is not scriptural. Otherwise the apostle would have received it before Jesus died so they could do His work after He had gone.
Examples of non-scriptural Baptism are when a person wants the Baptism for the pleasure of the experience, or in the belief it marks them as being spiritual or saved or when the denomination requires it as a mark of conversion. These are manmade reasons and do not do the work of Jesus so Satan happily obliges these people. This is why many churches have problems. People ask for The Holy Spirit's Baptism for the wrong reason and they either get nothing or a false filling instead by a demon who can enter them as they have opened themselves up to demons through seeking the Baptism of The Holy Spirit for the wrong reason.
We do not receive our entire ministry at once but as we mature in the Christian life we are given more responsibility and empowerment (spiritual authority) to do this. In other words, we are Baptized (anointed) more by The Holy Spirit! We not only are given more empowerment but also the wisdom and maturity to deal with this new level of authority and the ministry that goes with it. This occurs as we pass the trials God sets us to prepare for each new level of ministry, understanding and authority that is needed for that ministry.
God tests you to show Satan you are worthy of this new empowerment as well as to prepare you to use this new authority and empowerment correctly. Only as God prepares you for it will you be able to handle this new authority in the way God desires you to use it.
The church is full of ministers, who are disillusioned or burnt out as they have taken on authority God has not prepared them for or anointed them for. So they work in their own strength and eventually wear themselves out. Their heart may be right before God. But the preparation for that ministry is not.
Baptize means to immerse so water baptism is immersion in water. Baptism of The Spirit is immersion in The Holy Spirit so that He is like a covering around you. If baptism is sprinkling then Baptism of The Holy Spirit has no meaning as you cannot be sprinkled with The Holy Spirit. It is all or nothing.
Having said that, for the purpose of Salvation it does not matter whether you are dunked or sprinkled as water baptism is not necessary for salvation. It is the heart attitude behind the act that God looks at.
This Covering of The Spirit also marks you in a way that demons can recognise your delegated authority level and role in The Kingdom.
The Holy Spirit in our spirit shows we belong to Jesus and prevents Satan taking his place there. Whoever is in your spirit (Jesus or Satan) is your lord and master.
In your soul the Holy Spirit takes the place of demons that have been evicted (through deliverance but you must ask Him too as He never forces Himself on a person or enters uninvited) as well as fill any area we ask Him to fill that demons do not occupy.
When we are baptised in the Spirit, The Holy Spirit falls on us as a covering identifying our authority in the spiritual is shown as well as our role in The Kingdom.
Acts 1:6 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
So the baptism of The Spirit occurs when you are immersed in the presence of the Holy Spirit and He surrounds you as water surrounds you in water baptism. Usually anointing for ministry occurs then but at times healing can occur instead of an anointing for ministry.
A very clear distinction between receiving The Holy Spirit as a seal of being a follower of Jesus and being Baptised by The Holy Spirit as a separate event is found in Acts 8:14-17
"Acts 8:14-17 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost."
The Holy Spirit was granted to the Samaritans so they could minister as Christians. Obedience to Jesus results in doing His work. This is the other condition for the Baptism - a desire to do His will as evidenced by a person's life, attitudes and objectives.
As followers of Jesus they would have been marked as belonging to Jesus so this 'Baptism' was an anointing for ministry, a kind of commissioning of their God-given ministry.
Either this passage is incorrect or the Baptism of The Holy Spirit is a separate event to initial filling of a person's spirit that marks people as being a follower of Jesus. Sometimes they may simultaneously occur but normally the Baptism is an empowerment for the purposes of doing the work of Jesus and The Father. Sometimes is it is called an 'anointing'.
Ignore this Baptism (anointing) and you have a church that has no power or spiritual direction and which must use reason, rules and regulations to maintain its presence because the Guidance and power from God are not believed as being available any longer for people to live and minister as Jesus said we would.
It also does not demonstrate the Authority of The Kingdom so the world sees a group of people little different to themselves and sees no reason for joining them or following Jesus.
Problems and excesses occur when the resultant signs and wonders are sought instead of intimacy with Jesus, where the manifestation is sought for the sake of manifestation and exhibition of power, and not for the furtherance of The Kingdom of The Father or to bring Glory to Jesus or The Father.
The purpose of signs and wonders is to witness to Jesus and to attract people to Jesus and His Kingdom through what Jesus has done for them - both spiritually and physically - not to show how spiritual or powerful a church or person is. Any fleshly reason allows the devil entry and will sidetrack and shipwreck that church or revival as has happened in various denominations and revivals this last century.
The person is marked by The Holy Spirit as belonging to Jesus and as that person lives the life of obedience to Jesus, which shows the person is worthy of this baptism (greater authority and ministry), they will be Baptized (empowered/authorised) by The Holy Spirit so they will be able to do greater works of The Kingdom of God.
When we become a Christian (through making Jesus as our Lord), our spirit is filled by The Holy Ghost so that we are marked (sealed Romans 8:15-17) as belonging to Jesus. Satan sees this and knows we no longer belong to him. Any further filling can only be to our soul (house) where demons and our self 'live'. As demons are removed from our soul, The Holy Spirit fills their place (we need to ask Him as He will not enter without our permission). As we allow more and more self to be removed, The Holy Spirit takes its place. As we are more and more purified and more of the old self is removed, The Holy Spirit fills us to take its place and this is how we are filled and our soul is purified on a continuing basis by The Holy Spirit.
This baptism is the anointing (authority and empowerment) for serving Jesus and indicates a person's authority and position in The Kingdom of God. It has nothing to do with filling the soul or Holiness but is a mark of maturing as a Christian.
Jesus was baptized by John and The Holy Spirit came upon Him. It was after this baptism that His earthly ministry began and not before. In this is our example that the anointing for a ministry has to be given by God for a person to be able to do it as God desires them to do it.
Let me start by saying that God looks at the heart reason for what you do and not what you do or say. So while an action may appear to be wrong, God looks at the heart and sees it was not incorrect because of the reason you did it. His Love and Mercy takes over and He then makes the situation work for your best. Even when the motive for desiring the thing is wrong, God still works for our best (Rom 8:28 principle).
This applies to beliefs where our heart is right but we have been mislead by people who do not know the truth so that we are in error but not of deliberate rebellion against God (which is what sin is). It is an error of ignorance where one who should have guided us into truth led us into error. That is why you should not condemn people as their heart may be right but the outworking of their desire incorrectly expressed because of erroneous teaching and God alone may know the truth. Even then we all have a responsibility to examine scripture to see whether what we have been taught is correct.
The Baptism of The Holy Spirit is an empowerment as that is how Jesus described what happened at Pentecost.
Luke 24:2 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
Empowerment is to do with authority which is why Jesus said to them to wait until they were authorised by God to minister. So it is something you wait for until God provides it for you. Unless you have the authority you do not have the power or the right to use it.
Patient obedience while God trains and matures you until God determines it is time to receive the empowerment (Baptism of The Holy Spirit) for the purposes of the new ministry He desires you to do for Him.
You must follow Jesus wholeheartedly - there should be no compromise with the world in your life
You must be one with Jesus and His Body and not one with a church, denomination or other Christian type organization because Jesus does not recognize these. Jesus recognizes only his body and its parts. You may go to church activities but for the spiritual purposes of Jesus and His Will for you, is the reason you go. To go for any other reason may be disobedience.
You must be were where Jesus wants you to be (Acts 1:8, they waited in Jerusalem as instructed by Him).
Their obedience and heart for Him bought them blessings. They were anointed for service and after that event spoke boldly for Jesus instead of hiding in a room.
(Eph 5:18) And be not drunk with wine, in which is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
When the Holy Spirit falls on a person there are various manifestations. The person may become 'slain in the spirit' where the power of The Holy Spirit is so strong in the person the conscious mind cannot handle it so they pass out (or similar). They may 'laugh in the spirit' for which there is no biblical precedence but note that David danced when overcome by The Spirit when they were bringing the Ark of Covenant back to Jerusalem. There is 'rejoicing in The Spirit' but that is not uncontrolled laughter but a feeling of joy at what God has done.
The problem with seeking a spiritual experience for the sake of it or for being seen to be spiritual, is that God does not honour that endeavour, but Satan does. So you may demonstrate a spiritual thing but it will not be The Holy Spirit but a demon behind it.
So we are told not to 'get drunk with wine' using the flesh to get the feeling of The Holy Spirits filling but to seek His Spiritual filling instead.
The anointing of the Holy Spirit is done to empower you for ministry. For it to decrease as the day grows old means your empowerment for ministry must also decrease. This does not happen. What usually happens is the day grows old, we do not feel as close to God as we should because we are tired, the flesh seeming to be stronger and more demanding on the mind and the Holy Spirit feels further away. The same thing happens when we lust or have an inordinate desire. The flesh overpowers in some degree The Spirit's influence on our mind.
If you do not control your emotions and mind, Satan will use them to control you.
This does not mean we are further from God. We are always in Jesusand never move from that position as that is guaranteed by scripture to all who faithfully follow Jesus as Lord. Our earthly feelings are variable according to mood and this is what makes us feel further from God.
We are to discipline the flesh so it does not block or diminish The Holy Spirit's influence on us.