And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
He said unto them, HAVE YE RECEIVED THE HOLY GHOST SINCE YE BELIEVED? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.
Immediately we got born again; some things are expected to happen to us. The first among them is the holy ghost baptism.
“Since you believed” is an expression from Paul that is challenging every believer to be discontented with the present level of glory. What are those things that are meant for the children of God that you ought to experience that you have not experienced?
Apart from the holy spirit baptism, there are so many things (sanctification, consecration, witnessing with signs and wonders following, and much more conforming to the image of Christ) which you ought to experience as a child of God; if you have not experienced them, you are behind divine schedule. The men who met Paul, believed in Jesus, but they didn’t receive the holy ghost, and they said that they’ve not even heard about the holy ghost. He now asked them that unto what baptism were ye baptized, and they said unto John’s baptism.
The Teaching of John
They can be compared with someone using 1G network now when the world was already using 5G. When Paul spoke to these men, it was almost twenty years from Pentecost. Unfortunately, these men are yet to be partakers of the holy ghost baptism. They are yet to experience their own Pentecost.
John answered, saying unto them all, I Indeed baptism you with water but one mightier than I cometh
These men who met Paul are missing the provision of the one mightier than John. They are yet to experience that which is powerful; even John would love to have that which they are missing (the baptisms of the holy ghost and with power).
If you already have the holy spirit baptism, you can enjoy some realities. Paul took time to teach them about the John’s baptism, and he made them know that John pointed to Jesus as one who is mightier than him and that people should follow him. Paul must have told them about the time when John said I would decrease that he (Jesus Christ) may increase. John even directed his disciples to follow Jesus.
These teachable men recognized that they were behind divine schedule and were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ by Paul. They had another baptism by immersion, but this time, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Types of Baptism
There are three baptisms in the Bible. The first is the baptism of Moses.
1 Corinthians 10:1-2
Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
The church of the Old Testament was baptized into Moses.
Baptism of John
Another type of baptism is that of John, a baptism of repentance. Although it is not a baptism that leads to the transformation of men from within. Instead it is an awakening to follow God through the Mosaic law and some elements of morality; doing things right.
After the soldiers heard the message of John, they came to the baptism, and they asked what shall we do. John told them not to collect bribes. The tax collectors also came to him; he said to them don’t charge more than what you are supposed to charge people.
The baptism of John is a baptism that is warning people to flee from the wrath to come, but it doesn’t have any provision for eternal salvation.
Luke 3:14 ”
And the soldiers likewise demanded of him what shall we do and he said unto them do violence to no man neither accuse anyone falsely and be content with your wages.”
The baptism of John makes you love your neighbour as yourself and treat others well. In that dispensation, it was enough to make one right with God.
Baptism of Jesus Christ
In this dispensation, you must believe the Lord, Jesus Christ before you can be free from the guilt of sin that you inherited from Adam. You must admit that the power of God raised him from the dead. Immediately after this, the same power that is working in Jesus Christ when he came out of the dead will make that which was destroyed as a result of Adam’s fault come alive in your life.
Now when you go to the rivers to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, you are publicly testifying to the fact that you are a partaker of the provision of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. It’s a public declaration of the changes that have taken place within.
Laying on of Hands
After salvation, there are some experiences or encounters that should be normal to you, but you are yet to taste them. Like these men said, since we believe we know nothing about the holy ghost, open up to people who can help you.
I remembered two friends who had been to New York talking about the time square in my presence. They were describing a particular place there. I was just looking at them because I had never been there, and I was at a loss amidst the conversation.
The first thing Paul asked these men was the holy ghost baptism; it means it is the least expected experience any believer should have.
What are the other things that a believer must experience?
Therefore, leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
This scripture highlights the foundations of repentance and faith in God. After the foundations are well laid, next is the doctrine of baptisms, laying on of hands, the resurrection of dead and eternal judgement. In this article, the basics of foundation are already addressed. Equally, the doctrine of baptisms and laying on of hands (holy ghost baptism) were also mentioned.
In the scheme of work for a foundational believer, there are two foundations; repentance from dead works and faith towards God. At the time Paul met these men in Ephesus, they already had a weak foundation of repentance from dead works (because they were not baptized into Christ), although they had faith in God. They were also lacking behind as regards correct doctrines. The doctrine of baptisms is simple but they are behind because they stooped at John’s. The doctrine of the laying on of hands which is the holy ghost baptism, is unknown to them.
Paul did not leave at their level. Instead, he taught them and made them realize the need to be a partaker of someone of all christ came to offer. Paul also laid his hands upon them, and the holy ghost came on them, and they spoke with new tongues, and prophesied.
- Pray that the holy ghost will come upon you, and you will begin to do that which you have been missing as a believer since you got born again.
- I want you to begin to thank God for your salvation if you are already saved, and I also want you to tell God some experiences that you desire.
- If you are born again, and you’ve not received the holy ghost, begin to ask for this reality in the name of Jesus.
- If you want to manifest a gift of the spirit tell the Lord, and he will give you.