What is the Baptism with the Holy Spirit?


Does a believer in Christ need to seek a second experience, subsequent to salvation to give him power?
Many refer to this experience as the baptism with the Holy Spirit.

Or, is the Baptism with the Holy Spirit non- experiential that happens at the time of conversion?

The only scriptures that refer to the Baptism with the Holy Spirit are in the Gospels.
Or those scriptures that refer to what Jesus said and was recorded in the Gospels.

Acts 1:4-5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."
Acts 11:15-16 "And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, 'John baptized with water, but you will be
baptized with the Holy Spirit.' "And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as He did upon us at the beginning.

Matthew 3:11 "As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Mark 1:8 "I baptized you with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."

The rest of scripture refers to being filled with the Holy Spirit or the Holy Spirit coming upon or fell upon.

At the time that someone receives Christ as Saviour, we are told by the Apostle Paul:

1 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.
(Ephesians 1:3) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.

Scripture nowhere commands believers to seek a second blessing after salvation. The Apostle Paul told the Ephesians: God has also made us complete in Christ: From salvation we have all that is needed to live the Christian life.

(Colossians 2:9,10).For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.

Peter wrote:

His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue (2 Peter 1:3).

However there is a need for every Christian to be filled with the Spirit.
Paul exhorts us to “Be filled with the Spirit”

Ephesians 5:18  ...be filled with the Spirit.

Various Greek scholars and bible commentators point out that the Greek present imperative tense is used in this verse. It has the connotation of a continuous replenishment, an ongoing and repeated filling.

It has been suggested by some that an awkward but accurate translation would be something like: “...go on being filled.”

Ephesians 5:18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,

Acts 6:3 "Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task.

Acts 9:17 So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit."

Acts 13:9 But Saul, who was also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fixed his gaze on him,

Acts 4:8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers and elders of the people,

Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.

Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.

Acts 13:52 And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

Only in the Gospels does it speak of a Baptism with the Holy Spirit. ( Shown above)
Also, even in the upper room when there was a mighty wind and tongues of fire, the scripture says that they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.
Whenever this experience occurred in the Acts of the Apostles, it refers to being filled with the Holy Spirit or the Holy Spirit came upon them.

Many Pentecostals and Charismatics refer to this experience as Baptism of the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost. Or, Baptism in the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost. This has become synonymous with  Baptism with the Holy Spirit.
However a search of the scriptures reveals that the correct term used is, Baptism with the Holy Ghost or Spirit and this is only found in the Gospels or in Acts where it is referring to the Gospels.


Search: "Baptism with the Holy Spirit"8 results Exact Match

Matt 3:11 Truly, I give baptism with water to those of you whose hearts are changed; but he who comes after me is greater than I, whose shoes I am not good enough to take up: he will give you baptism with the Holy Spirit and with fire:

Mrk 1:8 I have given you baptism with water, but he will give you baptism with the Holy Spirit.

Luk 3:16 John made answer, saying to them all, Truly, I give  baptism with water, but one is coming who is greater than I, whose shoes I am not good enough to undo: he will give you baptism with the Holy Spirit, and with fire:

John 1:33 I had no knowledge who he was, but he who sent me to give baptism with water said to me, The one on whom you see the Spirit coming down and resting, it is he who gives baptism with the Holy Spirit.

Act 1:5 For the baptism of John was with water, but you will have baptism with the Holy Spirit, after a little time.

Act 11:16 And the words of the Lord came into my mind, how he said, The baptism of John was with water, but you will have baptism with the Holy Spirit.

In all other references, the scriptures say “Filled with the Holy Spirit”.

So, are there two baptisms with the Holy Spirit?

Some people who believe the baptism with the Holy Spirit is a second experience following salvation actually see scripture speaking of two separate baptisms. They believe that 
1 Corinthians 12:13 speaks of the baptism by the Spirit that puts believers into the body of Christ. That is the Holy Spirit is the baptizer of the believer into Christ's body.
The Book of Acts, they contend, speaks of the baptism by Christ to place people in the sphere of the Holy Spirit. They believe the first baptism happens at conversion and is experienced by all believers. The second happens after conversion and provides power to the believer. This view teaches that all believers have been baptized by the Spirit while not all believers have been baptized in the Spirit. 
However this does not recognise that there is only one experience, which is Baptism with the Holy Spirit and it is Christ who is the baptizer, as we have seen in the Gospel references.
The scriptures nowhere speak of a Baptism in or of the Holy Spirit.

So what does the The Bible Say? 

It is generally agreed that the references in the gospels look forward to the baptism with the Holy Spirit by Christ, who is the baptizer, occurring at the Day of Pentecost. The references in Acts point back to the fulfillment. This being the case, the reference in 
1 Corinthians 12:13 seemingly gives the doctrinal explanation of what occurred. 
Though it is possible to see why some believe that there are two separate baptisms, it seems better to understand all the references explaining the same experience. Charles Ryrie comments on this difficult subject: 

(Charles Ryrie, Basic Theology, Wheaton: Victor Books, 1986, p. 365). Puts it like this:
Such an infrequently used and seemingly technical phrase would more likely refer to the same activity in all its occurrences. To establish two separate and quite distinct baptisms is tenuous at best. To see two agents is biblical because of Acts 2:33 and quite normal because different Persons of the Trinity are involved in the same work.
Besides, Ephesians 4:5 says there is only one baptism. It is Christ's work through the agency of the Spirit's ministry to join those who believe to the church, the body of Christ, with all the privileges and responsibilities that come with that position


We can conclude the following: 
1. The baptism with the Holy Spirit occurs the moment a person is saved. It is not the same experience as salvation but happens at the time of salvation. It is not a second experience following conversion. 
2. God has given believers everything in Christ. When we are saved we are complete in Him. We lack nothing. There is nothing else for Him to give to us. 
3. Nowhere are believers commanded to receive any second blessing that would give them power. All power is already available. 
4. The power of the Holy Spirit working in a persons life is something that should be desired.
Each one of us should be constantly praying and desiring to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Some who have legitimately experienced the Spirit's power, label the encounter as the baptism with the Holy Spirit, whereas the Scripture calls this experience the filling of the Holy Spirit. previously mentioned, everything has been
provided for us upon conversion. We only need to appropriate what God has already done for us. 


Is  Baptism with the Holy Spirit always accompanied by speaking in Tongues?

Is Baptism with the Holy Spirit always accompanied by Speaking in tongues or prophecy?
What we have to remember that this time in the history of the church, God’s word was being established amongst the believers.

The Apostles did not go around with a New Testament under their arm. All they had was the Old Testament.
The New Testament was a work in progress and needed God to attest His word.
Signs and Wonders attested the word of God.

Hebrews 2:4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?
Romans 15:18—20 I will not presume to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obedience by word and deed, 
19 by the power of signs and wonders, and by the power of the Spirit of God. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.
20 In this way, I have aspired to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation.

These revelatory gifts of the Spirit would eventually come to an end.
When the Bible was complete, there would be no need for them to continue.
We are told by the Apostle Paul in
1 Cor 13: 8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
9, For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10, But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

When that which is perfect” ( greek neuter. Teleios— Complete ) not relating to a person but something that has come to maturity or something that is complete is come, then these gifts would either cease or pass away. There would be no more need for revelatory gifts because the Apostles doctrine had been established and there would be no more revelation given.​
On the day of Pentecost, the 120 in the upper room were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Tongues ( Greek—Glossa—Languages). These were genuine languages and were recognisable by those people listening. They spoke the wonderful works of God.

Act 2:4  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 
Act 2:5  And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. 
Act 2:6  Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. 
Act 2:7  And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? 
Act 2:8  And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 
Act 2:9  Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, 
Act 2:10  Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, 
Act 2:11  Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. 

Did this happen to everyone who was filled with the Holy Spirit?
The answer from scripture is no.

Acts Ch 8 when Samaria heard the Gospel.

Act 8:14  Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: 

Act 8:15  Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: 

Act 8:16  (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 

Act 8:17  Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
No sign of tongues here.

Acts 9, the conversion of Saul of Tarsus.
Act 9:17  And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. 


No tongues recorded here.
Although we do know from other scriptures that Paul did speak with other tongues.


Acts 10. The Holy Spirit Falls on the Gentiles

Act 10:44  While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. 

Act 10:45  And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. 

Act 10:46  For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Paul in Ephesus.
Act 19:6  And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. 

So, we see that there are events where some spoke in tongues and others where they did not.
But can we conclude from this that the evidence of Baptism with the Holy Spirit is speaking in tongues or prophecy?

This is not made clear from scripture.

Then there is the question asked by the Apostle Paul in
1 Cor 12:30,
Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

The obvious conclusion to this question is No!

It appears that the revelatory gifts of the Holy Spirit were very evident in the early church and were used to validate the wonderful works of God and to authenticate the Word that was being preached by the Apostles.

They were also manifest in the churches for edification and exhortation.

However as we have seen in scripture, there would come a time when these revelatory gifts would eventually cease.

There is no more revelation from God.

He has finally spoken through His Son Jesus Christ. Hebrews 1.

The Bible is the final revelation to man. There is no extra Biblical revelation.

We have God’s Word in our hearts by faith in Christ Jesus (the Logos) (The Word of God) and we have God’s word written down for our guidance and instruction.

We do not need signs and wonders, we walk by faith and not by sight.

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