Does The Holy Spirit Do Any Baptizing?
E. G. Cook
Former Pastor - Philadelphia Baptist Church
Birmingham , Alabama
(Now In Glory)
In a time when just about everybody from so-called Baptists to Catholics are getting something they call Holy Spirit baptism, and speaking in so-called tongues, it seems that we need a serious study of the subject. If there is such a thing, all of the Lord's saints should desire it. I, for one, desire to have all the blessings my Lord has for me. I do not want to miss a single one of them. I believe they call this Holy Spirit baptism the second blessing. I have received at least a million blessings during my some fifty six years as one of my Lord's unworthy saints, but I have never received that one. Could it be that my being unworthy of the first blessing is the reason why I have never received the second one? If that be the case then I must give up all hopes of ever receiving it. The closer I walk with my Lord the more brightly my filthy, slimy unworthiness shines. So if a person must be worthy in order to receive the Holy Spirit baptism I have no hope of ever receiving it.
It seems that those who hold to the teaching of a Holy Spirit baptism use I Cor. 12:13 to support their teaching. And I must admit that if I believed the translators of the King James version were inspired in the same way Paul and all the other original writers were, I would be forced to teach a baptism by the Holy Spirit even if I could not experience it myself. Our version, along with most of the others that I know anything about, say plainly that "By one Spirit are we all baptized into one body whether we be Jews or Gentiles". So if I believed the Holy Spirit was responsible for that word "by" being in this verse I would be forced to teach a baptism by the Holy Spirit. I can see no way round it and at the same time be consistent.
It is true that the little Greek word EN can be translated by our word "by". In fact it is so translated in our version 142 times. But this same little word is translated "among" 114 times. It is translated "with" 139 times. But, believe it or not, it is translated "in" 1,863 times. Translators are responsible to God. So they should be concerned about making a particular verse of Scripture harmonize with every other Scripture on that subject. And so far as I am able to know there is absolutely no other reference in the Bible that sets forth the; Holy Spirit as the administrator of any kind of baptism. In Mt. 3:11 John the Baptist told the disciples that the One who would come after him (that is, Christ) would baptize them with, or in, the Holy Spirit, and with fire. This took place on the day of Pentecost. But remember, it was Christ who administered the Baptism. He literally immersed His church in the Holy Spirit. So I conclude that since the translators translated the little Greek word EN by our little word "in" 1,863 times in other places they could have done the same thing here and that would have made this verse harmonize with other references.
In Rom. 8:9 we read "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be the Spirit of God dwell in you". This verse teaches plainly that if we are saved we are in the Spirit. So in order for the translators to make I Cor. 12:13 harmonize with Rom. 8:9 they would have been forced to use the word "in" here in this verse. Some may think that the word "by" is found in the Greek here in I Cor. 12:13 but it is not. Rather it is EN which can be translated among, with, by, or in. It was up to the translators to decide which one of the four words should be used in this particular place. 'They must have believed in this holy Spirit baptism, because I can see absolutely no other reason for using "by" instead of "in". Sometimes translators are not too consistent when it comes to one of their pet doctrines.
Everyone who has any regard for God's Word knows that baptism in water is a part of the church's commission.. In Mt. 28:19-20 she is told to make disciples, baptize them, and then teach them. The Scriptures are so clear on this point that no one can deny that when a person is saved he, or she should follow the Lord in water baptism. So those who teach a baptism by the Holy Spirit simply have to teach that there two different kinds of baptism. There is just no way round it. But Eph. 4:5 says, "One Lord, one faith, one baptism". Quite a few years ago I heard a Baptist preacher preach that holy Spirit baptism stuff. After the service I told him that what he preached that night posed a problem for me. I then told him that I would appreciate it very much if he would harmonize the Holy Spirit baptism with Eph. 4.5 when he came back the next week, because I was having trouble with it. He very kindly consented to it. But now some twenty years later he has never done it. I not want to be dogmatic and say it cannot be done. So I will just say that so far as I am able to see there is just no way to do it.
Our Lord had quite a lot to say about what the Holy Spirit would do when He came. He is to abide in us for ever, John 14:16. He reproves the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment, John 16:8. He is to teach us what Christ has said, John 14:26. He guides us into all truth, John 16:13. He glorifies Christ, John 16:14. There are so many other things that He does for us. But if Christ said anything about His baptizing people I failed to catch it. There are those who hold that the Holy Spirit baptizes us into Christ in Gal. 3:27. But I hold that the church does that. There is nothing said in this verse about the Holy Spirit doing the baptizing. But Eph. 4:5 does say there is just one baptism. By this is meant there is just one kind of baptism.
When people get this so-called baptism by the Holy Spirit and start speaking in the so-called unknown tongues which the original Bible does not so much as mention, they seem to lose all control of themselves. They may start jumping pews, trying to climb the wall, or rolling in the dirt. Sometimes they waller their eyes like a dying calf. Just how can this kind of thing be justified by the Scriptures? In I Cor. 14:40 we read, "Let all things be done decently and in order". But these people in their frenzy do not manifest either decency nor order. Isa. 32:17 says, "The work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever". But when people get this so-called baptism and start jabbering you have pandemonium rather than peace and quietness. And since the effect of righteousness is peace and quietness we are forced to say there is no righteousness connected in any way with the so-called Holy Spirit baptism and jabbering like a drove of blackbirds.
When we read of people who call themselves Baptists taking part in a thing like that we just automatically think of I Cor. 2:14 where we read, "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned".
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