Which Baptism?

Acts 18
24 ¶  Now a Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by birth, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus; and he was mighty in the Scriptures.
25  This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he was speaking and teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus, being acquainted only with the baptism of John;
26  and he began to speak out boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.
27  And when he wanted to go across to Achaia, the brethren encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him; and when he had arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace,
28  for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, demonstrating by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.

There are mystical connotations in these passages and the ones following in chapter 19. They teach us the necessity of moving into a higher realm. Apollos was an eloquent man. He was fervent in spirit. He was speaking and teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus. There was certainly nothing “wrong” with him. Why then did Priscilla and Aquila take him aside to explain to him the way of God more accurately? We have the answer beginning in chapter 19.

 Acts 19
1 ¶  It happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the upper country and came to Ephesus, and found some disciples.
2  He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.”
3  And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” And they said, “Into John’s baptism.”
4  Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.”
5  When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
6  And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying.

Paul asks the disciples in Ephesus if they received the Holy Spirit when they believed. The disciples reply that they had not even heard whether there was a Holy Spirit. Paul then asks then into what were they baptized. They reply, “Into John’s baptism.” This was the same baptism that Apollos had experienced. In verses 4-6 Paul explains there is a deeper baptism into Jesus Himself. Consequently, the disciples are baptized in the name of Jesus. Paul then lays his hands on them and the Holy Spirit comes upon them and they begin speaking with tongues and prophesying.

No, this is not a message about receiving the Holy Spirit, or speaking in tongues and prophesying. It is also not a message about which “name” someone is water baptized in. We want to take a deeper look at what is being revealed in these passages. We read how Apollos was eloquent and fervent in spirit. He taught accurately the things concerning Jesus. Why wasn’t the baptism of John enough? Mystically, what is being revealed is the necessity to be baptized INTO Jesus. The baptism of John is a baptism of surface information. This is the soul realm. The soul realm of Christianity is filled with surface information. The deeper truths only come as we are baptized INTO Jesus. Being baptized into Jesus means becoming immersed in His life. This only happens as we transcend the realm of soul and move into the realm of spirit. The disciples speaking in tongues and prophesying after Paul lays hands on them symbolizes transitioning into a higher realm. The laying on of hands symbolizes how impartation to our spirits is the only means by which we come into a deeper revelation of the Lord. We will never have a deeper revelation of the Lord through the surface teachings of the soul realm.

It is a living word imparted to our spirits that enables us to change and partake of the Lord’s glory. This is symbolized by how Priscilla and Aquila take Apollos aside and explain the way of God more accurately. If we remain in the Apollos realm, we will always have plenty of teaching and accurate doctrine. For many this is enough. But for those who have the hunger for a deeper revelation of the Lord, it will never be enough. For such ones the Apollos soul realm can only be a source of frustration. If we are truly hungry, being told continually what God IS GOING to do becomes wearisome. We must have access into experiencing, not just knowing. Everything the Lord is doing is accessible right now. We don’t have to wait. In the realm of spirit it is available.

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