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The Old Testament Gives a Prophetic Picture of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit

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The entire fourteenth chapter of I Corinthians is de­voted to the explanation of the operation of the Holy Spirit, its manifestation and its gifts in the New Testament church. The Apostle Paul very plainly states, and simply explains, that the operation of speaking with other tongues in the Corinthian church in the city of the Gentiles was in fullfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy to Israel. What are we to con­clude from this?

By Nathaniel A. Urshan 

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The Old Testament gives a picture of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost in a series of prophetic utterances. Let us consider two of them.

 

First, Isaiah 28:11-12, “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.”

 

The second prophecy is in Joel 2:28, 29: “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out of my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophecy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions; and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.”

 

The prophecy of Isaiah is addressed definitely to Israel. The prophecy of Joel is also addressed to Israel, but it tells of God’s plan to pour out His spirit upon all flesh. Seven hundred years before Jesus Christ came to earth the spirit of prophecy declared that the spirit of God should afterward be poured out upon all flesh, and that the gift of the Holy Spirit would be attended with the evidence of speaking in other tongues.

 

THERE’S A COMPARISON

Is there then to be a difference between the way in which the Holy Spirit was given to the Jewish believer in the beginning of the church at Jerusalem and the way in which it shall be received by the Gentile believers through­out the world?

 

Let us examine the record of the first outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. It was on that day that the first one hundred twenty disciples were baptized with the Holy Ghost and fire.

 

“When the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised a­broad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. They were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Gali-leans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?” (Acts 2:1-8).

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