Antiquarian Anabaptist

Apologetics from an Anabaptist perspective

The baptism of the Holy Spirit

The Bible speaks of three types of baptism: the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the baptism of believers by water and the baptism of suffering. Of the three, the most important is the baptism of the Holy Spirit, as it is a precondition for the other two. There is evidence of this Holy Spirit baptism throughout the Bible.

The anointing oil which was poured upon the head of priests and kings was a type of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, imparting to them the sanctification and spiritual gifts needed to lead God’s people. First was the anointing of Aaron, the first high priest, by Moses:
And he poured of the anointing oil upon Aaron’s head, and anointed him, to sanctify him. (Leviticus 8:12)

The anointing of kings; the first example is Saul, the second is David:
Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the LORD hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance? And the Spirit of the LORD will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man. And it was so, that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart: and all those signs came to pass that day. And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a company of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them. (I Samuel 10:1, 6, 9-10)
Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. (I Samuel 16:10)

A prophecy of the anointing of the Messiah:
Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. (Psalm 45:7.)

There are many prophecies in the Old Testament of the Holy Spirit being poured out on all believers:
Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. (Proverbs 1:23)
For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring. (Isaiah 44:3)
Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. (Ezekiel 36:25-27.)
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: and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. (Joel 2:28-29)

John the Baptist also prophesied of the pouring out of the Spirit upon all believers, calling it a baptism:
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. (Matthew 3;11)

The Holy Spirit came upon Jesus at the beginning of His ministry:
And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him. (Matthew 3:16.)

Jesus foretold that believers would receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit:
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. (John 6:63.)
For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. (Acts 1:5)

The disciples were baptized with the Holy Spirit:
And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it 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 Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:2-4)

Cornelius and his household were the first Gentiles baptized with the Holy Spirit:
And they 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 Ghost. (Acts 10:45.)
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. (Acts 11:15-16.)

Testimonies of Paul and John on the efficacy of the baptism or anointing of the Holy Spirit:
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour. (Titus 3:5-6.)
But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. (1 John 2:20, 27)

Pauls description of the effect of the baptism of the Holy Spirit:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 )
For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth. (Ephesians 5:9.)

Note the consistency in all the examples of the Old Testament anointings and in the prophecies and examples of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. They all show the anointing or baptism as a pouring or sprinkling, the Spirit coming down from God above upon the heads of men and women. There were often outward signs, such as prophesying or speaking in tongues, but the enduring proof of the anointing or baptism was a new heart and a transformed life.

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