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Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Baptism With the Holy Spirit

"Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 1:4-5)

While a great deal is said today concerning the baptism with the Holy Spirit, it is to be feared that there are many who talk about it and pray for it who have no clear and definite idea of what it is. But the Bible gives a perfectly clear view of this wonderful blessing.

The Bible gives us a number of designations for this one experience. Besides the above verse, we read Acts 2:4, where the promise was fulfilled: "All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit." By the comparison of Acts 10:44-47 with Acts 11:15-16, we find the expressions "the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message" and "gift of the Holy Spirit" and "received the Holy Spirit" are all equivalents to "be baptized with the Holy Spirit."

We also find that the baptism with the Holy Spirit is a definite experience that one may know whether he has received or not. This is clear from our Lord's command to the apostles: "stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high" (Luke 24:49). If this clothing with power, this baptism with the Holy Spirit, were not an experience so definite that one could now whether he had received it or not, how could the disciples possibly know when the days of waiting were over and the days to begin their ministry had begun?

The same thing is clear from Paul's definite question to the disciples in Ephesus: "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" (Acts 19:2). Paul evidently expected a definite yes or now for an answer. How else could these disciples answer Paul's question except in a definite manner? In point of fact he got a definite no. These disciples were completely in the dark about the Holy Spirit, but with Paul's instruction they immediately responded and were baptized with the Spirit on the spot. The Bible is absolutely clear about the definiteness of the baptism with the Holy Spirit.

Lord Jesus, Your words were unmistakably clear to Your disciples, but have been abused and confused in our day. I ask You to make them clear to my understanding, so that I may discern the truth and embrace it with faith. Amen

~R. A. Torrey~

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