CHARISMATICS AND THE BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT


Most Charismatical churches make a distinction between having the Holy Spirit and being baptized with the Holy Spirit. Assemblies of God, for example, take that position. I refer to these as "Second Blessing Charismatics". Their doctrine is wrong. And I will write on them later.

APOSTOLIC PENTECOSTALS

Apostolic Pentecostals is a sect of Charismatism. They don't view the Baptism of the Holy Spirit as a second blessing, as other Charismatics do, but rather as the point of salvation. I don't necessarily disagree with them on that particular point, as it says, "If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ." Rom 8:9 Like myself they view the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the receiving of the Holy Spirit as the same event.

The problem is first of all they have made the Baptism of the Holy Spirit into a ceremony, controlled by their institutional leadership. So that rather than "You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus" Gal 3:26, to them believing in Jesus is not sufficient for salvation.  Furthermore they insist that speaking in tongues is a necessary sign that one has received the Holy Spirit, whereas Paul asks rhetorically, "Do all speak in tongues?" 1Cor 12:30b Paul teaches that tongues is a spiritual gift given to some, not all, and a minor gift at that. And there is no other place in the epistles to the churches (Rom-Rev) which speaks of the necessity of speaking in tongues, nor of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit as a ceremony necessary for salvation. Rather it teaches that faith in Christ is the sole requirement for salvation. The book of 1John is devoted to the subject of how to identify those born of God, and yet speaks nothing of tongues. What's up with that?

According to their doctrine these Apostolic Pentecostals wouldn't reckon those outside their sect to belong to Christ. We non-Charismatic Christians believe in Christ. Yet they reckon us unsaved. As such they don't believe the gospel. They are much like the group of the circumcision whom Paul characterized as false brethren in Gal 2:4 who would make salvation as contingent upon ceremonies that they perform, and so they have control of other people's salvation.

Furthermore this particular sect doesn't believe in the Trinity. They are modalists. Rather than believing the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are distinct persons, as the Bible speaks of them, they believe Jesus is the Father, and Jesus is the Spirit. They believe it heretical what the Bible teaches, "go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" Mt 28:19 and insist that baptism much be done only in the name of Jesus alone, or it's invalid - so obsessed are they over issues of ceremony, which testifies of their heretical legalistic nature.

I don't see how a genuine believer could stand to attend such a church. I don't presume many apostolic pentecostals belong to Christ. Their hatred for non-Charismatic Christians speaks for itself. "In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up." 2Peter 2:3a

SECOND BLESSING CHARISMATICS

But as for this more popular idea in Charismatism of a "Second Blessing", shall we call it, whereby they assume a distinction between receiving the Holy Spirit and being baptized with the Holy Spirit has no support in any of the epistles written to the churches. (Rom-Rev) In fact the only verse in the epistles that speaks of the Holy Spirit and baptism in the same verse is 1Cor 12:13 "For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body— whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free— and we were all given the one Spirit to drink." And there it teaches just the opposite of what Charismatism teaches. For it teaches that all were baptized by the Spirit, whereas Charismatism has fabricated a heresy that only some who belong to Christ have been baptized with the Holy Spirit.

I take it that they teach such a divisive doctine so that some may feel superior to others. Paul notes of the Corinthian church, "For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you."

In fact most institutional churches are sectarian, divisive in nature. For more have doctrines unique to themselves so as to illegitimately inflate their own significance, and to justify looking down on others.

The priority is truth. One way the children of God and the children of the devil are distinguished is by how they handle or respond to the truth. To some he said, "You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies." John 8:44

Now while one might infer doctrine from the book of Acts which tells of historical events, the letters to the churches teach us doctrine explicitly, and as such should first be consulted with regards to matters of doctrine. What it teaches in 1Cor 12:13, which is the only verse in the epistles that even contains both Spirit and baptism, is that all the saints have been baptized in the Holy Spirit. In fact much of the purpose of the letter to the Corinthians was to dispel any notions advocating schisms and elitist divisions among the Christian community (Such as is the case today with regards to the elitist Charismatic view of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit) Likewise Paul makes sure to note that not all have the same giftedness. Contrary to many Charismatics today, Paul teaches that it is most appropriate that all do not speak in tongues, despite the fact that all have been baptized by one Spirit into one body. "Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?" 1Cor 12:30 Yet today Charismatics have taken just the opposite view as scripture teaches and have develop a schism in the body such as now they view there being two bodies - one having been baptized in the Holy Spirit and those Christians who have not. They are the very kind of Corinthian Christian Paul is trying to correct. If this doctrine of theirs is significant, if Christians are missing out on something important, than why is it not found in any of the New Testament letters to the churches but for one place, and that one place teaches it's universal among the body of Christ, contrary to the teaches of Charismatism? This reminds me much of the Mariology of Catholicsm whereby Catholics make a big deal about Mary while she is not even mentioned in any of the letters to the churches.

But getting on to what the scripture actually teaches concerning the baptism in the Holy Spirit, it equates the baptism with the receiving of the Holy Spirit. This is why it's universal. Because everyone born of God has received the Holy Spirit. "And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ." Rom 8:9 If a person does not have the Holy Spirit, he does not yet belong to Christ. Concerning Acts chapter 2 Peter says, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Acts 2:38 He doesn't say you might receive the Holy Spirit. He does say pray that you receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is automatically given to all believers. That's what he says.

The apostles themselves hadn't received the Holy Spirit until Acts 2. It says in John 7:39 "Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified." So when was the Holy Spirit given? Peter says in Acts 2 "Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear." So upon his ascension, upon his being exalted to the right hand of God, Jesus received from the Father the right to give out the Holy Spirit. And in Acts 2 the apostles received the Spirit. Now there are those who will point out John 20:22 in which Jesus breathed on them and commanded them to receive the Holy Spirit. But that was simply symbolic, predictive of what was to come, much as the last supper was symbolic and predictive of what was to come. In fact what the Holy Spirit came in Acts 2 it came as a wind and as tongues of fire. That's when they actually received the Holy Spirit.

Likewise there are those who will point out Acts 8 concerning the Samaritans. But it says, "When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus." Acts 8:15,16 But this is contrary to the Charismatic teaching of there being a difference between receiving the Holy Spirit and the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Rather the Samaritans hadn't yet received the Holy Spirit. Now they had been promised the Holy Spirit, and Peter was given the keys to the kingdom. (Mt 16:19) In Acts 2 he opened the gates of the kingdom to the Jews. In Acts 8 to the Samaritans, and then in Acts 10 to the Gentiles. This is why up to Acts chapter 10 the receiving of the Holy Spirit was contingent upon Peter's presence. But after that, the gates having been opened to all categories of people, the keys were no longer needed and thus since that point a person receives the Holy Spirit upon believing in Christ. That's why we don't find the Charismatic view in the New Testament letters to the churches. They falsely infer their doctrine from the book of Acts.

But let's consider the case of Cornelius - the first Gentile Christian. Peter preached the gospel to him in Acts 10, "while Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message." Acts 10:44 Notice they received the Holy Spirit despite the fact they had not been baptized, nor did anyone lay hands on them, which are often additional requirements advocated by the who misconceive what the Bible teaches. And the others with him said,."Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?" Acts 10:47 They refer to this as receiving the Holy Spirit.

Now in describing this event to the church at Jerusalem Peter told what the angel said to Cornelius, namely, "Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. He will bring you a message through which you and all your household will be saved." Acts 11:13,14 Cornelius and his household were not saved until they heard and believed the gospel, despite the fact he was apparently a god-fearing generous man. Such is the case today. People need to hear and believe the gospel to be saved. Now concerning the Holy Spirit coming on them Peter said, "As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning. Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." Acts 11:14,15 Thus Peter is saying that what Cornelius and his household experience was the baptism in the Holy Spirit.  Notice, contrary to Charismatism, Peter makes no distinction between receiving the Holy Spirit and being baptized in the Holy Spirit. These are the same.

Everywhere in the New Testament letters to the churches it is assumed that the saints have received the Holy Spirit. If you are a believer, you have received the Holy Spirit. "And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ." Rom 8:9 Don't be misled by Charismatic dogma.

But if people ask you or I whether we've been baptized in the Holy Spirit, we should say, "yes" and then quote 1Cor 12:13. For everyone who belongs to Christ has been baptized in the Holy Spirit.

SPEAKING IN TONGUES

Contrary to Pentecostal heresy that teaches that all who have been baptized with the Holy Spirit speak in tongues, the epistles to the churches state, "Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?" 1Cor 12:30

While I don't presume that the gift of tongues has no place today, I also don't presume that everyone who claims to have the gift of tongues actually does. It's so easy to fabricate. One need only babble and suddenly they feel superior to other Christians who don't babble. The fact that this alleged "gift" is found primarily in Charismatic churches and very little in non-Charismatic churches implies there's a lot of fabrication going on. I think there are a lot of alleged "Christians" in the Charismatic community who are either lying or deceiving themselves in this matter, and other such alleged "gifts".

But as for the practice of "tongues", Charismatic churches generally do not abide by what Paul teaches on the subject. For he instructs the churches saying, "If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret. But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God." 1Cor 14:27,28 Yet Charismatics characteristically flaunt their alleged "gift". They speak out of turn and without interpreters. They do so as to show others around them that they are one of the "elite" Christians. They do so to feel accepted and superior to other Christians to justify their contempt for others.

Heresy begats heresy in both doctrine and practice. Thus Jesus said, "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them." Mt 7:15,16a
 
The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources
Jul 29,2015