THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH CONSIDERED IN THE LIGHT OF THE BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT.
In the light of the scriptural references to the gift of the Holy Spirit, I would now like to present an overview of what the church has taught about the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. In fact, I believe the history of the teaching of the church concerning the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is the history of the development of the church.
There are three major doctrines--SALVATION, SANCTIFICATION, and the BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT--that have shaped the church, and each of them, at some period of time, has been thought to be the experience which the Bible calls the BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT. A renewed emphasis upon one of these doctrines has produced a major revival at some period of the history of the church. I have summarized these teachings into five doctrinal positions as they relate to the concept of the BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT.
SALVATION: The doctrine of SALVATION may include such concepts as the new birth, baptism into Christ, regeneration, justification, conversion, initiation into Christ, or forgiveness of sins.
SANCTIFICATION: The teaching of SANCTIFICATION may include such teachings as pure love, holiness, purification of affections, dying daily, eradication of original sin, eradication of the Adamic nature, or sinless perfection.
THE BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT: The doctrine of the BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT, which has been taught as being either of the other two experiences, also has been taught as a separate experience which includes such ideas as enduement of power, power in ministry, power for witnessing, or charismata (gifts of the Spirit).
A renewed emphasis upon each of these doctrines, at some period of the church's history, has produced a revival and has given birth to new churches that have espoused and promoted each particular doctrine. In considering these doctrines, there are two primary questions that we must answer: 1) Is there a spiritual experience which is SUBSEQUENT to SALVATION or some other spiritual experience? and 2) What is the scriptural EVIDENCE that you have
received any one of these spiritual experiences? How one answers these questions usually will determine one's doctrinal position.
THE FIVE DOCTRINAL POSITIONS
POSITION #1: THE EARLY CHURCH TO THE PRESENT
In the early accounts of persons being initiated into the church, the historians inform us that the initiate was baptized in water, anointed all over with oil, clothed with new raiment, given communion, and received the laying on of hands for the impartation of a gift of the Spirit. We can see the symbolic significance of each of these activities in helping the new Christian to understand his salvation, the anointing of the Spirit, the new life in Christ, being one with Christ through the communion service. From New Testament times until the reformation, the church was united around the doctrinal teaching set forth in this position.
The churches in this category believe that all of the experiences--SALVATION, SANCTIFICATION, BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT--are initiated when one is baptized in water which is efficacious for salvation. When one is BAPTIZED IN WATER, he is baptized into Jesus Christ and initiated into the church. SALVATION and the BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT are synonymous terms, and SANCTIFICATION begins at SALVATION and is a progressive growth in grace. The churches who hold this view are the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Anglican (Episcopalian) Church, the Evangelical and Reformed Church, the Churches of Christ, some Lutheran, and some Methodist churches.
POSITION #2: THE REFORMATION--1500 TO THE PRESENT
When Luther nailed his theses to the church door, he ushered in a renewed emphasis upon the spiritual reality of SALVATION: "the just shall live by faith." This gave rise to the idea of the "priesthood of the believer" and the need to trust the scriptures rather than the church for SALVATION.
The churches who hold this position teach that all of the experiences--SALVATION, SANCTIFICATION, BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT--are initiated in the experience of SALVATION. SALVATION and the BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT are synonymous terms, and SANCTIFICATION begins at SALVATION and is a progressive growth in grace. The emphasis on the spiritual aspects of SALVATION that "the just shall live by faith" brought about the Reformation Period. Most of the churches in this category do not consider WATER BAPTISM to be efficacious for SALVATION but as an outward symbol of an inward experience, the "answer of a good conscience toward God." Some of these churches would emphasize that one may be "filled with the Spirit"; however, this is not the BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT but rather a special anointing for ministry. The churches who hold this view are the Baptist churches, the Presbyterian Church, the Disciples of Christ, the Congregational Church, some Methodist, and some Lutheran Churches.
POSITION #3: THE WESLEYAN/HOLINESS REVIVAL--1750 TO THE PRESENT
In 1739, Wesley had a heart-warming experience which planted the seeds of the holiness revival. The credo of the early Methodist Church was that it was raised up to take the message of holiness around the world. As the teaching of SANCTIFICATION or pure love became less and less identified with cleansing and more and more identified with a BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT as an enduement of power for service, the stage was set for the Pentecostal revival.
The churches of the Wesleyan, or holiness persuasion, generally teach that SALVATION is received by faith; however, there is a SUBSEQUENT experience of SANCTIFICATION also received by faith which enables one to live a holy life and experience a pure love for God. The experience of SANCTIFICATION became synonymous with the BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT (without THE EVIDENCE of tongues); therefore, one received two separate, definite experiences of grace: SALVATION and SANCTIFICATION (BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT). WATER BAPTISM is not efficacious for SALVATION, but it is the "answer of a good conscience toward God," and it may be administered after SALVATION or after SANCTIFICATION. The churches holding this view are the Church of the Nazarene, the Church of God (Anderson, Indiana), Christian Missionary Alliance, the Wesleyan Methodist Church, the Salvation Army, and the various churches of the Wesleyan/holiness persuasion.
POSITION #4: THE PENTECOSTAL REVIVAL (HOLINESS)--1900 TO THE PRESENT
Around the turn of the century, Charles Parham opened a Bible school in Topeka, Kansas. As the students searched the scriptures for an EVIDENCE of the BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT, they concluded that speaking in tongues was the means whereby one may know he has received the infilling of the Spirit. Agnes Ozman was the first to receive the experience in Topeka, Kansas. The Pentecostal movement spread to Houston, Texas and later to Los Angeles, California. In 1906, the Azusa Street revival in Los Angeles began, and people from all over the world came and received the experience of the BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT with the EVIDENCE of speaking with tongues. For me, Parham was the "Father of the Pentecostal Movement" because he was the first one to formulate the doctrine that speaking in tongues is the EVIDENCE of the BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT. Many had spoken in tongues prior to the Topeka experience, but Parham was the one who made a doctrinal statement about the meaning of speaking in tongues.
Since the first persons who received the BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT with the EVIDENCE of speaking in tongues at the turn of the century were holiness people who had embraced SANCTIFICATION as a second definite work of grace, they added the experience of the BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT to their experiences of SALVATION and SANCTIFICATION, and thus began to teach a three-fold plan of salvation--SALVATION by faith, SANCTIFICATION, a second definite experience of grace by faith, and the BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT, a third definite experience received by faith with the EVIDENCE of speaking in tongues. WATER BAPTISM is the "answer of a good conscience toward God" and may be administered after SALVATION, after SANCTIFICATION, or after the BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT. The churches who espouse this view of these doctrines are the Pentecostal Holiness Church, the Church of God in Christ, the Church of God (Cleveland, TN), the Church of God of Prophecy, the Church of God of the Apostolic Faith, and various other churches that hold to a Wesleyan view of SANCTIFICATION.
POSITION #5: THE PENTECOSTAL REVIVAL (FINISHED WORK)--1910 TO PRESENT
The first doctrinal division in the Pentecostal movement was over the teaching of SANCTIFICATION as a second definite work of grace. In 1910, Pastor Durham began to preach the "finished work" of Christ and denied SANCTIFICATION as a second definite work of grace. This was the first major division in the Pentecostal movement. In 1914, the first General Council of the Assemblies of God meeting in Hot Springs, Arkansas, accepted the "finished work" view of SANCTIFICATION rather than the Wesleyan/holiness view. The individuals who embraced this teaching believed that SALVATION is received by faith, and that the BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT with the EVIDENCE of speaking in tongues also is received by faith; however, they teach that SANCTIFICATION begins at SALVATION and is a progressive growth in grace. WATER BAPTISM is not efficacious for SALVATION, but is the "answer of a good conscience toward God" and may be administered after SALVATION or after the BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT. The churches holding this view are the Assemblies of God, the Church of the Foursquare Gospel, the Pentecostal Church of God, the Open Bible Standard Church, and the United Pentecostal Church.
THE CHARISMATIC RENEWAL: 1960 TO THE PRESENT
The Charismatic Renewal does not fit any of these positions because a Charismatic Christian may hold any of the above views and belong to any of the above churches, with the possible exception of a Pentecostal church. Usually a person who belongs to one of the traditional Pentecostal churches is called a "Pentecostal." A "Charismatic" believes in an experience of a BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT (usually with tongues) and the accompanying charismata or gifts of the Spirit, and may belong to any one of the "non-Pentecostal" churches, embracing any or all of the teachings of that particular church. A Charismatic also may believe that speaking in tongues is not the "initial physical EVIDENCE" of the BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT as taught by the "Classical Pentecostal," but that speaking in tongues is a CONSEQUENCE of the BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT. The Charismatic may also believe that all speaking with tongues is a manifestation of the "gift of tongues," and, therefore, does not accept the concept of a "prayer language," or "devotional tongues."
This brief outline may clarify the question of what the various churches believe concerning the BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT and why there are different Pentecostal churches. Several of the present day Pentecostal churches--Pentecostal Holiness, Church of God in Christ, Church of God--were already organized before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in 1900, and the ministers of those churches accepted the BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT with the EVIDENCE of speaking in tongues, making it part of the doctrine of their church. After 1900, other churches were established in different parts of the country, and some were the result of divisions in the organized churches.
This completes our study of the provisions of Christ for the church--the gift of the HOLY SPIRIT and the gift of the various ministries. We now turn our attention to the ministry of the Holy Spirit to the body of Christ: 1) the fruit of the Spirit, 2) the gifts of the Spirit, and 3) the Spirit of Truth.
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