In the early hours of December 6, 2011, not far from midnight, I was roused from a short sleep, after experiencing a very clear and detailed dream. In the dream, I saw myself teaching to salvation-seekers of this generation, the falsehoods in the very popular “Holy Spirit baptism” doctrine.
Prior to this dream, God had for a long while been leading me to identify the many falsehoods of this doctrine. This He did, between the years 2008-2010, while giving me a series of revelations that formed the bulk of teachings in my first published book entitled: “BEWARE OF THIS FALSE DOCTRINE of reciting the Sinners' Prayer for salvation”. These three years, were to be for me the most crucial of five, I spent in writing this book.
One may ask: What is the “Holy Spirit baptism” doctrine? This is a legitimate question to ask, because the Word of God is very clear in its revelation to mankind that there is only “one baptism” (Ephesians 4: 4-6). This being the case, one may ask: Is this so-named “Holy Spirit baptism” the “one baptism” mentioned in the Book of Ephesians, or is it entirely different?
The salvation-seeker must understand that, the “one baptism” of Ephesians is the baptism of the Great Commission (Matthew 28: 18-20; Mark 16: 15-18) and therefore, the one administered by the apostles of Jesus Christ, in their ministrations of God's salvation to sinners, as recorded in Acts 2: 38-41; 8: 38; 9: 18; 10: 48; 16: 33; 19: 5; and in other places.
This “one baptism” of the Great Commission is also commonly known as “water baptism”, which is the reality of Ezekiel 36: 25-27, and thus, the only one baptism which fits into Jesus' born of water teaching to Nicodemus in John 3: 3-5.
As a matter of fact, any time the word “baptism” is mentioned in the Bible, it is always in reference to the “one baptism” of the Book of Ephesians; or in typology, shadow, and or figurative forms to this “one baptism”.
Surprisingly, the much-touted “Holy Spirit baptism” neither fits the “one baptism” of Ephesians, nor of the Great Commission, nor of any semblance to “water baptism”. The “Holy Spirit baptism” is, therefore, one that is absolutely different from the “one baptism” revealed and taught in the Bible.
Indeed, according to available teachings by the proponents of the “Holy Spirit baptism” doctrine, this baptism is supposed to be a second (or third?) spiritual experience after one's salvation, and one that can be experienced by the salvation-seeker, either before or after one has undergone the rite of “water baptism”.
As it is, almost all seekers of God's salvation know that one must receive “water baptism” in Jesus' name, as the baptism of the Great Commission, to be joined to the Body of Christ, and or to become a member of the Church.
From the foregoing therefore, it seems strange and in fact ridiculous, for theologians and members of the Clergy, to see two or even more different baptisms in the Bible, which they teach to their followers.
Another wrong teaching of the Clergy, who ever administer “water baptism” at all, is that this baptism (in water) is only needful and significant as a post-salvation ritual. In other words, one must have obtained God's salvation, be living in it, and be enjoying it, to be eligible for “water baptism”.
For them, this “water baptism” can only be administered to those followers of theirs who are considered to have already entered into God's salvation in Christ, because they had, in a not-so-distant past, been led to recite some special prayers.
This “water baptism” is administered for such followers, by being immersed in water, in man-made swimming pools, tanks, portable baptisteries, or in natural bodies of living water. The choice of place for the administration of this baptism, by these theologians and Clergy, is always dependant on how modern, affluent, or poor its proponents/recipients are.
The rich and affluent usually resort to perfumed water in modern swimming pools and other large, man-made, water-holding containers, for the administration of the ritual. The less wealthy however, usually resort to natural water bodies, often located outside of town, for the ritual.
What all this means is that, for such people who observe the rite of baptism, it does not matter whether the place for baptism is natural or man-made; it is simply a matter dependant on one's personal choices, tastes and or social status. For such baptismal faithful, God has no say in this! And so, it is not uncommon in our world today, for baptism to be performed in private king-sized bath-tubs, Jacuzzis, and swimming pools of the rich.
The main reason that theologians and Clergy often give for ever administering “water baptism” to their followers is that, it must be done “to fulfill all righteousness”. Readers must however note that, the words “to fulfill all righteousness” are credited to Jesus in Matthew 3: 15. Jesus Christ, the Messiah of God, who never knew any sin, before, at, and after his baptism, spoke these words to urge John the Baptist to baptize him.
So, in the thinking of these so-called men of God, since Jesus the Christ, who knew no sin, had to be baptized “to fulfill all righteousness”, any mortal men seeking to be baptized “to fulfill all righteousness” in their lives must also be without sin, at the point of their baptism in water. In other words, mortal man must be devoid of sin, in much the same state that Jesus the Christ was without sin, when John baptized him, before he can also be baptized!
How mortal man can come to be without sin, many theologians and Clergy are however ignorant about. According to these theologians and Clergy, immediately anyone of their followers, recites after them any one of the special prayers, known to them as the “Prayer for Salvation” and the “Sinner's Prayer”, one instantly attains a sinless or sin-free state, is saved, and is firmly established in God's kingdom. It is in this supposed sinless state obtained in prayer, that the sinner then becomes qualified, for these leaders to baptize him “to fulfill all righteousness”.
As part of their recitals of these special prayers for salvation, the salvation-seeker is also led by these so-called men of God, to ask for God's Holy Spirit to come to indwell one's heart. Though they accept that the Holy Spirit is a gift of God, they teach that one must demand through praying to Him, to be given this gift. After reciting the special prayer, the salvation-seeker is made to believe that some great blessings of God have been divinely bestowed upon him.
The first of these supposed blessings is that one has become cleansed from all sin, and come at par with Jesus the Christ in His sinless state, during his earthly sojourn. The second supposed blessing is that, one has become a child of God, of the same status as and co-heir with Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God.
The third deception is that, one now has indwelling in one's heart, a certain amount or “measure of the Holy Spirit of God”; but to obtain the full measure of the Holy Spirit to indwell one's heart however, one must await a “Holy Spirit baptism”, for his entire human vessel to be filled to the brim and running-over, with the Holy Spirit of God.
It is very sad that the salvation message of God is presented to a needy world in this ridiculous way. It is ridiculous because the Word of God does not teach the message and good news of mankind's redemption in this way. (---the continuing part to this article is in Part Two: soon to be published).
Chris Bapuohyele is an author, a Bible expositor and an evangelist. His e-mail address is: [email protected]