What does being baptized with the Holy Ghost and fire mean

Firstly, being baptized with, in, into and unto, all refer to the same thing. It is the element one is baptized with, in, into and unto that determines what type of baptism it is. Many sincere Christians believe that all repentant sinners are baptized with the Holy Spirit when they receive Christ as their Saviour, but that is not correct. At that time they are baptized into Christ and into His body, the church (CP Ro 6:1-10; 1Cor 12:12-14; Ga 3:26-28; Eph 4:1-6; Col 2:8-13; 3:1-3). All these scriptures refer to the work of the Holy Spirit. He unites repentant sinners with Christ as members of His church upon their conversion to Christ. This is how the church is constituted, but it is not what is meant by being baptized with the Holy Ghost. Being baptized with the Holy Ghost refers to the empowering of the Holy Spirit for service, which Jesus has promised to every believer (CP Lu 11:9-13; Jn 7:37-39; 14:12, 16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:7-15; Ac 1:1-8; 2:36-39; Rev 21:6, 22:17). It is Jesus Himself who does this baptizing (CP Mt 3:11; Mk 1:8; Lu 3:16, 24:49; Jn 1:33-34; 16:7-15; Ac 2:32-33). The baptism with the Holy Spirit is generally received subsequent to salvation (CP Ac 8:14-17; 19:1-6). However it can also be received concurrently with salvation (CP 10:4446). Here, while Peter was still sharing the gospel with Cornelius, he and all his kinsmen and friends who were with him got saved and were immediately baptized with the Holy Spirit - God did a sovereign work in their midst (CP 11:118 esp V14). The evidence that one is baptized with the Holy Spirit is that he or she will talk in tongues. This is confirmed many times in scripture (CP Joel 2:2829 with Mk 16:17; Ac 2:1-4, 14-18; 8:18-21; 10:45-46; 19:6).

The word matter in Ac 8:21 is from the Greek word logos which means something said, utterance, word, speech, divine expression. Simon heard those believers talking in tongues as they were baptized with the Holy Spirit - that is why he wanted to buy the power of the Holy Spirit. These scriptures all teach that speaking in tongues is the sure evidence of being baptized with the Spirit. If there are no tongues spoken, then there has been no baptism with the Spirit. It is as simple as that, otherwise those scriptures are all meaningless. Now to see what the baptism with "fire" which John the Baptist also refers to in Mt 3:11 is about (CP Mt 3:11). There are many contrasting views among Christians as to what this fire is. Some believe it refers to God's judgement those who reject Jesus will receive in contrast to the baptism with the Holy Ghost given to the righteous. They use Mt 3:10,12 and Lu 3:8-9, 17 to support this view (CP Mt 3:10,12; Lu 3:8-9,17). Others believe it refers to the purifying and refining work of the Holy Spirit, convicting believers of sin and righteousness. They use Jn 16:7-11 to support this view (CP Zech 13:9, Mal 3:2-3; Jn 16:7-11). Still others believe that it is an extended reference to the empowering of believers by the Holy Spirit for service. They use Jn 7:37-39 to support this view (CP Jn 7:37-39). The analogy of "rivers of living water" in V38 teaches us that believers will have unlimited power to do the work of God through the empowering of the Holy spirit; which is what Jesus promises believers right throughout scripture (CP Mk 16:16-18; Jn 14:12-14; Ac 1:8; 1Cor 2:1-4). The third view is preferred in light of the cloven tongues like as of fire on the day of Pentecost that sat upon each of the disciples signifying their empowering for service. This also conforms to what Jesus told the disciples would happen in Lu 24 and Ac 1 (CP Lu 24:49; Ac 1:1-8).

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