What Is The Baptism Of The Holy Spirit?

The Testimonial Gift Of The Holy Spirit”

continuation …

Five Expressions For “The Baptism Of The Holy Spirit.” (continued).

1. Immersion (previous article) a

2. Immersion of Sound. a

3. A Falling Upon. a

            4. A Pouring Out Upon. a

          5. The Gift.


Receiving "The Gift Of".

Acquiring “The Gift.”

Jesus Is The Word of God.

The Holy Spirit Is ALSO Identified As “The Word Of God.”

The Testimonial Role Of The Holy Spirit.

Our Hearts Must Receive The Spirit.

The Parable Of The Sower.

The Galatians Knew Of Two Measures Of The Spirit.

All Acquired The Spirit By The Hearing Of Faith.

Teachers With Power Supply The Spirit.

        Further Study:

              Campbell's Gift As "Bounty"

             Jesus' Metaphorical Use Of The Spirit

              Logic And Metaphors

                     Note on Grace Gifts

Peter: Can any man forbid the water, that these should not be baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit as well as we?(Acts 10:47, ASV).

Receiving the Gift Of. Now, Peter is saying that the Gentiles who were baptized of the Holy Spirit werereceiving the Holy Spirit.” He calls this the gift of the Holy Spirit according to Acts 10:45 and 11:17. So at least in this context, the expression,of the Holy Spirit”, is grammatically a “genitive of identification”; that is, “the gift” and “the Holy Spirit” refer to the same entity.i

The only other time the Bible mentionsthe gift of the Holy Spiritis in Acts 2:38 where Peter answers the audience’s question “What shall we do?”

The offered gift: Ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit(Acts 2:38, ASV). This is future middle deponent that serves as a command.ii

Acquiring The Gift. However, the acquisition of the gift is not the same. In the only two mentioned baptisms of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit is “poured out” with no special effort by either the Jewish apostles or the Gentile group except for their assembling. On the other hand, the gift of Acts 2:38 is accessible for acquisition by all in the audience and as many as the Lord shall call” (Acts 2:38, 39). They were told to actively on their part to receive the gift.

What did they receive? According to Acts 2:41 they gladly received Peter’s word. Was it not the Word of God? This reminds us of the seed in the parable of the sower (Luke 8; Matthew 13).

Jesus is the Word of God (John 1:1, 14). Jesus is the Logos of God; i.e., “the discourse, the sayings, the teachings of God.”iii He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3, ESV2011). Jesus then is the totality of God’s teachings.

The Holy Spirit Is ALSO Identified As “The Word Of God” (KJV). But the Holy Spirit is referred to as the “Rhema of God(Ephesians 6:17).iv

Grammar Rule: A Relative Pronoun Must Agree In Number And Gender. A non-religious article (hence, unbiased from a religious viewpoint) on New Testament Greek nouns uses Ephesians 6:17 to illustrate ‘the necessity for determining Greek antecedents. And receive...the sword of the spirit which is the word [rhema] of God. The word "sword" in Greek is feminine gender and the word "Spirit" is neuter gender. So it is important in this sentence to find out what is the antecedent of the relative pronoun "which" (i.e. What is the "which" referring back to?) The word "which" in this sentence is neuter gender, therefore it is referring back to the word "spirit" and not "sword." Thus this sentence means: "And receive...the sword of the spirit which (spirit) is the word of God."’v I would add that the word “receive” in this verse is the same verb (middle voice) used in Acts 2:41.

Jesus used the word rhema to the devil, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word - rhema - that proceedeth out of the mouth of God(Matthew 4:4b). We are to live by every revealed word (2 Timothy 3:16,17). Rhema according to Thayer isthat which is or has been uttered by the living voice, thing spoken, word; subject matter of speech, thing spoken of.” Rhema is the lesser-known Greek word used in the Bible for word, and refers to the instant, personal speaking of God to us.

Jesus said that His words [rhema] were words of life given by the Holy Spirit. Jesus taught, It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words rhema that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life(John 6:63). As Peter answered Jesus, “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words rhema of eternal life” (John 6:68).   Rhema referred to the words in this discourse that Jesus has just spoken (John 3:34; 8:47; 17:8); they are “the words of God.” They are spirit and are life.” The breath of God and the life of God are in the words of Jesus. Never man spoke like Jesus (John 7:46).

Vine’s Expository Dictionary:The significance of rhema (as distinct from logos) is exemplified in the injunction to take ‘the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,’ Ephesians 6:17; here the reference is not to the whole Bible as such, but to the individual scripture which the Spirit brings to our remembrance for use in time of need, a prerequisite being the regular storing of the mind with Scripture.” If this be true then it behooves us to study zealously the Scriptures, i.e., “the logos of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15), so that we can be properly armed with the rhema of God.

Does the Holy Spirit not serve as aComforter” to the apostles? He served “in the place” for Jesus who went to Heaven without writing one Scripture and leaving nothing for the apostles except their memories (John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7). The apostles were dependent upon the Spirit’s reminding them what Jesus had said. The Spirit gave the apostles what they needed when the need called for it.

Testimonial Gift Of The Holy Spirit. English: “Testimonial”; etymonline.com: “pertaining to proof or demonstration of some fact, evidence, piece of evidence.” Merrriam-Webster: a divine decree attested in the Scriptures; compared with the tablets of testimony in the OT.”

The Holy Spirit’s role as outlined by Jesus is concerning the Word: (1) replacing Jesus’ physical presence; comforting the bereaved apostles (John 14:18; i.e., not leaving them as orphans without their master teacher), (2) calling to their minds what they had personally been taught by their Master teacher, Jesus (14:26), (3) testifying along with the apostles about the Lord Jesus (15:26,27), (4) convicting the world of sins, righteousness, and judgment through the apostles’ teaching (16:8&14), and (5) guiding the apostles into prophecy and all the truth, hence, the Spirit of Truth (16:13; 17:17). With the exception of a suggestion of accompanying power in Acts 1:8, Jesus never associates miracles as a purpose for the coming of the Holy Spirit.vi In fact, prior to the coming of the Holy Spirit (John 7:39), Jesus Himself gives His disciples ability to perform miracles such as “healings and casting out devils” (e.g., Luke 9:1; 10:9, 17). He promises them power signs if they believe; yet He does this without mentioning the Holy Spirit (Mark 16:14-20). In fact, the signs are for confirmation, not of the Spirit, but of the Word of God: “Confirming the word with signs following.”

Our Hearts Must Receive The Spirit’s Seed. Just like Jesus had predicted in the parable of the sower describing the Kingdom of God: Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God(Luke 8:11). But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit …(Matthew 13:23).

Jesus told Nicodemus, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God(John 3:5b,6). Paul in Titus 3vii explains, our new birth is of (1) water (“washing of regeneration”; i.e., water baptism)viii and (2) renovation by the Holy Spirit. The renovation is the “change into one’s new life(Romans 6:4; 7:6; Romans 12:2; Colossians 3:10) accomplished in us by the Holy Spirit.

The Parable Of The Sower. We are born of the Spirit by virtue of the Spirit planting the seed in us. Seeing ye have purified your souls in your obedience to the truth …, having been begotten (born) again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, through the word of God, which liveth and abideth(1 Peter 1:22,23). The seed of our spiritual birth is the Word of God.

The Galatians Knew Of Two Measures Of The Spirit. There are “measures” of the gift of the Holy Spirit. Jesus in the human body received the Holy Spirit without measure. “For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for he giveth not the Spirit by measure(John 3:34). “God gives him [Jesus] the Spirit fully(ERV version). Jesus had the prophetic measure of the Spirit along with powers over nature.

1. All Acquired The Spirit By The Hearing Of Faith. The Galatians had the Spirit of God. This only would I learn of you [plural], Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?(Galatians 3:2). A rhetorical question such as this is asked here by Paul and indicates that the audience KNEW the answer. They all had received the Holy Spirit. How? By the hearing of faith.

This only would I learn of you, Received (Tookix) ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?(Galatians 3:2).

Jesus promised the Holy Spirit to all believers (John 7:37-39). Jesus said, "If any man thirst, let him come to me and drink." Notice, any man! Then he said from within the believer would flow rivers of living water, and explained, "this he said of the Spirit, which they that believed on him were to receive" after he was glorified.

2. Their Suppliers Of The Spirit Had Power. There are records of some disciples of Jesus having the Holy Spirit’s falling upon them so that they could teach with power. Although this is not done by direct baptism of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit fell upon (them) by the laying on of the hands of the baptized apostles (Acts 8:15-18; 19:2-6). “Now when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money(Acts 8:15-18, ASV). This continued the effect of the Spirit through the apostles. “And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied” (Acts 19:2-6, ASV).

The Teachers Would Be God’s Suppliers. He therefore that supplieth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” (Galatians 3:5, ASV). The Galatians received the Spirit by their hearing the Word of God. Therefore, the Spirit was supplied through teaching. Then their “suppliers” would be God’s inspired ministers who enjoyed the Spirit’s measure of miraculous powers to minister to them the Spirit by the Word. “He who gives you the Spirit, and does works of power among you, is it by the works of law, or by the hearing of faith?(Galatians 3:5, BBE). “Ministereth” (KJV).

Summary of Galatians.

1. The churches of Galatia had the Spirit (Galatians 1:2).

2. They had actively taken the Holy Spirit. The Spirit had been offered and had been taken.

3. How? The Spirit was received through the hearing the Word of God by faith. As Paul explainedin Romans 10:17, “(The) Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.”

4. The Spirit is not given separate and apart from the initiative by man.

5. Those on the day of Pentecost would have received the Holy Spirit when they heard by faith.x They “gladly received the message” of the Holy Spirit administered by Peter, etc.

6. If we are to receive the Holy Spirit of Acts 2:38, we must hear the Word of God also by faith.

Can we receive the Spirit by the hearing of Faith today without someone performing signs of confirmation?   Is not the New Testament a document that’s been confirmed and verified? Must we have another round of miracles before we can believe and receive the Spirit?

“The gift of the Holy Spirit” then is a synonym for The Spirit baptism but it also is applicable to what the Spirit offers through those Spirit-baptized (inspired) apostles (Acts 5:32), which is the Word. The Word was received by the believers in Jerusalem (Acts 2:41). This confirms my position that the gift of Acts 2:38 is all that the apostles are verbally offering the hearers. This would that the people “gladly received” the gift of the Holy Spirit, identified as the teachings of Peter in 2:41 and the heavenly giftof Hebrews 6:4, 5. “For as touching those who were once enlightened and tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the age to come, and then fell away, it is impossible to renew them again unto repentance” (Hebrew 6:4-6a).

This gift flows from the apostles to the heart that receives it (Titus 3:5). “According to his mercy he saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, which he poured out upon us richly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour” (Titus 3:5b,6, ASV).


Greek scholars, A.T. Robertson of Word Pictures and Alexander Campbell of Living Oracles, say that Acts 2:38 “the gift of the Holy Spirit” is genitive of identification.x That means, they find evidence in the text for the gift and the Holy Spirit being the same.

1. Gift is Bounty? However, Campbell interprets this use of the word “gift” [Greek dorea] as meaning God’s bounty. He produces passages where dorea is used.

But when the gift of the Holy Spirit is spoken of, or, indeed, alluded to, no other word than DOREA is used by any writer who speaks of it. That the English reader, curious to understand this matter, may be furnished with all the means in his power to understand for himself, we shall now give him, in order, all the passages where these words occur in the original:

Let him consult John 4:10; Acts 2:38; 8:20; 10:45; 11:17; Romans 5:15,17; 2 Corinthians 4:15; Ephesians 3:7; 4:7; Hebrews 6:4. From a careful inspection of these passages, he will discover, that this term expresses and denotes the largest, freest, and best bounty of God. To express the bounty of God in its most extensive display over all [110] creation, in the apocryphal book of wisdom (chapter 16:25) this word is found--he pantatrophos sou dorea--"thy all-nourishing bounty." That is, the Greek word “dorea” (gift) is translated into English as “bounty.”
For creation, serving thee who hast made it, exerts itself to punish the unrighteous, and in kindness relaxes on behalf of those who trust in thee. Therefore at that time also, changed into all forms, it served thy all -nourishing bounty, according to the desire of those who had need(Wisdom of Solomon, 16:24,25).
Campbell’s point is not whether this book is inspired or not, but rather the choice of this word by the scholars who translated this Greek word into English. Note: according to my concordance the LXX translates this Greek word dorea many times as “without charge”; e.g., Exodus 21:11.

Campbell continues by comparing Acts 2:38’s “gift” (dorea) to John 4:10’s “gift of God”: ‘Jesus uses it to the woman of Samaria to exalt her conceptions of God's bounty. "If," says he, "you knew the bounty of God"-- “the gift of God."’

Does Campbell contradict himself? I would say, no. Why? He is accepting that the “gift” is identical to the Spirit but that the word “Spirit” is the word that’s used figuratively. Let’s look at Campbell’s other point from the teachings of Jesus about the Holy Spirit.

2. Jesus equates the “Holy Spirit” to “good things from the Father in Heaven.”

In another place in the Harbinger, Campbell explained that the word “Spirit” is used metaphorically. His example is Jesus saying according to Luke, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?(Luke 11:13) whereas Matthew says He says in a similar context,If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matthew 7:11). Identical subject but either a different answer or an equivalent one.

Apparently, these sayings were given at different times. However, the two are complementary and explain one another. Someone has rightly declared that we should let the Scriptures explain itself. In both cases the request is for the Father to grant good gifts. The second quote says the Father gives good things to the ones asking for good gifts. The first quote says that the Father gives the Holy Spirit. It would appear that if we ask for good things, God gives His Holy Spirit, and I would deduce vice versa.xi


There are those that deny that the Spirit is ever used metaphorically. There is a logic basis from the Greek philosophers teaching that an expression must be accepted literally unless it is impossible to do so. Of course, an apparent fallacy in this assertion is that when one deals with the omniscient God and Spirit, there is nothing impossible with God (Matthew 19:26). Anything to do with God would have to always be literal. However, the Scriptures are known for their profuse use of metaphors. Why would communication about the Spirit then not also use metaphors?

Consider this quote of the Greek philosopher.  “Aristotle sees metaphora as a mechanism of language applied in everyday usage. He argues with contemporaries (such as Isocrates who had excluded metaphor from non-poetic discourse, and also the author of the Rhetoric to Alexander), claiming that everyone speaks using metaphors and that metaphor is suitable for prose (Rh. 1404b3436). Contemporary rhetoricians and various later theorists understood metaphoras having a decorative function (ksmos, ornatus, cf. Rhet. Her. 4, 34), whereas Aristotle provided for the move from the field of the decorative to that of the cognitive and the semiotic (Schmitt 2008:639f.; Rapp 2002:886f; 926). xii

* I refer the reader to the chapter on dorean (gift) in my book “In Search For The Gift Of The Holy Spirit.”   Available in Amazon and book stores.

“Spiritual Gifts” of Romans 12:6 and 1 Corinthians 12:28, etc.

Note for Grace "gifts". When "spiritual gifts" are spoken of in the NT original, no other word is used but charisma, a word from charis --that is, where we have the phrase "spiritual gifts" in the KJV, we have charisma expressed or implied in the Greek. In my opinion, the “spiritual gifts” could be better translated as “grace” where we would reduce confusion for the many uses of the English word gift. It would also help to remove the erroneous teaching that grace equals “unmerited” since God does discriminate who is rewarded the “helps” of His grace (Romans 12:6f; 1 Corinthians 12:28).


Throw Out The Lifeline

i Alexander Campbell, translator of the Living Oracles version of the NT (1826), says in the original language “the gift of the Holy Spirit” whether it be the baptism or otherwise, is the Spirit Himself. Both Campbell and A.T. Robertson of Word Pictures agree that the gift of the Holy Spirit” is grammatically the “genitive case of identification.” That is, like “the city of Lakeland”, the gift is the Spirit. Campbell proves his position by showing that Peter’s preceding parallel expression “the promise of the Holy Spirit” (2:33) has to be identification. Therefore, the promise is not a possession of or from the Spirit but is the Spirit Himself.

ii Greek future deponent middle indicative.” The future indicative is sometimes used to express a command (COHORTATIVE INDICATIVE). This is a common Hebrew usage (compare Deuteronomy 6:5-9). “and thou shalt love Jehovah thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/egreek/egreek08.htm

iiiFrom Thayer.

iv http://www.ntgreek.org/learn_nt_greek/nouns1.htm

v“Power” is defined as ability. The Spirit was to furnish the apostles the ability to proclaim the gospel. Miracles enhanced their ability to teaching and confirmed their message as promised by Jesus in Mark 16:15-20.

vi In the section on the “A Pouring Out Upon16:4B, 3. Renewing of the Holy Spirit.

vii See previous lessons Holy Spirit #4-#6 on "lavers" and "water baptisms."

viiiTook” (Received). ελαβετεG2983 Verb- 2nd Aorist Active Indicative Plural. This is not passive but was actively obtained like the Pentecost Christians, Acts 2:41.

ix ἐκ G1537 Thayer Definition: 1) out of, from, by, away from.

x Robertson’s Word Pictures commentary;

Alexander Campbell. Extracts from "Reply" to Inquirer's "The Gift of the Holy Spirit." The Millennial Harbinger 5 (May 1834): 170-172.

xi T. H. Horne has shown that “Holy Spirit” in Luke 11:13 is an example of metonymythe cause being put for the effect, i.e., the Spirit named in place of the blessings He bestows (Critical Introduction, Vol. I, p. 359). https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/919-luke-11-13-asking-for-the-holy-spirit.

The scholar Alexander Campbell said that this was a metaphor as well.

xiihttp://www.academia.edu/5605847/Ancient_theories_of_metaphor_in_Encyclopedia_of_Ancient_Greek_Language_an d_Linguistics_Brill_2014