Understanding and experiencing the baptism of the Holy Spirit is essential for the Christian to enter into the mystery of union with Christ; abiding in Christ and Christ abiding in him. For this reason I have included this chapter on the Spirit’s infilling in this book. If we do not understand and experience the baptism of the Holy Spirit we will not enjoy the fullness of Christ living in us nor have the victories necessary to become just like Jesus, and be ready for His second coming. Also, our service for Him will be less fruitful.
I direct the reader to my book, “The Baptism of the Holy Spirit,” for a more in-depth study on the subject of Spirit baptism. If you have read that book this chapter will be a review for you. However, for the benefit of those who have not read that book I felt it necessary to include this chapter.
Satan does not want you to understand or experience the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Ellen White was aware of Satan’s devices to hinder the reception of this Gift by God’s people.
“Since the ministry of the Holy Spirit is of vital importance to the church of Christ, it is one of the devices of Satan, through the errors of extremists and fanatics, to cast contempt upon the work of the Spirit, and cause the people of God to neglect this source of strength which our Lord Himself has provided.” Australian Signs of the Times, July 24, 1911
The baptism of the Holy Spirit simply describes a special infilling of the Holy Spirit into the life of the believer. This baptism is also called infilling and anointing, and has been available to Christians since the day of Pentecost 2000 years ago. Peter associated the Pentecost outpouring of the Spirit with the “early rain” prophecy of Joel; (Acts 2:16-21).
Jesus’ Promise and Example
Jesus promised that the Father would give the Spirit to all who ask, (Luke 11:13). Paul tells us we receive this gift by faith, (Galatians 3:14). The reception of this Gift is so important that Paul commands us to “be filled with the Spirit,” (Ephesians 5:18). It is not simply an option. It is a necessity if the believer is earnest about experiencing the full deliverance the gospel of Jesus Christ offers.
Jesus is our example in all things. In His life we see the baptism of the Holy Spirit as a special, separate event following His baptism. This event equipped Him for victory over Satan. It was also a special anointing for ministry, (Luke 4:18-19).
Christ’s experience is a divine model for every Christian. Christ was “begotten” of the Spirit, (Luke 1:35). He was led by the Spirit in his childhood and early manhood, (Luke 2:52). He received water baptism, which was followed by baptism in the Spirit, (Luke 3:21-22). From that point on He was filled with the Spirit, (Luke 4:1). After this experience of Spirit baptism (infilling or anointing) He was prepared to confront Satan and gain His greatest victories over this enemy, (Luke 4:2-13). He went forth to minister in the power of the Spirit from that day onward, (Luke 4:14; Acts 10:38).
The experience of every believer is to follow Christ’s example. The Christian is first born of the Spirit and baptized in water, (John 3:5-8). However, water baptism is not enough. It is only the beginning. The believer must also be baptized by the Holy Spirit, (Luke 3:16). This Spirit baptism became available from the day of Pentecost onward. The infilling of the Spirit is necessary for the believer to have the power to live a victorious life and successfully witness for Christ, (Acts 1:8).
Jesus said the believer would do the “works” He did and “greater works.” When Jesus was on earth He could only be at one place at one time. However, when He ascended to His Father He was able to be in many places throughout the earth by indwelling His followers through the Holy Spirit, (John 14:16-18, 1John 3:24). Hence, Jesus empowers the believer to do the same works He did by the Holy Spirit, and these works will be greater because they are more widespread.
The fulfillment of Jesus’ promise was seen on the day of Pentecost and following. The gospel was preached, souls were won, unity and joy were seen in the believers, and the sick were healed, (Acts 2:46-47; 5:15-16). This was the same type of ministry as Jesus’ ministry.