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How to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit

 

Billy Graham comments on “How to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.”

Since the baptism with the Spirit occurs at the time of regeneration, Christians are never told in Scripture to seek it. Nowhere in the New Testament is there a command to be baptized with the Holy Spirit. All Christians are committed to be filled with the Spirit. (Billy Graham, The Holy Spirit, p.79,80,114.)

     Billy Graham teaches that the baptism with the Spirit is distinct from the filling of the Spirit. This is quite erroneous because the Bible describes the baptism of the Spirit as synonymous with the filling of the power of the Spirit. The note, “Since the baptism with the Spirit occurs at the time of regeneration, Christians are never told in Scripture to seek it,” also is quite erroneous. There is no scriptural reference to indicate the baptism with the Spirit occurs at the time of regeneration. The Scripture tells Christians to seek the baptism of the Spirit since it does not occur at regeneration. Billy Graham continues:

In my ministry I am frequently asked, “How can I be filled with the Spirit?” We have been commended to be filled, but how do we obey? It is interesting that the Bible nowhere gives us a neat, concise formula for being filled with the Spirit. (Billy Graham, Ibid., p.133-4.)

     The note, “It is interesting the Bible nowhere gives us a neat, concise formula for being filled with the Spirit,” makes no sense since the Bible does give a neat, concise formula for being filled with (the power) of the Spirit. Jesus commanded believers to be filled with (the power) of the Spirit, so it makes no sense to say that He does not provide a concise formula for being filled. Both the OT and NT record a neat, concise formula for being filled with (the power) of the Spirit, that is, for being baptized with/in the Spirit.

Stanley M. Horton comments on “How to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.”

Some writers today say we do not need to ask for the Spirit since the Holy Spirit already dwells in all true born again believers. It cannot be denied that the 120 prayed (Luke 24:53; Acts 1:14) or that Peter prayed for others to receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:15). Yet, some say all we need to do now is follow the example of the Galatians and accept through faith (Galatians 3:13,14). There is a sense also in which we must keep on asking for the Spirit if we are to keep being filled with His presence and power. (Stanley M. Horton, What the Bible says about the Holy Spirit, p.105-6.)

     The note, “Some writers say we do not need to ask for the Spirit since the Holy Spirit already dwells in all true born again believers,” is biblically correct since to receive Jesus is to receive the Spirit, and to receive the Spirit is to be in the Spirit, and to receive Jesus is to be born again of the Spirit. The note, “Peter and John prayed for others to receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:15),” is thoroughly erroneous since “to receive the Holy Spirit” in Acts 8:15 is from the mistranslation of the Greek verb lambano. The 120 disciples (Acts 1:14) and Peter and John (Acts 8:15) did not pray to receive the Holy Spirit but prayed to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, i.e., the fullness of the power of the Holy Spirit. The note, “There is a sense also in which we must keep on asking for the Spirit if we are to keep being filled with His presence and power,” is erroneous. There is a sense in which we must not keep on asking for the Spirit but for the baptism of the Spirit if we are to be filled with His power.

Rene Pache comments on “How to receive the baptism of the Spirit.”

In what way is the baptism of the Spirit received? Since the baptism of the Spirit gives us members of His body, it is clear that we receive it quite simply by faith. Must there be a period of waiting before receiving the Spirit? Paul states in Galatians 3:13-14 that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. If, therefore, the Spirit is received through faith it is quite unnecessary for the believer to spend months and even years awaiting Him. (Rene Pache, The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit, p.74,81.)

     In the note, “In what way is the baptism of the Spirit received? Since the baptism of the Spirit gives us members of His body, it is clear that we receive it quite simply by faith,” the reference to the baptism of the Spirit given to members of His body is erroneous. It is from the mistranslation of 1 Cor. 12:13. The baptism of the Spirit does not make us members of His body but gives the members the power of the Spirit. The question “Must there be a period of waiting before receiving the Spirit?” is incorrectly worded. Instead it should ask, “Must there be a period of waiting before receiving the baptism of the Spirit”? The 120 had waited about ten days before receiving the baptism of the Spirit until Pentecost. The Samaritans had waited about seven days before receiving the baptism when the apostles’ hands were laid on them. The 12 at Ephesus had waited a few minutes or a few hours before receiving the baptism as Paul placed his hands on them. The note, “If the Spirit is received through faith it is quite unnecessary for the believer to spend months and even years awaiting Him,” seems right, but it is quite erroneous. To receive the baptism of the Spirit is not synonymous with “to receive the Spirit,” as noted above. Thus, it should be, “Even if the baptism of the Holy Spirit is received through faith,” it is quite necessary for some believers to spend hours or days or months or even years to receive it. Rene Pache continues:

Why did these one hundred and twenty have to wait? Because the time appointed by God for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit had not yet arrived. For us, who have come after Pentecost it is not the same. (Rene Pache, Ibid., p.81.)

     In the note, the words “the outpouring of the Holy Spirit” are erroneous since it is from the mistranslation of Acts 2:17. It should speak of “the outpouring of the gift of the Holy Spirit.” The note, “the time appointed by God for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit had not yet arrived,” is incorrect. Even though God did obviously appoint the time for the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, the 120 disciples did not know God’s appointed time. Jesus Christ did not inform them of the time appointed, that is, the day of Pentecost.
     In Luke 24:49 Jesus only commanded, “I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high” (NIV). Jesus did not speak of a specific time they would be clothed with power from on high. And Acts 1:4-5 says, “And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, which, He said, ‘you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now’” (NKJ). Jesus did say that they were to be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit in a few days (not many days from now). The words, “not many days from now,” do not pinpoint the day of Pentecost. These records affirm that the disciples did not know the time appointed by God. The 120 were to wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit. They were to obey the command, “stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high, not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father.” The note, “For us, who have come after Pentecost it is not the same,” is also erroneous because the Samaritan believers also waited for the coming of the Holy Spirit. Any Christian who has yet to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit as did the 120 and the Samaritans and the 12 at Ephesus must wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit, that is, the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

John Walvoord comments on “How to receive the baptism of the Spirit.”

It is significant that Christians are never exhorted to seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Never in Scripture is baptism by the Spirit recorded as occurring subsequent to salvation. (John Walvoord, The Holy Spirit, p.140.)

     The note, “Never in Scripture is baptism by the Spirit recorded as occurring subsequent to salvation,” is quite erroneous. It is based on the mistranslation and misinterpretation of 1 Cor. 12:13. The baptism of the Spirit does by no means occur at the moment of salvation. Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:4-5 declare that Christians (the disciples) are exhorted to seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

John F. MacArthur comments on “How to receive the baptism of the Spirit.”

What of the charismatic notion that Spirit baptism is something to be eagerly sought? Although the one hundred and twenty in the upper room may have been praying in a mood of anticipation and excitement (Acts 1:4), there is no evidence of their asking for or seeking the Holy Spirit. There was absolutely nothing the disciples could have done to cause this great event to occur. They were simply awaiting the sovereign fulfillment of a divine promise. Nor is there any hint of anyone’s seeking or asking for the Holy Spirit or tongues anywhere in the book of Acts. No one sought the Spirit in chapter 8; no one sought the Spirit in chapter 10; and no one sought the Spirit in chapter 19. Nothing in Scripture indicates that anyone in the churches at Antioch...or Corinth ever asked for the Holy Spirit or tongues. (John F. MacArthur, Charismatic Chaos, p.215-6.)

     MacArthur’s note is totally erroneous since it is based on a mistranslation and misinterpretation. The Spirit baptism is not the same as the Spirit’s baptism. In fact, the term “Spirit baptism” is unbiblical. The note also teaches that to seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit is to seek the Holy Spirit, but that is quite erroneous. It is from the mistranslation of the Greek verb lambano (John 7:39; 20:22; Acts 8:14-20; 10:47; 19:2; Gal. 3:2), as noted already. It is more correct to write, “to seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit is to seek the fullness of the power of the Holy Spirit.” The note, “asking for or seeking the Holy Spirit and sought the Spirit” should be written as, “asking for or seeking the baptism of the Holy Spirit and sought the baptism of the Spirit.” The entire note (“there is no evidence of their asking for or seeking the baptism of the Spirit. There was absolutely nothing the disciples could have done to cause this great event to occur. They were simply awaiting the sovereign fulfillment of a divine promise. Nor is there any hint of anyone’s seeking or asking for the Holy Spirit or tongues anywhere in the book of Acts”) is quite inaccurate. The note is from a mistranslation and misinterpretation. Let’s examine the Bible to confirm the error. The following passages make it plain that believers must seek or ask for the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  

John 4:7-14  When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” His disciples had gone into the town to buy food. The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” For Jews do not associate with Samaritans. Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?” Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (NIV)

     Jesus explained that the gift of God is living water. Those who asked Jesus were to be given the living water, that is, the gift of God. John 7:37-39 affirms that the receiving of the living water in John 4:7-14, that is, the gift of God, is synonymous with to be filled with (the power) of the Spirit. To be filled with (the power) of the Spirit is to receive the baptism of the Spirit. In conclusion, the texts of John 4:7-14 and John 7:37-39 indicate very obviously that a believer must seek or ask for the baptism of the Spirit, i.e., the filling of the power of the Spirit, the gift of God.

1 Cor. 12:13   For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free–and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. (NIV)

     The text should be “For we were all baptized with/in/by one Spirit in one body– whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free–and we were all given the water of the one Spirit to drink,” as noted above. The text affirms that to be baptized with/in the Spirit is to be given the water of the Spirit, i.e., the receiving of the living water given by the Spirit. John 4:7-14, 7:37-39 and 1 Cor. 12:13 record the same event.

John 7:37-39  the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. (NIV)
     “By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified” is the mistranslation of the Greek verb lambano, as noted already. It should be, “By this he meant the Spirit, of whom those who believed in him were later to be filled with (the power). Up to that time the believers were not yet filled with (the power) of the Spirit, since Jesus had not yet been glorified” (Author). Acts 2:1-4 and 2:32-33 affirm that the 120 were filled with (the power) of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost after Jesus ascended into heaven and was glorified. Acts 1:5,8 and 2:3-4 confirm that to be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit is to be filled with (the power) of the Holy Spirit, as noted already. Here, it is confirmed that to receive the living water given by the Spirit sent by Jesus is to be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit, that is, to be filled with (the power) of the Holy Spirit. In John 7:37 Jesus said, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.” This does not mean that if one comes to Jesus Christ he can automatically drink or automatically be filled with (the power) of the Holy Spirit. Those who want to receive it must ask for or seek it. John 4:10 obviously affirms it.
     In John 4:10 Jesus said, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” It can be concluded that all people need to ask for the living water, that is, the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This is an obvious confirmation of the need to ask for or seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit, that is, the gift of the living water given by the Holy Spirit sent by Jesus Christ. To receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit is to receive the gift of the living water given by the Holy Spirit. John F. MacArthur says, “There is no evidence of their asking for or seeking the baptism of the Spirit,” but the Bible affirms that he is in great error.

Lycurgus M. Starkey comments on “How to receive the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Wesley calls us to remember that the Holy Spirit is given unto all who profess faith in Jesus Christ; and due to the Spirit’s prior working we are enabled to and must fulfill our responsibility to work with him. Wesley reminds us that the power of the Holy Spirit is released to human life through the dedication and discipline of those united to the living Lord Christ in faith. This power is made available to human life by God for the realization of progress toward the ultimate goal the Christian life, the perfect love of God and love. (Lycurgus M. Starkey, The Work of the Holy Spirit, p.162-3.)

     The note, “the Holy Spirit is given unto all who profess faith in Jesus Christ,” is quite erroneous since it is based upon the misunderstanding of the word “given” in Acts 5:32, 8:18 and Luke 11:13. The phrase, “the Spirit is given to the Samaritan believers at the laying on of the two apostles’ hands” (Acts 8:18), implies that the power of the Holy Spirit is given to the Samaritans, that is, they were baptized with/in the Holy Spirit at the laying on of the apostles’ hands. There is no scriptural reference to indicate that the power of the Holy Spirit is given unto all who profess faith in Jesus Christ. Instead, all who profess faith in Jesus Christ must receive the power of the Holy Spirit subsequent to that profession, that is, subsequent to conversion. Wesley’s claim, “the power of the Holy Spirit is released to human life through the dedication and discipline of those united to the living Lord Christ in faith,” is unbiblical for the following reasons: The 120 disciples did not receive the power of the Holy Spirit through their dedication. Neither the Samaritans nor the 12 Ephesians received the power of the Holy Spirit through the dedication or discipline but only through the laying on of the apostles’ hands. Cornelius and his family did not receive the power of the Holy Spirit through their dedication and discipline but only through hearing Peter’s preaching.

Luke 11:9-13 confirms that there is evidence of asking for the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Luke 11:13  If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! (NIV)

     The words “give good gifts” and “give the Holy Spirit” in Luke 11:13 must be carefully examined. It must be concluded that what is meant is, “give the gifts of the Holy Spirit.” The text records that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are given through asking or seeking. So the verse must be inferred, “how much more will your Father in heaven give the gifts of the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?” Now it is clear. To be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit is to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Here, Jesus confirms again that there is obvious evidence of asking for or seeking the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

John F. MacArthur insists: Although the one hundred and twenty in the upper room may have been praying in a mood of anticipation and excitement (Acts 1:4), there is no evidence of their asking for or seeking the Holy Spirit. There was absolutely nothing the disciples could have done to cause this great event to occur. They were simply awaiting the sovereign fulfillment of a divine promise. (John F. MacArthur, Charismatic Chaos, p.215.)

     In Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:4-5,8 Jesus did not command His disciples to pray to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit but only to stay and to wait for it. But Acts 1:14 records they joined together constantly in prayer. Then, why did they pray? They were praying to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. In Luke 11:9-13 Jesus said that they need to ask for or seek the gifts of the Holy Spirit, that is, the baptism of the Holy Spirit. MacArthur’s note, “Although the one hundred and twenty in the upper room may have been praying in a mood of anticipation and excitement (Acts 1:4), there is no evidence of their asking for or seeking the Holy Spirit,” is affirmed as erroneous. The 120 disciples were not praying especially in a mood of anticipation and excitement but in seeking the baptism of the Spirit.

     MacArthur continues: Nor is there any hint of anyone’s seeking or asking for the Holy Spirit or tongues anywhere in the book of Acts. No one sought the Holy Spirit in chapter 8; no one sought the Spirit in chapter 10; and no one sought the Spirit in chapter 19. Nothing in Scripture indicates that anyone in the churches at Antioch...or Corinth ever asked for the Holy Spirit or tongues. (John F. MacArthur, Ibid., p.215-6.)
Nowhere in Scripture is the Christian taught to tarry and wait for the baptism. (John F. MacArthur, Ibid., p.235.) Luke describes this sovereignty designed event by taking us to the upper room, where the believers gathered...They alone received the promised baptism with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5; 11:15-17). That they were sitting offers further proof that they were not praying for the Holy Spirit’s coming. Standing and kneeling were the postures for prayer. (John F. MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary Acts 1-12, p.41.)

     John F. MacArthur’s note (“…they were sitting offers further proof that they were not praying for the Spirit’s coming. Standing and kneeling were the postures for prayer.”) seems correct, but it is quite erroneous. It is from the misunderstanding of Acts 1:14, which records they joined together constantly in prayer. The term “sitting” carries the same meaning as “kneeling.” This signifies that they were not standing in the upper room.
     The 120 disciples were all with one accord in one place praying to receive the power of the Holy Spirit when He came upon them (Acts 1:8), i.e., praying to be baptized with/in the Spirit and with/in fire (Acts 1:4-5). John F. MacArthur’s comments, “Nor is there any hint of anyone’s seeking or asking for the Holy Spirit or tongues anywhere in the book of Acts. No one sought the Spirit in chapter 8 and no one sought the Spirit in chapter 19, and nowhere in Scripture is the Christian taught to tarry and wait for the baptism,” are thoroughly unbiblical. The note, “Nor is there any hint of anyone’s seeking or asking for tongues anywhere in the book of Acts,” is erroneous according to 1 Cor. 14:1,4-5,39.

1 Cor.14:1,4-5,39 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy. He who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may be edified. I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. (NIV)

     These passages indicate “eagerly desire spiritual gifts” must include “speak in tongues.” It can be inferred that believers are to be “...eager to prophesy and eager to speak in tongues.” It shows that everyone needs to seek and to ask for the gift of tongues and prophecy. 1 Cor. 14:1,4-5,39 confirm that the note “Nor is there any hint of anyone’s seeking or asking for tongues anywhere” is erroneous. The note, “No one sought the Spirit in chapter 8 and no one sought the Spirit in chapter 19, and nowhere in Scripture is the Christian taught to tarry and wait for the baptism,” is quite erroneous since it is from the mistranslation and misinterpretation of Acts 8:14-17, 19:1-7, 1 Cor. 14:1,4-5,39.

How did the Samaritans receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit?

Acts 8:14-17  Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. (KJV)

     Why did the apostles at Jerusalem send Peter and John to the Samaritan Chris- tians who had already received the word of God, i.e., Jesus Christ? Why did Peter and John lay their hands on the Samaritan Christians and pray for them? The literal description of the text says that two apostles were sent to pray for them and to lay their hands on them to be received the Holy Spirit because they had yet to receive the Holy Spirit. Here, the phrase “to pray for them and to place their hands on them to be received the Holy Spirit” implies that both the apostles and the Samaritans together were seeking and asking for the Holy Spirit, i.e., praying to receive the Holy Spirit. Here, it is confirmed that the note “No one sought the Spirit in chapter 8” is from the misinterpretation. The note “No one sought the Spirit in chapter 19” also is from the misinterpretation.
     The phrase, “The apostle Paul placed his hands on the 12 at Ephesus to be received the Holy Spirit,” implies that both Paul and the 12 disciples together were seeking and asking for the Holy Spirit, i.e., the receiving of the Holy Spirit. The Greek lambano in Acts 8:14-17 and 19:2 must be translated, “to be filled with,” as noted already. Consequently, it must be inferred that the Samaritans and the 12 disciples at Ephesus were seeking and asking to receive the baptism of the Spirit as the apostles placed their hands on them.

How did the 120 disciples receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit?

Luke 24:46-53  He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” (NIV)
Acts 1:4-5,8     On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (NIV)
Acts 1:12-15    Then they returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city. When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. They all joined together constantly in prayer...In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty). (NIV)
Acts 2:1-2     …the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. (NIV)

Luke 24:49 writes that after resurrection Jesus commanded, “I am going to send you what my Father has promised; stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” If this verse is understood, then MacArthur’s comment will be affirmed as erroneous. The record of Luke 24:49 is identical with that of Acts 1:5,8, in which to be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit is to receive the power of the Holy Spirit. In Luke 24:49, “to be clothed with power from on high” means the same as “to receive the power of the Holy Spirit when He comes on.” In the command in Acts 1:4, “wait for the gift my Father promised,” the term “gift” refers to the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The inference is: “wait for the baptism of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 1:12-15 describes that the 120 disciples joined together constantly in prayer in the upper room, waiting to be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit- when He came on them. Here, Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5,8 and 1:12-15 confirm that the 120 disciples waited and prayed for the receiving of the baptism of the Spirit. The Bible confirms that John F. MacArthur’s comment (“Nowhere in Scripture is the Christian taught to tarry and wait for the baptism”) is unbiblical and erroneous.
     MacArthur insists, “Although the one hundred and twenty in the upper room may have been praying in a mood of anticipation and excitement (Acts 1:4), there is no evidence of their asking for or seeking the Holy Spirit. That they were sitting offers further proof that they were not praying for the Spirit’s coming. Standing and kneeling were the postures for prayer.” It is also unbiblical and erroneous because the interpretation of the command, “stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49), should be seen as consistent with, “they went upstairs to the room where they were staying” (Acts 1:13). Acts 1:13-14 records that the 120 disciples all joined together and stayed and waited and prayed constantly in obedience to the command of Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:4-5,8 until the Holy Spirit came on them. Jesus asked, “How much more will your Father in heaven give the gifts of the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?” (Author). In the Upper room they asked for, that is, they prayed and sought and asked for the gifts of the Holy Spirit, that is, the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Luke 24:49, Acts 1: 4-5,8 and 1:13-14 can be simply stated as follows:

They stayed constantly to be clothed with the power of the Spirit.
They waited constantly to be baptized with/in the Spirit.
They prayed constantly to receive the power of the Spirit.
They prayed constantly for the Spirit’s coming.
They prayed constantly and asked for and sought the gifts of the Spirit.

     These are differently worded but they have the same meaning. MacArthur’s comment, “Nowhere in Scripture is the Christian taught to tarry and wait for the baptism,” is affirmed as erroneous. The Bible obviously the 120 disciples were tarrying and waiting and praying and seeking and asking for the baptism of the Holy Spirit until they received it.

How did the believers in Acts 4 receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit?

Acts 4:23-25; 29-31  On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: “Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?....Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus. After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. (NIV)
 
     The phrase “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit” is from a mistranslation. It should be, “they were all filled with of the Holy Spirit,” or “they were all filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.” The text shows the content of the prayer (“Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus”) is a petition for the Holy Spirit to empower them to preach the gospel of Jesus, to heal the sick and to perform miraculous signs and wonders. It can be said that they prayed for and asked for the power of the Holy Spirit. After they prayed for this purpose, without experiencing the laying on of hands, they were all filled with (the power) of the Holy Spirit, that is, the baptism of the Holy Spirit. John F. MacArthur comments: “Nor is there any hint of anyone’s seeking or asking for the baptism of the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts.” But it is affirmed that it is from the mistranslation and misinterpretation of Acts 1:4-5,8, 1:13-14, 2:1-4, 4:23-25,29-31 and Luke 24:48-49.
     Billy Graham comments: “Since the baptism with the Spirit occurs at the time of regeneration, Christians are never told in Scripture to seek it. It is interesting that the Bible nowhere gives us a neat, concise formula for being filled with the Spirit.” This is also based on a mistranslation and misinterpretation. The Bible confirms that in the case of the believers in Acts 4, the baptism with/in the Spirit did not occur at the time of regeneration. Although the believers were not told in Acts 4 to seek it, Peter and John were commanded by the direct word of Jesus to seek it (See Luke 11:9-13). Acts 4 reveals a neat and concise formula for being filled with (the power) of the Spirit is to pray together with disciples who have already been filled with (the power) of the Spirit.

How did the apostle Paul receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit?

Acts 9:17-18   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)

     In the text, the phrase “be filled with the Holy Spirit” should be “be filled with (the power) of the Holy Spirit,” as noted already. The text shows that Paul was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit as Ananias placed his hands on him. Acts 9 obviously reveals a neat and concise formula for being filled with the power of the Spirit: the laying on of hands.  

How did Cornelius and his family receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit?

Acts 10:44-47  While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, “Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” (NIV)

     Every English version mistakenly translates Acts 10:47 as, “They have received the Holy Spirit.” Instead, it must be “They have been filled with (the power) of the Holy Spirit,” as noted already. Cornelius and his family belonged to believers who were living with the expectation of the coming Christ. Through Peter’s messages they accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord sent by God the Father. To receive the poured out gift of the Holy Spirit is to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, as noted already. Without praying and asking for and seeking the baptism of the Holy Spirit, they were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit when Peter preached the gospel of Jesus.
     The occasion of Cornelius is quite different from that of the 120 or the Samaritans or Paul. The Samaritans and Paul were baptized with/in the Holy Spirit through prayer and laying on of hands (Peter’s and John’s or Ananias’ hands). Cornelius and his family were baptized through only hearing Peter’s message. There is no record of special prayer or the laying on of hands. The book of Acts 10 reveals a neat and concise formula for being filled with the power of the Holy Spirit: hear the gospel preached by the disciple who has already been filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, without placing the hands.
 

How did the 12 at Ephesus receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit?

Acts 19:1-7   While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?” “John’s baptism,” they replied. Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. There were about twelve men in all. (NIV)

     Every English version mistakenly translates Acts 19:2, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when (since) you believed?” It should be “Were you filled with (the power) of the Holy Spirit since you believed?” as noted already. Paul asked to them about this issue since they were yet not filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul placed his hands on them because he wanted them to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. Though there is no literal record that they were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, the record says the Holy Spirit came on them when Paul placed his hands on them.
     It should be inferred that they were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit when the Holy Spirit came on them as Paul placed his hands on them. The 120 disciples were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit when the Holy Spirit came on them without placing hands on them. Acts 8 records that when Peter and John prayed and placed their hands on the Samaritans, the Holy Spirit came on them and they were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. So Acts 19:2-6 carries the same me- ssage as Acts 8:14-17. The strict doctrine, “the coming of the Holy Spirit is to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit,” should be actually applied to Acts 8:14-17 and Acts 19:2-6. Thus, both passages must be inferred to mean the same. But Acts 19:6 must be inferred to mean that the phrase, “Paul prayed for them that they might be filled with the power of the Spirit,” is omitted because it was already written in Acts 8:14-17.
     In conclusion, the 12 at Ephesus were baptized with/in the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of hands just as the Samaritans and Paul were. Paul placed his hands on them as he asked for and sought the baptism of the Spirit for them since they were not yet baptized with/in the Spirit. Anyone who is not yet baptized with/in the Holy Spirit even though he is already born of the Holy Spirit, must remember the word of Christ in Luke 11:13, “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the gifts of the Holy Spirit to those who ask him” (Author). To be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit is to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Acts 19 records one of neat and concise formulas for being filled with the power of the Spirit: pray and lay on of the hands of disciple who has already been filled with the power of the Spirit. Through the laying on the apostle Paul’s hands, the 12 disciples at Ephesus received two kinds of gifts of the Spirit, that is, tongues and prophecy.

Why did the apostle Paul long to see the Romans?

Rom. 1:11-12   I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong–that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. (NIV)

     The term “spiritual gift” (pneumatikon charisma πνευμάτίωνκον χαρίσμα) in the text means the same as the gift of the Spirit in 1 Cor. 12:4-10 since the gift of the Spirit can be called the spiritual gift given by the Spirit. Acts 19:6 says, “When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.” The text confirms that Paul placed his hands on the 12 disciples received the baptism of the Spirit. They received two gifts of the Spirit, that is, the gifts of the tongues and prophecy of the Spirit. It can be inferred that through the laying on of hands, Paul wanted to impart to the 12 disciples at
Ephesus some spiritual gift to make them strong. When one receives the power of the Holy Spirit, i.e., the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the power of the Holy Spirit makes him strong.
     Thus, Paul placed his hands on the 12 for this purpose. Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans, “I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong” (Rom. 1:11-12). That is, Paul was anxious to see the Romans to lay his hands on them to impart some spiritual gift to make them strong just as he did in Ephesus. Paul too was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit through the laying on of Ananias’ hands. Likewise, Paul was sure that the Romans would be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit/the baptism of the Holy Spirit through the laying on of his hands so that he longed to see them. In 1 Cor. 12:31 Paul wrote, “earnestly desire the greater gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.” Here, Paul longed to show the Romans an excellent way to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit, that is, the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones comments on Rom. 1:11-12.

What does Paul mean exactly by the imparting of ‘some spiritual gift’ in Rom 1:11-12? We must be very careful here, because this has often been misunderstood. There are some who have said that what the Apostle means is that he possesses the power of giving people the Holy Spirit, and they say that what he means by ‘imparting some spiritual gift’ is ‘imparting the gift of the Spirit Himself.’ Let us be clear about this. The Apostle had that gift. There are instances of it in the Book of Acts. You re- member how after he had spoken to ‘certain disciples’ at Ephesus and they had believed the gospel, he baptized them ‘in the name of the Lord Jesus,’ and then we were told that ‘he laid his hands upon them and they received the gift of the Holy Ghost’ (19:1-6). (D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Romans: The Gospel of God, An Exposition of Romans, England: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1985, p.224.)

     The argument, “what he means by ‘imparting some spiritual gift’ is ‘imparting the gift of the Spirit Himself. The Apostle had that gift,” is quite inaccurate because “the gift of the Spirit Himself” is from a misinterpretation. There is no scriptural reference to indicate that the gift of the Spirit is the Spirit Himself. The note, “he laid his hands upon them and they received the gift of the Holy Ghost (19:1-6),” is biblical. Acts 19:6 says, “When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.” The 12 disciples at Ephesus surely received the gifts of tongues and prophecy of the Holy Spirit by the laying on of Paul’s hands. They did not receive the gift of the Holy Spirit Himself. The note, “certain disciples at Ephesus had believed the gospel, and Paul baptized them in the name of the Lord Jesus,” means that they had already become Christians and received the Holy Spirit by faith in Jesus and the baptism with/in water in the name of Jesus before Paul laid his hands on them because to receive Jesus is to receive the Holy Spirit.
     What exactly does Paul mean by the imparting of “some spiritual gift” in Rom. 1:11-12? This question is answered by Acts 19:2-7. The reason Paul laid his hands upon the 12 who were already believers through his preaching and water baptism, was to impart to them some spiritual gift. Therefore, Paul imparted to the 12 believers the gifts of the Holy Spirit to make them strong. In Rom. 1:11-12 Paul wrote, “I long to see you in Rome so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong.” These explanations confirm that “some spiritual gift” should be inferred to mean some gift of the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit in 1 Cor. 12:7-10. Lloyd-Jones continues:  

There are other examples of the same thing in the Book of Acts, and not only with this Apostle. So some have said that this is what Paul means, and, as you know, there are people who have founded a doctrine on that and claim that they still have this same power. They say that they can give the gift of the Holy Spirit by laying their hands upon a person. There are also those who hold that view in a slightly different; who believe that in a service of confirmation the Holy Spirit is given by laying on of the hands of a bishop. There are sections of the church which claim that. And there are others, as you know, not belonging to that particular section of the Christian church, who claim that they have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and that they can give the gift to others by the laying on of their hands. (Lloyd-Jones, Ibid., p.225.)

     The note, “in the book of Acts…they say that they can give the gift of the Holy Spirit by laying their hands upon a person. The Holy Spirit is given by laying on of the hands of a bishop,” is quite unbiblical. It is from the mistranslation and misinterpretation of Acts 8:14-19. The gift of the Holy Spirit is not the Holy Spirit Himself but one of the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit in 1 Cor. 12:7-10. The note, “The Holy Spirit is given by laying on of the hands of a bishop,” makes no sense at all since to receive Jesus by faith in Christ is to receive the Holy Spirit. The note, “The Holy Spirit is given by laying on of the hands of a bishop,” must be changed into “some gift of the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit can be given by laying on of the hands of a Christian who has already received the baptism of the Holy Spirit just as Peter and John did for the Samaritans.” The statement, “They have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and that they can give the gift to others by laying on of their hands,” must instead be, “They have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and they can give some gift of the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit to others by laying on of their hands just as Peter and John and Paul did.” Lloyd-Jones continues:

Paul can not give the gift of the Holy Spirit, i.e., the Holy Spirit, by laying his hands upon the people in Rome because the Christians in Rome have already believed the gospel; they have already received the Holy Spirit; they are already born again. The Apostle is writing to people who have already had the gift of the Holy Spirit; what he wants to do is to take them further and to build them up. (Lloyd-Jones, Ibid., p.225.)

     The note, “The Christians in Rome have already believed the gospel; they have already received the Holy Spirit; they are already born again,” is right. But the note, “The Apostle is writing to people who have already had the gift of the Holy Spirit, i.e., the Holy Spirit Himself,” is quite erroneous since the gift of the Holy Spirit is not the Holy Spirit Himself. The note, “what he wants to do is to take them further and to build them up,” should rather be, “what he wants to do is to take them further and to build them up through imparting some gift of the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit.” Lloyd-Jones continues:

The second explanation of Paul’s statement is that here in talking about ‘imparting some spiritual gift’ he is thinking in terms of the diversity of spiritual gifts which are mentioned and listed in 1 Corinthians chapter twelve: To one is given the gift of healing, to another the gift of tongues, to others the gift of prophecy….and so on. You remember the long list of spiritual gifts mentioned in that Epistle. And some people say that what the Apostle was saying here was that when he came to the Christians in Rome, he had it in his power to give to them these particular spiritual gifts. (Lloyd-Jones, Ibid., p.225.)

     The note, “some people say that what the Apostle was saying here was that when he came to the Christians in Rome, he had it in his power to give to them these particular spiritual gifts,” is quite biblical. Lloyd-Jones continues:

The Apostle nowhere teaches that he has the power to give people particular gifts. What he says in 1 Corinthians chapter twelve is that the Holy Spirit dispenses the gifts as He wills in a sovereign manner. It is not Paul who can do it; it is the Spirit. (Lloyd-Jones, Ibid., p.225.)

     The statement, “The Apostle nowhere teaches that he has the power to give people particular gifts,” is unbiblical since it is from the mistranslation and misinterpretation of the passages, which are describing the filling of the power of the Holy Spirit given to the apostle Paul by Ananias in Acts 9:17-19. The apostle Paul was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. Here, he has received the power to give people particular gifts. Paul placed his hands on the 12 believers to give them particular gifts so that they received two gifts of tongues and prophecy. The note, “The Holy Spirit dispenses the gifts as He wills in a sovereign manner,” is right. But the note, “It is not Paul who can do it; it is the Spirit,” is quite  erroneous. The Holy Spirit directly dispensed His gifts as He desired to the 120 disciples and Cornelius and his family. But in the cases of OT Joshua, the Samaritan believers, the apostle Paul, and the 12 disciples at Ephesus, the Holy Spirit dispensed His gifts to them through the laying on of Moses’ and the apostles’ and Ananias’ hands. Lloyd-Jones continues:

He is talking about ‘establishing’ the Roman believers, and surely his whole argument in 1 Corinthians is that the possession of those particular gifts, far from establishing the people in the church at Corinth, was having the exact opposite effect. It was causing them to be puffed up and to be envious and jealous and to make a great display of them. That is not the way to establish people. Spiritual gifts do not establish, but the Apostle is anxious to establish them. What does he mean therefore by ‘imparting some spiritual gift? This Epistle to the Romans is nothing but a synopsis, a summary, and brief one, of all that the Apostle preached and taught at the great length when he was present in the flesh. The spiritual gift he wants to impart to the Romans is to open the doctrines, to teach them, to instruct them, to establish them, to ground them. This is of vital importance. (Lloyd-Jones, Ibid., p.225-6.)
 
     The note of Lloyd-Jones, “The spiritual gift he wants to impart to the Romans is to open the doctrines, to teach them, to instruct them, to establish them, to ground them,” is quite erroneous. The note, “the possession of those particular gifts, far from establishing the people in the church at Corinth, was having the exact opposite effect. That is not the way to establish people. Spiritual gifts do not establish,” also is quite erroneous since it is from the misunderstanding of the following passages.

1 Cor. 14:1-5   Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy. For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit. But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy. He who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may be edified. (NIV)

     If the possession of those particular gifts is not the way to establish people just as Lloyd-Jones claims, why does Paul emphasize, “eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy” in 1 Cor. 14:1-5? In the phrase, “He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church,” the term “edify” means “establish.” Here, it is confirmed that spiritual gifts, the gift of tongues and prophecy edify, establish and strengthen believers and the church. It must be inferred that the apostle Paul placed his hands on the believers at Ephesus to edify, establish and strengthen them and their church, which had only the 12 members. Lloyd-Jones’ argument, “the possession of those particular gifts is not the way to establish people. Spiritual gifts do not establish,” is from the misinterpretation of Rom. 1:11-12 and 1 Cor. 14:1-5.

1 Cor. 14:26,36,39  What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an inter- pretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church. Did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people it has. Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. (NIV)
 
     If the possession of those particular gifts is not, as Lloyd-Jones claims, the way to establish a people and the church, why does Paul emphasize (“All these, i.e., spiritual gifts must be done for the strengthening of the church”) and why does he command (“my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues”)? It is certain that the misunderstanding of Lloyd-Jones is from the misinterpretation. Here again, it is confirmed that the claim, “what Paul means by ‘imparting some spiritual gift’ is ‘imparting the gift of the Spirit Himself,” is thoroughly unbiblical. It must be inferred that ‘imparting some spiritual gift’ is imparting some gift of the nine gifts of the Spirit to establish people and the church.
 

How did Moses receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit?

Ex. 4:1-5   Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?” Then the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” “A staff,” he replied. The Lord said, “Throw it on the ground.” Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. Then the Lord said to him, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. “This,” said the Lord, “is so that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers–the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob–has appeared to you.” (NIV)
Ex. 4:17,20  “But take this staff in your hand so you can perform miraculous signs with it.” So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey and started back to Egypt. And he took the staff of God in his hand. (NIV)
Deut. 34:10-12  Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, who did all those miraculous signs and wonders the Lord sent him to do in Egypt–to Pharaoh and to all his officials and to his whole land. For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel. (NIV)
 
     Some incorrectly teach that there was no the baptism of the Holy Spirit in OT days. Obviously, the Hebrew OT does not include the term “the baptism of the Holy Spirit” because this term is from the Greek NT. But the Holy Spirit’s doctrine in the NT stating that “the purpose of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is to receive the power of the Holy Spirit,” must be applied to the OT interpretation. Exodus 4:1-5 says that the Lord gave Moses the staff of the power of God to perform miraculous signs as he preached God’s word. In Romans 15:19 Paul wrote, “...by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.” (NIV)
     Paul asserts here that through the power of the Spirit, he has fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ by the power of signs and miracles. Likewise, Moses had fully proclaimed the gospel of God by the power of miraculous signs, by the staff of power of God, that is, by the power of the Spirit. Paul was baptized with/in the Holy Spirit as Ananias placed his hands on him. Moses received it directly from God just as did Peter and John, and Cornelius without the laying on of hands.

How did Bezalel and Oholiab receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit?

Ex. 31:1-6   the Lord said to Moses, See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts–to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones...work in wood…to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship. Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also I have given skill to all the craftsmen to make everything I have commanded you. (NIV)

     To say “the Lord filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge” should be inferred to mean that, “the Lord filled him with the skill, ability and knowledge of the Spirit of God, that is, the skill, ability and knowledge given by the Spirit of God.” If it were to read, “the Lord filled him with the Spirit of God,” it makes no sense. The Spirit of God must be treated as God the Holy Spirit. In conclusion, it should be inferred that Bezalel and Oholiab received the gifts of wisdom and knowledge of the Holy Spirit mentioned in I Cor. 12:8. The doctrine, “to be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit is to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit,” should be applied to the occasion of Bezalel and Oholiab. They were baptized with/ in the Spirit without the laying on of man’s hands just as Moses was.  

How did Joshua receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit?

Num. 27:18  the Lord said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay thine hand upon him. (KJV)
NKJ             The Lord said to Moses: Take Joshua the son of Nun with you, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him.
Deut. 34:9    Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him. So the Israelites listened to him and did what the Lord had commanded Moses. (NIV)

     In Num. 27:18, the CSB, ESV, GWN, NLT, NKJ translates correctly the Spirit as the Spirit, but the KJV NAB, NET, NJB, RWB, NIV and TNIV erroneously translate the Spirit as the spirit. It should be “the Spirit” since “the spirit” is quite distinct from “the Spirit” who is the God the Spirit. The NIV, NJB, NAB, and NAS mistakenly translate Deut. 34:9, “Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom.” The KJV, NKJ, RSV, NRS, and NLT translate it, “Joshua was full of the spirit of wisdom.” To be filled with the spirit of wisdom is the same as to be full of the spirit of wisdom. But it must be inferred “Joshua was filled with the wisdom of the Spirit” or “Joshua was full of the wisdom of the Spirit.” The Spirit must be always treated as God the Spirit. Joshua was filled with the wisdom of the Spirit when Moses placed his hands on him, as the Lord instructed. Joshua was baptized with/in the Spirit by the laying on of Moses’ hands.

How did Saul and David receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit?

1 Sam. 10:1,9,10  Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on his head (Saul’s head), and kissed him and said: Is it not because the Lord has anointed you commander over His inheritance? So it was, when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, so that God gave him another heart; and all those signs came to pass that day. When they came there to the hill, there was a group of prophets to meet him; then the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them. (NKJ)  
1 Sam. 16:13   Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. (NKJ)

     In these texts by the phrase “The Spirit of God came upon him,” we conclude that he was filled with the power of the Spirit when “the Spirit of God came upon him” because the coming of the Spirit is to bring the filling of the power of the Spirit, as noted already. It can be concluded that Saul and David were filled with the power of the Spirit through Samuel’s anointing, that is, as he laid his hands on them. Saul received the gift of prophecy when the Spirit came on him just as when He came upon the 12 disciples at Ephesus. It should be inferred that in the occasion of David, a listing of gifts of the Spirit that he received is omitted. Saul and David received the baptism of the Spirit by Samuel’s anointing.

How did John the Baptist receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit?

Luke 1:15   For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. (NKJ)
Luke 1:41-44   And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! “But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? “For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.” (NKJ)

     Every English version mistakenly translates Luke 1:15 and 41 as “He (She) will be (was) filled with the Holy Spirit,” but it must be, “He (She) will be (was) filled with (the power) of the Holy Spirit.” The text shows that John the Baptist was to be filled with (the power) of the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. Thus, he was filled with (the power) of the Holy Spirit through God without the laying on of man’s hands. There is no record that John received the gifts of the Holy Spirit. But in Luke 1:44 the mother John says, “as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.” This implies that John was prophesying in his mother’s womb. In Luke 3:16 he prophesied that Jesus would come and baptize with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire. The record indicates that John surely received the gift of prophecy by the Holy Spirit. John received the baptism of the Holy Spirit without the laying on of man’s hands.

How did Jesus Christ receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit?

Luke 3:21-22   When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.” (NKJ)
Matt. 3:16-17  As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God
descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
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  4:18     The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. (NIV)

     There is no literal record that specifically says Jesus was baptized with/in the Holy Spirit, but the texts indicate that He received the fullness of the power of the Holy Spirit when the Holy Spirit descended on Him. Acts 1:5,8 and 2:3-4 signify this doctrinal statement: “to be baptized with/in the Spirit is to be filled with the power of the Spirit when He comes on.” This doctrine must be applied to the occasion of Jesus. It must be inferred that Jesus was baptized with/in the Spirit since He was filled with the power of the Spirit when He descended upon Jesus.
     Rene Pache insists, “Nowhere is it said that Jesus was baptized of the Holy Spirit, though many of the Spirit’s workings are mentioned in connection with Christ” (Rene Pache, The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit, 72.) Many scholars, including Pache, insist that Jesus was not baptized with/ in the Holy Spirit because they do not understand the doctrine of the Holy Spirit in Acts 1:4-5,8 and 2:3-4. The Bible obviously indicates that Jesus was baptized with/ in the Holy Spirit as He prayed after His water baptism by John. Jesus received the baptism of the Holy Spirit without the laying on of human hands.

What shall we do to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit?

Acts 5:32   We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him. (NIV)

     The text says, “God has given the Holy Spirit to those who obey him.” It should be inferred that the term “gift” is understood: “God has given the gift of the Holy Spirit to those who obey him.” To receive the gift of the Holy Spirit is to be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit (and with/in fire), so it can be concluded that God will baptize those who obey the commands of Jesus Christ with/in the Holy Spirit.

•    Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…(Matt. 28:19)
•    Receive the Holy Spirit. (John 20:22. All versions mistranslated.)
•    Be filled with (the power) of the Holy Spirit. (John 20:22. Author)
•    I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high. (Luke 24:49)
•    He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (Acts 1:4-5)
•    Be filled with the Spirit. (Eph. 5:18. All versions mistranslated.)
•    Be filled with the joy of the Spirit. (Eph. 5:18. Author)

     All these passages describe the command of God to be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit (and with/in fire). Without a single exception, every Christian must obey this command. Then, God will baptize those who obey Him with/in the Holy Spirit (and with/in fire).

We can receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit not by observing the law but by believing.

Gal. 3:2-5   I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard?…Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard? (NIV)

     All English versions mistranslate, “Did you receive the Spirit...Does God give you his Spirit?” It should be, “Were you filled with (the power) of the Spirit...Does God give you the gift of His Spirit?” The text affirms that one may not be baptized with/in the Spirit by observing the law but by believing what one has heard. The 120 disciples, the Samaritans, Cornelius and his family, the 12 at Ephesus and the Galatians were filled with the power of the Spirit and God gave them the gift of the Spirit not because they observed the law but because they believed.

“Ask and the gifts of the Holy Spirit will be given to you.”

Luke 11:13  If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! (NIV)

     The text should be, “how much more will your Father in heaven give the gifts of the Spirit to those who ask him,” as noted already. To receive the gifts of the Spirit is to be baptized with/in the Spirit. The text shows a neat and concise formula for being baptized with/in the Spirit. Jesus commanded, “Ask for and seek the gifts of the Spirit/the baptism of the Spirit,” that is, pray and ask to be baptized with/in the Spirit. The phrase, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you,” needs to be interpreted with care. The phrase does unconditionally not apply to every child of God who asks for and seeks the baptism of the Spirit. The Bible records scriptural requirements for Christians.

Even if you offer many prayers, God will not listen because of your sins.

Is. 1:15-17  When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood; wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. (NIV)
Is. 59:1-3    Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. For your hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt. Your lips have spoken lies, and your tongue mutters wicked things. (NIV)
Hos. 14:1-2  O Israel, return to the Lord your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity; Take words with you, and return to the Lord. Say to Him, “take away all iniquity; Receive us graciously, for we will offer the sacrifices of our lips. (NKJ)
Matt. 23:25-26  Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. (NIV)

     In Luke 11:13 Jesus promises, “how much more will your Father in heaven give the gifts of the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Author). But Is. 1:15-17 says, “Even if you offer many prayers, God will not listen because of sins.” The purpose of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is to receive the power of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Those who ask for and seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit must prepare themselves. They must clean both the inside and outside of the cup and dish to receive it.

Stanley M. Horton insists that there was no necessary waiting after the day of Pentecost.

Jesus’ command to tarry (sit, wait) and not depart from Jerusalem was necessary for this occasion only. There was no necessary waiting after the day of Pentecost. But Pentecost with its symbolism of harvest was important in that the purpose of the baptism in the Spirit was power for service, especially in the harvest field of the world. (Stanley M. Horton, What the Bible says about the Holy Spirit, p.139.)

     The phrase, “when the apostles who were in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had heard the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them” (Acts 8:14-17), means that they were waiting to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Luke 11:9-13 says Christians must ask for and seek the gifts of the Holy Spirit (i.e., the baptism of the Holy Spirit) until the gifts are imparted. Likewise, if any Christian does not yet receive the baptism of the Spirit, he must wait and pray to receive it because the purpose of the baptism of the Spirit is to impart the power of the Spirit for service and preaching of the gospel. It is confirmed that Horton’s claim, “Jesus’ command to tarry (sit, wait) and not depart from Jerusalem was necessary for this occasion only. There was no necessary waiting after the day of Pentecost,” is thoroughly unscriptural. It is from the misunderstanding of Luke 11:9-13 and Acts 8:14-17.