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204. Baptizer in the Spirit.

Who is the baptizer in the Spirit? Who doesn't know the answer to this question! Nevertheless, try asking this question to Christians and you will be surprised to know that many believe that it is the Holy Spirit who baptizes in the Spirit though Scripture clearly says it is the ministry of Jesus. Therefore John said, "I baptized with water but among you stands one you do not know ..." ( John 2:26) "He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire." ( Matthew 3:11) So what is the ministry of the Holy Spirit? To prepare the vessels to receive the Spirit. Unless the vessels are restored, Jesus cannot pour out his Spirit because "no one pours new wine into old wineskins ..." ( Luke 5:37) The Holy Spirit prepared the hundred and twenty before the day of Pentecost and Jesus baptized them in the Spirit. Therefore Peter said, "Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear." ( Acts 2:33) Jesus being the Christ, 'the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world', it is his right to baptize men in the Spirit because he has become their Lord. "God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.' (Acts 2:36) To baptize in the Spirit is therefore the sign of his Lordship. "The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit." (John 2:33) He stakes claim to every soul that belongs to him by filling them with his Spirit, for that is how he possesses which rightfully belongs to him. 'And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.' ( Romans 8:9) Whenever two or three come together in his name, Jesus is in their midst by his Spirit, not to take a head count but to fill them with the Spirit. But if the vessels are not ready, he cannot pour out his Spirit. It was not Jesus who filled the stone jars with water at the wedding in Cana but it was he who turned water to wine. ( John 2:6-8) Likewise, it is the Holy Spirit who fills us with the water which is symbolic of the Word of God (Ephesians 5:26) but it is Jesus who causes the new wine to flow out of us. Jesus, the Baptizer in the Spirit is waiting to 'pour out the Spirit upon all people'. ( Acts 2:17) Let's get ready for the overflow! Amen.

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