“You shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence” Acts 1:5.
When we are born again we are “born of the Spirit”, for John 3:6 tells us “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit”. Roman’s 8:14 says “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are sons (and daughters) of God”. The Holy Spirit lives in us and glorifies Jesus (John16:14). He leads us in all truth (John 16:13) and gives us victory over the sin nature (Romans 8:2). Our daily walk with the Lord is one of faith in His finished work on the Cross, allowing the Holy Spirit to work in us.
The Baptism with the Holy Spirit is a second work of grace and is available to all those that are born again. It is given to us by the Lord to empower us for service. Jesus is the Baptizer with the Holy Spirit. In Matthew 3.3 John the Baptist says of Jesus, ” He who comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire”.
Just prior to His Ascension, Jesus, in speaking to His followers, “Commanded (an order) that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the Promise of the Father (speaking of the Holy Spirit), which, said He, you have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence” (Acts 1:4-5). He told them “But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and you shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Jesus here is speaking of the Baptism with the Holy Spirit, which is distinct from receiving the Holy Spirit at the initial salvation experience. The word used here for power is the Greek word “dunamis ” and means strength, power, ability and miracle-working power. The Holy Spirit empowers us to preach the Gospel, pray for the sick, walk in the gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:8-10) and to cast out demons.
On the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came in a new and powerful way. “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 cloven (divided) tongues like as of fire (Matthew 3:11). And they were filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues (the initial evidence that one has been filled), as the Spirit gave them utterance (the Spirit initiates)” (Acts 2:2).
Peter said in his sermon on the Day of Pentecost “But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel (not the fulfillment of); and it shall come to pass in the last days (the days we are in now), saith God, I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh (available to all): and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, and your young men will dream dreams: and on My servants and on My handmaids I will pour out in those days of My Spirit; and they shall prophesy” (Acts 2:16-18). The next two verses are a continuation of that which was spoken by Joel and concern the time just prior to the Second Coming. They read “And I will show wonders in Heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor and smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable Day of the Lord come” (Acts 2:19-20).
Some believe that this initial outpouring of the Spirit along with the spiritual gifts (e.g. healing, tongues, and prophecy) were given by God to establish the church and that it ended with the apostles (Cessationism). Note though that Peter did not say that it was the fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel. Also, verses 19 and 20, the continuation of Joel’s prophecy outlined above, speaks of the signs that will occur at the end of the age before the Second Coming of the Lord. Clearly, “those days of my Spirit”, mentioned in verse 18, establishes that this prophecy of Joel spans the entirety of the church age. Also, the worldwide effort (unto the uttermost part of the earth) spoken of by Jesus in Acts 1:8 was clearly not completed by the early church. The Baptism with the Holy Spirit is available to the church today as it was on the Day of Pentecost to enable the church to accomplish the Great Commission.
The Baptism with the Holy Spirit is not being preached as it should in many churches today. Whatever preconceived ideas we may have about this, we owe it to ourselves to seek the Lord about it and ask Him if the Baptism with the Holy Spirit is for today. As one who has received this great gift; I can attest to the fact that it is real and it is definitely for today The Baptism with the Holy Spirit is received by faith. We need only ask the Lord for it in faith. As mentioned, the initial evidence of the baptism is speaking in other tongues (Isaiah 28: 11-12). These are languages spoken somewhere in the world, but not known to those that receive the baptism. Again, the Baptism with the Holy Spirit empowers us for service. Jesus shed His Blood on the Cross for our sins, and to enable the Holy Spirit to come into our lives to help us live godly lives and to give us power for service. The Lord declared in Zechariah 4:6 ” Not by (human) might, nor by (human) power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord”. This is God’s way. There is no other. Let us seek the Lord for all He has for us.