There are men who affirm in debate that Holy Spirit baptism must be received in order to become or to be a child of God. It would place me in a very inconsistent attitude to debate with any man who I believed had been baptized in the Holy Spirit. If his claims were true, I would be debating with the Holy Spirit, or placed in the unusual position of debating with an apostle of Christ. If one is baptized with the Holy Spirit now, in what sense is such a man inferior to an apostle of Christ?
The man who claims Holy Spirit baptism ought to be able to prove it; there ought to be some way to know it, and show it. The apostles proved that they were baptized in the Holy Spirit. Jesus said to them, "Take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father that speaketh in you" (Matt. 10: 1920). The parallel passage from Luke's record reads: "Take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: for the Holy Spirit shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say" (Lk. 12:11,12). But the man who affirmed in debate with me that he had the Holy Spirit baptism, could not speak without his manuscript and his notes, and he had difficulty in his efforts to even quote the scriptures he wanted to use, and often failed to find passages in the Bible that he desired to read. Rather bluntly I told him to fold up his manuscript and lay aside his Bible, if he had received Holy Spirit baptism he needed neither the Bible nor his notes, for the Holy Spirit in him would tell him "what" to say and "how" to answer. It was this power that enabled apostles of Christ to prove their claims, and Holy Spirit baptism was accompanied with the miraculous manifestations by which to prove it and to demonstrate it. But when a man today merely asserts that he has Holy Spirit baptism, with no demonstration of its powers, others whose claims he will not accept loudly assert as much. The Holy Rollers, Nazarenes, Apostolics, Pentecostals, Missouri Mormons and Utah Mormons all lay claim to Holy Spirit baptism, but they will not accept each other's claims. How can we know that he (who claims it) has it, but they (others who claim it) do not have it ? Where is the proof ?
Jesus told the apostles that they would be "endued with power" or "clothed with power" from heaven. So Holy Spirit baptism is defined as an "overwhelming" in the Holy Spirit "from on high." If any power of the Spirit is lacking, it would not be an overwhelming. But if one is overwhelmed in the Spirit, he has everything the apostles of Christ had. There can be no measures of Holy Spirit baptism, it was the same to all who had it, and alike to all. No apostle of Christ had more or less of Holy Spirit baptism than another apostle. So again I ask: If men were baptized in the Holy Spirit today in what sense and to what extent would they be inferior to the apostles of Jesus Christ ? The purpose of the Holy Spirit in the apostles was to teach, them, made them remember what Jesus had said, guide them into all the truth, and revealed to them the whole scheme of redemption. It was therefore special, not general; and to make a general application of the passages of scripture that applied only to the apostles of Christ, is the fundamental mistake of all who claim that baptism in the Holy Spirit is received today.
Time was when the whole scheme of redemption was concealed in the depths of
the divine mind. No creature of the universe, whatever his position or however exalted,
had ever conceived it. It was the purpose of the Holy Spirit in the apostles of
Jesus Christ to reveal it. “For God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for
the Spirit searcheth all things yea, the deep things of God ... which things also
we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Spirit
teacheth" (II Cor. 2:10-