I would like to discuss Baptism of the Holy spirit as I'm a little confused.
When we accept Jesus as our savior and receive salvation by faith we are born again. We are born again with the holy spirit living inside us. I'v read that Jesus also wanted us to be baptized by the holy spirit as well. But I thought when we came into salvation through faith we already had the holy spirit?
I know a lot claim that Baptism of the holy spirit is only certain if the person starts speaking in tongues. However an article from sermonindex tells that speaking in tongues is not required in a Baptism of the holy spirit.
I brought this up because I was watching Jimmy Swaggart and it just seems like his message is if you don't speak in tongues you didn't receive the holy spirit.Originally Posted by sermonindexThe Baptism in the Holy Spirit: The Evidence
The Baptism in the Holy Spirit: The Evidence
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you… Acts 1:8
…the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. Rom. 5:5
In Christianity today, especially Pentecostal churches, there is a lot of talk about the baptism in the Holy Spirit, an experience that Jesus said His followers should seek and expect to experience, and with that talk usually comes the question of the evidence of this Holy Spirit baptism. If you’ve been around the Pentecostal or Charismatic movement you’ve probably heard the answer “speaking in tongues”. This answer comes from Acts 2:4, “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues..”. All throughout the books of Acts we see believers being filled with the Holy Ghost and speaking in tongues (all except twice Acts 4:31, 8:17). So should we consider that to be sufficient enough to label speaking in tongues the “initial physical evidence”, or should we dig a little deeper to see if the Bible tells us of any other evidence that someone has received this gift promised by the Father. First I want us to remember that the book of Acts is a history book, though I dare not compare modern records of church history with Holy Scripture, I think we should take a look at the experiences of other believers who profess to have been baptized in the Holy Spirit:
In 1871 at one of Mr. Moody’s meetings, he was stirred with a desire for spiritual power by two women who would attend the meetings. He could see that they were praying, and at the close of the service they would say to him:
“We have been praying for you.”
“Why don’t you pray for the people?” Mr. Moody would ask.
“Because you need the power of the Spirit” they would say.
“I need the power! Why?” said Mr. Moody, in relating the incident years after, “ I thought I had power. I had the largest congregations in Chicago”, but the two women kept praying for him. There came a great hunger into his soul as he visited New York.
“I was crying all the time that God would fill me with His Spirit. Well, one day, in the city of New York -- oh, what a day! -- I cannot describe it, I seldom refer to it; it is almost too sacred an experience to name… I can only say that God revealed Himself to me, and I had such an experience of His love that I had to ask Him to stay His hand. I went to preaching again. The sermons were no different; I did not present any new truths, and yet hundreds were converted. I would not now be placed back where I was before that blessed experience if you should give me all the world -- it would be as the small dust of balance.”
“When I was 22 years old I’d go out street preaching in Austin, TX. I was scared half out of my wits. I’d walk around a lot of times the whole night with my Bible and not be able to share with anybody or preach, like a coward… So I decided that either this whole thing is a hoax, and I knew it wasn’t, but I said where’s the power? Where’s the life? What did those apostles do?… I went out west of Austin and I climbed up on a hill and I went crazy for 3 days. I would grab rocks and throw them at the sky and beg God to come down. Nothing happened! I went home, it went on couple more months, I almost got to the point where I was crazy. And one night I cried out to God, I don’t know how long, but God came, and I thought I was going to die. I laid on my face I don’t know how long, I covered my head, I curled up in the fetal position and just laid there. Then all of a sudden a joy that I had never known in my life, my mouth shot open… It was like everything I had ever read in the book of Psalms came pouring out of my mouth. After that did I struggle with sin? Yep! Did I struggle with fear? Yep! Did I have all the common problems with sanctification? Yep! But did my life change? Yep! I started going out there and preaching. God was real, He’s more real to me than all of you sitting in this room right now.”
“As I turned and was about to take a seat by the fire, I received a mighty baptism of the Holy Ghost. Without any expectation of it, without ever having the thought in my mind that there was any such thing for me, without any recollection that I had ever heard the thing mentioned by any person in the world, the Holy Spirit descended upon me in a manner that seemed to go through me, body and soul. I could feel the impression, like a wave of electricity, going through and through me. Indeed it seemed to come in waves and waves of liquid love, for I could not express it in any other way. It seemed like the very breath of God. I can recollect distinctly that it seemed to fan me, like immense wings”
“No words can express the wonderful love that was shed abroad in my heart. I wept aloud with joy and love; and I do not know but I should say, I literally bellowed out the unutterable gushings of my heart. These waves came over me, and over me, one after the other, until I recollect I cried out, ‘I shall die if these waves continue to pass over me. I said, ‘Lord, I cannot bear any more; yet I had no fear of death.”
“But listen, friends, as I lay there, God the Holy Ghost came upon me. Wave after wave came rolling over me until the love of God swept through me like a mighty river! So much so, that there were moments… now listen, my daughter beside me put her hand on my shoulders and she prayed, ‘Oh God, keep his reason to daddy.’ I was never more sane in my life! But I was so wrought by the Holy Ghost that I cried and I laughed and I prayed.”
“Someone asked me, ‘Did you speak in tongues?’ Oh, I was asked that again and again. No, my dear people, I’ve never spoken in tongues nor have I ever been in a meeting where tongues have been practiced… No dear people… mind you, when I say that, don’t think that I’m denying the gifts mentioned in the New Testament, precious gifts when God gives them. But all I can say is that it never came to me!”
“But I say that the baptism of the Holy Ghost came to me… in a mighty cleansing, empowering power!”
(A professor essentially asks him what difference the experience made in his life and he responds):
“Well, I think, professor, that the difference must be obvious to you from what has already happened, ‘I said. ‘I went out to preach the same sermons with this difference- that I now saw hundreds converted, hundreds brought savingly to Christ.”
“I had been a minister for some years before I came to the place where I saw that I had no right to preach until I was definitely baptized with the Holy Ghost… Then just as far as I could, I shut myself up alone in my study and spent the time continually on my knees asking God to baptize me with the Holy Spirit… I recall the exact spot where I was kneeling in prayer in my study… It was a very quiet moment, one of the most quiet moments I ever knew… Then God simply said to me, not in any audible voice, but in my heart, ‘It’s yours. Now go and preach.”
“Some time after this experience (I do not recall just how long after), while sitting in my room one day, that very same room… suddenly, as near as I can describe it, though it does not exactly describe it, I was struck from my chair onto the floor and I found myself shouting (I was not brought up to shout and I am not of the shouting temperament, but I shouted like the loudest shouting Methodist), ‘Glory to God, glory to God, glory to God,’ and I could not stop. I tried to stop, but it was just as if some other power than my own was moving my jaws. At last, when I had succeeded in pulling myself together, I went downstairs and told my wife what had just happened. But that was not when I was baptized with the Holy Spirit. I was baptized with the Holy Spirit when I took Him by faith in the naked Word of God…”
“Once as I rode out into the woods for my health, in 1737, having alighted from my horse in a retired place, as my manner commonly had been to walk for divine contemplation and prayer, I had a view that for me was extraordinary, of the glory of the Son of God. As near as I can judge, this continued about an hour, and kept me the greater part of the time in a flood of tears and weeping aloud. I felt an ardency of soul to be what I know not otherwise how to express, emptied and annihilated; to love Him with a holy and pure love; to serve and follow Him; to be perfectly sanctified and made pure with a divine and heavenly purity.”
Jonathan Edward’s didn’t (to my knowledge) refer to this experience as the baptism in the Holy Spirit, but it does show that he was no stranger to the power and presence of the Holy Ghost. Likewise his ministry also validates the fact that he was “endued with power from on high”.
So all throughout church history we see men, who have accomplished great things, who were baptized in the Holy Spirit, yet without ever speaking in tongues. At the same time there are many others who have received this baptism that do speak with tongues (David Wilkerson, Zac Poonen, B.H. Clendennen,). So what should we say then? Can speaking in other tongues be the evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit? Or were these men wrong in calling their experience the baptism in the Holy Ghost? What does the Bible say?
The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 12:4, “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.” and in verse 11 it tells us that the Holy Spirit “gives them to each one, just as He determines.” In the entirety of Chapter 12, Paul is assuring the Corinthian believers that everyone will not have the same gifts of the Spirit, and that just because one is not an “eye” or an “ear” doesn’t mean that they are not part of the body. Now with that said, I fully understand the Pentecostal interpretation of 1 Corinthians chapters 12-14, the belief that Paul is speaking of two different kinds of tongues. But lets be honest and simple in our interpretation of these chapters. In 14:5 Paul says, “I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.” Now is Paul here talking about two different types of tongues in this one verse? He would that all spoke in tongues, obviously because he sees benefit in this gift, as the preceding verse says, “He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself”. Paul also said that he thanked God that he spoke in tongues more than them all, yet in the church would rather speak with understanding. Paul saw great benefit in this gift and desired that all have it, and that in the church it would be used for the use of edifying the body through interpretation, but he also realized that the Spirit “gives them to each one, just as He determines.” In chapter 12:30 he asks the rhetorical question “do all speak with tongues?” , to which, the answer is obviously, NO. But our Pentecostal brothers always say, “ well not everyone who speaks in tongues has the GIFT of tongues.” (referring to giving a message in tongues that is followed by interpretation), but just because someone hasn’t used the gift in that area of ministry doesn’t mean they don’t have that gift. It is the same gift just with different uses, to edify oneself, and to edify the entire body. I believe an honest simple reading of chapters 12-14 will reveal that to anyone who is open to truth.
Sadly we are often times blinded by our traditions. The testimonies of the men above would be denied as being the true baptism in the Holy Spirit in the majority of churches today, because of the lack of the gift of tongues, even though they got just what Jesus promised, POWER! The only evidence Jesus ever said would be is power, power to be witnesses, and power to love like He loved. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” I love the Pentecostal church ( I am a member of an A/G church), I believe the gift of tongues should be in operation in every local body, but I do pray that the emphasis that is put on tongues as the “initial physical evidence” would be placed on the evidence that Jesus gave us:
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you… Acts 1:8
So whats the dealio?