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Lesson 20
The Baptism in the Holy Spirit

What is the Baptism in the Holy Spirit?

The Baptism in the Holy (Set Apart) Spirit is the spiritual reality which is prefigured by Water Baptism. In Water Baptism the baptizer is a priest, a minister, an elder or a deacon of the church and the medium is water. In the Baptism of the Holy Spirit the baptizer is YAHUSHUA the Messiah, and the medium is the Set Apart Spirit of YaHuWaH the Almighty Elohim of Israel. (John 1:32-34)

As pointed out in Lesson 5 the Baptism of Repentance (Water Baptism) is a ceremonial ordinance of divine origin which enables a believer to publicly declare his or her faith in YAHUSHUA the Messiah by being momentarily submerged in water. The Baptism of Repentance, in other words, is the shadow, the type, the blueprint, the physical illustration, the symbolic ceremony. As Israel passed through the waters of the Red Sea and a nation was born, so the believer in YAHUSHUA Messiah passes through water baptism signifying his or her new birth.

But even though Water Baptism is a 'symbolic ceremony' we can still learn a lot from it about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, just as an engineer can learn a lot about a machine by studying the designer's blueprint. So let us first turn our attention to that 'ceremonial blueprint' and see what we can learn about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Upon doing this we find that when the repentant believer goes through the waters of baptism he/she figuratively declares to the world two important objectives.

  • To bury the old sinful nature.
  • And then by the power of YaHuWaH to rise again to live a new life of righteousness. This spiritual resurrection is, in fact, the main purpose of baptism, that the washed believer will rise to live a new life of righteousness in accordance with YaHuWaH 's will.

These two objectives, we repeat, both find fulfillment in the life of a believer who is Baptized in the Holy Spirit. They are no longer a figurative exercise as they were in Water Baptism, but a real, recognizable fact in the Spirit-Baptized believer's life.

What are the Signs of a Valid Baptism?


It follows from the above that the two main signs of a valid Spirit Baptism are when those two symbolic features of Water Baptism become a visible reality in the life of a believer. If they have not found fulfillment in a believer's life, (if you cannot plainly recognize their presence) then, no matter what that believer may claim, you can be sure that he or she has not been baptized in the Holy Spirit.

When we look more closely at those two ceremonial features, we find that they tell quite plainly of these two things.

  1. The burial of the old sinful nature
  2. The rising to live a life of righteousness - obedience!

1. The Burial of the Old Sinful Nature


In Water Baptism this death and burial of the carnal nature is only figuratively expressed when the repentant believer is placed under the water, buried in the "watery grave" so to speak. But in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit this death and burial of the sinful nature really takes place. It is no longer a symbolic exercise, but a recognizable reality - a visible fact. The believer is literally purged of sin by the Holy Spirit of Elohim. His old sinful nature is slain and buried.

In other words a born-again believer who is baptized in the Holy Spirit is an extremely holy person - who no longer knowingly sins! He may make errors of judgment or leave tasks undone; or, like a child, may have a lot to learn because of ignorance of scripture, but he no longer knowingly sins. That is the first sign of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Just pause awhile and consider that amazing standard. The Scriptures make it abundantly clear that it will be reached by a great company of believers. Look up Revelation 14:1-5. There you will read about a perfect company of believers numbering many thousands who are faultless. So the standard of absolute purity can and will be reached. It has been reached before by men like Asa and Job. (1 Kings 15:14, Job 1:8)

2. Rising to a Life of Righteousness / Obedience


The next sign of a valid baptism is a righteous life. The believer has not merely stopped sinning (that statement merely tells us of what he does not do). But he rises from the baptism to live a life of righteousness (This statement tells of what he does do). The Spirit-baptized believer, in short, will stop sinning (Sign 1) and will go on to do righteous deeds (Sign 2). He will obey the Torah of YaHuWaH. He has not only stopped disobeying the Torah of YaHuWaH, but has now started to obey it. In symbolic language righteousness (obedience) is referred to as good fruit. And that is why when John the Baptist saw that true righteousness was very often missing from the lives of those who came to him for baptism, he spoke these scathing words:

Luke 3:7 Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
8: Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance,...
9: And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

This man of YaHuWaH knew very well that if righteousness (right actions, good fruit) did not follow water baptism, then the whole symbolic exercise was invalidated and pointless. John was looking for good fruit - true repentance followed by obedience in the lives of those who came to him - and when he didn't find it his denunciations were voiced in no uncertain terms:

"Every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire."

The Savior expressed the same thought when he said:

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16: Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17: Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18: A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19: Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20: Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

In other words, a believer who is Baptized in the Holy Spirit will live a righteous life. He will be eager to obey the Torah of the Most High. He will not merely stop sinning (Sign 1) but he will go on to produce good fruit by obeying YaHuWaH 's Torah (Sign 2).

3. Supernatural / Witnessing Power


The third sign of a Spirit Baptized believer is supernatural power to witness for Messiah.

When we broadly consider this matter of supernatural power we find that it manifests itself in a variety of ways (Mark 16:17-18). To mention a few:

  • The power to Prophesy
  • The power to speak in unlearned Tongues
  • The power to Cast out Devils
  • The power to work Miracles
  • The power to Preach and Witness effectively

Strictly speaking, the supernatural power the Savior was referring to in Acts 1:8 was not the power to do these kinds of miracles. The disciples already had that power. Some time before, the Savior had called them together and given them supernatural power and authority over all devils and to cure all diseases (Luke 9:1-6). So the power they were to receive at the Baptism of the Holy Spirit was not the kind of power they already had. It was a completely different kind of power. Also bear in mind that many of the prophets of old had supernatural power. Elisha had even raised the dead. (2 Kings 4:32-36)

The power was an entirely new kind of power. It was the power to witness of the resurrected Savior on a supernatural scale.

"Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Spirit 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."

Indeed, when they received this new kind of power - the power to witness effectively - they turned the world upside down. Within a few years the gospel penetrated areas where even a thousand miracles would have gone unheeded. What they received on that Day of Pentecost was the great power of the Holy Spirit to open the eyes of the spiritually blind, to unstop the ears of the spiritually deaf and to raise the spiritually dead. This is the power the Spirit Baptized believer is promised the power to witness with spectacular results, the power to do what man thinks is impossible, for with YaHuWaH Elohim nothing shall be called impossible!

That kind of power had never been known before. It was new.

The supernatural power conferred on a believer at the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, in short, is not to be confused with the power to do physical miracles. It is the power to witness of YAHUSHUA the Messiah and to produce supernatural results just as they did in the early days of the Messianic era.

Here is a further word of instruction about supernatural power.

Supernatural power at its lowest level (the power to do physical miracles) is not confined to the Christian Church. It is found in most religions, pagan and otherwise. In India, Africa, China and the Middle East, yea in almost all the nations of the world, there are heathen spiritual leaders who possess miraculous powers; and, believe it or not, many of them speak in tongues. Like the magicians of ancient Pharaoh they are well able to duplicate most of the miracles done by the prophets of YaHuWaH. (Exodus 7:11,22)

Because of these facts we conclude that the commonly know expressions of supernatural power (miracles, healings, tongues etc.), wonderful though they may be, should NOT be taken as a unique sign of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. For we know very well that spectacular miracles are often done by heathen religious leaders. We also know that their powers do not emanate from the Holy One of Israel. And because of this fact we should not accept something as from YaHuWaH simply because it is accompanied by a miracle.

To be accepted as a unique sign of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, supernatural power must be a witnessing power, witnessing of YAHUSHUA the Messiah and the Everlasting Gospel with Apostolic effect. But because this sign is so difficult to assess, we only consider it when it is accompanied by those first two signs:

  1. Obedience to the Torah (the instructions of YaHuWaH Elohim) resulting in the absence of sin
  2. And the presence of righteousness.

We can summarize the valid signs of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in one word - obedience. Yes, obedience to the Torah is the true measure of a believer: the more of the Holy Spirit he possesses, the more obedient (righteous) he will become. We would be false teachers if we were to pretend otherwise.

These, then, are the signs of a valid Spirit Baptism. If even one of them is missing in the life of someone who claims to have been Baptized in the Holy Spirit, you can be sure that you are not seeing the genuine article.

How Do I Receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit?

Ask your heavenly Father!

Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

The Last Great Deception

Now consider this amazing end-time scene foretold by the Savior.

Matthew 7:21: Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will (instructions, Torah) of My Father which is in heaven.
22: Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy Name? and in Thy Name have cast out devils? and in Thy Name done many wonderful works?
23: And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.

Here is one of the most amazing spiritual scenes portrayed in the whole Bible; one which will stagger your mind if you just stop to think about it. Here are believers - many of them - who:
  • Openly profess Messiah ("Lord, Lord" they say )
  • They have prophesied in His Name
  • They have cast out devils in Messiah's Name
  • And in His Name have done many wonderful works!

But for all their preaching and for all their great works and wonder-working powers, the Messiah will refuse them entry to His Kingdom. And what is the reason for this astonishing rejection by the one who said: 'He that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out'?

1. They have not done the will of the Father. The will of the Father is contained in His instructions (Torah), the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

2. They are "workers of iniquity (Strong's 458 - "a nomia", the condition of being without law because of ignorance or contempt)." They have been deceived into believing that YaHuWaH 's instructions have been done away with and that they are irrelevant today.

What is this thing called 'iniquity' that it can invalidate the powerful arguments these believers put to Messiah who disqualifies them from entering the Kingdom of Heaven?

The answer is:

Iniquity (Strong's 458) is deliberate, persistent sin, a willful ignorance of and contempt for the Torah of Almighty YaHuWaH ! Iniquity is an absolute rejection of YaHuWaH 's instructions. Iniquity is disobedience of the worst kind, an act of spiritual rebellion so deep and so deluding that it even contemptuously dismisses the charge that it is wrong.

These persons are guilty of iniquity. To be sure they profess Christ (Messiah). Indeed with their wonder-working powers they are usually the leaders in this field. What is more, in Christ's name they have cast out devils and have done many wonderful works. It would be foolish to suggest that they would use these arguments if they hadn't done these things. Yes they have done them all. But it avails them nothing. The Master still refuses them entry to the Kingdom.

Again we ask, Why?

Because they are blatant sinners who refuse to recognize and obey the instructions of YaHuWaH Elohim. They are willfully and persistently disobedient. They are guilty of ignorance and contempt for our heavenly Father's instructions.

Moreover, they have taught and practiced "a nomia", lawlessness, to their own ruin. To be sure they can do miracles: but that counts for nothing when weighed against their iniquity. Oh what a terrible scene is here portrayed. Can you begin to understand it?

Pause awhile and consider so great a deception! Who are these people anyway? What do they call themselves? By what denominational name do they go? There must be many of them and they must be able to work miracles for the Master to say:

"Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord,
Have we not prophesied in Thy Name?
And in Thy Name have cast out devils?
And in Thy Name done many wonderful works?"

Once more we ask - Who are these people?

There is only one answer to that question and if you spend some time really thinking about it you will realize that it is the only answer at this time that presents itself.

These deluded souls are none other than Sunday keeping and Easter observing Christians who consider themselves under grace and above the law.

  • They openly confess Christ. ("Lord, Lord" they say)
  • They prophesy in His Name.
  • The cast out devils in His Name.
  • And they have done many wonderful works.

YaHuWaH 's weekly Sabbaths and annual Feasts are appointed times set by our heavenly Father. By rejecting these appointed days and keeping Sunday and Easter instead, most Christians have missed their appointments (Sabbaths and Feast Days) to meet with, and get to intimately know, YaHuWaH Elohim and His Son YAHUSHUA the Messiah. This is how the Messiah can say "I never knew you".

Most Christians have been deceived into being opposed to the Torah of the Most High. This would make them guilty of iniquity.

We hope that many will realize their error, repent, and begin to honor our heavenly Father's sovereign authority to issue instructions and commands that define His Kingdom, the Kingdom of Heaven. Every kingdom has its laws and rules of conduct which must be followed by everyone in order for peace to exist between all the inhabitants of the kingdom. Let's begin to follow our heavenly Father's instructions so that we might be at peace with Him and His children.