On this page I intend to list brief quotes from recent reliable authors who affirm Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ stance on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit or who at least allow that the term is legitimately applied to a post-regeneration, post-conversion experience (although, for the record, the baptism of or with the Holy Spirit could happen simultaneously with conversion).
For example, the godly A.W. Tozer (2009), asserts that:
THE MOST CRITICAL NEED of the Church at this moment is men -the right kind of men, bold men. The talk is that we need revival that we need a new baptism of the Holy Spirit – and God knows we must have both – but God will not revive mice. He will not fill rabbits with the Holy Spirit.
Through this we can infer that Tozer understood the Baptism of the Holy Spirit to be a post-regeneration/post-conversion phenomena.
One of the verses discussed by Dr Lloyd-Jones (e.g. in sermon MLJ1082 upon John 1:26-33) is John 7:39, ‘But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.’ In his classic work on this gospel, William Hendriksen (1959) says this:
To be sure, the third person of the Trinity existed from all eternity, and caused his influence to be felt long before Pentecost; but as yet the Spirit was not present in the sense already indicated; the reason being because Jesus was not yet glorified. Just as believers cannot become the greatest possible blessing to the world until the Holy Spirit comes upon them (Acts 1:8), so also that Spirit could not come until Jesus was glorified. The Old Testament connects the issuing forth of streams of blessing with the coming of the Spirit. (Clearest is Is 44:3 For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring) (p26)
In this way, Hendriksen asserts that believers (i.e. all those already regenerate and converted, as per the scope of the text he treats) ‘cannot become the greatest possible blessing to the world until the Holy Spirit comes upon them‘, and that, referring to Acts 1:8, extends ‘unto the uttermost part of the earth’, which surely extends past the time of the apostles, down to our very day.
Arnold Dallimore’s biography of George Whitefield is a ‘must read’ for any Christian. Whitefield, as portrayed by Dallimore, is surely close to the epitomy of what we would want in a Christian. He says,
As we look back from our present standpoint we see that God’s chosen time to ‘arise and have mercy upon Zion… yea, the set time [had] come’, and that in raising up Whitefield, He had granted upon him and his ministry ‘a mighty effusion of the Holy Ghost’; and it was this, the Divine power, which was the first secret of his success.
Are we really going to turn our backs on the plain testimony of history and neglect the ‘secret of his success’? For the sake of what?! Wrangling about terms? We need more than ever this extraordinary work of the Holy Spirit!
According to Iain Murray, Roland Burrows notes (2012, p206) that Thomas Collins, a renowned Methodist minister:
…attributed usefulness in the ministry to the following source: ‘Marvellous results come not of nothing. God giveth the increase’. The secret anointing of the Holy Spirit was the explanation and source of all real effectiveness in the ministry.
Collins ‘maxims’ include the following (ibid, p209):
In selecting the sermon to be preached, consider the people, not yourself. Choose your hymns carefully. Give them out heartily, and with much inward devotion. In your first prayer, plead until the people move; wait until the baptism of power falls. You must not preach without power.
Many would be willing to preach without many things, how many would hold off ‘until the baptism of power falls‘ in our day?
Whilst arguing that there is only one ‘baptism of the Spirit’ (i.e. that it is synonymous with ‘regeneration’), Dr Peter Masters (1994, p71) goes on to say:
there is in the New Testament a further blessing by the Spirit which is called the filling of the Spirit, and this may happen often in the life of a Christian.
Dr Masters’ vision of a ‘filling of the Spirit’, in this chapter, actually has more in common with Dr Lloyd-Jones’ vision of a ‘Baptism of the Spirit’ than difference. After listing various texts from Acts which use the term, Dr Masters goes on to say:
The purpose of these fillings is clear from the circumstances of the recipients, and the effects which they had. Fillings of the Spirit produced boldness, fluency in witness, great love, unity of purpose, deep commitment to the Lord’s work (seen in the stewardship of all their goods), wisdom, discernment, spiritual comfort in persecution, assurance and also joy.
Anyone familiar with Dr. Lloyd-Jones teachings would recognise the close proximity of meaning in the above quotes to those he would use to describe the Baptism of the Spirit. The difference between the two, as evidenced by the quote on page 73 above, is not a great deal more than semantics. It is nothing short of an aching tragedy that the residual difference has been amplified to the extent that those who take a ‘hard line’ against even the possibility of a further experiential work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of Christians go far further than the person whose teaching on the matter they think they most closely adhere and even champion on his behalf. It is a tragic irony that ‘Sandemanians’ are quick to accuse adherents of Dr Lloyd-Jones’ position of much the same thing in the other direction, i.e. that he dangerously opened the door to, what I can only call, ‘ludicrous charismatic excesses’. This was not true of his ministry, just as it was not true of his forebears in the Calvinistic Methodist Church of Wales, for example, Henry Rees, who is quoted on the page with quotes from the 19th Century. Dr Lloyd-Jones was always concerned to maintain and urge both sides of the balance in ‘known and felt’ heart religion, of right doctrine and vital experience. Only Dr Masters’ illustrious predecessor, CH Spurgeon comes close to Dr Lloyd-Jones in the clarity and urgency with which this note was struck, and Spurgeon’s views on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit are made abundantly clear in the quotes on the page dedicated to him.
There has been a serious and tragic case of ‘throwing the baby out with the bathwater’. Ask yourself, ‘do we need more, or less, of the Holy Spirit?’ And then plead with your Heavenly Father that He might also give to you what He promised through His Son – Luke 11:11-13…
If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? 12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
Check the page of Spurgeon quotes if you doubt that this promise should be applied to this teaching.
And shall we then forever live
at this poor dying rate?
Our love so faint, so cold to Thee,
and Thine to us so great?!
W. Vernon Higham (Cardiff) preached regular series on the topic of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Apart from individual messages on this topic, series may be heard from the WVHigham.org archive from 1973, 1984 and 1994. I attended a camp in Cornwall in 1996 when this topic was also given extensive treatment by Mr Higham.
Between March and June 2007, Graham Harrison (Emmanuel Newport) preached a series of 11 sermons on ‘The Baptism of the Holy Spirit’ in which he staunchly and warmly commended his hearers to seek the Lord for this blessing. These sermons are no longer available from the Emmanuel website although a trace of them is apparent (note references to Ephesians 3). Permission to publish these sermons has been sought but denied by the copyright holder. A previously unpublished reply to Prof Donald McLeod appears on this site.
Burrows, Roland (2012) How the Eighteenth Century Revival Saved Britain. Tentmaker Publications, Stoke-on-Trent
Dallimore, Arnold (1970) George Whitefield, Banner of Truth: Edinburgh
Hendriksen, William (1959) The gospel of John. London: Banner of Truth Trust
Masters, Peter (1994) Only One Baptism of the Holy Spirit Wakeman: London
Tozer, AW (2009) This World: Playground or Battleground? WingSpread Publishers (see http://www.wacmm.com/Tozer.html )