Have you ever wondered how can Christians today live like the people in the Book of Acts?
How can we see the miracles that God performed throughout the bible, today?
The good news is that we CAN! But in order to do that explaining what the different baptisms are is a great starting point. There are 3 types that will be broken down and explained using scriptures (KJV). The 3 phases that are listed do not need to be experienced in the same order but it can be viewed as a “general guide”. God is not to be “boxed in” and people’s personal experience can come in different orders.
* BAPTISM INTO THE FAMILY OF GOD * (SALVATION) Accepting Jesus as Savior
Romans 10:9 – That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Romans 10:10 – For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
When a person hears the good news of Jesus Christ, believes in his heart and confesses with their mouth they are saved. Salvation is simple and it is a precious gift that our heavenly Father has given us because He loves us so much. That way no person can say it was through their goodness or good works that saved them but it was a gift.
Ephesians 2:8 – For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Ephesians 2:9 – Not of works, lest any man should boast.
* BAPTISM IN WATER * (REPENTANCE FROM SINS)
Once a person believes and confesses that Jesus is their Lord, the Holy Spirit, (the presence of God), comes to live in the believer. Jesus was and is our example. The same things that happened to him are our guide as well. The first step Jesus went through was a Baptism in water. John the Baptist, baptized Jesus in water for the repentance of sins. Although Jesus did not have any sins to repent from none the less he said it needed to be done.
Water baptism is an outward expression of an inner change in a believer. A person is considered “born again” because they are born of water and of the spirit.
Matthew 3:14 – But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
Matthew 3:15 – And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
John 3:5 – Jesus answered, Verily, Verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter in to the kingdom of God.
John 14:23 – Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
* BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT * (ENDUED WITH POWER) Jesus baptizes with power
Also known as ” The Baptism of Fire “. To receive this gift you must be a “born again” believer.
Acts 1:8 – But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Acts 2:1 – And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
Acts 2:2 – And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
Acts 2:3 – And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
Acts 2:4 – And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Jesus told his disciples to wait in Jerusalem for them to be endued with power. This special day was 50 days after his crucifixion and the day of the Jewish festival Shavuoth. This particular festival is also 50 days after the second day of Passover . It was originally a harvest festival but it also observes when Israel received the Law (the Torah).
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is when Jesus “immerses” a believer in the power of God to do the things of the Kingdom. These works can be things such as healing the sick, casting out demons, raising the dead and miraculous signs of God. Jesus never did any miracles until he received the power from our Heavenly Father.
Mark 16:15 – And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
The Greek word “baptizo” was used to explain a process of dipping or immersing fabric to dye it. If Jesus is our example we can remember he was immersed in water and then the power of God fell on him. This is not always the order as I mentioned earlier. Cornelius and his family received their prayer language and then they were water baptized in Acts 10 on the same day.
Acts 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.
Acts 10:46 – For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.
* My Brief Testimony *
I grew up in the Catholic church and in my later years I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit in a bible study at Church in the Son. Once I received this gift, I had a desire to be water baptized. I wanted to identify with Jesus. Water baptism is an outward expression of an internal change. It is symbolic for dying to yourself and then rising up as a “new creation in Christ”.
2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.
Understanding the word of God became clear and I have seen miracles, signs and wonders since then.
* THE EVIDENCE OF RECEIVING IT *
When a person receives the baptism of the Holy Spirit the outer evidence is speaking in tongues. Sometimes a person may only utter one word/sound and later their “vocabulary” so to speak may expand as they increase in their understanding of what they received.
Doctrines, fear or simply a lack of knowledge can affect how a person is able or not to pray in tongues. You don’t have to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit to be saved but you do need this baptism in order to live a life of victory in this world and over the enemy. If you want to see miracles, healing, signs and wonders you must have the power of God. Without this baptism you are no threat to the enemy. There can be a sense of “something is missing” and indeed there is.
* PRAYING IN TONGUES * or (PRAYING IN THE SPIRIT)
Praying in tongues or how the bible refers to as “praying in the spirit” is something Jesus did to receive direction and guidance from our Heavenly Father on what to do next in a situation. It is also referred to as groaning or groaning in the spirit. When Jesus went to the town where his dear friend Lazarus died he groaned. He was connecting with our Heavenly Father to know what to do next. Jesus said he only did what the Father showed him or taught him. (John 5:19-20) (John 8:28)
John 11:33 – When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled.
37 And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?
38 Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.
Romans 8:26 – Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
These scriptures mentioned groaning in the spirit. When a person prays in tongues they are praying the mysteries of God into the air. The Spirit that lives within us is praying God’s will to come to pass. Groaning doesn’t sound like normal words but God understands. We are using our faith when we pray. Faith doesn’t make sense in the natural but that is why we are not just “natural” beings. We are also spiritual beings created in God’s image. Just like Jesus! Whatever Jesus had the Father also gave it to us. Jesus prayed in tongues and now we can too.
John 15:15 – All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
* HOW CAN YOU RECEIVE IT? *
Simple! All you need to do to is believe and ask for it. You can have someone pray for you to receive or you can ask Jesus yourself. He is faithful to answer. Your job is receiving!
Luke 11:11 – If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?
12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
As it says in the scriptures…just ask Him.
* DID THIS PASS AWAY WITH THE DISCIPLES? *
Absolutely not! The bible says Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. There is no reason why the power that transformed lives in the first century should not be needed in a world that still has sickness, disease and most of all an enemy roaming around seeking whom he may devour. The word says God’s people perish from lack of knowledge. (Hosea 4:6) If people don’t know who they truly are in Christ, then the devil is able to steal, kill and destroy those lives.