The Baptism of the Holy Spirit by Dave L.
Luke describes the work of the Holy Spirit in several ways in Acts. He describes the Holy Spirit's work as an outpouring Acts 2:16-17, a Baptism or immersion Acts 1:5. He describes the Holy Spirit's work as a Filling Acts 2:4. And as a new birth Acts 16:14; and Paul in Galatians 3:2.
At times he shows the Baptism included every spiritual blessing. That is, the New Birth, with the Spirit’s filling and the gifts Acts 10:45-46. At times he shows it included the New Birth with the filling, but not the gifts Acts 8:38-39. In another place Paul shows the Baptism included the New Birth, the Spiritual Gifts, but not the Filling of the Holy Spirit. Judging from the example set by the carnal minded but highly gifted Corinthians; 1 Corinthians 12:10; 1 Corinthians 3:3. So the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a broad term for the many works of the Holy Spirit in the New Covenant.
To Paul the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a blessing for all believers Romans 8:9. But he says the time would come when tongues, prophecy and knowledge would end; 1 Corinthians 13:10. But faith, hope and love would continue; 1 Corinthians 13:8; 1 Corinthians 13:13. Peter says the scriptures provide a more sure word of prophecy than even the audible voice of God they heard from heaven; 2 Peter 1:17–21. Because the scriptures are not subject to private interpretation as tongues were 1 Corinthians 14:13.
Paul says tongues would end and prophecy would fail; 1 Corinthians 13:8. And this would happen whenever perfection or completion comes; 1 Corinthians 13:10. Some think this means when Christ returns, or when we die and go to heaven. But if tongues, prophecy and knowledge are to end, and faith, hope and love are to continue, Paul’s contrast is meaningless if all remain until the end of the world. Besides, Zechariah said all prophecy would become false during the New Covenant era Zechariah 13.
Another problem with this view is that beyond the two outpourings, believers received the gifts of the Spirit only through the hands of an Apostle; Acts 8:17-18; Acts 19:6; Romans 1:11; 2 Timothy 1:6. And, those receiving the gifts of the Spirit could not pass them on to others Acts 8:12; Acts 8:14–17. So when the Apostles died, the means of distribution ended with them.
Since believers already had the Holy Spirit and repeated fillings throughout Acts, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit often meant the gifts of the Spirit. Paul lists the gifts as word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, effecting of miracles, prophecy, distinguishing of spirits, tongues, and interpretation of tongues 1 Corinthians 12:8–10. We see all of these gifts except tongues and interpretation in Jesus’ ministry. But since tongues and interpretation equal prophecy, we see it represented in Christ.
What this means is that we do not see the gifts today. But we perhaps confuse our answers to the prayer of faith with the gifts; James 5:15. And the curing of demonic illnesses through the Power in Jesus’ name; Luke 10:16. We see these types of healings long before and long after Pentecost.
In the later New Testament writings Paul no longer commanded the miracles he once did. Paul told Timothy to use medicinal wine for his often stomach problems 1 Timothy 5:23. And Paul left Trophimus behind at Miletum because he was too sick to travel 2 Timothy 4:20. And the Apostle James no longer performing signs and wonders, tells the sick instead to call for the elders of the church to pray for them. Anointing them with oil in Jesus’ name James 5:14-15. Assuring them the prayer of faith will save the sick. All coinciding with Paul’s prophecy about the Gifts disappearing when the perfect came 1 Corinthians 13:10.
God used the prophetic gifts to write the New Testament. Because prophecy and tongues with interpretation was God speaking to the church. Providing information until the canon became complete. And he confirmed the words of the New Covenant by signs and wonders, in the Apostles as he did with Moses Hebrews 2:3–4. When the scriptures reached completion with the Book of Revelation, John, the last Apostle completed the foundation on which Jesus built his church; Revelation 21:14. Jesus being the chief cornerstone; Ephesians 2:20–22.
The Apostles remain with us in their writings. And the record of their confirming signs and wonders. Today all believers have the Baptism of the Holy Spirit but none have the gifts of the Spirit. God still heals through the prayer of faith. And scripture provides in full, what the prophetic gifts could only do in part.