The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate from scripture that there is only one experience of receiving the Gift of the Holy Spirit, and that the one experience is referred to in the Bible as both the born again experience and the baptism in the Holy Spirit. I emphasise, not two separate experiences, but the one and same experience.
To fully appreciate the message of this study, every verse and passage of Scripture referred to should be examined in order to determine the accuracy of each statement made.
It should be noted that the New Testament manuscripts were originally written in ancient Greek. The Greek word pneuma is often translated as both spirit and ghost. There are four studies in the series and each page can be navigated through by using the links below.
There is one Spirit
The following Scriptures show clearly that there is one Spirit, Ephesians 4:4 …there is one Body, and one Spirit… (see also 1 Corinthians 12:13 and Ephesians 2:18). In 1 John 5:8 we are told …And there are three that bear witness in Earth, The Spirit, and the Water, and the Blood; and these three agree in one. If there are three witnesses on Earth and the Spirit is one of those witnesses, then clearly there can only be one Spirit.
In the Bible the Lord Jesus is referred to in different ways, i.e. The Son of God – Luke 1:35, The Son of Man – Matthew 8:20, The Messiah – John 4:25-26, but there is only one Lord – Ephesians 4:5.
In the same way the Holy Spirit is spoken of in different ways, but clearly there is one Spirit – Ephesians 4:4. The following Scriptures will demonstrate this further: In Acts 2:4 we read: And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. From this Scripture we see that the Holy Ghost is spoken of as the Spirit.
In the same way Romans 8:9, shows us that the Spirit is also spoken of as the Spirit of God, (see also 1 Corinthians 2:10, 11, 13.) In John 14:26, the Holy Ghost is spoken of as the Comforter, and in John 15:26, the Comforter is spoken of as the Spirit of Truth. In Acts 2:33 the Holy Ghost is spoken of as the Promise (see also verses 38-39), and in Acts 1:4-5, the experience of receiving the Promise of the Father is spoken of as one being Baptized *with the Holy Ghost. [*with (Acts 1:5) Greek word is en, and should be read as in.] In Ephesians 1v13, the believer is sealed with the Holy Spirit of Promise, and in verse 14, the Holy Spirit of Promise is spoken of as the Earnest (i.e. Pledge or Guarantee) of the believer’s inheritance, (an inheritance reserved in Heaven , 1 Peter 1:4). So we see above that the Baptism in/with the Holy Spirit is the guarantee (earnest) of salvation.
When comparing 1 Peter 1:10-11; with 2 Peter 1:21, we see how in his first letter Peter refers to the prophets as searching what time the Spirit of Christ in them was revealing, whereas in his second letter he refers to them as having spoken, moved by the Holy Ghost. Note how in both letters the same thing is being said, but in his first letter he speaks of the Spirit as the Spirit of Christ, whereas in his second letter he speaks of the Spirit as the Holy Ghost.
We are informed in Romans 8:9 …’Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His’. The Greek word for Christ is Christos, which means Anointed, and Acts 10:38 tells us that Jesus was Anointed, with the Holy Spirit and with Power. Through Jesus the believer is Anointed (1 John 2:27; 2 Corinthians 1:21) with the Holy Spirit and with Power (Acts 1:8), or put another way has received the Spirit of Christ (the same Anointing as Jesus), therefore, he/she will do the same works that Jesus did (John 14:12; Mark 16:17-18), …’because as He is so are we in this world’.1 John 4:17.
It should be clear from the Scriptures we have examined that there is one Spirit. Ephesians 4:4. The Scriptures make it clear, that during Jesus’ Earthly ministry, the Holy Spirit was with the disciples but not in them, (John 14:17).
In John 21:21-23 the disciples misunderstood the words of Jesus. They had assumed that Jesus had said that the disciple would not die, but this is not what He had said.
In the same way the words of Jesus recorded in John 20:22 are misunderstood by many. They assume that the words ….’receive ye the Holy Ghost’….. implies that the disciples received the Holy Spirit at that point in time. The truth of the matter is that Jesus was telling (commanding) them to receive the Holy Spirit, – (the Day of Pentecost at Jerusalem being the time and the place when this would happen, – Acts 2:1-4). The following Scriptures will demonstrate this. Let’s remember to take Jesus at his word.
The account in John 20:22 does not record that the disciples received the Holy Spirit, it simply records that they were told to do so. Luke’s account of what was said (as recorded in the Acts), is: And being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the Promise of the Father… (Acts 1:4), (the Promise of the Father is the Holy Spirit, see Acts 2:33). From the verses that follow Acts 1:4 it is clear that this was to take place on the Day of Pentecost, (Acts 2:1-4.) An interesting point in John 20:24, is that Thomas was not present when these words (verse 22) were spoken to the other disciples, and what is more, there is no record of Jesus repeating these words to him. If one is going to assume (without any Scriptural evidence), that the disciples received the Holy Spirit at this point in time, one must therefore also assume that Thomas did not receive the Holy Spirit, (remember there is no record of these words being repeated to Thomas)
All have the SAME experience
In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. (see 2 Corinthians 13:1 and Matthew 18:16).
John the Baptist said that Jesus was the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, (see John 1:29.) A little later we are told that the One upon Whom the Spirit descends and remains on, the same is He who baptizes with (Greek = In) the Holy Ghost (see John 1:33).
Paul’s message in Galatians 3:13-14 is the same. He tells us that Christ was made a curse for us, so that the Blessing of Abraham could come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ, (i.e. through Christ – Abraham’s seed, all Nations of the Earth would be blessed,) that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (It has already been established in Study One that the receiving of the promise of the Holy Ghost, is being baptized in the Holy Ghost, see Acts 2:33.
Now let us have a look at 1 Corinthians 10:1-4. Paul in verse 2 tells us that all Israel were baptized in the cloud in the sea. Their baptism was unto (Greek = into) Moses. They were not only baptized in water, but in the cloud also, which was a pillar of fire by night. See Exodus 13:21 and 14:24.
The believer is baptized in water, Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21-22; and is baptized in the Holy Spirit into Jesus Christ. See 1 Corinthians 12:13. We see in Chapter 10:2, that all Israel were baptized in the cloud and the sea. Chapter 12:13 tells us, …’ * by One Spirit are we all Baptized into one Body,’…. (*by = Greek = In), note the word all.
Some today think that 1 Corinthians 12:13, is saying that we are baptized by the Holy Spirit. The word by in this scripture is en in the Greek and means in. In Matthew 3:11, Mark 1:8, Luke 3:16, John 1:33, Acts 1:5 and Acts 11:16, each of these Scriptures speak of being Baptized with the Holy Spirit. And the word with in each of these Scriptures is en in the Greek and means in. The same word used in 1 Corinthians 12:13. There is one Baptism – see Ephesians 4:5. In 1 Corinthians 12:13, and Acts 15:7-9, we see that God has put no difference between Jew or Gentile. If there is no difference between Jew and Gentile, it is clear that there is no difference between any other; for …God is no respecter of persons… (Acts 10:34.)
All receive His fulness
In John 10:10, Jesus said, … I am come that they might have Life, and that they might have it more abundantly. Abundantly – Greek word is perisson and means: beyond measure; more than is necessary.
In John 3:34, we read …for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. In the King James translation the words unto Him are in italics. In the King James translation, this means that such words are not a part of the original Scriptures, but have been added by the translators. We know that the Scripture is referring to Jesus and we also know that God has never changed. – see Malachi 3:6; and Hebrews 13:8.
We are told in John 1:16, And of His fullness have all we received, and Grace for Grace. The believer has the Spirit of Christ, (see Romans 8:9) and we are told in Colossians 2:10, that we are complete in Him. The word used here (complete) is pepleromenoi in the Greek, from which comes the word pleroma, which is used (in reference to Jesus) in Colossians 2:9, and is translated fullness.
In John 4:14, But whosoever drinketh of the Water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of Water springing up into Everlasting Life. In John 7:37-39, Jesus was speaking of the Holy Ghost when He was speaking of rivers of Living Water. In John 4:14, Jesus was speaking of one experience. The person who drinks of the Water that Jesus gives will have …Everlasting Life. (See also John 3:5; Titus 3:5); and that person will never thirst, because he is complete in Christ, (see Colossians 2:10); Because out of his belly shall flow rivers of Living Water. (See also John 7:37-39.)
When a person comes to Christ, the Lord gives them the whole armour of God and we are told in Ephesians 6:11, to put on the whole armour of God, so that we can fight against the wiles (tricks) of the devil.
In Titus 3:5, we are told, … but according to His Mercy He Saved us, by the Washing of Regeneration and Renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; … (i) The word washing is loutrou in the Greek, and the root word louo, means to bathe (the whole person). Compare with 1 Corinthians 6:11. (ii) The word regeneration is paliggenesias, and means new birth. Compare with John 3:3-5. We see then from Titus 3:3-6, that God according to His Mercy saves by the Washing of new birth, and Renewing of the Holy Spirit; shed on the believer abundantly (i.e. richly), through Jesus Christ.
If we have not received the Holy Spirit, we cannot be saved or enter into Heaven, see John 3:5, 2 Thessalonians 2:13, Titus 3:5, Galatians 6:8 and Romans 8:13. When a person receives the Holy Spirit they immediately speak in tongues. (See Acts 2:4, Acts 10:44-46, Mark 16:17-18.)