In Chapter 3, we are currently noting:
G. The Baptism of the Son of Man, Luke 3:1-22.
4. John preaches the Gospel and coming of Jesus’ ministry, vs. 15-18.
Vs. 15, “Now while the people were in a state of expectation and all were wondering in their hearts about John, as to whether he was the Christ.”
Here, we see that John through his preaching created a sense of expectations in the heart of the people for the coming of the Christ. Our ministry should do the same!
“In a state of expectation,” is the Present Active, Participle in the Genitive Masculine of PROSDOKAO προσδοκάω that means, “wait for, look for, anticipate, expect.” In the Greek it meant, “waiting for something in suspense.” In our verse, it means they had hope in the sense of confident expectation that “the Christ,” HO CHRISTOS, was coming and they were eagerly waiting for Him. Just as John’s listeners had a heightened sense of expectation waiting for the 1st Advent of the Christ: Savior, Messiah, King, so too should we be expectantly looking for His return, Mat 24:50; Luke 12:46; 2 Peter 3:10-14; cf. 1 Cor 1:7; Phil 3:20.
“All were wondering in their hearts,” is similar to Mary’s pondering in Luke 1:29, the people were, “considering, pondering, and deliberating,” DIALOGIZOMAI, “in their hearts,” KARDIA – right lobe of the soul, if John was “the Christ,” CHRISTOS – the anointed One.
John’s reply in vs. 16-17, is noted in all the gospels; Mat 3:11-12 that is almost verbatim to Luke; Mark 1:7-8, that is more abbreviated; and John 1:19-27, 33 that expands on the overall scene.
Vs. 16, “John answered and said to them all, ‘As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire’.”
Here we see that John’s humble response teaches of Christ’s ministry towards the Church and all peoples.
John’s “answer” APOKRINO, was No!, I am not, using certain terms regarding his ministry compared to Jesus’ ministry, (i.e., I baptize you with water, He with the Holy Spirit and judgment). John also states Jesus’ authority over John by saying, “One is coming who is ‘mightier’ than I,” using the Adjective ISCHUROS ἰσχυρός that means, “strong, powerful, mighty, able, forcible, or vehement.” It come from the Noun ISCHUS, “strength, power, forcefulness,” that tells us that Jesus as God is endowed with or possesses power which He applies towards mankind in all that He does. He has all the power necessary and all the ability to do what His Sovereignty is able to do, especially judge mankind.
“I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals,” is an idiom similar to our saying, “I don’t hold a candle compared to Him.” “Fit,” is the Adjective HIKANOS ἱκανός that means, “sufficient, adequate, considerable, fit, competent, able, worthy, etc.” It was a statement of humility and unworthiness in the presence of absolute holiness, power, and authority.
Then John identifies Jesus’ greater ministry, power, and judgment, “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit (HAGIOS PNEUMA) and fire (PUR).”
Both of these baptisms are one of seven mentioned in the NT, as noted above under vs. 3, and are two of the four “Real Baptisms,” along the Baptism of Moses and the Baptism of the Cross. “Real Baptism” means there is an actual identification with something that has significance. The other three baptisms, (by John, Jesus’ own baptism, and with Water), are called Ritual Baptisms, and none of these are extant at the present time. They are representative identifications in which water is used as a training aid to represent some principle of doctrine. Water represents something else in a ritual baptism, and the person going into the water must have knowledge of the meaning of the water and ritual. Therefore, John’s Baptism with water had the water representing the Kingdom of God / the Kingdom of Heaven. But the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit” and “with Fire” are actual identifications with something, as we will see. No representative is used.
It is worthy to note that the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit” although given credit to the Holy Spirit elsewhere in the NT, is said by Luke via John the Baptist, to be a baptism that Jesus would perform as the agent of the baptism, the Greek language also identifies this, as we will note next. So, the Baptism with the Holy Spirit is a work that Jesus performs, as is the Baptism with Fire, which we will note below.
In our passage, the Greek word for “with,” is the Dative Preposition of EN. In this verse, and 1 Cor 12:13 that also speaks of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, EN is a Dative of Means. In other words, the Holy Spirit is the instrument or means by which the agent, (Jesus Christ), uses to baptize. See Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, pg. 374. As such, “with” is a good translation. In addition, the prophecy that John makes in this verse, is fulfilled in the Church Age, as noted 1 Cor 12:13.
1 Cor 12:13, “For by (means of) one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.” Jesus Christ is the unnamed agent in this verse. Therefore, in this baptism we see the unity of the Trinity to perform the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Doctrine of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is noted in 1 Cor 12:13; Gal 3:26-28. This occurs at salvation for Church Age believers only. This baptism is God the Holy Spirit identifying us with the Lord Jesus Christ forever. It is the
means of forming the Royal Family and breaking the back of the Old Sin Nature as the ruler of human life. We are positionally changed. No water is involved in this Real Baptism. We are identified with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection, Eph 4:5; Acts 1:5. It is the process in which God the Holy Spirit enters us into union with Jesus Christ at the right hand of the Father, making us positionally higher than angels.
This is one of seven ministries of God the Holy Spirit:
- Efficacious grace is the enabling power of the Holy Spirit to make faith in Jesus Christ effective for eternal salvation. When positive volition is exercised toward gospel information resulting in faith in Christ, the Holy Spirit picks up that weak faith from the spiritually dead unbeliever and makes that faith effectual, carrying the believer to the point of salvation.
- Regeneration is where the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit creates a human spirit for the imputation of eternal life to that human spirit. This is being spiritually born again. The new believer then becomes trichotomous, having a body, soul, and spirit.
- In the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit creates a temple in the believer’s body for the indwelling of Christ as the shekinah glory, 1 Cor 3:16; 6:19‑20; 2 Cor 6:16.
- In the sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit, God the Holy Spirit makes us joint‑heirs with Christ and guarantees through His own signature the preservation of our redemption and eternal life, Eph 1:13‑14, 4:30. It guarantees our eternity, and therefore provides us eternal security.
- In the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit enters the believer into union with Christ, making the Church Age believer a part of the Royal Family of God forever.
- The sovereign distribution of spiritual gifts to every believer at salvation is a ministry of the Holy Spirit, which is for the function of royalty, 1 Cor 12:11.
- The Filling of the Spirit is the initial entrance into the God’s Power System at the point of salvation where the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit can be utilized in the execution of the protocol plan of God, Eph 5:18.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the means of forming the Royal Family of God during the Church Age. It is a function of the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit at salvation. By being entered into union with Christ, we are adopted as Royal Family of God. This union with Christ is called Positional Sanctification or the sanctification of the body, Eph 5:25-27.
Eph 5:25-27, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.”
This is the one and only baptism that unifies the Royal Family of God, Rom 6:3-5; Eph 4:5.
Eph 4:5, “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.”
Rom 6:3, “Do you not know that all of us have been baptized into Jesus Christ? 4Therefore, we have been buried with him through baptism into his death, in order that as Christ was raised again from the dead to the glory of the father, we also might walk in newness of life. 5For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death (and we have), and not only this (retroactive positional truth), we shall also be united in the likeness of his resurrection.”
The “newness of life” refers to our being a made new spiritual species, 2 Cor 5:7; Gal 6:15, and Royal Family of God. So, Rom 6:3-5, teaches identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection.
The many references to Positional Sanctification or the Baptism of the Holy Spirit are often found in the prepositional phrase EN + the locative of CHRISTOS, translated “in Christ.” Almost everywhere this phrase is found, it is a technical reference to the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and resultant positional truth, cf. Rom 8:1; 1 Cor 15:22.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is related to the Church Age only. This ministry of the Holy Spirit is not found in the OT, and there are no eschatological references to it beyond the Church Age. In fact, John the Baptist made the first prophecy regarding it and our Lord followed it up upon His ascension in Acts 1:5.
Acts 1:5, “For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
The mechanics of the baptism of the Holy Spirit are found in Gal 3:26-28, “For all of you are the sons of God (Royal Family) through faith in Christ Jesus. 27For all of you were baptized into Christ, and have clothed yourselves (put on) with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Being in union with Christ, all human distinctions are removed by the formation of the Royal Family of God. Neither race nor status in life is an issue. No racial, social, or economic distinctions are made.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is not an experience, 1 Cor 12:13. It is not the function of any spiritual gift, as alleged by the “holy roller” heresy, which equates the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with speaking in tongues. No one has legitimately spoken in tongues since 70-90 A.D. Therefore, because of the universality of the baptism of the Holy Spirit provided for all Church Age believers, it is not in any sense experiential. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is an act of the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit. Any time God uses His Divine power, whether it is the omnipotence of God the Father, Son, or Holy Spirit, it excludes any form of experiential cooperation. That is grace! In addition, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit occurred first in Jerusalem and included the gift of tongues to warn the Jews of the coming of the 5th Cycle of Discipline, as John also warns about in our passage, Luke 3:16-17. As such, it was not a function or cause of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, but a separate unique ministry of the Holy Spirit; His gift giving and convicting ministries.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit could not occur until there was the strategic victory of Jesus Christ in the Angelic Conflict. The Levitical priesthood was inadequate for the Church Age. In addition, Christ as battlefield royalty had no Royal Family. Therefore, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the mechanics for providing Christ with a Royal Family to go along with our Lord’s third royal title, “King of kings, and Lord of lords.” And, since every believer in the Church Age is now a target of Satan, there was a necessity for a universal Royal Priesthood, 1 Peter 2:5; 9. Therefore, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is unique to this dispensation.
Our union with Jesus Christ is a permanent identification which distinguishes Christianity from religion. In religion, man by man’s efforts seeks to gain the approbation of God, a satanic function. In Christianity, the believer through union with Jesus Christ has a permanent relationship with God. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit forms the body of Christ; Christ being the head. As such, all Church Age believers are formed into one body and one Royal Family, Eph 2:16, 4:4‑5, 5:30‑32; Col 1:24; 2:19. The Holy Spirit is the agent in the formation of the body of Christ, the church universal, the Royal Family of God. This is the Doctrine of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
God the Father appointed Jesus Christ as the head of the body as a part of His third royal title. Synonyms for the Royal Family of God are:
- The Royal Family in union with Christ is called, “the body.”
- The Royal Family on earth is called, “the Church.”
- The Royal Family in eternity is called, “the bride of Christ.”
The entire world is not the family of God. Only those who believe in Christ become the children of God, at which point the Baptism of the Holy Spirit makes us in the Church Age Royal Family of God.
Equal privilege for all Church Age believers is based on the doctrine of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, a doctrine which involves the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit. Through the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, equal privilege in the Royal Family of God is related to two doctrinal facts:
- The omnipotence of the Holy Spirit creates a Royal Family of God, the body of Christ, as an organism, not as an institution.
- Simultaneously, from the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit creates a new spiritual species for spiritual living (not for psychological living) in the devil’s world. Every Church Age believer is a part of this unique spiritual species. Furthermore, the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit also provides equal opportunity for the fulfillment of the protocol plan of God through residence inside God’s Power System, (GPS).
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the most important thing that happens to us at salvation. It forms the church universal, the body, the Royal Family of God, the new spiritual species, etc. This distinguishes us from every other dispensation, and makes it possible for us to have equal privilege and equal opportunity under the Plan of God.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit demands that the believer think of himself as a person, totally apart from any form of superiority or inferiority. You are not to think of yourself as superior or inferior, or with any form of human prejudice or hypocrisy. Spiritual living must replace psychological living, see Gal 3:26‑29, once again.
Gal 3:26-29, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.”
Summary; the Characteristics of the Baptism of the Spirit:
- It is not an experience. It is not an emotional activity or ecstatics. Therefore, it is not speaking in tongues.
- It is not related to human feeling(s).
- It is not progressive. Therefore, it cannot be improved in either time or eternity. Our union with Christ is perfect from salvation.
- It is not related to any human merit or ability. There is nothing you can do to have the Baptism of the Spirit.
- It is obtained in total at the moment of salvation. It is not a post-salvation experience. It is not the “second blessing,” so called by holy rollers. Union with Christ is a completed ministry by the Holy Spirit. Hence, it cannot be reversed by any human failure.
- It is eternal and unchangeable in nature. It cannot be canceled or changed by God or man. It is a part of your eternal security. No renunciation; no sin, human good, or evil; no moral or immoral degeneracy can cancel this ministry of the Holy Spirit.
- It is known and understood only through perception of the mystery doctrine of the Church Age. Therefore, it cannot be applied in a state of ignorance. It is invisible, not subject to empiricism; it is subject to cognition of Bible doctrine only.
- The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is one of the POLITEUMA privileges, i.e., one of the ten unique features of the Church Age, making the Church Age believer unique because it is the basis for making us Royal Family of God.
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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:
#19-045 & 19-046 & 19-047
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A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us.
Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life.
So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:
“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ,
died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”
If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!