Acts 1:4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. 5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be BAPTIZED WITH THE HOLY GHOST not many days hence. 6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. 8 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.
The baptism with the Holy Ghost (or Spirit) is the experience we enter into when we are filled with the Holy Spirit and speak in other tongues like on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:4). It is not being baptized by the Spirit into the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13) which happens at the time of salvation from receiving Jesus as Lord. It is not water baptism (Mark 1:8; Mark 16:16) which should follow our conversion or salvation experience as an outward sign of the inward grace we received. The Baptism with the Holy Ghost is an experience subsequent to salvation where we are endued with supernatural power from God (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8). Every Believer is commanded to receive this experience which means it is not optional.
Some have asked, “Is the baptism with the Holy Ghost, being filled with the Holy Ghost, and receiving the Holy Ghost all talking about the same experience?
All three descriptions are used to describe the same experience each from the perspective of the three persons involved in the experience.
- It is the baptism with the Holy Ghost because JESUS is the one who baptizes us with the Holy Ghost (Matthew 3:11).
- It is being filled with the Holy Ghost because the HOLY GHOST fills you (Acts 2:4).
- It is receiving the Holy Ghost because THE PERSON has to do the receiving (Acts 19:2, 6).
There are also certain words and phrases intentionally used in the Word of God to help us grasp a certain aspect of our life, in the Spirit, with God. I’m convinced that for us to fulfill our destiny together, as the church, we don’t need more of God as much as we need to know more of what we already have in God.
There’s a reason why the Bible uses the word BAPTISM and BAPTIZE in connection with receiving the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). “. . . but he that cometh after me is mightier than I,” “. . . 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 Luke 3:16.” “For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence Acts 1:5” (see also Mt. 3:11; Mk. 1:7, 8; Acts 11:16).
The Word of God is filled with language, words, and phrases that paint pictures. Baptism means to dip or immerse.
- TO BE IMMERSED/BAPTIZED REQUIRES SURRENDER
We use the word baptize to refer to the baptism with the Holy Ghost and water baptism. Just like with water baptism the issue involves trust and surrender. When you accept Jesus as Lord, you surrender your life to Him. Water baptism symbolizes this and actually reenacts not only your identifying with Jesus’ death and resurrection, but also surrender. Even in the physical experience of water baptism surrender is needed. You have to trust and surrender control to the one immersing you under the water, trusting he will raise you up. In the same way, the baptism of the Holy Ghost involves surrender. The first area surrendered is the use of your tongue in speaking a language you have not learned as the Spirit gives you utterance. We also surrender our life to the river of the Holy Ghost. He will not lead you where He cannot keep you. Your surrender to His control will not restrict your life. It will free your life to more liberty (2 Corinthians 3:17).
- WHEN SOMETHING IS IMMERSED/BAPTIZED, WE SEE SIGNS OF WHAT IT IS IMMERSED INTO
We can also receive further illumination from the way the word “baptism” was used in the culture and society.
- It was used of CLOTH immersed into dye where every fiber took on the quality of the dye. Forevermore it would be different in a way people could see. Think about the Apostle Peter before and after his being baptized with the Holy Ghost.
- It was used of a SWORD or METAL after it was heated then immersed into water whereby it would be tempered. A durability, hardness, and stability would be conferred to its cutting edge. Think about the supernatural edge this gives to the weapons of our warfare in destroying the works of the devil.
- It was used of a substance like a SPONGE immersed until saturated, until every space or empty pocket was filled. It also then had the ability to release out whatever it was saturated with. Think about the gifts of the Holy Ghost that are potentially possible to be released out (1 Corinthians 12:7-11). We need soaked and saturated in the Holy Ghost!