Saturday, May 7, 2016

Is Salvation Experience The First Blessing And The Baptism With The Holy Spirit The Second Blessing?

Does The Filling Of The Holy Spirit Happen With The Salvation Experience Automatically Or Separately?

Question : Does the Baptism with the Holy Spirit for the Believer happen together when we accept and believe the Lord Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior? Thanks and God bless.

Answer : Greetings in Jesus wonderful name! I know most people from the evangelical background, and even Pentecostal and Charismatic background confuse the salvation experience with the succeeding experience of "Baptism with the Holy Spirit." The Bible clearly says that
"There is salvation in no one else! Under all heaven there is no other name for men to call upon to save them." (Acts 4:12, LB). So we know calling upon the name of Jesus only saves us from sin to make us receive eternal life supernaturally from God (Rom 10:12-13; John 3:16).

Let us see what happens further during salvation. Apostle Paul wrote,
"13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory." (Eph 1:3-14). Here in the above verse we see that each believer when they believe in the gospel, immediately they are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise who is the guarantee until the rapture happens for the praise of His Glory in which we will all receive individually a supernatural metaphysical glorious body without sin which can be used for both celestial and terrestrial living. But the main point we should notice is that we are only "sealed with the Holy Spirit" during salvation, and we are not "filled with the Holy Spirit" which is actually a second and the greatest blessing of God after our salvation.

For example if the disciples of Jesus had received the filling of the Holy Spirit at the time of their salvation when Jesus breathed on them, why then did Jesus again have to tell them to wait for the Holy Spirit
(John 20:21-22, 23; Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8)? This should help us to reason out the error of many people who believe that there is no second blessing for a believer and continue to speak their assumption as truth saying that during salvation itself they receive the Holy Spirit and his infilling. These uninformed people should understand that while receiving salvation only a fountain measure of the living water of the Holy Spirit starts to come within a believer, springing up in to everlasting life to sustain them spiritually until their physical death (John 4:14), but when the second blessing after salvation is asked from Jesus and is received by a believer, then a river capacity of living water will not only feed that person to the full, but will make many others to drink from them that same living water flowing through them (John 7:38). How do we know that the river capacity that Jesus was speaking about is pointing to the "filling with the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues" as a external evidence of the internal infilling? Because in Acts 2:33 Peter the apostle said that Jesus after being glorified by his ascension to the throne of God, have thus promised to pour out the Holy Spirit which they were able to see and hear on that day of Pentecost (John 14:16; Luke 24:48; Acts 2:3-4, 6). Jesus has promised to give the Holy Spirit as a second blessing only to those who obey Him by keeping His commandments which is a sign of their love towards Him (John 14:15-16; Acts 5:32).

Once a believer is filled with the Holy Spirit, God will use them to lay hands on other people who are waiting for that infilling and get them filled with the Holy Spirit too, this is the river of the living water that flows out of them
(Acts 2:38-39). Another good example that the salvation experience and the baptism with the Holy Spirit experience is different is seen when Philip the evangelist preached the gospel message and baptized people who believed it in water, even after they were saved, they did not still receive the Holy Spirit. So the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that these people were saved and came to Samaria to lay hands on them to make them receive the Holy Spirit, which they did receive during that supernatural experience (Acts 8:14-17). Apostle Paul was converted and received salvation on the road near Damascus where Jesus met him face to face in a heavenly vision encounter (Acts 9:3-6), and only after three days the second experience of being filled with the Holy Spirit happened when a disciple named Ananias laid his hands on Paul (Acts 9:9, 17-18). Here also we must question the uninformed people, if Jesus had already been called by Paul as "Lord" which shows that he was already saved by Jesus and had received the filling of the Holy Spirit at that time itself (1 Cor 12:3), why should Jesus again redirect Paul to go to the city and wait there till he was "filled with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 9:6, 9, 17-19), which clearly shows that the filling with the Holy Spirit is a second blessing and has always been like this for all believers which Jesus willingly gives to all those who ask and seek and knock desperately for it (Luke 11:9-13). Only in the house of Cornelius we see a corporate infilling of the Holy Spirit happening just like in the day of Pentecost, where without laying on of the hands of any apostles or disciples, God in His sovereignty moved over the thirsty people and fell over them once the gospel had been shared for them to believe it and be saved (Acts 10:43, 44-46; 11:13-14, 15-16, 17-18; 15:7-8, 9). Here also we see that when the people in the house of Cornelius heard the gospel and were saved, then immediately the succeeding second blessing of "the filling with the Holy Spirit" happened just a split seconds after that. Again this confirms that the sealing of the Holy Spirit during salvation is different from the filling with the Holy Spirit.

Finally, when some believers were not properly saved by believing in the Lord Jesus but only came close to hearing John the Baptist and believe the coming Messiah, Paul the apostle shared the Gospel with them and when they believed it then he baptized them in water. Once they were saved, Paul laid his hands on them all and immediately they received the second blessing of being filled with the Holy Spirit to speak in tongues which is the external evidence of the internal infilling
(Acts 19:2-3, 4-5, 6; 10:46-47; 11:15-16, 17). Salvation is a free gift, receiving the infilling of the Holy Spirit is also a free gift that God gives succeeding salvation that none of us can ever boast as though by our own piety we have received it because we do not deserve both of it which has come to us because of what Jesus has done for us on our behalf by giving His life on the Cross (Acts 11:17; Eph 2:8-9).

So we should never confuse the first blessing of salvation experience in which we were all automatically sealed with the Holy Spirit when we believed the gospel, with the second blessing of receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit after our salvation for which we need to ask, seek and knock till God gives us His Holy Spirit without measure. Always only as a person get saved, he gets eligible to receive the gift of God's second blessing which is receiving the Holy Spirit, or baptized in the Spirit or filled with the Holy Spirit which are all the different names for the same experience used interchangeably in the Scripture.

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit never happens when a person is saved or before a person is saved, but only after a person is saved. It is called a "second blessing" in which a believer is empowered by the Holy Spirit and that: “receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is always accompanied by speaking in tongues” which is always the external evidence of the internal infilling of the Holy Spirit.

Don Basham, a leading Charismatic writer, says that this: ". . . Experience is a second encounter with God (the first is conversion) in which the Christian begins to receive the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit into his life."

In the Biblical way as the Charismatics and Pentecostals teach, this experience usually comes when one prays for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Clearly apostle Paul revealed to all believers that the promise of the Spirit which is the blessing of Abraham can come to all individually only when they ask in faith to our Lord Christ Jesus
(Gal 3:14, 2). Jesus is the Baptizer to whom all believer must ask to be baptized with Holy Spirit and Fire (Matt 3:11). It is a very emotional experience many times in which the person "feels" the presence of the Holy Spirit enveloping them or sometimes silent without anybody's touch the fire of tongues will start to come out of the inner most man. The Holy Spirit will give the utterance but only the person who receives the Holy Spirit must cooperate with Him to speak the other tongues out loud without any inhibition for the Glory of God (Acts 2:4). The evidence or sign that a person has received the Holy Spirit is said to be authenticated by that person speaking in tongues.

Basham describes the experience as follows: "His (the Holy Spirit) presence may come as a warmth enveloping you, or as a silent powerful Presence enfolding you. You may experience a tingling sensation or a gentle vibration as if touched by an electric current. But even if you feel nothing, rest quietly in the confidence that the Holy Spirit is now coming upon you in power and is about to furnish you with a new language of prayer and praise to God." (Don Basham, A Handbook on Holy Spirit Baptistm, Monroeville, Penn.:Whitker Books, 1969. p.10 )

After having this experience “they are then empowered” by the Holy Spirit. Basham further states: "The average Christian, although truly professing Christ, operates largely on his own power, making his own decisions, living by his own strength, and controlling his own life. But through the baptism of the Holy Spirit the Christian steps out of this natural realm into a realm where he can begin to experience the supernatural gifts and powers of God's Holy Spirit."

It often comes when other Spirit filled disciples who are called as Charismatics, who have had the experience of speaking in other tongues, lay hands on the person seeking the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. But there were times when God used believers without the baptism of the Spirit themselves, had laid hands in faith and they who wanted to receive it have received it with the evidence of speaking in tongues for the Glory of God. This shows that God can fill a thirsty disciple with or without human agency within a corporate or private seeking time of fellowship with God through Christ Jesus. Often with the laying on of hands there is a great deal of coaching in which the person is told to make verbal sounds without inhibition if he/she feels it is coming from within her heart through the utterance that the Holy Spirit gives, which is supposed to help the person begin to speak in tongues. But ultimately coaching cannot fill them with the Holy Spirit, at the end of it all the Holy Spirit has to fill them with the evidence of speaking in other unknown tongues, usually coaching is done for them to throw away the inhibition that keep them from uttering the words that the Holy Spirit utters within them. The Bible clearly reveals and teaches that when one receives the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, they will speak in tongues which is the “evidence” that they have received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

In the following presentation of the table, we will see : (1) Who is doing the baptizing, (2) the element the baptizer is using to perform the baptism and (3) the physical evidence of the baptism having been completed. It will give you a clear understanding about the three distinct Baptisms in the life of all Christians.

Water Baptism
  Holy Spirit Baptism
    Holy Spirit 
   1 Cor 12:13

Acts 8:35-38

    Jesus Christ
   John 1:32-34

 Body of Christ
   1 Cor 12:13
  Water (H2O)
   Acts 8:35-38

  Holy Spirit
  John 1:32-34
  Changed Life
    2 Cor 5:17
    Getting Wet
    Acts 8:35-38
  Speaking In Tongues
       Acts 2:4

Thus we should never ever confuse the sealing of the Holy Spirit we receive during salvation which is the first blessing for a saved person with the infilling of the Holy Spirit, Baptism with the Holy Spirit, receiving the Holy Spirit which are all the same that always comes with the evidence of speaking in other tongues which is the external evidence that the believer had received the internal infilling as a second blessing after salvation.

Much Blessings....


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