Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Baptism of the Spirit Deux

Have you received the baptism of or with the Spirit? Why or why not? It might be nice to know what it is. Essentially there are four views of the baptism of the Spirit. One, I call the Protestant view. The Protestant view says that a believer is baptized with the Spirit at the moment of salvation and placed into the invisible body of Christ. We debunked that teaching a few days ago by looking at the model of baptism of the Spirit in the Gospels and then its fulfillment in Acts 2. These same people believe in the universal, invisible church. The Protestant view of Spirit baptism is espoused by Bob Jones University, Pensacola Christian College, Master's College, Dallas Theological Seminary, Calvary Baptist Theological Seminary, Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Wesminster Seminary, and Central Baptist Theological Seminary. The position comes through the reformers through Roman Catholicism. The second view is the Charismatic view. The Charismatic believes that baptism of the Spirit is the fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit, which occurs today subsequent to salvation and is accompanied by signs and wonder, that is, tongues, healings, and miracles. The Charismatics and Pentecostals take this position. The third view of baptism of the Spirit I have titled the Revivalist view. The Revivalist believes Spirit baptism is for today, subsequent to salvation, endues with power for evangelism, and is only accompanied by signs and wonders when necessary for evangelism. This is a position that was taken by Charles Finney, D. L. Moody, John R. Rice, and most recently Jack Hyles. The last position, I call the Baptist view, even as it represents a grammatical, historical interpretation of Scripture. This view says that baptism with the Spirit is strictly historical in the book of Acts, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on already saved people in Acts 2 on the Jews, Acts 8 on the Samaritans, Acts 10 on the Roman Gentiles, and in Acts 19 on the Grecian Gentiles. The Baptist view also says that baptism of the Spirit was completed in Acts and was accompanied by signs and wonders.

The Baptist view represents the plain teaching of Scripture. The other views force their position on the Bible, putting in what they want to take out. In Acts 2, 8, 10, and 19, one will see that Spirit baptism is clearly subsequent to salvation (not simultaneous) and is accompanied by signs and wonders in all but one case. The signs and wonders served to authenticate the coming of the Holy Spirit and a new age of God's work (Acts 14:3; 2 Cor. 12:12; etc.) through the church to Jews (1 Cor. 1:22) to initiate, aid, and accentuate their belief in this plan of God (1 Cor. 14:22). The Spirit will not be outpoured again until the future tribulation period (read Joel 2:28-32). If the modern Charismatic movement represented some modern day signs and wonders, it would fit those descibed in Joel 2:30, 31 with the sun turned into darkness and the moon into the color of blood. We haven't seen those signs, so we also haven't seen another outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Spirit baptism is not an ongoing present-day event. The Protestant view doesn't fit the model of the Gospels and the fulfillment of Acts, and both the Charismatic and Revivalist views do not conform to the cessation of signs and wonders (1 Corinthians 13:8) after their purpose had been fulfilled (Heb. 2:3; Rom. 15:19; etc.) as well as the prophecy of the next outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Joel 2. Tongues, healings, and miracles essentially disappeared after the first century and didn't reappear until the turn of the 20th Century in the modern day Charismatic movement. The "signs and wonders" of the Charismatics do not parallel the example of tongues, healings, and miracles in Acts.

The Revivalists seek for experiences after salvation that will validate a special enduement with power from the Spirit after salvation. This is also called Second Blessing Theology. Sometimes people refer to it as "praying through." No example of this experience exists in Scripture. The advocates most often go to history as a defense, especially the Second Great Awakening and the Welsh Revival. They also often point to Acts 2 as a normative experience for the Christian life. The Holy Spirit already indwells all believers (Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 6:19,20), so every believer already has all the power of the universe at His disposal (2 Peter 1:3; Ephesians 1:3). The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16). Seeking these types of experiences is an offense to God (Matthew 12:39). God wants us to trust His plan and put it into action. Scripture is sufficient for the work of God (Hebrews 4:12; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17; Luke 16:31).

Snack number two. Over.


Michael McNeilly said...

Great article!!! A real encouragement.

Bro. Josh said...

Bro. Brandenburg,

How do you compare "Baptism with the Holy Ghost" versus "Filled with the Spirit" ?

Kent Brandenburg said...

Thanks, Bro. McNeilly. Josh, baptism with the Holy Ghost is an event that did not depend on us at all, but filled with the Spirit is ongoing with our being responsible for the filling. We are commanded to be filled with the Spirit, never commanded to be baptized. Baptism was when the Holy Spirit came and filling is when we allow in the present the Holy Spirit to control our lives. See Eph. 5:18.