Some modern Bible scholars have claimed, with sound scriptural proof texts, that Holy Spirit Fire baptism confirmation ceased with the finished revelation of biblical truth. While there is a seed of credibility lent to such affirmations which assert the indwelling of the Holy Spirit today is limited to enablement which helps us understand and apply God’s truth to our lives, nevertheless, overarching evidence makes clear that Holy Spirit fire baptism continues to confirm Christian work.
Should this confirming work Of the Holy Spirit have ceased, what did Peter mean when he applied the word of Joel to the newly birthed Church at Pentecost? He claimed God’s word to the prophet as a word for the church, saying, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of my Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams, And on my menservants and on my maidservants I will pour my Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy. I will show wonders in heaven above, And signs in the earth beneath…” (Acts 2:17-19).
Certainly, Jesus expected the Holy Spirit Fire baptism confirmation to continue in the work of the church. He stated, before His crucifixion, ” Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these shall he do, because I go to my Father” (John 14:12). Clearly, this is a word that extends beyond the Apostles and the finished revelation of biblical truth. It is a word for todays church, assuring the Holy Spirit confirming it’s work and service in this present age.
Finally, we cannot conclude the parting words of Jesus in Mark 16, as inapplicable to the church in our time. All Jesus claims for us surely cannot be attributed to our own power, but must be considered as the confirming work of the Holy Spirit Fire baptism. For He commands, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved: but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe” (15-17).
Reading those signs which follow empowers those who believe grow confident that the Holy Spirit Fire baptism has not ceased in our life and time. Quite the contrary, the Holy Spirit is our ever present help, confirming the work of the church, even in a dying world.
L. Jerome Jones