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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Fresh Baptisms with the Holy Spirit

Subtitle: Refilling with the Holy Spirit

In Acts 2:4 we read: "They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak ..." This was the fulfillment of Acts 1:5: "Ye shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence." One of those mentioned by name as being "filled with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:4) or "baptized with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 1:5) at this time was Peter. In Acts 4:8 we read: "Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit experienced a new filling with the Spirit. Again, in verse 31 of this same chapter, we read: "When they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit." Peter is named as one of this company (verse 19-23), so we see that Peter here experienced a THIRD FILLING with the Holy Spirit.

It is evident that it is not sufficient that one be once baptized with the Holy Spirit. As new emergencies of service arise, there must be new fillings with the Spirit. The failure to realize this had led to sad and serious results in many a person's service.  The person has been baptized with the Holy Spirit at some period in their life, and strives to get through their whole future life in the power of this past experience. It is largely for this reason that we see so many believers who once unquestionably worked in the Holy Spirit's power, who give little evidence of the possession of that power today. For each new service that is to be conducted, for each new soul that is to be dealt with, for each new service for Christ that is to be performed, for each new day and each new emergency of Christian life and service, we should definitely seek a new filling with the Holy Spirit.

I do not deny that there is an anointing that abideth (1 John2:27), nor the permanency of the gifts that the Holy Spirit bestows. I simply assert with clear and abundant Scripture proof, to say nothing of proof from experience and observation, that this gift must not be neglected (1 Timothy 4:14), but rather kindled anew or stirred into a flame (2 Timothy 1:6), and that repeated fillings with the Holy Spirit are necessary to continuance and increase of power.

Now arises the question: "Ought these new fillings with the Holy Spirit to be called "fresh baptisms" with the Holy Spirit?" While on the one hand it must be admitted that in Acts 2:4 the expression "filled with the Holy Spirit" is used to describe the experience promised in Acts 1:5 in the words: "Ye shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit," and that therefore the two expressions are to this extent synonymous; on the other hand, it should be noticed that expression "baptized with the Holy Spirit" is nowhere used in the Bible of any experience but the first, and that furthermore the word "baptized" of itself suggests an initial or initiatory experience. While therefore we stand for the truth as which those who speak of "fresh baptisms with the Holy Spirit" are aiming, it would seem wisest to follow the uniform Bible usage and speak of the experiences that succeed the first as being "filled with the Holy Spirit" and not as being "baptized with the Holy Spirit."

~R. A. Torrey~ - gleanings from: "The Baptism with the Holy Spirit

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