In an effort to foster personal desire for the Holy Spirit, this practical guide attempts to dispel wrong teaching about the baptism of the Holy Spirit and show that this powerful biblical experience is for you today.
January 1, 2017
First, let me clarify that there is a difference between the "gift of tongues" (1 Corinthians 12:10; sharing a message for a congregation that is to be interpreted) and the prayer language that is the evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
I remember my 84-year-old grandmother arguing this point with me. She had spoken in tongues only about four or five times in her life. She believed that the only time a person who was baptized in the HolySpirit spoke in tongues was at the time the anointing came for a message in a church service or Bible study. If this were true the apostle Paul would never have written 1 Corinthians 14. In this famous chapter, he rebuked the Corinthian church for using the gift of tongues too much. In addition, he stated that he spoke in tongues (from the context, he meant that he prayed in the prayer language) more than all of them. To repeat, the gift of tongues for congregational messages is different than the prayer language given to you as the evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
From these six reasons you can see that speaking in tongues is much more than just a sign of the Holy Spirit’s baptism. Some have asked me, "What do you say when you pray in the Spirit?" Acts 2:11 explains that when we pray in tongues we extol "the wonderful works of God." The Holy Spirit will only glorify God, so we don’t have to worry about saying something wrong when we are praying in tongues.
Out of these five times we see that the Holy Spirit just fell on the receivers two times, but in the three other instances, believers received the baptism of the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands. God can do it either way for you, too!
Acts 2:1 says that the day of Pentecost "was fully come." Pentecost (also known as the Feast of Weeks)means "50." It was held 50 days after the Feast of First fruits. This is important because God would not pour out the Holy Ghost until that day. So Jesus commanded the disciples (in Acts 1:4) to wait in Jerusalem for the fulfillment of the Feast of Pentecost.
Pentecost was observed by the priest waving two loaves of bread baked with leaven; one for the Jews and one for the Gentiles. This symbolized that the Church was being formed of Jews and Gentiles joined together. The leaven showed that the Church would have sin in it.
Why did I explain this? To give you an understanding of Jesus' statements in Acts 1:4, 5 and 8. Jesus used the word "wait" to tell the disciples to stay in Jerusalem until the Holy Ghost would fall on them.Why? Because God would not destroy one of His types (symbols)—Pentecost was the Old Testament picture of His plan for the Church. After the day of Pentecost no one had to wait for a specified period after salvation to be baptized in the Holy Ghost; the believers in Samaria received instantly, Cornelius’ household received instantly, and the disciples of John the Baptist in Ephesus received instantly. You can be baptized in the Holy Spirit now!
Realize that the baptism of the Holy Spirit comes by faith, just like salvation, healing or anything else received from God. God wants you to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said in Luke 11:13, "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children; how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?"
Let’s go back to Acts 2:1-4 and read it very carefully. Who was "with one accord"? They were! The Holy Spirit filled the house where who was sitting? The house where they were. And tongues of fire appeared unto whom? Them. And it sat upon each of whom? Them. And who was filled with the Holy Ghost? They were. And who began to speak with other tongues? They did. The Word never said that the Holy Spirit spoke in tongues or took control of them and made them speak; He is a gentleman. It says they spoke as the Spirit gave them the utterance. This means He told them what to say or how to say it.
Praying in tongues is an act of faith. You must step out in faith after you have asked to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit and begin to speak. No one can tell you what to say or lead you in a language.
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