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Is Speaking in Tongues the ‘Evidence’ of the Holy Spirit Baptism? - and Other Questions
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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 which were expressed. However, it is always difficult to share something that does not fit into firmly established, but false church criteria. As a result, I was asked to answer the following questions. The ‘views’ that I express 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 clearly echo the truth of this discussion. Above all, I rely entirely on the Holy Spirit in all Bible, and other 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 Scriptural will.
A greatly overlooked truth about the gift of tongues is that, when Paul explained the form and function of the body of Christ, he asked the following, “There are diversities of gifts… ministries… activities, but the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one to profit all. To one a word of wisdom, to another the word of knowledge, to another gifts of healings, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these [gifts,] distributing to each one individually as He wills… Now you are the body of Christ and members individually… Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret…?” (1 Cor. 12:4-11; 27-30.)
So, it is essential that the following question must be answered according to the full light of contextual Scripture, because it actually pertains to the salvation of every believer in Christ. How does Paul’s question, (“Do all speak in tongues?”) fit into church dogma that proclaim, “Speaking in tongues is the evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit”? Still, we can actually demonstrate the gift of “tongues as a sign to unbelievers” that Jesus “possesses” His temple of believers, (1 Cor. 14:22; Eph. 1:12-14.) But how must it “grieve” the Holy Spirit when we must demonstrate tongues as a “sign” to believers — while they still do not accept the reality of this miraculous gift of the Spirit! (Eph. 4:30.)
Þ What is the difference between speaking the tongues [languages] of men, angels, and in the assemblies, or is it all the same?
Þ Spirit Baptism with the evidence of speaking in tongues?
Þ Spirit Baptism can never be a “separate experience” from the rebirth in Christ
Þ Holy Spirit Power and the gift of Speaking in Tongues
Þ The Indwelling Spirit Vs Constant “Coming Down” of the Spirit
Þ Is Speaking in tongues the same as baptism “in” the Spirit?
Þ Can only those who do not speak in tongues heal the sick?
Þ Why do some call the speaking in tongues “glossolalia?”
Þ Is Speaking in tongues necessary to drive out demons?
Þ Where does this Baptism with the “Evidence of Tongues” come from?
Þ Can the Spirit do miracles without this baptism in tongues?
Þ Is the Holy Spirit’s Fruit more important than Speaking in tongues?
Þ “But believers after Pentecost were Baptized with Tongues?”
Þ “I laid hands on people to baptize with the Spirit,” he claimed
Þ If we are “possessed” by the Spirit at the rebirth, where is the evidence? (Eph. 1:13-14.)
Þ Is the Kingdom of God a physical, geographical territory on earth that we must occupy?
Question: “I would like to ask as I did not see the question being asked on your websites. 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 Greek, without understanding what you are saying?”
Answer: Very interesting question, thank you. The gift (singular) of tongues (plural,) is what Paul described as follows in 1 Cor. 13:1, “Though I speak [supernaturally, without effort or understanding what I am saying] 1) with the tongues [understandable languages] of men… and 2) of angels, [languages from a the spirit world,] but have not love...”
Speaking supernaturally “the [other] tongues [plural] of men” is what happened when the Holy Spirit came to indwell believers for the first time at Pentecost. Acts 2:5-13, “How is it that we hear each speaking in our own language in which we were born? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, Libya, Cyrene, Rome, Jews and Proselytes, Cretans, and Arabs all heard them speaking in our own languages [without the speakers knowing what they were saying] the wonderful works of God…”
Tongues [plural] of angels is the Holy Spirit’s unique ability to speak in a heavenly language “to God and not to men, for no [human] understands him. In the spirit [with his Scripturally born again human spirit, he speaks ‘mysteries’ between him and God,” (Jn. 1:12-13; 3:3-4; Mark 16:15-18; 1 Ths. 5:23.)
Early missionaries, confusing the “tongues of men” (as manifested in Acts 2:5-13 with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit,) with “heavenly languages” or tongues of angels, (1 Cor. 13:1,) went forth to preach the Gospel as soon as they received the gift of tongues, believing they would be able to preach supernaturally to people of other nations in their own languages. Sadly, these believers did not realize they were speaking heavenly languages, “tongues of angels” or “mysteries to God,” (1 Cor. 14:2, 21-25,) not to “other” humans in their own languages. Without the operation of the Spirit’s gift of interpretation, their efforts remained fruitless because humans could not understand what they were saying, (1 Cor. 12:1-19; 14:2-5, 13-19.) Therefore, Paul wrote, “Let him who speaks in [an angelic] tongue [during meetings,] pray that he may interpret, for if I pray in a tongue, my [reborn human] spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful,” (1 Ths. 5:23; 1 Cor. 14:2, 11-19.)
Paul makes it clear that both these variations of the gift of tongues (foreign languages and angelic tongues) come from the already indwelling Holy Spirit, which He gives as His gift and uses as He Alone wills, (1 Cor. 12:11.) In 1 Cor. 12:10, Paul also 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 Scripturally forbidden to speak to the congregation in tongues if there is no interpreter, as no one but God understands what is said, (1 Cor. 14:2,13; 1 Cor. 12:10-11.)
We must realize that although the speaker does not understand what he is saying, “tongues” are not “gabbling” 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, (1 Cor. 14:2.) Despite what false teachers say and practice, “the spirits of the prophets [or those who speak in tongues, prophesy, etcetera,] are subject to the prophets [and thus under their human control. It is not an uncontrolled, involuntary “takeover” of the Spirit that makes them speak.] 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, holy 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.
“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 us into wild compulsive acts. His gentle ministry strengthens human personality. He empowers; not overpowers. 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.”
Þ We may ask Him for His gifts, but the Holy Spirit Alone decides how and when He distributes and manifests His miraculous, different gifts to each one of His disciples. (Read 1 Cor. 12:4-11.) [S.F. Filled Bible 1991, 1 Cor. 12:2-3.)
Question: “Do you believe in the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the ‘Evidence’ of speaking and tongues? In the study on the Baptism with the Holy Spirit, it sounds as if tongues and other miracles do not matter to you.”
Answer: Supposedly, one cannot be saved without this manmade baptism ‘because none [allegedly] has the Spirit without the evidence of tongues.’ So, why did Paul ask, “Do all speak in tongues? Do all have gifts of healings…? [Because] the Spirit gives His gifts as He wills,” (1 Cor. 12:2-11; 27-31.) The Truth of Scripture states that when we sincerely believe in and personally accept Jesus as our Savior, Lord, and God, Jesus’ immediately and fully baptizes us with the Holy Spirit. This is how Jesus places “the Kingdom of God inside us.” No one can be saved without the Holy Spirit completely and constantly indwelling him or her, (Lu. 17:21; Rom. 8:9; 1 Jn. 2:20, 27! KJV.) Jesus’ baptism with the Spirit is immediately followed by the Spirit’s baptism into the body of Christ. After that, the Spirit manifests His gifts through believers as and when He Alone wills, (1 Cor. 12:11.) I always make it clear that I believe in the Biblical manifestation of Holy-Spirit miracles and all His Scriptural gifts; tongues and prophecy included, (1 Cor. 12 & 14 — see Jn. 1:12-13; Gal. 4:6.)
It is important to understand that the doctrine of “the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the ‘evidence’ of speaking in tongues” is not Biblical. It is a manufactured human baptism as I proved in “Origin of the Pentecostal Charismatic Movement and the Experience of the Ecstatic, Superpower Tongue Baptism.” Oneness Pentecostal or ‘Jesus Only’ teacher William Branham said this so-called ‘baptism in the Holy Spirit’ is a "third work of grace" that [supposedly] follows the church dogmas of justification and sanctification. [Scripturally, we are spiritually taken “out” of darkness and brought wholly “into” His Kingdom of Light when we are truly born again in Christ, (1 Pt. 2:9-10.) Hence, we are instantly “justified” or placed in a right spiritual standing with God and become ‘holy saints’ at the moment we are Scripturally born again.
For this reason, we must avoid the progressive ‘justification (becoming acceptable to God,) ‘sanctification,’ (becoming holy,) and the manmade ‘saving tongues baptism’ that churches teach like the plague. They actually teach that this strange baptism ‘saves’ believers not the Biblical rebirth. Thus, they also abuse and twist the Scriptures such as Mark 16:15-18 and Mt. 28:19-20 to substitute the true meaning of the water baptism of disciples with this so-called ‘saving tongue baptism!’
Question: “Explain more clearly why you say Jesus’ Scriptural Baptism with the Holy Spirit cannot be a separate experience from the rebirth in Christ, while we witness the baptism in the Holy Spirit that happens some time after conversion with the evidence of tongues, on an ongoing basis in the churches.”
Answer: Paul commanded in Rom. 12:1-2 that we must never ‘conform’ to the world or believe church doctrine, but we must be constantly “renewed” in our minds through real Scriptural knowledge to know the perfect will of God. So, 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; He places the Spirit inside us, (1 Cor. 6:18-20; Lu. 17:21-22.) This sounds insignificant, but this ‘slight’ twisting of the Word resulted in a complete replica of Jesus’ Scriptural baptism with the Holy Spirit. Jesus baptizes new believers with the Holy Spirit at the moment of the rebirth, when they sincerely accept Him as our personal Savior.
Under the New Testament Covenant, one cannot be a child of God without the complete and constant indwelling — and consequently, the entire anointing, presence or ‘power’ of the Spirit inside one’s born again human spirit, (Rom. 8:9; 1 Jn. 2:20; 27.) Additionally, the unscriptural baptism with the ‘evidence of speaking-in-tongues is done by church clergy some time after the rebirth. This cannot be the Holy Spirit baptism of Jesus as Only Jesus can baptize believers with the Holy Spirit, and He will always do it according to His own Scriptural way, (Mt. 3:11.) And how can anyone be saved at the rebirth if the Spirit does not directly and fully indwell them as born again children and disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ? God’s temple can never be empty, and He “does not give His Spirit by measure’ or in little bits and pieces, (Jn. 1:12-13; 3:3-5; Gal. 4:6-7;
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: Acts 5:32 declares, “...The Holy Spirit, Whom God has given to those who obey Him.” If you are a sincere, Scripturally obedient disciple/follower of Christ, you already have the all-inclusive indwelling and thus all the power of the Holy Spirit, and He will distribute His “gifts” in and through you “as He wills,” (1 Jn. 2:20, 27; 1 Cor. 3:16-17; 6:17-20; 12:4-11.) We may ask Him for a particular gift, but the decision is always His. 1 Cor. 12:30-31, “Do all have gifts of healings... tongues… do all interpret? But earnestly desire the best gifts [of which Godly love in deed and truth is the greatest, 1 Cor. 13:1,] and I will show you a more excellent way [to glorify and serve God.]” As explained in ‘The Holy Spirit Baptism,’ since Pentecost until “the end of the world” (Mt. 28:19-20) the Holy Spirit indwells all true believers from the very moment they accept Jesus. The Spirit then baptizes each one mystically into the body of Christ — and thus, into Jesus Christ Himself, Who is the Head of His body, (Jn. 1:12-13; 3:3-5; Gal. 4:6; 1 Cor. 12:13-31.)
This is the only spiritual rebirth in Christ that exists in Scripture and in practice. From then on, the Holy Spirit Himself constantly lives in or “possesses” (Prov. 8:22; Eph. 1:14) all those who sincerely accepted Jesus and follow Him to their final destination in heaven. Through this rebirth, believers become the Spirit’s own living temple for the primary purpose of being “witnesses to Christ” among their own families, neighbors, and eventually through the whole world; not to (per say) spectacularly manifest His wondrous gifts. In this way, Jesus’ disciples fulfill His all-important commission to evangelize the entire world with the truth of His Gospel, “letting His [spiritual] Kingdom come on earth [in perfect truth in the born again ‘hearts’ of all sincere disciples,]) 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 for the right reasons, is to ‘get’ the real Scriptural truth concerning these deceptions, and then to follow the Lord Jesus Christ in a lifestyle of Scriptural obedience. Scriptural authority in Christ and the true power of the Holy Spirit are only obtainable through the Scriptural rebirth in Christ.
To remain (or “abide”) in His real Holy Spirit power, Jesus requires complete submission to the entire will of God - a vital truth, which the Pentecostal/Charismatic Movement denies! They actually teach occult positive confession and visualization to ‘create their own miracles’ and say “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 consulting God, because you are supposedly a ‘little’ god and christ yourself! However, before any work is attempted in the Kingdom of God, believers must seek God’s face in prayer to ask His will for that particular situation. The Spirit works through our true submission to His will — and of course the recipient’s submission to His will. So, Jesus Himself nullified this dangerous statement by teaching us to pray, “Let Your will be done…” All Jesus’ early disciples also taught God’s children to pray for the continued will of their Father in their everyday lives, and in every situation here on earth.
Additionally, the Scriptural power of the Holy Spirit is not to “bring down fire” to speak in tongues and do so-called ‘spectacular miracles,’ allegedly ‘proving’ they were ‘baptized’ ‘in’ the Spirit, but to equip and lead Jesus’ sincere disciples in the Holy Spirit’s assault on the gates of Hades! (Hades is a figure of spiritual death.) These teachers also misinterpret the “fire,” which John the Baptist referred to in connection with Jesus’ baptism with the Holy Spirit, to support their strange signs and miracles in the churches, (Mt. 3:11; 20:22-23; Lu. 12:49-53.) [Here is a link to explain what “Jesus’ baptism with fire” really means.]
From Pentecost to this day, Jesus’ Scriptural Baptism with the Holy Spirit marvelously “empowers” His temple of believers with the gifts of the Spirit to function as His mighty God-submitted strike force; penetrating the spiritual kingdom of darkness with Jesus’ saving, redeeming Gospel of Truth as the Holy Spirit leads them, (Mt. 28:19-20.) In combination with the power or “anointing” of the indwelling Spirit, all true believers also have the full authority of Jesus to make disciples for the Spiritual Kingdom of God, which is one of the greatest displays of God’s sovereign power on earth! (Acts 1:8.)
However, if people do not attend meetings to find the truth of God’s Word and the real power of the Holy Spirit, it is easy to preach a false gospel to ‘itching ears;’ making millions of church followers without much effort, (Gal. 1:6-10; 2 Cor. 11:3-15.) Kundalini or serpent (satanic) power hold people in such false meetings, because they go there to experience the spectacular and be entertained by highs, hypes, showmanship, and so-called miracles. That they are being deceived and led astray do not even enter their deceived minds, (1 Ths. 5:21.)
Rodney Howard Brown and Colin Dye preached in England, “People can be saved without the preaching of the Gospel…” All they need is their “river of anointing,” which flows from their ‘five-fold ministry.’ These deceivers teach that they, not the Gospel of Jesus Christ, can save the whole world through their strange spiritual experiences. In reality, Jesus commanded all His disciples to bring His true Gospel to deceived souls so they can understand His Word, sincerely accept Him, and follow Him in a Scriptural lifestyle of repentance from lies and ungodliness!
Those leaders also say Jesus wants them to live happily and effortlessly on a so-called ‘restored’ earth, which their “river of anointing” is allegedly changing into ‘heaven on earth.’ However, this earth is destined for the fire, (2 Pt. 3:10-14,) and it is another matter to preach Jesus’ truth to narcissist materialists who will not die to sin and self to live eternally in heaven, (Gal. 2:19-20.) Jesus’ believers heap up “treasures in heaven” and must be so focused on Him and the Truth of His Word that they will follow Him fearlessly through fire, water, and through death to advance His great cause, (read Jn. 12:24-26; Heb. 11.) This must remain the focus of all sincerely born again believer-disciples in Christ.
Question: “If the Holy Spirit Baptism is a ‘once off,’ and He constantly indwells believers, how is it possible for Him to also ‘come down upon’ or ‘fill’ the disciples again and again, as described in Acts 4:31?
Answer: During the Old Testament dispensation before Golgotha and Pentecost, the Spirit never indwelt His believers, He merely ‘came upon’ them because during Jesus’ ministry, as “the Spirit was not yet given,” (Jn. 7:39.) Only under the New Covenant, after Jesus’ ascension, the Spirit came on Pentecost with mighty signs that resembled wind and fire to indwell His believers for the first time. Since then, He had been indwelling true believers at their acceptance of Christ, but not with those outward signs of wind and fire, and mostly without manifesting the gift of tongues or prophecy, (Acts 2:1-4.)
The context of Acts 4:31, (verses 23-37,) and other relating passages, (where believers were ‘filled again,’) occurred after the disciples prayed for 1) boldness to keep on preaching the Gospel of Christ under severe persecution and 2) for the Scriptural signs and miracles as described in Mark 16:16-18, which confirm the ministry of Jesus’ true disciples to outsiders — not as so-called ‘evidence’ that they were ‘baptized in the Holy Spirit,’ but to testify to the fact that Jesus lives in them! Neither the ‘baptism ‘in’ the holy spirit’ nor speaking in tongues is mentioned here.