Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Speaking in Tongues

The day after I received Christ as my Savior, (August 8, 1964) I received the Baptism in the Holy Ghost, with the evidence of speaking in tongues. It was a Sunday evening service at a Foursquare 'church in the home' in Sepulveda, CA .

Please understand that I was seeking the Baptism in the Holy Ghost - not speaking in tongues or any other gift. Kneeling at a chair with the dozen or so members of the congregation laying hands on me, I was verbally thanking the Lord for saving me, when I began to stutter and speak words that made no sense to me. When I pray in tongues today, I still have no idea what the meaning is. One thing I'm sorry to say is that there are many Christians who do not believe in the baptism of the Holy Ghost as a second work of grace, and some of the ones that do, really don't believe it is for believers today but passed away with the Apostles.
Such was the case with my Baptist partner Smitty, when we worked a housing unit in the California Department of Corrections.

We had just received a busload of new prisoners and among them was a voodoo practitioner nicknamed Jamaica. Smitty and I were sitting just outside of our upstairs supply-room monitoring housing unit floor activities while distributing toiletries to the new arrivals. In the meantime we had been casually talking about faith in God etc. and I referred to my experience with the Baptism in the Holy Ghost. I could sense Smitty's skepticism, and declined his urging for a personal demonstration, which no doubt added to his skepticism.
Meanwhile we were observing Jamaica going about to the day room making hand gestures and generally attracting a lot of unwanted attention among the units population. One of inmates came to Smitty and I saying that Jamaica was putting voodoo curses on the guys and word was one way or another, Jamaica was going to be stopped.
In the next few minutes, Jamaica himself came running up the stairs, looking wild eyed he began speaking curses on Smitty and me. "I rebuke you Satan in the Name of Jesus Christ" I said - followed by speaking in tongues at which Jamaica fell down prostrate pleading for me to stop. I instructed him to go to his assigned cell and quit bothering others; and he obeyed.
Afterwards, Smitty asked, 'was that tongues?' (Obviously he was re-evaluating his thoughts on the matter). Praise God for the power of the Holy Ghost in the Name of Jesus!

I could recount many incidents regarding tongues, but what matters is what the Bible says.

At this time, I'm addressing only the fact that there is a further experience beyond salvation, available to any believer, and it is commonly known as the 'Baptism in the Holy Ghost,' with the common evidence of speaking in 'tongues.'
Here's what the scripture says:

Isa 28:11: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. [cf. 1Co 14:21]

Mat 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

Mar 1:8 I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.

Luk 3:16 John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:

Mar 16:17: And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

John 7:38, 39: He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

Acts 1:4, 5: And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

Acts 2:4: And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Act 2:33, 38-39: Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

Act 10:44-48: While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, ‘Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

Act 19:5, 6: When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

1Co 14:18a: I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:

Act 8:14-22: Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:

(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)

Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.

Note: Three of the five times in the book of ACTS where people were baptized in the Holy Ghost, it specifically states that the recipients spoke in tongues. The other two times are when Saul (Paul) received the Holy Ghost, and of that his testimony is "I speak in tongues more than you all." In the incident "when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given," it is obvious that some sort of visual demonstration was given, and we're left to decide what that might be for ourselves. For me there is no question - and perfectly consistent with the Bible, that tongues is the immediate evidence.

Also, since Jesus Christ is the one who Baptizes in the Holy Ghost - according to John the Baptist - it is also proof positive that Jesus lives and is baptizing believers today - Hallelujah to the Lamb of God!

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