I have been a Christian for the past few years and have been seeking the
Baptism of the Holy Spirit. I have been told by my fellow brethren that if
I ask God for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit I will receive Him. Well I
have been doing this for years now and nothing happens. Can you share your
views on this matter, please?

Based on what I am guessing you have been taught, what I am
about to say may be a bit hard to accept. From my own personal study of
the Bible, the entire idea of people supposedly receiving the Baptism of
the Holy Spirit today–implying a sudden and overwhelming feeling and
receiving of the ability to speak in tongues and so forth is not a
biblical thing. As I study the New Testament, I find that Jesus promised
a miraculous outpouring of the Spirit in more than one place, but Acts 1:4
comes to mind. I believe that promise was fulfilled on the Day of
Pentecost in Jerusalem, as described in Acts chapter two. This miraculous
outpouring was caused by God to get people’s attention to the brand new
dispensation of salvation in the name of Jesus Christ. Arguably, the
events in Acts chapter ten is a repeat of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
As far as I know, these are the only two times that an event of this sort,
with a group manifestation of a massive pouring out of the Holy Spirit,
also known as the baptism of the Holy Spirit happened in the Bible. Other
than this, we have a number of examples, especially in the book of Acts in
which the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit were given. In every single
recorded example of disciples having gifts it is either directly stated
that they received the gifts through the laying on of hands of an apostle,
or it is at least implied that this is most likely how these gifts were
given. The best example supporting this idea is in Acts chapter eight
when Philip converted many in Samaria, but had to send to Jerusalem for
the apostles to come so that the gifts of the Holy Spirit could be given
by the laying on of hands of the apostles in order to further the spread
of the gospel in Samaria.

The sum of the evidence is that biblically, the gifts of the
Holy Spirit are only received by the laying on of hands of the apostles,
which definitely is not happening today. The baptism of the Holy Spirit
was a one-time or possibly a two-time thing which is not promised to
anyone today. What people confuse is the one baptism (Ephesians 4:5),
which is baptism into Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sins and to receive
the indwelling Holy Spirit. This promise is found in Acts 2:38,29. There
is not a shred of evidence that baptism into Christ includes the receipt
of gifts of the Holy Spirit. What your “brethren” are telling you to
expect is an emotional/psychological experience, but it is not the
receiving of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, which, biblically, is not
something offered to believers today.

What, then, you might ask, are my friends doing when they
start babbling and doing all these sort of strange things? I assume that
they are most likely quite sincere, but that they are also deceived about
the nature of the biblical teaching on the gifts of the Spirit, such as
healing and speaking in tongues, which are only available through the
laying on of hands of an apostle. The fact is that the early Mormons were
very big into speaking in tongues. Were they Christians? “Speaking in
tongues” is a psychological phenomenon which can be achieved by most (but
not all, and thus the frustration for you) human beings if they enter a
sufficiently emotional state. Bottom line it is not from God.

Let me refer you to one reference which might fill in some
details. It is a book “The Spirit” by my friend Douglas Jacoby. It is
available at www.dpibooks.com

What I am saying here may fly in the face of everything you
have heard on this subject, but I urge you to study the Bible and honestly
consider what it teaches on the miraculous gifts. I pray your study will
remove the frustration you have been feeling. The problem is not with you
but with the false teaching you have received.

John Oakes

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