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Lesson 8 The Holy Ghost Baptism


Devotional Reading:   2 Kings 2:9–15


Memory Verse:           Matthew 3:11


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.




Luke 24:49 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.


Acts 1:5, 8. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. . . . 8But 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.


Acts 2:1–4. And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.


Acts 10:44, 45. While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. 45And 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 13:52. And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.




Luke 24:49. The promise is that they should receive the Holy Ghost. They were not to preach further but to remain in Jerusalem until they had received him.

Acts 1:5. The fulfillment of the promise made by John and repeated by Jesus, was to come in a few days. It came about ten days later. V8. The power of the Holy Ghost is not for mystification through weird manifestations but is power for service.

Acts 2:1. This is the date for the initial outpouring of the Spirit. Since then he had been in the world in his fullness. V2, 3. Unusual manifestations accompanied the initial outpouring of the Spirit. Some of these seem never to have been repeated. V4. The filling with the Holy Ghost was the important thing. That, not physical manifestations, was really the fulfillment of the promise.

Acts 10:44, 45. The gift of the Holy Ghost is for Gentiles as well as the Jews. The Jews seemed not to understand this.

Acts 13:52. This is a refilling.






1. Various expressions are used.


These are all connected in some manner with the Holy Spirit.


A) Baptized with the Holy Ghost. This is the expression used by John and Jesus and referred to by Peter. This seems to be the leading expression though Jesus and the Apostles used others. B) Filled with the Holy Ghost. In this way the Pentecostal experience is described. C) The Holy Ghost fell on them. This is said of Cornelius and his household. D) Poured out. This is also said of Cornelius. This expression is also used elsewhere. E) Received the Holy Ghost. In this way Paul questions the Ephesians regarding their experience. F) Holy Ghost came upon them. This is the experience of the Ephesians.


2. All refer to the same experience.


Jesus promised the baptism with the Holy Ghost which he called “the promise of the Father.” When this occurred it is described as a filling. “They were all filled with the Holy Ghost.” Peter explained that this fulfilled Joel’s promise which was that the Spirit should be poured out. It is said of those of the house of Cornelius that they Spirit fell on them, and also that it was poured out on them, and that they received it. Peter explains that this is the same experience as received at Pentecost.


3. These are not technical terms.


A) The various terms, if taken literally, can scarcely express the same idea. B) These are but figures used to represent close relation to the Spirit in this experience.




1. A definite experience.


A) It is not growth. This experience is not gained through gradual process. The Spirit is a person; we either have him or we do not. He is not given by degrees. B) We may know we have him. The instruction to tarry until he is received, and the question asked the Ephesians, both indicate that this experience is one of personal knowledge. The testimony concerning people’s having the Holy Ghost is likewise definite. C) We know when we receive him. This is rather implied in the knowledge that we have him. Surely in the cases referred to the recipients were aware when they received him. The experience may not be equally definite with all people, but all should know for themselves.


2. Distinct from regeneration.


 A) In regeneration we receive the Spirit as the giver of a new life. “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” B) In this experience the Spirit is received as the Sanctifier and the abiding Comforter. Jesus said to the disciples, “He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” It is the same Spirit working in different operations.


3. It is an abiding presence.


A) With saints of old the operation of the Spirit was somewhat spasmodic. As the Spirit of prophecy he came upon the prophets at times. B) As the sanctifier he is to dwell with you.




1. His work in us.


A) Not primarily emotional. The presence of the Spirit is sometimes revealed in ecstatic feelings. B) A work of cleansing. As the Sanctifier he cleanses the heart. His work in this respect is represented as a fire burning out the dross. C) Comforting. He is called the Comforter. The name implies the character of the work as all who have him well understand in times of sorrow. D) Teaching and leading. He opens understanding to spiritual things and also directs into the will of God.


2. His work through us.


A) Witnessing. The power of the Spirit is to enable us to witness for Christ. This is the power for service. B) Manifestations of spiritual gifts. These are not for spectacular purposes but to accomplish the salvation of souls. C) Through natural abilities. Apart from the spiritual gifts given God’s people the Spirit uses the natural abilities which they possess.




1. What they are.


A) Not receiving the baptism again. The baptism with the Spirit is a definite experience received at a definite time. It includes a cleansing. B) Not a little more of the Spirit. He is not received in installments. We either have him or we do not. C) It is a fresh enduement with his power.


2. The need of them.


A) To vivify our spirits. Spirituality is a living thing. It is an up to date experience. B) For renewed demands upon us. New demands require new strength. Emergencies may require special filling or the Spirit to meet them. The demands are not constant, hence we do not require the same degree of power at all times.


3. The possibilities of refillings.


A) They were experienced by early saints. B) Such anointing comes through prayer.