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Somewhat relating to this question.

Many times I have been asked by members of some protestant denominations (especially by Baptists and Pentecostals) whether I've been baptized, followed by the question of whether I've been baptized by the Holy Spirit? After they ask me or others this question, they stress the utter neccessity of this kind of baptism.

This question is very confusing for many christians, leading them to doubts about their baptism.

Upon asking the enquirer about what they mean by "baptism by the Holy Spirit" they describe experiences of being filled with the Holy Spirit (yes, I've had such experiences). Some say that baptism by the Holy Spirit may happen before being formally baptized, some say it may happen after, but all stress the importance of it, as if without such an experience one had no hope of salvation. When I ask them whether each such experience constitutes a baptism, they usually get confused and answer that only the first of such experiences constitutes a baptism.

Why do they make such confusing distinctions and call these experiences baptism? Do they consider the traditional baptisms administered by priests (in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; with water and together with the laying on of hands and prayers for the Holy Spirit, etc) invalid or incomplete? Do they consider the traditional forms of christian baptism to be baptism by water only? What are the roots of this semantical error or false teaching? Where does it come from?

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Related (but no longer a duplicate): christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/378/… –  Flimzy Aug 12 at 12:14
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Just for reference, the "is a duplicate?" discussion was held in the chat. As a result the title of the question was changed. –  jotik Aug 12 at 12:18
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You might find this article useful: Pentecost, Spirit Baptism, & Charismatism –  adipro Aug 12 at 22:41
    
The Greek work we get baptism from means “to be covered”, “completely immerged”, etc. Water was also seen as the “giver of life”. The Holy Spirit is the given of spiritual life, so when you are immerged in the Holy Spirit, it is a reasonable description…. (Can someone please spend the time to expand this into an answer with references etc.) –  Ian Ringrose Aug 19 at 9:29

3 Answers 3

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Answering my own question. I missed this link given in this answer while reading the answers to the related question. This mostly answers my questions. I'll try to summarize:

  • What are the roots of this semantical error or false teaching? Where does it come from?

    • Answer: Quote from the article (emphasis added):

      Generally speaking, it is the charismatic movement that supports the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

  • Do they consider the traditional forms of christian baptism to be baptism by water only?

    • Answer: Probably yes. I think this might be because many protestant and charismatic movements seem to identify themselves negatively with traditional teachings, other denominations and other forms of worship.
  • Why do they make such confusing distinctions and call these experiences baptism? Do they consider the traditional baptisms administered by priests (in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; with water and together with the laying on of hands and prayers for the Holy Spirit, etc) invalid or incomplete?

    • Answer: I think it is unreasonable to debate on this because I find it unlikely that the charismatic movement has formulated teaching on this which is backed by reasonably consistent theology.

See also:

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The precept that there are two types of baptism comes from these two Scriptures:

Matthew 3:11 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:

and

Luke 3:16 John answered, saying unto 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:

However if you use those to say that there are two types of baptism,(water and Holy Ghost) that seems to ignore what should be the third type which would be by fire.

The argument is further enhanced by:

Acts 2:1 through 4 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

This is considered by many to be a second baptism since:

Acts 1:4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.

This command of Jesus is seen as a baptism of the Holy Spirit and of fire since:

cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

You may draw your own conclusions about these Scriptures, but I have personally never had cloven tongues as of fire come down and sit on me, nor do I know of any other Christian, and I know quite a few; who have experienced that either. So if that is their idea of baptism by the Holy Spirit I guess there are quite a few of us who have not been baptized by the Holy Spirit.

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Matthew 3:11 seems to talk of two types of baptisms - First, the baptism on John, and secondly the baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire. The latter is practiced by the Universal Church since Pentecost. –  jotik Aug 12 at 19:27

The reason why baptism of the holy spirit is refered to as a baptism is because the holy spirit is refered to as "the living water"

Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’”

john7:38

“For my people have done two evil things: They have abandoned me— the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all!

jeremiah2:13

O LORD, the hope of Israel, all who turn away from you will be disgraced. They will be buried in the dust of the earth, for they have abandoned the LORD, the fountain of living water.

jeremiah17:13

(When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.)

john7:39

Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”

john4:10

As you see there is Earthly water and there is heavenly water. The holy spirit is the water of heaven giving life and refreshment. It appears that God himself refers to the holy spirit as water so it only makes sense to refer to it as a baptism if one is submerged in it.

and in closing I offer this scripture for your mind's eye and understand of the water of heaven.

Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations. No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him. ...

revelations22

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Please edit this to format the quotes with blockquotes. –  fredsbend Aug 16 at 3:44

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