This is the third session on the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and Speaking in Tongues. If you haven’t seen the first two videos, please go to www.joelhitchcock.blogspot.com to see them there. You can also see the notes on each session posted there.
Our theme Scripture has been Acts 2:1-4, which says, "When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." (Acts 2:1-4, NKJV)
They put God first
In Acts 1 we read about those whom God filled with the Holy Spirit, who were empowered by the Spirit and spoke in tongues. All the apostles were there. All the women who followed Jesus were there. Mary, the mother of Jesus was there. Altogether there were about 120 people who put God first. This is an important point. To receive all God has for us, we must put Him first. There should have been more of the disciples of Jesus present when the Holy Ghost came because, in addition to His other appearances, Jesus appeared to 500 at one time. Why then were there only 120 in the upper room? Where were the other 380 and more?
There were 120 believers in the upper room who were baptized in the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:15). Again, the Bible tells us that Jesus appeared to many people on several occasions, on one of which occasion He appeared to five hundred people at one time (Acts 15:6). So why were there only 120 in the upper room? Could it be that they were more hungry and thirsty for the Holy Spirit than the others? The Bible teaches us that what we are blessed when we hunger and thirst after righteousness, for we shall be filled (Matthew 5:6).
The point is that it was those who had put God first who were baptized in the Holy Spirit. Are there areas in our lives where we don’t put God first? Perhaps entertainment, TV, internet surfing, sports, or other things? These things are not wrong, but do they distract us from pursuing all God has for us?
They were in one accord
Acts 2:1 says they were in one accord. What does it mean to be in one accord?
* To be in one accord in a vertical way means that we are in harmony with God;
* To be in one accord in a horizontal way means that we are in harmony with each other.
If we want to be baptized in the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues, we must be in one accord with both God as well as our fellow believers.
They ALL spoke in tongues
Someone asked the renowned David du Plessis if those who receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit had to speak in tongues. His answer was “No, but you will!”
Just like when we shop for shoes, we buy the shoes but the tongue comes with it.
The Bible says that they were “all” filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in tongues. Following the logic and flow of thought in Acts 1:4 indicates that they all spoke in tongues. What a glorious thing it must have been for 120 people to be speaking in tongues simultaneously! Can you imagine the sound of heaven it must have been like?
I once witnessed a half million people in Africa being baptized in the Holy Spirit. It was incredible! Five hundred thousand people were calling to God as they were being baptized in the Holy Spirit.
The Gift of Tongues
Our prayer and praise language is different than the gift of tongues. It is the gift of tongues that must also be interpreted. Though we may pray and praise in unison with our prayer and praise tongue, there are those who also may operate in the gift of tongues, which should be interpreted.
“Therefore if the whole church comes together in one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those who are uninformed or unbelievers, will they not say that you are out of your mind?” (1 Cor 14:23).
Some have mistakenly said that we cannot speak in tongues simultaneously, because this is what 1 Corinthians 14:23 refers to, that people will think we are mad or out of our minds. This is not the case.
We already have a Biblical record of where the believers spoke in tongues simultaneously in Acts 2. And it was on this occasion that some of the onlookers mocked them, saying they were “full of new wine”, that they were intoxicated.
Christians should not be overly concerned how the world judges us when it comes to the moving of the Holy Spirit. Don’t let unbelievers define what is acceptable or not. When the Spirit moves, let Him has His way!
Yet Paul teaches that when we operate in the gift of tongues with interpretation, that there is a certain way to do it: Simply put, there is a utterance in tongues, and then there is also the interpretation.
There are different kinds of tongues:
* The tongue that comes with our initial baptism in the Holy Spirit;
* Our prayer language which does not need to be interpreted;
* The gift of tongues that is interpreted into a known tongue
To receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit we must put God first, pursue what He has for us with all of our hearts and come in harmony with God and our fellow believers. We receive our initial tongue when we are baptized in the Holy Spirit. We also have a tongue we use as a prayer language (which may or may not necessarily be interpreted). And we may pursue the gift of tongues to interpret. We will learn more in our next session. This is exciting!