Vol.XIV No.XII Pg.7
February 1978

?You Know What?

Robert F. Turner

Dear brother:

Were the Apostles baptized in water on the day of Pentecost? B.B.


If they were, the record does not reveal it. I do not know more about what happened on the first Pentecost following the resurrection of Christ than the records reveal (Acts 2:) and I am still trying to learn that.

This is, in reality, the age-old question concerning the validity of baptism received prior to Pentecost. It seems safe to assume that the apostles had been baptized during that time. Surely they did not "reject the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of Him" (Lu. 7:29-30). It seems they were baptizing others (Jn. 4:2). They were the "them" (understood) to whom the three thousand converts were "added" (Acts 2:41). I see no reason to believe that disciples baptized prior to Pentecost would need to repeat this act afterwards. Their need was simply to "believe on him which should come after...that is on Christ Jesus" (Acts 19:4).

The failure of disciples at Ephesus to know concerning the coming of the Holy Spirit (Pentecost and afterwards) would indicate they had been taught by someone "knowing only the baptism of John" (Acts 18:25). In the New dispensation (which began on Pentecost:) their understanding was inadequate. Unlike those earlier baptisms, which were submission in the light of all necessary information; these at Ephesus had acted upon an improper and inadequate basis. This rebaptism does not argue the same for Apostles. Mr. Turner:

Why do you persist in treating the baptism of Acts 2:38 as if it was water baptism, when Peter clearly promised Holy Ghost baptism? A Friend.


I suppose you feel am reading into the passage that which suits my religious background, or the likes. Can you possibly believe that you could do such a thing? Read Acts 2: again.

Some asked, "What shall we do?" They were told, "repent, and be baptized..." These were conditions that must be met before they would receive "the gift of the Holy Spirit." I do not believe this last expression refers to H. S. baptism, but if it did it would be a promise, to be received only after repentance and — baptism.

The baptism commanded was that which the great commission authorized (Mk. 16:15-1G). The apostles had been told to "tarry ...in Jerusalem, until endued with power" (Lu. 24:47-49), and then they were to "go, teach, baptize" (Matt. 28:19). Now men can go, teach, and baptize — with water; but men can not baptize with the Holy Spirit. The concept of Holy Spirit baptism in Acts 2:38 fits neither baptism as a command to be obeyed, nor as an act to be performed by the teachers, and to which the taught are to submit.

Pursue the matter further. Philip preached Jesus Christ, and baptized (Acts 8:5,12,35-39), as the Lord commanded. And he baptized in water. It could be that you persist in "seeing" something in Acts 2:38 that neither Luke nor the Holy Spirit put there.