The Doctrine Of Baptisms Part Two
by Curt Klingeman
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Acts 1: 5, 8 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth (emphases added, KJV).
The most important book for understanding the baptism with the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost) is the Bible. Having said that, there are a number of books that have been written about this wonderful Gift; however, instead of focusing on the various ways the Holy Spirit manifests Himself, lets address a very important aspect of this baptism: aligning our selves with the purpose of the baptism with the Holy Spirit as it relates to the Kingdom of God.
With the baptism of the Holy Spirit comes power and authority to carry out the mission of the Kingdom of God. It is available to every believer; yet, not every believer walks in the fullness of that power and authority. In fact, in some places of the world, there is a complete lack, with a few exceptions to the rule. Why is this? It is easy to become formulaic in the assessment of this phenomenon. It would be easy to point to such things as the lack of knowledge, doubt, and flat unbelief. Even though there are those who do believe, they are still not walking in it, as they should. This may simply be the result of misalignment with the Kingdom.
Jesus made it clear in our opening passages of Scripture that the reason for the baptism with the Holy Spirit is for us to be witnesses for Him. The manifestation of the Holy Spirit did not come on the scene in order to have Christian entertainment, or for us to be oohed and awed at some holy three-ringed circus. The Lord did not intend for us to “out-God” one another, as we share how the Lord used us, as if it was “our moment of greatness.” The purpose is very simple: to further the Kingdom of God by being witnesses for Jesus, as God confirms His Word through signs and wonders following. In the end, He gets all the glory. Furthering the Kingdom requires a power greater than our selves. This very fact alone, tells us that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is for today. It would be arrogant for us to think that it is not necessary. Think about it: if the disciples of the early church needed it, which included Peter, John, as well as Paul and the like, what makes us think we wouldn’t need it? Jesus said, “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49, KJV). What came first, the waiting or the going?
One of the desires of the Father is for us to be conformed to the image of Jesus. In order to witness for Jesus, we need to walk like Jesus. Jesus did what He saw the Father do, and spoke what He heard what the Father say. The motivation behind everything He did was love. He told the disciples, “But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do . . .” (John 14:31, KJV). Matthew 9:36 tells us that, “When he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd” (KJV). In Matthew 14:14 we read that, “Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick” (KJV). Jesus did not say, “Watch this,” as if He was putting on some sort of show. In fact, there were a number of times that He did things privately. In some cases, told those He healed to tell no one what He did. Because of His love, He answered the call of compassion. He did not vacillate between faith and unbelief; He concerned Himself with the people and acted accordingly. Perfect love casts out fear (1John 4:18), and faith works by love (Galatians 5:6), which means in order for us to align our selves with the Kingdom, we need to walk in love. When we walk in love, we will be too concerned with the will of the Father and the needs of others, than to worry about how we look. Pure love is part of the fruit of Spirit (Galatians 5:22), which means in order to exhibit the love of God to others; we need to be immersed in the Holy Spirit!
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