C1605-E Baptism in the Holy Spirit and Speaking in Tongues
This is the FIFTH session on the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and Speaking in Tongues!
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First, let’s read our theme Scripture:
“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)
There came a sound from heaven
The World English Bible says, “There came a sound from the sky”. While that is certainly also a correct translation, I like the King James which translates it as “a sound from heaven”. From heaven! For me this emphasizes the fact that the Baptism in the Holy Spirit experience is not an earthly thing, but a heavenly. It is a supernatural, paranormal encounter! The SOURCE of this encounter is from HEAVEN. It is spiritual and supernatural. It is FROM GOD.
Matthew 3:11 says that as John baptized with water, so Jesus would baptize us with the Holy Spirit and fire! This is a powerful thing, and we must search it out with all our hearts.
It’s not about the tongues, it’s about the power
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8, NKJV)
Jesus did not say, “You shall receive tongues”, but He said “You shall receive POWER!”
It’s about the power to witness (and about BEING a witness). Tongues are of utmost importance, but it is the POWER that is the focus. It is the HOLY SPIRIT Who is the focal point.
After Jesus said “You shall receive power,” He said “…and you shall be WITNESSES unto Me”. So even though we understand that we will engage in active witnessing, it doesn’t even say we would “do witnessing” or “witness to others”. Yes, I know this is a little hair splitting, but what does it really say? It says, “You shall BE witnesses”. The point is not what we would do, but what we would BE.
Just like a light is a light, so it will naturally SHINE. So too, WE ARE WITNESSES, and therefore our very lives ARE WITNESSES. It is from WHAT WE ARE (witnesses) that we ENGAGE in what we do (witnessing)!
There are different KINDS of tongues:
1. The Initial Tongue upon the Baptism in the Holy Spirit
When they were baptized in the Holy Spirit in Acts 1:1-4, they spoke in tongues in unison. This was not the type of tongues that need to be interpreted as we read about in 1 Corinthians 14, but it was the initial evidence of tongues, which indicated (amongst other outward signs) that they were baptized in the Holy Spirit. These tongues do not need to be interpreted (see point 3), but they can. And they can be spoken by believers in unison.
The major Pentecostal denominations have it in their statements of faith, that the Speaking in Tongues is the initial evidence of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Let’s look at a few:
Church of God:
“[We believe] in the baptism with the Holy Ghost subsequent to a clean heart. In speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance and that it is the initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost.
Assemblies of God:
“[We believe in] The Baptism in the Holy Spirit. All believers are entitled to and should ardently expect and earnestly seek the promise of the Father, the baptism in the Holy Spirit and fire, according to the command of our Lord Jesus Christ. This was the normal experience of all in the early Christian Church… [We believe in] The Initial Physical Evidence of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. The baptism of believers in the Holy Spirit is witnessed by the with other tongues as the Spirit of God gives them utterance.
United Pentecostal Church International:
“We believe that the Pentecostal baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire is obtainable by a definite act of appropriating faith on the part of the fully cleansed believer, and the initial evidence of the reception of this experience is speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance (Luke 11:13; Acts 1:5; 2:1-4; 8:17; 10:44-46; 19:6).
Foursquare Gospel Church:
“[We believe in] The Baptism of the Holy Spirit. We believe that the baptism with the Holy Spirit is an experience that follows salvation. All believers have God’s Spirit within them. Holy Spirit baptism empowers believers to exalt Jesus, to live lives of holiness, and to be witnesses of God’s saving grace. We believe that those who experience Holy Spirit baptism today will experience it in the same manner that believers experienced it in the early church; in other words, we believe that they will speak in tongues—languages that are not known to them (Acts 1: 5, 8; 2:4).”
International Pentecostal Holiness Church:
"We believe that the Pentecostal baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire is obtainable by a definite act of appropriating faith on the part of the fully cleansed believer, and the initial evidence of the reception of this experience is speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance"
Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa:
“The baptism in the Holy Spirit with the initial evidence of speaking in tongues is promised to all believers. The gifts and fruit of the Spirit will be manifested in the life of a Christian, and a Christian should be a disciple of Jesus Christ living a consecrated and holy life.
River City / Joel Hitchcock Ministries Inc:
In a future teaching we will show from Scripture that there is a powerful link between the baptism in the Holy Spirit and Speaking in Tongues but for now, let’s look at the second kind of tongues.
2. Tongues as a Prayer Language
Tongues are also a prayer language. This is the kind of tongue in which we pray to God, also without necessarily interpreting it. We may or may not interpret it. Sometimes the tongue is a communication to God in the form of prayer, intercession or praise and thanksgiving. We might not know what we are praying, but we pray in our prayer language.
3. The Gift of Tongues which will be interpreted
The third type of tongue is the kind that is to be interpreted, as Paul teaches in 1 Corinthians 14. Not all tongues need to be interpreted, but in the congregational setting, when the gift of tongues is in operation, bringing a message to the congregation, those tongues must be interpreted. This does not refer to the tongues where we pray in unison as in Acts 2. The gift of tongues with interpretation is a related gift, which we will teach more on in a future session, so stay tuned!
The emphasis of this teaching is the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, and its accompanying power, and the speaking in tongues. This experience is “from heaven”, i.e. from God and from His supernatural realm. Tongues are not the main focus, but are an integral part of the baptism in the Holy Spirit and receiving the power of God. There are different kinds of tongues, namely (1) the initial tongue that comes with the baptism in the Holy Spirit; (2) the tongue prayed during a prayer language, which may or may not be interpreted into a known language; and (3) the tongue that is used as a gift of the Holy Spirit in a congregational or another setting, which must be interpreted.
Stay tuned for our NEXT EXCITING TEACHING on the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and the Speaking in Tongues! It’s powerful!