Volume 42

INSIGHTS INTO GOD’S WORD
E. Michal Gayer
Volume 42

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…I indeed baptize you with water, but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.  He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” (Luke 3:16 )


“New Testament References to the Baptism in the Holy Spirit 

Devotional TeachingsIn addition to the Old Testament prophecies that we talked about in our last teaching concerning the baptism in the Holy Spirit, there are also New Testament prophecies pointing to the coming of the Holy Spirit. Luke 3:16 records John the Baptist, who came to prepare the way for the coming of Jesus, as saying, “…I indeed baptize you with water, but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” John further comments saying this about Jesus, “I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit’” (John 1:33).

In addition to these prophecies we also have direct references to the Holy Spirit baptism given to us by Jesus Himself. John 7:37-38 records, “On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out saying, “If anyone thirst, let him come to Me and drink.  He who believes in Me, as the Scriptures has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” Luke 11:11-13 further records Jesus saying, “If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone: Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

When the time came for Jesus’ ministry to draw to a close, He instructed His disciples about the coming of the Holy Spirit. He made these awesome statements. In John 14:16-17 we hear him say, “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever, the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” In John 15:26 Jesus says, “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.” Continuing on into John 16:7-9 we hear Jesus making yet another reference to the Holy Spirit, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” In verses 12-14 of chapter 16, Jesus says, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.”  These last verses were literal promises concerning the coming of the Holy Spirit, which were made by Jesus before the crucifixion.

After Jesus rose from the dead, He appeared to His disciples and continued to instruct and reassure them about the coming of the Holy Spirit. Luke 24:49 records Jesus just before His ascension to the Father as saying, “Behold I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem, until you are endued with power from on high.” A similar account is given in Acts 1:4-8 “And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which” (He said) “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Do you hear the promise? He told them they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit in a few days.  Verse 6 continues with, “Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel? And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Jesus’ last remarks to the disciples as recorded in the book of Acts were these about power coming to them when they would receive this special baptism, the baptism with the Holy Spirit. Mark 16:17-18 gives Jesus’ words as He talks about the miraculous signs that will follow believers and here we begin to catch a glimpse of how this power will be used in healing.  He said, “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

These are awesome statements Jesus made to the believers of that day and those in days to come.  After He gave these instructions, Mark 16:19 tells us, “…He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.” The disciples came down from the Mount of Olives from where Jesus ascended and gathered in the upper room to pray and wait with great expectation for the promise of the Father just as Jesus had told them to do. They remained there until the Day of Pentecost, about 120 people “…along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers” (Acts 1:14).

While they were there, in one accord praying, that’s when it happened! Pay keen attention to how these early Christians received the baptism with the Holy Spirit as recorded in Acts 2:1-4 which reads, “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” On that day both the Old Testament prophecies and the promises of Jesus were fulfilled. The baptism in the Holy Spirit, which those early disciples received, became available for all believers! Notice how on that very same day Peter cried out to the bewildered onlookers letting them know that the baptism was for all who believe, even those who were afar off, not yet born. He said, “…Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:38-39).

In our next teaching we will look at the fulfillment of God’s promise in sending the Holy Spirit and observe how that affects us and our ministry work for Him. Be blessed in all you do as you serve the Lord.