Dispensationalists and Spirit Baptism

Larry D. Pettegrew | May 18, 2010

An area of debate among dispensationalists has involved continuity and discontinuity of Spirit baptism from dispensation to dispensation. Classic Dispensationalism as a whole endorsed the position of discontinuity. Revised Dispensationalism did the same with even more emphasis, a few of its spokesmen doing so by proposing two New Covenants, one for Israel and one for the church. With the abandonment of the two-New Covenants view by revised dispensationalists came the introduction of Progressive Dispensationalism. Progressive dispensationalists have proposed continuity of the doctrine of Spirit baptism from the OT through the church age into the future millennium. They likewise have suggested that the “body” metaphor for the church applies to all New Covenant believers, even those on earth after the church’s rapture. An alternative dispensational view defends the continuity of Spirit baptism by allowing that OT prophets foresaw its occurrence as did John the Baptist and Jesus Christ. In the book of Acts, Peter connected earliest instances of Spirit baptism with previous predictions too. Yet the alternative proposal does not go so far as to indicate continuity of the body of Christ metaphor, but rather limits it to church believers of this dispensation.

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