Hi folks, I am having the privillege to conduct a baptismal service in our church. There are many details to go through, like pre-baptism talks to make sure the candidates have properly repented of their sins toward God and believe in the Son and surrendered they life to God.My understanding is that baptism should be trinitarian, e.g. that we baptize in the name of the father, Son and Holy Ghost.According to my understanding of scripture we should lay hands on those who where baptized to receive the Holy Spirit. There are 3 references in Acts where this was done either before or after their water baptism.Acts 8:17 Annanias laid hands on Paul to receive sight and the filling of the Holy Spirit prior to water baptism.This was unusual because Paul's conversion was not done by direct evangelization but by a sovereign act of God.Acts 9:17 Philippus the deacon went to Samaria to evangelize following a wave of persecution in Judaea and performed great miracles and baptized people. He had sat under the apostles teaching and was chosen out of thousands of candidates to be a deacon, he must have been found qualified because of an outstanding life testimony. Yet, being more a man of power and evangelism, he was not so much a man of precise doctrine as the apostles. So as the apostles heard about it, they came and fixed what was lacking. They laid on hands on the water-baptized believers for the filling of the Holy Spirit. The filling of the Spirit must have been something overwhelming and something that bystanders must have witnessed. Probably because they spoke in tongues or prophesied. Simon, the sorcerer knew about spirtitual matters so he coveted the gift.Acts 19:6 the disciples of John in Ephesus. Again, here Paul fixed an issue relating to the not yet completed baptism of John.All this was done by laying on of hands.Now, here is the million dollar question:Is the laying on of hands to receive the Holy Spirit a normative practise following water baptism, or is it only done to fix a problem of fill a gap?
Fortunately, we don't have to go outside the scriptures to discuss these things. Normative is a great word here in this context.The question we need to ask is this:Was the Holy Spirit received in other ways besides the laying on of hands?Was the Holy Spirit received prior to baptism?So when Peter went to Cornelius, we know that they received the Spirit prior to baptism. We also know that no one laid hands on them. (Acts 10)We also know that Phillip did not lay hands on the Ethiopian Eunuch to receive the Holy Spirit. In fact, God whisked Phillip away before he had the chance to offer. (Acts 8)Acts 16 also has examples of Lydia and the Philippain Jailer--all to whom the laying on of the hands was not expressily done.
In the book, "They Speak with Other Tongues," there was a group of people who were praying for the gift of the tongues and the baptism (if memory serves me) that wasn't receiving it but then someone read the Bible where Paul asked the Acts 19:25 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.So none spoke in tongues and they started laying hands on each other and they began receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit!!! They acted on faith and received!!Now, I will challenge some of you with my 2nd cousin who murdered his wife out of blind anger at her place of work, then drove to his parents house and confessed that he killed her and was sitting on the couch weeping uncontrollably and begging God for forgiveness and suddenly started speaking in tongues!! No one laid hands on him! When the police came to arrest him and one said, "We need to take him to the crazy house, he speaking crazy." and his mother said, "You will do no such thing, he just received the baptism of the Holy Ghost, he's speaking in tongues." (You might ask God why He gave my cousin the Holy Spirit then and there, God's mercy!! He was arrested and convicted him of first degree murder and only served a total of 3 years.) He was an exemplary inmate and it was only by the power of the Holy Spirit!So brother, I would follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and do what He tells you to do! God bless you,Lisa
Lisa: Fascinating testimony. I wonder why we should think that a man who truly repents should not receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit? We had a woman recently who had five demons cast out of her before service started in the pastor's office. When she was free, she received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and began to prophesy.
The same happened to me. They cast out serveral demons from me and afterwards laid hands on me to receive the Holy Spirit. Nothing happend immediately afterwards. When I got home the Spirit came over me in overwhelming power. I think I would otherwise not have been strong enough to resist the demons who became homeless.I had to wait 6 months and undergo a baptismal classes before I got baptized in water.