Home Church Community

Statement of Beliefs

Contact Us

Search Our Site

Bible Study Resource

Printer Friendly Version

Particulars of Christianity:
309 Baptisms

Two Baptisms Occurring Separately

Preface for Baptisms Article Series
Baptisms: Introduction and Historical Background
Original Proclamations about Baptism
Two Baptisms Occurring Separately
Baptizo: Two Baptisms, One Greek Word
Synonymous Phrases: Baptism in the Holy Spirit
Water Baptism in Jesus' Name
No Record of Paul's Water Baptism
Is Baptism Essential to Salvation?
Acts 1: Parallel Account of the Great Commission
Necessity of Water Baptism: 3 Common Arguments
Survey 1: Baptisms in Acts
The Baptism of Crispus (and Assuming Evidence)
Survey 2: Baptism from Romans to Revelation
Baptism and Hebrews 10:22
Conclusions: When and How Are We Reborn?
Survey 3: Baptism and the Ante-Nicene Authors
Closing: Water Baptism for the Right Reasons

As we established in our previous section, given the fact that John was baptizing in water long before Jesus ever baptized in the Holy Spirit, we must understand that original audience would NOT have understood that baptism with water and baptism in the Holy Spirit automatically occurred simultaneously. The following passages further demonstrate that the original understanding of the Church with regard to baptism was NOT that the two forms occurred simultaneously.

As can simply be established by Matthew 10, Andrew was one of Jesus' 12 apostles.

Matthew 10:2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;

This means that Andrew was among the 11 remaining apostles in the upper room on the day of Pentecost.

Acts 1:26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles. Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

So, being one of the eleven remaining apostles, we know that Andrew was not baptized in the Holy Spirit until the day of Pentecost, after Jesus' ascension. But when was Andrew baptized with water? Did it coincide with his baptism in the Holy Spirit?

John 1:35 Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; 36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! 37 And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 38 Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? 39 He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour. 40 One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.

Here in John 1, we see that before becoming one of Jesus' disciples, Andrew was first one of John the Baptist's disciples. Since Andrew was John's disciple in John 1, we can assume with all certainly that Andrew had already been baptized by John with water before the day of Pentecost. Therefore, with the case of Andrew, we can clearly see that water baptism and baptism in the Holy Spirit did not occur at the same time. Rather, they were separated by a period of several years.

We have already shown how the Jews of Jesus' day would NOT have understood that water baptism and baptism in the Holy Spirit occurred simultaneously given the fact that John was baptizing with water three years before anyone was ever baptized in the Holy Spirit. So, with every example we find where individuals are baptized with water at a separate time than they were baptized in the Holy Spirit, we further demonstrate that the early Church would not have understood that water baptism and baptism in the Holy Spirit would automatically occur at the same time.

Acts 8:12 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. 14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: 15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: 16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

Here in Acts 8 we see a clear example when individuals were baptized in water yet did not receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit until days later. This example is quite significant because it occurs AFTER the day of Pentecost. This means that not only did the Jews before the crucifixion have an understanding that the two baptisms were not simultaneous, but the Christians in the book of Acts were continuing to see events which would have maintained that understanding.

Acts 10:44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. 45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, 47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

Here in Acts 10, the first Gentile converts receive baptism in the Holy Spirit before they are water baptized. Only afterward does Peter call for them to be baptized with water. So, this provides yet another instance where water baptism and baptism in the Holy Spirit do not occur simultaneously. This provides even further proof that the ongoing experiences of the early Church would have caused them to maintain the pre-existing notion that the 2 forms of baptism did NOT automatically occur simultaneously, but generally occurred at different points in time.

To summarize, so far in our study, we have established the following. First, the Jews of Jesus' day considered the water baptism of John to be a part of the category of ritual purification. Since ritual purification was a part of Old Testament practice, the Jews of Jesus' day, therefore, considered water baptism to be a part of Old Testament practice.

Second, the first New Testament revelation regarding baptism came from John the Baptist and is recorded in all four of the Gospels. In this teaching, John clearly distinguished between two types of baptism, one with water and one with the Holy Spirit. This exact same statement was repeated by Jesus after his resurrection and by Peter as later as Acts 13. And by this teaching, John clearly built into the Jewish people the expectation that the Messiah would administer a baptism in the Holy Spirit. Conversely, there was no teaching that would have prompted people to understand that the Messiah would administer a water baptism.

Third, given the fact that John the Baptist was baptizing three years before any one was baptized in the Holy Spirit, it would have been inherent to the understanding of that time that water baptism and baptism in the Holy Spirit did not occur simultaneously. Since the Messiah had not yet emerged when John spoke these words, it would have been impossible for the people of that day to think that water baptism and baptism in the Holy Spirit occurred at the same time.

Fourth, given the examples of Andrew, Acts 8:12-17, and Acts 10:44-48, we can clearly see that the continued experience of the early Church would have maintained this understanding that water baptism and baptism in the Holy Spirit did not automatically occur simultaneously.

So, the Jewish people and the early Church would have understood that the two baptisms did not automatically simultaneously occur and this fact that (starting with the preaching of John the Baptist) strongly indicates that the Bible does not teach the Holy Spirit is received automatically upon water baptism.

The fact that John the Baptist, Jesus, and Peter all maintained that one form of baptism was the baptism of John and the other was to be the baptism of Jesus Christ, automatically indicates that the baptism of the Holy Spirit was superior to water baptism. Having established starting from the preaching of John that John baptized with water but that the Christ would baptize with the Holy Spirit of God, absolutely no one who had heard that teaching would have thought that baptism with water took precedent over baptism in the Holy Spirit. Certainly you would want to receive baptism by the Messiah in the Holy Spirit of God himself over baptism in the material substance of water in accordance with Old Testament ritual purification requirements.