Baptism In The Spirit: What the Experience Feels Like

baptism in the Spirit

Baptism in the Spirit

On the day of Pentecost two separate groups received the Baptism in the Spirit, numbering 120 (Ac. 1:14) and 3,000 (Ac. 2:38-41).

The First Group (Ac. 1:14) were followers of Jesus from the days of John the Baptist to His resurrection (Ac. 1:21-22). A sound from heaven like rushing wind filled the house, and tongues of fire sat upon each of their heads and they spoke in languages of Parthians, Medes, Elamites, Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, Libya, Cyrene, and Rome (Acts. 2:8-10).

The Holy Spirit filled (Ac. 2:4) their spirit (Rom. 8:5-16), God breathing into their souls the breath of lives (Gen. 2:7), they became “new creatures” (2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15) risen in Christ (Rom. 6:3-4; Col. 2:12), born “from above” (John 3:7-8; 1 Pet. 1:3) .The “washing of regeneration and renewing” (Tit. 3:5) gave birth to their “inner man” (Eph. 3:16; Col. 3:10). They became partakers of divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4) passing from death into life (John 5:21, 24-26).

Only their soul was made alive, all of this was Spirit to spirit (Rom. 8:5-16) because our Holy God cannot abide with sin and touches no unclean thing (Rom. 7:18; 8:7-13). The flesh must wait for the resurrection yet future (1 Cor. 15:12, 51-55; Rev. 20:5).

Of these 120 unique followers of Christ only the Twelve Apostles did signs and wonders (Ac. 2:42-43).

When the Second Group received the Holy Spirit (Ac. 2:38-39) there was no sound from heaven like a rushing wind. Tongues of fire did not rest upon their heads. They did not speak foreign languages.

Confirming the 3,000 saved that day did not manifest revelatory gifts, is it was so rare everyone deemed it a “sign from God” (Acts 10:44-47; 15:7-8). God employed this sign to confirm salvation is only by public confession Jesus is LORD (Acts 19:1-7; 4:12). That this was a special group of Jews who received the revelatory gifts is evident by it being specially noted these were “Twelve” in number (Acts 19:7), clearly implying they were part of this exclusive group of Jews.

The “outward physical evidence” the 3,000 were filled with the Holy Spirit was their changed heart and mind towards God and His Truth, and love for His people (Acts. 2:42-47 Compare 1 Pet. 1:22-23).

That the “outward physical evidence” is the SAME for BOTH the 120 and 3,000 is its a function of the One Body of Christ, the One Spirit, the One Faith, the One Baptism

Both the 120 and 3000 show “holy fear” at the signs done by the Twelve Apostles, and BOTH manifest the Holy Spirit is in them by their devotion to God’s Truth and His people:

43 Then fear came upon EVERY soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.
44 Now all who believed
were together, and had all things in common,
45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.
46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,
47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:43-47 NKJ)

The “outward physical evidence” they were baptized in the Spirit was in their changed perception, their love for God, His Truth, and His children. Being baptized in the Spirit, the “washing of regeneration” is the SAME for every born from above believer from the Day of Pentecost until today:

4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling;
5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism
;
6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (Eph. 4:4-6 NKJ)

The one Spirit Personally indwells every member of the body of Christ, BUT to “each one” was given “the grace” (ἡ χάρις) to accomplish the work God appointed they do (Eph. 2:10):

But unto each one of us was the grace (ἡ χάρις) given according to the measure of the gift of Christ. (Eph. 4:7 ASV)

The church receives gifts (Eph. 4:10-13) according to God’s will (Eph. 4:7; 1 Cor. 12:11), but the One Spirit Personally indwells every member of the church equally so all are “the children of God”.

Therefore, the 120 unique followers of Christ who received special grace to establish Christianity while the New Testament was still being written, were precisely like the 3000 born from above on that day. Never is it said they were superior in any way, to the 3,000 saved that day.

Today’s “born again experience” is the exactly the same believers experienced on the Day of Pentecost, the time of the maximum manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit. All perceive they are changed, loving God, His Truth and His People like never before.

According to Romans 8:5-16 the Holy Spirit bypasses the carnal nature to commune with the human spirit. As He bypasses the flesh entirely, everything He does is beyond the physical senses of touch and physical sensation. Unless God open’s the mind of the believer to perceive what is happening in the realm of the spirit they will feel nothing. But their perception will be changed, they will know God is their ABBA Father, and the truth of God and love for His people will be dominant. It is possible the believer’s physical body react to the changed spiritual man newly created within, because the Mind of the New Creature is like a “ghost in the machine”. But physical experiences caused by the presence of the regenerated “inner man” come after the Holy Spirit has completed His activity. As we are all individuals, its likely any physical effects will be different for different people, or even none at all.

As Sherlock Holmes might say, “it is elementary dear Watson, there is one Lord one Faith one Baptism THEREFORE the process of regeneration described in the NT must be exactly the same for every believer. As Scripture says the Person of the Holy Spirit is received “when they believed” (εἰ πνεῦμα ἅγιον ἐλάβετε πιστεύσαντες Acts 19:2) Jesus is LORD confessing the PETRA of God publicly(Rom. 10:9-10; Mat. 10:32; 16:16-17), it must be true. [See End Note 3 below]

God permitted I “feel” what happened in the realm of the spirit during regeneration, “extrasensory”. I believe this was to enable my seeing the teaching of Holy Scripture, that all who profess confess Jesus is their LORD publicly are born from above, equally. All follow who follow Christ, in the regeneration (Mat. 19:28) are revealed to be the children of God, equally (Rom. 8:19-28: Gal. 3:26-28).

God the Holy Spirit fell upon me like a warm wind, filling my soul regenerating it. The washing of regeneration (Tit. 3:5) renewed my spirit (Rom. 8:16), not my flesh body or brain (Rom. 7:18). My soul, the “ghost operating the machine” became a partaker of the divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4). God breathed into my soul the “breath of lives” and the filling gave rise to a “new creature” (Gen. 2:7; 2 Cor. 5:17), risen from the dead in Christ Jesus my LORD (Rom. 6:4). Over forty years ago this happened, and never has the Spirit left or forsaken me. God is more real to me than anyone or anything existing.

So why reveal my conversion experience? Because it is the same for every born again believer in Christ but God’s grace revealing it is according to His Will, not ours.

Every believer partakes of the divine nature (2Pet. 1:4) at regeneration, when the weak human spirit becomes “a new creature” “living man” born from above in Christ, because God breathed into it the “breath of lives”. Because that change occurs “Spirit to spirit” (Rom. 8:16), not in the flesh (Rom. 7:18, 25), the senses of the flesh are unaware of it. Nothing is felt physically. If someone says a physical experience is part of the process, they are confused.

Scripture NEVER refers to “the physical experience of receiving the Holy Spirit”, because receiving the Holy Spirit is not a physical experience. See End Note #4

Nothing physical is changed or affected by this process. Any physical effects would be accidental, solely the body’s reaction to a changed spiritual reality and mental state. That can be different for every person. The body must wait for the resurrection before it is changed by God’s life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:35-56).

All who believe in Christ, are children of the Most-High, equally. Nothing in the book of Acts or the rest of scripture implies there are “classes of Christians.”

“But you, do not be called `Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. (Matt. 23:8 NKJ)

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Gal. 3:28 NKJ)

4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling;
5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. (Eph. 4:4-7 NKJ)

Therefore, Christians receive the same baptism, same Holy Spirit, the one seal of God’s approval, the same guarantee of our one inheritance after they believe (Eph. 1:13-14). But all receive divine empowerment for the ministry He wants us to do in Christ:

27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. (1 Cor. 12:27-28 NKJV)

The prophet Isaiah prophesied to everyone trusting in the LORD for salvation:

3 Do not let the son of the foreigner
Who has joined himself to the LORD Speak, saying,
“The LORD has utterly separated me from His people”;
Nor let the eunuch say, “Here I am, a dry tree.”

4 For thus says the LORD: “To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths, And choose what pleases Me, And hold fast My covenant,
5 Even to them I will give in My house And within My walls a place and a name Better than that of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name That shall not be cut off.
6 “Also the sons of the foreigner Who join themselves to the LORD, to serve Him, And to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants– Everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, And holds fast My covenant–

7 Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices Will be accepted on My altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.” (Isa. 56:3-7 NKJ)

A “word” against the false prophets, Sorcerers making God’s people sad claiming all must speak in tongues and do powerful works or they lack Holy Spirit:

22 “Because with lies you have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and you have strengthened the hands of the wicked, so that he does not turn from his wicked way to save his life.
23 “Therefore you shall no longer envision futility nor practice divination; for I will deliver My people out of your hand, and you shall know that I am the LORD.”‘”
(Ezek. 13:22-23 NKJ)

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END NOTES

Miscellaneous misunderstood scriptures:
#1.

18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; (Eph. 5:18-20 KJV)

Literally translated: “Be filled IN spirit” (πληροῦσθε ἐν πνεύματι) not “be filled WITH Spirit

The antithesis is not “experience with wine” versus “experience with Holy Spirit”, its “carnal mind (soul) filled with excess (810 ἀσωτία asotia)” by ingesting wine VERSUS filling the Christian’s “spirit” (“inner man, new creature etc.”) filled with godliness by ingesting the spiritual things of God: “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”

Compare:

4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (Rom. 8:4-6 KJV)

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#2.
The Prophecy tongues and revelations listed in 1 Corinthians c. 14 were NOT the word of God:

36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?
37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.
38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. (1 Cor. 14:36-38 KJV)

These gifts edified the church with truth about God (1 Cor. 14:2-5, 26) but were not the Word of God. Just like today, they are insights into the mystery of God believers have when reflecting upon God their Savior.

Tongues ceased. Their function as a sign to the evil and wicked generation of Jews that rejected Jesus (1 Cor. 14:21-22; Isa. 28:11-18) ended when God gave the ultimate sign the Old Covenant was now replaced by the New. The Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed (70 A.D.) along with the genealogical records that enable the Jewish Priesthood to offer sacrifices.

That is why tongues are never spoken of again after 1 Corinthians was written (53-54 A.D.) It is certain the gift was waning and causing dissension in the church, only a minority of Corinthians had the gift (1 Cor. 1:7, 11-22) as proved by the majority wanting to forbid tongues speaking (1 Cor. 14:39). Only the majority can impose their will upon the minority so Paul forbade them. There is no reason to discuss the cessation of these gifts if they weren’t already ceasing (1 Cor. 13:8-10).

The apostolic age was winding down, a time of special revelation from God was passing causing consternation in the church, so Paul reassures them God’s love is constant (1 Cor. 1:6-9). That age is destined to be replaced by the completed Bible, which can make even a child wise unto salvation, in Jesus Christ (2 Tim. 3:15-17).

Today Scripture is complete, therefore any extra-biblical revelation is redundant, tautological. Scripture is our “prophet” today, it alone reveals what will be, if we study it diligently. Then every question we have is answered therein. Scripture alone is the infallible Word of God for our day.

False prophets are common, but “false scripture” does not exist in the canonical books. Confirming this, God’s two witnesses (Rev. 11:3) are “prophets” (Rev. 11:10), BUT they are “My witnesses”, therefore their “prophesy” is “a witness” to the glory of God (Rev. 11:37) Who revealed what then is occurring. All was predicted by God in Scripture. This testifies to His Deity. He alone can reveal the end before its beginning (Isa. 41:21-23, 26-29; 43:9-12; 44:7-8). Clearly, the “prophesy” of the two witness won’t be extra-biblical revelation, it will be exposition and application of Holy Scripture.

21 Tell and bring forth your case; Yes, let them take counsel together. Who has declared this from ancient time? Who has told it from that time? Have not I, the LORD? And there is no other God besides Me, A just God and a Savior; There is none besides Me.
22 “Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.
23 I have sworn by Myself; The word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, And shall not return, That to Me every knee shall bow, Every tongue shall take an oath. (Isa. 45:21-23 NKJ)

Point is, nothing material and pertinent to the edifying of the church can’t be found among born again Christians today. The Holy Scripture is the inerrant Word of God, with context! How much better than prophecy is that?!? Who among us hasn’t been “in the zone” when the truth of the Crucifixion was revealed? When its necessity and God’s grace providing it became clear? In words unspeakable, as with an unknown tongue our spirits blessed God, edifying our spirit.

The book of Corinthians describes a church unlike a modern Pentecostal church. Most of the book relates to “non-Pentecostal issues” that might be found in any modern born-again Bible Believing church if it arose and existed in the same context as the Corinthian Church. The same edification of the church found in prophecy tongues and knowledge exists today in the expository teaching preaching of pastors and teachers—often edifying our spirits beyond human capability to express in words:

when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. (1 Cor. 14:26 KJV)

Confirming the Corinthian “prophets” were only giving their interpretation of the faith is the fact a “prophet” could be wrong, and yet not declared to be a false prophet if the “others judging” (1 Cor. 14:29) rejected the “prophecy.” Moreover, Paul puts these “prophets” (4396 προφήτης prophetes) on the same level as SPIRITUAL believers (4152 πνευματικός pneumatikos)”

If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. (1 Cor. 14:37 KJV)

πνευματικός pneumatikós …(A) Of persons who are spiritual, enlightened by the Holy Spirit, enjoying the influences, graces, gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2:13, 15; 3:1; 14:37; Gal. 6:1).-Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

A Prophet or Spiritual man who is NOT channeling the “inerrant word of God” 1 Cor. 14:36 would be equal to a born again Christian soaring in the Spirit because God opened his mind to perceive a truth of the faith in Holy Scripture. That is being “filled with the Spirit” [“godliness” inspiring godly thoughts cf. End Note #1] Compare “Mystery of Godliness” versus “Mystery of Lawlessness”. Also

Recall the context. Even on the Day of Pentecost only the Twelve did the great signs and wonders (Acts 2:43), causing the rest of the 120 (Acts 1:21-22 who grew from the Seventy Christ sent out Lk. 10:1, 17) to marvel, be in godly fear (Acts 2:43). Only this historically unique group of believers received special grace to establish Christianity as the NT Scriptures were being written. The tongues, prophecies, knowledge 1 Cor. 13:8 THEY alone manifested (1 Cor. 12:28-30; Eph. 4:11-14) were ceasing and eventually did cease (cf. “was confirmed” Heb. 2:3) as they departed to be with the LORD.

As Paul insists Corinthian prophecy then practiced was NOT the inerrant word of God (1 Cor. 14:36) and could be “corrected” by other “prophets” (1 Cor. 14:29), it is the “HUMAN spirits of the prophets” that are “prophesying” what they believe God has revealed, enlightening their minds to perceive for the first time. History shows the Church gradually stopped calling such “on fire believers” “prophets”, reserving that for the “founding prophets” in the 1st century.

Just like today during Bible Study or fellowship, a born-again believer Filled with the Spirit can’t wait to share a revelation of the Holy Spirit he perceives for the first time in Holy Scripture. In the case of the ancient Corinthian, he now perceives a truth in the apostolic preaching not yet written down. Therefore, the Corinthian “prophet” is NOT prophesying in the classic sense—as Paul denied it is the “word of God.” As we all receive revelation (“guidance”) of the Holy Spirit in imperfect “earthen vessels” (2 Cor. 4:7) that continue to “see through the glass darkly” (1 Cor. 13:12), we often BOLLIX the revelation, get it wrong. Therefore, for the safety of the church, other “prophets” (1 Cor. 14:29) well founded in doctrinal truth would immediately correct any error. Once the error is corrected, Paul’s overriding concern everyone be edified is accomplished (1 Cor. 14:3-12).

If such “prophets” were prophesying “the very words of God” then any falsehood revealed them to be “false prophets” and Paul would have commanded expelling them from the church. As Paul did not, its clear everyone knew they were not actually prophesying in the classic sense.

Therefore, Prophecy in the classic foretelling and forthtelling the Word of God sense is not in view in 1 Corinthians c. 14 as Paul denied their prophecy, tongues or revelations were the infallible “word of God”:

36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?
37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.
38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. (1 Cor. 14:36-38 KJV)

The Apostles and Prophets (1 Cor. 12:28-30) who founded the Christian Church were a unique group who followed Christ from the time of His earthly ministry and saw His Resurrection (Acts 1:21-22), Paul being the only exception (1 Cor. 15:3-11). It does not appear any of those prophets were in Corinth when Paul wrote 1 Corinthians.

This special group of apostles and prophets who alone revealed the Word of God in the 1st century passed from history leaving us the completed Bible, which is sufficient for every “man of God” to know all that is necessary to the Faith. That is WHY God wrote it, so even a child can be made wise unto salvation by studying it, in Jesus Christ:

God wrote Holy Scripture (ἵνα) “in order that” children of God be completely furnished with all they need to know

15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That (ἵνα) the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Tim. 3:15-4:1 KJV)

2443 ἵνα hina
Meaning: 1) that, in order that, so that-Strong’s Concordance.

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#3.

16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. (Matt. 16:16-17 KJV)

Peter is the First born from above when he publicly confessed the divine revelation Jesus is the Christ, Son of the Living God (πρῶτος Σίμων ὁ λεγόμενος Πέτρος Matt. 10:2. See Aramaic petros פטרוס Jesus’ Janus Parallelism on PETROS in Matthew 16:18

As Jesus’ parallelism implies, Peter’s “blessedness” begins then, but must also include the Pentecost event. His being the “firstborn” of the faith (Mt. 10:2), proves all receive the Holy Spirit “when they believe” (Acts 19:2) because there is only One Faith One Baptism One Body. Perhaps for Peter, Pentecost was “a filling” (Acts 4:8), which is consistent with his similar power when preaching (Acts 2:14 ff.). However, the Janus parallelism places Peter’s “blessedness” both present and future, transcending time. Therefore, it would be “special pleading” we infer Pentecost Peter proves the doctrine of a “second blessing” of the Holy Spirit.

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#4
An argument from silence is unsound unless silence is impossible because of one obvious reason. For example, “not breathing” is impossible if a person is alive. Therefore, “not breathing” is proof a person is dead. Likewise, Scripture’s silence about “the physical experience of receiving the Holy Spirit” is impossible if receiving the Holy Spirit is a physical experience. Therefore, said silence is proof receiving the Holy Spirit is not a physical experience.
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End

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