When I first heard about the baptism in the Holy Spirit, I was curious and wanted to learn more. I had been told in the latter part of my life that what transpired in Acts 2 was for those fanatics (Pentecostals). As a southern Baptist, I was told these things went out with the first century church. I had an issue with that because if someone was getting this gift, then how could it have ceased? A few years ago, a fellow church member argued with me on this idea of cessation. He believed as many do that the gifts and the outpouring of the spirit ceased with the first church. Later, he said the gifts could be employed but only under certain circumstances. By listening to him, I slowly began to see the enormous amount of hypocrisy that inundates the churches in our great country.
Once I realized the baptism and the gifts are for today, I began to wonder: is it only given to those in special service? In the Old Testament, it was given to kings, priests, and those in special service:
- And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD hath rejected thee from being king over Israel. (1 Samuel 15:26)
- Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah. But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.(1 Samuel 16:13-14)
Saul was filled with the spirit until God rejected him as king. At that point, it was given to another king. In the New Testament, we have better promises than these. Here is what Joel says about the end times:
- And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. (Joel 2:28-29)
According to Peter, this was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost:
- For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: (Acts 2:15-18)
Who therefore needs the Baptism in the Holy Spirit?
- Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. (Acts 2:38-39)
The gift of the Holy Spirit is for every born again believer to have regardless of denominational affiliation or background. Have you received it?