THOUGHT ON THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY GHOST
A principle of Biblical Interpretation is that all Scripture that speaks on a certain subject must be consistent with all other Scripture that speaks to the same subject. In short no Scripture will contradict another Scripture when it is taken in context with the subject it is speaking to. The Word of God never contradicts itself.
Questions on the baptism of the Holy Ghost:
1. Is there a baptism of the Holy Ghost?
Yes there is. Reference to the baptism of the Holy Ghost occurs in the Scripture probably about seven times.
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance:
but He that cometh after me is mightier than I,
whose shoes I am not worthy to bear:
He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost,
and with fire:
Matthew 3: 11
2. What is the nature of the Holy Ghost baptism?
From the Scriptures allready cited we may understand this baptism to be uniquely and distinctly connected with the Lord Jesus Christ. (ref. above)
So the Holy Ghost baptism comes only from the Lord Jesus Christ.
3. Who is the Holy Ghost?
Answer: The third Person of the Trinity, His description in respect to relationship with us is a Comforter. This is by definition One Who compasses about and fortifies you up. The literal rendering of one of the Lord's references to Him is "another such as myself" (John 14:16). In His relationship to us the Word of God says He does not speak of Himself (John 16:13). We are given to understand that He points us to the Lord Jesus who has become all things to us (Ephesians) and our Mediator with the Father(Hebrews). The Holy Ghost shares this Intercessory office in prayer with the Lord Jesus because we know not how to pray, and He intercedes with groanings which cannot be uttered (Romans 8:26). He also serves as Teacher in the absence of Christ giving illumination to the Word (John 14:26). All these things and more can be seen in a study on the Holy Ghost.
4. What is the significance of the Pentecost experience with the baptism of the Holy Ghost?
Answer: The disciples had previously received the Holy Ghost under the Law while the Lord Jesus was still preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom. (Remember Scripture interpretation must always be in context) They had abandoned and deserted the Lord at the time of trial and received after His resurrection forgiveness and restoral. They truly knew He was the Messiah, but they had not reached the point where God could use them. In prayer and fasting (as has always been the case for believers) they reached the point of complete surrender, at which time the Holy Ghost, whom they had received from Christ under the Law, came upon them with power.
5. In Acts people are shown receiving the Holy Ghost and speaking in foreign languages (unknown tongues) and demonstrating signs and wonders. Shouldn't that be happening whenever anyone is baptized by the Holy Ghost now?
Remember the principle that all Scripture must be taken in context.
At Pentecost, the disciples were filled with the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost came upon them with power, and it served to further the Gospel. The filling with the Holy Ghost and the baptism of the Holy Ghost is the same thing. The point is the degree of the immersion taking place. The water baptism will get you wet on the outside, but the Holy Ghost does it on the inside.
When the Holy Ghost came upon the people in Acts (11:16) It served to show the Gospel belonged not to one group but to all who would receive and it served to build the yet uncertain church.
Today in places where the church future is still uncertain reports of such signs from the Holy Ghost still occur, where men are given by the Spirit almost apostolic power. 
Scripture does not contradict itself neither does God work against His own purposes. It follows that outward manifestations of the Holy Ghost as signs should be very rare.
6. So how do we receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost?
By receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior.
Ephesians 1: 12ff. illustrates this point:
That we should be to the praise of His glory,
who first trusted in Christ.
In whom ye also trusted,
after that ye heard the words of truth,
the Gospel of your salvation:
in whom also that after that ye believed,
ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise,
which is the earnest of our inheritance
until the redemption of the purchased possession,
unto the praise of His glory.
Please notice the expression 'sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise' that is literally the impressing of the Holy Spirit into you, putting His mark of identification on you. Here the time and place of this event for the Saint of the present Age is defined. It is after you believe, as a separate but connected act of God. In other words for the Saint of this present Age the infilling of the Holy Ghost (baptism) comes immediately after conversion. Think for a moment how reasonable this understanding is, for isn't it true that when we come to receive Christ as our Saviour and Lord, we are as completely surrendered to Him as we ever shall be? Could we ever say that a day will come in human existence when we will be more submitted than then? Nay, but much of Christian life afterwards is a seeking out and surrendering that which the flesh longs to withhold.
7. Are there arguments against what you have said in this paper?
Answer: Yes there are. But remember the axiom that Scripture stands according to context. Let me demonstrate with one argument. The argument goes, "Are not believers told to be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18)? The answer is; Yes they are! Now what is the context that stands in? The answer is that it stands in the context of warning against living a worldly life style, which means that in such a person the Holy Ghost's power has been limited. The second part is the entomology of the word "filled" itself which is in the continuous state in the Greek language it was wrote in. In other words the believer is urged to be in a state of continual filling. Clearly the whole context deals with living in relationship, not having a particular singular event take place in a life. You will find other arguments equally weak if you take time to study them closely.
A Closing Note:
This issue has so disturbed many Christians and Christian denominations that they have recoiled and ignored the Holy Ghost, who is also God as much as the Father and the Son is God. This is to their loss. We should be keenly aware of the Holy Ghost. The doxology sang in many Baptist churches goes, "Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost..." We should appreciate His work in convicting men of sin and bringing them into strong relationship with our Lord, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Fundamentalist believers hold that the Word of God is both inerrant and infallible, which is consistent with what the Word says about itself. Anyone who requires that a doctrine or belief they hold have a special relationship to the written Word of God unique to this does not believe in this doctrine and are probably holding a false belief.
John clearly distinguishes between His baptism and the Lord's. His is a baptism of repentance. The Lord's baptism is two-fold. The Holy Ghost is one. The baptism of fire could be either the persecution of the Saints or the baptism of judgement to come. See also Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33
The word referring to this baptism is also a word for full immersion as was John's baptism. It is a ceremonial baptism also. It is interesting to note that while on earth our Lord performed no physical baptisms John 4: 1&2. He did breathe on the disciples at one point at which time they received the Holy Ghost, John 20: 22.
Of which things I would write to you, but that alone is a topic of some considerable challenge in itself.
A study of the miracles of God in the Scripture reveals that God never works a miracle in a setting where man is capable of acting without it , or where man might get the glory. What happens when so-called manifestations of the Holy Ghost occur in places where the Gospel is already established?
The recognized purpose of the acts of God are to the Praise of His own glory. He is a jealous God and does not share praise with man. Another principle was that the Lord Himself refused to prove Himself to His Chosen People through signs and wonders, it follows in consistency He would neither choose to prove Himself in that manner to the people of the New Covenant.
remember those saved in Acts for the most part knew the Gospel of John, or else they knew the requirement of the law, and had responded to it prior to responding to the revelation of Jesus Christ. When the Gospel goes beyond these, no delay in the working of the Holy Ghost coming upon people occurred.
The principle is that we come as a little child and are totally dependent on Him and His work on our behalf, not leaning to our own understanding or dependent upon dead works which cannot save. Thus we sing, "In my hand no price I bring; simply to the cross I cling."
I pray this very short paper will prove a blessing in your life and make these truths clearer. Amen.
P. O. Box 752
Buchanan, Georgia 30113