Continuing my series on the Holy Spirit, we now turn our attention to baptism, specifically Holy Spirit baptism.
Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”Acts 1:4–5
What Jesus says in Acts 1:4-5 is very close to what John said in Matthew 3,
As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.Matthew 3:11
In Acts 1, Jesus was just gathered with His apostles, as far as we can tell from the text, but in Matthew 3, John is addressing “Jerusalem… all Judea and all the district around the Jordan” (Matthew 3:5). In other words, John promised baptism of the Spirit to those whom he baptized with water, not just the apostles.
In the days following Jesus’ ascension, 120 believers gathered in one place. It was upon all 120 of these believers that the Spirit fell.
When they had entered the city, they went up to the upper room where they were staying; that is, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers. At this time Peter stood up in the midst of the brethren (a gathering of about one hundred and twenty persons was there together), and said…Acts 1:13–15
In the following chapter, the crowds heard these believers speaking in tongues. The number of dialects that were heard far exceeded just twelve (Acts 2:5-11) because all 120 of these individuals were speaking in tongues, “along with the women.”
In explaining what this meant, Peter quoted from Joel 2.
It will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions. Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.Joel 2:28–29
Clearly nobody is excluded from the baptism of the Spirit. All classes, genders, and races of people were promised this blessing by Joel, John, and Peter.
The reason for this, as we will discuss in this next edition, is that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is not the ability to do miracles; it is the means through which God resurrects Israel and, by extension, “all mankind.”