The Baptism or Filling with the  Holy Spirit

T. J. de Ruiter, Dutch Pentecostal Pastor and Bibleteacher 

  "And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance."

Acts 2:4



The Baptism with the Holy Spirit as an experience that believers in Jesus may receive as taught by most Pentecostal and Full Gospel Churches is not taught in a number of other churches and movements. The Roman Catholic Church and some other churches teach that the baptism with the Spirit is received at the rebirth. Some churches of the Reformation teach that the baptism with the Holy Spirit was once and for all given to the church on the feast of Pentecost in Jerusalem, (Acts chapter 2).



The Filling or Baptism was and is the empowering through the Holy Spirit


The experience on Pentecost of the first apostles in Jerusalem in Acts chapter 2 was without a doubt the empowering of already reborn believers. We cannot maintain that the apostles were at that time not yet reborn believers for they already believed for some years with their whole heart in Jesus as the Son of God and since Golgotha they believed that He had died for the remission of their sins and the reconciliation with God, and they believed that He was also glorified in heaven. One dares to say that they believed with much more sincerity than many Christians today. However, they were not yet empowered by the Spirit for their commission to go into the world and testify about Jesus. This empowering took place on that memorable day of Pentecost in Jerusalem.


About the rebirth and baptism with the Holy Spirit


The  Baptism with the Holy Spirit was given to believers that were together in unity; they all received. Later experiences in the book of Acts and in teachings in some letters of the apostle Paul make it clear that this filling with the Spirit was given to believers in the churches. That is a reason why we can teach that the experience of the filling or baptism with the Spirit can be an example for all believers and be experienced by them. The rebirth can be followed by a baptism with the Spirit to motivate and empower the believers. That the rebirth and the baptism with the Holy Spirit may sometimes be experienced at the same time is possible, though often they are separate experiences and can clearly be distinguished from each other. The gifts that the Holy Spirit imparts in the believer enable him to functional and purposeful service in the Church, the body of Christ. Read about the gifts of the Spirit the passage 1 Corinthians 12:1-11. You can also order my lesson about the gifts of the Spirit.


The manifestation of the baptism or filling with the Holy Spirit


On that first day of Pentecost in Jerusalem the Holy Spirit came with phenomena of tongues of fire and with the sound of a strong wind. John the Baptist had prophesied more than thirty years earlier that the Messiah would baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire, (Luke 3:16). This was exactly what the disciples experienced on Pentecost in Jerusalem. This outpouring of the Spirit was the beginning of the promise of Jesus and of the prophecy of Joel, (Joel 2:28,29).


The tongues as of fire that placed themselves on the disciples – Acts 2:3 – were undoubtedly symbolical of the power wherewith the disciples were going to be inspired and equipped by the Spirit to minister and testify of Jesus. It is however also Scriptural to think of the cleansing fire of the Spirit so that the disciples were going to testify with clean hearts. Notice the admonition of Paul in Romans 12:11 to be fervent in spirit, the Greek word translated as fervent could be translated as fiery. James warns for unholy fire on the tongue, (James 3:5,6), which is of course in sharp contrast with holy and godly speaking through the Holy Spirit.


            The sound as of a powerful rushing mighty wind speaks of the enormous, invisible power of the Holy Spirit. He is uncontrollable and overpowering as the wind. When a wind is blowing with some force you can attempt to resist it but you can also allow yourself to be pushed by it, it all depends on which direction you want to go; with him or against him (John 3:8). Both the Hebrew word ‘ruach’ and the Greek word ‘pneuma’ can have various meanings, such as wind, air, breath or the nonphysical part of a personal being, God or man. The word is also used for the being of God, for He is pure spirit, (John 4:24).


In Closing


 The Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost in a supernatural and irresistible power that overpowered the disciples, filing, inspiring and empowering. The report is clear about it: the Spirit of God came with signs which were heard and seen by the disciples and the spectators. The things they saw and heard were of a supernatural nature and source. People had to be prepared to know that the crucified Lord Jesus was now glorified in heaven and that He empowered His servants with His supernatural, divine powers for their task.



1. Did you receive a clear Baptism with the Holy Spirit. If yes, tell me about it.

2. If not, you can share your feelings about it or ask for prayer.


For questions or prayer write to. e-mailadres:

24th of June,2011

This study is also avaliable in Dutch / Deze studie is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar
Contacteer: Pastor T. J. de Ruiter

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