Some time ago I was asked
if Prince St. believed and taught that people today could receive Holy
Spirit baptism, speak in tongues and prophesy. I answered no for the
First, we cannot believe and preach to all what was only promised to a few. Spirit baptism was promised to the apostles of Jesus; NOT you, me or anyone else. Acts 1:1-5 says that Jesus gave "commandments
to the apostles whom He had chosen,... not to depart from
Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father; 'Which,' He said,
'you have heard of Me;...you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.'"
Fill in these blanks: Jesus promised ____ (you, me, the apostles)
Spirit baptism and commanded ____ (you, me, the apostles) to wait in
Jerusalem for it.
In Acts 1:8 Jesus told the apostles, "you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you." This "power" from the Spirit enabled them to do miraculous things. For example, the apostles knew ALL the truth of God's word (John 16:13) with flawless recall and presentation of it (John 14:25, 26; Matthew 10:19-20)...
My experience with those who claim Spirit baptism today has been they
were unable to answer or recite some of the simplest Bible questions
Of course, Spirit baptism not only enabled the apostles to reveal
and recite Divine truth, it empowered them to perform signs and wonders
in confirmation of that truth and impart miraculous/spiritual gifts of
the Spirit to other disciples of the Lord (cf.,Mark 16:14-18; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Hebrews 2:1-4).
Which brings me to the second reason we at Prince St. do not believe
and teach Spirit baptism and spiritual gifts are available to men today.
REASON NO.2: We cannot tell people to seek what they cannot receive. Spiritual gifts, such as speaking in tongues and prophesying were only given through "the laying on of the apostles' hands (cf., Acts 8:14-18; 19:1-6; 2 Timothy 1:6). The apostles are not on the earth today; they're with Jesus (Philippians 1:23). And so miraculous gifts are not obtainable today. They have, as the Bible foretold, "ceased,...been done away" (1 Corinthians 13:8)...If someone tells you that they have one of the nine spiritual gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12, be sure to ask them which apostle came to see them.
REASON NO.3: Spirit baptism with all its attendant spiritual gifts is not available today because the Bible says "There is ONE baptism" (Ephesians 4:5), which is NOT Spirit baptism, but water baptism.
In Acts 2 (about 30 AD) there were two baptisms: Spirit AND water baptism. The apostles received Spirit baptism (Acts 1:5; 2:1-4), and 3,000 others were baptized in water, as the apostle Peter commanded, to remit their sins and obtain salvation (Acts 2:38-41). That's two baptisms! Yet, Paul wrote (about 62 AD), "There is ONE baptism."
Now, in order for there to be "ONE baptism," one of the two baptisms
in Acts 2 ceased. Which one? Spirit baptism. For it was promised to and
received by the apostles. But water baptism was (is) a command to be
preached and received by ALL men for their salvation (cf., Mark 16:15-16; 1 Peter 3:20-21).
Now some erroneously teach that Spirit baptism is received in water baptism, but study these Bible facts:
*Again, the Bible says, "There is one baptism" (Ephesians 4:5).
Spirit baptism and water baptism are two distinct baptisms. And even if
Spirit baptism were to be received in water baptism, (no Biblical
record of such occurance), that's STILL two baptisms.
*Again, Spirit baptism was promised to and received by a FEW (Acts 1:2-5; 2:1-4). Water baptism was preached to and commanded of ALL (Mark 16:15, 16).
*ALL recipients of Spirit baptism spoke in tongues (Acts 1:2-8; 2:1-4; 10:44-46; 11:15-18). Recipients of water baptism NEVER spoke in tongues UNLESS the apostles laid their hands on them (Acts 8:14-18; 19:1-6).
*Recipients of Spirit baptism were told to wait for it (Acts 1:2-8). Recepients of water baptism were told NOT to wait (Acts 22:16; 8:36-38; 16:29-33; 2:37-41).
REASON NO.4: People
do not receive Spirit baptism nor miraculous gifts today because the
Bible teaches God fulfilled His purpose and use of them in apostolic
In the days of the apostles, the gospel of Christ was indeed "news."
It was a new, unknown, unrecorded and unconfirmed revelation (Ephesians 3:1-5). To reveal, record and confirm the gospel as truth from God, Jesus baptized His apostles in the Spirit (John 16:5-13; Acts 1:1-8).
The same Spirit also distributed some nine different miraculous gifts,
such as prophesying (inspired teaching) and tongues (foreign
languages), among converts to Christ by "the laying on of the apostles' hands" (Acts 8:18; 19:6; 1 Cor.12:11).
By the exercise of their gifts we have today God's completed and
confirmed revelation to produce in us the necessary faith and obedience
to salvation (Hebrews 2:1-4). Thus, Spirit baptism and miraculous gifts are not needed, nor received today.
The Lord, John and Paul foresaw the day miraculous gifts would cease
among men. And in view of it: Jesus pronounced a blessing upon those
who would believe in absence of the miraculous (John 20:29); John recorded pertinent miracles he saw to produce faith in future generations (John 20:30-31); and Paul prepared and informed Christians when to expect the cessation of miraculous gifts (1 Corinthians 13:8-10).
To the church at Corinth, Paul instructed: "Love
never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether
there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge it will
vanish away" (1 Corinthians 13:8). Paul said miraculous gifts would cease, vanish away. WHEN? Read on.
Verse 9: "For we know in part and prophesy in part."
Question: What did they miraculously know and prophesy "in part?"
God's new revelation; the gospel of Christ. But initially for them it
was "in part" or "incomplete." The gospel then, through spiritual
gifts of the Spirit, was being revealed and confirmed to them. Yet, the
Lord promised them all the truth, the complete revelation (John 16:13). Which Paul obviously anticipated as he wrote: "But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away." (v.10).
So when God's new revelation was completely revealed, the miraculous
gifts He utilized to disclose and confirm it were no longer needed and
hence, vanished away.
Now some who claim miraculous gifts today, contend that the
"perfect" of verse 10 is a reference to Christ. And thus affirm that
miraculous gifts will continue unto the Lord's second coming. But such
is impossible due to verse 13.
In contrast to tongues, knowledge and prophecy, which were to "cease," "vanish" and "be done away" (vv.8,9), Paul said faith, hope and love "abide" (v.13).
In other words, faith, hope and love were to outlast miraculous gifts.
But this stated fact is denied, consequently, by those who affirm that
the "perfect" (v.10) is the returning Christ. How?
The Bible teaches that faith and hope will no longer exist when
Jesus returns because faith and hope end in sight and experience (cf., Romans 8:24; Hebrews 11:1; 2 Corinthians 4:18; 5:17).
Now if, as some contend, miraculous gifts are to last till Jesus
returns, then how is faith and hope which are terminated at His return,
to outlast miraculous gifts as Paul affirmed? ....I have yet to read or
hear today's "charismatic" explain that one.
The plain Bible truth is, NO ONE today is receiving Spirit baptism
or spiritual gifts. They all vanished with the apostles' death and when
the gospel, "the perfect law of liberty" (James 1:25) was fully revealed, confirmed and recorded.
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