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Is Speaking in Tongues the ‘Evidence’ of the Holy Spirit Baptism? - and Other Questions

 

Renette Vermeulen 

 

© Copyright Unbanned Bible Publications

 

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Thanks to everyone who commented on the article, ‘The Holy Spirit Baptism.’  This article caused an overwhelming appreciation for the balanced and Scriptural views expressed.  However, it is always difficult to share something that does not fit into firmly established, extremely false church criteria.  As a result, I was asked to try to answer the following questions.  These ‘views’ come directly from the entire truthful context of the Bible, and are therefore definitely not ‘new.’  Considering the charismatic character of the 1991 Spirit Filled Bible-translation, (which, for valid reason, cannot be endorsed without reserve,) the footnotes in this translation nevertheless echo this discussion clearly.  Above all, I rely entirely on the Holy Spirit in all Bible studies.  He Alone is our Teacher, Helper, Strength, and the Supplier of all our needs.  He Alone came to guide us all into ‘ALL truth,’ if we choose to submit ourselves entirely to His will. 

Contents

· What is the difference between speaking the tongues of MEN and of ANGELS, or is it the same? 

· Spirit Baptism with the evidence of speaking in tongues 

· Spirit Baptism is “not” a separate experience from rebirth in Christ

· Holy Spirit Power and the Speaking of tongues 

· Indwelling Spirit Vs Constant “Coming Down” of the Spirit

· Is Speaking in tongues the same as baptism in the Spirit?

· Can those who do not speak in tongues heal the sick?

· Why do some call the speaking in tongues “glossolalia?”

· Is Speaking in tongues necessary to drive out demons?

· Where does this Baptism with Tongues come from?

· Can the Spirit do miracles without this baptism? 

· Is ‘Fruit’ more important than Speaking in tongues?

· Believers after Pentecost “were Baptized with Tongues?”

· “I laid hands on people to baptize with the Spirit,” he claimed

· If we are possessed by the Spirit at the rebirth, where is the evidence?

· Is the Kingdom of God a geographical territory on earth?

 

QuestionI would like to ask as I did not see the question being asked on your website.  Are tongues [supernatural languages] defined by a “gibberish language” spoken by a believer?  Or is it the ability to suddenly be able to speak a foreign language like Italian or ancient Greek? 

Answer:  Very interesting question, thank you.  This gift (singular) of tongues (plural,) is what Paul described as follows in 1 Cor. 13:1, “Though I speak  [supernaturally]: 1) with the tongues [or languages] of men... AND: 2) of angels, [languages from two completely different dimensions,] but have not love...”  In 1 Cor. 12:10 he called the gift of tongues “different kinds of tongues,” which, in meetings, work together with the gift of interpretation of tongues.  In public, it is senseless and Scripturally forbidden to speak to the congregation in tongues if there is no interpreter, as no one understands what is said, (1 Cor. 14:13.)  Early missionaries, confusing the “other languages of men” with “heavenly languages,” went forth to preach the Gospel as soon as they received the Spirit’s gift to speak in tongues, believing they would be able to speak supernaturally to people of other nations in their own languages.  Sadly, these people did not realize they were speaking heavenly languages or “mysteries to God,” not “other” human languages unknown to the speaker.  Without the operation of the Spirit’s GIFT OF INTERPRETATION, their efforts remained fruitless because the people could not understand what they were saying, (read 1 Cor. 14:2-5, 13-19.)

We must realize that although the speaker does not understand what he is saying, “tongues” are not senseless gabling but real languages. Thus, the Holy Spirit’s GIFT of tongues is not ‘gibberish’ but “profitable” in edifying the body of Christ and Jesus believers individually. Despite what false teachers say and practice, “the spirits of the prophets [or those who speak in tongues, prophesy, etc.,] are subject to the prophets [and thus under their human control.]  For God is not the author of confusion but of peace... Let all things be done decently and in order.”  (1 Cor.  14:32-40.)  Just as importantly, although the uncontrollable babblings of many charismatic churches make a mockery of this wonderful gift, none of the Holy Spirit’s gifts have ‘ceased’ to exist.  In Scripture as well as in practice, all His gifts still function orderly among the true believers in Christ.  The Spirit Filled Bible’s footnote on 1 Cor. 12:2,3 explains, “Three guiding principles distinguish the ways of the Holy Spirit:  1) The principle of conscious control.  Unlike paganism the power of the Holy Spirit does not drive people into wild compulsive acts.  His gentle ministry strengthens human personality.  He empowers; He does not overpower.  2)  The principle that Christ Alone is glorified.  All manifestations of the Spirit will harmonize with the truth about Jesus.  3) The principle that the work of the Holy Spirit is to bring people under the lordship of Jesus.” 

People confuse the supernatural GIFT of  “different” tongues; either speaking with the “other” languages of MEN in unknown tongues as on that first outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost in Acts 2, or, as Paul says, with the “tongues of ANGELS.”  To speak with the tongues of ANGELS is the Spirit’s unique ability to speak in a heavenly language “to God and not to men, for NO ONE [but God] UNDERSTANDS him.  In the spirit [with his Scripturally born again human spirit, (Jn. 1:12-13,) he speaks ‘mysteries’ between him and God.  [Therefore,] let him who speaks in [an angelic or a foreign human] tongue [during meetings,] pray that he may interpret, for if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful,” (1 Cor. 14:2, 11-19.)   Paul  makes it clear that both these variations of the GIFT of tongues come from the already INDWELLING Holy Spirit, which He gives and uses AS HE ALONE WILLS, (1 Cor. 12:11.)  We may ask Him for His gifts, but the Holy Spirit Alone decides how and when He distributes and manifests His supernatural, miraculous, different GIFTS to each of His disciples.  (Read 1 Cor. 12:4-11.)

 

Question“Do you believe in the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the EVIDENCE of speaking and tongues?  It sounds as if tongues and other miracles do not matter to you.” 

Answer:  As every true believer should, I DO believe in the Scriptural Baptism with the Holy Spirit, which is Jesus’ immersion or baptism of His sincerely and Scripturally born again disciples with the Holy Spirit; placing the Holy Spirit and the Kingdom of God inside them.  (By ‘born again’, I mean spiritually born again through personal faith in Christ, and through personal acceptance of His completed atonement in our place as Scriptural truth teaches, Jn. 1:12-13.) Jesus’ baptism with the Holy Spirit is followed by the Holy Spirit’s immersion or baptism into the body of Christ, as explained in the study on this subject.  I also believe in the manifestation of Holy-Spirit miracles and all the Scriptural GIFTS of the INDWELLING Holy Spirit, (tongues and prophecy included,) which we experience as a reality in our lives, (1 Cor. 12 & 14 — see Jn. 1:12-13; Gal. 4:6.) 

It is important to know that the doctrine of “the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues,” is actually a Oneness Pentecostal or ‘Jesus Only’ doctrine.  This “Oneness” Pentecostal doctrine was and is taught by freemason William Branham in different variations, (Branham made up his own theology as he went along,) Jehovah Witnesses, and until recently, Seventh-Day Adventists.   It states, God is only one Person with three ATTRIBUTES or TITLES such as human incarnation in the form of Christ, and wind and fire, which represent the Holy Spirit.  I have to say Modulism (Jesus Only) makes it difficult to understand how God the Father prayed to Himself in Gethsemane and in John Chapter 17, and it would be strange that a mere ‘activity’ such as wind and fire can convict of sin as the Holy Spirit does; can be “grieved,” “blasphemed against,” etc.  Scripturally, one can only be saved through sincere, personal faith in, and personal acceptance of the Lord Jesus Christ — and continual repentance from MORAL sin such as stealing, lying, hatred, etc., (Jn. 1:12-13; Mt. 7:21-24.)  Yet,  Modulism’s ‘Jesus Only,’ William Branham, Jehovah Witnesses, and Adventists define repentance and salvation AS sacramental or ‘saving’ baptism in the Name of Jesus, excluding the Names of the Father and the Holy Spirit as in Mt. 28:19-20.  This baptism is merely another form of Roman Catholic/Reformed Protestant Baptismal Regeneration.  To this sacramental baptism, Modulism adds the ‘saving’ “baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.”  Modulism, twisted in various ways by different people, was derived from many other dangerous doctrines and eventually disseminated throughout Pentecostal and Charismatic churches.  Branham also believed he was the “angel of the church of Laodicea,” (this angel was supposedly not a supernatural being as the context of Scripture declares, but a ‘chosen’ god-man (the doctrine of Theosis,)  such as Branham.)  Thus, Branham was/is worshipped as a christ by many of his followers.  As Branham and his disciples, the Old and New Apostolic Churches also teach that salvation comes only through the ‘spoken word’ of their “angels” or human ministers called “apostles,” the so-called “christ-gift of God.”  For instance, they reject God’s Word in essence as the ‘letter that kills,’ and teach, (as the Charismatic Movement currently does,) “Don’t read the Bible; BE the Bible!” 

 

Question:  “Explain more clearly why the Scriptural Baptism in the Holy Spirit cannot be a separate experience from the rebirth in Christ, while we witness this baptism, (which happens some time after “conversion” with the evidence of tongues) on an ongoing basis in the churches.”

Answer:    Scripturally, Jesus does not baptize believers ‘IN’ the Holy Spirit but WITH the Holy Spirit.  Jesus does not take us and place us “in” the Holy Spirit; Jesus places the Holy Spirit inside us, (1 Cor. 6:18-20.)  This sound insignificant, but in fact, this ‘slight’ confusion of the Word and the reality of Jesus baptism with the Holy Spirit resulted in two completely different ‘baptisms.’  First, Jesus Scriptural Spirit baptism happens at the moment of the rebirth, when the believer sincerely accepts Him as his or her personal Savior.  Under the New Testament Covenant, one can NOT be a true child of God without the complete and constant indwelling — and consequently, the entire anointing, (presence, or ‘power’) of the Holy Spirit inside your born again human spirit, (Rom. 8:9.)  It is impossible to be a born again disciple of Christ (or a true child of God) without the constant indwelling, presence and power of His Holy Spirit, for that would mean that the person, who had sincerely accepted Christ, is a temple without God or without the presence and power of God.  If that could be true, the person would be a disciple without Jesus!

The Holy Spirit NEVER leaves His living temple to ‘come down’ on Jesus’ disciples again and again, that is an Old Testament concept, when the Holy Spirit did not indwell believers yet,  (Gal. 4:6-7; Rom. 8:9; etc.)  Paul explained plainly in passages such as Rom. 8:9 and in Gal. 4:6, “You are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.  NOW IF ANYONE HAS NOT THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST, HE IS NOT HIS…  You are the temple of the Holy Spirit [through faith in, and sincere acceptance of Jesus Christ,] and the Holy Spirit DWELLS [or lives constantly and continuously] IN you…  [Because you accepted Jesus and were born of God,] you are sons.  And BECAUSE YOU ARE SONS, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts… [or into your blood-cleansed human spirits; making you His Personal temple!]”

Therefore, just as a natural birth, the spiritual rebirth happens only once, at a specific moment in time.  At that moment, the believer is born as a spiritual person into the spiritual, unseen family of God; (not into a ‘church’ and its doctrines) as a child and heir of God the Father in heaven and as a member of the spiritual body of Christ, (Gal. 4:6-7.)  

It is simply impossible to be born again in stages, and/or to receive the Holy Spirit or His anointing gradually, repeatedly, or in a ‘separate experience’ from the rebirth.  To think that believers can be initiated step-by-step, or continually get ‘more of the Holy Spirit’ Himself or even ‘more’ of His indwelling, presence and power, (or ‘anointing’) at certain stages in their lives, is a doctrine of devils.  One cannot receive the Holy Spirit Himself, (or the Scriptural Baptism with the Holy Spirit) twice or even continually through the ‘saving’ and ‘atoning’ sacraments of a church system, (such as baby ‘baptism,’ confirmation, etc.)  Neither is this ‘continual baptism’ or ‘progressive initiation’ possible through the laying on of hands, or through any other kind of human intervention; being pushed progressively into the Kingdom of God, or being ‘baptized’ into the ‘growing anointing’ and ‘escalating indwelling’ of the Hoy Spirit.  Most importantly, ONLY Jesus Christ Himself can baptize His disciples with the Holy Spirit! (Mt. 3:11; Jn. 16:7; 14:26.)

In fact, the whole notion of this ‘baptism IN the Holy Spirit’ is completely pagan.  The SCRIPTURAL Baptism with the Holy Spirit happens either with, or without any IMMEDIATE outward ‘SIGNS,’ (not so-called ‘evidence,) of which  speaking in tongues remains only one of these signs, as described in Mark 16:16-18!  Believing and accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as your PERSONAL Lord, God and Savior is the only mystical, but truly SCRIPTURAL, spiritual REBIRTH - accomplished by the Holy Spirit Baptism; there remains no other.  Being filled” [NOT BAPTIZED] with the Holy Spirit ‘again,’ means surrendering so completely to God the Father, (a decisive and progressive submission to His will under all circumstances,) that you allow the Holy Spirit free reign in your spirit, soul, body, and life to execute the will of the Father IN THE POWER of the Holy Spirit through you as a Spirit-filled, Scripture-obeying disciple of Jesus Christ. 

 

Question: “How do I get the power of the Holy Spirit that accompanies the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues?” 

Answer:  If you are a sincere, Scripturally obedient disciple/follower of Christ you already have the complete indwelling and power of the Holy Spirit, and He will distributes His GIFTS in and through you AS HE WILLS, (1 Cor. 3:16-17; 6:17-20; 12:4-11.)  As explained in ‘THE HOLY SPIRIT BAPTISM,’ the Holy Spirit has already came down once and for all ‘upon’ or actually INTO all those who sincerely accept the Lord Jesus Christ; (and at the very moment they truly accept Jesus,) simultaneously baptizing each one mystically into God’s Kingdom and into the body of Christ, (Jn. 1:12-13; 3:3-5; Gal. 4:6; 1 Cor. 12:13.)  This is the spiritual rebirth in Christ.  From then on, the Holy Spirit Himself constantly INDWELLS all those who sincerely and obediently follow Him to their ultimate destiny, called “heaven.”  At the very moment when Jesus Himself, (and ONLY God Himself can perform this supernatural baptism,) baptizes His newly born-again disciples with the Holy Spirit, these believers themselves become the Spirit’s own living temple for the primary purpose of being “WITNESSES to Christ” throughout the whole world.  In this way, Jesus’ disciples fulfill the all-important COMMISSION of Jesus Christ to evangelize the entire world with the truth of HIS Gospel, “letting His [spiritual] Kingdom come on earth [in perfect truth,]) as it is in heaven,” (Mt. 3:11; Jn. 15:26; 16:7; Acts 1:8; Mt. 28:18-20.) 

So, the only way to ‘get’ the real Scriptural POWER of the Holy Spirit — and for the right reasons, is to ‘get’ the real Scriptural truth concerning all deceptions, and then to follow the Lord Jesus Christ in a lifestyle of Scriptural obedience.  Real, Scriptural authority in Christ and the true power of the Holy Spirit are only obtainable through the Scriptural REBIRTH IN CHRISTTo remain (or “abide”) in His REAL Holy Spirit power, Christ requires complete submission to the entire will of God - a vital truth, which the Pentecostal/Charismatic Movement denies!  They actually have the nerve to teach, “one cannot pray to God and add ‘let Your will be done,’ as that ‘nullifies’ your prayers.”  One allegedly has the ‘authority’ to get everything YOU want immediately, according to your own will, without ever consulting God, as you are actually a ‘little’ god and christ yourself!  Before any work is attempted in the Kingdom of God, believers have to seek God’s face in prayer to ask HIS will for that person and that particular situation.  Jesus Himself defied this incredibly blasphemous statement of preachers who teach, “The Word says you can have what YOU say and what YOU want,” [W.V. Grant,] and so, you actually “annul your prayers by ‘adding,’ “Let Your will be done…” All Jesus’ early disciples taught God’s children to pray for the continued WILL of their Father in their everyday lives, and in every situation on earth.  God will never answer prayers contrary to His will, (Jn. 9:31; Jam. 1:5-8.)  The Holy Spirit will never lead anyone outside the revealed will of God – the contextual truth of Scripture.  Only GOD knows what is best for the people to whom we minister.  Yet, a deceiving Paul Crouch had the audacity to say to God publically, “We don't have to pray for Your will Lord…  [We can merely] speak that thing, decree that thing and it shall come to pass.”  Jesus stated, “IF anyone WILLS to do HIS WILL, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.  [True submission to God’s will allow the Spirit to ‘lead us into all truth.’]  He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory, but He who seeks the glory of the One Who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him…” (Jn. 7:17-18.) 

 

Another much-abused verse in the Bible is crucial to these Scriptural facts, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”  Read in context, however, Jesus actually said, “IF YOU ABIDE IN MY WORD, YOU ARE TRULY MY DISCIPLES.  And [THEN, being My obedient disciples,] you shall know the [real Scriptural and factual] truth, and the truth [of it all] shall set you free.”  (Jn. 8:31-32.)  

The Old Testament Covenant, as a shadow or type of the Spiritual New Testament Covenant, was built, on the insistence of the Old Hebrews, as an impenetrable, physical temple on a mount, (Acts 7:44-50.)  From everywhere, all the Hebrews, seeking forgiveness, salvation, and the presence of God, had to come to this immovable temple in an attempt to find God there.  For all non-Hebrews, (called Gentiles,) this temple, where the Holy of Holies, (God’s presence in the innermost sanctuary,) was to be found, was inaccessible.  Thus, to them, salvation, redemption or spiritual and emotional freedom, and blessing remained unattainable.  However, during the whole of our present New Testament dispensation, God’s temple is no longer that stationary, unachievable yet visible temple far away, like that Muslim Dome of the Rock on the temple mount in Old Jerusalem.  The sincere believers in Christ themselves have now become, through sincere faith in Jesus Christ, the living, talking, moving, and growing temple of the Holy Spirit, Who seeks out and penetrates all religious cultures throughout the entire world to bring them the Truth of His Gospel, just as Jesus has commissioned.  (“Where two or three are gathered in My Name, there I am in the midst of them…” - how incredibly POWERFUL IS THIS!)

 

Saving souls for the spiritual Kingdom of God is the main mission of the Holy Spirit, (read Jn. 16:8-10.)  The salvation and redemption of souls is the most important manifestation of the Holy Spirit’s power, and this has little to do with His gift of tongues.  The REAL power of the indwelling Holy Spirit is absolutely crucial to preaching the TRUE, SUPERNATURAL and SCRIPTURAL Gospel of Jesus Christ — and to teach His sincere disciples “everything JESUS Himself has said,” not the doctrines of devils and men, (read Jn. 7:17-18.)  The Holy Spirit’s REAL, ALMIGHTY, inward power rarely resembles the empty ‘thunder,’ which Charismatics and Pentecostals experience in church meetings.  It is an unseen, MOSTLY non-tangible manifestation of the Spirit’s power in the innermost hearts and minds of Satan’s slaves and captives, who experience the Real Gospel Truth, Light, and conviction of the Holy Spirit for the first time as Jesus’ disciples preach and teach Scriptural truth in the Scriptural power and conviction of the Spirit.  

Firstly then, the SCRIPTURAL power of the Holy Spirit is not to “bring down ‘fire’ to speak in tongues and do miracles,” thus allegedly ‘proving’ that these people were ‘baptized’ ‘in’ the Spirit, but to equip and lead Jesus’ sincere disciples in the Holy Spirit’s assault on the gates of hell!  [These false teachers too, grossly misinterpret the “fire,” which John the Baptist referred to in connection with JESUS’ Baptism with the Holy Spirit, to support their false signs and miracles in the churches, (Mt. 3:11; 20:22-23; Lu. 12:49-53.)  [Here is a link to explain what the “fire” really means.] 

With the Scriptural Baptism with the Holy Spirit, the New Testament temple of the Holy Spirit Himself became His almighty strike force, attacking and penetrating the kingdom of darkness with Jesus’ Gospel Truth.  For this purpose, sincere, obedient believers already have ALL the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit (and the authority of Jesus Himself) to make disciples for the Kingdom of God, which is the greatest miracle, and the greatest display of God’s almighty power on earth

It is easy to preach a false gospel to ‘itching ears,’ making thousands of church followers without effort and satanic resistance.  A deceptive religious atmosphere has been created to lure people to meetings to expect and experience the spectacular; highs, hypes, showmanship, and so-called miracles, not to hear the truth of God’s Word.  Most horrendously, Rodney Howard Brown and Colin Dye actually had the nerve to preach in England, “People can be saved without the preaching of the Gospel… [All they need is the ‘hyper-anointing’ of the Holy Spirit, which comes only through their ‘five-fold ministry.’]”  These leaders are teaching the world that they, (these preachers) and not the Gospel of Jesus Christ, can save the whole world through their strange experiences, (their unscriptural ‘river of anointing,’) instead of bringing Jesus’ truth into deceived and darkened souls so they can understand the Scriptural Gospel, accept Jesus wholeheartedly, and follow and obey Him in a lifestyle of repentance from lies and ungodliness! 

(Continued)