Wednesday, July 11, 2012
“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:” (Matthew 3:11 KJV).
Today’s Scripture demonstrates that, contrary to church tradition, “baptism” in the Bible does not always mean water baptism. We want to examine the three “baptisms” found in today’s Scripture. By searching God’s Word, we will discover precious truths that traditional Bible teaching overlooks.
BAPTISM #2: “He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.”
In the context of today’s Scripture, God the Father has sent John the Baptist to water baptize repentant Jews in the river Jordan (verses 1-6). When John sees many Pharisees and Sadducees (Israel’s religious leaders) coming to his baptism, he explains to them that he is baptizing with water, but Israel’s Messiah (Jesus) will later “baptize [Israel] with the Holy Ghost” (today’s Scripture; cf. Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33,34).
Like John’s water baptism, this “Holy Ghost baptism” was prophesied in the Old Testament. The LORD had told Israel through the prophet Joel (2:28,29): “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.”
In Acts 1:5 Jesus reminded His Jewish disciples, “…Ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” John the Baptist, Joel, and Jesus Christ are certainly speaking of the day of Pentecost (Acts chapter 2). In fact, the Apostle Peter tells Israel on the day of Pentecost that God pouring out His Holy Spirit on them and their speaking in tongues are the fulfillment of what Joel had spoken 800 years earlier (Acts 2:16-18 cf. Joel 2:28,29).
Why is God pouring out His Holy Spirit on Israel? He is preparing them for their kingdom, when His Holy Spirit will empower them to do His will in the earth (Luke 24:47-49)!