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How Spirit Baptism is Received

This event most closely resembles that of the Samaritans in Acts 8, in the methodology in which believers received the baptism in the Holy Spirit. The method in common is the laying on of hands. The disposition of these Jewish men was that they knew very little about Jesus. They were not saved. They were disciples of John the Baptist as were many Jews throughout the Roman Empire. Their spiritual experience was that they were penitent men, as illustrated by receiving the ritual Jewish baptism, as administered by John the Baptist. Jewish baptism symbolized repentance from sin. Followers of Jesus Christ were also to receive Jewish baptism, but in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, demonstrating their salvation experience. They did not know about the Holy Spirit. So, Paul taught them what Jesus Christ did for them through his life, crucifixion, resurrection, and the giving of the Holy Spirit. Consequently, these Ephesians were saved, received the Holy Spirit, spoke in tongues, and prophesied. They received the baptism in the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands in 54 A.D.

The Bible shows that for many years after the Day of Pentecost believers were to continue to speak in tongues, attesting to its continuance. Since the dispensation of the Holy Spirit was ushered in with speaking in tongues, we can understand why speaking in tongues is for all believers today.

It is interesting to observe that in Acts 2 the believers received the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues, simultaneously. In Acts 8, the Samaritans 1) spoke in tongues and were saved simultaneously, and then 2) were baptized in water. In Acts 19 the Ephesian men 1) were saved, 2) received Christian water baptism, and then 3) spoke in tongues like the Samaritans.

We can learn from these examples that God is not limited in how he operates. It is not our place to tell God how He must work. It is our duty to pray with believers to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit and leave the results to God.

Image: Ales Krivec


(Scripture taken from the Modern English Version. Copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Used by permission. All rights reserved.)


An earlier version of this article appeared in The Pentecostal Messenger. Used with permission.

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Category: Spirit, Winter 2018

About the Author: Verna M. Linzey (1919 –2016), MA (Southwestern Assemblies of God University), DMin (Fuller Theological Seminary), was the chief editor of the New Tyndale Version Bible and a translator for the Modern English Version Bible. She wrote The Baptism with the Holy Spirit, The Gifts of the Spirit, and Spirit Baptism. She also hosted the television programs “The Word with Verna Linzey” and “The Holy Spirit Today with Dr. Verna Linzey.”

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