This is probably one of the most misunderstood
subjects in the Bible. Many people today think they have or can receive the
baptism of the Holy Spirit. This is a false assumption. Let us see what Holy
Spirit is, and who received it.
1. Holy Spirit baptism was to and for the Apostles, and to them only. In John 14: 16-17 Jesus speaking to His Apostles said: "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive,because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." This passage has been mis-used in an effort to prove that the unsaved world cannot receive the Holy Spirit. Now, I am well aware of the fact that the unsaved world does not receive the Spirit in any sense, and there are many other passages to prove that they do not, but this is not one of them. When the Lord made this promise to the Apostles He was promising them something that no one else, then or since would ever receive. "Whom the world cannot receive" meant mankind in general. The Apostles, and the Apostles ONLY received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It was never promised to anyone else, ot her than the Apostles--They, and they alone were the recipients of Holy Spirit Baptism. Later on (after they had received it) others received certain miraculous measures of the Spirit through the laying on of the Apostles hands, to be sure, but these measures were limited in both time and power. Now, someone is sure to say, "But what about Cornelius?" Be patient for a little while, and I will deal with that question later.
2. The baptism of the Holy Spirit was for the purpose of teaching the Apostles ALL things, and reminding them of ALL things the Lord had taught them. (John 14: 26)
3. He would reveal things the Lord had not taught them. "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of (from) himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come." (John 16: 13) "He will show you things to come" is REVELATION. In other words, the Holy Spirit would reveal things that the Lord had not taught them during His personal ministry, and thus guide them into ALL truth. This accounts for Paul's statements in 1 Cor. 7 "But this I speak by permission, and not of commandment"(Verse 6) "But to the rest speak I, not the Lord" (Verse 12) and "Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment" (Verse 25) I have heard it said that Paul, in these statements, was simply giving his opinion, and some of these so called "modern versions" have it that way . But can you imagine for one moment that an inspired Apostle right in the middle of giving inspired instructions would stop and say, "now I am going to give you my opinion about this question"? Doesn't make any sense to me. No, Paul was not giving his opinion. He was giving inspired judgment and his statement, "But to the rest speak I, not the Lord" simply bears out the fact that the Lord had not taught on this subject in person; and why shouldn't it since the Lord Himself had said that He had many other things to teach which the Apostles were not ready for, but which the "Spirit of truth" would reveal to them "when he is come"? And Paul said he had the "Spirit of God". (1Cor. 7:40) There are no opinions of men in the New Testament. It is all revelation and inspiration.
4. Then the Holy Spirit would guide them into "ALL TRUTH". There isn't any more Truth than "All Truth". The Holy Spirit guided these inspired men into all truth, and they wrote it down for us in the New Testament, and wrote it in a way that we can understand it. Paul wrote the Ephesians saying, "If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to youward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;" (Eph. 3: 1-4)
Go to lesson four Inspired Witnesses