Where Do I Find the Baptism in the Holy Spirit in Scripture?

                            [EMPH., PUNCT., AND BRACKETS ADDED]

JUST AS the coming of Jesus was foretold by the Old Testament prophets hundreds of years before His birth, so was the baptism in the Holy Spirit prophesied long before Pentecost.

In lsaiah 28:11, we hear the prophet saying, “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.” Centuries later, as Paul writes under the anointing of the Holy Spirit to the Corinthians, he applies this Scripture to speaking in tongues (1st Cor. 14:21-22).

Again, the prophet Isaiah anticipates the coming Pentecostal age with its baptism in the Holy Spirit when he prophesies:

For I will pour water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit upon your descendants and my blessing on your offspring” (Isaiah 44:3).


AND IT shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even upon the menservants and maidservants in those days, I will pour out my spirit” (Joel 2:28-29).

You will recall how, on the day of Pentecost, Peter stands to his feet and addresses the multitudes, claiming the phenomenon they have beheld (the disciples praising God in other tongues) is the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy (Acts 2:14-18).

Now, these were all Old Testament prophecies which were spoken hundreds of years before Jesus’ ministry on earth, or the coming of Pentecost. But with the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry, we find additional prophecies of the promised baptism in the Holy Spirit. They begin with John the Baptist:

John answered them all, “I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire” (Luke 3:16 [KJV]).

I myself did not know him; but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, “He on whom you see the Spirit descend and, remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit” (John 1:33).

Then there are the words of Jesus Himself:

IF ANYONE thirst, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.’”

Now, this he said about the Spirit, which those who believed in him were to receive; for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified (John 7:37-39).

What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?” (Luke 11:11-13).

As Jesus’ earthly ministry drew to a close and he met with the disciples for the last time in the upper room, his instructions to them were liberally laced with promises of the coming of the Holy Spirit: “And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you” (John 14:16-17).

These things I have spoken to you, while I am still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (John 14:25-26).

But when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me” (John 15:26).

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convince the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment” (John 16:7-8).

I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things which are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you” (John 16:12-14).

Then after Jesus’ death and resurrection and before his ascension, he gives his disciples repeated assurances of the coming of the Holy Spirit with power, even as He had promised: “And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city, until you are clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49).

And while staying with them, he charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which he said, “you heard from me, for John baptized with water, but before many days you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit. So when they had come together, they asked him, Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel? He said to them, It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:4-8).

And these signs will accompany those who believe; in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues...they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover” (Mark 16:17).

It is significant to note that the very last statements Jesus made to his disciples before his ascension to the Father were about the power they were to receive from the baptism in the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8) and the miraculous signs that were to follow their ministry (Mark 16:17).

In obedience to their Lord’s command the disciples turned to Jerusalem, took up their vigil in the upper Room and waited and prayed expectantly, until the day of Pentecost. Then it happened. When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:1-4).

Jesus had kept his word and had sent them the promise of the Father, and the disciples received the baptism in the Holy Spirit with joy.

At this point in history, the baptism in the Holy Spirit was made available to every believer. “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). The age of the Holy Spirit had begun! We assume God made no mistakes and that He hasn’t changed His mind about what He did. He did it right when He did it the first time. The disciples received the Holy Spirit and the evidence that they received was that they spoke in other tongues. Pentecost gives us a historic pattern to go by. We know we have received the baptism in the Holy Spirit when our experience matches that of the 120 at Pentecost.

All the Scriptures quoted thus far pointed toward the event in Acts 2:4. But there are also Scriptures which record the baptism in the Holy Spirit AFTER Pentecost.

Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit; for it had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit” (Acts 8:14-17).

So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came, has sent me that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 9:17).

While Peter was still saying this the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. And the believers from among the circumcised who came (to the house of Cornelius) with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and extolling God” (Acts 10:44-46).

While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the upper country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. And he said to them “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John’s baptism.” And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them; and they spoke with tongues and prophesied” (Acts 19:1-6). In addition to the Scriptures quoted here, chapters 12-14 of Paul’s First Corinthian Letter deals at length with the nine spiritual gifts which become available to the Christian, once he is baptized in the Holy Spirit.

                                         FROM DON BASHAM’S BOOK,

                         “A HANDBOOK ON HOLY SPIRIT BAPTISM”:

   Are the Tongues Spoken Today Ever Known Languages like They       Were at Pentecost? 

                                                    [EMPH., PUNCT., AND BRACKETS ADDED]

AN INDIAN STUDENT in Washington D.C. shared with me this interesting story. A minister who opposed the work of Pentecostal missionaries in India wrote a pamphlet denouncing the experience of speaking in tongues, and in it quoted a single phrase he had heard as “meaningless gibberish.” Disciples of the writer took copies of the pamphlet to distribute them in various villages where the Pentecostal missionaries were at work. Standing in the center of a particular village, one pamphleteer began denouncing the Pentecostal experience. He read aloud the example of “gibberish” included in the pamphlet only to have a native push his way excitedly through the crowd and ask him to repeat the phrase. Examination proved the “gibberish” was actually a quote from Scripture, spoken in the peculiar dialect of this native who lived many miles away. The phrase being shouted in derision was “You have been purchased,” A REFERENCE TO 1ST COR. 6:20.

While still in seminary, I heard the story of an American minister praying in tongues, which visiting worshippers recognized as their own language: Chinese. But while the minister was using Chinese syllables, he was stringing them together in ways of unique beauty and originality, forming complex sentences of praise to God which the Chinese Christians themselves had never thought of using.

Episcopalian minister Dennis Bennett has a man in his church in Seattle, Washington, whose prayer language has been identified as Mandarin Chinese, described, in his parish newsletter of April 12, 1967, as a most striking example of tongues proving to be a known language. He writes:

A pastor in Oregon tells me of a young Japanese woman married to a young American in his congregation. The Japanese girl had never accepted Christ, but came to the altar of the church with her husband, he to worship God, she to pray to Buddha! Just recently, my friend tells me, as the couple knelt at the altar in his church, a woman next to them began to speak in tongues. The Japanese girl clutched her husband’s arm: “Listen,” she said. The woman next to them was speaking Japanese, and through her God said: “You have tried Buddha and he has not helped you; why don’t you try Jesus Christ?” God addressed this Japanese girl by her full name, known to no one in this country, and certainly not to the woman speaking, who had no idea how she was being used. Not only that, but the Japanese girl told my pastor friend: “She was speaking high Japanese, the very formal language which we only use in our temples, and places like that.”

Many, many other illustrations of a like nature could be included here, but these should be sufficient for us to see that yes, speaking in tongues today can be in a known language. But again, let us stress that this fact in no way verifies the authenticity of speaking in tongues. It is still a MIRACULOUS GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, even in the majority of cases where no one is present who can identify the language.

We would like to hear from you!