As we have seen, the baptism of the Holy Spirit and being filled
with the Spirit were not necessarily the same thing. Zacharias,
Elizabeth, and John were all filled with the Spirit before the promise
of the baptism of the Holy Spirit was fulfilled. Furthermore, we
saw that Christ was the administrator of Holy Spirit baptism as
promised by John the Baptist, and Christ, himself, promised that the
Father would send the Spirit in Jesus' name. The baptism of the
Holy Spirit was a promise, and never a command.
The purpose of the baptism of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles was
TO REVEAL THE TRUTH
First, it took place in order to reveal the truth of the gospel.
In the upper room, Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would come
on the apostles and guide them to teach the truth (John 14:26;
16:13-15). Once more, Jesus told the apostles, "But when
they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it
shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it
is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in
you" (Mat.10:19,20). The Bible tells us beginning in Acts
4:8, "Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye
rulers of the people, and elders of Israel..." Peter began
to preach being given the words by the Holy Spirit.
TO GIVE CREDIT TO AUTHOR OF THE MESSAGE
The miracles which often accompanied the preaching served as
credentials or Divine recommendations of the apostles' message, which
is the meaning of the word "confirming" as used in Mark
16:20, the expression "bearing witness" in Heb. 2:1-4.
Please study those passages. These miracles were
"signs" in that they signified the source of the message that
was preached (Acts 2:43). They were called "wonders" in
that they stirred interest, surprise, and attraction.
TO SHOW THAT THE MESSAGE WAS AUTHORITATIVE
The messengers were mere men. The people on Pentecost day
(Acts 2) noted that the apostles were all just Galileans, but the
people heard them speaking all their languages. Peter who had
been a fisherman stood up with the eleven and began to tell them what
they MUST DO to please God. Later, in Acts 10 & 11 Peter tell the
Gentiles what they MUST DO TO BE SAVED. In Acts 5 the early
church was shown very clearly by the death of Ananias and Sapphira that
one must not rebel against the word of the apostles. "And
fear came on all the church, and upon as many as heard these
things" (Acts 5:11). Paul said to cut off anyone who would
not abide in his teaching (Gal. 1:8).
NOT TO REMOVE A DEPRAVED SPIRIT
Some contend that the purpose of the baptism of the Holy Spirit was
to remove the depraved nature "inherit in Adam." If
this were true then God is responsible for all souls who are lost
because no one could receive Spirit baptism except when God was pleased
to pour it out. But baptism of the Spirit came upon the apostles
at Pentecost showing that it was not to remove their depraved nature
because--1) They had been with Christ three years. 2) They had
already preached the "limited" commission to the "lost
sheep of the house of Israel" (Matt. 10:5-7). Could a
depraved person preach a message from God? 3) They had been
performing miracles. Could a depraved person perform God's
miracles? 4) They had been assured of this power (John 20:22).
5) They had been praying to God for 10 days (Acts 1).
Surely all these things prove that they did not have such a
depraved nature which had to be removed by the miraculous act of the
baptism of the Holy Spirit.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit was not to remove the so-called
depraved nature of the multitude, because they arrived after the Holy
Spirit baptism had come upon the apostles. They had no part in
it. In fact, the marvelous event caused the apostles to speak in
the various languages of the people, which, in turn, caused the
multitude to gather out of curiosity (Acts 2:1-8).
CORNELIUS WAS NOT DEPRAVED
The baptism of the Holy Spirit upon Cornelius and his household
proves that it did not occur to remove their "depraved
nature" as some claim. The description of Cornelius is not a
picture of a "totally depraved man" (Acts 10:2,22).
That idea would contradict the proof of God's acceptance of the
Gentiles in Acts 15:7,9.
The Holy Spirit's falling on the household of Cornelius was given as
a sign that Gentile converts were acceptable to God, and, therefore,
should be to Jewish Christians.
The baptism of the Spirit was not to "sanctify" or
accomplish "the second definite work of grace." The
things that accomplish a person's sanctification are: 1) The word of
God (John 17:17,19). 2)_ The blood of Christ (Heb. 13:12;
10:10,19,29; Eph. 5:25-28). 3) The person's faith (Acts 26:18).
4) Water--baptism (Eph. 5:25-27).
The baptism of the Spirit is not to save sinners, because the
Spirit, as a gift, is promised to those who are already saved (Acts
2:38; 5:32), but not before.
The baptism of the Spirit is not to be the evidence of pardon as
some claim. If that were the case then there is no sense to the events
of Acts 8:12-16, or of what is said in 1 John 2:2-4; Acts 2:38; or Mark
Part 1 of this series.