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The element and baptizer of the baptism of the Spirit

 

Rene Pache accepts the Holy Spirit as God and the Lord.

The nature of the Holy Spirit’s baptism. Our definition will be drawn from the most lucid text which the New Testament contains on this subject (1 Cor. 12:13). “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.” From this we can infer that the Spirit’s baptism is the act whereby God makes us member of Christ’s Body. The baptism of the Spirit is the act whereby God gives to the believer his position in Jesus Christ. According to Romans 8:9-10, to receive the Spirit is to have Christ dwelling in us. The Holy Spirit is God Himself. The Lord is the Spirit. We have just seen that the Holy Sprit is a Person and the third Person of the divine Trinity. Let us beware of failing to recognize the true nature of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit regenerates the believer. The Spirit baptizes him. (Rene Pache, The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit, p.70-71,15,16,19,68,70,78.)

     The note indicates that Rene Pache accepts the Holy Spirit as God. It is accurate and makes sense. This doctrine of the Holy Spirit must be applied to the translation and interpretation of all the Scriptures. “Our definition of the Holy Spirit’s baptism will be drawn from the most lucid text which the NT contains on this subject” (1 Cor. 12:13) is quite erroneous and from the mistranslation of the Greek eis in 1 Cor. 12:13.

Rene Pache also does not accept the Holy Spirit as God and the Lord.

Christ baptizes His children with the Holy Spirit. At Pentecost the one hundred and twenty disciples were not only baptized with the Spirit (Acts 1:5), they were also filled by Him (Acts 2:4). (Rene Pache, Ibid., p.70,78.)

     Rene Pache correctly says, “The Holy Spirit is God Himself. And the Lord is the Spirit.” Let’s apply this to his own statement, “Christ baptizes His children with the Holy Spirit.”

Christ baptizes His children with the Spirit..........................It seems right but wrong.
Christ baptizes His children with the Spirit and with fire.....It makes sense.
Christ baptizes His children with God..................................It makes no sense.
Christ baptizes His children with water................................It makes sense.

     Why does Rene Pache’s statement “Christ baptizes His children with the Holy Spirit” make no sense? Water is obviously an element and useful in water baptism, but the Holy Spirit can never be an element of the baptism because the Spirit is God the Spirit and a divine Person. If “the Spirit baptizes him,” it is logical and in an active voice. It can be changed into a passive, “He is baptized by the Spirit.” In this case, the Spirit is not used of an element but God and the baptizer. But Pache insists that the one hundred and twenty disciples were baptized with the Spirit. It is treating the Spirit as an element like water and not as God. In the following passages we can find that the source of Rene Pache’s inconsistency (Matt. 3:11 and Mark 1:8).

Matt. 3:11  I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. (NKJ)
Mark  1:8   I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit. (NKJ)

     The phrase “I baptize you with water” makes sense. But “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (Mark 1:8) makes no sense. The Holy Spirit is the initiator and not an element of the baptism. The phrase, “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire,” makes sense since the term fire is used of an element of the baptism. We know Mark 1:8 must make sense because every word of God is flaw- less and all Scripture is accurate and consistent. If Mark 1:8 were quoted with the words “and with fire” as in Matt. 3:11, it makes sense. Remember, both Matt. 3:11 and Mark 1:8 refer to the word of John the Baptist speaking of the baptizing manner of Jesus. Therefore, Rene Pache’s note “Christ baptizes His children with the Holy Spirit” must be “Christ baptizes His children with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” Then, it makes sense. The inconsistent argument of Rene Pache comes from the misunderstanding of the element in Matt. 3:11 and Mark 1:8.

Billy Graham comments on the baptism of the Holy Sprit.

We must make ourselves available to the Holy Spirit so that when He fills us we will become vessels of blessing to the world. So it is critical that we be filled with the Spirit. In considering this, however, we must not be confused by mere terminology. (Billy Graham, The Holy Spirit, p.119.)

     The note “We must not be confused by mere terminology” is quite right. But Billy Graham himself is much confused by mere terminology through his own statements as follows. Billy Graham continues:

We accept the fact that the Holy Spirit is God. In my own study of the Scriptures through the years I have become convinced that there is only one baptism with the Holy Spirit in the life of every believer, and that takes place at the moment of conversion. The scriptural usage of the word baptism shows that it is something initiatory both in the case of water baptism and Spirit baptism, and that it is not repeated. I can find no biblical data to show that the baptism with the Spirit would ever be repeated. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body (1 Cor.12:13). The original Greek of this passage makes it clear that this baptism of the Spirit is a completed past action. In like manner, all believers are baptized with the Holy Spirit. For example, some Christians hold that the Spirit’s baptism only comes at some time subsequent to conversion. The biblical truth, it seems to me, is that we are baptized into the body of Christ by the Spirit at conversion. This is the only Spirit baptism. At this time we can and should be filled with the Holy Spirit, and afterward. Their baptism by the Spirit was a clear sign that they too could be part of God’s people by faith in Jesus Christ. Personally, I believe the Bible teaches there is one baptism in the Spirit - when we come to faith in Christ. (Billy Graham, Ibid., p.1,67-69,73,120.)

     Billy Graham says that the Holy Spirit is God, and he accepts the Holy Spirit as God. But since his inconsistent statements deny the Holy Spirit is God, Graham himself is confused by “mere terminology.” The following shows Graham’s incon- sistency on the baptism. He insists, “The Holy Spirit is God.” This is biblical. The doctrine of “the Holy Spirit is God” must, without a single exception, should be applied to every case of the translation and interpretation of the Bible. He uses the terminology “water baptism and Spirit baptism.” “Water baptism” makes sense since water is used of an element of water baptism. But “Spirit baptism” is misleading. The word “Spirit” is here not used of God the Spirit but a material like water of “water baptism.” The terminology “Spirit baptism” is by no means biblical. It must be “the Spirit’s baptism” or “the baptism of the Spirit.”  
     The terminology “the baptism with the Spirit” makes no sense because the Spirit is compared to a material like water in “baptism with water.” The terminology “baptism with water” or “water baptism” is clear. The terminology “the baptism with fire of the Spirit” or “the baptism with the Spirit’s fire” or “the Spirit’s baptism with fire” makes sense. To speak of “this baptism of the Spirit” makes sense since it implies the baptism administered by the Spirit. The terminology “the Spirit’s baptism” is biblical, but to write “We are baptized with the Holy Spirit” makes no sense. The Holy Spirit is not a material noun and an element like water. The Holy Spirit is God and a divine Person.  
     The phrase, “We are baptized with water” makes sense. Here, water is used of an element of water baptism. It makes no sense to say that we are baptized with God as if He were a material noun like water. His words “we are baptized by the Spirit” are quite different from “we are baptized with the Spirit.” In the case of “baptized by the Spirit,” the Spirit is treated as God, but in the case of “baptized with the Spirit,” the Spirit is not treated as God. It surely shows that Graham is confused by his own designations. His designation “one baptism in the Spirit” is quite different from others - “baptism of the Spirit, baptism with the Spirit, and Spirit baptism” - used. A lot of Graham’s inconsistency comes from the misunderstanding of the baptizer and the element/means of the Holy Spirit’s baptism.

What does the Bible say about the element of the baptism of the Holy Spirit?

Matt. 3:11   Ἐγὼ μὲν ὑμᾶς βαπτίζω ἐν ὕδατι εἰς μετάνοιαν... αὐτὸς ὑμᾶς βαπτίσει ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ καὶ πυρί·(BNT)
NIV             I baptize you with water for repentance. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
KJV             I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and [with] fire:
Luke   3:16  I baptize you with water. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. (NIV)
Mark  1:8     I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.

John 1:33     ὁ πέμψας με βαπτίζειν ἐν ὕδατι ἐκεῖνός μοι εἶπεν...οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ βαπτίζων ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ. (BNT)
NIV             the one who sent me to baptize with water told me...he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.
NAB            He is the one who will baptize with the holy Spirit.
KJV             The same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
NKJ             This is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.

Acts 1:5       Ἰωάννης μὲν ἐβάπτισεν ὕδατι, ὑμεῖς δὲ ἐν πνεύματι βαπτισθήσεσθε ἁγίῳ (BNT)
NIV             John baptized with water, you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.

Acts   11:16  John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. (NIV)

1 Cor.12:13  ἐν ἑνὶ πνεύματι ἡμεῖς πάντες εἰς ἓν σῶμα ἐβαπτίσθημεν, (BNT)
                     We were all baptized by one Spirit into one body. (All versions)

     The records of Matt. 3:11, Luke 3:16, Mark 1:8 and John 1:33 are the words of John the Baptist who explained the baptism that was to be administered by Jesus Christ. The four Gospels writers were consistent regarding the word of John concerning the baptism which Jesus was to bring. Though they are the same, each account has some distinctives. Matt. 3:11 and Luke 3:16 have the words “with fire,” words that are omitted in Mark 1:8 and John 1:33. Also Acts 1:5, 11:16 and 1 Cor. 12:13 omit those words. Remember, Acts 1:5 was written by Luke, who also wrote Luke 3:16. Luke would not write inconsistently in two different passages. The baptism promised by Jesus (Acts 1:5), the baptism recorded in four Gospels prophesied by John the Baptist, and Paul’s account (1 Cor. 12:13) concern one and the same baptism of the Holy Spirit. If these records applied to different baptisms, they would make no sense at all. The only differences are in the grammar. Some passages use the future tense; some, the past tense. Some use the active voice; others, the passive. All seven of these records describe the same baptism of the Holy Spirit.
     It is clear the words “with fire” were assumed or understood in five passages. Otherwise it would be impossible to translate or interpret the texts accurately. Neither could one build a proper doctrine of the Holy Spirit. It must be concluded that the words “with fire” are assumed in these five passages. If the words “with fire” in Matt. 3:11 and Luke 3:16 are not added, these five passages make no sense at all. The Holy Spirit can by no means be an element/means like water. He is God and a divine Person. The word “fire” must be the element/means of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit is regarded as an element/means of the baptism, it makes no sense at all. The usage of omission in the Bible must be examined to understand the element/means of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

The following passages show the usage of the omission of the baptism of the Spirit.

Matt. 14:20-21 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children. (NIV)
Mark 6:43-44  and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand. (NIV)
John 6:9-11 “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and the  men sat down, about five thousand of them. Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. (NIV)

 

     It must be concluded that the words “besides women and children” (Matt. 14:21) were understood in John 6:9-11 and Mark 6:44. These omitted words must be added to fully understand these passages. Likewise, the word “fire” written in Matt.  3:11 and Luke 3:16 is omitted in Mark 1:8, John 1:33, Acts 1:5, 11:16 and 1 Cor. 12: 13. The word “fire” must be added to all five passages to understand the element/means of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. If the word “fire” is not added to these five passages, the phrase “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” inaccurately makes the Holy Spirit a mere element.

The Greek conjunction καὶ in Matt. 3:11; Luke 3:16 must be carefully examined.

     The meaning of the Greek kai in Matt. 3:11 and Luke 3:16 must be correctly found to understand “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and (kai) with fire.” If both passages are not correctly understood, it is impossible to build the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. The Greek kai in the following passages should be understood to translate the Greek kai in Matt. 3:11 and Luke 3:16.

Acts 6:3   Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and (kai) wisdom. (NIV)
Acts 6:5   They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and (kai) of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 7:55 Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven. (NIV)

     These passages indicate “full of the Holy Spirit,” “full of the Holy Spirit and (kai) wisdom,” “full of faith and (kai) of the Holy Spirit.” Most scholars interpret that Stephen was full of faith and also full of the Holy Spirit, but this is a misinterpretation. As already noted, the word “full of the Holy Spirit” is illogical since the Holy Spirit is God. If we find “something” has been omitted here, then it makes sense without contradiction. To say that Stephan was full of something of the Holy Spirit is biblical and logical. Acts 6:3,5 shows the words “full of the Spirit and wisdom” are interchangeable. It could read, “full of wisdom and the Spirit.” Through Acts 6:3,5 and 7:55, it can be found that the phrase “Stephen was full of the Holy Spirit” means Stephen was full of the Spirit’s wisdom (faith) or full of the wisdom (faith) of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit’s gift of wisdom and faith mentioned in Acts 6:3,5 are two gifts of the nine gifts of the Spirit recorded in 1 Cor. 12:8. It can be found that the Greek kai (Acts 6:3,5) has the meaning of “of.”
 

The Greek καὶ in 1 Cor. 2:4-5 must be examined to translate The Greek καὶ in Luke 3:16.

1 Cor. 2:4  ὁ λόγος μου καὶ τὸ κήρυγμά μου οὐκ ἐν πειθοῖ[ς] σοφίας [λόγοις] ἀλλ᾽ ἐν ἀποδείξει πνεύματος καὶ δυνάμεως,
                  ἵνα ἡ πίστις ὑμῶν μὴ ᾖ ἐν σοφίᾳ ἀνθρώπων ἀλλ᾽ ἐν δυνάμει θεοῦ. ( BNT)
KJV         my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power. 
                That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
NKJ         in demonstration of the Spirit and of power…the power of God
NIV         with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power…..on God’s power
NAS        in demonstration of the Spirit and of power….the power of God

     The KJV, NKJ and NAS translate en apodeixei pneumatos “kai” dunameos (ἐν ἀποδείξει πνεύματος καὶ δυνάμεως) in 1 Cor. 2:4 as “in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” The NIV translates it as “demonstration of the Spirit’s power.” “In demonstration of the Spirit and of power” in v. 4 is synonymously used as “in the power of God” in v. 5. So “demonstration of the Spirit and of power” is the same as “demonstration of the Spirit’s power.” 1 Cor. 2:4-5 shows that the Greek kai has the meaning of the preposition “of.” This principle of translation of the Greek conjunction kai in 1 Cor. 2:4-5 should be applied to Acts   6:3-5, 10:38, 13:52, 11:24, Matt. 3:11 and Luke 3:16. If the Greek kai in Matt. 3:11 and Luke 3:16 is not understood, it is impossible to understand the element/means of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The NIV does not apply the principle of translation of the Greek conjunction kai applied to 1 Cor. 2:4-5 to that of Matt. 3:11 and Luke 3:16. So the NIV translates inconsistently. Most scholars interpret Luke 3:16 as two kinds of baptism, that is, “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and He will baptize you with fire, which is the baptism of fire.” It is absolutely erroneous interpretation since the Holy Spirit is not treated as God the Holy Spirit but an element like water in water baptism. The Holy Spirit can by no means be the element of the baptism like water in water baptism. 1 Cor. 2:4-5 affirms that the Greek kai has the meaning of the preposition “of.” Likewise, the Greek kai in Matt. 3:11 and Luke 3:16 has the meaning of the preposition “of.”

He will baptize you with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire. (The Greek text)
He will baptize you with/in the fire and with/in the Holy Spirit. (Author)
He will baptize you with/in the fire of the Holy Spirit. (Author)
He will baptize you with/in the Holy Spirit’s fire. (Author)

(In author’s writing, “to be baptized with/in the Spirit” must be understood to mean that “with/in fire” is omitted. It should always read, “to be baptized with/in the Spirit and with/in fire.”)

     All these expressions have the same meaning. Here, it is confirmed that “fire” is the element of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is by no means the element. If the Holy Spirit is used of the element of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, it makes no sense at all. The Holy Spirit is God and a divine Person.

What does the Bible say about the baptizer of water baptism and the baptism of the Spirit?

Luke 3:16  John answered them all, I baptize you with water. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. (NIV)  
Acts 1:5     John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now. (NKJ)

John the Baptist baptized you with/in water...........................................active voice
Jesus will baptize you with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire...............active voice
You will be baptized with/in water by John the Baptist..........................passive voice
You will be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire by Jesus...passive

     In Matt. 3:11, Luke 3:16, Mark 1:8 and John 1:33, John says, “I baptize you with/in water.” Because John the Baptist is the baptizer with/in water, water must be the element of water baptism. John says, “Jesus will baptize you with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire.” He affirms that Jesus is the baptizer with/in the Holy Spirit’s fire. So the element of the baptism is not the Holy Spirit but fire.

Acts 1:5 must be inferred to mean that the Spirit sent by Jesus is the baptizer with/in fire.

Acts 1:5    For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. (NIV)  

     Because Acts 1:5 must agree with Luke 3:16, Acts 1:5 must read, “For John baptized with/in water, but you will be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire.” It should be realized that the term “fire” found in Matt. 3:11 and Luke 3:16 is omitted but understood in Acts 1:5. The four Gospels say that Jesus is the baptizer with/in the fire of the Holy Spirit, but actually, Jesus did not baptize His disciples with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire until His ascension. The promise of God through John the Baptist (Jesus will baptize you with/in the Holy Spirit and with/ in fire [active voice], that is, You will be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit and with/ in fire by Jesus [passive voice]) in the four Gospels was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost after His ascension.
     After ascending into heaven, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to baptize them with/in fire on the day of Pentecost. Therefore, Acts 1:5 and 11:15 can be translated and interpreted as “You will be baptized by the Holy Spirit sent by Jesus.” There is no a tangible record that Jesus himself baptized His disciples with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire while he was on the earth. Acts 1:5 declares that John the Baptist administered baptism with/in water in the Jordan River. The disciples were to be baptized with/in fire by the Holy Spirit sent by Jesus, and this baptism was to be administered by the Holy Spirit sent by Jesus on the day of Pentecost.
     This baptism can be designated, “the baptism of the Holy Spirit,” that is, “the baptism administered by the Holy Spirit.” If 1 Cor. 12:13 were to be translated, “We were all baptized by (en) one Spirit in one body” (Author), Acts 1:5 can be assumed to mean, “You will be baptized by (en) the Holy Spirit through Jesus.” It must be inferred that actually Jesus, who is in heaven, baptized the 120 disciples with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire by the sent Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. We may speak of Jesus as the baptizer with the fire of the Holy Spirit. This is actually the same as saying that the Holy Spirit is the baptizer because 2 Cor. 3:17 declares, “The Lord is the Spirit,” and 1 Cor. 12:3 says, “Jesus is the Lord.”

Mark 16:20   Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it. (NIV)

     The “Lord” in this verse is the ascended Jesus Christ. Even though he was not physically with His disciples, Mark declared that Jesus worked with them. Mark’s record is accurate. Furthermore, the Lord is Jesus and the Lord is the Spirit. So the phrase “the Lord worked with them” means that the Spirit of Jesus worked with them. Likewise, it can be said that Jesus is the baptizer of the baptism of the Spirit and the Spirit sent by Jesus also is the baptizer of the baptism of the Spirit.
     According to the doctrine of the Trinity, Jesus who is the baptizer shares the same work as the Spirit who baptizes. Acts 1:8 says, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.” The giver of the power is the Holy Spirit. From Acts 1:5 and Acts 1:8 we can conclude that to be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit (and with/in fire) is to receive the power given by the Holy Spirit sent by Jesus. 1 Cor. 12:13 can be assumed to mean that we were all baptized with/in fire by one Spirit through Jesus in one body. If this is accepted as accurate, the seven passages on the baptism of the Holy Spirit in the NT will be consistent. From

Acts 1:5 and Acts 1:8 we can draw the following conclusions:

You will be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire by Jesus.
You will be baptized with/in the fire of the Holy Spirit by Jesus.
The Holy Spirit sent by Jesus will baptize you with/in fire.
You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.
You will receive the power of the Holy Spirit when He comes on you.
You will be filled with the power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.
You will be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit when He comes on you.
The Holy Spirit will fill you with His power when He comes on you.

     The Holy Spirit baptized the 120 with/in the fire of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. Therefore, “You will be baptized with/in (en) the Holy Spirit” can be translated, “You will be baptized by (en) the Holy Spirit.” The Greek preposition en in Acts 1:5 can be translated as “with/in/by.” Matt. 3:11 affirms that Jesus Christ is the baptizer of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Acts 1:5-8 affirms that the Holy Spirit is the baptizer. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to His disciples on the day of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit actually baptized the 120 disciples with/in the fire of the Holy Spirit on that day. Therefore, it is confirmed that the Holy Spirit is not an element but a baptizer. To regard the Holy Spirit as an element like water makes no sense. The Holy Spirit is God and a divine Person.

J. Oswald Sanders insists the Greek en in the seven passages should be translated “in.”

We should be clear as to the significance of the phrase “baptism of the Spirit.” In the seven references to the phrase, it is each time rendered in the KJV, “baptism with the Holy Spirit.” More correctly the Greek preposition “en” should be translated in, and thus the phrase would be “baptism in the Spirit. Concerning the preposition en, Carr writes: “This preposition en is used in Greek to signify the instrument, but it also express the surrounding influence or element in which an act takes place.” (J. Oswald Sanders, The Holy Spirit and His gifts, London: Marshall & Scott Ltd., 1970, p.63.)

     These statements are thoroughly unbiblical because the Holy Spirit is not treated as God. The preposition en found in seven passages can be translated as “in/with,” but in Acts 1:5, 11:16 and 1  Cor. 12:13 it can be translated as “by.” The Holy Spirit in these three passages can be the baptizer sent by Jesus, and “fire” (Matt.  3:11; Luke 3:16) is the element of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Kenneth S. Wuest comments on the translation of the Greek en.

Baptize means “to place into” or “to introduce into.” We are now ready to consider the meaning and purpose of the baptism by the Spirit. We will look at the Greek text of 1 Corinthians 12:13, “By one Spirit are we all baptized into one body.” The word “Spirit” is in the instrument case in the Greek. Personal agency is expressed occasionally by the instrument case. At such times the verb is always in the passive or middle voice. The Greek construction here follows this rule of Greek grammar. The personal agent in this case who does the baptizing is the Holy Spirit. He places or introduces the believing sinner into the body of which the Lord Jesus is the living Head. We could translate, “By means of the personal agency of one Spirit we all were placed in one body.” The verb is in the past tense, referring to the past action, and is aorist, referring to a once-for-all act. This occurred potentially to all believers of this Age of Grace at Pentecost. It is the fulfillment of our Lord’s word, “Ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence” (Acts 1:5). Thus, the meaning of the Greek word, “to place” or “introduce into,” give us the purpose of the baptism by means of the Spirit, namely, the introduction of a believing sinner into the body of Christ. Paul speaks of the placing of that believer into vital union with the Head of the Body. (Kenneth S. Wuest, Untranslatable Riches from the Greek New Testament, Grand Rapid: WM. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 1942, p.85-86.)

     Kenneth S. Wuest insists that in the case of 1 Cor. 12:13, the personal agent who does the baptizing is the Holy Spirit, and the baptism in 1 Cor. 12:13 is the same as that in Acts 1:5. But this is quite incorrect. In English grammar, the phrase, “By one Spirit are we all baptized,” is distinct from the phrase, “You shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” That is, “baptized by” is quite different from “baptized with.” In the case of “baptized by the Spirit,” the Spirit is the agent or baptizer who does the baptizing. In the case of “baptized with the Spirit,” the Spirit cannot be spoken of as the agent or the baptizer, but as an element/means of baptism just as water is an element/means of water baptism (“baptized with water”).
     The Greek texts of 1 Cor. 12:13, Acts 1:5, 11:16 have the same preposition “en” which can be translated as “with/in/by.” This is true in only these three passages of seven passages. Kenneth S. Wuest reached a false conclusion because he accepted the inconsistent English translations. He insists that 1 Cor. 12:13 could be translated “By means of the personal agency of one Spirit we all were placed in one body.” This is thoroughly unbiblical. It must be translated, “By (with/in) one Spirit we all were baptized in (eis) one body,” as already noted. The note “Baptize means ‘to place into’ or ‘to introduce into’” also is quite erroneous in both cases of water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, Wuest’s conclusion is based upon the mistranslation of the preposition en and eis in 1 Cor. 12:13.
     1 Cor. 12:13 doesn’t describe the purpose of the baptism of the Spirit which is to impart the power of the Holy Spirit for witnessing and for service (Acts 1:5,8). Kenneth S. Wuest writes, “Paul speaks of the placing of that believer into vital union with the Head of the Body.” This is quite erroneous. Paul does say that we were all baptized by one Spirit in one body, that is, on having already been in vital union with the Head of the Body. Believers were already in the body of Christ through faith in Christ before being baptized with/in/by the Spirit. Kenneth S. Wuest continues:

This brings us to a careful distinction which we must make. It is not the baptism with the Spirit, or of the Spirit, in the sense the Holy Spirit is the element that is applied to us; it is the baptism by the Spirit. This baptism does not bring the Spirit to us in the sense that God places the Spirit upon us or in us; rather this baptism brings the believer into vital union with Jesus Christ. (Kenneth S. Wuest, Ibid., p.86.)

     In the statement mentioned above, Wuest says that the baptism by the Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13) is identical to the baptism with the Spirit (Acts 1:5). But in this note he declares the baptism with the Spirit is not the same as the baptism by the Spirit. He himself is in great confusion. That is based upon from (1) the mistranslation and misinterpretation of “en and eis” and (2) from the misunderstanding of the baptizer versus the element of baptism. The note, “the baptism by the Spirit brings the believer into vital union with Jesus Christ,” is quite erroneous since it is based upon the mistranslation and misunderstanding of 1 Cor. 12:13. The note argues that in the words “the baptism with the Spirit, or of the Spirit,” the Holy Spirit is the element that is applied to us. If the terminology “the baptism with the Spirit” is accepted as correct, the Spirit is not treated as God and a divine Person but an element like water in water baptism. So his statement itself confirms that he is in great confusion. Kenneth S. Wuest continues:

This means that the baptism by the Spirit is not for power, for in this baptism there is nothing applied or given to the believer. We will study the passages where the expression “baptize with the Holy Spirit” occurs. In Matthew 3:11 we have John the Baptist saying, “I indeed baptize you with water because of repentance…He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.” The word “with” is from a preposition which is used with the locative and instrumental cases in Greek. The particular classification of the locative here is “the locative of place. John said literally, “I place you in water.” His introduction of the believer into water is because of his repentance. It is the believer’s outward visible testimony of an inward fact, his repentance…He not only baptized them into the water, but he baptized them by means of or with water. The water was the element with or by which the believer was baptized. But when we come to the phrase, “baptized with the Spirit,” we find that the Greek grammatical construction will not allow us to interpret it as meaning that the Holy Spirit is the element with which we are baptized, as water is the element with which the believer is baptized in the ceremony of water baptism…They are logical because the Holy Spirit is a Person…Therefore, the classification, “locative of place” will not apply here, and since it does not apply in this case, the Holy Spirit is not the element into which and with which we are baptized. Therefore the phrase, “baptized with the Spirit” does not mean that in this baptism the Holy Spirit is applied to the believer as water is applied in the case of water baptism. (Kenneth S. Wuest,Ibid., p.86-7.)

     The note, “This means that the baptism by the Spirit is not for power, for in this baptism there is nothing applied or given to the believer,” is quite erroneous. It is from the misunderstanding of the relation between “to be baptized with/in/by the Spirit” (Acts 1:5) and “to receive the power of the Spirit” (Acts 1:8). Both passages confirm that the baptism of (by) the Spirit is to give power to the believers. “The word ‘with’ is from a preposition which is used with the locative and instrumental cases in Greek. The particular classification of the locative here is the locative of place. John said literally, ‘I place you in water.’” This note is based upon the misunderstanding of the Greek preposition en (See Matt. 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33; Acts 1:5, 11:16; 1 Cor. 12:13). The word en in these passages is by no means in the locative case. In the note “He not only baptized them into the water, but he baptized them by means of or with water. The water was the element with or by which the believer was baptized,” the note “He not only baptized them into the water” is erroneous. It should read, “He baptized them in/with water in (eis) the water.” The remainder of the note, “...he baptized them by means of or with water. The water was the element with or by which the believer was baptized,” is correct. According to the statement mentioned by Wuest, Matt. 3:11 tells us Jesus will baptize his disciples by means of or with/in fire of the Spirit, and fire is the element with (in) which the believer was baptized.
     Wuest quotes John the Baptist: “I indeed baptize you with water because of repentance…He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.” Wuest correctly argues here that in the phrase ‘baptize you with water,’ water is the element with which the believer is baptized in the ceremony of water baptism. According to this argument, he has to argue that in the phrase “baptize you with the Holy Ghost” (Matt. 3:11), the Holy Spirit is the element with which we are baptized. Here he meets with inconsistency as he argues that in Matt. 3:11 the Holy Spirit is not the element. His statement confirms that he himself is in great confusion. If the “fire” in Matt. 3:11 and Luke  3:16 is not accepted as the element of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, without a single exception, everyone will be in great confusion. Kenneth S. Wuest continues:

Thus we have, “He shall baptize you in the sphere of the Spirit.” Here the word “Spirit” sets a limit upon the act of baptism. John is drawing a contrast between his baptism, and our Lord’s. John’s was into and by means of water, a ceremony. Our Lord’s was to be with reference to the Spirit. A baptism with reference to the Spirit is a baptism in which the Holy Spirit is the sole agent…The Spirit baptism to which John referred is the same one which Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 12:13. It is a baptism with the Spirit in the sense that it is connected, not with water, but with the Spirit who Himself does the baptizing. The other places where the word “baptize” is used with the phrase “with the Holy Spirit” and where exactly the same Greek construction is found are Luke 3:16; John 1:33; Acts 1:5; 11:16. Mark 1:8 has the same words in the English, and the construction is the locative case in Greek…The rules of Greek grammar requires a passive or middle voice verb in this construction where a personal agent is involved. This kind of a verb is not found in the passages quoted from Matthew to Acts, but is found in 1 Corinthians 12:13. Therefore our rendering “baptized by means of the Spirit,” is correct for the Corinthians passage but not correct for the others commented upon. The phrase “with the Spirit” therefore defines what baptism is referred to, and the words, “by means of the Spirit,” speak of the fact that the Holy Spirit is the divine Agent who Himself baptizes, the purpose of which baptism is to place the believing sinner into vital union with Jesus Christ and thus make him a member of the Body of which Christ is the living Head. (Kenneth S. Wuest, Ibid., p.88-9.)

     The note contains many errors. Consider the phrases used: “the baptism with the Spirit, the baptism by the Spirit, the baptism of the Spirit, the Spirit baptism, and Spirit baptism.” Of these terminologies, three (the baptism with the Spirit, The Spirit baptism, and Spirit baptism) are inaccurate because the Spirit is not honored as God and a divine Person but treated like a material element like water in water baptism. The correct terminologies are “the fire baptism of the Spirit, the baptism of the Spirit or fire baptism.” If these are accepted, that will be the end of doctrinal confusion regarding the baptism of the Holy Spirit. “He shall baptize you in the sphere of the Spirit.” This is quite erroneous since the Spirit is not treated as God and a divine Person. It is better to teach that He shall baptize you in/with the fire of the Spirit. “The rules of Greek grammar require a passive or middle voice verb in this construction where a personal agent is involved.” This is right, but to write “This kind of a verb is not found in the passages quoted from Matthew to Acts, but is found in 1 Corinthians 12:13” is erroneous. In Acts 1:5, “You will be baptized with the Holy Spirit (ἐν πνεύματι βαπτισθήσεσθε ἁγίῳ),” a passive voice verb is found as in 1 Cor. 12:13. According to the Greek text, Acts 1:5  and 1 Cor. 12:13 present the same Greek construction. The only difference is that Acts 1:5 is in the future tense and 1 Cor. 12:13 is in the past tense. They have the same meaning.

The Amplified Bible translates Acts 1:5 and 1 Cor. 12:13 as follows:

Acts 1:5   For John baptized with water, but not many days from now you shall be baptized with–placed in, introduced into–the Holy Spirit.
1 Cor. 12:13  For by (means of the personal agency of) one (Holy) Spirit we were all baptized [and by baptism united together] into one body.

     The translation of the Amplified  Bible, “You shall be baptized with–placed in, introduced into–the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:5) is from Wuest’s “Untranslatable Riches from the Greek New Testament.” If the phrase “you shall be placed in the Holy Spirit” is accepted, it adds only great confusion and contradiction. According to this translation, the disciples were not in the Holy Spirit until the day of Pentecost. However, John 14:17 declares that they were already in the Holy Spirit before the day of Pentecost. According the records of Acts 1:5-2:4, they were baptized with/in the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. This fact confirms that the note “Baptize means ‘to place into’ or ‘to introduce into,’” is from the misunderstanding of the verb “baptize.” The Amplified Bible’s translation, “For by (means of the personal agency of) one (Holy) Spirit we were all, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free, baptized [and by baptism united together] into one body,” is from Wuest’s “Untranslatable Riches from the Greek New Testament” and Thayer’s “Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament–Grimm.” It can be summarized as “by baptism we united together into one body.” But it is thoroughly unbiblical since it is based upon the mistranslation of the Greek eis.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones comments on two kinds of the baptism with/of the Holy Spirit.

Let me quote as statement in a book called The Untranslatable Riches from the New Testament Greek, written by a famous Greek scholar, Dr. Wuest. He deals with this very verse. Now I have to disagree with Wuest in his final interpretation, but I am quoting him here only as an authority on the grammar, as a linguist…That to me is most important because there you have one of the greatest authorities on these matters in this present century, and I could have quoted even more. His whole argument comes to this–that here in 1 Corinthians 12:13 there is something quite different from all the other mentionings of baptism with the Holy Spirit. This is not referring to the baptism with the Spirit, and he gives his grammatical reasons for saying that. (Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Ibid., p.175,176.)

     Unfortunately, Lloyd-Jones accepts the mistranslation and misinterpretation of Kenneth S. Wuest on 1 Cor. 12:13 and the other mentions of baptism with the Holy Spirit. Wuest mistakenly insists that the baptism by the Spirit in 1 Cor. 12:13 is not referring to the baptism with the Spirit. But this comes from the mistranslation of the Greek en and eis in 1 Cor. 12:13, and the misunderstanding of the verb “baptize” in Acts 1:5 and 1 Cor. 12:13. It is confirmed here that his study of Greek grammar on the baptism of the Spirit is erroneous. Lloyd-Jones continues:

In the preaching of John the Baptist, the baptism of the Holy Spirit is something that is done by the Lord Jesus Christ not by the Holy Spirit. ‘I indeed baptize you with water…he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’ This is not primarily some work of the Holy Spirit. It is the Lord Jesus Christ’s act. It is his action–something he does to us through the Spirit or his giving us, in this particular way, of the Spirit. Now here it seems to me is something that is there, plain and clear, on the very surface of this whole subject and yet people get confused over it, and quote 1 Corinthians 12:13 ‘For by one Spirit are we all baptized.’ Of course we are. Our being baptized into the body of Christ is the work of the Spirit, as regeneration is his work, but this is something entirely different; this is Christ baptizing us with the Holy Spirit. And I am suggesting that this is something which is therefore obviously distinct from and separate from becoming a Christian, being regenerated, having the Holy Spirit dwelling within you. I am putting it like this–you can be a child of God and yet not be baptized with the Holy Spirit. The essential difference between the (the baptism of John the Baptist and the baptism by Jesus Christ) was that he baptized with water whereas the Christ would baptize with the Holy Spirit. (Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Ibid., p.23,15.)

     Lloyd-Jones insists, “the baptism of the Holy Spirit/the baptism with the Holy Spirit takes place after regeneration, but ‘by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body’ (1 Cor. 12:13) at the moment of becoming a Christian, being regenerated.” This note can be summarized to mean that there are two kinds of baptism, i.e. “‘the baptism of the Holy Spirit/the baptism with the Holy Spirit,’ and ‘the baptism by the Spirit,’ and both are entirely distinct from each other.” This is thoroughly unbiblical and based on the mistranslation of the Greek en and eis in 1 Cor. 12:13 and the Greek en in Acts 1:5. It should be taught that the baptism of the Holy Spirit spoken by John the Baptist and Jesus Christ is exactly the same as that preached by the apostle Paul. The note, “The baptism of the Holy Spirit is something that is done by the Lord Jesus Christ not by the Holy Spirit” also is quite erroneous since the terminology “the baptism of the Holy Spirit” refers to the baptism administered by the Holy Spirit. On the day of Pentecost the baptism of the Holy Spirit was actually administered by the Holy Spirit sent by Jesus Christ who ascended into heaven. So Lloyd-Jones’ note, “In the preaching of John the Baptist, the baptism of the Holy Spirit is something that is done by the Lord Jesus Christ not by the Holy Spirit,” is quite erroneous. It should read, “According to the preaching of John the Baptist, the baptism of the Holy Spirit will be done by the Holy Spirit sent by the Lord Jesus Christ on the day of Pentecost.” The note “This is Christ baptizing us with the Holy Spirit” also is quite erroneous. He does not understand the omission of the word “fire” found in Matt. 3:11 and Luke 3:16. This should read, “This is Christ baptizing us with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire.”
     The statement “you can be a child of God and yet not be baptized with the Holy Spirit” is right and biblical, but it would be better to read, “You can be a child of God and yet not be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire.” Lloyd-Jones says, “John the Baptist baptized with water whereas the Christ would baptize with the Holy Spirit.” The “water” is obviously the element of water baptism, but to treat the Holy Spirit as the element of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is thoroughly unacceptable because the Holy Spirit is God and a divine Person. The note “Our being baptized into the body of Christ is the work of the Spirit, as regeneration is his work” should be “Our being baptized in (eis) the body of Christ is the work of the Spirit sent by Jesus subsequent to regeneration.” These aforementioned notes of Lloyd-Jones add only a great confusion.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones comments on the translation of the Greek en.

‘Ah,’ says someone, ‘I can see what you are going to do; you are going to read that Authorized Version again which says “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body.” But the original Greek does not say that. It says, “For in one Spirit are we all baptized into one body.” So that verse does not say that the Spirit has baptized us, as you suggest, it rather saying that we have been baptized “in” the Sprit into the body of Christ. And such people claim that this can be established because the apostle used the Greek word en which people maintain, always means ‘in’ and not ‘by.’ Now this is a most interesting matter. Practically all the translations that we have, apart from the Revised Version and the New English Bible, translate this as the Authorized Version does, saying ‘For by one Spirit.’
The Revised Standard Version says that, Dr Moffat says that, the American Williams says that, Arthur S. Way in his famous translation of Paul’s Epistles and J. N. Darby puts it in the margin. The Amplified New Testament translates it like this: ‘For by (means of the personal agency of) the Spirit.’ ‘By’! Now here is the interesting thing–why is it that virtually all these translations knowing all about the fact the word en is the word used, deliberately translate this by the word ‘by’? There is only one answer it is that this word is used in Greek in a causal sense. Turn up the great lexicons–Arndt and Gingrish, which is the latest and one of the best, gives a section showing that it is used in this causal sense. And the other lexicons likewise say exactly the same thing. (Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Ibid., p.174.)

     The statement indicates that there are many controversial arguments about the translation of the Greek en in 1 Cor. 12:13. Nobody translates it as “with” but only “in” or “by.” The word en in Acts 1:5, 11:16 and 1 Cor. 12:13 can be “with/in/by.” The word en in Matt. 3:11, Mark 1:8, Luke 3:16 and John 1:33 must not be translated “by” but only “with/in” because Jesus Christ is the baptizer with/in the Spirit and with/in fire. The verb “baptized” in Acts 1:5 and 1 Cor. 12:13 is in the passive voice so that the Greek en in both passages can be translated as “by.” The baptizer in Acts 1:5 and 1 Cor. 12:13 can be assumed to mean “the Holy Spirit” sent by Jesus who ascended into heaven. The note of Lloyd-Jones clearly indicates that when someone does not understand the correct translation of en, eis, and kai, it is impossible to construct the biblical doctrine of the Spirit. Lloyd-Jones continues:

It is a baptism to give power, to create witnesses, to enable us to testify. The whole object of the baptism with the Spirit is to give us such an assurance and to fill us with power and we become living witness and testifiers to the truth as it is in Christ Jesus; we become his witnesses. That is the purpose of the baptism with the Spirit and it is a baptism that is done by the Lord Jesus Christ. (Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Ibid., p.177.)

     These statements are right except the terminology “the baptism with the Spirit.” The statement “That is the purpose of the baptism with the Spirit and it is a baptism that is done by the Lord Jesus Christ” should read “That is the purpose of the baptism of the Holy Spirit and it is a baptism that is done by the Holy Spirit sent by the Lord Jesus Christ on/from the day of Pentecost. Martyn Lloyd-Jones continues:

The Holy Spirit at the moment of regeneration also takes each person who is regenerated and puts him into the body of Christ–places and introduces him into it. (Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Ibid., p.178.)
 
     The note is right and biblical but it should be understood that the baptism of the Holy Spirit does not take place at the moment of regeneration. The Holy Spirit puts one into the body of Christ. The baptism of the Spirit does not put one into the body of Christ. This baptism does not place and introduce one into the body of Christ but into the power of the Spirit after placing one into the body of Christ.

John R. Rice comments on the translation of the Greek en.

The two phrases of Acts 1:5 and 1 Cor. 12:13 are much alike: “baptized with the Holy Ghost,” and “by one Spirit…baptized into one body.” In the Greek New Testament, as originally written, the phrases are even more alike, because the preposition in the two phrases, “with the Holy Ghost,” and “by one Spirit” in each case is the Greek word en. So Plymouth Brethren Bible teachers and many others, following them, thought 1 Corinthians 12:13 referred to the same baptism of the Holy Spirit as Acts 1:5. They thought that two baptisms mentioned in Acts 1:5 and 1 Corinthians 12:13 were the same baptism. But I believe we can show that they are wrong for several reasons. (John R. Rice, The power of Pentecost, p.99.)

     “They thought that two baptisms mentioned in Acts 1:5 and 1 Corinthians 12:13 were the same baptism because two phrases have the same Greek word en.” This is right, but “I believe we can show that they are wrong” is wrong. The Greek en in Acts 1:5 and 1 Cor. 12:13 can be translated as “with/in/by,” as noted above. So “by one Spirit…baptized into one body” in 1 Cor. 12:13 should be translated and interpreted as “by (en-with/in) one Spirit we were baptized in (eis) one body.” John R. Rice continues:

And now most of the world’s most eminent Bible scholarship agrees, along with the King James Version translators, that in 1 Corinthians 12:13 the Holy Spirit is mentioned as an agent of the baptism into the body of Christ, while in Acts 1:5 the Holy Spirit is the element in which Christ submerges and covers the Christians with power for soul winning. The baptism by the Spirit into the body of Christ, mentioned in 1 Cor. 12:13, is not the baptism in the Spirit which occurred at Pentecost. (John R. Rice, Ibid., p.100.)

     This erroneous statement is based on the mistranslation of the Greek en in Acts  1:5 and 1 Cor. 12:13, and the Greek eis in 1 Cor. 12:13. It is quite unbiblical to regard the Holy Spirit as an element. The note, “The baptism by the Spirit into the body of Christ, mentioned in 1 Cor. 12:13, is not the baptism in the Spirit which occurred at Pentecost,” should be, “The baptism by (en-with/in) the Spirit in (eis) the body of Christ, which is mentioned in 1 Cor. 12:13, is the same as the baptism by (en-with/ in) the Holy Spirit which occurred on the day of Pentecost.” John R. Rice continues:

Here are three kinds of baptism pictured. (a) John baptized converts in water. (b) Jesus baptized the disciples in the Holy Sprit at Pentecost. (c) The Holy Sprit baptized the Christians at Corinth into the body of Christ. In these three kinds of baptism there were three agents who did the baptizing. In (a), John the Baptist did the baptizing. In (b), Jesus did the baptizing. In (c), it is the Holy Spirit Himself who acts as the agent to take the new child of God and put him into the body of Christ. (John R. Rice, Ibid., p.102.)

     This erroneous note is based upon the mistranslation of the Greek en in seven passages and the Greek eis in 1 Cor. 12:13, as noted already. The note “Jesus baptized the disciples in the Holy Spirit at Pentecost” is misleading. It should read, “The Holy Spirit sent by Jesus baptized the disciples with/in the fire of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.” And the note “It is the Holy Spirit Himself who acts as the agent to take the new child of God and put him into the body of Christ” should read, “It is the Holy Spirit Himself who acts as the agent sent by Jesus baptized the new child of God with/in fire in the body of Christ.” So the conclusion (“Here are three kinds of baptism pictured”) is thoroughly inaccurate.  There are two kinds of baptism. (1) John baptized converts in/with water; (2) The Holy Spirit sent by Jesus baptized the 120 disciples in/with the fire of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost after conversion. John R. Rice continues:

If Jesus had meant that the Holy Ghost would, at Pentecost, baptize them into the body of Christ, He could have said so. But He did not say so. In fact, these disciples were already saved, and were already in the body of Christ which will be called out at the rapture. They were already members of that “general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven” (Heb. 12:23). To confuse Acts 1:5 with 1 Corinthians 12:13 as if they were talking about the same thing shows lack of careful scholarship and investigation. Jesus did not mean that these disciples at Pentecost would be put into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit, baptized into that body, buried or submerged into that body and made a part of it. No, they were already made members of this body of Christ, were already submerged or covered or baptized into the body of Christ. But at Pentecost they were to be buried or submerged or covered in the mighty power of the Holy Spirit from God. (John R. Rice, Ibid., p.148.)

     This statement is based upon the mistranslation of the Greek en and eis in 1 Cor. 12:13, which should be “By (en-with/in) one Spirit were we all baptized in one body.” Acts 1:5 should be translated, “You will be baptized by (en-with/in) the Holy Spirit.” The baptism by the Holy Spirit was not into the one body of Christ because the disciples were already in the body of Christ before this baptism. Both passages speak of the same subject. The only difference is verb tense: 1 Cor. 12:13 is in a past tense and Acts 1:5 is in a future tense. It is false to teach, “To confuse Acts 1:5 with 1 Cor. 12:13 as if they were talking about the same thing shows lack of careful scholarship and investigation.” But it is true that “at Pentecost they were to be buried or submerged or covered in the mighty power of the Spirit from God.”

Matt. 3:11 shows the correct translation of the Greek en.

Matt. 3:11  Ἐγὼ μὲν ὑμᾶς βαπτίζω ἐν ὕδατι εἰς μετάνοιαν...αὐτὸς ὑμᾶς βαπτίσει ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ καὶ πυρί·(BNT)
NIV       I baptize you with water for repentance…He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
ASV      I indeed baptize you in water unto repentance: he shall baptize you in the Holy Spirit and in fire.
NJB       I baptise you in water for repentance…he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

     The Greek preposition en in Matt. 3:11 can be translated “in/with” just as the NIV, ASV and NJB do. In the case of water baptism, either “in” or “with” water makes sense. Water is an instrument/means/element in which water baptism takes place. This is not true in the case of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The words “in the Holy Spirit” or “with the Holy Spirit” do not convey an accurate meaning. The words “in/with the Holy Spirit and in/with fire” make sense. The word “fire” is an instrument/means/element in which the baptism of the Holy Spirit takes place. Without a single exception, the Holy Spirit always must be treated as God the Holy Spirit and a divine Person. Therefore, the terminology “baptism in the Holy Spirit” is unreasonable because it makes the Holy Spirit an instrument/means/element in which the baptism of the Holy Spirit takes place. Through the description of Matt. 3:11 and Luke 3:16, it is confirmed that the terminology “the fire baptism of the Spirit” or “fire baptism” or “the Spirit’s fire baptism” should be used.

Luke 7:29 shows that the terminology “the baptism of the Spirit” is biblical.  

Luke 7:29  Καὶ πᾶς ὁ λαὸς ἀκούσας καὶ οἱ τελῶναι ἐδικαίωσαν τὸν θεὸν βαπτισθέντες τὸ βάπτισμα Ἰωάννου· (BNT)
NIV      All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus’ words, acknowledged that God’s way was right, because they had been baptized by John.
NKJ      And when all the people heard Him, even the tax collectors justified God, having been baptized with the baptism of John.  

     The phrase “they had been baptized by John” (NIV) is the same as the phrase “having been baptized with the baptism of John” (NKJ). The term “the baptism of John” implies that the baptism administered by John, that is, water baptism by John. Matt. 3:11 says that John baptized in/with (en) water, so it can be said, “water baptism of John” or “John’s baptism in/with water.” Matt. 3:11 also says, “He will baptize you with/in (en) the Holy Spirit and with/in fire.” This speaks of, “Jesus’ baptism of the Holy Spirit with/in fire” or “the fire baptism of the Holy Spirit by Jesus” or “the fire baptism of the Holy Spirit” or “the baptism of the Holy Spirit.” Actually, the Holy Spirit sent by Jesus baptized the 120 disciples with/in fire on the day of Pentecost. This fact confirms that the terminology “the baptism in the Holy Spirit” is inaccurate. The terminology should be, “the baptism of the Holy Spirit” because the Holy Spirit sent by Jesus administers the baptism of  the Holy Spirit. The correct and biblical terminology should be “the fire baptism of the Holy Spirit” just like “water baptism of John.”

Acts 2:32-33 shows that Jesus is the baptizer and the Spirit also is the baptizer.

Acts 2:32-33 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. (NIV)
NKV    This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.  

     The phrase “what you now see and hear” speaks of the manifestation of the gift of tongues of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4b). The baptism of the Holy Spirit is for those who receive the gift(s), that is, the power of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:32-33 confirms that Jesus has poured out the gift(s) of the Holy Spirit. This speaks of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, so it is confirmed that Jesus is the baptizer of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. But Jesus was not with the 120 disciples on the day of Pentecost but in heaven. It was the Holy Spirit who poured out the power or gift of the Holy Spirit on them. This fact affirms that the Holy Spirit sent by Jesus is actually the baptizer of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  

Acts 11:15-17 indicates that God is the baptizer of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 11:15-17 As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning. Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ So if God gave them the same gift as he gave us, who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could oppose God? (NIV)

     It must be assumed the word “with/in fire” in Luke  3:16 is omitted in Acts 1:5 and 11:16. According to these passages, the Holy Spirit came on the 120 disciples and baptized them with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire on the day of Pentecost. Here, it is confirmed that the Holy Spirit is the baptizer. Acts 11:17 says that God gave them the same gift as He gave us. God gave Cornelius and his family the same gift of the Holy Spirit, that is, the gift of tongues of the Holy Spirit just as He gave the 120 disciples on the day of Pentecost. To receive the gift (power) of the Holy Spirit is to be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire. Acts 11:15-17 confirms that God is the baptizer of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
     Some scholars argue the Bible speaks of “the fullness of the Holy Spirit” but does not speak of “the baptism of the Holy Spirit.” This argument is quite erroneous and based on the mistranslation and misinterpretation of the Scriptures mentioned above. The 120 disciples were baptized with/in fire when the Holy Spirit came on them on the day of Pentecost. It can be said also that they were baptized with/in fire by the Holy Spirit or the Holy Spirit baptized them with/in fire. The baptism of the Holy Spirit carries the same meaning as the baptism by the Holy Spirit. Even though there is no a literal terminology (“the baptism of the Holy Spirit”) in the Bible, it is strongly inferred.  

Who baptized Jesus with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire?

Luke 3:16    John answered them all, “I baptize you with water…He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” (NIV)
Luke 3:21-22  When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” (NIV)
Luke 4:1     Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert. (NIV)
Luke 4:14   Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. (NIV)

     Luke 3:16-21 says that John the Baptist baptized Jesus with/in water. John the Baptist was the baptizer with/in water. After receiving water baptism, the Holy Spirit came (descended) on Jesus, and He was full of the power of the Holy Spirit, that is, He was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:1; 4:14). The records of Luke 3:22-4:14 are the same as that of Acts 2:3-4. Through the records of Luke 3:22-4:14, it can be found that the Holy Spirit sent by God baptized Jesus Christ with/in the fire (power) of the Holy Spirit. Here, it is confirmed that in the case of Jesus, the Holy Spirit sent by God was the baptizer.

Luke 4:18; Acts 10:38 reveal that God is the baptizer of the baptism of the Spirit.

Luke 4:18-19  The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. (NIV)
Acts 10:38    how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, (NIV)

     The baptism of the Spirit fills believers with the power of the Spirit, as we have already noted. Luke 4:18 says that the Spirit is on Jesus, because the Spirit anointed Jesus. To “anoint” suggests the preposition “with.” Luke 4:18 is referenced by Acts 10:38, which says that God anointed Jesus with the Spirit and (kai) power. Here, the word “kai” means “of.” See also Acts 6:3,5 and 1 Cor. 2:4-5. We must conclude that Acts 10:38 means God anointed Jesus Christ with the Spirit’s power. Therefore, Luke 4:18 can correctly read, “The Spirit of the Lord is on Jesus, because the Spirit has anointed Jesus with the power of the Spirit to preach good news to the poor.” Acts 10:38 says that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the power of the Holy Spirit and confirms that Jesus received the power of the Holy Spirit through this anointing.
     Acts  1:5,8 confirm that to be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit (and with/in fire) is to receive the power of the Holy Spirit. Acts  1:5,8 and 2:1-4 confirm that to be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit (and with/in fire) is to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. Luke 3:22, 4:1-18 and Acts  10:38 confirm that God the Father baptized Jesus with/in fire (power) of the Holy Spirit sent by God the Father, or that Jesus was baptized with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire (power) by the Holy Spirit sent by God. It is seen that both the Holy Spirit and God the Father are said to be the baptizer of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. All the examinations mentioned above affirm that Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and God the Father are the baptizer of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It can be concluded that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is one work of the Trinity.

Titus 3:4-6 shows the baptism of the Spirit is a corporative work of the Trinity.

Titus 3:4-6    But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior. (NIV)

     The word “whom” in Titus 3:6 is incorrect. It must be “of whom,” as already noted. The word “He” in Titus 3:5-6 refers to “God,” so the correct translation of Titus 3:6 must be “of the Holy Spirit God poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior.” It can be concluded that God poured out (the gift) of the Holy Spirit on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior.
     Acts  1:5,8, 2:4, 17-18 confirm that to receive the poured out gift of the Holy Spirit is to be filled with power of the Holy Spirit, and to be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire is to be filled with power of the Holy Spirit. So Titus 3:4-6 shows that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is a corporative work of the Trinity. The record of Titus 3:6 is consistent with that of Acts 2:17-18. This also indicates the baptism of the Spirit is a corporative work of the Trinity.

Acts  2:32-33 This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. (NKJ)

     Through the description of Acts  2:32-33 we can conclude that Jesus received from the Father the promised of Holy Spirit and in turn, poured out the gift of the Holy Spirit - that is, “what you now see and hear” - the gift of tongues in Acts 2:4b. To be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire is to be poured out the gift of the Holy Spirit.
     Acts 2:32-33 indicates that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is a corporative work of the Trinity. Luke 3:22, 4:1-18 and Acts  10:38 obviously show that God the Father baptized Jesus with the Holy Spirit’s fire through the Holy Spirit sent by God the Father.

R. A. Torrey comments on the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

One of the most deeply significant phrases used in connection with the Holy Spirit in the Scriptures is “baptized with the Holy Ghost.” John the Baptist was the first to use this phrase. In speaking of himself and the coming one he said, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than 1, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptized you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire (Matt. 3:11). The second “with” in this passage is in italics. It is not found in the Greek. There are not two different baptisms spoken of, one with the Holy Ghost and one with fire, but one baptism with the Holy Wind and Fire. Jesus later used the same expression. In Acts 1:5 He said “For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” (R. A. Torrey, The Person & Work of the Holy Spirit, p.146.)

     The statement of R. A. Torrey, “The second ‘with’ in this passage is in italics. It is not found in the Greek.” This is incorrect because  Matt. 3:11 does include the word.

Matt 3:11  Ἐγὼ μὲν ὑμᾶς βαπτίζω ἐν ὕδατι εἰς μετάνοιαν... αὐτὸς ὑμᾶς βαπτίσει ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ καὶ πυρί·(BNT)

     En hudati (ἐν ὕδατι, with/in water) and en pneumati hagio kai puri (ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ καὶ πυρί, with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire) are in all dative nouns. Puri (πυρί) also is in the dative. It should be en puri (ἐν πυρί) like en hudati (ἐν ὕδατι). The second “with” in this passage is found in the Greek text. Also Torrey insists, “There are not two different baptisms spoken of, one with the Holy Ghost and one with fire, but one baptism with the Holy Wind and Fire.” This is correct but unclear. It should be written, “He shall baptize you with/in the Holy Spirit’s fire, and one baptism with/in the Holy Spirit’s fire,” because the Greek kai in v. 11 takes the meaning of “of.” If the meaning of the Greek kai (in Matt. 3:11; Luke 3:16; Acts 10:38; 1 Cor. 2:4-5) is not clear, it becomes impossible to interpret Matt. 3:11 and Luke 3:16 or to understand the kinds of baptism.

John Calvin comments on the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Unless a man be born again of water and the Spirit, he can not enter into the kingdom of God (John 3:5).....Christ indicates here the way in which God regenerates us, namely through water and the Spirit. It is as if he said: through the Spirit, who in cleansing and watering faithful souls performs the function of water. I therefore simply understand “water and Spirit” as “Spirit, who is water.” And this is no new expression, for it agrees completely with what is in the third chapter of Matthew: “He who follows me, is he who baptizes in the Holy Spirit and in fire” (Matt. 3:11; Luke 3:16; cf. John 1:26,33). Therefore, just as to baptize by the Holy Spirit and by fire is to confer the Holy Spirit, who in regeneration has the function and nature of fire, so to be born of water and the Spirit is but to receive that power of the Spirit, which does in the soul what water does in the body. I know that others interpret it differently, but I do not doubt that this is the real meaning. (John Calvin, Ibid., IV. 16. 25.)

     Calvin’s note, “I therefore simply understand ‘water and Spirit’ as ‘Spirit, who is water,’” is quite incorrect. The Spirit is by no means “water” but “God the Spirit.” Calvin also insists (“He who follows me, is he who baptizes in the Holy Spirit and in fire” - Matt.  3:11; Luke 3:16; cf. John 1:33), to be baptized by the Holy Spirit and by fire is to confer the Holy Spirit. This is quite erroneous. To be baptized with (en, by) the Holy Spirit is not to confer the Holy Spirit but to confer the power of the Holy Sprit to become the witness of Jesus. This occurs after one has become a Christian and a son of God. The 120 disciples had already received the Holy Spirit before being baptized with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire (Matt. 3:11) on the day of Pentecost. The note “Baptize in the Holy Spirit and in fire” is quite different from “baptize by the Holy Spirit and by fire.” In the phrase “baptize in the Holy Spirit and in fire,” the Holy Spirit is used as an element like water, but in the phrase “baptize by the Holy Spirit and by fire,” the Holy Spirit is used as the baptizer. Calvin’s claim is inconsistent. The Greek preposition “en” in Matt.  3:11 and Luke 3:16 must not be translated as “by” but only “with/in” since here the Holy Spirit is not the baptizer but Jesus is the baptizer. Both passages must be translated, “Jesus will baptize you with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire.” It should be inferred that Jesus will baptize you with/in the Holy Spirit’s fire.

Gerhard Kittel comments on the means of the baptism. 

The means by which “baptize” is administered is expressed by the dat. instr. (ὕδατι, Mk. 1:8; Lk. 3:16; Ac 1:5; 11:16; , Mk. 1:8), or more commonly by ἐν (ἐν ὕδατι, Mt. 3:11; Mk. 1:8; Jn. 1:26,31,33; ἐν τῷ Ἰορδάνῃ, Mt. 3:6; Mk 1:5; ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ [καὶ πυρί], Mt. 3:11; Lk. 3:16; Jn. 1:33; Ac. 1:5; 11:16; in 1 C. 12:13, however, ἐν ενι πνεύματι means “embraced by one Spirit.” (Gerhard Kittel, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, p.539.)

     Hudati (ὕδατι) and en hudati (ἐν ὕδατι) can be the means of water baptism, but en to Iordane (ἐν τῷ Ἰορδάνῃ, in the Jordan) cannot be the means of water baptism. Pneumati hagio (πνεύματι ἁγίῳ) and ἐν pneumati hagio (ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ) can not be the means of the baptism of the Spirit. But puri (πυρί) in Matt. 3:11 and Luke 3:16 can be the means of the baptism of the Spirit. The note, “in 1 Cor. 12:13, en heni pneumati (ἐν ενι πνεύματι) means ‘embraced by one Spirit,’” is wrong. It should be inferred as only “by/in/with the Spirit” like that of Acts 1:5.

Daniel B. Wallace comments on the baptizer and element of the baptism of the Spirit.

Luke 3:16  ἐγὼ μὲν ὕδατι βαπτίζω ὑμᾶς  I baptize you in water: Here ὕδατι, as occasionally happens with the dat. of sphere, seems to function in a double-duty capacity-specifying both the place of baptism and the means of baptism. Mark 1:8 ὐτὸς δὲ βαπτίσει ὑμᾶς ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ but he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit: Here it is obvious that Christ is the agent (since ὐτὸς is the subject), and the Holy Spirit is the means (and perhaps sphere) that the Lord uses to baptize. (Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar beyond the Basics, p.155,374.)

     The note, “Here hudati (ὕδατι ), as occasionally happens with the dat. of sphere, seems to function in a double-duty capacity-specifying both the place of baptism and the means of baptism” may be accepted as right. However, if this is applied to en pneumati hagio (ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ) in Mark 1:8, it is quite erroneous since en pneumati hagio (ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ.with/in the Holy Spirit) can by no means be the place (sphere) of baptism and the means of baptism. Wallace claims that Luke 3:16 shows water is the means of baptism. This is correct, but his claim “in Mark 1:8, the Holy Spirit is the means of baptism” is definitely erroneous. This statement does not regard the Holy Spirit as God but a material like water. We must conclude that the word “fire” found in Luke 3:16 and Matt. 3:11 is omitted in Mark 1:8 and John 1:33. “Fire” must be the means of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It must be interpreted that Jesus will baptize you with/in the Holy Spirit’s fire.
     The promise of the baptism of Jesus in Luke 3:16 was fulfilled at Pentecost, but on that day Jesus was not physically present in Jerusalem. He had ascended into heaven. Therefore, it was impossible for Him to baptize His disciples with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire on the day of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit sent by Jesus baptized them with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire on that day. Here, it can be concluded that the Holy Spirit sent by Jesus is the actual baptizer of the baptism of Jesus in Luke 3:16 and Matt. 3:11. Daniel B. Wallace continues:

1 Cor. 12:13 γὰρ ἐν ἑνὶ πνεύματι ἡμεῖς πάντες εἰς ἓν σῶμα ἐβαπτίσθημεν. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body: Our contention is that this is an illustration of ἓν used for means. By calling “Spirit” means here does not deny the personality of the Holy Spirit. Rather, the Holy Spirit is the instrument that Christ uses to baptize, even though he is a person. Since πνεύματι ἁγίῳ clearly indicate means in Mark 1:8 (as in several other passages dealing with Spirit-baptism), it is surely not unreasonable to see “Spirit” as the means here. Furthermore, if the Holy Spirit is the agent in this text, there is a theological problem: When is the prophecy of Mark 1:8 fulfilled? When would Christ baptize with the Holy Spirit? Because of the grammatical improbability of πνεύματι  expressing agent in 1 Cor. 12:13, it is better to see it as means and as the fulfillment of Mark 1:8. Thus, Christ is the unnamed agent. Just as John baptized ἐν ὕδατι so Christ baptized ἐν πνεύματι. (Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar beyond the Basics, p.435.)

     Wallace insists, “By calling ‘Spirit’ means here does not deny the personality of the Holy Spirit. Rather, the Holy Spirit is the instrument that Christ uses to baptize, even though he is a person.” If he insists that the Holy Spirit is the instrument that Christ uses to baptize, he virtually denies the personality of the Holy Spirit, even though he accepts that the Holy Spirit is a person. The Holy Spirit can by no means be the instrument (means/element) of the baptism. Without a single exception, the Holy Spirit must be regarded as God the Holy Spirit and a divine Person. His argument, “since pneumati hagio (πνεύματι ἁγίῳ) clearly indicate means in Mark 1:8, it is surely not unreasonable to see ‘Spirit’ as the means here,” makes no sense at all. Water [en hudati (ἐν ὕδατι, with/in water)] in Mark 1:8 is the means of water baptism but the Spirit [en pneumati (ἐν πνεύματι, with/in the Spirit)] in Mark 1:8 can by no means the means of Jesus’ baptism. It must be concluded that in [en pneumati (ἐν πνεύματι, with/in the Spirit)], the word “fire” in Matt. 3:11 and Luke 3:16 is omitted. So pneumati hagio (πνεύματι ἁγίῳ) does not indicate the means in Mark 1:8. The omitted “fire” must be the instrument (means/element) that Christ uses to baptize. The Holy Spirit is a divine Person.
     The note, “Because of the grammatical improbability of pneumati (πνεύματι) expressing agent in 1 Cor. 12:13,” is quite erroneous. En pneumati (ἐν πνεύματι) can be translated as “by the Spirit” since He was the actual baptizer sent by the ascended Jesus. Wallace’s erroneous statements are from (1) the misunderstanding of the words “and with/in fire” (Matt. 3:11 and Luke 3:16) and (2) the usages of omission in Mark 1:8, John 1:33, Acts 1:5 and 1 Cor. 12:13, and (3) the mistran- slation of the Greek eis in 1 Cor. 12:13. In summary, “You will be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire” (future passive voice) in Matt. 3:11 and Luke 3:16 must be consistent with 1 Cor. 12:13 (past passive voice). That is, Matt. 3:11 and Luke 3:16 must be the same record as 1 Cor. 12:13. Only the tense can be different. If 1 Cor. 12:13 is translated as follows, there will be no theological controversy on the means/element/medium/instrument of the baptism of the Spirit.

By (en) one Spirit we were all baptized into one body…It is a mistranslation.
By (en) one Spirit we were all baptized in one body.
By (en) one Spirit sent by Jesus we were all baptized with/in one Spirit (and with/in fire) in one body.
With/in (en) one Spirit we were all baptized in one body.
With/in (en) one Spirit (and with/in fire) we were all baptized in one body.

John R. W. Stott comments on the baptizer and element of the baptism of the Spirit.

The Greek expression is precisely the same in all its seven occurrences (Mt. 3:11; Mk. 1:8; Lk. 3:16; Jn. 1:33; Acts 1:5; 11:16; 1 Cor. 12:13). The only difference is that six times the Spirit is characterized as ‘holy,’ and in the seventh verse as ‘one’, and therefore a priori, as a sound principle of interpretation, it should be taken to refer to the same baptism experience in each verse. The burden of proof rests with those who deny it. The natural interpretation is that Paul is echoing the words of John the Baptist as first Jesus and then Peter had done (Acts 1:5; 11:16). It is unnatural to make Jesus Christ the baptizer in six instances and the Holy Spirit the baptizer in the seventh. I think we must even dissent from the RSV translation of 1 Corinthians 12:13, ‘by one Spirit we were all baptized.’ The Greek preposition in this verse is en, just as in the other six verses, where it is translated ‘with’; why should it be rendered differently here? If it is because the words en heni pneumati (RSV ‘by one Spirit’) come at the beginning of the sentence, the reason for this is surely that Paul is stressing the oneness of the Spirit in whom we share, not that the Spirit is the baptizer. (John R. W. Stott, Baptism & Fullness, p.40.)

     The note, “It is unnatural to make Jesus Christ the baptizer in six instances, and the Holy Spirit the baptizer in the seventh,” seems to be reasonable. But it must be inferred that the Holy Spirit sent by Jesus is the actual baptizer of the baptism of the Holy Spirit in all seven instances. Jesus was not in this world but in heaven after his resurrection and ascension. So en heni pneumati in 1 Cor. 12:13 and en pneumati in Acts 1:5 can be translated, “by one Spirit and by the Spirit.”
     It must be acknowledged that the word “fire” found in Matt. 3:11 and Luke 3:16 is omitted in five other instances since the Holy Spirit cannot be the means (element/medium/instrument) of the baptism. The word “fire” must be accepted as the means of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Stott’s argument, “The Greek expression is precisely the same in all its seven occurrences. The only difference is that six times the Spirit is characterized as ‘holy,’ and in the seventh verse as ‘one’, and as a sound principle of interpretation, it should be taken to refer to the same baptism experience in each verse,” is exactly right and biblical. Every scholar has to accept Stott’s statement.  
     Unfortunately, Stott misunderstands the word “fire” in Matt. 3:11 and Luke   3:16. The word “fire” in Matt. 3:11 and Luke 3:16 must be added to five instances to accept his argument (“the Greek expression is precisely the same in all its seven occurrences”) as biblical. It is impossible to interpret seven instances without the word “fire,” which must be the element (means) of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. John R. W. Stott continues:  
 
Let me enlarge on my point in this way. In every kind of baptism (of water, blood, fire, Spirit, etc). There are four parts. To begin with, there are the subject and the object namely the baptizer and the baptized. Thirdly, there is the element with or in (en) which, and fourthly, there is the purpose for (eis) which the baptism takes place. (John R. W. Stott, Ibid., p.40.)

     In all the Scriptures, there are not four kinds of baptism (of water, blood, fire, Spirit) but only two (of water and the Spirit). To write “there is the purpose for (eis) which the baptism takes place” is quite incorrect. In the cases of Matt. 28:19 and  1 Cor. 10:1-2, 12:13, the Greek preposition eis must not be translated as “into” but “in.” John R. W. Stott continues:

Take, as an example, the crossing of the Red Sea, which the apostle Paul describes as a kind of baptism (I Cor. 10:1,2). Presumably God himself was the baptizer. Certainly the escaping Israelites were baptized. The element in which the baptism was admi- nistered was water or spray from the cloud and the sea, while its purpose is indicated in the expression ‘baptized into Moses,’ that is, into relationship with him as their God-appointed leader. (John R. W. Stott, Ibid., p.40-41.)

     Stott’s notes are from the mistranslation and misinterpretation of 1 Cor. 10:1-2. The expression “baptized into Moses” must be, “They were baptized in Moses.” The note, “The element in which the baptism was administered was water or spray from the cloud and the sea,” is incorrect. It should be inferred that they were saved through the cloud and the sea. His note, “while its purpose is indicated in the expression ‘baptized into Moses,’ that is, into relationship with him as their God-appointed leader” is also from a misunderstanding. The Israelites were already in a relationship with Moses as their God-appointed leader before leaving Egypt. John R. W. Stott continues:

Christian baptism is similar. The minister baptizes the professing believer with or in (en) water. And the baptism is into (eis) the one name of the Trinity (Mt. 28:19), or more precisely into the name of the Lord Jesus (Acts 8:16; 19:5), that is, into the Christ crucified and risen (Rom. 6:3,4). (John R. W. Stott, Ibid., p.41.)

     The Greek eis (Matt. 28:19; Acts 8:16, 19:5; Rom. 6:3,4) must not be translated as “into” but “in.” “The baptism is into the name of Jesus” is quite different from “the baptism is in the name of Jesus.” To accept Jesus as the Savor and Lord is to be in the name of Jesus. So “the baptism is in the name of Jesus” must mean that after entering into the name of Jesus, after having been in the name of Jesus, and after becoming Christian, the baptism took place (and takes place) in the name of Jesus. This means that after becoming Christian, one can be baptized in the name of Jesus. “The baptism is into the name of Jesus” means that through the baptism one can enter into the name of Jesus, but this makes no sense at all. After entering into the name of Jesus, after receiving Jesus, after becoming Christian, one can be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Therefore, the note “the baptism is into the name of Jesus” makes no sense at all. The baptism is not “into” but “in” the name of the Trinity (Matt. 28:19). “By one Spirit we were all baptized into one body in 1 Cor. 12:13” is an erroneous translation. It must be “With/in/by one Spirit we were all baptized in one body.” It must be inferred that on having been in one body, by one Sprit we were all baptized with/in the Spirit’s fire. We were not in one body through the baptism of the Spirit. Before being baptized with/in the Spirit’s fire we were already in one body through faith in Jesus. Stott continues:
 
It will be seen from these examples that in every kind of baptism there are not only a subject and an object, but also both an en and an eis, that is, both an element with or in which, and a purpose of which, the baptism is administered. The baptism of the Spirit is no exception. If we put the seven references to this baptism together, we learn that Jesus Christ is the baptizer, as John the Baptist clearly foretold. According to I Cor. 12:13, the baptized are ‘we all.’ The Holy Spirit is himself the ‘element’ with, or in (en), which the baptism takes place. The purpose of this baptism is in corporation ‘into (eis) one body,’ namely the body of Christ, the church. If 1 Corinthians 12:13 were different and in this verse the Holy Spirit were himself the baptizer, what would be the ‘element’ with which he baptizes? That there is no answer to this question seems enough to overthrow this interpretation, since the baptism metaphor absolutely requires an ‘element’; otherwise the baptism is no baptism. Therefore, the ‘element’ in the baptism of 1 Corinthians 12:13 must be the Holy Spirit, and (consistently with the other verses) we must supply Jesus Christ as the baptizer. (John R. W. Stott, Ibid., p.41-42,43.)

     Stott’s note is definitely erroneous. He treats the Holy Spirit as an element like water. Acts 1:5 says, “For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit” (NIV). Here, “water” is the element of water baptism, but the Holy Spirit cannot be the element of the baptism of the Holy Spirit since He is God the Holy Spirit and a divine Person. So it must be inferred that the word “fire” in Luke 3:16 is understood in Acts 1:5 and 1 Cor. 12:13. Therefore, the element in 1  Cor. 12:13 must not be the Holy Spirit but fire. Stott’s note, “The Holy Spirit is himself the ‘element’ with, or in (en), which the baptism takes place,” makes no sense at all. It must be inferred that “fire” in Matt. 3:11 and Luke 3:16 is the element with/in, which the baptism of the Holy Spirit takes place. John R. W. Stott continues:

Pentecost and charismatic Christians usually speak of ‘baptism in the Spirit’ rather than ‘baptism with the Spirit.’ The Greek preposition en may be translated either way. The expression chosen is likely to depend on whether one considers that water-baptism should be administered by immersion or by affusion. Those who practice immersion speak of baptism in the Spirit presumably because they think of the Spirit as the element in which one is plunged. Since, however, it is when the Holy Spirit is ‘poured out’ upon the people that they are said to be ‘baptized,’ ‘baptism with the Spirit’ seems to me preferable. (John R. W. Stott, Ibid., p.41.)

     Both Pentecostal and non-Pentecost Christians speak of “the baptism in the Spirit or baptism with the Spirit.” Both designations consider and treat the Spirit as an element like water so they are erroneous. The Spirit must not be regarded as an element like water but as the baptizer sent by Jesus. Stott continues:

The purpose of this baptism is incorporation ‘into (eis) one body,’ namely the body of Christ, the church. (John R. W. Stott, Ibid., p.42.)
   
     Stott’s erroneous statement is from the mistranslation of the Greek eis in 1 Cor. 12:13. It would more correctly be translated and interpreted, “We were all baptized with/in one Spirit (and with/in fire) in one body.” By no means does this passage record the purpose of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. John R. W. Stott continues:

It is quite true that of these four aspects of baptism the only one which is explicitly common to all seven verses is that this baptism is “with (en) the Spirit.” Although all thus mention the ‘element,’ not every verse specifies either the subject or the object or the purpose of the baptism. (John R. W. Stott, Ibid., p.41.)

     Stott insists all seven passages speak of this baptism as “with (en) the Spirit.” This is in error because “with (en) the Spirit” in these seven passages is by no means the element of the baptism. The element of seven passages must be “fire” according to Matt. 3:11 and Luke 3:16. The word “fire” is omitted in five passages. Neither do the seven passages specify the purpose of the baptism. The purpose is recorded in Luke 4:1-18, 24:49, Acts 1:5,8 and 10:38.  Stott continues:

It is sometimes argued that in I Corinthians 12:13 the Holy Spirit must be the baptizer, since otherwise the baptism would have no subject. But no baptizer is mentioned in Acts 1:5 and Acts 11:16 either. We find no difficulty in supply Jesus Christ as the baptizer in those verses; why should not do the same in I Corinthians 12:13? The reason why Christ is not specifically mentioned as the baptizer in these three verses is not far to seek. (John R. W. Stott, Ibid., p.41.)

     This argument is in great error because of the following reasons. Four Gospels record the baptizer as Jesus Christ, but after His resurrection and ascension Jesus was already in heaven. He was not in Jerusalem with the 120 disciples when the 120 were baptized with/in the Holy Spirit (and with/in fire) on the day of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit sent by Jesus Christ actually baptized them with/in fire. John R. W. Stott continues:

It is that, whereas in the four Gospels the verb is in the active and Christ is its subject (‘he will baptize,’ ‘this is he who baptizes’), in these other three verses the verb is passive and the subject is those baptized (‘you shall be baptized,’ ‘we were all baptized). The active verbs contrast John and Jesus as the two baptizers. When the verbs are passive, however, the identity of the baptizer fades, and the emphasis lies rather on either the favored people who receive the baptism or the one Spirit with whom they are baptized. 1 reaffirm, therefore, that in I Corinthians 12:13, although he is not named, Jesus Christ must be regarded as the baptizer. (John R. W. Stott, Ibid., p.42.)

     Stott’s argument, “the one Spirit with whom they are baptized,” is erroneous since he treats the Spirit as the element of the baptism. The omitted “fire” must be the element. His statement “I reaffirm, therefore, that in 1 Corinthians 12:13, although he is not named, Jesus Christ must be regarded as the baptizer” is logical, but it must be noted that the Holy Spirit sent by Jesus Christ is the actual baptizer.

Richard B. Gaffin comments on the baptizer and element of the baptism of the Spirit.

At Pentecost it is Jesus who baptizes with the Holy Spirit…while John has been sent to baptize with water (John 1:31,33), Jesus is “the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit” (v. 33). Luke plainly shows that the fire of the Messiah’s baptism is destructive…for the Spirit-and-fire baptism eventually realized at Pentecost, to be one of blessing rather than destruction for the messianic people. The echo of themes central in Luke 3:16b,17 is unmistakable: destructive fire, baptism, both set in the context of differentiating judgment. (Richard B. Gaffin, Perspectives on Pentecost, p.14,15,16.)

     Consider, “At Pentecost it is Jesus who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.” This is quite erroneous because the Holy Spirit is not treated as God but as an element, in this case, like water. It should read, “At Pentecost it is the Holy Spirit sent by Jesus who baptizes with/in the fire of the Holy Spirit.” The comment, “Luke plainly shows that the fire of the Messiah’s baptism is destructive…for the Spirit-and-fire baptism eventually realized at Pentecost, to be one of blessing rather than destruction for the messianic people,” is in great confusion.
     Gaffin insists here that the words “the fire of the Messiah’s baptism” is distinct from that of “the Spirit-and-fire baptism.” But both words should be accepted as the same meaning since the words “the Spirit-and-fire baptism” means “the Spirit and fire of the Messiah’s baptism.” The reason why he is in great confusion is from that he mistakenly accepted the fire in Luke 3:16 as the same fire in Luke 3:17. The “fire” in Matt. 3:12 and Luke 3:17 is quite distinct from the “fire” in Matt. 3:11 and Luke 3:16. In Matt. 3:11 and Luke 3:16 the “fire” refers to the element of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. In Matt. 3:12 and Luke 3:17 the “fire” refers to the unquenchable fire of hell.

Chuck Smith comments on the baptizer and element of the baptism of the Spirit.

In Matthew 3:11, John is prophesying the coming of Jesus, and declares, concerning Him, that He would baptize them with the Holy Spirit and fire. John was baptizing people in water. John was the baptizer, water was the element, and repentance of sin was the issue. In 1 Corinthians 12, the Holy Spirit is the baptizer and the issue is initiation into the body of Christ. The promise was that Jesus would be the baptizer, the Holy Spirit would be the element, and the issue would be power to witness. (Chuck Smith, Living Water, p.261.)

     The note, “In 1 Corinthians 12, the Holy Spirit is the baptizer and the issue is initiation into the body of Christ,” is a mixture of correct and incorrect elements. To say “the Holy Spirit is the baptizer” is correct. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to baptize. The Holy Spirit sent by Jesus is the baptizer. But to speak of the issue as “initiation into the body of Christ” is erroneous. It is based on the mistranslation of 1 Cor. 12:13. It should be “We were all baptized with/in/by (en) one Spirit in (eis) one body.” This passage does not describe “initiation into the body of Christ.” The issue is that the baptism of the Spirit is in one body of Christ, that is, the baptism of the Spirit occurred after having been born again, after having been in one body of Christ. Consider the note, “The promise was that Jesus would be the baptizer, the Holy Spirit would be the element, and the issue would be power to witness.” “The promise was that Jesus would be the baptizer” is correct, but “the Holy Spirit would be the element” is quite erroneous.

Guy P. Duffield and N.M. Van Cleave comment on the baptizer and the element.

The Holy Spirit baptizes the believers into the Body of Christ. Much confusion has arisen over 1 Cor 12:12-13 because some have taught that it is referring to the Baptism with the Spirit which the one hundred and twenty received on the Day of Pentecost. (Guy P. Duffield/N.M. Van Cleave, Foundations of Pentecostal Theology, p.277.)

     This note is quite erroneous since Guy P. Duffield and N.M. Van Cleave accept the mistranslation of 1 Cor. 12:13 as correct. The baptism of the Holy Spirit recorded in 1 Cor. 12:13 speaks of the same baptism received by the 120 disciples on the day of Pentecost. Guy P. Duffield and N.M. Van Cleave continue:

Thus, it is claimed that all receive the Baptism with the Holy Spirit when they are saved. There is a vital difference between the Holy Spirit baptizing believers into the Body of Christ, an operation of the Holy Spirit, and being baptized with the Holy Ghost which is an operation of Jesus. (Guy P. Duffield/N.M. Van Cleave, Ibid., p.277.)

     The claim “all receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit when they are saved” is based upon the mistranslation of 1 Cor. 12:13. The note, “There is a vital differ- rence between the Holy Spirit baptizing believers into the Body of Christ, an operation of the Holy Spirit, and being baptized with the Holy Ghost which is an operation of Jesus,” is based on the mistranslation of 1 Cor. 12:13 and the misunderstanding of the connection of Matt. 3:11, Mark 1:8, Luke 3:16, John 1:33, Acts 1:5, 11:16 and 1 Cor. 12:13. It should read, “Jesus will baptize believers with/ in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire in the body of Christ, and the Holy Spirit sent by Jesus will baptize believers with/in fire in the body of Christ.” The seven passages must have the same meaning. Duffield and Van Cleave continue:

John said, “I indeed have baptized you with water: but he [referring to Christ] shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost” (Mk. 1:8). The baptism spoken of in 1 Corinthians 12:13 is conducted by the Holy Spirit, and has to do with the believer’s position in Christ; while the baptism spoken of by John in Mark 1:8 is conducted by Jesus Christ, and has to do with power for service. In the first these two baptisms–that into the Body of Christ–the Holy Spirit is the agent while the Body of Christ, the Church, is the medium. In the second, Christ is the agent and the Holy Spirit is the medium.( Guy P. Duffield/N.M. Van Cleave, Ibid., p.278.)

     Consider the note “The baptism spoken of in 1 Corinthians 12:13 is conducted by the Holy Spirit, and has to do with the believer’s position in Christ; while the baptism spoken of by John in Mark 1:8 is conducted by Jesus Christ, and has to do with power for service.” This is in great error and thoroughly inaccurate because it is based upon the mistranslation and misinterpretation of 1 Cor. 12:13. Both baptisms are the work of the Holy Spirit sent by Jesus. The note “The Holy Spirit is the medium” is quite erroneous. Duffield and Van Cleave continue:
 
The baptism with the Holy Ghost is the second of the four cardinal truths upon which the Foursquare Gospel is founded–Jesus Christ the Baptizer with the Holy Spirit. (Guy P. Duffield/N.M. Van Cleave, Ibid., p.304.)

     The terminology “The baptism with the Holy Ghost” is quite inaccurate because the Holy Spirit is treated as an element/means like water. The phrase “Jesus Christ the Baptizer with the Holy Spirit” is inaccurate. This should more correctly read, “The baptism of the Holy Spirit.” We should speak of “Jesus Christ the Baptizer with/in the fire of the Holy Spirit.”
 

Jack Hamilton comments on the baptism of the Spirit and the baptism in (with) the Spirit.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit is for new birth and salvation. The agent of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is the Holy Spirit. The water in John 3:5 is water baptism and every believer can be baptizer in water baptism. The baptism in (with) the Holy Spirit is to receive power for witness. And the baptizer of the baptism in (with) the Holy Spirit is Jesus. (Jack Hamilton, a lecture on the Holy Spirit at the Hayford Bible Institute in ‘The Church On The Way’ 10/16/2003.)

     This note is a mixture of right and erroneous elements. Hamilton insists that the baptism of the Spirit is distinct from the baptism in (with) the Spirit. But it is from a misunderstanding. The terminology should be “the baptism of the Spirit or the baptism in (with) the fire of the Spirit.” The note “The baptism of the Spirit is for new birth and salvation” is inaccurate. This baptism takes place subsequent to new birth and salvation. The note “The baptizer of the baptism of the Spirit is Jesus” is right, but it should be said the Spirit sent by Jesus is the actual baptizer.

John F. MacArthur accepts the Sprit as the baptizer and also the element.

1 Corinthians 12:13 makes clear that Spirit baptism is actually an integral part of every Christian’s salvation experience. Spirit baptism brings the believers into a vital union with Christ. To be baptized with the Holy Spirit means that Christ immerses us in the Spirit. Baptism with the Spirit makes all believers one. It is a fact, not feeling. (John F. MacArthur, Charismatic Chaos, p.230-231.)

     “Spirit baptism brings the believers into a vital union with Christ” is from the mistranslation of the Greek eis in 1 Cor. 12:13. The believers became a vital union with Christ before receiving the baptism of the Spirit. The note “To be baptized with the Holy Spirit means that Christ immerses us in the Spirit” is also quite erroneous for the reason - the Spirit is treated as an element like water. It should read, “To be baptized in/with the Spirit and in/with fire means that Christ immerses us in/with the fire (power) of the Holy Spirit.” MacArthur continues:

The church is formed as believers are baptized by Christ with the Holy Spirit. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body. The Holy Spirit is the agent of baptism but Christ is the baptizer. At Jesus own baptism John the Baptist tells us that it is Christ, “He who is coming after me [and] is mightier than I,” who would baptize “with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matt. 3:11; cf. Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33). As explained in the following verses, the baptism of fire is the judgment of hell, the burning of “the chaff with unquenchable fire.” As Savior, Christ baptizes with the Holy Spirit; as Judge, He baptize with fire. All believers receive baptism with the Holy Spirit; all unbelievers will receive baptism with fire. Therefore every living soul will be baptized by Christ...The pouring forth of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost also reveals that this baptism was by Jesus Christ (Acts 2:32-33), in fulfillment of John the Baptist’s prediction (Matt. 3:11, etc.) and of Jesus’ own promise (John 7:37-39; 15:7-15; Acts 1:5). The Father sent the Son and the Son sends the Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is the divine Comforter, Helper, and Advocate. The Son is the baptizer and the Holy Spirit is the agent of baptism...Paul’s central point I Corinthians 12:13 is that baptism with the one Spirit makes church one body...Many erring teachers today have used a wrong interpretation of the baptism with the Holy Spirit to divide off from the Body an imagined spiritual elite who have what the rest do not. The idea violates the whole teaching here. (John F. MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, I Corinthians 12:13, Chicago: Moody, 1989, p.311-312.)

     “Christ baptizes with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the divine Comforter, Helper, and Advocate. The Son is the baptizer and the Holy Spirit is the agent of baptism.” This is a mixture of the correct and incorrect. The Holy Spirit is the divine Comforter, Helper, and Advocate. To write “Christ baptizes with the Holy Spirit” is quite erroneous since the Holy Spirit is not treated as God but as an element like water. Billy Graham claims, “We must not be confused by mere terminology.” But MacArthur and Graham themselves are much confused by “mere terminology.” The words “to be baptized by the Holy Spirit” in 1 Cor. 12:13 is quite distinguished from the words “to be baptized with the Holy Spirit” in Mark 1:8, but MacArthur forces the same meaning on both passages. His case rests on the mistranslation and misunderstanding of I Cor. 12:13, and the word “fire” in Matt. 3:11 and Luke 3:16. He does not accept the word “fire” as the element of the Spirit’s baptism. John F. MacArthur continues:

First Corinthians 12:13 opens with the phrase, “For by one Spirit.” That is where much of the charismatic confusion begins. The Greek text uses the tiny preposition en. This term can be translated “at,” “by,” or “with” – and some scholars might even   translated it “in.” An accurate translation in 1 Corinthians, and the most consistent in the context of the New Testament, would use either by or with. In other words, at conversion, we are baptized by or with the Holy Spirit. This must not be taken to mean that the Holy Spirit is the One who does the baptizing. Nowhere in the Bible is the Holy Spirit spoken of as the baptizer. (John F. MacArthur, Charismatic chaos, p.231.)

     MacArthur translated and interpreted 1 Cor. 12:13 as “at conversion, we are baptized by or with the Holy Spirit.” His translation “we are baptized by or with the Holy Spirit” is correct but his interpretation is quite erroneous since it is based upon the mistranslation of the Greek eis. It should be translated as “We are bap- tized by (with/in) the Holy Spirit in one body.” And it should be interpreted as “We are baptized by (with/in) the Holy Spirit (and with/in fire) in one body, that is, “We are baptized with/in fire by the Holy Spirit in one body after conversion.”  
     “This must not be taken to mean that the Holy Spirit is the One who does the baptizing. Nowhere in the Bible is the Holy Spirit spoken of as the baptizer.” This is quite erroneous. MacArthur’s own word trap him since he says, “An accurate translation in 1 Corinthians, and the most consistent in the context of the New Testament, would use either by or with.” He obviously says that we are baptized by the Holy Spirit, which is in a passive voice. This passive voice can be changed into the active voice, “The Holy Spirit baptized us.” Here, he obviously treats the Holy Spirit as the baptizer. So his claim “Nowhere in the Bible is the Holy Spirit spoken of as the baptizer” is proved as quite erroneous through his own ex- planation. MacArthur himself shows that he is in great confusion. He speaks of 1 Cor. 12:13 as where much of the charismatic confusion begins, but the confusion began when he accepted the mistranslation of every English version as authentic. The note “This term can be translated ‘at,’ ‘by,’ or ‘with’– and some scholars might even translated it ‘in’” is erroneous. The Greek “en” in 1 Cor. 12:13 can be actually translated as “with/in/by.” John F. MacArthur continues:

In the present age, baptism by Christ through the agency of the Holy Spirit takes place for all believers at conversion. At that moment, every believer is placed into the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13)…The baptism with the Holy Spirit is not a special privilege for some believers, nor are believers challenged and exhorted in Scripture to seek it. The passive voice of the verb translated ‘be baptized’ indicates the baptism by Jesus Christ with the Spirit is entirely a divine activity. (John F. MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary/Acts, p.18.)

     This note speaks of three baptisms: “baptism by Christ through the agency of the Holy Spirit,” “the baptism with the Holy Spirit,” and “the baptism by Jesus Christ with the Spirit.” To speak of the “baptism by Christ through the agency of the Holy Spirit,” treats the Holy Spirit as agency, but the phrases, “The baptism with the Holy Spirit” and “the baptism by Jesus Christ with the Spirit” treat the Holy Spirit as an element/means like water. MacArthur himself shows that he is in great confusion.

Frederick D. Bruner comments on the baptism of the Spirit and element/baptizer.

The Spirit is Jesus at work in continuation of his ministry. The work of the Holy Spirit is the extension of the ministry begun and now continued by Jesus Christ himself. To receive the promised baptism with the Holy Spirit the apostle are commended not to leave Jerusalem. Of most significance to us, for the baptism of the Holy Spirit–remaining in Jerusalem–is not psychological. (Frederick D. Bruner, A Theology of the Holy Spirit, p.156.)

     “The Spirit is Jesus at work in continuation of his ministry” is positively correct, but the terminology “the baptism with the Spirit” is not. If the note “the Spirit is Jesus” applies to “the baptism with the Holy Spirit,” it is quite erroneous because in essence it is speaking of “the baptism with Jesus Christ.” The terminology “the baptism of the Holy Spirit” is positively biblical. Frederick D. Bruner continues:

The noun term “baptism of (in, or with) the Holy Spirit” does not occur in the New Testament. “Gift of the Holy Spirit” would be the more appropriate designation in an Acts study. (Frederick D. Bruner, Ibid., p.194.)

     The designation “baptism of (in, or with) the Holy Spirit” is based on the records of Matt. 3:11, Mark  1:8, Luke 3:16, John 1:33, Acts 1:5, 11:16 and 1  Cor. 12: 13. The designation “baptism in/with the Holy Spirit” is inaccurate because the Holy Spirit is not honored as God the Spirit but is treated as an element/means like water. “‘Gift of the Holy Spirit’ would be the more appropriate designation in an Acts study” is unreasonable because in the book of Acts both designations (the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the gift of the Holy Spirit) are used of the same meaning. Frederick D. Bruner continues:

To have been baptized merely in water, argues Pentecostals from this important Acts text, is not yet to have been baptized in the Spirit. John’s baptism was only with water; the baptism into Jesus Christ is nothing less but it is much more; it is baptism with the Spirit (cf. 1:5; 2:38; 19:5-6). (Frederick D. Bruner, Ibid., p.65.)

     The note “John’s baptism was only with water” and “to have been baptized merely in water” is right. But to write “it is baptism with the Spirit” and “to have been baptized in the Spirit” is quite erroneous. John’s baptism was only with/in water, but Jesus baptized with two kinds of baptism, i.e., with/in water and with/in the fire of the Holy Spirit. Frederick D. Bruner continues:

In describing the full or Pentecostal experience of the Spirit, moreover, Pentecostals usually prefer the designation “baptism in” (or with) rather than “baptism of” (or by) the Spirit. For while every Christian, on becoming a Christian, has been baptized of or by the Spirit-as-agent (1 Cor. 12:13a), Pentecostals believe that not every Christian has yet been baptized by Christ-as-agent in or with the Spirit-as-element (Mark 1:8 par.; 1 Cor. 12:13b). (Frederick D. Bruner, Ibid., p.60.)

     It is correct to speak of “baptized of or by the Spirit-as-agent” (1 Cor. 12:13a). But it must be concluded from 1 Cor. 12:13 that after becoming a Christian, after conversion, after regeneration, on having been in one body of Christ, every Christian can be baptized of or by the Spirit-as-agent. This is available to every Christian. They are already in the one body of Christ before being baptized of or by the Spirit. “Pentecostals believe that not every Christian has yet been baptized by Christ-as-agent in or with the Spirit-as-element (Mark 1:8 par.; 1 Cor. 12:13b).” This note is inaccurate only because it is based on the misunderstanding of the baptizer, the baptized and the element of the baptism. It should speak of, “to be baptized by Christ-as-baptizer in or with the fire of the Spirit as element” since the Spirit cannot be the element of the baptism. Not every Christian has been baptized by Christ-as-baptizer in/with the fire of the Spirit, or by the Spirit sent by Christ-as-agent in/with the fire of the Spirit at conversion. Bruner continues:

The Pentecostal theologian Williams has his way of explaining this somewhat complex distinction: “in the new birth the Holy Spirit is the Agent, the atoning blood the means, the new birth the result; in the Baptism with the Spirit, Christ is the Agent (‘He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire’), the Spirit the means, the enduement with power the result.” (Frederick D. Bruner, Ibid., p.60.)

     Williams’ note, “in the Baptism with the Spirit, Christ is the Agent, the Spirit the means,” is quite erroneous since the Spirit is treated as an element (means). It should read, “in the Baptism with/in the Spirit’s fire, Christ is the Baptizer, the Spirit’s fire is the means.” It is accurate to write “in the Baptism with/in the Spirit’s fire, the Spirit sent by Christ is the baptizer, the Spirit’s fire is the means.” Williams’ note “the enduement with power is the result” is right. Bruner continues:

Pentecostals believe that the Spirit has baptized every believer into Christ (conversion), but that Christ has not yet baptized every believer into the Spirit (Pentecost). The Pentecostal believes, then, that since every Christian has been baptized by or of but not yet in or with the Holy Spirit, the preposition “in” is usually important for describing the special Pentecostal spiritual baptism which follows conversion. (Frederick D. Bruner, Ibid., p.60.)

     Pentecostals’ claim that “the Spirit has baptized every believer into Christ (conversion), but that Christ has not yet baptized every believer into the Spirit (Pentecost)” is thoroughly inaccurate. It is based on the mistranslation of “eis” in 1 Cor. 12:13 and misinterpretation of Luke  3:16, Acts 1:5 and 2:1-4. “The Spirit has baptized every believer into Christ (conversion)” is based on the accepting of the mistranslation of 1 Cor. 12:13. It should be “the Spirit has baptized the believers with/in the Spirit’s fire in Christ after conversion.” The note “Christ has not yet baptized every believer into the Spirit (Pentecost)” also is thoroughly inaccurate. Christ had not baptized his followers with/in the Spirit’s fire in Christ and in the Spirit until Pentecost. The Spirit sent by Christ baptized the 120 disciples with/in the Spirit’s fire in Christ, that is, in the Spirit at Pentecost.

John F. MacArthur comments on the terminology “the baptism of the Holy Spirit.”

It should also be noted that the phrase “baptism of the Holy Spirit” is not a correct translation of any passage in the New Testament, including this one. En heni pneumati (by one Spirit) can mean “by or with one Spirit.” Because believers are baptized by Christ, it is therefore best to translate this phrase as “with one Spirit.” It is not the Holy Spirit’s baptism but Christ’s baptism with the Holy Spirit that gives us new life and places us into the Body when we trust in Christ. The Father sent the Son and the Son sends the Spirit. The Son is the divine Savior, and the Holy Spirit is the divine Comforter, Helper, and Advocate. The Son is the baptizer and the Holy Spirit is the agent of baptism. (John F. MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary/1Corinthians, p.312.)

     The argument, “The phrase ‘baptism of the Holy Spirit’ is not a correct translation of any passage in the New Testament,” is quite erroneous. The note says, “En heni pneumati (by one Spirit) can mean ‘by or with one Spirit.’” If it were to read “by one Spirit,” it should be assumed to speak of the baptism by the Spirit. The baptism by the Spirit is the same meaning as the baptism of the Spirit since the baptism of the Spirit is the baptism administered by the Spirit.
     The note says, “Because believers are baptized by Christ, it is therefore best to translate this phrase as ‘with one Spirit.’” Here, “Believers are baptized by Christ” would more correctly read, “Actually, believers are baptized with/in fire by the Spirit sent by Christ at Pentecost.” The terminology “Christ’s baptism with the Holy Spirit” is quite erroneous. It is better to speak of “Christ’s baptism with/in the fire of the Holy Spirit.” The note “The Son is the baptizer and the Holy Spirit is the agent of baptism” cannot be applied to “Christ’s baptism with the Holy Spirit.” Again, the Holy Spirit is not treated as the agent of baptism but an element of the baptism of the Spirit. The note “Christ’s baptism with the Holy Spirit that gives us new life and places us into the Body when we trust in Christ” is thoroughly erroneous. It is from the mistranslation of the Greek en and eis in 1 Cor. 12:13.

Merrill F. Unger comments on the terminology “the baptism of the Holy Spirit.”

How does the Bible employ the terminology concerned? The much-used and much-abused term baptism of the Holy Spirit does not occur in Scripture, which speaks of being “baptized with the Spirit” (Mt 3:11), “baptized into one body” (1 Cor 12:13), “baptized into Jesus Christ” (Ro 6:3-7; Gal 3:27), “one baptism” (Eph 4:5), never “the baptism of the Holy Spirit.” It is the Pentecostal contention that the baptism of the Spirit is meant to be a dramatic, critical experience-a veritable baptism in the Holy Spirit. This assumption forms the starting point of mush present-day error on the subject. (Merrill F. Unger, The Baptism and Gift of the Holy Spirit, p.153.)

     “The term baptism of the Holy Spirit does not occur in Scripture” is correct. But “this term speaks of being ‘baptized with the Spirit’ (Matt. 3:11), ‘baptized into one body’ (1 Cor. 12:13), ‘baptized into Jesus Christ’ (Rom. 6:3-7; Gal. 3:27), ‘one baptism’ (Eph. 4:5)” is thoroughly inaccurate because it is based on Rom. 6:3-7, Gal. 3:27 and Eph. 4:5, which do not speak of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The note “baptized into one body’ (1 Cor. 12:13), baptized into Jesus Christ” (Rom. 6:3-7; Gal. 3:27) should correctly read, “baptized in one body, baptized in Jesus Christ” to avoid problems with the mistranslation of the Greek eis in these passages. The terminology “the baptism of the Holy Spirit” can be established from Acts 1:5, 11:16 and 1 Cor. 12:13. The Greek en in these passages can be trans- lated as “with/in/by.” But en (Matt. 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33) cannot be translated as “by” but only as “with/in” because Jesus Christ must be the baptizer, and in these texts the Holy Spirit cannot. Jesus is the baptizer before Pentecost. The Spirit is the actual baptizer after Jesus ascended into heaven. The terminology “the baptism of the Spirit” should be understood as speaking of the baptism with/in fire administered by the Spirit sent by Jesus. Unger continues:

The agent of the baptism of the Spirit is the Spirit Himself. The baptism which the apostle describes doctrinally is pointedly the baptism “by” and “with” the Spirit. The Authorized Version is accurate. “For by [en] on Spirit were we all baptized into one body.” The reference is patently to the very common instrumental use of the Greek preposition en indicating agency, translated “with” or “by” or “by means of.” The same baptism “by” or “with” (en) the Spirit (instrumental case) occurs in the other references to the baptism of the Spirit (Mt 3:11; Lk 3:16; Ac 1:5; 11:16). The reference in Mark 1:8 without the preposition is instrumental. (Merrill F. Unger, Ibid., p.99-100.)

     The statement “The agent of the baptism of the Spirit is the Spirit Himself” is unreasonable. The Spirit should be honored as the baptizer of this baptism. Since the Spirit sent by Jesus is the actual baptizer from the day of Pentecost, we should speak of “the baptizer of the baptism of the Spirit is the Spirit Himself.” Acts 8:14-19, 9:17, and 19:2-7 confirm that apostles Peter and John, the disciple Ananias, and the apostle Paul baptized believers with/in the fire of the Spirit through the laying on of hands. In these cases, the disciples sent by Jesus should be called the agents of the baptism of the Spirit. The note “The agent of the baptism of the Spirit is the Spirit Himself” is erroneous. The disciples, Peter and John, Ananias, and Paul were the actual agents of the baptism of the Spirit. It should be said that the baptizer of the baptism of the Spirit is the Spirit sent by Jesus. The note “the Greek preposition en indicating agency, translated ‘with’ or ‘by’ or ‘by means of” is a mixture of correct and incorrect elements. The preposition “with” cannot be used for the meaning of agency. For instance, Mark 1:8 says, “He will baptize with the Holy Spirit.” In this case, “with the Holy Spirit” can by no means be the agent of the baptism. For instance, the baptizer who is a pastor baptizes the believers with/in water in the name of Jesus. In this case, the baptizer sent by Jesus can be called the agent of water baptism. It should be said that the actual baptizer is Jesus. The pastor is the agent in water baptism. The note “The baptism which the apostle describes doctrinally is pointedly the baptism ‘by’ and ‘with’ the Spirit” is erroneous since “the baptism by the Spirit” is by no means the same as “the baptism with the Spirit.” The note, “The Authorized Version is accurate. ‘By [en] one Spirit were we all baptized into one body,’” is erroneous. Unger continues:

It is often objected that 1 Corinthians 12:13 must be rendered “in the Spirit” (locative case of sphere) because the verb is passive and the agent is personal (the Holy Spirit)…where John’s with-water baptism is contrasted with Christ’s with or by means of Spirit baptism…One such attempt tries to maintain a distinction between being baptized by the Spirit (1 Co 12:13) and being baptized “in” or “with” the Spirit (the passage listed above in the gospel and Acts). On the basis on this contention, it is granted that while all believers are baptized by the Spirit when saved, they still need to be baptized in or with the Spirit by Christ, as s subsequent experience. (Merrill F. Unger, Ibid., p.99-100.)

     The term “John’s with-water baptism” is biblical but the term “Christ’s with or by means of Spirit baptism” is quite inaccurate. It should read, “Christ’s with/in fire or by means of fire of the Spirit.” The argument, “a distinction between being baptized by the Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13) and being baptized ‘in’ or ‘with’ the Spirit,” is erroneous since the term “being baptized by the Spirit” is right but the term “being baptized ‘in’ or ‘with’ the Spirit” is erroneous. It should be “being baptized ‘in’ or ‘with’ the fire of the Spirit.” The argument, “while all believers are bap- tized by the Spirit when saved, they still need to be baptized in or with the Spirit by Christ, as a subsequent experience,” is thoroughly inaccurate. The note “all believers are baptized by the Spirit” should mean that all believers are baptized with/in fire by the Spirit sent by Jesus. The argument “all believers are baptized by the Spirit when saved” is thoroughly inaccurate. The baptism of the Spirit does not take place at the time of salvation but after salvation. Unger continues:  

The largest and finest of Pentecostal groups that developed in the United Sates is the Assemblies of God…Another group is the Pentecostal Holiness Church. It was organized at Clinton, North Carolina, in 1899. In 1911 it merged with the Fire-Baptized Holiness Church…the Pentecostal Fire-Baptized Holiness Church…(Merrill F. Unger, Ibid., p.12.)

     In the words “the Fire-Baptized Holiness Church…the Pentecostal Fire-Baptized Holiness Church,” the words “Fire-Baptized” is from the passage, “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire” (Luke  3:16; Matt. 3:11). It is certain that “fire” in these passages is the element of the baptism of the Spirit. According to the promise of John and Jesus, the 120 disciples were baptized with/in the fire of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost so that it can be said, “They were the fire-baptized disciples.” The Upper room in Jerusalem may be called the first fire-baptized Church in the history of Christian new churches. Unger continues:

In two of the four gospel references to Christ as the baptizer with the Holy Spirit, John the Baptist refers to our Lord as the baptizer “with fire” (Mt 3:11; Lk 3:16). Some expositors have attempted to find a fulfillment of this prophecy at Pentecost in the “cloven tongues like as of fire” (Ac 2:3). Others have construed it as an amplification of the baptism of the Holy Spirit and an experience attainable in this present age, so called second Pentecost. Both interpretations are erroneous. (Merrill F. Unger, Ibid., p.48.)

     “Both interpretations are erroneous” is error based on the misunderstanding of the element of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The note “Christ is the baptizer with the Holy Spirit” is thoroughly inaccurate since the Holy Spirit is not treated as God the Holy Spirit but an element like water. Christ is the baptizer with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire, i.e., with/in the fire of the Holy Spirit. The prophecy of John the Baptist in the four Gospels and the promise of the Lord Jesus (Acts 1:5) were fulfilled in the “cloven tongues like as of fire” (Acts  2:3-4) on the day of Pentecost. Every Christian may receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit in this present age after conversion.

Charles C. Ryrie inconsistently uses the term “baptism.”  

Obviously water baptism could not accomplish this union with Christ in His death and resurrection, but equally obvious is the fact that there must be some connection between the baptism by the Spirit and baptism by water. The connection is simply that water baptism is the outward picturing of what the Spirit does in the heart. The baptism by the Spirit places us in a position in Christ which enables us to receive power, but the act of baptizing does not in itself guarantee that power will be experienced or displayed in the life. The baptism of the Spirit does not necessarily mean a special enduement with power. As far as the occurrences of the baptism with the Spirit in Acts are concerned, the power connected with them is that of bringing men to Christ (Acts 2:41; 10:47; 19:5). (Charles C. Ryrie, The Holy Spirit, p.79.)

     Ryrie accepts three terms: “the baptism by the Spirit, the baptism of the Spirit, and the baptism with the Spirit” as having the same meaning. It is right that the term “the baptism by the Spirit” is used of the baptism of the Spirit, but the baptism by the Spirit is not the same as the baptism with the Spirit. The note “The baptism by the Spirit places us in a position in Christ which enables us to receive power” is erroneous since it is based upon the mistranslation of the Greek eis.

Michael Green inconsistently uses the term “baptism.”

There are just seven places in the New Testament where this phrase is used. And six of them refer to the baptism which John the Baptist promised that the Coming One would bring. John baptizes with water as a mark of repentance; Jesus will baptize with the Holy Spirit, to bring men into the blessings of the New Covenant…the disciples were baptized by the Holy Spirit. It was the Holy Spirit who baptized…And exactly the same thing is taught in the seventh and final reference to baptism in the Holy Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12:13. ‘By one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.’ (Michael Green, I believe in the Holy Spirit, p.169-170.)

     In the note “John baptizes with water,” water is the element of baptism, but to write “Jesus will baptize with the Holy Spirit,” is quite erroneous. Michael Green presents “Jesus will baptize with the Holy Spirit” and “the disciples were baptized by the Holy Spirit” as identical. They are not. Both are completely different. The term “baptized with the Spirit” treats the Spirit as an element. To write “baptized by the Holy Spirit,” the Holy Spirit is presented correctly as the baptizer. In the note “baptism in the Holy Spirit in 1 Cor. 12:13, ‘By one Spirit we were all baptized …,’” the term “baptism in the Holy Spirit” is used of the same “baptism by the Spirit.” The conflicting terms used by Green show he is in great confusion.

Sinclair B. Ferguson insists that Christ is the baptizer and the Spirit is the medium.

Baptism and the Spirit are related together on seven occasions in the New Testament. Six of these clearly refer to Pentecost, and do so in virtually identical language with respect to the role of the Spirit.
Matt. 3:11       en pneumati hagio             Luke 3:16       en pneumati hagio
Mark 1:8         en pneumati hagio             John 1:33        en pneumati hagio
Acts 1:5          en pneumati hagio             Acts 11:16      en pneumati hagio
In each of these cases, Christ himself is the baptizer. The Spirit is the medium. (Sinclair B. Ferguson, The Holy Spirit, p.104-105.)

     In the notes “Christ himself is the baptizer. The Spirit is the medium,” Christ himself is the baptizer” is right but the Spirit sent by the ascended Jesus should be accepted as the actual baptizer from the day of Pentecost. To write “the Spirit is the medium” is thoroughly inaccurate. The Spirit can by no means be the medium (means) since He is God the Spirit and a divine Person. This type of reasoning treats the Spirit as the medium and disregards “fire” as the medium. It is certain that the “fire” of Matt. 3:11 and Luke 3:16 is understood in five references and the “fire” is the medium/means/element. Sinclair B. Ferguson continues:

The seventh reference is: 1 Corinthians 12:13 en pneumati. What is the force of the preposition en in this statement? Does it indicate that the Spirit is the agent (‘by the Spirit’), or the medium (‘with/in the Spirit’) of this baptism? The answer may in turn shed some light on the further questions: When did this baptism take place? What does it involve? While en may be translated as ‘by’, ‘with’, ‘in’, the conclusion that Paul sees the Spirit as the medium (‘with/in the Spirit’) and not the agent (‘by the Spirit’) is irresistible. (Sinclair B. Ferguson, Ibid., p.104-105.)
 
     The term en pneumati in 1 Cor. 12:13 of the seventh reference is the same as en pneumati in six other references. It should be translated and interpreted just as the other six. To say, “Paul sees the Spirit as the medium (‘with/in the Spirit’) and not the agent (‘by the Spirit’) is irresistible” is quite erroneous. It is based on a mistranslation and misinterpretation. Sinclair B. Ferguson continues:

All Christians are thus baptized into one body by Christ; the Spirit is the medium of that baptism…Baptism with the Spirit inaugurates us into the life of union with Christ. Baptism with water marks this outwardly. (Sinclair B. Ferguson, Ibid., p.104-105.)

     To say, “All Christians are thus baptized into one body by Christ; the Spirit is the medium of that baptism” is error based on the mistranslation and misinterpretation of 1 Cor. 12:13. The note “Baptism with the Spirit inaugurates us into the life of union with Christ” should be instead, “Baptism of the Spirit does not inaugurate us into the life of union with Christ. The baptism of the Spirit takes place after union with Christ through faith in Him.”  
         

Stanley M. Horton says that 1 Cor. 12:13 is interpreted in a variety of ways.

This verse (12:13) is interpreted in a variety of ways. One group insists that this is the same as Christ’s baptism of the believer into the Holy Spirit. They usually identify this with regeneration through the Spirit and often with water baptism. Or they may say that Pentecost brought a massive deposit of the Spirit into the Church and we get our share automatically when we are baptized into the Church. Others allow for filling of the Spirit but not baptisms after regeneration. These claim that 12:13 should be translated, “For in one Spirit also we were all baptized so as to form one body,” that is, they make the Spirit the element into which we are baptized at conversion. The argument for this translation is that “by” one Spirit should be “in” one Spirit. They argue that the Greek word en always means “in” when it is used with the word baptize. (Stanley M. Horton, What the Bible says about the Holy Spirit, p.215.)

     “This verse (12:13) is interpreted in a variety of ways” may be true, but the various ways are all reflections of the mistranslation. If this verse were correctly translated, it could have only one meaning. Some interpret, “For in one Spirit also we all were baptized so as to form one body.” It is absolutely from a mistranslation. If the verse were translated as, “For with/in/by one Spirit we were all baptized in one body,” many different interpretations would cease. The seven passages must be consistent. It should read, “We were all baptized with/in one Spirit (and with/in fire) in one body,” or “By one Sprit we were all baptized with/in the fire in one body.” 1 Cor. 12:13 will not be interpreted in a variety of ways. Horton continues:

The baptism in 12:13 is thus very definitely by the Spirit into the body of Christ and is therefore distinct from the baptism by Christ into the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. This fits in well with the distinction between conversion and the baptism in the Holy Spirit found in the book of Acts. (Stanley M. Horton, Ibid., p.216.)

     This note can be simply summarized as follows: “The baptism in 12:13 is by the Spirit into the body of Christ, and the baptism by Christ into the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.” This is based on the mistranslation and misinterpretation of the Greek text. Both notes carry quite different meanings. “The baptism in 12:13 is by the Spirit into the body of Christ” is from a mistranslation “We were all baptized by one Spirit into one body” (1 Cor. 12:13). It must be translated, “We were all baptized with/in/by one Spirit in one body.” “The baptism by Christ into the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost” is a wrong conclusion from several mis- translations and misinterpretations (Matt. 3:11; Luke 3:16; Acts 1:5; 2:3-4). The doctrine “to receive Jesus is to receive the Holy Spirit and to be in Jesus is to be in the Holy Spirit” must be applied to the case of the 120 disciples. So the note “The baptism by Christ into the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost” is virtually from the misinterpretation. The baptism was by Christ in the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. The 120 disciples of Jesus were already in one body of Christ. They were already in the Holy Spirit before the day of Pentecost through faith in Christ. Through these facts, it can be established that the 120 disciples of Jesus were baptized with/in the fire of the Holy Spirit sent by Christ in one body of Christ, that is, in the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. Or it can be interpreted that they were baptized with/in fire by Christ through the Holy Spirit in one body of Christ on the day of Pentecost. All these show that Horton’s claim “The baptism by Christ into the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost” is from the mistranslation and misinterpretation of the Greek text.
     It would be accurate to state that the baptism mentioned in 1 Cor. 12:13 is by the Spirit sent by Christ in the body of Christ. The fire baptism of the Holy Spirit was administered by Christ so we speak of the baptism of Christ through the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ on the day of Pentecost or the fire baptism of the Holy Sprit through Christ. These different descriptions have the quite same meaning. The baptism in 1Cor. 12:13 is thus very definitely by the Spirit sent by Christ in the body of Christ. Therefore, this is not distinct from the baptism by Christ in the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. There is a distinction between conversion and the baptism with/in fire, that is, the baptism of the Spirit. Horton continues:

It is important to remember also that the baptism in the Spirit is immersion into a relationship with a divine Person, not into a fluid or an influence. But Pentecost with its symbolism of harvest was important in that the purpose of the baptism in the Spirit was power for service. (Stanley M. Horton, Ibid., p.138-139.)

     Horton’s notes are in great inconsistency. The designation “the baptism in the Spirit” must speak of “the baptism of the Spirit” or “the baptism with/in the fire of the Spirit.” The designation “the baptism in water” is right, but the designation “the baptism in the Spirit” is quite erroneous. The Holy Spirit cannot be treated as an element like water. Acts 1:5,8 indicates that the baptism of the Spirit is not immersion into a relationship with a divine Person but is immersion into the power of the Holy Spirit. To be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire is to receive the power (fire) of the Holy Spirit to be Jesus’ witness. Before the receiving of ‘the baptism in the Spirit’ (the designation used by Horton) the 120 disciples were already immersed in a relationship with the divine Person of Christ. They were already in the Spirit through faith in Jesus before Pentecost (John 14:17). So the argument, “the baptism in the Spirit which was received by the dis- ciples at Pentecost is immersion into a relationship with a divine Person,” is from a misinterpretation. To write “The purpose of the baptism in the Spirit is immersion into a relationship with a divine Person, not into a fluid or an influence” is unbiblical and based on a mistranslation and misunderstanding. Acts 1:5,8 indicates that the purpose of the baptism of the Spirit is to receive the power of the Spirit for preaching the gospel and for service. Horton continues:

Then John went on to say, “I indeed baptize you with [in] water unto repentance [that is, because of repentance, since he had already indicated that his baptism could not produce repentance]: but he that cometh after me is mightier than 1, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with [in] the Holy Ghost and with [in] fire” (Matthew 3:11). All four Gospels record John’s prophecy that the coming One will baptize in the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33). Matthew and Luke add that He will also baptize in fire. (Stanley M. Horton, Ibid., p.84.)

     Horton insists that Matthew and Luke add that Jesus also will baptize in fire. But it must be understood that the word “fire” (Matt. 3:11; Luke 3:16) is omitted elsewhere (Mark 1:8; John 1:33; Acts 1:5; 11:16; 1 Cor. 12:13). If the word “fire” is not implied in these five verses, the Holy Spirit becomes simply the element of baptism. The Holy Spirit can by no means be an element like water since He is God and a divine Person. So the word “fire” in Matt. 3:11 and Luke 3:16 must be the element of the baptism of the Spirit in all seven passages. The designation “the baptism in the Spirit” is from the mistranslation and misinterpretation of seven passages. Horton continues:

The baptism in the Holy Spirit is, of course, the fulfillment of the promises to pour out the Spirit (Joel 2:28; Isaiah 44:3; Ezekiel 36:26; 39:29). The baptism in fire has been interpreted in a number of ways. Obviously John the Baptist did not see any time difference between the baptism in the Holy Spirit and the baptism in fire. It is not strange, then, that John fails to distinguish between the time of the baptism in the Spirit and the baptism in fire. But Jesus clearly did. To the disciples just before His ascension, He said, “John truly baptized with [in] water, but ye shall be baptized with [in] the Holy Ghost not many days hence. Thus he identified the baptism in the Spirit with the outpouring that took place at Pentecost. But He recognized the fire of judgment would be at the end, as does Paul (2 Thessalonians 1:8). (Stanley M. Horton, Ibid., p.84,86.)

     The statement “The baptism in the Holy Spirit is the fulfillment of the promises to pour out the Spirit” is quite erroneous. Instead, it should be “The fire baptism of the Holy Spirit is the fulfillment of God’s promises to pour out the gift of the Spirit.” Though “The baptism in fire has been interpreted in a number of ways” is true, each is plagued with error because the word “fire” (Matt. 3:11; Luke 3:16) must be accepted as the element of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
     Consider the note “Obviously John the Baptist did not see any time difference between the baptism in the Holy Spirit and the baptism in fire. It is not strange, then, that John fails to distinguish between the time of the baptism in the Spirit and the baptism in fire. But Jesus clearly did....” This is thoroughly unbiblical and based on the misinterpretation of the word “fire” (Matt. 3:11; Luke 3:16). John the Baptist and Jesus Christ did by no means distinguish between the baptism in the Spirit and the baptism in fire. The statement “He recognized the fire of judgment would be at the end, as does Paul” (2 Thessalonians 1:8) is right. But the word “fire” in Matt. 3:11 and Luke 3:16 must not be assigned to speak of the fire of judgment. It should be the element/means of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The “fire” of 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8 speaks of the fire of judgment. The fire of Matt. 3:11 and 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8 is by no means identical.

Stanley M. Horton says that the baptism in fire is interpreted in a number of ways.

Those who see a two fold baptism in the Holy Spirit and fire are also divided in their interpretation. Some say it is one baptism with two elements or aspects, Holy Spirit and fire at the same time. Others say it is a two fold baptism: in the Spirit for the righteous, and in fire for the wicked. Those who hold that the baptism in the Holy Spirit and fire is one work with two elements acting at the same time draw attention to the fact that the preposition “in” is actually used before “the Spirit” but not before “fire.” They also point out that John expected the Coming One to baptize the people he was preaching to in both the Holy Spirit and fire. From this they say that the Messiah baptizes every one in the same Holy Spirit and fire experience. To those who truly repent it will be a blessing and salvation or sanctification. To the wicked it will be judgment. There are several difficulties with this view. First, it is true that when a preposition is not repeated before a second noun this usually puts the two nouns in the same category. But there are exceptions. Some authorities do recognize that John proclaimed that the One to come would bring not only the Holy Spirit but also the fire of divine judgment. (Stanley M. Horton, Ibid., p.85-86.)

     Neither Matt. 3:11 nor Luke 3:16 describe two kinds of baptism (the baptism in the Spirit and the baptism in fire), but only the baptism with/in the fire of the Spirit. If it is not accepted that the word “fire” is omitted in five subsequent references, it is absolutely impossible to translate and interpret the Holy Spirit and to construct a correct doctrine of the Holy Spirit.

Stanley M. Horton comments on “the purpose of the baptism in fire.”

Many who hold to a single baptism of Holy Spirit and fire, with the fire and the Spirit acting together to affect the one baptized, take the fire to mean purification or sanctification of the believer.(Stanley M. Horton, Ibid., p.87.)

     The note should read, “It is a single baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire,” that is, the fire baptism of the Holy Spirit. The primary application of “fire” (Matt. 3:11; Luke 3:16) does not speak of the purification or sanctification of the believer. It is the element of  the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Horton continues:

Jesus himself connects the baptism in the Spirit with power for service rather than with purification or sanctification (Acts 1:8). (Stanley M. Horton, Ibid., p.87.)

     It would be better to write that Jesus himself connected the fire baptism of the Spirit with power for becoming His witnesses. Acts 1:5,8 confirms that to be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit (and with/in fire) is to receive the power of the Holy Spirit to be His witnesses and for service. Horton continues:

Others who take the Spirit and fire to be one experience identify the fire with zeal or enthusiasm with enlightenment and gifts of the Spirit. Many of them do indeed have the “fire” in that sense. Romans 12:11 speaks of a fervency, a boiling, or a burning zeal of the Spirit. First Thessalonians 5:19 commands people to stop trying to put out the fire of the Spirit. The same fire is implied in the “boldness” that came as the result of the Spirit’s filling (Acts 4:31). This boldness is a wonderful joyous confidence, freedom, courage, and fiery zeal. Truly, we have a right to ask God to send this fire! (Stanley M. Horton, Ibid., p.87.)

     The fire (Matt. 3:11; Luke 3:16) should be treated as the element of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Horton continues:

The Bible does not talk about a baptism of fire when speaking to believers, however. John’s Gospel, addressed to Christians, mentions only baptism in the Holy Spirit (John 1:33). In John, water is the chief symbol of the Spirit, not fire. Jesus also, in speaking to His own disciples, mentions only baptism in the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5). (Stanley M. Horton, Ibid., p.88.)
 
     “The Bible does not talk about a baptism of fire when speaking to believers.” This is correct, but John mentions the fire baptism of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33). “Jesus mentions only baptism in the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:5) is quite erroneous. Horton continues:

Many do identify the tongues of fire on the day of Pentecost with a baptism of fire. These tongues of fire preceded the Pentecostal baptism, however, and had nothing directly to do with it. When the 120 were filled with the Holy Spirit, the sign was speaking in other tongues, not fire (Acts 2:4). (Stanley M. Horton, Ibid., p.88.)

     The note, “Many do identify the tongues of fire on the day of Pentecost with a baptism of fire,” is based on the mistranslation and misinterpretation of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The Pentecostal baptism is the fire baptism of the Holy Spirit according to the prophecy of John the Baptist: “He will baptize with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire.” This was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost. Acts 2:3-4 can be summarized as, “They were all filled with the power of the Holy Spirit when what seemed to be tongues of fire came on them, that is, when fire came on them.” So the note “These tongues of fire preceded the Pentecostal baptism, and had nothing directly to do with it” is quite erroneous. Failure to accept the “fire” (Matt. 3:11; Luke 3:16; Luke 12:49; Acts 2:3) as the element of the baptism of the Spirit will cause all conclusions regarding the Holy Spirit to be in great confusion. Horton continues:  

At the house of Cornelius, the gift of the Spirit received by the gentiles there is identified with the baptism in the Holy Spirit. It is called the “like” (identical) gift. But there is no mention of fire (Acts 10:44,47; 11:15-17). In Acts also, Stephen and Barnabas are said to be full of the Holy Spirit and faith, but nothing is said about fire (Acts 6:5; 11:24). In fact, nothing is ever said in the book of Acts about believers being filled with fire. The terminology is always simply that they were filled with the Holy Spirit. (Stanley M. Horton, Ibid., p.88.)

     Instead of “the baptism in the Holy Spirit,” we should speak of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The note “there is no mention of fire” (Acts 10:44,47; 11:15-17) is erroneous and springs from mistranslation and misinterpretation. The word “fire” (Matt. 3:11; Luke 3:16) is omitted in Acts 11:15-17. To say, that “... nothing is ever said in the book of Acts about believers being filled with fire. The terminology is always simply that they were filled with the Holy Spirit,” is quite erroneous and based on the misunderstanding of the relation between the baptism of the Spirit and the fullness of the power of the Spirit. The phrase “they were filled with the Holy Spirit” is from a mistranslation and should read, “they were filled with of the Holy Spirit,” or “they were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit,” as noted above. Both the OT and NT confirm that the word “fire” (see Matt. 3:11; Luke 3:16; 12:49; Acts 2:3) has the meaning of power. Therefore, Acts 2:4 can be inferred to mean that they were filled with the power (fire) of the Holy Spirit. Horton continues:

When Jesus talks about fire, it is always the fire of judgment or destruction, especially of the hell (gehenna) of fire, which really refers to the lake of fire. (Matthew 5:22; 18:8,9). The same thing is usually true in the Epistles (1 Corinthians 3:13; 2 Thessalonians 1:8; Hebrews 12:29; 2 Peter 3:7). (Stanley M. Horton, Ibid., p.88.)

     “When Jesus talks about fire, it is always the fire of judgment or destruction, especially of the hell (gehenna) of fire, which really refers to the lake of fire (Matt. 5:22; 18:8,9).” This is in great error. The “fire” spoken by Jesus in Luke 12:49 does not signify the lake of fire. Fire (Matt. 3:11; Luke 3:16; 12:49; Acts 2:3) signifies “power” as in Acts 1:8. To say that ‘Jesus talks about fire only and always as the fire of judgment or destruction’ is quite incorrect and unbiblical. It is from the misunderstanding of the element of the baptism of the Spirit. Horton continues:

Going back to the context of John’s prophecy of the baptism in the Holy Spirit and in fire, the Bible shows that John had just been warning of the wrath to come (Matthew 3:7). The verses just preceding and following this promise of this baptism speak of trees cut down and cast into fire and of chaff burned with unquenchable fire (fire that by its very nature can never be put out; in other words, the lake of fire). It would seem strange if the fire in Matthew 3:10 and 12 means one thing and then, without any explanation, it means something different in verse 11. From early times many have recognized that the baptism in fire does mean judgment, although the idea has often aroused controversy. (Stanley M. Horton, Ibid., p.88.)

     The note, “It would seem strange if the fire in Matthew 3:10,12 means one thing and then, without any explanation, it means something different in verse 11,” would seem to be a reasonable observation, but it is in a great error and based on the misunderstanding of the word of John the Baptist. For instance, the word “you” in Matt.  3:7-9 signifies the Pharisees and Sadducees, wicked men who were like the chaff and had rejected the baptism of John. The second “you” is found in Matt. 3:11 speaks of those who came to be baptized with/in water and repented their sins. These were like the wheat. Obviously, John the Baptist spoke to two different groups. It should be inferred that “you” in Matt.  3:7-9 is not the same as “you” in Matt. 3:11 but distinct from that of Matt. 3:11. Likewise, the word “fire” in Matt. 3:10,12 is quite distinct from that in Matt. 3:11. The word “fire” in Matt. 3:10,12 speaks of the fire of judgment, destruction and hell, but the word “fire” in Matt. 3:11 refers to fire as the element of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. If “fire” in Matt. 3:11, Luke 3:16 and Acts 2:3 is taken as the element of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, controversy will cease. Horton continues:

Again, we must keep in mind that John failed to see the time difference between the baptism in the Holy Spirit and the fire. When John was put in prison this is probably what bothered him. Jesus was healing the sick and forgiving sins, but He was not bringing any judgment, In fact, Herod and Herodias who deserved judgment were the ones who held John in prison. (Stanley M. Horton, Ibid., p.89.)

     The note “we must keep in mind that John failed to see the time difference between the baptism in the Holy Spirit and the fire” makes no sense.  It is based on the mistranslation and misinterpretation of the word “fire,” which is the element of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Horton’s erroneous argument disappears if the word “fire” in Matt. 3:11, Luke 3:16 and Acts 2:3 is taken as the element of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

John F. MacArthur insists that fire in Matt. 3:11 is the judgment of hell.

At Jesus own baptism John the Baptist tells us that it is Christ, “He who is the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matt. 3:11; cf. Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33). As explained in the following verses, the baptism of fire is the judgment of hell, the burning of “the chaff with unquenchable fire.” As Savior, Christ baptizes with the Holy Spirit; as Judge, He baptize with fire. All believers receive baptism with the Holy Spirit; all unbelievers will receive baptism with fire. (John F. MacArthur, The  MacArthur New Testament  CommentaryI Corinthians 12:13, p.311-312.)

     The note “the baptism of fire is the judgment of hell, the burning of the chaff with unquenchable fire. As Savior, Christ baptizes with the Holy Spirit; as Judge, He baptize with fire” is thoroughly erroneous and based on the misunderstanding of “fire,” which is the element of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The biblical terminology should be “the baptism of the Spirit’s fire” or “the fire baptism of the Spirit.” The fire in Matt. 3:11 and Luke 3:16 must be taken as the element of the baptism of the Spirit. The fire in both verses cannot be the fire of the judgment of hell.

Why is the terminology “the baptism in the Holy Spirit” unbiblical?

Gal. 3:26-27  You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into (eis) Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. (NIV)

     The phrase “all of you who were baptized into Christ” should be translated, “all of you who were baptized in Christ,” because all sons of God are in Christ and they are in the Holy Spirit through faith in Christ before being baptized. On having been in Christ, that is, in the Holy Spirit through faith, they can be baptized with/in water and with/in the Holy Spirit (and with/in fire). So it must be said “water baptism occurs in the Holy Spirit, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit also occurs in the Holy Spirit.” Both baptisms take place in the Holy Spirit. So the terminology “the baptism in the Holy Spirit” is quite inaccurate. The terms, “the baptism of the Holy Spirit,” or “fire baptism of the Holy Spirit,” or “the baptism of the Spirit’s fire” are accurate and biblical.

Gal. 4:6   Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” (NIV)

     The phrase “God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts” means that if we are sons of God, the Spirit is already in us. We are already in the Spirit before being baptized with/in water and with/in the Spirit (and with/in fire).

Gal. 5:16   Λέγω δέ, πνεύματι περιπατεῖτε (BNT)
NKJ           I say then: Walk in the Spirit.
NIV           So I say, live by the Spirit.

Gal. 5:25   Εἰ ζῶμεν πνεύματι, πνεύματι καὶ στοιχῶμεν. (BNT)
NKJ          If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
NIV          Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

     Here, pneumati (πνεύματι) in both passages is in the dative so it can be trans- lated “with/in/by the Spirit.” Every Christian must “walk in the Spirit.” It implies that every Christian is in Christ, that is, in the Spirit. To receive Jesus is to receive the Holy Spirit. To accept Christ is to be in the Holy Spirit. So every Christian is in the Holy Spirit before being baptized in/with water, and before being baptized with/in the fire of the Holy Spirit.
     It can be concluded that both “water baptism” and “the baptism of the Holy Spirit” take place in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, both baptisms are administrated in the Holy Spirit (in the Trinity). As a result the terminology “the baptism in the Holy Spirit’ is illogical and unbiblical. The accurate terminology should be “the baptism in/with the Holy Spirit’s fire” or “the baptism in/with the fire of the Holy Spirit” or “the fire baptism of the Holy Spirit.”

If you are God’s son, you are already in the Holy Spirit before water baptism.

Rom. 8:9  But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. (NKJ)

     The phrase (“if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him”) means that if anyone does belong to Christ, he has the Spirit of Christ, that is, he is in the Spirit. Both the 120 disciples and the Samaritan believers were already in the Holy Spirit before being baptized with/in water and with/in the Holy Spirit (and with/in fire). They belonged to Christ through faith in Him. The text affirms that water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit take place in the Holy Spirit who indwells believers as soon as they receive Jesus. So the baptism of the Holy Spirit must not be called “the baptism in the Holy Spirit.”

John 14:16-17 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever–the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. (NIV)

     The phrase “for he lives with you and will be in you” (John 14:17) is from an incorrect manuscript. It must be “for he lives with you and is in you.” This fact is confirmed by 1 John 4:15, which says, “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.” The  120 disciples confessed Jesus as the Son of God, so God was in them, and they were in God before Pentecost. According to the doctrine of the Trinity, it can be concluded that to be in Jesus is to be in God. To be in God is to be in the Holy Spirit. Before being baptized with/in the Holy Spirit (and with/in fire), the 120 disciples were already in the Spirit. So the words “to be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit (and with/in fire)” cannot be called “the baptism in the Spirit.” It should read, “the fire baptism in the Holy Spirit” or “the baptism in/with the Holy Spirit’s fire.”

Matt. 28:19  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son…of the Holy Spirit. (NIV)

     It can be said that to be baptized in the name of Jesus is to be baptized in Jesus, and to be baptized in the name of the Holy Spirit is to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. John 14:17 and Rom. 8:8-16 confirm that the Spirit is already in each believer. Believers are already in the Spirit before being baptized with/in water and with/in the Holy Spirit (and with/in fire), so it should be concluded that water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit take place in the Holy Spirit. Therefore, it is inaccurate to speak of “being baptized with/in the Holy Spirit (and with/in fire)” in Matt. 3:11 and Luke 3:16 as “the baptism in the Holy Spirit.”

The fire in Matt. 3:11 is quite distinct from the fire in Matt. 3:10; 3:12.

Matt. 3:5-10 Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repen- tance, and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. (NKJ)

     The text affirms that there are two kinds of people, “those who were baptized by John the Baptist, confessing their sins,” and “those were not baptized by him and who did not confess their sins.” John says that bad fruit, that is, the Pharisees and Sadducees, a brood of vipers, will be thrown into the fire of hell.

Matt. 3:11 Ἐγὼ μὲν ὑμᾶς βαπτίζω ἐν ὕδατι εἰς μετάνοιαν...αὐτὸς ὑμᾶς βαπτίσει ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ καὶ πυρί·(BNT)
NKJ          I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance...He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

     The Greek en hudati (ἐν ὕδατι) in Matt. 3:11 and Luke 3:16 must be translated as “with/in water,” and en pneumati hagio kai puri (ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ καὶ πυρί) must be “with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire” since puri (πυρί) is in the dative like pneumati (πνεύματι). The text in Matt. 3:11 shows two kinds of baptism: “baptize you with/in water” and “baptize you with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire.” The word “you” in v. 11 must be carefully examined. The word “you” who were baptized with/in water by John the Baptist is the same as those who were to be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire by the Holy Spirit sent by Jesus at Pentecost. Some argue that “fire” (Matt. 3:11) refers to “unquenchable fire, fire of hell.” If it were to be acceptable, the Holy Spirit would be seen as the element of the baptism like water, and not as the Person He is.
 
Matt. 3:12 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. (NKJ)

     The “wheat” symbolizes God’s righteous men who were baptized with/in water by John the Baptist. The “chaff” symbolizes the wicked who were not baptized with/in water by John the Baptist. The wicked will be burned up like the chaff with unquenchable fire. This affirms that “fire” in v. 11 is quite distinct from that in vv. 10,12. “Fire” in v. 11 must be regarded as the element of the baptism of the Holy Spirit since the Holy Spirit cannot be the element. But “fire” in vv. 10,12 must be regarded as the “fire” of hell with unquenchable fire.

Matt. 13:30  Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, first gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn. (NKJ)
Matt. 13:49-50  So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. (NKJ)
Luke  7:29-30   And when all the people heard Him, even the tax collectors justified God, having been baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him. (NKJ)

     The “wheat” speaks of the just that is the repentant tax collectors and sinners who were baptized with/in water by John the Baptist. The term “tares” refers to the wicked Pharisees and lawyers who rejected the will of God and were not baptized. As a result the un-baptized Pharisees and lawyers were to be thrown into “the furnace of fire.” The just, tax collectors who were baptized with/in water by John, were to be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire. These facts indicate the “fire” in v. 11 is quite distinct from that in vv. 10,12. “Fire” in v. 11 must be regarded as the same fire in Luke 12:49 and Acts 2:3.  It is senseless to present  Matt. 3:11 and Luke 3:16 as two kinds of baptism (“He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” and “He will baptize you with fire”). It makes no sense at all. The Spirit must be considered as God the Spirit and not as an element like water.

John F. MacArthur comments on “to be baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

In Matthew 3:11, for example, John the Baptist told the Pharisees and Sadducees he could baptize them with water, but someone was coming later who would “baptize (them) with the Holy Spirit and fire. And His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire (Matt. 3:11-12). (John F. MacArthur, Charismatic Chaos, p.231-2.)

     MacArthur says, “In Matthew 3:11, John the Baptist told the Pharisees and Sadducees he could baptize them with water, but someone was coming later who would ‘baptize (them) with the Holy Spirit and fire.’” But what does the Bible say? The Word of God tells us that since the Pharisees and Sadducees were not baptized with/in water by John the Baptist, Jesus would not baptize them with/in the Holy Spirit. The Pharisees and Sadducees were compared to the chaff that God will burn with unquenchable fire, i.e., with the fire of hell. MacArthur continues:

A common charismatic interpretation of that verse takes “fire” as a reference to the cloven tongues of fire seen on the day of Pentecost. But it is obvious from verse 12 that John was referring to the fires of judgment, the unquenchable fires of hell. Obviously the cloven tongues like fire at Pentecost cannot be equated with the unquenchable fire that burns up chaff. This is clearly a fire of judgment, and its agent is not the Holy Spirit but Christ (see John 5:22). So what John was really saying here is that there are only two kinds of people in the world: those who will be baptized with the Holy Spirit, and those who will be baptized with the unquenchable fire of hell. Mark 1:7-8 and Luke 3:16 contain similar expressions. Likewise, John says of Christ, this is the one who baptizes in the Holy Spirit. In all those passages, Jesus does the baptizing. (John F. MacArthur, Charismatic Chaos, p.232.)

     “A common charismatic interpretation of that verse takes ‘fire’ as a reference to the cloven tongues of fire seen on the day of Pentecost.” This interpretation is correct and biblical. MacArthur sees the “fire” of Matt. 3:11 and Luke  3:16 as the fire of judgment and not the same “fire” reported in Acts 2:3. His argument makes no sense at all. He insists, “there are only two kinds of people in the world: those who will be baptized with the Holy Spirit, and those who will be baptized with the unquenchable fire of hell.” If this is accepted as right, then, it is proven that the Holy Sprit is the element of the baptism. This is inaccurate for the Holy Spirit who must be treated as God the Holy Spirit. As a result his argument is quite inaccurate and illogical. As noted above, Matt. 3:7-12 surely affirm that there are two kinds of people, those who were baptized by John the Baptist, confessing their sins, and those were not baptized by him, without confessing their sins. John said that the Pharisees and Sadducees, “the chaff, bad fruits or a brood of vipers,” will be thrown into the fire of hell.

Robert Gromacki comments on the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

I indeed baptize yow with water…He will baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire (Matt. 3:11; see also Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33). The baptism of John was in water, visible and out, but the baptism of Jesus would be in the Holy Spirit, invisible and inward. (Robert Gromacki, The Holy Spirit, p.457.)

     The note “The baptism of John was in water” is correct. To write “the baptism of Jesus would be in the Holy Spirit” is thoroughly inaccurate since the Holy Spirit is not treated God and a divine Person but an element like water. It should be “the baptism of Jesus would be in/with the fire of the Holy Spirit.” Robert Gromacki continues:

The preposition en (“with”) in Matt. 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16 is normally translated “in,” although it can be translated “with” or “by.” According to John, Jesus Christ would be the Baptizer and the Holy Spirit would be the element or sphere of the baptism. In his ministry John the Baptist was the baptizer and water was the element or the sphere of the baptism. John also said the baptism in the Holy Spirit was a future event. (Robert Gromacki, The Holy Spirit, p.490.)

     “The preposition   en (with)  in Matt. 3:11, Mark 1:8 and Luke 3:16 is normally translated ‘in,’ although it can be translated ‘with’ or ‘by.’” This is quite erroneous since the preposition en (Matt.  3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16) cannot be translated as “by” but only as “in/with.” However, the preposition en in Acts 1:5, 11:16 and 1 Cor. 12:13 can be “in/with/by.” The note, “Jesus Christ would be the Baptizer and the Holy Spirit would be the element or sphere of the baptism,” is quite erroneous. It should read, “The Holy Spirit is the baptizer sent by Jesus and the fire is the element or sphere of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.” Robert Gromacki continues:

The baptism in the Holy Spirit and the baptism in fire are not the same. In fact, they are opposite. The baptism in the Holy Spirit is only for believers, whereas, the baptism in fire is only for unbelievers. John spoke of “fire” three times (Matt. 3:10-12). (Robert Gromacki, The Holy Spirit, p.457.)

     The note “The baptism in the Holy Spirit and the baptism in fire are not the same. In fact, they are opposite” is thoroughly inaccurate. The baptism of the Holy Spirit in Matt. 3:11 and Luke 3:16 do not refer to two kinds of the baptism. It must be concluded that there is only one kind of the fire baptism of the Holy Spirit. Robert Gromacki continues:


The wheat represents the saved, and the chaff depicts the unsaved. The triple mention of fire must be interpreted consistently as the same type of fire, namely, the fire of judgment for unbelieving sinners. First, John equated the people of Israel with trees: “And even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every three which does not bear good fruit is cut down and throw into the fire” (3:10). Good fruit was the fruit repentance (3:8), and so the lack of good fruit demonstrated that the person was unrepentant. The destiny of the unsaved is the fire of judgment, known as the wrath to come and the lake of fire (Rev. 20:14-15; 21:8). Believers, likened to trees that bear good fruit, are not cut down and thrown into fire. Second, John compared the spiritual status of the Israelites to the wheat and chaff on a threshing floor. In Matt 3:12 the wheat represented the people who repented, whereas the chaff symbolized the unsaved. The fire was thus the fire of divine judgment. Third, the baptism in fire therefore must be a punitive experience for the unsaved. John predicted that Christ would separate Israel into the saved (the good trees and the grain kernels) and the unsaved (the bad trees and the chaff). Christ would baptize the saved in the Holy Spirit and He would baptize the unsaved in fire. (Robert Gromacki, Ibid., p.425,457.)

     The statement is a mixture of right and erroneous elements. The note, “The destiny of the unsaved is the fire of judgment, known as the wrath to come and the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:14-15; 21:8), is right. The note, “The triple mention of fire must be interpreted consistently as the same type of fire, namely, the fire of judgment for unbelieving sinners,” is thoroughly inaccurate. The “fire” in Matt. 3:10, 12 must be the fire of judgment for the unsaved (the bad trees and the chaff). The “fire” in Matt. 3:11 must be the element of the baptism of the Holy Spirit for the saved (the good trees and the wheat). Robert Gromacki continues:


Some theologians have viewed the baptism in fire as a purifying experience, a postconversion blessing that removes either the sin nature or the desire to sin. In that interpretation the “fire” removes sin from the believer just as a fire removes dross from gold. (Robert Gromacki, Ibid., p.458.)

     This view is thoroughly unbiblical since the word “the baptism in fire” is quite inaccurate. There is no scriptural reference which supports that terminology. It should refer to “the baptism in/with the fire of the Holy Spirit” or “the baptism in/with the Holy Spirit’s fire” or “the fire baptism of the Holy Spirit.” Robert Gromacki continues:

Other commentators, especially those of Pentecostal persuasion, equate the baptism in fire with what happened to the apostles on the day of Pentecost. Three unusual phenomena announced the descent of the Holy Spirit: a sound of rushing, mighty wind, the appearance of tongues of fire, and speaking in appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire and one sat upon each of them (2:3). This event, however, was not a real baptism in fire for the following reasons. First, the fire did not literally fill the room in the apostles were sitting. If it had, the apostles would have then been “in” the fire immersed or baptized in it. However, the sound of the wind, representing the Holy Spirit, did fill the room, so they were “in” the wind, that is, the Holy Spirit, both not in the fire.
Second, the divided tongues sat on each of the apostles. These tongues were not real fire; they were “as of fire,” that is, they looked like fire, but they were not actually fire. Third, Christ informed the apostles that they would be baptized in the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, but He did not say that they would be baptized in fire (1:5). Forth, the baptism of fire is never mentioned as a life experience for believers to seek, either in the Book of Acts or the Epistles. Ten days later, they were baptized in the Spirit when sound of the rushing wind filled the room where they were gathered (2:1-2). (Robert Gromacki, Ibid., p.458,476.)

     These statements are mixtures of right and erroneous elements. The note, “they would be baptized in the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, but He did not say that they would be baptized in fire” (1:5), is quite erroneous. It is based upon the misunderstanding of the usage of omission, that is, the word “fire” in Matt. 3:11 and Luke 3:16 is omitted in Acts 1:5. The note, “the sound of the wind, representing the Holy Spirit, did fill the room, so they were “in” the wind, that is, the Holy Spirit, both not in the fire” is an erroneous interpretation. “Wind” of Acts 2:2 is by no means the representing of the Holy Spirit. The sound of wind and fire in Acts 2:2-3 should be inferred to mean the following:
     Is. 66:15 prophesies that God will come with fire and with His chariots like a whirlwind. The fire in 1 Kings 19:12 and 2 Kings 2:11 is the fire of a chariot of fire and horses of fire. Ex. 3:1-4 says that the Lord came on Moses in flames of fire. 1 Kings 19:11-14 describes the Lord coming on Elijah in a whirlwind and fire. The sound of wind and fire in Acts 2:2-3 signifies the same as the whirlwind and fire in these passages. If “the sound of wind and fire” in Acts 2-3 is not understood, it is impossible to understand the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

What does the Bible say about “the reason Jesus came to the world”?

John 3:16-18  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. (NIV)
1 John 3:8   He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. (NIV)

     The text shows that God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.

John the Baptist says, “Jesus will come to baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”

Luke 3:16  John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” (NIV)

     John the Baptist said, “One more powerful than I will come…Jesus will come to baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” The future verb “will come” in Luke 3:16 can be transformed into the past verb “came,” that is to say, Jesus came to baptize you with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire. Jesus had already come at the time when John the Baptist spoke of it. If Jesus Christ came to baptize with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire, the Bible must say, “Jesus baptized them with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire.” But there is not one literal record of the fulfillment of this promise.

In Luke 12:49, Jesus says, “I came to cast (bring/send) fire upon the earth.”

Luke 12:49 Πῦρ ἦλθον βαλεῖν ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν, καὶ τί θέλω εἰ ἤδη ἀνήφθη. (BNT)
NIV      I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!
NKJ      I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!  
KJV      I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?
RSV     I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled!

     Luke 3:16 testifies that Jesus actually came to baptize with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire. And Luke 12:49 says that Jesus came to bring fire on the earth. Both Luke 3:16 and Luke 12:49 must be interpreted as having the same meaning since Luke says so. If Jesus Christ came to cast (bring/send) fire on the earth, and if Jesus Christ came to baptize with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire, the fulfillment must be recorded in the Scriptures, but there is no this literal record. Instead, we read the records of Acts 1:5,8 and 2:3-4.

Acts 1:5    John baptized with/in water, but you will be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit (and with/in fire) not many days from now. (Author)
Acts 1:8    But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.  
Acts 2:3    They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. (NIV)
Acts 2:4    All of them were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. (Author)

     The texts including Luke 3:16 and 12:49 can be simply summarized as follows:

Jesus came to baptize with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire.
Jesus came to bring (cast/send) fire on the earth.
You will be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit (the word fire can be omitted).
You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.
What seemed to be tongues of fire came to rest on each of them.
Fires came on them. (* The 120 supernatural fires came on them.)
Fire which was cast by Jesus who is in heaven came on them.
They were all filled with the power of the Holy Spirit when He came on them.

     Though these are quite different descriptions and tenses, they have the same meaning: “Jesus baptized the 120 disciples with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire on the day of Pentecost through the Holy Spirit sent by Jesus. Jesus brought fire on them who were on the earth on that day.” They received the power of the Holy Spirit when fire came on them, that is, the Holy Spirit came on them on that day. They were all filled with the power of the Holy Spirit when fire was brought (cast) on them. All these speak of the fulfillment of the promise: “Jesus came to baptize with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire. Jesus came to bring fire on the earth.” All these facts affirm that “fire” in Luke 3:16, 12:49 and Acts 2:3 must be regarded as the element of  the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

The NIV Bible Commentary comments on Luke 12:49.

It is difficult to determine the precise meaning of “fire” (v. 49) because the word can signify either judgment or purification. The immediate context suggests judgment; while Jesus came to bring salvation rather than judgment (Lk 4:19; Jn 3:17), his coming also meant judgment (Jn 9:39). But it may also signify purification. John the Baptist promised that Jesus would “baptize...with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Since 3:16 links fire with the Holy Spirit, it is possible that this fire was to be “kindled” by the baptism of the Spirit (Ac 2:1-4), something that could only occur after his own “baptism” of death (v. 50), the thought of which distressed him greatly. (The Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary, Volume 2: New Testament, Consulting Editors; Kenneth L. Barker & John Kohlenberger, Grand Rapid: Zondervan, 1994, p.259.)

     The NIV Commentary says that the word “fire” can signify either judgment or purification. But it is quite inaccurate since the word “fire” in Luke 12: 49 can signify neither judgment nor purification. The note, “Since 3:16 links fire with the Holy Spirit, it is possible that this fire was to be ‘kindled’ by the baptism of the Spirit (Ac  2:1-4),” should rather read, “Since 3:16 links fire with the Holy Spirit, this fire was ‘kindled’ on the disciples of Jesus at Pentecost when tongues of fire came on them.” It must be inferred that according to the promises of John the Baptist (Luke 3:16; Matt. 3:11) and Jesus (Acts 1:5), they were baptized with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire at Pentecost. It is confirmed the term “fire” in Luke 12:49 must be the same fire found in Luke 3:16, Matt. 3:11 and Acts 2:3.

Stanley M. Horton comments on “Quench not the Spirit” (1 Thess. 5:19).

Paul goes on to say, “Quench not the Spirit (5:19). “Quench” is a word used of putting out a fire (Mark 9:44, 46, 48, where the fires of Gehenna, the lake of fire, cannot be quenched), of lamps going out, or being put out. The joy they had in the Spirit as they served God and waited for Jesus could be lost if the Spirit was stifled or suppressed by sin. The Holy Spirit may be quenched, too, by a wrong attitude. (Stanley M. Horton, What the Bible says about the Holy Spirit, p.169.)

     The note “Quench is a word used of putting out a fire of lamps going out” is correct, but to write “The Holy Spirit may be quenched” is thoroughly inaccurate. The Holy Spirit is God the Holy Spirit and a divine Person who can never be extinguished like fire. The Lord is the Spirit (2 Cor. 3:17). If this passage applies to 1 Thess. 5:19 “Quench not the Spirit,” it will be “Quench not the Lord.” If it is accepted, it makes no sense at all. So it can be found that the note is from the mistranslation and misinterpretation of 1 Thess. 5:19.

Billy Graham comments on “Quench not the Spirit” (1 Thess. 5:19).

Paul’s terse admonition is this: “Do not quench the Spirit” (1 Thess. 5:19). It is pertinent to the Scripture’s reference to the Holy Spirit as a fire. When we quench the Spirit, we put the fire out. (Billy Graham, The Holy Spirit, p.162-3.)

     This statement is quite erroneous because it is based upon the mistranslation and misunderstanding of 1 Thess. 5:19. In the phrase “Do not quench the Spirit,” the Spirit is not treated as God but a material like fire. It should be “Do not quench the Spirit’s fire.” Then, the Spirit is treated as God.

1 Thess. 5:19 must be carefully translated to understand the fire in Luke 3:16; 12:49.

1 Thess. 5:19  τὸ πνεῦμα μὴ σβέννυτε (BNT)   
BBE        Do not put out the light of the Spirit.
GWN      Don't put out the Spirit’s fire.
NIV         Do not put out the Spirit’s fire.
TNIV      Do not put out the Spirit’s fire.
NRS        Do not quench the Spirit.    
KJV        Do not quench the Spirit.
NKJ        Do not quench the Spirit.

Eph. 6:16  δυνήσεσθε πάντα τὰ βέλη τοῦ πονηροῦ [τὰ] πεπυρωμένα σβέσαι·(BNT)
GWN     you can put out all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
NIV       you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
TNIV     you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
NKJ       you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
NRS       you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

Heb. 11:34 ἔσβεσαν δύναμιν πυρός (BNT)
NIV       quenched the fury of the flames
TNIV     quenched the fury of the flames
NKJ       quenched the violence of fire
NAU      quenched the power of fire

     The phrase “Do not quench the Spirit” seems to make sense but when recon- sidered, it makes no sense. The Spirit is God the Spirit. Can it be said, “Do not quench God” or “Do not quench Jesus”? No. The Spirit must be always regarded as God the Spirit. The verb “quench (put out) is in the accusative so that it requires the accusative noun. The Greek to pneuma (τὸ πνεῦμα) is used here of the accusative. As it is translated, “Do not quench the Spirit,” it makes no sense at all since the Spirit is not regarded as God the Spirit. The word “will” is added to Matt. 10:29 to make sense. Likewise, the word “fire” in Eph. 6:16 and Heb. 11:34 must be added to 1 Thess. 5:19 to make sense. The translation of 1 Thess. 5:19 of the NIV, TNIV, BBE, and GWN is excellent since the verb “quench” commonly needs the word “fire (light)” just as found in Eph. 6:16 and Heb. 11:34.
     “Do not put out the Spirit” should be “Do not put out the Spirit’s fire.” God commands this because He has already put it on them. Acts 2:3 affirms that Jesus has put “fire” on the  120 disciples through the Spirit sent by Him on the day of Pentecost so that He can command them “Do not put out the Spirit’s fire.” It can be concluded that the phrase “Jesus came to bring (cast) fire on the earth” in Luke 12:49 is explained by these passages mentioned above. To give better sense to the verse both the NIV, TNIV and GWN translators added “fire” to 1 Thess. 5:19. Neither the NIV nor TNIV applied this principle of translation to Acts 2:4, so their translations are greatly inconsistent.

Before Pentecost Jesus promised His disciples, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”

John 14:18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. (NIV)
Acts 2:2     Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. (NIV)
Acts 2:3     They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. (NIV)

     In John 14:18, Jesus promised his disciples before crucifixion, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” This coming of Jesus was not a literal physical coming since Jesus ascended to heaven and has remained in heaven. The phrase “a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven, fire (what seemed to be tongues of fire) came on them” must be thoroughly examined. The Holy Spirit of Jesus came to the 120 disciples through the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. So Acts 2:2-3 clearly demonstrates that Jesus’ promise in John  14:18 was fulfilled at Pentecost by sending the Holy Spirit to His disciples.

Is. 66:15 prophesied that God will come with fire and with His chariots like a whirlwind.

Is. 66:15-16  See, the Lord is coming with fire, and his chariots are like a whirl-wind; he will bring down his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For with fire and with his sword the Lord will execute judgment upon all men, and many will be those slain by the Lord. (NIV)
NKJ     For behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with His chariots, like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, And His rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by His sword the Lord will judge all flesh; and the slain of the Lord shall be many.
Dan. 7:9  As I looked, “thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. (NIV)
NKJ      I watched till thrones were put in place. And the Ancient of days was seated; His garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a  burning fire.
Nah. 1:3  The Lord is slow to anger and great in power; the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet. (NIV)
 
     “The Lord will come with fire and with His chariots like a whirlwind” (Is. 66:15; Dan. 7:9; Nah. 1:3). But there is no record on the fulfillment of this prophecy connected to the Incarnation of Jesus. Instead, Acts 2:2-3 records that the Holy Spirit sent by Jesus Christ came with a sound of mighty whirlwind (the blowing of a violent wind) and with fire (what seemed to be tongues of fire) on the day of Pentecost.
     We can conclude that this prophecy (Is. 66:15; Dan. 7:9; Nah. 1:3) was fulfilled at Pentecost. That is, “The Lord will come with fire and with His chariots like a whirlwind” was fulfilled as “The Holy Spirit came with whirlwind and with fire on the day of Pentecost.

Ex. 3:1-4 says that the Lord came on Moses in flames of fire.

Ex. 3:1-4  Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight–why the bush does not burn up.” When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” (NIV)

     The Scripture says that God with his angel came on Moses in flames of fire. Then, Moses received the rod of God’s power. With this power he was sent to his people in Egypt to save them. Likewise, the Holy Spirit sent by Jesus came on the 120 disciples in what seemed to be tongues of fire, that is, in flames of fire on the day of Pentecost. After receiving the power of the Spirit like the case of Moses, the disciples began to preach the Gospel of salvation.

1 Kings 19:11-14 describes that the Lord came on Elijah in whirlwind and fire.

1  Kin. 19:11-14  The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and power- ful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earth- quake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here,  Elijah?” He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” (NIV)
2  Kin. 2:11 As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. (NIV)

     The texts indicate that the Lord came on Elijah in a great whirlwind (mighty wind) and fire like the cases of Moses and the 120 disciples at Pentecost. Here, the whirlwind (mighty wind) and fire do not imply the Lord Himself but His coming.

The Holy Spirit came on Ezekiel in fire.

Ezek. 1:1-5  Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the River Chebar, that the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God. On the fifth day of the month, which was in the fifth year of King Jehoichin’s captivity, the word of the Lord came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the River Chebar; and the hand of the Lord was upon him there. Then I looked, and behold, a whirlwind was coming out of the north, a great cloud with raging fire engulfing itself; and brightness was all around it and radiating out of its midst like the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire. Also from within it came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had the likeness of a man. (NKJ)
Ezek. 1:27-28 I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him. Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking. (NIV)
Ezek. 2:1-2   He said to me, “Son of man, stand up on your feet and I will speak to you.” As he spoke, the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet, and I heard him speaking to me. (NIV)
2  Chr. 20:6  and said: “O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you. (NIV)

     The hand of the Lord in Ezek.1:3 signifies power and might in the Lord’s hand as in 2 Chronicles 20:6. So the phrase “the hand of the Lord was upon him” can be changed to read, “the power of the Lord was upon him.” The Spirit of Lord came on Ezekiel in fire. The Holy Spirit came on Ezekiel in fire, that is, in power. Acts 2:2-3 confirms that the Holy Spirit came on the 120 disciples of Jesus in fire. After receiving the power of the Spirit, Ezekiel was sent to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that had rebelled against the Lord. Likewise, after receiving the power of the Holy Spirit, the 120 disciples were sent to preach the Gospel to unbelievers.

The Bible figuratively speaks of God as fire.

Is. 10:16-17  Therefore  the Lord, the Lord Almighty, will send a wasting disease upon his sturdy warriors; under his pomp a fire will be kindled like a blazing flame. The Light of Israel will become a fire, their Holy One a flame; in a single day it will burn and consume his thorns and his briers. (NIV)
NKJ    Therefore the Lord, the Lord of hosts, will send leanness among his fat ones; and under his glory He will kindle a burning like the burning of a fire. So the Light of Israel will be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame; it will burn and devour His thorns and his briers in one day.

     In the text, we read that the Light of Israel will become a fire, their Holy One a flame. Figuratively, the Bible speaks of God as fire because the Light of Israel is God. Acts 1:8 says, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.” This prophetic sentence was fulfilled when the Holy Spirit came on the 120 dis- ciples. Also it was recorded that what seemed to be tongues of fire separated and came to rest on each of them, that is, fire came on them.
     Here, it can be found that the word “the Holy Spirit” in Acts 1:8 is spoken of as “fire” (what seemed to be tongues of fire) because throughout the Bible the Holy Spirit is symbolized as fire. To conclude that the promise of Jesus (Acts 1:5,8) was not fulfilled in Acts  2:2-4 absolutely makes no sense. Acts 2:2-4 reports that “fire (what seemed to be tongues of fire) came on them.” So it means that the Holy Spirit came on them, i.e., they were all filled with the power when the Holy Spirit came on them in fire.

The Wycliffe Bible Commentary comments on “the wind and fire” in Acts 2:2-3.

The sound from heaven was like [that of] a rushing mighty wind. It was not a wind; it sounded like a wind. Pneuma can mean both wind and spirit; and wind is a symbol of the Spirit’s power and also of his invisibility (Jn 3:8). What was seen was not actually tongues of fire but tongues like fire. The visible sign was something that could only be likened to a flame of fire that divided into separated tongues which rested upon the individual disciples. Many understand this to be the fulfillment of John’s promise of baptism with fire (Lk 3:16). However, no fire was present at Pentecost but something like fire; and the context in the Gospel suggests that the baptism of fire is the judgment of those who reject Messiah–the burning of the chaff with unquenchable fire. (The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, p.1126.)

     These notes contain mixtures of correct and incorrect elements. It is correct to note, “The sound from heaven was like [that of] a rushing mighty wind. It was not a wind; it sounded like a wind.” But to write, “Pneuma can mean both wind and spirit” as applied to Acts 2:2, is wrong. The word “wind” in v. 2 cannot apply to “Pneuma can mean both wind and spirit” even though the word “wind” can mean both wind and spirit since v. 2 says that a sound like a wind came from heaven. If it says that the wind came from heaven, it can be said, “Pneuma here can mean both wind and spirit.” But it does not say, “a wind came from heaven,” but “a sound like a mighty wind came from heaven.” Therefore, it cannot apply to Acts 2:2. So the wind in Acts 2:2 is by no means a symbol of the Spirit or the Spirit’s power.
     The fire (what seemed to be tongues of fire) in v. 3 can be said as a symbol of the Spirit or the Spirit’s power. In the note “the context in the Gospel suggests that the baptism of fire is the judgment of those who reject Messiah–the burning of the chaff with unquenchable fire. The baptism of fire is the judgment” is erroneous. There is no scriptural reference to indicate “the baptism of fire is the judgment.” Through the record of Luke 3:16, the terminology “the baptism of fire” could be used, but a right and biblical terminology must be, “the fire baptism of the Holy Spirit” or “the baptism of the Holy Spirit’s fire.” The argument “Many understand this to be the fulfillment of John’s promise of baptism with fire” (Lk. 3:16) is ambiguous. It should be said that this was the fulfillment of John’s promise of the baptism with/in the fire of the Holy Spirit (Lk. 3:16); that is, the 120 disciples were baptized with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire at Pentecost.
     The statement, “What was seen was not actually tongues of fire but tongues like fire…However, no fire was present at Pentecost but something like fire,” is quite erroneous and based on a misunderstanding. Acts 2:3 describes, “They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them” (NIV). The phrase “what seemed to be tongues of fire” means “fire” like the form of tongues. So the note should be, “What was seen was supernatural fire like the form of tongues, supernatural fire like the form of tongues was present at Pen- tecost.” Luke  3:22 says, “The Holy Spirit descended on Jesus Christ in bodily form like a dove.” John 1:33 says, “The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.”
     What was seen by John the Baptist was the Spirit descending on Jesus Christ in bodily form like a dove. The phrase “They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them” in Acts 2:3 indicates that what was seen by the disciples was the Holy Spirit descending/coming on them in bodily form like tongues of fire. The fire in Luke 3:16 is quite distinct from the fire in v. 17, which speaks of the judgment of those who reject Messiah–the burning of the chaff with unquenchable fire. The Commentary is in great error saying, “No fire was present at Pentecost but something like fire.” It should say, “Fire was present at Pentecost but supernatural fire like the form of tongues.”  
     The fire (Luke 3:16; Matt. 3:11; Luke 12:49; Acts 2:3) must be understood to be the same fire (Ex. 3:1-4; 1 Kin. 19:11; 2  Kin. 2:11; Ezek. 1:1-5), that was something like a supernatural fire. The fire (Luke 3:16; Matt. 3:11; Luke  12:49; Acts 2:3) is distinct from the fire (Matt. 3:10,12; Luke 3:9,17) which is the fire of hell.

James Anderson and James George Waugh comment on Acts 2:2-4.

Initially, they heard a sound like a strong wind. Wind is one of the commonly accepted symbols of the Holy Spirit in the OT; here, of course, it is not a mere symbol, but a reality. Since it filled the house, the implication is that the disciples were immersed in it, and hence this constituted the baptism in the Spirit. (James Anderson and James George Waugh, What the Bible Teaches/Acts, Kilmarnock, Scotland: John Ritchie, 1992, p.26.)

     The note, “they heard a sound like a strong wind. Wind is one of the commonly accepted symbols of the Holy Spirit in the OT,” is right, but the words “Wind is one of the commonly accepted symbols of the Holy Spirit” cannot be applied to the phrase “they heard a sound like a strong wind.” A sound like a strong wind does not imply a wind, that is, a sound like a strong wind is quite distinct from a strong wind. The wind did not fill the house, but “a sound like a strong wind filled the house.” So the note “the implication is that the disciples were immersed in it, that is, in wind, in the Spirit, and hence this constituted the baptism in the Spirit” is quite misleading. 1 Kings 19:11-14 describes that the Lord came on Elijah in whirlwind and fire. The Holy Spirit sent by Jesus Christ who ascended into heaven came on the 120 disciples of Jesus in the sound of a mighty wind and fire on the day of Pentecost. James Anderson continues:   

They were to be immersed in the Spirit of God, just as previously they had been immersed in water. (James Anderson, Ibid., p.16.)

     The note “They had been immersed in water” is correct, but to say, “They were to be immersed in the Spirit of God” is quite erroneous. This cannot be derived from the records of Acts 2:2-3. There is no scriptural reference to indicate they were to be immersed in the Spirit of God, but the disciples were immersed in the fire of the Spirit when the fire (what seemed to be tongues of fire) came on them at Pentecost. James Anderson continues:

Note that John’s reference to baptism with “fire” (Matt. 3:11) has no connection with the tongues like “fire” in Acts 2:3. John’s reference is to judgment, the burning up of the chaff with unquenchable fire; Acts 2:3 brings blessing, not judgment. (James Anderson, Ibid., p.16.)

     The note “John’s reference to baptism with ‘fire’  (Matt. 3:11) has no connection with the tongues like ‘fire’ in Acts 2:3” is erroneous. It is clear that the promise “He will baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire” was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost. The ‘fire’ in Matt. 3:11 is the same as ‘fire’ in Acts 2:3. James Anderson and James George Waugh continue:

The second symbol that appears in “tongues like as of fire”–not physical fire itself, but something very genuine as shown by the words “like as.” This is not to be confused with the fire-baptism that John Baptist had linked with the baptism in the Spirit (Matt. 3:11). We are not told exactly what it was that they saw and what sat on each of them, since new divine manifestations cannot be expressed formally in words. (James Anderson, Ibid., p.26.)
 
     The note “The second symbol that appears in tongues like as of fire–not physical fire itself, but something very genuine as shown by the words ‘like as’” is from the misunderstanding. The fire in Matt. 3:11 and Luke 3:16 is not physical fire. Acts 2:3 records, “They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them” (NIV). It should be inferred that fire appeared in bodily form like tongues. This fire was a supernatural fire just like Moses experienced (‘the Lord came on Moses in flames of fire’-Ex. 3:1-4). The fire that appeared to Moses was not physical fire itself but supernatural fire. The note, “This is not to be confused with the fire-baptism that John Baptist had linked with the baptism in the Spirit (Matt. 3:11),” is quite erroneous since “Jesu will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire” is clearly parallel to “He will baptize you with/in the fire of the Holy Spirit.” There are by no means two kinds of baptism, that is, the fire-baptism and the baptism in the Spirit. It must be one baptism (the fire baptism of the Holy Spirit or the baptism of the Holy Spirit’s fire or the Spirit’s baptism).
     The fire in Matt. 3:11 and in Acts 2:3 must be treated as the element of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The note “We are not told exactly what it was that they saw and what sat upon each of them, since new divine manifestations cannot be expressed formally in words” also is quite erroneous. We are told exactly what the 120 disciples saw on the day of Pentecost. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. James Anderson and James George Waugh continue:

Whereas they were immersed in the Spirit in v. 2, yet in v. 4 they were filled with the Spirit with a particular gift for particular service. While intimately associated in this passage it must not be assumed that being baptized in the Spirit and being filled with the Spirit are synonymous terms. (James Anderson, Ibid., p.27.)
 
     The note “Whereas they were immersed in the Spirit in v. 2, yet in v. 4 they were filled with the Spirit” also is quite erroneous. “They were immersed in the Spirit in v. 2” cannot be derived from v. 2 at all because it says that a sound like mighty wind filled the whole house where they were sitting. They were not immersed in the wind, that is, in the Spirit but in a sound. There were in the immersed fire in v. 3. The note “it must not be assumed that being baptized in the Spirit and being filled with the Spirit are synonymous terms” is not in harmony with the records of Acts 1:5,8 and 2:2-4.
     The promise “You will be baptized with the Holy Spirit (and with fire), and you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you” was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost. Through Acts 2:2-3 we can conclude that the Holy Spirit came on the 120 disciples in whirlwind and fire just as the Lord came on Elijah in whirlwind and fire (1 Kings 19:11-14). The promise that the Holy Spirit will come upon them (Acts 1:8) was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost. Acts 2:3 describes the Holy Spirit came upon them in the form of fire. Jesus’ promise of Acts 1:8 was, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you,” or “You will be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit when He comes upon you.” This promise was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost. The 120 disciples were baptized with/in the Holy Spirit (and with/in fire). They were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit when He came on them in the sound of a mighty wind and in fire. Both “the baptism of the Spirit” and “the filling of the power of the Spirit” are synonymous terms.

John Heading comments on Acts 2:2.

“In” the Spirit is a NT concept, baptism in the Spirit having taken place in Acts 2:2, when the disciples were sitting in the house that was filled by the rushing wind. (John Heading, What the Bible Teaches/John, Kilmarnock, Scotland: John Ritchie, 1988, p.136.)

     The note “baptism in the Spirit having taken place in Acts 2:2” is erroneous. The “baptism in the Spirit” cannot be derived from Acts 2:2, as noted above. The note “the house that was filled by the rushing wind” also is erroneous since “the house that was filled by the sound of rushing wind.” The argument “baptism in the Spirit having taken place in Acts 2:2” is from the misunderstanding of relation between Acts 1:5,8 and Acts 2:2-4, and relation between the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the filling of the power of the Holy Spirit. The note “baptism in the Holy Spirit has taken place in Acts 2:2” should speak of the fire baptism of the Holy Spirit that took place in Acts 2:2-4. Acts 1:5,8 was fulfilled in Acts 2:2-4 at Pentecost.

The MacArthur New Testament Commentary notes the word “fire” in Acts 2:3.

The third baptism mentioned here is that of fire. Many interpreters take this to be a part of the Holy Spirit baptism, which began at Pentecost and which in that instance was accompanied by “tongues of fire” (Acts 2:3). But the Acts account says that those tongues “appeared to them” (that is, the waiting disciples) “as of fire.” They are not fire, but looked like licks of fire. In his last promise of the soon-coming baptism with the Holy Spirit, Jesus said nothing about actual fire being a part of the experience (Acts 1:5). And when, a short time later, Cornelius and his household were baptized with the Holy Spirit, no fire was present (Acts 10:44; 11:16; cf. 8:17; 19: 6). (John F. MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary Matthew 1-7, Moody Press: Chicago, 1989, p.71.)

     The terminology “the Holy Spirit baptism” is erroneous since the Holy Spirit is treated as the element like water in water baptism. The fire in Acts 2:3 is not a part of the Holy Spirit’s baptism but it should be the element of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The “fire” in Matt. 3:11, Luke 3:16, 12:49 and Acts 2:3 are not a part of the Holy Spirit’s baptism but the element of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The note “the Acts account says that those tongues ‘appeared to them’ ‘as of fire.’ They are not fire, but looked like licks of fire” is quite erroneous. Acts 2:3 says, “They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them” (NIV).
     It should be inferred that fire appeared in bodily form like tongues. This fire was not physical and actual fire itself but supernatural fire. The word “fire” in Acts 2:3 is not the same fire in Luke 3:9 (The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire). The fire of Luke 3:9 is an actual burning fire. To speak of the fire of Matt. 3:11, Luke 3:16, Luke 12:49 and Acts 2:3 as an actual burning fire is thoroughly inaccurate. The fire written in Exodus 3:1-4 should be examined to understand that of Acts 2:3. While Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was burning, it was not consumed. He thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight-why the bush does not burn up.” The fire Moses beheld was not an actual burning fire but the supernatural fire of God as the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within the bush. Likewise, the Holy Spirit of the Lord appeared to the 120 disciples in “what seemed to be tongues of fire, i.e., in bodily form like tongues.”
     Acts 2:3 does not speak of physically burning fire but the supernatural fire of God. The note, “In his last promise of the soon-coming baptism with the Holy Spirit, Jesus said nothing about actual fire being a part of the experience (Acts 1:5). And when, a short time later, Cornelius and his household were baptized with the Holy Spirit, no fire was present” (Acts 10:44; 11:16; cf. 8:17; 19:6), is quite erro- neous. It should be inferred that the word “fire” in Matt. 3:11 and Luke 3:16 is omitted in the five references.

Donald T. Williams takes the “fire” in Luke 3:16-17 as the fire of judgment.

The idea of a baptism in/by/with the Spirit administered by Jesus goes back ultimately to John the Baptist, who contrasted the baptism in the Spirit which Jesus would perform with his own baptism in water. Luke 3:16 is echoed by Jesus in Acts 1:5, making it clear that what happened at Pentecost was the very baptism John had prophesied. Most Pentecostal interpreters of Luke 3:16-17 rightly stress the connection between the Spirit baptism mentioned there and the Pentecostal experience of Acts 2, but few have recognized the real implication of that connection...The fire in verse 17 is the fire of judgment, indeed of eternal punishment. Consequently, we must also take the fire of verse 16 as a reference to judgment. To use the same word in two radically different senses in two consecutive sentences without giving any clues to the change of meaning would be incredibly inept; I cannot bring myself to believe that either John, Matthew, or Luke in editing his speech, or the Holy Spirit in inspiring the text were such poor communicators as that. Therefore, the baptism of fire in verse 16 is not parallel with the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but is its opposite. (Donald T. Williams, The person and work of the Holy Spirit, p.125-126.)

     Williams’ arguments are from the misinterpretation of the Greek conjunction kai and the element of the baptism. In using terms ‘a baptism in/with the Spirit,’ he does not accept the Spirit as God and a divine Person but an element like water in water baptism. This is a common error. Without a single exception, the Holy Spirit must be treated as God the Holy Spirit. If this is not accepted, it is impossible to properly understand the Holy Spirit. Williams’ argument, “To use the same word in two radically different senses in two consecutive sentences without giving any clues to the change of meaning would be incredibly inept,” is illogical. He does not understand the phrase “God’s chariot with the fire and with whirlwind” in Isaiah 66:15-16 and 2 Kings 2:11. If God’s OT fire is not understood, it becomes impossible to understand His NT fire (Luke 3:9; 16-17; Acts  2:3). The terminology “a baptism in/by/with the Holy Spirit” should rather be “the baptism in/ with the fire of the Holy Spirit.” The note, “the baptism of fire in verse 16 is not parallel with the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but is its opposite,” is quite error. It should be “The baptism in Luke 16 is the fire baptism of the Holy Spirit.”

Is. 66:15-16   See, the Lord is coming with fire, and his chariots are like a whirl- wind; he will bring down his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For with fire and with his sword the Lord will execute judgment upon all men, and many will be those slain by the Lord. (NIV)
2  Kin.  2:11  As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. (NIV)

     The texts show that there are two kinds of fire in Is. 66:15-16 and 2 Kings 2:11. One is God’s chariot and horses of fire; the other is a fire of judgment. Likewise, Luke 3:9-17 shows two kinds of fire. One fire is an element of the Holy Spirit’s baptism. The other is the fire of God’s judgment. Donald T. William correctly argues, “Luke 3:16 is echoed by Jesus in Acts 1:5, making it clear that what happened at Pentecost was the very baptism John had prophesied.” John’s prophesy in Luke 3:16 and Jesus’ promise in Acts 1:5 were fulfilled in Acts 2:2-4 at Pentecost. Therefore, the fire in Luke 3:16 must be the same fire found in Acts 2:3.

The meaning of the tongues of fire in Acts 2:3

Acts 2:3    They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. (NIV)
1 Kin. 18:46  The power of the Lord came upon Elijah and, tucking his cloak into his belt, he ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel. (NIV)

     Acts 2:3 simply says “what seemed to be tongues of fire came on them.” 1 Kings 18:46 says, “The power of the Lord came upon Elijah.” Acts 1:8 says, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.” The promise of power (Acts 1:8) was fulfilled at Pentecost so that it can be concluded that the power of the Holy Spirit came on them. Acts 2:3 records that the tongues of fire came on them. It is affirmed that the tongues of fire symbolize the power of the Holy Spirit. Let’s examine the following to understand the tongues of fire (Acts 2:3).

Prov. 18:21  the tongue has the power of life and death. (NIV)
NKJ             Death and life are in the power of the tongue.
Is. 47:14      Surely they are like stubble; the fire will burn them up. They cannot even save themselves from the power of the flame. (NIV)
Heb. 11:34  quenched the fury of the flames (NIV)
NKJ             quenched the violence of fire
NAS            quenched the power of fire

     The translation “the fury of the flames and the violence of fire” (Heb. 11:34) is from the Greek words dunamin puros (δύναμιν πυρός, the power of fire). The Scriptures mentioned above confirm that the fire has power and the tongue has power. So in Acts 2:3 the words “what seemed to be tongues of fire” refer to the power of God or the power of the Holy Spirit. In Ezekiel 1:3 and 2 Chronicles 20:6, we read that “the power of the Lord was upon him.” Likewise, it is found that “the power of the Holy Spirit” was upon the 120 disciples on the day of Pentecost. Here, it is clear that the words “the tongues of fire” (Acts 2:3) implies the power of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, from Luke 3:16 and Matt. 3:11 we can conclude, “He will baptize you with the power, that is, the fire of the Holy Spirit” since the fire means the power. Here, again it can be concluded that to be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire is to receive the power (fire) of the Holy Spirit.

The fire in 1 Kings 18:38 is quite different from that in 1 Kings 19:12.

 

1 Kin. 18:37-38 The prophet Elijah prayed, Answer me, O Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again. Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. (NIV)

     The text says that the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. That fire was a devouring fire and actual burning fire.

The fire in 1 Kings 19:12; 2 Kings 2:11 is that of a chariot of fire and horses of fire.

1  Kin. 19:12-13 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (NIV)
2 Kin. 2:11  As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. (NIV)
Is. 29:6   the Lord Almighty will come with thunder and earthquake and great noise, with windstorm and tempest and flames of a devouring fire. (NIV)
Is. 66:15-16  See, the Lord is coming with fire, and his chariots are like a whirl- wind; he will bring down his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For with fire and with his sword the Lord will execute judgment upon all men, and many will be those slain by the Lord. (NIV)

     Two kinds of fire are spoken of in 1 Kings 19:12, 2 Kings 2:11, Isaiah 29:6, and 66:15-16. First, the Lord is coming with fire, and his chariots of fire are like a whirlwind. Second, he will bring down his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. This fire is the fire of judgment. The texts show that both fires are quite different. Likewise, the fire in Luke 3:16, 12:49, Matt. 3:11 and Acts 2:3 is quite distinct from that in Luke 3:9 and 3:17.


The fire in Judg. 13:20 is distinct from the fire of judgment in Is. 66:16; Luke 3:9,17.

Judg. 13:17-19  Then Manoah inquired of the angel of the Lord “What is your name, so that we may honor you when your word comes true?” He replied, “Why do you ask my name? It is beyond understanding.” Then Manoah took a young goat, together with the grain offering, and sacrificed it on a rock to the Lord. And the Lord did an amazing thing while Manoah and his wife watched:
Judg. 13:20  As the flame blazed up from the altar toward heaven, the angel of the Lord ascended in the flame. Seeing this, Manoah and his wife fell with their faces to the ground. (NIV)

     The fire in Judg.13:20 is the same as that in 1 Kings 19:12-13, 2 Kings  2:11 and Is. 66:15. This fire is not the fire of judgment in Isaiah 66:16 and Luke 3:9,17.

The fire in Luke 3:9,17; 16:24 implies the fire of hell.

Luke 16:22-24 The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ (NIV)

     The text shows that after dying, the rich who has been in hell says, “I am in agony in this fire.” The fire in Luke 16:24 is the fire of hell like that in Luke 3:17. This affirms that the fire in Luke 3:16 is quite distinct from that in Luke 3:17.

The fire in Luke 3:16; 12:49 is quite distinguished from that in Luke 9:54.

Luke  12:49     I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! (NIV)
Luke 9:52-55  And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” But Jesus turned and rebuked them.
Luke 17:29-30  But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed. (NIV)
2 Thess. 1:6-8  God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angel. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. (NIV)
Rev. 20:15   If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (NIV)

     2  Thess. 1:7 says, “...when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angel...” could read, “when the Holy Spirit sent by the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in bodily form like tongues of fire with a mighty whirlwind, the 120 disciples of Jesus received the power of the Holy Spirit,” that is, they were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit and received the gift of the tongues of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. 2 Thess. 1:7 could be inferred to mean that the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angel to throw unbelievers into the lake of fire. But Acts 2:2-4 could be inferred to mean that the Lord Jesus through the Holy Spirit was revealed from heaven in fire to baptize his disciples with/in the fire of the Holy Spirit, to give them the power of the Holy Spirit, and to make the witnesses of Jesus for preaching the Gospel of Christ from the day of Pentecost. The fire in Luke 3:9 and 3:17 is the same as in Rev. 20:15, but the fire in Luke 3:9 and 3:17 is quite distinct from that in Luke 3:16.

The Scripture shows that the fire in Luke 3:16 is distinct from that in Luke 3:9,17.

Luke 3:9      The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. (NIV)
Luke 3:16    John answered them all, “I baptize you with water...He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. (NIV)
Luke 3:17    His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” (NIV)
Luke 12:49  I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! (NIV)
KJV             I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?

     The fire in Matt. 3:1l, Luke 3:16, 12:49, and Acts 2:3 is quite distinct from that in Luke 3:9,17. Most scholars speak of the fire in these passages as the fire of judgment or the fire of hell. This makes no sense at all. Both the OT and the NT affirm that the arguments of most scholars are surely from a mistranslation and misinterpretation. It must be inferred that the fire in Matt. 3:11 and Luke 3:16 is omitted in Mark 1:8, John 1:33, Acts 1:5, 11:16, and 1 Cor. 12:13. The fire in Matt. 3:11 and Luke 3:16 must not be regarded as the fire of judgment but the element of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Edward Schweizer takes the fire in Matt. 3:11 as the symbol of judgment.

A clear distinction is drawn between Jesus and John the Baptist: John baptizes with water, Jesus with “the Holy Spirit and with fire” (Matt. 3:11). Fire is the symbol of Judgment which devours everything that cannot stand before God. We are reminded that “spirit” and “wind” are identical in the Old Testament and that Israel often perceived God’s Spirit in the desert wind. In the wind and fire God’s judgment is present; Jerusalem is punished “with thunder and with earthquake and great noise” (Isa. 29:6): Behold, the name of the Lord comes from far, burning earth with his anger...and his tongue is like as devouring fire (Isa. 30:27-28). (Edward Schweizer, The Holy Spirit, p.52.)

     To accept the note “the fire in Matt. 3:11 is the symbol of judgment” makes no sense. It would make the Holy Spirit the element of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. But the fire in Matt. 3:11 and Luke 3:16 must be the element of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The fire of Isaiah. 29:6 and 30:27-28 speaks of the fire of judgment. Edward Schweizer continues:

Although Luke mentions the flames of fire at Pentecost he does not seem to regard this as the fulfillment of John the Baptist’s saying. It is only an accompanying phenomenon pointing to the extraordinary manner in which the Spirit of God would irrupt. This means that the flames at Pentecost were not themselves the fire of judgment of which John the Baptist had spoken earlier. (Edward Schweizer, The Holy Spirit, p.62.)

     In the statement “Although Luke mentions the flames of fire at Pentecost he does not seem to regard this as the fulfillment of John the Baptist’s saying,” “Luke mentions the flames of fire at Pentecost” is right, but the statement “Luke does not seem to regard this as the fulfillment of John the Baptist’s saying” is erroneous. The note “the flames at Pentecost were not themselves the fire of judgment of which John the Baptist had spoken earlier” is ambiguous. It should be noted that John the Baptist had spoken of two kinds of fire, one is the fire of the element of the baptism of the Spirit and the other is the fire of judgment.

The Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary notes the fire in Luke 3:16.

The Messiah will baptize, not with water in a preparatory way, as John was doing, but actually “with the Holy Spirit and with fire” (v. 16). That is, the coming of the Spirit is to have the effect of fire...Fire is an ancient symbol of judgment, and purification (cf. Gen 19:26; Am 7:4; Mal 3:2). John is thus portraying the Holy Spirit as being active in saving, and judging. (Consulting Editors, Kenneth L. Barker & John Kohlenberger, Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary, Grand Rapid: Zondervan, 1994, p.222.)

     The NIV Commentary speaks of the “fire” in Luke 3:16 as an ancient symbol of judgment, and purification. When one fails to accept the fire in Luke 3:16 as the element of the baptism (just as Edward Schweizer and the NIV Commentary did), there will be many illogical arguments. The fire in Luke 3:9,17 must be the fire of Judgment, but the fire in Luke 3:16, 12:49, Matt. 3:11, and Acts 2:3 must be understood as the element/means of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Then, there will be no theological controversy.

Ajith Fernando takes the fire in Luke 3:16 as two kinds of “symbol of judgment” and “powerful presence of God.”

The wind and fire that accompanied the gift of the Spirit (Acts 2:2-3) are common biblical symbols for the activity of the Sprit. The Greek and Hebrew words for “Spirit” can also mean “wind” and “breath.”... In Ezek. 37:1-14 and John 3:7-8, the wind was a symbol of regeneration ... In the prediction of baptism with the Holy Spirit by John the Baptist, the wind (by implication) blows the chaff away (Luke 3:16-17). This is a symbol of Judgment. Similarly, fire in this same prediction, which burns up the chaff, is a symbol of judgment ... Moreover, fire is also a symbol of the powerful presence of God, as both the fire at the burning bush (Ex. 3:2-5) and the pillar of fire at night (Ex. 13:21-22). The separation of the tongues of fire to rest on each of them (v. 3) seems to suggest that the Spirit now rests on each believer individually. (Ajith Fernando, The NIV Application Commentary: Acts, p.87.)
 
     The “fire” in Luke 3:17 is not a symbol of judgment but the real fire of hell in Revelation 20:15. The fire in Acts 2:3 implies the powerful presence of God the Spirit sent by Jesus, like both the fire at the burning bush (Ex. 3:2-5) and the pillar of fire at night (Ex. 13:21-22). Acts 2:2-4 is the fulfillment of the promise of Jesus, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you” (Acts 1:8). The separation of tongues of fire to rest on each of them (v. 3) does imply that the Holy Spirit came on each believer. The tongues of fire did rest on each of the 120 disciples who were in Jerusalem.

Ajith Fernando insists that the word “baptize” basically means “dip or immerse.”

Acts 1:4-5 presents the crucial promise of the gift of baptism with the Holy Spirit. Many scholars today prefer to use the expression “baptism in the Holy Spirit.” But we will stick to the NIV rendering of this expression: “baptism with the Holy Spirit.” The word baptizo basically means dip or immerse. But it can take different meanings that must be determined by considering the context in which the word appears. It can mean “to wash ... with a view to making objects ritually acceptable,” and can thus be translated “wash” or purify.” It can also mean “to employ water in a religious cere- mony designed to symbolize purification and initiation on the basic of repentance to baptize.” And in a figurative extension of the idea of immersion, it can mean “to cause someone to have a highly significant religious experience.” Related to this last definition is Jesus’ question to James and John in Mark 10:38, “Are you able...to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized” (NASB). This extends the meaning of immersion to a deluge or an overwhelming flood of suffering. (Ajith Fernando, Ibid., p.51.)

     Ajith Fernando says that he prefers to use the express “baptism with the Holy Spirit” than “baptism in the Holy Spirit.” But both expressions are quite inaccurate and based on the mistranslation and misinterpretation of the element/means of the baptism. Fernando says, “It can also mean to employ water in a religious ceremony designed to symbolize purification and initiation on the basic of repentance to baptize.” This is right. Fernando insists that the word baptizo basically means dip or immerse, but this is from a misinterpretation. It should be inferred the word baptizo means “wash,” but “dip (immerse) or sprinkle” is the mode to wash. It should be interpreted that there are three modes to wash, that is, “immerse, sprinkle, and pour out.”

The Wycliffe Bible Commentary says of “coming up out of the water.”

In Jordan: The Greek preposition eis, meaning, “in,” “into,” along with the words, “coming up out of the water” (v.10), indicates an entrance into the river suggestive of immersion. (The Wycliffe Bible Commentary edited by Everett F. Harrison, New Testament, Chicago: Moody Press, 1979, p.990.)

     This argument must be carefully examined to understand the meaning of “baptize” and “immersion.” Let’s read Mark 1:9-10.
 
Mark 1:9-10  Ἰησοῦς ἀπὸ Ναζαρὲτ τῆς Γαλιλαίας καὶ ἐβαπτίσθη εἰς τὸν Ἰορδάνην ὑπὸ Ἰωάννου καὶ εὐθὺς ἀναβαίνων ἐκ τοῦ ὕδατος (BNT)
NIV    Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. As Jesus was coming up out of the water,
 
     The Greek preposition eis in Mark 1:9 must be translated as “in” to be consistent with Matt. 3:6, as already noted. (See the detailed discussion on the translation of 1 Cor. 12:13.) The Wycliffe Bible Commentary says this Greek preposition eis indicates an entrance into the river. But it should be understood that the baptized had first to enter into the Jordan River before being baptized with/in water by John the Baptist. This means that the baptizer baptizes them after they entered into the Jordan River. The Commentary also comments, “coming up out of the water (v. 10), indicates an entrance into the river suggestive of immersion.” The words “coming up out of the water” must be examined for there are two instances (John 3:22-23; Acts 8:36-39) which are distinct from each other. Let’s see two different cases.

John 3:22-23  After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He remained with them and baptized. Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there. And they came and were baptized. (NKJ)
Acts 8:36-39  Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being bap- tized?” Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing. (NKJ)

     Much water (hudata polla, ὕδατα πολλὰ) in John 3:22-23 is quite distinct from some water (ti hudor, τι ὕδωρ) in Acts 8:36. In both cases, it can be said that the baptized and the baptizer should go down into the water, then, the baptizer baptizes the baptized with/in water. Afterwards, they came up out of the water. In the case of much water, it can be said that the word baptize means “dip or immerse.” But in the case of some water, it cannot be said they immersed in water. In the case of much water, the baptized can immerse in much water to be baptized, but in the case of some water, it is impossible for the baptized to immerse.
    In the case of some water, that is, not enough water for immersion, the baptizer cannot baptize in water. Instead, he has to baptize the baptized with water, that is, sprinkle with water or pour out water on him. If the word “baptize” is accepted as only “immerse,” there are many difficult cases to interpret. For instance, in an area lacking water, in the desert, in the cold area, in the hospital, it is typically impossible for the baptizer to immerse the baptized. Though many scholars insist the word baptize means “dip or immerse,” it is from the misinterpretation of the word baptize. “Dip (immerse) and sprinkle, and pour out” are simply three modes of washing. Therefore, it should be understood that “baptize” basically means “wash.”

Acts 22:16 indicates that “be baptized” means “wash sins away.”

Acts  9:17-18  Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord–Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here–has sent me so that  you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized. (NIV)
Acts  22:16   And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name. (NIV)

     “Calling on his name” refers to the name of Jesus, so Saul (Paul) was baptized by Ananias sent by Jesus and in the name of Jesus. Through Acts 10:47-48 it can be concluded that the words “baptized in the name of Jesus” in the book of Acts speak of the baptism with/in water, without exception. The phrase “Be baptized and wash your sins away” in Acts 22:16 must be understood. There are not two kinds of action: one act to “be baptized,” and a second act to “wash sins away.” The Greek conjunction “kai” here means “that is, namely.” The words “Be baptized and wash your sins away” must be inferred to mean “be baptized, that is, wash your sins away.” Acts 9:17-18 and 22:16 confirm that “baptize” means “wash sins away.”
 

1 Peter 3:20-21 indicates that “baptize” means “wash sins away.”

1 Pet. 3:20-21 who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also–not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the re- surrection of Jesus Christ. (NIV)
                                     * “the removal of the filth of the flesh” (NKJ)  
                                     * “the removal of dirt from the flesh” (NAS)

     Here, the phrase “this water symbolizes baptism” implies water baptism. This passage should be inferred to mean that water baptism is basically the removal of the dirt of the body, that is, to wash the physical dirt away. Spiritually water baptism symbolizes the cleaning of a guilty conscience, that is, the pledge of a good conscience toward God. In 1 Peter 3:20-21 the word “baptize” implies that we are to wash away the invisible sins which afflict and soil the conscience against God.

The Bible shows that to be baptized with/in water symbols to receive forgiveness of sins.

Matt. 3:4-6  John himself was clothed in camel’s hair...Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins. (NKJ)
Acts  2:38   Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for (eis) the remission of sins. (NKJ)

     To confess sins is the same meaning as to repent sins. If one repents one’s sins, one’s sins will be forgiven, so as a matter of doctrine, to repent sins is to receive the forgiveness of sins. Before repenting one’s sins, one must receive Jesus Christ as Savoir and Lord. Before being baptized with/in water, one must be in the name of Jesus through faith in Him. Before being baptized with/in water, one must repent one’s sins. Then, God will forgive one’s sins through repentance. After receiving the forgiveness of sins, one should be baptized with/in water.
     Therefore the Greek eis in Acts 2:38 must be translated as “in.” So “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for (eis) the forgiveness of your sins” should be “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ in (eis) the forgiveness of your sins.” Now it can be inferred that on having been in the forgiveness of sins, one can be baptized with/in water in the name of Jesus Christ. Therefore, to be baptized with/in water symbolizes the washing of sins, that is, the receiving of the forgiveness of sins. To be baptized in water does not mean to immerse in water but a symbol of washing sins away.

Even if water baptism is to wash sins away, the Spirit’s baptism is not to wash sins away but to receive the power of the Spirit.

John 3:22-26 After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He remained with them and baptized. Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there. And they came and were baptized. For John had not yet been thrown into prison. Then there arose a dispute between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purification. And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified--behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him!” (NKJ)
John 3:25  An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing. (NIV)
NKJ      Then there arose a dispute between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purification.

     The text says there arose a dispute between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purification (ceremonial washing). When John was baptizing, the Jews came to John’s disciples. They disputed the matter of ceremonial washing, that is, purification. Here, it can be concluded that they disputed the matter of ceremonial washing or the matter of baptizing with/in water. Now it is seen that “baptize” implies “ceremonial washing,” that is, purification. The text affirms that the word “baptize” indeed means “wash, purify” just as found in 1 Peter 3:20-22 and Acts 22:16. The word “baptize” does not imply “immerse” but “wash, that is, purify.” So that “ceremonial baptizing with/in water” means “ceremonial washing sins away.” It could be said that if water baptism, that is, the ceremonial washing done by John the Baptist as well as the disciples of Jesus were not mentioned in the OT, many Jews would not be baptized with/in water by either John or the disciples of Jesus. They would reject it. Matt. 3:4-6 surely affirms the fact, “John himself was clothed in camel’s hair...Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.” This record confirms that many Jews who believed in the God of the OT were baptized with/in water by John and the disciples of Jesus (John 4:1-2).

John Calvin comments on the modes of water baptism.

Whether the person being baptized should be wholly immersed, and whether thrice or once, whether he should only be sprinkled with poured water-these details are of no importance, but ought to be optional to churches according to the diversity of countries. Yet the word “baptize” means to immerse, and it is clear that the rite of immersion was observed in the ancient church. Early deviation from the practice immersion is seen in the Didache 7, where if running water was not available, the prescription was: “Pour water on the head three times.” (John Calvin, Ibid., IV, 15, 19.)
     
     John Calvin says, “Whether the person being baptized should be wholly immersed, and whether thrice or once, whether he should only be sprinkled with poured water-these details are of no importance, but ought to be optional to churches according to the diversity of countries.” This note is quite right and biblical. The note indicates that there are two modes of water baptism, that is, either to be immersed or to be sprinkled with poured water. Calvin also insists, “Yet the word ‘baptize’ means to immerse.” He is in great confusion. If there are two modes of water baptism, “baptize” should mean “to immerse and to sprinkle with poured water.”

Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms notes the modes of water baptism.

Baptism: The practice of sprinkling with, pouring on or immersing in water as an act of Christian initiation and obedience to Christ’s own command. Baptism as a Christian ordinance or sacrament is nearly universal in application throughout the Christian church, although there is great diversity in whether it is applied solely to those who consciously exercise faith in Christ (believer’s baptism) or whether it is also to be extended to the infants of Christian parents (infants baptism, or pedo-baptism). Baptismal regeneration: The belief that water baptism effects the saving work of the Holy Spirit in washing away original sin. In Roman Catholicism baptism (usually of infants) is understood to confer grace upon the individual, whether or not faith is present. In Lutheran theology baptism must be accompanied by faith, whether the faith of the individual or of the parents, to be effective in washing away sin. Other Protestants reject baptismal regeneration, arguing that it contradicts the concept of justification by grace through faith alone. (Stanley J. Grenz, David Guretzki & Cherith Fee Nordling, Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms, p.18-19.)

     All the notes are for only water baptism. The note “The practice of sprinkling with, pouring on or immersing in water” indicates that there are three modes of water baptism, “sprinkling with, pouring on, and immersing in water.” “The belief that water baptism effects the saving work of the Spirit in washing away original sin” indicates that water baptism means to wash original sin away.

John F. MacArthur comments on the mode of water baptism.

To be baptized with the Holy Spirit means that Christ immerses us in the Spirit, there by giving us a common life principle. (John F. MacArthur, Charismatic Chaos, p.231.)
The term baptize (“to baptize”) is used in the New Testament to refer to figurative immersion in trouble (Matt. 20:22-23, KJV) or to spiritual immersion (Rom. 6:3-5) in Christ’s death and resurrection. As one can be immersed in water, so a believer is immersed spiritually into the Body of Christ. (John F. MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary I Corinthians 12:13, p.311.)

     “To be baptized with the Holy Spirit means that Christ immerses us in the Spirit” is quite inaccurate. To be baptized with the Holy Spirit does by no means signify that Christ immerses us in the Spirit since before being baptized with the Spirit, Christ has already immersed His disciples in the Spirit through faith in Christ. To believe in Jesus is to be in Jesus. To receive Christ is to receive the Spirit. To be in Jesus is to be in the Spirit. So every Christian is in the Spirit through faith in Jesus before water baptism and the baptism of the Spirit.
     The note, “To be baptized with the Holy Spirit means that Christ immerses us in the Spirit, thereby giving us a common life principle” would better read, “To be baptized in the Holy Spirit and in fire means that Christ immerses us in the Spirit’s fire, thereby giving us the power of the Spirit to be the witnesses of Jesus.”
.

H. Orton Wiley and Paul T. Culbertson comment on the mode of baptism.

Baptism may be administered by sprinkling, pouring, or immersion, according to the choice of applicant. The mode of baptism has been one of long and serious controversy. Certain groups, such as the Baptists, contend that immersion is the only valid mode of baptism; while others, the great body of the Church in all ages, have ever maintained that it may be administered by sprinkling or pouring. The question is not whether immersion is a valid mode, but whether it is the only one authorized by the Scriptures. The Church generally has not found the evidence sufficient to establish immersion as the exclusive mode. (H. Orton Wiley and Paul T. Culbertson, Introduction to Christian Theology, p.387,391.)

     The note “Baptism may be administered by sprinkling, pouring, or immersion, according to the choice of applicant” is thoroughly biblical.

The Bible shows that modes of baptism are three kinds of “sprinkle, pour, immerse.”

Heb. 9:13  The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. (NIV)

     The text indicates that “to sprinkle on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them” is one mode of cleaning.

Heb. 10:22  let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. (NIV)

     The text of Heb. 10:22 shows that “sprinkle water” is one mode of washing sins away with water.

Ezek. 36:25-28  I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from  you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. You will live in the land I gave your forefathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God. (NIV)

     The text of Ezek. 36:25-28 shows that “to sprinkle water” is one mode of cleaning all your impurities with water.

Lev. 16:24  He shall bathe himself with water in a holy place and put on his regular garments. Then he shall come out and sacrifice the burnt offering for himself and the burnt offering for the people, to make  atonement for himself and for the people. (NIV)

The text shows that “to bathe with water” is to wash with water.

Lev. 16:28   The man who burns them must wash his clothes and bathe himself with water; afterward he may come into the camp. (NIV)

     It shows that “to wash his clothes and bathe himself with water” is to wash with water for purification to be everlasting ordinance for the Jews in OT days.

Lev. 14:51   says, “Sprinkle the house seven times with the fresh water.”

Lev. 14:51  Then he is to take the cedar wood, the hyssop, the scarlet yarn and the live bird, dip them into the blood of the dead bird and the fresh water, and sprinkle the house seven times. He shall purify the house with the bird’s blood, the fresh water, the live bird, the cedar wood, the hyssop and the scarlet yarn. (NIV)

     To sprinkle the house with fresh water is to purify the house with water, and to dip into the fresh water is to purify. It can be said that to immerse is to wash, to sprinkle is to wash. Consequently, the texts show that “sprinkle and immerse (dip)” are the kinds of modes of washing. Therefore, the Greek “baptize” must be not translated and interpreted “immerse” but “wash.” The Greek preposition en (Luke 3:16; Matt. 3:11) should be translated either “in” or “with.” To baptize in (en) water is to immerse in water to wash sins away. To baptize with (en) water is to sprinkle with (en) water. All the Scriptures mentioned above affirms, “To baptize is not to immerse. To baptize is to wash sins away.” Therefore, if the Greek en be translated as only “in,” it will definitely be an erroneous translation. Matt. 3:11 and Luke 3:16 must be translated as “He will baptize you with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire.”
     It can be simply called “the baptism with/in the fire of the Holy Spirit, or the baptism with/in fire, or fire baptism of the Holy Spirit, or fire baptism like water baptism.” The terminology “the baptism in/with the Spirit” is from the mistranslation and misinterpretation of Luke 3:16 and Matt. 3:11

The followings show the actual scene of the baptism with/in fire of the Holy Spirit.

     Acts 2:3-4 records, “they saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit” (NIV). It can be said that on the day of Pentecost the 120 disciples were in fires because what seemed to be tongues of fire came to rest on each of them, and they were immersed in fires, and were sprinkled with fires, and fires were poured out on them. So Acts 2:3-4 exactly shows the actual scene of the baptism “with fire” and “in fire” like the baptism “with water” and “in water.” Through these facts it can be inferred as follows:

You will be baptized by the Spirit in one body. (The Spirit’s baptism)
            You will be baptized by John in the Jordan. (Water baptism)
You will be baptized in the fire of the Spirit in one body. (The Spirit’s baptism)
            You will be baptized in water in the Jordan. (Water baptism)
The Holy Spirit sent by Jesus will baptize with/in fire. (The Spirit’s baptism)
            John sent by God will baptize with/in water. (Water baptism)
Jesus will baptize with/in the Spirit and with /in fire. (The Spirit’s baptism)
            John will baptize with/in water. (Water baptism)
They were in the fire of the Holy Sprit at Pentecost. (The Spirit’s baptism)
            They were in water. (Water baptism)
They were immersed in the fire of the Sprit at Pentecost. (The Spirit’s baptism)
            They were immersed in water. (Water baptism)
Jesus baptized them with/in fire by the Spirit. (The Spirit’s baptism)
            Jesus baptized them with/in water by the disciples. (Water baptism)
The Holy Spirit sent by Jesus immersed them in fire. (The Spirit’s baptism)
            John sent by God immersed them in water. (Water baptism)
They were baptized with/in the fire of the Holy Sprit. (The Spirit’s baptism)
            They were baptized with/in water. (Water baptism)
The Holy Spirit sent by Jesus baptized them with/in fire. (The Spirit’s baptism)
            John sent by God baptized them with/in water. (Water baptism)
They were baptized in/with the fire by the Holy Spirit. (The Spirit’s baptism)
            They were baptized in/with water by John. (Water baptism)
The Sprit baptized them through immersing in fire. (The Spirit’s baptism)
            John baptized them through immersing in water. (Water baptism)
The Holy Spirit immersed them into fire. (The Spirit’s baptism)
            John immersed them into water. (Water baptism)
The Spirit baptized them through sprinkling with fire. (The Spirit’s baptism)
            John baptized them through sprinkling with water. (Water baptism)
The Holy Spirit sprinkled them with fire. (The Spirit’s baptism)
            John sprinkled them with water. (Water baptism)
The Holy Spirit baptized them through pouring out fire. (The Spirit’s baptism)
            John baptized them through pouring out water. (Water baptism)
The fire is poured out by the Holy Spirit sent by Jesus. (The Spirit’s baptism)
            The water is poured out by John sent by God. (Water baptism)

     Acts 2:2-4 exactly describes the actual scene of the baptism “with/in fire” of the Holy Spirit just as in the baptism “with/in water.” Consequently, John the Baptist’s prediction (Matt. 3:11; Luke 3:16; Mark 1:8; John 1:33) and the promise of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:5,8) were exactly fulfilled in Acts 2:2-4 at Pentecost. It must be accepted that the “fire” mentioned in two passages (Matt. 3:11; Luke 3:16) is omitted in five others. The word “fire” must be the element of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.