MISUNDERSTANDINGS ABOUT THE HOLY SPIRITBy Henry Jaegers
Questions and answers about the Holy Spirit.
1. What is meant by “The Baptism of The Spirit?” Is there
a difference between being indwelt by the spirit and being
baptized by the Spirit?
Answer: The scripture that makes this clear is found in I
Corinthians 12: 13. “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into
one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free
and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.”
When we made that decision to follow Christ He placed
within us the Holy for us to be able to live the Christian life. By
His inward working, we begin a life of progressive growth and
the ideal is for us to progress toward functional maturity. It is
not God’s will for us to remain in Spiritual infancy, but progress
to usefulness. That’s what the Holy Spirit does for us. Besides
coming to dwell in us He also does something else at the
same time. He now takes us and numbers us with all the other
Christians (regardless of their denominational ties) and we are
counted as part of the body of Christ with all other true
believers. It is called the invisible body but it is still real. So,
when we are Baptized into the body of Christ it is the Holy
Spirit who is doing the Baptizing.
One way to explain the word Baptism is to use the word
“envelop”. Like the letter is placed into the envelope
(enveloped) so are we enveloped by the Holy Spirit. As
the envelope is placed into the mailbox, so are we by the
Holy Spirit placed into the invisible body of Christ.
Like John the Baptist baptized in visible water so the
Holy Spirit Baptizes in invisible water (figuratively
speaking.) The word Baptize in this sense means to immerse
so we can say that the Holy Spirit envelops (or immerses) us
and places us into the body of Christ.
The Baptism by the Spirit and the indwelling of Christ
takes place at the same time.
2. In Acts chapter two, it tells us that when the disciples
were filled with the Spirit, they all began to speak in
tongues. I understand that this is what is to happen to
prove that one is anointed or Spirit-filled. Is this true?
One of the problems with interpreting scripture is not
examining the whole context. It is true that after the disciples
were filled with the Spirit, they did speak in tongues, but there
is more to this text. Being filled with the spirit and speaking in
tongues is not the main focus of this section of scripture. In
Acts chapter two, eight wonders took place and they were all
evidences that the Holy Spirit had arrived. I will list each
1. God kept His promise and sent the Holy Spirit to the 120
disciples as they waited for His arrival.
2.For the first time, they were filled with the Holy Spirit. They
were now empowered to properly do the work of the ministry.
3. The next thing that happened was that they were equipped
with a message and a ministry. They were given a language
that they did not know or understand. This was part of God’s
4. Interest was aroused. The crowd hearing them could not
understand the mystery that was taking place and what was
happening caught their attention. Another proof of the Holy
5. God took the message that these men, without prior
education uttered, and interpreted it to the ears of the crowd
and each person through the power of the Holy Spirit heard
the message of the Gospel proclaimed in their own language
6, Peter then, through the anointing of the Spirit, began to
speak and through His message, helped the people to
understand more clearly, what was happening. Once they
understood then the final two steps took place.
7. Upon hearing the message and gaining understanding,
then they were convicted of their sin and they cried out “men
and brothers what shall we do?” And Peter instructed them.
8. Finally this is the most important evidence of the working of
the Holy Spirit. Three thousand souls were saved.
The real evidence of the Holy Spirit working was not speaking
in tongues. but the conversion of souls, There are many who
claim the baptism of the Holy Spirit but it doesn’t result in
others finding salvation.
So what happened that day at Pentecost? Obeying,
Empowering, equipping, arousing interest,
understanding, conviction and conversion. All eight were
a part of what happened that day. God uses all of these
today to bring men to Christ.
3. What about the other times in the book of Acts where
speaking in tongues accompanied the filling of the Holy
Spirit? Isn’t that proof?
Once again examining the context to understand why it
happened is important. There are three other places where
this experience is noted, and they all have one purpose in
Let’s examine each.
Acts 4:31 tells us that the place was shaken and they were
filled with the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit filling them, caused
them to speak the word boldly (without fear or reluctance). In
this case we are not told that tongues accompanied the filling
and to assume it to be so is adding to the scripture
.Acts 10:46, Explains that the gentiles who visited Peter upon
receiving the gospel were filled with the Spirit and spoke in
tongues. In the context Peter was having a problem with
Gentiles becoming Christians. The purpose of the tongues at
that time was a sign to Peter that uncircumcised gentiles
could be saved. In this case it was an outward sign of their
conversion. Again this sign did not happen as a regular part of
the ministry but in this case was limited to that occasion.
Acts 19:6 Is the fourth and final time that speaking in tongues
is mentioned. At this time, Paul the Apostle at Ephesus
encountered disciples of John the Baptist, who were believers
but had not heard about the Holy Spirit. Paul laying hands
upon them, prayed and they received the Holy Spirit and
began to speak in tongues and also to prophesy. Once again
the speaking in tongues confirmed the reception of the Holy
Spirit. It was used to assure them of their acceptance by God.
No-one questions that these events took place. In the
formation of the early church signs and miracles happened
often. Their purpose was to authenticate or give evidence that
they were true servants of God. These were all done prior to
the completion of the scriptures. This does not water down the
possibility of God performing miracles and giving signs today.
It is not the normal procedure but faith in the Word of God is.
Paul states that signs are for unbelievers and not for those
who have the word as a foundation for their faith (I Corinthians
4. What about the Passage in I Corinthians 14: 4 where
Paul expressed the desire that all of them would speak in
This is a good example of not reading the context.
Chapter fourteen of I Corinthians is part of a whole string of
problems connected with the church at Corinth. Paul was
addressing the subject of speaking in tongues as an abuse
not a virtue. The context of that whole chapter bears this out.
First there appears to be a division. Some practiced tongues
and some did not. I would not be surprised if those who did
classify themselves as more informed and Spirit-filled. In the
whole chapter, Paul speaks of the importance of clearly
communicating the message, so others could come to
understanding and be saved.
When Paul said, “I would that ye all spoke in tongues,” He also
said, “but rather that you prophesy”. It is evident that not all
those believers spoke in tongues and there was a division
between the haves and have not’s. Here is how I would
paraphrase Paul’s word to explain the meaning.“If speaking
in tongues were a major issue, I would wish that for all of
you, but since it is not recommended that you spend your time
speaking with understanding, so all may benefit.” Paul speaks
of the importance of interpreting what is said in the tongue.
Most people that I have encountered do not know what they
Are saying when they speak in tongues. Tongues in
I Corinthians 14, is not supposed to be a standard that we
follow but abuse that we should avoid.
5. How may we determine if those who preach the Gospel
are anointed servants of God if they do not speak in
Since scripture does not associate truth with speaking
in tongues, it is not necessary to determine who is anointed by
this standard. The true measure of an anointed servant
includes a teachable spirit, in seeking to know and declare
the truth, a heart that loves people and is not self-serving in his
ministry: A person genuinely concerned about the lost, and
seeks to improve on how to reach them. The book of I
Timothy and Titus give a clear understanding of what an
anointed minister should be. (Tongues is not even mentioned)
6. What are the scriptural evidences of being filled with
This is the easiest of all to answer. Being filled with the
spirit is evidenced by the fruit of the spirit manifest in every
Christian. There are gifts of the Spirit connected with ministry
but the fruit of the Spirit speaks of the inward character
produced by the Holy Spirit. These fruit, are to be manifest
when we use our ministries as well. If the fruit of the Spirit is
absent from ministry, then we can question the authority of the
minister. The fruit of the spirit is mentioned in Galatians 5: 22,
23. “The fruit of the Spirit is; love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, self- control; against such
there is no law.”
When we concentrate on developing the fruit of the
Spirit, the ministry of the Spirit will follow automatically. It is
the fruit of the Spirit that brings men to Christ. Although this
section cannot contain all that there is to know about the Holy
Spirit, it is my prayer that God will use this book to create
understanding and help you to grow in grace and knowledge
of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him Be the Glory.