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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: John Brown :: Baptism of the Holy Spirit

John Brown :: Baptism of the Holy Spirit: Part Two

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A. In our last study, we made the statement that "baptism in the Holy Spirit" is subsequent to being born again.

1. Calvary believes that Scripture proves this to be so, and tonight I hope to give that Scriptural evidence

2. Since this is part 2 of "THE BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT", and since we skipped a week I would like to start with the promise of the Holy Spirit.


A. Matthew 3:11 "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. (NKJV)

B. Acts 1:4-5 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." (NKJV)

C. Acts 2:1-4 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (NKJV)

1. This event in Acts chapter 2 is the fulfillment of the promise of the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

2. You notice that they were all "filled" with the Holy Spirit.

a) And a careful study shows that the "filled with the Holy Spirit" and "baptized with the Holy Spirit" are used interchangeably.

3. In order for this specific event to be subsequent, or a second experience:

a) The disciples had to have already been saved!

b) So the question is, "Were the disciples converted before the event in Acts 2?"


A. John 20:22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.

1. This is not the baptism in the Holy Spirit, that occurred later as we saw in Acts.

a) In fact the promise of the baptism in the Holy Spirit in Acts 1:5 you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now, came after this.

2. So, the question is, "What occurred when Jesus breathed upon them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit?"

a) Some say that this was only "symbolic", and that they did not receive the Holy Spirit!

(1) In the laws of correct Biblical interpretation, it is said that the obvious meaning is usually the correct meaning!

(2) It's kind of hard to believe that Jesus would do and say something that He didn't mean!

b) Jesus had already told Nicodemus that he had to be "born again".

(1) I believe that when Jesus breathed upon them, that the Holy Spirit they received was for conversion. They were born again at that moment!

(2) They were at that moment "indwelt" by the Holy Spirit, but not yet "baptized in the Holy Spirit"!

(a) That took place on the day of Pentecost.


A. Acts 2:37-39 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" 38 Then Peter said to them, "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. 39 "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." (NKJV)

1. Notice the 3-fold command - Repent, be Baptized (in Jesus for remission of sins), and Receive the Holy Spirit!

a) The gift of the Holy Sprit seems to be subsequent to 1st- repentance, and 2nd-being baptized for the remission of sins!

b) If this was the only evidence it would be a weak argument, but it is not!

(1) It is however, simply looking at what seems to be the "obvious" meaning of these verses.

B. Acts 8:5-6 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. 6 And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. (NKJV) but then we read in Acts 8:14-16 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, 15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

1. In other words, they were believers, had been baptized in the name of Jesus, yet had not received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit!

2. So, the church in Jerusalem sent Peter and John that they might receive the "subsequent" experience of Holy Spirit!

3. It is important to note that for them to be "believers" and to have been baptized in the name of Jesus, the Holy Spirit had to be "residing within" them, yet they had not received the Baptism!

a) 1 Corinthians 12:3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. (NKJV)

(1) So, they had a relationship with the Holy Spirit, but as of yet, He had not come "upon" them. (epi) = upon (para) = with (en) = inside

(2) Acts 8:17 Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. (NKJV)

C. In Acts 9:1-6 1 Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?" 5 And he said, "Who are You, Lord?" Then the Lord said, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads." 6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, "Lord, what do You want me to do?".... (NKJV)

1. I don't think that anyone would question that Paul was born again on that road, at that time!

a) Otherwise he would not have been able to submit himself to the Lordship of Jesus Christ!

2. Paul came to Damascus, blinded, and was taken to the house of Judas.

3. Acts 9:10-17 Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, "Ananias." And he said, "Here I am, Lord." 11 So the Lord said to him, "Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. 12 "And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight." 13 Then Ananias answered, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. 14 "And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name." 15 But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. 16 "For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name's sake." 17 And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit." (NKJV)

a) His "filling" with the Holy Spirit was subsequent to conversion!

D. In Acts chapter 10, Peter preached to the Gentiles (at the house of Cornelius) and they repented, received the Holy Spirit, and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit all before they were even water baptized!

1. Acts 10:44-48 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. 45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered, 47 "Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?" 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days. (NKJV)

2. Peter makes it clear that they received the Baptism in Acts 11:15-16 15 "And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning. 16 "Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, 'John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' (NKJV)

E. Acts 19:1-7 1 And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples 2 he said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when (since) you believed?" So they said to him, "We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit." 3 And he said to them, "Into what then were you baptized?" So they said, "Into John's baptism." 4 Then Paul said, "John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus." 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. 7 Now the men were about twelve in all. (NKJV)

1. These men had repented and believed in the name of Jesus Christ, but they had not so much as heard whether there was a Holy Spirit.

2. Paul must have noticed something lacking in their experience with the Lord.

a) So he asked,, "Into what then were you baptized?"

b) So it is today, those who reject the baptism in the Holy Spirit, seem to be critical, and always "under" their experiences instead of on top of them!

c) Always the victim, never the victor!

d) We as Christians need this "upon" or (epi) experience with the Holy Spirit!


A. As we have seen from Scripture, the Lord is not limited to a particular method.

1. He uses a variety of ways to accomplish the same result!

2. In Acts 2, they were all sitting, when the Holy Spirit descended upon then as of cloven tongues.

3. In Acts 8, the Gift of the Holy Sprit was imparted by the laying on of hands by Peter and John.

a) But, this method was not used by Philip, the evangelist!

b) He was used to perform great miracles, but not used to impart the Holy Spirit!

4. In Acts 9, The Holy Spirit was imparted to Paul by Annanias, a layman if you will. Just a believer!

a) Paul's blindness was healed at the same time.

5. In Acts 10, Peter didn't have the chance to lay hands on the believers.As he was speaking the Holy Spirit came "upon" them, and they began to speak in tongues!

a) A totally sovereign work of God.

6. In Acts 19, as Paul was in Ephesus, he laid hands upon them and they spoke in tongues and they prophesied!

a) I don't know if you have noticed, but in all of the experiences in the book of Acts, no two experiences are exactly the same!!!

B. God is not bound by a method!

1. We should not pattern our experience after someone else's!

2. The Lord knows exactly what each of us needs, and I believe, acts accordingly!

3. If we "pre-program" our experience with the Lord by the experience of someone else we might miss the beauty of our own!


The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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