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Common Barriers to the Baptism in the Holy Spirit

7. Assuming that any Gift or Spiritual Experience is the Baptism

Many people see others who are “slain in the Spirit”, which doesn’t even appear in the Bible. Others see people who “tremble in the Spirit”, which really doesn’t happen in the Bible either, at least in this kind of a context, and in some cases may even serve as a sign of demon possession (Matthew 17:14-21). Still others say that any spiritual gift can serve as the sign of the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and others say that we all received the Spirit baptism at salvation.

We must remember we are social creatures. We see some­thing and we believe it as a legitimate experience, so we copy it. We must stop making it an emotional experience and make it a spiritual experience. Even though the move of the Spirit can stir emotions, remember that emotions are not the point. We don’t have to fall in the Spirit or shake. These things can happen, but many times they happen because of emotions and not because of the Spirit’s baptism.

The only biblical pattern of the filling of the Spirit is prophetic.

In regard to the evidence, we must return to the Bible. The only biblical pattern of the filling of the Spirit is prophetic, and more specifically in the form of tongues in the New Testament. The Bible does not give us the license to connect any other experience apart from tongues to the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

Image: Jordan Whitfield

In regard to receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit in the moment of salvation. It can happen, as was the case for Cornelius and his household (Acts 10:44-46). However, it does not have to happen that way. Obviously we don’t receive God in stages or parts, we must remember to distinguish the Holy Spirit from the baptism experience. The baptism in the Holy Spirit is a subsequent event that empowers believers to fulfil their part in the Great Commis­sion (Acts 1:8).



We must remember that neither the baptism experience, nor tongues are a one-time event, but a process, and this may be a journey that God has put us on. This all boils down to the fact that God wants to give you power to do what he is calling you to do. It is really basic. The question is, will you be willing to allow God to use you and respond? The speaking in tongues is just the prophetic evidence that the Spirit has come upon and empowered you. Really, you’re allowing him to speak through you, submit­ting the most untamable part of your body to him—your tongue. This experience is something vital to your call. It is something that God wants us to seek. However, many people resist it be­cause it is different, strange, or unfamiliar. This experience was a command of Christ and the last thing he said to his disciples (ref. Acts 1:4-9). God wants to use you. Will you let him?



Jeremiah Campbell, Say What? A Biblical and Historical Journey on the Connection between the Holy Spirit, Prophecy, and Tongues (Wipf & Stock, 2018), x + 122 pages, ISBN 9781532646997.


This article is an excerpt from Say What? A Biblical and Historical Journey on the Connection between the Holy Spirit, Prophecy, and Tongues. Copyright © 2018 Jeremiah Campbell. Used with permission.


Further Reading:

Charles Carrin, “Six Ways the Holy Spirit Will Communicate With You

Larry Christenson, “How to Speak in Tongues

What did God have in mind for you when he gave the gift of tongues to the church? What can you do to prepare yourself to receive this blessing? An excerpt from Larry Christenson’s classic work, Answering Your Questions About Speaking in Tongues.

Read Rick Waldholm Jr.’s review of Jeremiah Campbell’s Say What? A Biblical and Historical Journey on the Connection between the Holy Spirit, Prophecy, and Tongues, the book this article is an excerpt from.

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Category: Spirit, Summer 2018

About the Author: Jeremiah J. Campbell, D.Min. (Talbot School of Theology, Biola University), M.Div., M.A. (Global University), M.Ed. (Washington State University) is a missionary to Bolivia with the Assemblies of God World Missions, and an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God. He is also an adjunct professor for Northwest University, and associate professor for Global University, and the national director for Global University in Bolivia. Jeremiah previously served as the national director for Chi Alpha Bolivia, an organization he developed into a national ministry. Before the missions field Jeremiah was a youth pastor at Neighborhood Church in Sunnyside, WA. He also worked as a public school teacher and educational coach for the Grandview School District in Grandview, WA. Jeremiah is the author of The Foundation of the Assemblies of God of Bolivia: A Perspective through the Eyes of the Founding Missionaries (2016), and Say What?: A Biblical and Historical Journey on the Connection between the Holy Spirit, Prophecy, and Tongues (Wipf & Stock, 2018). Jeremiah married his best friend, Marjorie in 2005, and they live with their two children in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Facebook. LinkedIn. Website.

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