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Is Tongues Always the Initial Evidence of the Baptism with the Holy Spirit?

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by Saint Steven, Sep 16, 2018.

  1. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    The biblical model says, "No." --- Or at least begs the question.

    Is Tongues Always the Initial Evidence
    of the Baptism with the Holy Spirit?


    What do others know about this?
    Have you, or anyone you know, had an experience with the
    Baptism with the Holy Spirit that differs from the "norm"?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The Baptism with the Holy Spirit is the second of two baptisms for the believer.
    In the book of the Acts of the Apostles we see this pattern established. (but not always in this order)
    - Belief
    - Repentance
    - Water Baptism
    - Holy Spirit Baptism (typically received through the laying on of hands)

    But how do you know that you have received the Baptism with the Holy Spirit?
    Most would say that tongues follow the Baptism with the Holy Spirit.
    And that is mostly correct. However, that may not be the case.
    Even the biblical model leaves us with questions about the validity of that claim.

    And, of course, we need to hear the personal testimonies of those who have experienced something other than the "standard" experience with the Baptism with the Holy Spirit.

    Probably the best example of this is found in the passage in the book of the Acts of the Apostles about the new believers in Samaria.

    Acts 8:14-17
    When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. 15 When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    This follows the established pattern listed above. (also see Acts 2:38-39)
    - Belief
    - Repentance (assumed)
    - Water Baptism
    - Holy Spirit Baptism (received through the laying on of hands)

    They only thing missing in the passage is the evidence of the Baptism with the Holy Spirit. We will have to look at other passages for that.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Here are examples of the initial evidence of tongues following the Baptism with the Holy Spirit. But notice that in each case there is another manifestation listed. This begs the question of this topic. Is Tongues Always the Initial Evidence of the Baptism with the Holy Spirit? Or is any manifestation of the Holy Spirit valid evidence? Or in some cases, the manifestations may come later.

    Here's what we don't know based on these texts. Did everyone in these examples speak in tongues? Did some have another manifestation instead of tongues? Did everyone manifest tongues but some had a second manifestation? We are not told.
    Acts 19:6
    When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.

    Acts 10:44-46
    While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Here's another example. No evidence of a manifestation is given other than his miraculous healing. But who would argue that the Apostle Paul did not speak in tongues?

    Acts 9:16-19
    I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
    17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Summary statement

    In Acts 19:6 and Acts 10:44-46 we see a manifestation of something other than tongues listed as evidence of the Baptism with the Holy Spirit. Namely, prophecy and praising God.

    Some may argue that praising "praising God" is not a manifestation of the Holy Spirit. However, at Pentecost the onlookers exclaimed, "... we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” - Acts 2:11
     
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  2. daydreamer40

    daydreamer40 Active Member

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    In the UK there are two main Pentecostal denominations(AOG&Elim) They met once to see if they could unite under one Pentecostal church, however, one main point remained unbridgeable. AOG believed speaking in tongues was required as proof you have been ''Baptised in the Holy Spirit, Elim disagreed. Though I was raised AOG, I would tend to side with Elim concerning this.
     
  3. HTacianas

    HTacianas Well-Known Member

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    To say that speaking in tongues is the only evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit is literally to say that no one has received the Holy Spirit for two thousand years. There are no accounts of speaking in tongues anywhere in the history of the Church except among some fringe groups that no longer exist.
     
  4. LoveGodsWord

    LoveGodsWord Well-Known Member

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    Hello Steve,

    If your making a claim that speaking in tongues is a definite sign someone has God's Spirit or not you are mistaken.

    Your OP title is assuming that speaking in tongue means that someone has the Holy Spirit. Speaking in tongues in not evidence of the Holy Spirit. Not all have the same gifts and Satan and his followers, we are told in the end days will come with all signs and lying wonders to deceive if possible God's elect *2 THESSALONIANS 2:7-13; MATTHEW 24:24; 1 CORINTHIANS 12:4-9.

    Maybe a better question may be, how do you know someone is from God or not from God?

    1 JOHN 2:3-4 [3], And by this we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. [4], He that says, I know him, and keeps not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

    Hope this helps
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
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  5. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Peter told the crowd on the day of Pentecost that if they repent and be baptised, they shall be baptised with the Holy Spirit. That seems quite definite to me that when they repent and be baptised then the baptism with the Holy Spirit happens straight after, and not at some future time. This has led me to believe that the baptism with the Spirit happens at conversion. This is what happened with Cornelius' household, and the disciples who had just the baptism of John, which was a baptism of just repentance. So these ones had repented, but had not been baptised in the Name of Jesus, and had no knowledge of the Holy Spirit at all; but as soon as they were baptised in the Name of Jesus, the Holy Spirit fell on them and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. It does seem that in the Acts examples, tongues happened at the same time.

    This leads me to believe that as soon as a person is converted to Christ, baptised in the Name of Jesus, they are immediately baptised with the Spirit. This means then that they are able to speak in tongues when their faith rises to the level that they believe that they can.

    A person can be baptised with the Spirit and not feel a thing, because it is the Holy Spirit indwelling the person's own spirit which has just been made alive in Christ. If you look at the popular diagram of body soul and spirit, you will see that the spirit is the central part, below the mind, will and emotions. The awareness that one has been baptised with the Spirit comes by faith. It is faith that links the rest of us with what has happened in our spirit. This is difficult to understand with the natural mind, because this is spiritually discerned by those who have been made alive in the Spirit.

    The nine gifts of the Spirit are the toolbox of the Spirit for those who have been endued with the power of the Holy Spirit so that they can share the gospel and encourage their brothers and sisters in Christ in their walk with God.

    Therefore, I conclude that the principal evidence of the baptism with the Spirit is the believer's faith, which says, "I believe that when I repented and was baptised in the Name of Jesus, I received the baptism with the Spirit as promised in Acts 2. Therefore I am baptised with the Spirit because God has promised it to me."
     
  6. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    "Sorry Steve this claim of yours is Garbage." - LGW
     
  7. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Spiritual matters are discerned by those who are living, and walking in the Spirit. Living by the Law is not living in the Spirit. Walking by the commands of the Law is not walking in the Spirit. Therefore for those who are living by the Law can only discern on a natural basis, and therefore have a very limited understanding of spiritual matters. Therefore anything that they see as contrary to their limited perception they will accuse as being false.

    When Jesus gave instructions to ordinary unconverted Jews, He was showing that outward observance to the Law was not enough. It had to be followed from the heart - something that the Jews never did. They followed the Law outwardly and had sacrifices for sin. Jesus showed that to successfully be righteous before God they needed to have a better righteousness than the Pharisees, who merely followed the outward commandments in obedience to the Law, but these did not get right into their hearts. This is why Jesus told Nicodemus that he needed to be "born again".

    But when Jesus spoke to His Apostles, He gave them a new commandment that updated and replaced the whole Law in its entirety: "love one another as I have loved you." This can only be achieved through having a new heart and a spirit that is made alive in Christ. This is what being born again is all about.

    But those who are trying to follow outward commandments, even the ones that Jesus gave to the unconverted Jews, are still dead in their sins, because they are still under the curse of trying to keep the Law yet failing to keep it in its entirety. They can't offer sacrifices for sin as the Jews did, because they have been abolished in Christ. The book of Hebrews says that Christ is the only sacrifice for sin and there is no further sacrifice.

    This is why those who are in churches that base their religion on following commandments and rules, have no spiritual discernment, and this is why they totally misunderstand who the Holy Spirit is, and how He is working with true believers in these days.
     
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  8. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    It would be garbage to those who have no spiritual discernment. Doesn't the Scripture say that the cross of Christ is foolishness to those who don't believe? They would see as garbage anything that is stated that those who are born again through the finished work of the Cross are totally righteous in the sight of God as through they have never sinned, not sinning, and never will sin again.
     
  9. LoveGodsWord

    LoveGodsWord Well-Known Member

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    Hello Oscar, why are you making things up that none are saying.

    Who is telling you to live by be law or that your righteousness comes by the law? If no one is saying that to you then why pretend that they are saying things that they are not?

    We are only saved by grace through faith and not of works lest any man should boast *EPHESIANS 2:8. If no one is saying what your saying why say it?

    None walk in God's Spirit while KNOWINGLY breaking any of his Commandments neither do they know him *1 JOHN 2:3-4; 1 JOHN 3:3-10. If you are walking in God's Spirit you do not fulfill the lusts of the flesh *GALATIANS 5:16. OBEDIENCE is the FRUIT of grace and faith *ROMANS 1:5; ROMANS 3:31.

    If you have no fruit your tree will be cut down and thrown into the fire *MATTHEW 7:19 because your faith is dead *JAMES 2:18-20. Only God's WORD is true and we should believe and follow it over the teachings and traditions of men that break the commandments of God. Jesus says those who follow the teachings and traditions of men that break the commandments of God are not following God *MATTHEW 15:3-9.

    You cannot separate LOVE from God's LAW. LOVE is the fulfilling of it in all those who BELIEVE and FOLLOW God's WORD *ROMANS 13:8-10 and how LOVE is expressed in the NEW COVANANT *HEBREWS 8:10-12. If you do not know what the OLD COVENANT is how can you understand what the NEW COVENANT is?
    This is just being judgmental so I will leave that between you and God. I am glad God is my judge and not you. As said earlier, NONE are born again if they are KNOWINGLY breaking any of God's Commandments neither do they have the Spirit of God.

    Where do you sit?
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2018
  10. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    You are welcome to your opinion. But I strongly disagree.

    A.D. 100 - Eusebius (Church Historian):
    Writing to the preaching evangelists who were yet living, Eusebius says:
    "Of those that flourished in these times, Quadratus is said to have been distinguished
    for his prophetical gifts. There were many others, also, noted in these times who held
    rank in the apostolic succession... the Holy Spirit also wrought many wonders as yet
    through them, so that as the Gospel was heard, men in crowds voluntarily and eagerly
    embraced the true faith with their whole minds."

    A.D. 115-202 - Irenaeus:
    Irenaeus was a pupil of Polycarp, who was a disciple of the apostle John.
    He wrote in his book "Against Heresies", Book V, vi.: "In like manner do we also hear
    many brethren in the church who possess prophetic gifts, and who through the Spirit
    speak all kinds of languages, and bring to light, for the general benefit, the hidden
    things of men and declare the mysteries of God, who also the apostles term spiritual."

    A.D. 300 - The Early Martyrs:
    The early martyrs enjoyed these gifts. Dean Ferrar, in his book "Darkness to Dawn" states: "Even for the minutest allusions and particulars I have contemporary authority." He refers to the persecuted Christians in Rome singing and speaking in unknown tongues.

    A.D. 390 - Chrysostom of Constantinople:
    Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople, writes: "Whoever was baptised in apostolic days,
    he straightway spoke with tongues, for since on their coming over from idols, without any clear knowledge or training in the Scriptures, they at once received the Spirit, not that they saw the Spirit, for He is invisible, but God's grace bestowed some sensible proof of His energy, and one straightway spoke in the Persian language, another in the Roman, another in the Indian, another in some other tongues, and this made manifest to them that were without that it was the Spirit in the very person speaking. Wherefore the apostle calls it the manifestation of the Spirit which is given to every man to profit withal."

    A.D. 400 - Augustine of Hippo:
    Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, one of the four great fathers of the Latin Church and
    considered the greatest of them all: "We still do what the apostles did when they laid
    hands on the Samaritans and called down the Holy Spirit on them in the laying-on of hands. It is expected that converts should speak with new tongues."
     
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  11. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    Thanks for your post Oscarr.

    We need to consider the text of the scriptures you mentioned. I see evidence for something different than you are writing here.

    In the case of the house of Cornelius, you are correct. The Holy Spirit came on them without the laying on of hands, and water baptism followed. However, in the case of the believers in Samaria and the disciples of John the Baptist we see something else. The scriptures were in the OP, but here they are again. I expanded the context of the disciples of John the Baptist text.

    Acts 8:14-17
    When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. 15 When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

    Acts 19:1-6
    While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2 and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?” “John’s baptism,” they replied. 4 Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.
     
  12. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    Oscarr, I think we need to differentiate between the indwelling Spirit that comes to all believers at conversion, and the further step of the Baptism with the Holy Spirit. Frankly, I am surprised that I need to inform (or remind) you about this. I thought you already believed (knew/understood) this.
     
  13. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    In case anyone has forgotten who the baptizer with the Holy Spirit is.

    Matthew 3:11
    “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

    Acts 1:4-5
    On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
     
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  14. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    I don't see that in what Peter said to the crowd at Pentecostal. He relate the three components one after the other with no gaps in between. There is only baptism with the Holy Spirit, and it is a once only event.

    Because was converted in the AOG and adopted their doctrine about the Baptism with the Spirit being a subsequent event that has to be requested separately, I went with that for many years. But having closely studied the Scriptures relating to it, I cannot see any evidence in Scripture that it is actually a separate event other than a component of being born again.

    The only example in Acts where it seemed that the baptism with the Spirit was a subsequent event was what happened to the Ephesian disciples. But upon closer examination, they were baptised with the baptism of John the Baptist was a baptism of repentance only. They had no knowledge that the baptism with the Spirit came when not only repenting but being baptised in the Name of Jesus. Once they were baptised in the Name of Jesus, they were immediately baptised with the Holy Spirit.

    According to Paul, Galatians 5, born again believers live in the Spirit, and need to walk in the Spirit as well.

    We cannot use the instruction of Jesus for the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they are endured with power from on high, because at the time when He said that, the Holy Spirit had not come yet to the Church.

    There is one example where it really does seem that the baptism with the Spirit is administered after conversion through the laying on of hands by the Apostles.

    It could be argued that there are several ways a person can come into the baptism and power of the Holy Spirit. (1) Through a sovereign act of God, such as the Upper Room disciples, Cornelius and the Ephesian disciples; (2) through the laying on of hands by the Apostles as in the case of the Samaritan converts, and Paul (although Ananias was not an Apostle, yet Paul got baptised with the Holy Spirit through Ananias laying hands on him). (3) through faith in that the baptism with the Spirit came immediately people were baptised in the Name of Jesus.

    In actual fact, when I assist a person through to the gift of tongues, in practice, I treat the baptism with the Spirit as a subsequent event. It is the way the Lord showed me how to do it.

    But I was baptised with the Spirit when the Lord asked me why I was begging and pleading for something that He had already given me 2000 years ago. All I have to do was receive it, so that's what I did, and I started speaking in tongues.

    So are we going to deny that a person has been baptised with the Spirit because he believed that it happened along with conversion? I wouldn't. What I would do is to say, "Seeing that you are baptised with the Spirit, activate your faith by starting to speak in tongues. According to your faith be it unto you."

    Paul said that he was going to be all things to all men so that he could win some. So that's what I do. For those who believe that the baptism with the Spirit came with conversion, I work with them on that basis. If they believe it is a subsequent event , I work with them on that basis as well. If the same outcome happens, who's to worry?
     
  15. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    Thanks for the detailed response.
    I'm not trying to put the Holy Spirit in a box. Certainly the example of the house of Cornelius shows us that we can't always anticipate what the Spirit will do, or how this will work. Certainly the individual circumstances have more importance than form or orthodoxy here. But the Ephesian disciples and the Samaritans are clear examples of the form, if we are looking for one. Even the Apostle Paul received the Spirit by the laying on of Ananias' hands. We have to ask, what was the evidence?

    And I have heard of people receiving tongues seeming from nowhere. They were praying alone and didn't even know what it was. Just began spontaneously speaking in tongues.

    But it seems we have yet to hear your response to the actual OP question. Maybe I missed it in all the fuss?
     
  16. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    The principal evidence of the baptism with the Holy Spirit is faith, based on the promise given in Acts 2. "Repent and be baptised in the Name of Jesus and you shall be baptised in the Holy Spirit." The person has to have that foundation of faith before any other manifestation can occur.
     
  17. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    But isn't that a prerequisite rather than an evidence?

    In my case, I had to believe (have faith) that I had received the Baptism with the Holy Spirit. Because the evidence of tongues came later. Like a week later. I believed that God gives the Spirit to those who ask.

    Luke 11:13
    If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
     
  18. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    Thanks for your response. I agree. However, I can see why the AOG does it the way they do. If you make it an expectation, it is more likely to happen.

    I'm curious to know if you have noticed a difference between the two denominations in terms of the use of tongues. What effect did the doctrinal position have on practice? Do there seem to be more tongues speakers is the AOG than Elim?
     
  19. daydreamer40

    daydreamer40 Active Member

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    No, I saw no difference at all concerning the use of tongues/more users of it in one church or the other(though have not spent that much time in Elim churches) Only in what I previously stated concerning the doctrinal position
     
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  20. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    I'm going by the Scripture: "Faith is the evidence of things not seen, the assurance of things hoped for."
    I can believe and say that I am baptised with the Holy Spirit without showing any outward manifestation of any gifts. This is because my faith in the promise, "You shall receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit" is the evidence (of things not seen) of it.

    There are pagan religions, along with occult societies, as well as Mormons, who speak in tongues, and they have not received the baptism with the Spirit. But we assert that tongues is the initial evidence, then we have to say on that basis that these non-Christian groups are baptised with the Spirit, which would be an error.

    But what sets genuine Christian believers apart from these non-Christian groups is that when they do speak in tongues, they have already laid the foundation of faith in the promise in Acts 2, "Repent and be baptised in the Name of Jesus (which pagans, occult and Mormons don't do), and you shall receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit".
    Every manifestation of the Spirit can be counterfeited, so we cannot depend on them as being reliable evidence. We have to go back to our faith in the promise of God.
     
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