Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,  Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
No one knows for sure who wrote the book of Hebrews. You could ask twenty different people and get twenty different answers. Some scholars believe that Hebrews and Galatians were the same book written by Paul and then later on divided. I've heard people say that Timothy wrote it, some say Titus wrote it and I even heard one man say that Priscilla wrote it! It really doesn't matter who wrote it. It is in our Bible and I do not believe that is a mistake. For the sake of simplicity, i will refer to Paul when I refer to the author of the letter to the Hebrews.
Did you notice that Paul referred to the "doctrine of baptisms" as being a basic principle of the doctrine of Christ? He did NOT say, "doctrine of baptism." He used the plural of the word! There is a reason for this. There are three baptisms that apply to followers of Christ. I know many Christians and even ministers who believe their is only ONE baptism. Why? Because they read the scripture below but do not rightfully divide the Word of Truth as we are instructed to do.
There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;  One Lord, one faith, one baptism,  One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
As I go through this study, you will see that there IS one baptism that saves us! But, there are two other baptisms that are important to the believer but they do not save us. I'm not just making this stuff up. I'll use scriptures to prove each one and show you what the Bible says about them.
At the time of this writing (the three lessons were written in 2001 and this introduction was written in August 2015), I lead a Life Group, or what used to be called a Sunday School, in a very large Baptist Church. A couple of years ago, there were a couple of people in my class that knew of my charismatic leanings and when I taught something they didn't like, they would run to the man who is over all of the life group teachers and complain. One of these men even felt like it was his obligation to tell me what I could and could not teach in the Life Group. At the time, I was making audio recordings of each of my lessons and putting them on a class website. In fact, they are still available online. My overseer, if you will, got wind of the teaching I had done on the three baptisms. Some other things had happened in the life group that were outside of his comfort zone so he called me. He said, "There are some people in your class that have a problem with some of your doctrine and to be honest, I do too." I had a meeting with him and two other associate pastors of the church right after this. He said that we would not be discussing doctrinal differences but then he told me he had a real problem with the teaching on the three baptisms. He remarked, "I've never heard such a thing. I never even heard this in seminary!" I wanted to so badly to ask, "Well, do you think it is too late to get your money back?" I resisted the temptation.
The pastor of this church does not understand the baptism in the Holy Spirit as I teach it. He believes there is only one baptism and of course, we disagree. I love him and appreciate him as my pastor. He and I both agree with the Bible that the Holy Spirit, ultimately, is our teacher. I had a meeting with him after meeting with the associate pastors and he told me something that I deeply respect. He said one of the last things he would ever want is for everyone to believe exactly like he does. He told me that I can teach anything I want, not matter how controversial it is, even if he doesn't believe it, as long as I don't have the attitude that, the way he put it, "it is my way or the highway!" Since I began teaching this life group, I have stressed the old saying, "In the ESSENTIALS, UNITY; In the NON-ESSENTIALS, LIBERTY!" You see, we can disagree on some things and still fellowship as believers. Other things such as the virgin birth of Christ, the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, etc., we MUST agree on to fellowship in Him! We must not let our passions over the non-essentials drive us into division or discord.
If there was only ONE baptism, I'm sure Paul would have told the Hebrews that one of the basic doctrines of Christ was that of BAPTISM, not BAPTISMS! I'm pretty sure there is not a misprint when it comes to this word in the Bible!
There have been excesses taught when it comes to the baptisms. There are other times that the baptisms have been ignored. As Christians, we really need to know what God's Word says! We can't just base our belief on our experience or on our lack of experience. We must base what we believe on what God's Word says whether we understand it or not, whether we have experienced it or not. There are Christians who do not believe divine healing is for today. When I was 18 years old, my older brother was 21 and he was dying with cancer. His sickness drove me to search the scriptures to see if healing was for real. I had seen faith healers on television and had mocked them and made fun of them. One of my uncles claimed to have been healed a number of times. My brother's sickness drove me to search the scriptures and one day I found this:
14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
I was so excited! I had never heard anyone preach about healing in the church in which I grew up. I immediately called my pastor and told him what I had read. I asked if he would get the elders of the church together and go pray for my brother. After a long pause, he responded, "Well, we don't believe that." I could not believe it! I thought, "If you don't believe your own book, throw the stupid thing away!" I found out later on that there a LOT of churches who do not believe the Bible. They believe the promises were for some other time, not now. Jesus had trouble with the Jews playing religion and so did Paul. Listen to what Paul said about these churches and the ministers who preach in them:
2 Timothy 3:5
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
They deny the true power of God! They deny the Word of God. They look like a church and go through all the motions but they are dead inside! They are a waste of your time! Stay away from them. If you are in a church like that, get out of it!
Jesus is just alive today as when He walked this earth! The Word of God is just as true today as it was when it was being written! God's promises to you are just as sure as they were to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! If you are in a church that doesn't believe that or if you are listening to a minister who doesn't believe that, RUN away from that mess!
In the following three lessons I am going to discuss 1. The baptism into the body of Christ. This is the "baptism that doth save us." This is the most important of all the baptisms. 2. Baptism into water. This baptism does NOT save us but is an outward representation of the first baptism. It is a witness to the world that we have been born again and filled with God's Spirit. 3. Baptism in the Holy Spirit. This is the baptism that so many do not understand. This baptism does not save you but yet equips you for service by giving you the power of the Holy Spirit to live a Christian life and to take the gospel to the world. We have several examples of believers being baptized in the Holy Spirit in the Bible. In order to experience this baptism you must have gone through the first baptism. That means you must be saved first, before you can be baptized in the Holy Spirit! Some Pentecostals have wrongly taught that you can't be saved if you haven't been baptized in the Holy Spirit. Other groups have said that Christians are baptized in the Holy Spirit when they are saved, meaning that baptism into the Body of Christ and baptism into the Holy Spirit are one and the same. Both groups are wrong. There are ditches on both sides of roads. God wants us to drive down the middle of the road, not in either ditch. Both of these groups are in the ditch but in opposite ditches.
Don't listen to those who would say that any of these baptisms are not for today. The baptism in the Holy Spirit seems to be the one most people struggle with. None of them, who believe it is not for today, have received this baptism in the Holy Spirit. When someone who has not been baptized in the Holy Spirit teaches about it, they simply do not know what they are talking about in most cases and becasue they haven't received it, they make excuses as to why not and some even conclude that it is not for today when there is nothing in the Bible that says that it is not. It would be like me instructing you on how to drive a stock car in a NASCAR race. I've driven cars and I have driven as fast as 160 miles per hour but I cannot truthfully tell you how to drive 200 mph in a cluster of racecars on a racetrack! Learn from somoene who HAS been baptized in the Holy Spirit, look at the scriptures they present and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you into truth. In the following three lessons, I will give you many scriptures to back up my points and I will share with you my experience of having been baptized in the Holy Spirit. Some people's experience was different but we all were baptized in the Holy Spirit with the initial evidence of speaking in tongues and all of us can now pray in tongues any time we wish to. I had grown up thinking it was something that Satan made happen. Isn't that just like him, to try and discount the Word of God and make it look evil? I was baptized into the Body of Christ when I was thirteen years old. That is when I believed on Jesus Christ and asked Him to be the Lord of my life. I have been baptized in water twice. Once was when I was thirteen and had just given my life to the Lord. The second time was after I had given my life back to the Lord when I was eighteen. I wanted to be baptized again because I had come to understand more about what it meant.
If you have questions, feel free to email me.
Read Part One - The Baptism into the Body of Christ
Read Part Two - The Baptism into Water
Read Part Three - The Baptism into the Holy Spirit
Testimonies from People Who Have Been Baptized in the Holy Spirit