What the Bible says about speaking in tongues
What says the Bible about speaking in foreign language?
There are many books and sermons that speak about speaking in foreign languages and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Everyone used the same texts to argue that you should and others said it was from the disciples' time. So what is the truth? Let's look at what the Bible says.
Jesus Christ said that the disciples must wait in Jerusalem.
Acts 1:4-9 4 And while staying with them he charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, "you heard from me, 5 for John baptized with water, but before many days you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit." 6 So when they had come together, they asked him, "Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" 7 He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority. 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Sama'ria and to the end of the earth." 9 And when he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.
Verse 4: The Lord Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, sends the disciples to wait in Jerusalem. For what? Because John the Baptist baptized with water, but you would be baptized with the Holy Spirit And with this you would receive the power of the Holy Spirit. For what? You would be my witnesses both in Jerusalem and throughout Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.
In the Old Testament, the Jews did not have the Holy Spirit, only a few people would receive the Holy Spirit temporarily, but the Holy Spirit never lived within them, because of sins. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ fulfilled the perfect sacrifice for the sins of men, and thereby opened the way for receiving the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the believer. After a person accepts Jesus Christ as their Savior, he/she is born again and at that moment receives the Holy Spirit (later I will talk more about that).
So here the Lord Jesus Christ commanded to stay and wait in Jerusalem with a promise that they would receive the Holy Spirit. They of the Old Testament, Jews, knew very well who the Holy Spirit was.
Why did the disciples need to wait for the Holy Spirit? Because WITHOUT the Holy Spirit, the disciples were WITHOUT power, unable to speak the gospel, unable to be witnesses of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem as in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth. Disciples and believers need the power of the Holy Spirit to be witnesses of Jesus Christ, it is not our strength, only the Holy Spirit convinces the non-believer of sin. Only the Holy Spirit is able to give us the right words to speak the gospel and the freedom to speak !!! That's why we need the Holy Spirit.
On Pentecost Day, many Jews from various countries were in Jerusalem. Not everyone spoke the language of Israel anymore! What happened on that day?
Atos 2:1-11 1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7 And they were amazed and wondered, saying, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? 9 Par'thians and Medes and E'lamites and residents of Mesopota'mia, Judea and Cappado'cia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phryg'ia and Pamphyl'ia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyre'ne, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabians, we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God."
A noise like a strong wind entered the house where the disciples were present. And flames of fire showed themselves above every person present. It was a miracle that was shown to people outside, showing that they received the Holy Spirit. And those who obtained the flame of fire and started to speak in another language, according to the power that the Holy Spirit gave to each person. Observe it is the HOLY SPIRIT that gives power to each person, in accordance with the promise that Jesus had given. Nothing that the disciples asked for, is in accordance with the promise of Jesus Christ.
Are these other languages angels, from Heaven? NO, these languages are languages of EARTH: verse 8 to 11: people from Arty, Media, Elam, Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Ponto, Province of Asia, 10 from Phrygia, Panfilia, Egypt and the Libyan regions that are close to Cyrene, Crete, Arabia. Some of us are from Rome and would hear the disciples speaking the gospel in YOUR OWN LANGUAGE. Account: 16 different languages!
This shows the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the believer and the power of the Holy Spirit for the first time.
From Acts 2: 13-17 it is clear that Pedro knows what is happening, he understands perfectly what each one speaks in the other language, it is not dark, he does not know what he speaks in the other language. Even though most disciples are people with a primary school and not a college, they understand what they say in the other language.
Summary speak in another language:
- Shows a miracle
- The power of the Holy Spirit
- The goal: To speak the gospel in the language of the person present. so that he/she himself understands
- The goal: to reveal a message from God
- The non-believer hears in his own language about the great things that God has done (vs 11)
- You or someone else do understand what is spoken in the foreign language
- You speak in prayer with God the words that the Holy Spirit gives to you (personal)
Continue with the Bible
Acts 2:41-42 Many believed in Peter's message and were baptized. and there were added that day about three thousand souls. And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
Here is a problem. Three thousand people who accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior were baptized. Is not it a problem? Why does the Bible say "they were baptized". So the disciples baptized with water. It is not written that these three thousand were baptized with the flames of fire, that the three thousand also spoke in the other language. These three thousand were baptized in water.
Matthew 3:13-16 13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. 14 John would have prevented him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" 15 But Jesus answered him, "Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfil all righteousness." Then he consented. 16 And when Jesus was baptized, he went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on him;
Jesus, without sin, was baptized and immediately received the Holy Spirit. Because immediately, because He was WITHOUT sin. The other people who were baptized by John the Baptist did not receive the Holy Spirit. Because? Because Jesus had not yet completed the work on the Cross, the sacrifice of the Cross was still lacking. Then after the Day of Pentecost, when a person accepts Jesus Christ as their Savior, IMMEDIATE he/she:
- is baptized with the Holy Spirit
- is a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19)
- the Holy Spirit lives (indwells) within this person (1 Corinthians 3:16-17)
- receives the power of the Holy Spirit to proclaim the gospel and bear the fruits of the Spirit
He/she does not need to wait for the Day of Pentecost, because the work of Jesus Christ is accomplished. By the blood of Jesus Christ he/she is free from sin (he is sanctified), receives the forgiveness of sins.
The Holy Spirit is your guarantee (seal) of your salvation, but watch the sin of the Holy Spirit (Acts 5: 1-11), that you do not grieve or extinguish the Holy Spirit.
Romans 8:13-14 13 for if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
1 Thessalonians 5:19 Do not quench the Spirit.
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
Observe the fruits of the Spirit, it does not say that speaking in another language is a fruit of the Spirit.
You are the one who lets the Holy Spirit work. It is you who open your hand to the power of the Holy Spirit, the fruits of Him. If you continue in the life of the flesh, do not confess your sin(s), you grieve the Holy Spirit and finally quench him. You may be a believer who speaks in tongues, but that means NOTHING, if you do not also have the fruits of the Holy Spirit visible in your life for believers and non-believers. As Paul says, the fruits of the Holy Spirit are greater than speaking in tongues (1 Corinthians 12:12-31).
Romans 12:4-8 4 For as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7 if service, in our serving; he who teaches, in his teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who contributes, in liberality; he who gives aid, with zeal; he who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
O apóstolo Paulo diz que o corpo do Cristo tem varias partes com funções diferentes. Uma parte é de anunciar a mensagem de Deus, que alguns considera falar na língua estranha ou profecia. Mas é claro, que NÃO todos recebem o mesmo dom, por isso NÃO todos falam na língua estranha.
1 Corinthians 2:14-16 14 The unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual man judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 "For who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.
Those who do not have the Spirit of God (Holy Spirit) are the people who do not accept and believe in Jesus Christ as Savior, they do not have the Holy Spirit and therefore they do not understand spiritual things. Many of them find crucifixion and salvation by the blood of Jesus Christ ridiculous. Only people who have the Holy Spirit, are born again, have the power to read and understand the Bible. He alone can explain the Bible to the (un)believer and to know what is true and what is of the devil. When a person speaks in tongues, it is the Holy Spirit who can reveal whether it is from God or the devil. See later.
1 Corinthians 12:1-11 1 Meus irmãos, quero que vocês saibam a verdade a respeito dos dons que o Espírito Santo dá. 2 Vocês sabem que, quando ainda eram pagãos, vocês eram desviados, de várias maneiras, paraNow concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were heathen, you were led astray to dumb idols, however you may have been moved. 3 Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says "Jesus be cursed!" and no one can say "Jesus is Lord" except by the Holy Spirit. 4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are inspired by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
Observe verse 11: Holy Spirit who gives the gift
- it is the Holy Spirit who gives the gift or gifts of the Holy Spirit to a believer
- the Holy Spirit gives a different gift to each believer
- the Holy Spirit gives as HE wants
Verse 7 says: for everyone. For everyone to understand the Bible.
From verse 8 it says: for one .... for another .... Not everyone receives the same, each individual believer received a gift (or more) as the Holy Spirit wants. Verse 10 says: the Holy Spirit gives ONE person the ability to speak in tongues and
TO ANOTHER He gives the ability to interpret what these languages mean.
Conclusion: NOT all believers are given the gift of speaking in tongues!!!
1 Corinthians 12:12-31 12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body--Jews or Greeks, slaves or free--and all were made to drink of one Spirit. 14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the organs in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single organ, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you," nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you." 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body which seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and those parts of the body which we think less honorable we invest with the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior part, 25 that there may be no discord in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. 27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, then healers, helpers, administrators, speakers in various kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.
The apostle Paul says that each believer is a part of the body of Christ. Each has its own place, each one is important. But we cannot want another's place. The eye cannot wish to be an ear. Verse 28 he says: To some, not to everyone !!! He looks at the order he says: "first, apostles; secondly, prophets; thirdly, teachers; secondly, miracle workers; secondly, gifts of healing, aid, governments, varieties of languages." and in verse 30 They all have an answer: NO.
Only were the 12 apostles: the 11 disciples (12 except Judas) and Paul. They were chosen by Jesus Christ Himself. Then there are no more apostles (Acts 1:21-25 an apostle is a person have accompanied: "So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us--one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection." And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed and said, "Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, show which one of these two thou hast chosen").
Second place: prophets. Prophets are believers who know the things of God, reveal the word of God to gentiles, non-believers, reveal the dark sins of non-believers, etc.
Third place: masters. Teachers are believers who have a deep knowledge of the Bible, the Holy Spirit reveals to them what a text in the Bible means. They are called to teach believers, guide believers to make the fruits of the Spirit, guide the new convert to grow from a baby, with milk, to spiritual adults with solid food (Hebrews 5:12-14).
And then ..., then ... and finally: varieties of tongues. That is why speaking in tongues is not a high gift, high gifts are prophets and teachers. These gifts of prophet and teacher, Paulo speaks of looking for, strive to have the best gifts. These gifts win non-believers and grow the new-born (born again) to grow into a spiritual adult.
1 Corinthians 14:1-4 1 Make love your aim, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. 2 For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. 3 On the other hand, he who prophesies speaks to men for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. 4 He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.
Read also 1 Corinthians 14:13-31.
Here Paul repeats what he wrote before: "Try also to have spiritual gifts, especially that of announcing the message of God." All gifts have 1 reason, 1 intention: to announce the message of God:
- Proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ, He is the ONLY way to eternal life
- Teach the Bible, grow new-converted to a spiritual adult, knowledge of the Bible and God
The apostle Paul is clear: "Whoever speaks in tongues only helps himself". Speaking in tongues is ONLY personal, it DOES NOT help the church!
The apostle Paul is clear: "but whoever announces the message of God helps the whole church." Why: proclaiming God's message to the unbelievers, let the church grow; proclaiming God's message to the believer lets the church grow in the knowledge of God.
Ephesians 4:9-13 9 In saying, "He ascended," what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is he who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.
Whoever descends to earth: The Lord Jesus Christ descends from Heaven to earth. And He also ascended again from earth to Heaven, seated at the right hand of God the Father. Verse 11: It is He who "gave gifts to people". He chose some to be apostles. Some: only the 12 disciples and apostle Paul. Some will be prophets, some will be evangelists, some will be pastors and teachers. For what, what intention? We will be mature people (believers) and we will reach the spiritual height of Christ.
1 Peter 4:10-11 10 As each has received a gift, employ it for one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who utters oracles of God; whoever renders service, as one who renders it by the strength which God supplies; in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen!
The apostle Peter says that it is the believer's responsibility to be a good steward of the gift (gifts) that he/she receives from God. This is also for speaking in tongues. It is not to show in the church, first it is personal, and you can only speak in the church to reveal a prophecy, and when there is someone to interpret (1 Corinthians 14:3-6, 13-19).
Look at the duties of the pastor (bishop) and the deacon. Why does not the apostle Paul include speaking in tongues, if every believer needs to speak in tongues? The pastor needs to be an example, Paul is very clear about this, yet he does not say a word about speaking in tongues.
1 Timothy 3:1-13 1 The saying is sure: If any one aspires to the office of bishop, he desires a noble task. 2 Now a bishop must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sensible, dignified, hospitable, an apt teacher, 3 no drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, and no lover of money. 4 He must manage his own household well, keeping his children submissive and respectful in every way; 5 for if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how can he care for God's church? 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may be puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil; 7 moreover he must be well thought of by outsiders, or he may fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. 8 Deacons likewise must be serious, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for gain; 9 they must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 And let them also be tested first; then if they prove themselves blameless let them serve as deacons. 11 The women likewise must be serious, no slanderers, but temperate, faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons be the husband of one wife, and let them manage their children and their households well; 13 for those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Study 1 Corinthians 14
The apostle Paul says that the gift of prophecy is greater than the gift of speaking in tongues. He says: "Whoever speaks in tongues speaks to God and not to people, because no one understands him." So because believers need to speak in the church, it is only a bad show when it has no interpretation. Paulo says clearly: "NOT TO PEOPLE", because nobody understands him. Yes, but he also says, "I would like you all to speak in strange languages". But do not stop there, he continues with "but I WANT EVEN MORE that they had the gift of announcing God's message."
Why does Paul want "everyone" to speak? Look, Paul needs to speak in many foreign languages because he proclaims the gospel in many countries, each with his own language and dialect (verses 10-11). He was a man who really needed the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and he needed to talk to God a lot.
Paul makes an order in verse 13, whoever speaks in foreign tongues MUST PRAY asking God that give him the gift of interpretion what it means.
Look at what the apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 18-19 18 I thank God that I speak in foreign tongues much more than you do. 19 But at church meetings, I prefer to say five words that can be understood, so as to teach others, than to say thousands of words in tongues.
He prefers only to speak five words that people in the church understand, than to speak in tongues. Let that be a good warning for people who speak in tongues within the church. Also note verses 27-30.
Baptism in water
The baptism of Jesus
There is a lot of confusion about baptism. John the Baptist preached repentance for sins, and with this is the baptism of repentance. Because Jesus had not yet died on the Cross at that time, they were not able to receive the Holy Spirit, only Jesus who was without sin.
Only after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and then the Day of Pentecost, each person who accepts Jesus Christ as the Son of God the Father and their Savior for their sins, receives the Holy Spirit.
Acts 8:35-39 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this scripture he told him the good news of Jesus. 36 And as they went along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, "See, here is water! What is to prevent my being baptized?" 37 * [No text] 38 And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39 And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught up Philip; and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing.
The baptism after Pentecost Day was in the water. The Bible says nothing that the official started speaking in tongues.
Acts 9:18-19 18 And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized, 19 and took food and was strengthened.
Notice the baptism of the apostle Paul, with the old name Saul. Paul accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior and was baptized. The Bible says nothing that Paul started to speak in tongues.
Acts 10:44-48 44 While Peter was still saying this, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. 45 And the believers from among the circumcised who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared, 47 "Can any one forbid water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?" 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.
Before being baptized with water, the Cornelian family of non-Jews receive the Holy Spirit as SIGN THAT THE GOSPEL IS ALSO FOR NON-JEWS, thereafter the apostle Peter baptized them with water.
Acts 19:1-7 1 While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the upper country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. 2 And he said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" And they said, "No, we have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit." 3 And he said, "Into what then were you baptized?" They said, "Into John's baptism." 4 And Paul said, "John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus." 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them; and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. 7 There were about twelve of them in all.
Now we come to the most discussed verses in the Bible. Here are people who are baptized as John the Baptist, so it is only logical that they DO NOT receive the Holy Spirit: John baptized those who repented of their sins. No faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior!
That is why these people needed to be baptized again in the faith in Jesus Christ with Savior, baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
But verse 6, as we understand this verse. I do not have an answer. Why did Paul put his hands on them? Why did the Holy Spirit come upon them and they began to speak in tongues and also announcing the message of God. I just noticed that they speak in tongues and they also announce the message of God. The two are TOGETHER, pronouncing the message of God in foreign languages.
In the above verses, the Bible says nothing about receiving the Holy Spirit after water baptism, only here, for me it is dangerous to say that this action is normal. For me normal is water baptism without speaking in foreign languages. Because? For me, when an infidel accepts Jesus Christ as their Savior, the Holy Spirit immediately begins to live in this person, and this new convert is a temple of the Holy Spirit.
Some Bible school internet passages (in Dutch)
Demonic origin is not a purely theoretical possibility
A woman from our church grew up in a Pentecostal church, where she consciously accepted the Lord Jesus as her Savior at the age of 12. In her church, the biblical gospel in her church was proclaimed faithful. So she went around her eighteenth year, thinking about the unbiblical Pentecostal version of the baptism of the Spirit.
Did she pray what they had to do? For three nights she had a dream in which she saw herself in front of her congregation with the laying on of hands and prayer for the baptism of the Spirit, after which they found themselves speaking in tongues. After the third time the same dream of having had she thought, "it must be the Lord's." Not realizing that evil spirits can give dreams as well and not realizing that she had to test in the Bible has to see if this representation of the baptism of the Spirit was right. Then she went to the service forward to receive the baptism in the Spirit (through the laying on of hands and prayer). And in fact she spoke in tongues. A few years later, she marries and through her marriage, she stays with the Baptist church.
She had nightmares regularly in those years, when a demonic person chased her. The nightmares were so violent that her husband noticed them and had to wake her up. If they then pray together, she calmed down again. After receiving the gift of speaking in tongues, she also reported that a power movedher hand as she wrote, giving her a message which she sometimes receive. (In occult circles this is known as "automatic writing"). A few years later, professor Rob Matzken spoke in her church. In his lecture, he pointed out that speaking in tongues may be of demonic origin. The woman spoke to him there at the end of the meeting.
She told him that she spoke in tongues. Matzken asked her to submit the question to the Lord Jesus Christ: "Lord, would you show me what source of my speaking in tongues?" They prayed together and that night she received a dream again. This time far away she shone in a dream, a person who gave her the name. The next morning, she told her husband. Together with the pastor they came to the conclusion that this was not certain. In the name of the Lord Jesus, they cast out the demon and he left. The evil spirit had left her with the added result that she had no more nightmares and no longer she spoke in tongues.
Another example is that of a sister in our church. She reached the occult after a "woman of prayer" about her had prayed in tongues. This happened at a charismatic denominational meeting "Mulher Aglow" women's movement. In that meeting, this sister was deceived by a prophecy that the woman of prayer spoke in her lecture. The praying woman said, "The Lord tells me there is someone here, who is going through difficult times, but the Lord says, I am with you." This is, of course, an open shot to the goal, because in all meetings, there is someone who is suffering. But the church sister had that difficult time, and she thought the "prophecy" was meant for her. Then she sought out the prophetess. She spoke over the prophecy and that it was meant for her. She also told her something about her struggle. The "prayer" woman ask permission to pray with her. She agreed. While the praying woman prayed, she put her hand on this sister's shoulder (laying on of hands !!!!) and after some time she changed her speaking in tongues (without interpretation). That night, at the sister's house, all kinds of occult events took place (sounds, spiritual appearances, she was physically besieged by spiritual appearances) there was terrible fear upon her. She sought help from the leaders of our church. After preparation in prayer, some brothers visit her. She confessed to the Lord that she allowed to put her hands on her shoulder and let her pray in tongues. So the brothers ordered, in the name of Jesus, that the evil powers did not bother her anymore. The hidden phenomena have disappeared from here. What this prayer woman speaking in tongues, delivered was not a blessing from the Holy Spirit, but a possession of demons.
A while back, a brother from Africa spoke with one of our old elders. In a large Pentecostal church in Rotterdam, he was one of the participants. This elder spoke in strange languages, terrible slander in an African language known to him. While the Christians and the visitors there thought that it was the Holy Spirit speaking. Final source.
That is why it is necessary to test the source through prayer, never let a foreigner (nor your pastor nor church member) put or hold hands over you, check whether your spiritual life has improved or worsened.
Speaking in foreign languages is speaking God's message to the church with interpretation, speaking to God or God's message to the unfaithful, who understands this message.
Read and study also Corinthians 14
Baptized with the Holy Spirit by Billy Graham
The passages below are taken from the book "The Holy Spirit" by Billy Graham. It was published in 1978 by Word Publishing, Nashville.
MANY YEARS AGO when I was attending a small Bible school in Florida, I visited what was called a "brush arbor revival meeting." The speaker was an old-fashioned Southern revival Sermoner. The little place seated about two hundred people and was filled. The speaker made up in thunder what he lacked in logic, and the people loved it.
"Have you been baptized with the Holy Spirit?" he asked the audience during the sermon.
Apparently he knew a great many in the audience because he would point to someone and ask, "Brother, have you been baptized with the Spirit?" And the man would answer, "Yes, bless God."
"Young man," he said, spotting me, "have you been baptized with the Holy Spirit?" "Yes, sir," I replied.
"When were you baptized with the Holy Spirit?" he asked. He had not questioned the others on this. "The moment I received Jesus Christ as my Saviour," I replied. He looked at me with a puzzled expression, but before going to the next person he said, "That couldn’t be."
But it could! It was.
I do not doubt the sincerity of this Sermoner. However, in my own study of the Scriptures through the years I have become convinced that there is only one baptism with the Holy Spirit in the life of every believer, and that takes place at the moment of conversion. This baptism with the Holy Spirit was initiated at Pentecost, and all who come to know Jesus Christ as Saviour share in that experience and are baptized with the Spirit the moment they are regenerated. In addition, they may be filled with the Holy Spirit; if not they need to be. The scriptural usage of the word baptism shows that it is something initiatory both in the case of water baptism and Spirit baptism, and that it is not repeated. I can find no biblical data to show that the baptism with the Spirit would ever be repeated.
"For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body." (1 Corinthians 12:13 NASB) The original Greek of this passage makes it clear that this baptism of the Spirit is a completed past action. (The King James Version incorrectly translates it into the present tense rather than the past.)
Two things stand out in that verse: first, the baptism with the Spirit is a collective operation of the Spirit of God; second, it includes every believer. Dr. W. Graham Scroggie once said at Keswick, "Observe carefully to whom the Apostle is writing and of whom he is speaking." He uses the word "all" —"It is not to the faithful Thessalonians, nor to the liberal Philippians, nor to the spiritual Ephesians, but to the carnal Corinthians (1 Corinthians 3:1 NASB)," Scroggie went on. The clear indication is that baptism with the Spirit is connected with our standing before God, not our current subjective state; with our position and not our experience.
This becomes still clearer if we examine the experiences of the Israelites described in 1 Corinthians 10:1—5. In these verses there are five alls. "All under the cloud," "all passed through the sea," "all were baptized," "all ate," "all drank." It was after all these things happened to all the people that the differences came: "Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased" (1 Corinthians 10:5 NASB).In other words, they were all part of the people of God. This did not mean, however, that all lived up to their calling as God’s holy people. In like manner, all believers are baptized with the Holy Spirit. This does not mean, however, that they are filled or controlled by the Spirit. The important thing is the great central truth - when I come to Christ, God gives His Spirit to me.
Differences That Divide Us
I realize that baptism with the Holy Spirit has been differently understood by some of my fellow believers. We should not shrink from stating specific differences of opinion. But we should also try to understand each other, pray for each other, and be willing to learn from each other as we seek to know what the Bible teaches. The differences of opinion on this matter are somewhat similar to differences of opinion about water baptism and church government. Some baptize babies; others do not. Some sprinkle or pour; others only immerse. Some have congregational church polity; others have Presbyterian or representative democracy; still others have the episcopal form. In no way should these differences be divisive. I can have wonderful Christian fellowship, especially in the work of evangelism, with those who hold various views.
On the other hand, the question of the baptism with the Holy Spirit, in my judgment, is often more important than these other issues, especially when the doctrine of the baptism with the Spirit is distorted. For example, some Christians hold that the Spirit’s baptism only comes at some time subsequent to conversion. Others say that this later Spirit baptism is necessary before a person can be fully used of God. Still others contend that the baptism with the Spirit is always accompanied with the outward sign of a particular gift, and that unless this sign is present the person has not been baptized with the Spirit.
I must admit that at times I have really wanted to believe this distinctive teaching. I, too, have wanted an "experience." But I want every experience to be biblically based. The biblical truth, it seems to me, is that we are baptized into the body of Christ by the Spirit at conversion. This is the only Spirit baptism. At this time we can and should be filled with the Holy Spirit, and afterward, be refilled, and even filled unto all fullness. As has often been said, "One baptism, but many fillings." I do not see from Scripture that this filling by the Holy Spirit constitutes a second baptism, nor do I see that speaking in tongues is a necessary accompaniment of being filled with the Spirit.
Sometimes these different opinions are really only differences in semantics. As we shall see in the next chapter, what some people call the baptism of the Spirit may really be what the Scripture calls the filling of the Spirit, which may take place many times in our lives after our conversion.
There are, incidentally, only seven passages in the New Testament which speak directly of the baptism with the Spirit. Five of these passages refer to the baptism with the Spirit as a future event; four were spoken by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:7, 8; Luke 3:16; and John 1:33) and one was spoken by Jesus after His resurrection (Acts 1:4, 5). A sixth passage looks back to the events and experiences of the day of Pentecost (Acts 11:15—17) as fulfilling the promises spoken by John the Baptist and Jesus. Only one passage---1 Corinthians 12:13---speaks about the wider experience of all believers.
During my ministry I have known many Christians who agonized, labored, struggled, and prayed to "get the Spirit." I used to wonder if I had been wrong in thinking that having been baptized by the Spirit into the body of Christ on the day of my conversion I needed no other baptism. But the longer I have studied the Scriptures the more I have become convinced that I was right. Let’s trace out what God did in Christ’s passion week, and fifty days later at Pentecost, to see that we need not seek what God has already given every believer.
Calvary and Pentecost
When Jesus died on the cross, He bore our sins: "God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh" (Rom. 8:3 KJV).
Isaiah prophesied, "The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:6 KJV). Paul said, "He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin" (2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV). This made the holy Jesus represent sin for the whole world.
Quite clearly Jesus did not say that His death on the cross would mark the cessation of His ministry. The night before His death He repeatedly told the disciples that He would send the Holy Spirit.
The night before He was to die, He told His disciples, "It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you" (John 16:7 KJV). Before He could send the Holy Spirit, who is the Comforter, Jesus had to go away: first, to the death of the cross; then to the resurrection; then, to the ascension into heaven. Only then could He send the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. And after His death and resurrection He commanded them to remain in Jerusalem to await the gift of the Spirit, "Tarry ye in the city. . . until ye be endued with power from on high" (Luke 4:49 KJV). Before He ascended He told them to stay in Jerusalem until they were "baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence" (Acts 1:5 KJV).
That’s why John the Baptist proclaimed the twofold mission of Christ: first, he proclaimed the ministry of Christ as "the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29 KJV); second, he predicted that Christ’s ministry at Calvary would be followed by His ministry through baptism with the Holy Spirit (John 1:33 NASB).
When Christ rose from the dead this baptism with the Spirit that was to signify the new age still lay in the future; but it was to occur fifty days after the resurrection.
Ten days after the ascension, Pentecost dawned. The promise was fulfilled. The Holy Spirit came on 120 disciples. A little later when Peter was explaining it to a much larger crowd, he referred to the gift as "the gift of the Holy Spirit." He urged his audience, "Repent, and be baptized and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38 KJV).
John Stott reminds us, "The 3,000 do not seem to have experienced the same miraculous phenomena (the rushing mighty wind, the tongues of flame, or the speech in foreign languages). At least nothing is said about these things. Yet because of God’s assurance through Peter they must have inherited the same promise and received the same gift (verses 33, 39). Nevertheless, there was this difference between them: the 120 were regenerate already, and received the baptism of the Spirit only after waiting upon God for ten days. The 3,000 on the other hand were unbelievers, and received the forgiveness of their sins and the gift of the Spirit simultaneously---and it happened immediately they repented and believed, without any need to wait.
"This distinction between the two companies, the 120 and the 3,000, is of great importance, because the norm for today must surely be the second group, the 3,000, and not (as is often supposed) the first. The fact that the experience of the 120 was in two distinct stages was due simply to historical circumstances. They could not have received the Pentecostal gift before Pentecost. But those historical circumstances have long since ceased to exist. We live after the event of Pentecost, like the 3,000. With us, therefore, as with them, the forgiveness of sins and the ‘gift’ or ‘baptism’ of the Spirit are received together." (1)
From that day onward, the Holy Spirit has lived in the hearts of all true believers, beginning with the 120 disciples who received Him at Pentecost. When they received the Holy Spirit, He united them by His indwelling presence into one body---the mystical body of Christ, which is the Church. That is why when I hear terms like "ecumenicity," or ecumenical movement, I say to myself: an ecumenicity already exists if we have been born again. We are all united by the Holy Spirit who dwells within our hearts whether we are Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostal, Catholic, Lutheran, or Anglican.
There were, it is true, several other occasions recorded in the Book of Acts which were similar to Pentecost, such as the so-called "Samaritan Pentecost" (Acts 8:14—17) and the conversion of Cornelius (Acts 10:44—48). Each of these, however, marked a new stage in the expansion of the Church. Samaritans were a mixed race, scorned by many as unworthy of the love of God. Their baptism by the Spirit was a clear sign that they too could be part of God’s people by faith in Jesus Christ. Cornelius was a Gentile, and his conversion marked still another step in the spread of the Gospel. The baptism of the Spirit which came to him and his household showed conclusively that God’s love extended to the Gentiles as well.
In view of all this, no Christian need strive, wait, or "pray through to get the Spirit." He has received Him already, not as a result of struggle and work, agonizing and prayer, but as an unmerited and unearned gift of grace.
W. Graham Scroggie once said something like this at Keswick, "On the day of Pentecost all believers were, by the baptism of the Spirit, constituted the body of Christ, and since then every separate believer, every soul accepting Christ in simple faith, has in that moment and by that act been made partaker of the blessing of the baptism. It is not therefore a blessing which the believer is to seek and receive subsequent to the hour of his conversion."
Three Possible Exceptions Explained
I have just suggested that all believers have the Holy Spirit, who comes to dwell within them at the time of their regeneration or conversion. However, some have urged that the Book of Acts gives us several examples of people who did not receive the Holy Spirit when they first believed. Instead, some contend, these incidents indicate that a baptism with the Spirit occurs subsequent to our incorporation into the body of Christ. Three passages are of particular interest at this point. Personally I found these passages difficult to understand when I was a young Christian (and to some extent I still do) and I know many people have had the same experience. I would not pretend to have all the answers to the questions raised by these passages, but my own study has led me to some observations which might be helpful. The first passage is found in Acts 8 where Philip’s trip to Samaria is recounted. He Sermoned Christ and performed a number of miracles. The Samaritans were emotionally stirred. Many of them professed faith and were baptized. The apostles in Jerusalem were so concerned about what was happening in Samaria that they sent two of their leaders, Peter and John, to investigate. They found a great stir and a readiness to receive the Holy Spirit. "Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit" (Acts 8:17).
As we compare Scripture with Scripture, we immediately discover one extraordinary feature in this passage: When Philip Sermoned in Samaria, it was the first time the gospel had been proclaimed outside Jerusalem, evidently because Samaritans and Jews had always been bitter enemies. This gives us the clue to the reason the Spirit was withheld till Peter and John came: It was so they might see for themselves that God received even hated Samaritans who believed in Christ. There could now be no question of it.
Notice too what happened when the Spirit of the Lord suddenly removed Philip, taking him down to Gaza where he witnessed to the Ethiopian eunuch. When the Ethiopian believed and received Christ, he was baptized with water. But at no time did Philip lay hands on him and pray for him to receive the Holy Spirit, nor was anything said about a second baptism. Thus the situation in Samaria as recounted in Acts 8 was unique and does not fit with other passages of Scripture as we compare Scripture with Scripture.
A second passage that gives some people difficulty deals with the conversion of Saul on the road to Damascus as recorded in Acts 9. Some say that when he was later filled with the Spirit in the presence of Ananias (v. 17), he experienced a second baptism of the Spirit.Here again the situation is unique. God had chosen this persecutor of the Christians "to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel" (v. 15). When Saul called Jesus "Lord," he used a term that can mean my very own lord, signifying his conversion, or simply "Sir," a title of respect rather than a confession of faith. We do know that later Ananias called Paul "brother," as most of our English translations phrase it (v. 17). But here again, most of the Jews of that day called each other "brother." He might have been calling Saul a brother in the sense that American black people often refer to each other as "brother."
In other words, when did Saul’s regeneration take place? Was it on the Damascus road, or could it have been over a period of three days of witnessing by Ananias (which would cover the period of Saul’s blindness)? I am convinced that the new birth is often like natural birth: the moment of conception, nine months of gestation, and then birth. Sometimes it takes weeks of conviction by the Holy Spirit. I’ve seen people in our crusades come forward more than once, and not experience the assurance of their salvation until the third or fourth time. When were they regenerated? Only God the Holy Spirit knows; it might have been at baptism or confirmation and they came forward for assurance. It may be that some are coming (as I sometimes have said) to "reconfirm their confirmation."
Furthermore, Acts 9:17 says Paul is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The verse does not use the word "baptism," and when he was filled it does not say he spoke in other tongues. My point is that even if Paul was regenerated on the Damascus road, his later filling is not presented as a second baptism. And possibly his regeneration did not occur until Ananias came to him. So the passage does not teach that Paul was baptized twice with the Spirit.
A third text that has given rise to some controversy is Acts 19:1—7. Paul visited Ephesus and found twelve professing disciples who had not received the Holy Spirit. On reading this passage the question immediately arises: Were these twelve people true Christians before their meeting with Paul? They seemed to be ignorant about the Holy Spirit and Jesus. Also they talked about John’s baptism. Certainly, Paul did not reckon their earlier baptism sufficient grounds for calling them believers. He had them undergo water baptism in the name of Christ. Probably thousands of people had heard John or Jesus during the previous few years. John’s baptism had made a deep impression on them, but during the intervening period of time they probably had lost all contact with the teachings of both John and Jesus. Thus, again we have a unique situation. The very fact that the apostle asked such searching questions would indicate that he doubted the genuineness of their conversion experience.
However, we must still deal with Acts 19:6: "And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them; and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying." Dr. Merrill Tenney calls them "belated believers." The interesting thing is that all these events took place simultaneously. Whether the tongues spoken of here were the tongues to which Paul refers in 1 Corinthians 14, or Luke speaks about at Pentecost, we are not told. The word "prophesying" here carries with it the idea of testimony or proclamation. Apparently they went about telling their friends how they had come to believe in Jesus Christ. In my thinking, this does not suggest a second baptism with the Spirit subsequent to a baptism with the Spirit at regeneration. Rather, it appears that they were regenerated and baptized with the Spirit at the same time.
To summarize, it is my belief that Pentecost instituted the Church. Then all that remained was for Samaritans, Gentiles and "belated believers" to be brought into the Church representatively. This occurred in Acts 8 for Samaritans, Acts 10 for Gentiles (according to Acts 11:15), and Acts 19 for belated believers from John’s baptism. Once this representative baptism with the Spirit had occurred, the normal pattern applied---baptism with the Spirit at the time each person (of whatever background) believed on Jesus Christ.
Our Share in Pentecost
Pentecost was an event then which included not only those who participated at that moment but also those who would participate in the centuries ahead. Perhaps we can use the atonement here by way of analogy. Christ died once for all; He died for members of His body who were not yet born or regenerated. Thus, you and I became members of His body by regeneration through the one-time shedding of His blood. So also you and I in similar fashion now participate in the new reality, the Church. What was formed by the baptism with the Spirit at Pentecost is, on our part, entered into when we were made to "drink of one Spirit" (1 Corinthians 12:13) so that each believer comes into the benefits of it at the moment of his regeneration even as, at the same time, he comes into the benefits of the shed blood of Jesus for justification. So the Lord adds to the Church those who are being saved (Acts 2:47).
It may sound strange to speak of present-day believers as sharing in an event that took place 2,000 years ago. However, the Bible offers many examples similar to those of the atonement and the baptism with the Spirit. In Amos 2:10 (KJV), God said to His erring people, "I brought you up from the land of Egypt, and led you forty years through the wilderness" (italics mine), although the people whom the prophet addressed lived hundreds of years after the Exodus. The fact is that the nation was regarded as one and continuous; and so it is with the Church.
One Baptism and Regeneration
Since the baptism with the Spirit occurs at the time of regeneration, Christians are never told in Scripture to seek it. I am convinced that many of the things some teachers have joined to baptism with the Holy Spirit really belong to the fullness of the Spirit. Thus, the purpose of the baptism with the Holy Spirit is to bring the new Christian into the body of Christ. No interval of time falls between regeneration and baptism with the Spirit. The moment we received Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour we received the Holy Spirit. He came to live in our hearts. "Any one who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him," said Paul in Romans 8:9 (KJV). It is not a second blessing, or third, or fourth. There are and will be and should be new fillings---but not new baptisms.
Nowhere in the New Testament is there a command to be baptized with the Holy Spirit. Surely if baptism with the Spirit were a necessary step in our Christian lives, the New Testament would be full of it. Christ Himself would have commanded it. But we are not commanded as Christians to seek something that has already taken place. Thus, when I was asked as a young Bible school student in Florida if I had received the baptism of the Spirit, it was correct for me to respond that I had already received it at the moment of my conversion.
The Unity of the Spirit
In 1 Corinthians 12:13, the apostle Paul writes, "For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body---Jews or Greeks, slaves or free---and all were made to drink of one Spirit" (RSV). Paul has been talking about the need for unity in the disobedient and carnal Corinthian church. David Howard says: "Notice the emphasis in these phrases: ‘the same Spirit’ (vv. 4, 8, 9); ‘one Spirit’ (vv. 9, 13 . . .); ‘one and the same Spirit’(v. 11); ‘the same Lord’ (v. 5); . . . ‘the body is one’ (v. 12); ‘one body’ (v. 12, 13); ‘there are many parts, yet one body’ (v. 20); ‘that there may be no discord in the body’ (v. 25).’(2)
Howard later continues, "In this context of unity Paul says, ‘For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body---Jews or Greeks, slaves or free---and all were made to drink of one Spirit.’ John R. W. Stott [The Baptism and Fullness of the Holy Spirit, p. 22] points out in this connection, ‘So the baptism of the Spirit in this verse, far from being a dividing factor . . . is the great uniting factor."(3)
The Conclusion of the Matter
This much all Christians are agreed upon: Every true believer must be baptized by the Spirit into the body of Christ. Beyond that opinions differ significantly, however. But even here we should never forget a crucial area of agreement.
To see it, we must first recall that we all believe salvation is past, present, and future: We have been saved (justification), we are being saved (sanctification), and we will be saved (glorification). Between the time we are justified and the time when we shall be glorified falls that period in our pilgrim journey we call sanctification.
This has to do with holiness. And holiness proceeds from the work of the Spirit in our hearts. Whatever may be our differences about a second Spirit baptism, tongues, and Spirit filling, all Christians are agreed that we should seek after holiness---without which no man shall see the Lord. Let us, therefore, seek ardently the kind of life that reflects the beauty of Jesus and marks us as being what saints (in the best sense of that word) ought to be!
How does this kind of life come? It comes as we are filled with the Holy Spirit---as He works in and through us as we are yielded to God and His will. It is to this subject of the filling of the Spirit that we must now turn in the next chapter. (66-81)
(1) John R W Scott, Baptism and Fullness (London Inter-Varsity press, 1975), p.28f
(2) David Howard, By the Power of the Holy Spirit (Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1973), p.34f