[Footnote 237: Jon. 13.12, 17]
That water baptism, circumcision and many other ceremonies were ordained of God for Israel is evident from Scripture. That these ordinances were fulfilled in Christ is to us likewise evident. He took them out of the way and nailed them to his cross; still they were permitted for a time unto Israel and we do not presume to deny their permission to some even until now, for “a thousand years with the Lord is as but one day."
As children of the light, we ever respect and regard every manifestation of that light to mankind in all ages of the world, whether to Jew or Gentile or to people unknown.
We realize that there has been an increased revelation of this divine light, and believe, as our Saviour taught, that it will continue to increase as we are able to bear it, and in proportion to this increase will symbols and sacraments pass away.
How can we doubt that our Saviour, with his last words here upon earth, had in view his own glorious baptism of the Holy Spirit when he commanded his apostles to preach among all nations repentance and remission of sin, in his name with power from on high?
This power from on high was the baptism of the Holy Spirit which he promised his apostles and disciples when he said, “John indeed baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit."
They had to be baptized with this baptism themselves before they could go teach all nations baptizing them. Power from on high was the one requisite to administer this baptism. They had baptized with water before this power was fully given at Pentecost and continued to baptize in the same way after Pentecost but this power is never mentioned in connection with water baptism. It is, however, frequently mentioned in connection with preaching the Gospel.
These same conditions have continued until now. Power from on high is not yet necessary to administer water baptism but it is indispensable to preaching the Gospel.
Altho’ this power came in fulness at Pentecost, yet Paul and legions more have received this power since Pentecost.
Farrar says: This miracle is not transient but is continuously renewed. Not to a narrow apostilate in an upper chamber at Jerusalem. It is a vivifying wind that breathes henceforth in all ages. It revived a world. It is the power of an endless life. A tide of light which is rolling and shall roll from shore to shore until the Earth is full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea: in this aspect the outward symbol sinks into subordinate importance.
We think: In this aspect the outward symbol sinks entirely.
There are many Scripture testimonies that the apostles were instrumental in baptizing with the Holy Spirit.
To strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Asia, Cappadocea, and Bythima the Gospel was preached “with the Holy Spirit sent down from Heaven."