Acts 8:36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. 39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.
The New Testament records just two occasions when baptism with the Holy Spirit took place.
The first was at Pentecost and the second was in the house of Cornelius. The signs were the same in both cases – the recipients spoke in foreign languages which could be understood by those whose mother tongues they were.
The promise of Holy Spirit baptism was made to the apostles.
Acts 1:4 And, being assembled together with them (the apostles verse 2), commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. 5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence.
Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. 6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. 7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? 8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, 10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
House of Cornelius
Acts 10:44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all them which heard the word. 45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Spirit. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God (meaning that they understood what was said). Then answered Peter, 47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Spirit as well as we? 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.
From this we see that baptism with the Holy Spirit did not normally accompany belief and baptism. Peter had to recall the first occurrence several years before ‘at the beginning’. What happened at Caesarea was an extraordinary sign from God that gentiles were to be accepted into the faith.
Acts 11:15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them, as on us at the beginning. 16 Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit. 17 Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?
In both cases the languages spoken could be understood by those whose language it was. In this way it differs from the unintelligible speech which is claimed to be the ‘sign’ of ‘Holy Spirit baptism’ today.
In the first century it is clear that not all who had Holy Spirit gifts spoke in tongues.
1 Corinthians 12:30... do all speak with tongues?...
It is also clear that for those who believed and were baptised, the Holy Spirit gifts were not given by baptism, but by the laying on of the apostles’ hands. This we learn from the conversion of the Samaritans by Philip.
Acts 8:12 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. 14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: 15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit: 16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. 18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money,
The Samaritans, believing Philip and being baptised, could not receive the Holy Spirit gifts until the apostles came from Jerusalem and laid hands on them. Philip himself, having Holy Spirit gifts and being able to heal and work miracles, was not able to confer the Holy Spirit gifts on the Samaritans, because (we might reasonably suppose) he wasn’t an apostle.
The disciples at Ephesus did not receive Holy Spirit gifts until Paul laid his hands on them.
Acts 19:1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, 2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Spirit since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Spirit. 3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. 4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ 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 spake with tongues, and prophesied. 7 And all the men were about twelve.
From this we can surmise that when the apostles died, the Holy Spirit gifts could not be passed on. Holy Spirit gifts were necessary to establish the early ecclesias because the New Testament wasn’t available to the first believers so the gifts described by Paul were essential to build up the early churches.
1 Corinthians 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will... 27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
Paul lists the gifts in order of importance and indicates that that different people received different gifts:
1 Corinthians 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? 30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? 31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.
By implication some had no gift and Paul goes on to show that the possession of Holy Spirit gifts is not essential to salvation.
1 Corinthians 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
He prophesies that the gifts will cease.
1 Corinthians 13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
That which continues until the return of Christ is faith, hope and love.
1 Corinthians 13:13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
When the New Testament was complete and available, Holy Spirit gifts were no longer necessary. The scriptures themselves written by inspiration of the Spirit are all we need to make us wise unto salvation.
2 Timothy 3:15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Faith comes not as a Holy Spirit gift but from hearing the word of God.
Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
With the death of the apostles the Holy Spirit gifts ceased, as is clear from the history of the church which by the end of the fourth century was apostate.
Those who claim Holy Spirit baptism today by speaking gibberish are deluding both themselves and those that believe them.
In conclusion: the eunuch did not receive the baptism of the Spirit after he was baptized because baptism of the spirit was not necessary for his (or anyone else’s) salvation.
Philip could not confer Holy Spirit gifts on the eunuch by the laying on of hands because he was not an apostle. It follows, then, that the special gifts of the spirit ended when the last apostle died.
I hope you have found this helpful.
May God bless you,