“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.” – 1 Corinthians 12:12-13
In the early 1900s, a new form of religion came into being, Pentecostalism. Pentecostalism emphasizes the “baptism in the Holy Spirit, evidenced by speaking in tongues, prophecy, healing, and exorcism.” (Google.com, Dictionary). It got its beginning with Charles Parham, “an evangelist and faith healer”, who taught “that speaking in tongues was the Bible evidence of Spirit baptism.” (Wikipedia.com, “Pentecostalism”). This led to what is called the Azusa Street Revival, led by William J. Seymor, in Los Angeles California. This “revival” lasted for a number of years and was one of the main reasons Pentecostalism spread throughout America.
Pentecostalism then began to gain more and more traction in the 1960’s and 1970’s and today has dramatically infiltrated many communities and churches. Another term that is commonly used in connection with Pentecostalism is Charismatic. As the name Pentecostalism implies, there is a hyper focus on the day of Pentecost. The day of Pentecost is found in Acts 2, and the event marks the coming of the Holy Spirit. Beginning in the early 1900s, Charismatics adopted a view of “baptism in the Holy Spirit.” This is the idea a person is born again and then at a later time, perhaps days, weeks, months, or even years, they will receive the “baptism in the Holy Spirit.” This later “baptism of the Holy Spirit” results in a more powerful life.
The question we must therefore ask is, is this new teaching Biblical? Are there two sets of Christians, ones who have been baptized by the Holy Spirit and those who haven’t?
Here is the quick answer…NO.
As we can see in our verse above, when the Apostle Paul writes to the Corinthian church he says, “we were all baptized into one body…all were made to drink of one Spirit.” Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, does not create different classes of Christian. All Christians are baptized by the Spirit. All Christians were made to drink of one Spirit. It is not possible to be a Christian without being baptized by the Spirit. Likewise, Romans 8:9 states, “You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.” This verse makes it clear, no Spirit, no salvation. There are not two classes of Christians. The Spirit dwells in us at the first moment of our conversion.
So what about Acts? What about the twelve disciples being followers of Christ, and then receiving the Holy Spirit later? The answer is quite simple, the book of Acts is a bridge between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. The twelve disciples lived in two ages. The Holy Spirit could not be sent into the world until Christ was killed, resurrected, and ascended. The disciples had to wait until that occurred before the Spirit was sent. For us, we live exclusively in the New Covenant Age and we do not have to wait for the Spirit. Upon repentance and faith in Christ, the Spirit immediately takes up residence (dwells) within us.
So what about the feelings people have? First, beware of feelings. I would take the absolute truth of the Bible over feelings any day. Second, the feeling of “anointing” could be that you were not a Christian previously, and you now are. There are many religious people who are not born again. Perhaps in the midst of their religion, they found Jesus (or better yet, were found by Jesus). A third possibility is that this feeling of being baptized in the Holy Spirit is not a new experience, but a progressive experience. When we are born again, we are babies in Christ and we grow in our spiritual maturity. At times we will grow slowly and at other times we will have growth spurts. This growth spurt does not put you in a special class, but merely marks a time in your life that you made a major step in your walk to be more like Christ.
Final comment, Pentecostalism is a good example of how Christians must be on guard. If someone claims to have a “new” teaching, run in the opposite direction as fast as you can. And above all, use the Scriptures to determine truth, not some flamboyant personality.