Step 10 Baptism with the Holy Spirit

Instruction about

Baptism with the Holy Spirit


The Third of Six

“Elementary Teachings about Christ”

from Hebrews 6:1,2


We are studying Hebrews 6:1-2:

Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings  

about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again  

     the foundation  

          of repentance from acts that lead to death, and  

          of faith in God,

       instruction about


          the laying on of hands,

          the resurrection of the dead, and

          eternal judgment.

Topic Headings:

The History of Baptism with the Holy Spirit

  • Definition of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit
  • How the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is Received
  • The Effect of the Holy Spirit on a Person’s Life
  • The Role of the Laying on of Hands
  • What should you do?
  • What Great Adam Had and Lost (A Hymn)


The History of Baptism with the Holy Spirit

From the Creation until Jesus came, God put His Spirit in an extraordinary way on only a few of His people.

In 1460 B.C. the prophet Moses wished that God would put His Spirit on ALL of His people:

 (But Moses replied), “I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put His Spirit on them!” (Numbers 11:29)

Then, in about 700 B.C. God promised to put His Spirit on all of His people, just as Moses had wished.  He gave this promise through the prophet Joel:

 “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.  Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. (Joel 2:28,29)

In 29 or 30 A.D. John the Baptist was telling people that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit:

“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come One who is more powerful than I, Whose sandals I am not fit to carry.  He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” (Matthew 3:11) 

Several times Jesus Himself foretold that the Holy Spirit would be lavishly poured out on God’s people:

  • John 7:37-39 (at the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem)
  • John 14:15-17; 14:25-26; 16:7-15 (the night before He died for us)
  • Luke 24:49 (the night that He rose from the dead)
  • Acts 1:4-5 (during another one of His appearances after His resurrection)
  • Acts 1:8 (the day that He ascended into heaven)

Jesus began to pour out the Spirit on His people on Pentecost (a Jewish festival) on May 24, 30 A.D. in Jerusalem.

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.  Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.  They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. (Acts 2:1-4)

A crowd gathered.  Peter explained that this event was the beginning of the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy.  He told them that they had crucified the Anointed One.  They asked what they should do.

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy SpiritThe promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”  (Acts 2:38,39)

Definition of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit (in the verse above called the Gift of the Holy Spirit) is the lavish outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon each Christian which enables him or her to powerfully bear witness to Jesus.

Our Lord Jesus Himself said, “You shall receive power when the Holy Ghost has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses  to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”  (Acts 1:8.  See also Luke 24:49; John 7:37,38)

How the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is Received

Christians receive the Gift of the Holy Spirit in the same way that we receive many other blessings – through faith in God’s promises in Christ.

Where is this written?  Paul writes to the Galatians: 

“Did you receive the Spirit by works of law, or by the hearing of faith? . . . He Who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of law or by the hearing of faith? . . . we . . . receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” (Galatians 3:2,5,14)

The Effect of the Holy Spirit on a Person’s Life

The Holy Spirit produces fruit in a Christian’s life.

But the fruit of the Spirit is

  • love,
  • joy,
  • peace,
  • patience,
  • kindness,
  • goodness,
  • faithfulness,
  • gentleness and
  • self-control.

Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)  

The Holy Spirit gives gifts to each Christian:

Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is – prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is

  • encouraging, let him encourage; if it is
  • contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is
  • leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is
  • showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

(Romans 12:4-8) 

The Role of the Laying on of Hands

The Holy Spirit can be received at the laying on of hands.

Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, . . ” (Acts 8:17-18)

The Gift of the Holy Spirit can also be received without the laying on of hands.  Consider the following:

On Pentecost the 120 believers received the Gift of the Holy Spirit without the laying on of hands.

Again, in Acts 10 Cornelius, his family, and his friends received the Gift of the Holy Spirit without the laying on of hands.

Nonetheless, it seems that the laying on of hands to receive the Gift of the Holy Spirit was normal in the first centuries of the Christian church.

What should you do?

  •  Review the promises that God has made concerning the Gift of the Holy Spirit.
  •  Believe these promises with all your heart.
  •  On the basis of your faith in these promises, pray that God will pour out His Spirit also on you.
  •  If it seems good to you, ask another Christian to lay hands on you and pray that you would be filled with the Holy Spirit.  A good time for this is when you are baptized with water.



Lyrics by Martin H. Koestler

(a hymn celebrating the Gift of the Holy Spirit)


What great Adam had and lost,

Clothed with flame and decked in light;

What meek Moses wished embossed

Full on ev’ry Israelite;

And, what Joel and John proclaim

Jesus also prophesied –

Fullness of the Spirit came!

Jesus will baptize His own

With anointing from above,

For to Him this right alone

God has given out of love.

Times refreshing He will pour

On His people; like a dove

He descends, of wrongs the cure.

“This is promised,” Peter said,

“Let there be no doubt at all:

Ev’ry generation bred,

Ev’ry person with God’s call

Who believes the promise, will

Get this gift!  God’s grace will fall

Without fail!  God will fulfill!”

For this lavish gift of grace;

For the fiery tongues of light

That You pour upon our race;

For anointing us with sight;

For the Spirit Whom You send,

He Who fruits and gifts ignites –

God, we thank You without end!

Tune:  What Great Adam Had

1=D   4/4

D                em7

1ž  5  1  5  |  4  3  2 – 1  |

C                    A

7  2  4  |  5  4  3 – 2 😐| (repeat the first two lines)

D                  am

3ž  1  3  5  |  ♭7ž  6  5 – 4  |

G                   ž em7

4ž  1  4   6  |  1  7  6 –  | 

D                  C                 D

5ž  4  3  1  |  2 – – 7  |  1 – – – ||


The verses are each written in seven lines, each line with seven syllables.  Seven is a good biblical number which seems to suggest God (3) in His relationship with mankind (4).  3 + 4 = 7.  The rhyme scheme is ABABCBC.

Notes on Verse 1:

Martin Luther apparently proposed that our first parents were clothed with light.  Ancient Chinese characters also suggest this.  After spending 40 days in the presence of God, Moses face beamed.  Jesus face shone like the sun on the Mount of Transfiguration.  God is light; and it stands to reason that, if mankind was created in His image, man would also reflect this trait (pun intended).  No matter what the reality was in regard to this light, after the fall mankind lost its ability to reflect the character and nature of God which originally had been enabled by the Holy Spirit.  He lost his ability to communicate with God effectively and to communicate about God effectively with others.  These also were enabled by the Holy Spirit.  As I understand Pentecost, this was a time when God re-enabled His people to do these things.  So, please understand when I write that Adam was “clothed in flame and decked in light” at least as a figurative way of saying that Adam initially filled with the Holy Spirit.

In Numbers 11:29 Moses expressed his desire that God would put His Holy Spirit in lavish fashion on all of His people.

In Joel 2:28, 29 this wish of Moses became God’s promise.

John reiterated this promise (Matthew 3:11), as did our Lord most elaborately and emphatically (as, for example, in John 7:37-39 and Acts 1:4,5).

The Spirit began to be poured out in fullness on Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4ff.).

Notes on Verse 2:

John the Baptist announced that Jesus would baptize His people with the Holy Spirit (Mark 1:8).  At His baptism our Lord was anointed with the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:38).  Indeed, His title “Christ” is derived from this event.  We are called Christians (Acts 11:26), presumably because we are in some way anointed ones also.  John reminds us that we have an anointing which teaches us concerning all things (1 John 2:20,27).

 Jesus told Nicodemus that he must be born again from above of water and the Spirit (John 3:3,5).

Upon His ascension into heaven the Father gave to Jesus the authority to pour out the Holy Spirit upon mankind (Acts 2:33).

Peter promised “times of refreshing” (Acts 3:19).

The Spirit descended upon our Lord in the form of a dove after His baptism (Mark 1:10).

In summary, the work of the Holy Spirit is to restore the image of God in us and to reverse the curses that came upon us when our first parents disobeyed their Creator.  He restores lost knowledge of God and insight into His character.  He helps us to root out sin and become more like God in our behavior.  He restores supernatural power to do good things before God and for our neighbor.

Notes on Verse 3:

See Acts 2:38,39.  This third verse is simply a poetic version of these verses.  This verse is intended to remind God’s people of this promise, for it is God’s promises that produce faith.  If God’s people are not presented with this promise, they will not believe it.  I believe that Christian teaching must put this promise out in front of God’s people so that they will believe it!

Notes on Verse 4:

This verse is an expression of gratitude.  Those who believe this promise and see it operative in their lives will certainly want to express their gratitude to the gracious God who lovingly and lavishly pours out His Spirit on all flesh!

The fiery tongues remind us of the visible manifestation of the Spirit’s activity on Pentecost (Acts 2:3).

When Saul was converted  Ananias laid hands on him.  He was filled with the Holy Spirit.  Also, he was healed of his blindness.  Actually, he was healed both physically and spiritually.  Yes, his eyes could see again; but, more importantly, he could “see” that Jesus is the Christ (Acts 9:17-20).  The Holy Spirit enables us to “see” such things also.

The fruit of the Spirit is described in Galatians 5:22, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit are described in 1 Corinthians 12-14 and Romans 12.


The tune “What Adam Had and Lost” came to me while working at IBM in Rochester, Minnesota during the second week of November, 2010.  The lyrics for the first three verses were written at the same place during the couple of weeks before that.  The last verse was written the week after that.

Only after writing the tune down in numerical notation did I notice that each succeeding line begins with the next higher step on the scale.

The tune is actually in the mixolydian mode; the seventh step of the scale in the second line and fifth line is lowered by one half step.  However, please note that the seven scale step in the fourth line is actually raised (in other words, in the key of D this is to be sung as a C #).

I have attempted to put this tune into a numerical notation similar to the notation that can be found in Chinese hymnals.  I hope that it can be understood easily enough.  I have used the following for various note values:

quarter: 1

eighth:    1

dotted quarter: 1·

half:       1 –

dotted half:    1 – –

whole:  1 – – –

There is a dot under the note if the note is below the tonic note (in this case, D).  There is a dot over the note if the note is an octave or more above the tonic note, 

A dash (-) between two notes indicates that these both of the notes are for the same syllable; they are slurred.   The last syllable at the end of the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth lines gets two notes.

The letters above each line of notes are the letters for guitar chords in the key of D.  The capital letters indicate a major chord (D, C, G, and A).  The lower case letters followed by a lower case “m” indicates a minor chord (em and am).

© copyright 2011

Lyra Publications

Preston, Minnesota

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