- Why Know Jesus?
- Rightly Dividing the Word of God
- Doctrinal Declarations of Faith
- The Providence Of God
- Fall Iinto Sin and the Corrupt State of Man
- God’s Eternal Decrees
- The Trinity
- Of Apostolic Faith
- The Attributes Of God
- Christ Jesus
- Mans Will and Free Will
- Election and Predestination
- True Faith Justification and Repentance
- Adoption and Sanctification
- The Perseverance of the Saints
- Assurance of Salvation and Good Works
- Doctrinal Studies
- The History of the Pentecostal Movement
- Errant Pentecostal Doctrines And False Apostles And Prophets Introduction
- Periods And Confirmations Of God’s Revelation
- The Foundation Of The Church
- The Baptism With The Holy Spirit and The Filling of The Holy Spirit According to Scripture
- Signs Wonders Healing And Miracles For Who And By Who?
- The Apostles The Difference Between True And False
- Real and False Prophets
- The Prophets Of The New Testament
- Personal Conclusions
- CAN A CHRISTIAN BEAR ARMS AND DEFEND HIMSELF AND OTHERS
- (Italiano) E’ BIBLICO PER UN CRISTIANO USARE LEGITTIMA DIFESA PER SE E PER ALTRI?
- The Sanctity of Life and Value of Human Life
- The Importance of the Family to God
- Roles In The Family As In The Church
- The Role of Man and the Responsibilities of a Husband
- The Role of the Woman and the Responsibilities of the Wife
- Responsibilities of Father and Mother to Teach Train and Discipline their Children
- The Responsibilities of The Children in the Family
- The Letter of Paul to the Romans Introduction
- Romans Chapter One
- Romans Chapter Two
- Romans Chapter Three
- Romans Chapter Four
- Romans Chapter Five
- Romans Chapter Six
- Romans Chapter Seven
- Romans Chapter Eight
- Romans Chapter Nine
- Romans Chapter Ten
- Romans Chapter Eleven
- Romans Chapter 12 Verses 1-2
- Romans Chapter 12 Verses 3-11
- Romans Chapter 12 Verses 12 to 20
- (Italiano) Introduzione Alla Lettera di Paolo Ai Romani
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo Uno
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo Due
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo Tre
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo Quattro
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo Cinque
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo Sei
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo Sette
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo Otto
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo Nove
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo Dieci
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo 11
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo 12 Versetti 1-3
- (Italiano) Romani Capitolo 12 Versetti 4-11
- Mission Ministry
Welcome to our website. Peace and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be your abundance and God bless you greatly. We wish to introduce.Read More
The Baptism With The Holy Spirit and The Filling of The Holy Spirit According to Scripture
Is The Confirmation of These Speaking in Tongues?
Is It a Second Blessing After Salvation?
Is The Gift of Tongues a Gift For Today?
Before we begin this section of our study I need to make a very important statement that will be found several other times in this study because it is of extreme importance to thouroughly understand this concept.
The Holy Spirit NEVER, EVER, DOES ANYTHING AGAINST OR IN CONTRADICTION to what the word of God says, commands and teaches.
The Holy Spirit is also the Spirit of truth, so calls Him Jesus, He would never then inspire God’s word and then act or operate differently from what He Himself inspired to be written in God’s word.
Since the Baptism with the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues are closely related to each other and to the Pentecostal and Charismatic doctrine and that the false apostles and prophets embrace, let us see what the Bible tells us about these things.
This is why we need to begon with this particular subject, because opur Pentecostal brothers and sisters insist in teaching that the Scriptures themselves teach that bellievers ar baptized in or with the Holy Spirit ONLY IF the believers demonstrate that they have been baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit by speaking in tongues or foreign tongues as the Bible calls them.
Is this true? Let’s see if the Bible will give us the answers.
Beginning with this subject we must first of all see that the gift of speaking in tongues or diverse tongues or other tongues was specifically a gift given as a sign of judgment and confirmation to and for the nation ofIsrael.
This is what Scripture teaches us about this gift 1 CORINTHIANS 14: 20-22.
Yes, speaking in other tongues, (other languages of the world) ACTS 2:11 is not the same as speaking in what are called today, spiritual language or prayer tongue.
Those were never given by God as a spiritual gift or asign, in fact no one can even understand them and they do not really mean anything.
To create an entire doctrine based upon a spiritual language or a prayer language based on just a couple of verses of Scripture taken out of context doesnot really confirm the type of languages that we hear spoken today.
This is creating a false doctrine instead.
The great part of the Scriptures used by the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements that unite but also distinguish the tongues used are Acts 2, Acts 8; Acts 10; Acts 19; 1 Corinthians 12; 1 Corinthians 13; 1 Corinthians 14 .
All these passages though do not at all confirm their doctrine of the gift of tongues the way it is employed today.
The gift of tongues was to speak a real language or languagesof the world , not some strange spiritual, prayer language, also the signs and wonders and miracles wrought by the Apostles were as signs and confirmation of God to the Jews.
Thatwasbecause He always operated those types of works in the past and had them prophesied to confirm that He was responsible of the revelations He was giving to Israel (Law, Prophets and Messiah-Kingdom-Christ and His works).
In fact these eras or periods in which God has given His revelations confirmed with signs and wonders, represent the three offices that Christ fulfilled.
The Law comprising the priesthood HEBREWS 5:5; the sacrifices JOHN 1:19;HEBREWS 9:26 and the feasts of Israel John 7; 1 CORINTHIANS 5:7;
The Prophets ACTS 3:22;
The King and the Kingdom MATTHEW 21:5;1 TIMOTHY 6:15;REVELATION 17:14;REVELATION 19:16.
The confirmation that all the ethnic groups were included into the body of Christ was when it was confirmed to and by the Apostles and to Israel through the episodes of Acts 2; Acts 8; Acts 10, after this until when ALL the Scriptures of the NT were completed by the Apostles.
At this point God as He concluded all the other periods of His revelations in the OT completing its canon of Scripture, He did the same thing in the NT after the book of Revelation was written.
This was the last book and the last prophecy and revelation, it speaks of the times of the end and the return of Christ and the fulfillment of the Millennium on earth and the eternal state that follows, the Everlasting Kingdom of God.
Revelation 22:18-19 For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
Many now will say that these verses have to be applied only to this book and not to the entire Bible and that therefore there can be extra-canonical revelations. However, it is not so, because ALL the Evangelical Church has been in agreement and I do hope that you will be also, that Revelation was and is the last prophecy and direct revelation from God to His Apostle/prophet that was written in the NT. Nothing then can be added or subtracted from this prophecy, it would otherwise mean that we are adding or subtracting from the Bible since it is the complete revelation of Jesus Christ as far as the church, Israel and the world is concerned.
The church was always in agreement when it canonized the books of the Bible, that it is a closed canon, sealed. This means that it is not open to be able to add to it with any type of other revelation or prophecy. That is why this was written,after this prophecy there are no more new revelations or prophecies for the church, only the ones written therein. So as a rule and warning we must heed John’s warning for the entire Bible and not only for that one book. All of God’s word and ONLY God’s word is inspired by God, so it is prohibited to add any other utterance to it. The Bible itself in other places tells us not to do this,
DEUTERONOMY 4:2;DEUTERONOMY 12:32
Proverbs 30:5-6 says: Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. 6 Do not add to His words, Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.
But today this is a very big problem in the Pentecostal/Charismatic church as well as in the Roman Church, to add revelations and prophecies given by people and retain them equal to the word of God. We will examine this subject more closely when we will examine the false Apostles and prophets.
The Spirit however was confirming to the Jews and the Apostles (let us not forget also that all the disciples and apostles at Pentecost were all Jewish, including the 12 and Paul after), and that what happened the day of Pentecost was the promise of God that His revelation had begun to Israel, that after both Samaritans as well as Gentiles (both people groups of people the Jews hated) were included in His salvation plan.
Confirming to the Jews that the Holy Spirit the same Spirit was given them in the same way they had received at Pentecost, with the same sign, speaking in foreign tongues.
Aha, many will say now, see, this is after all the confirmation of the Baptism with the Holy Spirit, it’s the second blessing that occurs after salvation, we do not know when though.
Some will go as far as saying it is the infilling or being filled with the Holy Spirit. I will tell you, you are absolutely right. For four times specifically the baptism with the Holy Spirit, the infilling of the Spirit was manifested and confirmed by the speaking in foreign tongues.
However, Scripture does not confirm at all what the Pentecostal and Charismatic doctrines teach .
The speaking in tongues was in these instances for a specific reason, it was a confirmation for who? It was a confirmation for the Jews, the circumcised of then, not the church of today.
Acts 8:14-17 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, 15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
The Samaritans received the word of God through the preaching Philip and after some time only they received the Holy Spirit and for the laying on of hand a of Peter and John, was because it had to be confirmed by God and witnessed by the Apostles that they also had received the same Spirit they received on Pentecost.
The laying on of hands by the way, seen on this passage is not shown as a rule or methodology, like many teach, to how one receives the Holy Spirit. This also is an erroneous doctrine.
This is confirmed wrong by the fact that when the confirmation came to the Jews that the Holy Spirit had come upon the Gentiles as well, it was not by the laying on of hands and it was not at all secondary to salvation, it was immediately upon the moment they believed.
Let’s examine this passage because it clarifies and it teaches many things.
Acts 10:44-48 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. 45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered, 47 Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days.
What does the word of God say to us in this passage? Peter was preaching the Gospel in which these Gentiles believed and in that instant the Holy Spirit fell upon them.
So why was this experience different from the Samaritan experience? Peter was already there and the circumcised believers were already there with him (Jewish believers), they all did not, as with the Samaritans in Acts 8 lay hands on them to receive the Holy Spirit.
This passage denies the doctrine that one must receive the Holy Spirit only by the laying on of hands (by the way only the hands of Apostles not any believer) and excludes that the baptism with Holy Spirit is a second experience to salvation, a second blessing. Here in fact it is immediately at the time of salvation.
The speaking in tongues in this case as well as the others, the confirmation that the Gentiles had received the same Holy Spirit they had received the day of Pentecost.
The speaking in foreign tongues was therefore, as Scripture teaches and confirms a sign for the circumcised, the Jews, a sign to confirm that God had included other ethnic groups, in this case the Gentiles, into His salvation and that He had given them the same gift, the Holy Spirit, that the Jews had received the day of Pentecost. That this is so, is confirmed in verse 45 of Romans 10.
That this is what the Scripture teaches is confirmed all the more by when Peter returned to Jerusalem and testified to the Apostolic council after that he had been witness of the work of God with the Gentiles, ACTS 11:1-18, let’s take a look at
verses 15-18 “And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning. 16 Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, ‘John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 “If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?” 18 When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.”
It would be good to notice also that the baptism with the Holy Spirit is a gift of God associated with faith and repentance unto salvation, not a second blessing verses 17-18
Now, why was in this case also as in Acts 8 Peter called together with the other circumcised believers? For two specific reasons. The first one, to be the apostolic witness of the fact that God had accepted also the Gentiles in His salvation and for a sign specifically to the Jews that God had indeed accepted them and gifted them in the same exact way He did with the Jews and the Samaritans.
The second reason Peter was chosen in all of these three cases to be called to witness and take part in some way to the salvation of God upon these groups of people, was because Jesus has declared to him in MATTHEW 16:19 that to Peter would have been given the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven.
This last, was not by the way, the declaration that the Vatican makes erroneously interpreting that the church was founded on Peter and that Jesus created the papacy by apostolic succession and therefore to the Roman church and her only the keys of the Kingdom of heaven were given. No!
Instead it means that to Peter, to him and him only were given the keys to open the Kingdom of Heaven, because it was through him that God operated in Acts 2 to preach the salvation and open the doors of heaven to the circumcised, opened heaven for the Gentiles Acts 10
and confirmed the salvation of the Samaritans Acts 8.
Well, then some questions arise of which I know the answer, but I want to ask you them, who say that these experiences shown in these three passages of Scripture prove that the baptism with the Holy Spirit is a separate experience from salvation and is confirmed with the speaking in tongues.
Based upon the Scriptures in question, the baptism with the Holy Spirit, is received praying to receive it, or asking for it? It has to be by the laying on of hands, and if yes, whose hands? It is exclusively and always received on the Day of Pentecost? We receive it in the moment we believe without the lying on of apostolic hands? And the question of questions, is it only confirmed by the evidence of the speaking in tongues?
If yes, what tongues, or languages are we talking about? Are they foreign languages of the world or a strange language that many call angelic language, spiritual language or language of prayer? What are the Biblical passages that confirm the existence of this kind of language?
Are we to suppose that the tongues of Acts 2;10;19 are one and the same as those spoken today? You know, the word of God is never, I repeat never, to be drawn or taken out of context, because then, if the speaking in tongues confirm the baptism with the Holy Spirit, we are not looking at tongues of angels or a prayer language, they are instead tongues or languages in existence in this world.
How do you explain biblically the kind of language that is spoken in the churches today? What is the usual practice of receiving the baptism with the Holy Spirit?
The answers to all these questions are found exposed in Scripture and we will find and expound them as we go along in this teaching.
There is however, another group of people upon which we have to fairly turn our attention. Also, because I know some of you, my dear ones who would like and try to disprove what the word of God says, immediately will want to go to this group to prove many of your erroneous doctrines. Up until now, I know that your mouths would have to be already closed but it is not enough for you to see that the word of God discredits your doctrines. I know it is not enough, so we will go on.
Let’s take a look, shall we at this other group of persons, the fourth and last group who have visibly received the baptism of the Holy Spirit confirmed by the speaking of foreign tongues of this world, but most importantly confirmed by prophesying. This group are the famous disciples we find in ACTS 19:1-7.
These twelve men, were men living in the transitional period, like everybody at that time, we have seen them described in the word until now.
In Acts 2, the men to whom Peter preaches were religious Jews. Now Paul meets 12 men in the city of Ephesus,men called disciples, in this case I am asking that we pay attention to two things in particular.
The first thing we have to find in Acts 18. There is a section in this chapter that is connected in context with ACTS 19:1-7.
Acts 18:24-28 Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. 25 This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. 27 And when he desired to cross to Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him; and when he arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace; 28 for he vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.
It is evident from the passage that Apollos a Jew recognized Jesus as Messiah and would teach accurately the things regarding the Lord. But, he had only knew the baptism of John. So he was a disciple of who? Of John is the right answer. Here we find a Jew that believed in Jesus as Messiah but did not know Him as Lord and savior.
He still preached the Kingdom of God,but God wanted to make him His son and to become part of the church. This is only possible when one is born again through the baptism of the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ, this is regeneration and salvation.
So, Priscilla and Aquila explained to him the way of God more accurately. What does this indicate? It indicates that Apollos was not a born again believer, he only had partial knowledge of who Jesus was.
After that Aquila and Priscilla explained to him more accurately the way of God, he obviously believed and became born again, not a disciple of John, but a disciple of Jesus Christ. Notice however that it is not mentioned here that Apollos received at any time the visible baptism with the Holy Spirit confirmed by tongues.
Question, did he ever receive it? When? Why is it not recorded how and when?
OK, it is on the wings of this context in Acts 18, that we arrive at the Scripture that explains the episode of
ACTS 19:1-7. The same context and identical situation but with 12 men instead of one.
ACTS 19:1-7 And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples 2 he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.” 4 Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. 7 Now the men were about twelve in all.
This time a group of Jews in Ephesus meet Paul. Let’s see what the Scripture teaches us in this passage. The first thing we have to understand in this, is the reason why foreign tongues were given as an apostolic confirmation to the baptism with the Holy Spirit and confirmation and judgment to the Jews, that this was a work of God. Paul meets these men, who were these disciples?
Why does Paul ask them if they have received the Holy Spirit?
Why does he ask them with what baptism they were baptized?
Were they really disciples of Jesus?
Obviously the context remains attached as we plainly see to the same context of Acts 18 which we previously read. In fact to these men Paul asks if they had received the Holy Spirit to see by the answer whose disciples they were, to see if they were born again.
It becomes evident that Paul recognizes them as disciples of someone but does not really know of who. He does recognize them as believers in Messiah, like Apollos was, but had they believed the Gospel for salvation?
When Paul hears their answer he immediately understands that these were not born again believers. To be sure he asks them with what baptism they were baptized. Just like Apollos they were baptized with John’s baptism.
They were no doubt baptized by John during his ministry, they returned to Ephesus where they probably lived and remained like Apollos only with the knowledge of Jesus as Messiah and recognizing the Messianic Kingdom, after all John’s disciples believed in Jesus as Messiah of Israel .
Instead Paul has to preach to them Christ as Lord and Savior, as the words of Acts 19:4-5 confirm, we realize they did not know Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.”When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
It is obvious by the text the meaning of “ when they heard this” , the this they heard was Christ preached to them, that which was missing in their life to receive salvation and the gift of the Holy Spirit, that indeed in this case, by apostolic laying on of hands by Paul, they received, after having been baptized in the name of Jesus.
The baptism with which one is baptized is in the name of whom they have believed, baptizedin John’s baptism, John, baptized in Jesus’ baptism, Jesus.
They had NOT up to that point believed in the Lord Jesus as Lord and Savior. The baptism of the Holy Spirit was visibly confirmed by the speaking of foreign tongues and their prophesying.
But there are some who erroneously teach in this passage that these were already believers and disciples of Jesus. The same text we have seen categorically denies this as well as the rest of the entire council of God denies it.
We have just read in the text that Jesus had not yet been proclaimed to them as Lord and Savior, because it is Paul that does it. So then I would ask how can one be a born again believer if Jesus has not yet been proclaimed to them? I will tell you how! It is IMPOSSIBLE.
To deduce and teach that because the word disciples is used here indicates that these were already born again believers is really an erroneous interpretation without any biblical support at all. It is violating the entire context of ACTS 18:24-28 and this one in question.
To want to force doctrine in the text to support the erroneous Pentecostal doctrine of the baptism with the Spirit, to have it say that they were already born again believers is really wanting to completely destroy the context of the passage and not really understanding the entire council of God.
The word of God instead teaches us in other contexts first of all that the word disciple even when referred to a person who is following Jesus does not always prove at all that these were true born again believers. I want to give you a very good example of this, we find in
John 6:60-66 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?” 61 When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. 65 And He said, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.” 66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.
If it is faith in Christ the only basis for justification, then only believing in Jesus as Lord and Savior is part of the new birth. In fact, Jesus is really saying this very thing to these “disciples”, in other words “ they did not really believe in Him”. If they did not believe in Him, how God wants belief to be, because it had NOT been granted to them by the Father to believe in Him. If they did not believe they could not be saved.
See John 6:66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.
But they were “ His disciples” after all, even Judas was. It is evident that disciple then is not synonymous of being a born again believer and therefore of being saved.
The Bible says to be saved you must believe,that believing is granted by the Father, that not all who are called disciples believe and therefore are saved. So being a disciple is not always synonym of being born again and saved, however, eventually these will fall away, not fall from grace, they never entered into it to fall from it in the first palce.
It’s like Judas, he was considered a disciple, he was chosen by God for a specific task such as Pharaoh was in Moses’ case ROMANS 9: 17-18.
However he was not chosen for salvation, he was one who remained in unbelief, he as not an elect to salvation, never was intended to be, he was from the beginning a devil and a thief and yet he followed Jesus.
JOHN 12: 6 , JOHN 6: 70-71 , JOHN 17: 12 , 1 CORINTHIANS 6: 9-10
The text is plain about this concept.
This is not intended to be a teaching on the doctrine of election and the sovereignty of God in salvation, although I recognize that there is a great need in the church for this to be taught. However the point is this the term disciple does not mean to be born again.
It would be of your most great benefit to read and study the context of John 6,to really understand what Jesus is teaching. Almost the entire context of John 6 is about faith, salvation, election, from who and how you obtain all this. You would eliminate so many erroneous and false doctrines just by understanding what Jesus is teaching.
Another passage that will help you understand this concept is JOHN 2:23-25 in this passage, as you really have to see, you will understand that there is belief and BELIEF. In other words a fake faith exists, a false faith generated in the flesh and by the flesh and to which God does not entrust Himself to.
He does not accept it as real faith, because it does not originate in Him and by Him and it is placed in Him with the wrong motives at heart.
Let us now return to Acts 19 these 12 men before meeting Paul were NOT born again even though they were called disciples, they were disciples of John and not of Jesus.
It is extremely important to understand that speaking in foreign tongues of the world, languages of the world
ACTS 2: 5-11, was given as a gift as a sign to the circumcised, the Jews and as a confirmation, for the Jews only, that God had included in His church all ethnic groups of the world, the groups of which Jesus Himself declared to His Apostles they were going to be witnesses ACTS 1:8.
The spiritual gift of tongues was then a sign of God’s judgment upon Israel 1 CORINTHIANS 14:21-22
quotes ISAIAH 28:11; their use was for a time and a reason and eventually they disappeared by themselves. After the determined period the confirmation and judgment to the Jews was not necessary any longer.
When we read the book of Acts after the conversion and baptism with the Holy Spirit of Cornelius and his house, we do not read anymore of the visible baptism of the Holy Spirit coming upon the converts with the confirmation of tongues.
This begs the question, is it an omission from the text of the author done on purpose because it was granted in every situation of conversion? Or because it did not happen at all? The answer to this we find in Scripture and within the history of the post-apostolic church. It was only until we get to the beginning of the XX century that in the church something called the gift of tongues appears, but the evidence of the real gift was not seen and is still not found.
Let’s look at Scripture first. I would want to ask a pertinent question, why is it, that in ALL other occasions when individuals, or groups of people believed in the Gospel this episode of the visible baptism with tongues, that the Pentecostals say confirms this event in the life of believers and is also the evidence of the infilling of the Spirit is never reported in Scripture?
The answer is obvious, it happened only to confirm the various ethnic groups became ALL part of the church. It was not after necessary any longer to have the confirmation of the baptism with the Holy Spirit confirmed in that manner. Whoever, became a believer after ALL the three ethnic groups, let’s say four groups were added to the church, was already a part of one of those groups.
Therefore there was no more confirmation needed regarding the fact that the baptism was occurring when one believed. The confirmation that ALL people were valid recipients of salvation needs no more confirmation to be seen by the Apostles. Let’s go and see in the Scripture if indeed it is like this or not.
These are all verses about converted people who DID NOT receive the visible baptism with the Spirit with tongues.
The Ethiopian eunuch ACTS 8:36-39 did not speak in tongues,
ACTS 11:21-24 many were added to the church, but did not speak in tongues,
ACTS 13:12 the proconsul believes but he does not speak in tongues,
ACTS 13:48 Gentiles believe none of them speak in tongues,
ACTS 14:21-27 no one mentioned speaks in tongues,
In Acts 15:3-9 a passage to read carefully, So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria, describing the conversion of the Gentiles; and they caused great joy to all the brethren. 4 And when they had come to Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders; and they reported all things that God had done with them. 5 But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.” 6 Now the apostles and elders came together to consider this matter. 7 And when there had been much dispute, Peter rose up and said to them: “Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. 8 So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, 9 and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
In this passage verses 3-4 tell the account of the conversion of Gentiles, however, there is no mention of any experiences related to the visible baptism with the Holy Spirit confirmed by the speaking in tongues. In verses 7-9 Peter brings to the Apostle’s minds the paste episode of Acts 10
when it was confirmed to Peter and other Jewish believers, that the Gentiles were included in the salvation plan of God and had received the Holy Spirit as they had received it, Peter specifically mentions now that past episode.
The question then is, why is it that Peter had to bring up the episode of Acts 10 if every other time there were conversions there was a visible demonstration of the baptism with the Spirit confirmed with speaking in tongues? Could not had Peter have chosen another most recent episode?
This demonstrates, in addition of finding no written record of any such other episodes, that it was not a standard occurrence in conversions. Some will object that this actually proves that it was a separate event from the salvation itself and that it would have manifested later on in the lives of the believers. I say that this does not at all prove this doctrine.
It proves that NEVER in any biblical circumstance, the Apostles have instructed any church in their writings, that they needed to complete their spirituality by receiving a secondary baptism with the Holy Spirit or that the baptism had to be an experience that a believer had to ask for of the Lord, NEVER such doctrine is EVER mentioned or taught. You know why? Because it is a Pentecostal doctrine and NOT an APOSTOLIC doctrine and therefore a doctrine that is NOT biblical.
OK, let us continue our journey in the book of Acts.
ACTS 16:5 the churches grew in number but no evidence of the baptism with the Spirit with tongues.
ACTS 16:14-15 Lydia and her house believe, they are baptized but do not speak in tongues.
ACTS 16:32-34 the jailer and his family believe, are baptized and…yes, you guest it, they do not speak in tongues.
ACTS 17:4 a multitude of Greeks and many women believe but…do not speak in tongues,
ACTS 17:12 many believed, no one spoke in tongues,
ACTS 17:34 no one again speaks in tongues.
Now we arrive in Corinth, the church of the tongues ACTS 18:8 Crispus and many others believed, but even here in Corinth no report of baptism with tongues.
After the incident in ACTS 19:7-9 there are no more conversions recorded and no word of any tongues connected with baptism with the Spirit is ever even mentioned in any other Epistle.
If 99% of the conversions after Acts 10 did not report episodes of speaking in tongues as a confirmation of the baptism with the Holy Spirit , it seems to me too much of a high average to continue to insist that it is instead a normal and usual manifestation of the Spirit, to insist that speaking in tongues is for today and for all believers.
Stubbornly they continue to insist that the evidence of the baptism of the Spirit is confirmed by speaking in tongues. What Apostle taught this doctrine and in what Epistle are these directions found?
I guess that the early church must not have been spiritual enough, they must not have prayed enough to receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit, since the majority of their converts did not speak in tongues.
Wow, we are so much better today, almost everybody in the Pentecostal church speaks in tongues, what tongues we do not know but, we have arrived to the spiritual apex today.
In the mean time there is who speaks in tongue but divorces, who speaks in tongues but commits adultery, who speaks in tongue but fornicates, who speaks in tongue but lives in sin, who speaks in tongues but is unforgiving, who speaks in tongues but hates his brother, who speaks in tongue but does not at all care about what 1 Corinthians 14 teaches and do what they please in the assembly of the church in direct disobedience to the inspired word of God while believing other revelations and prophecies.
There is a contest of who can yell in tongues louder than the other, while there is no one who can even interpret what is being said. In almost all Pentecostal meetings one can never say Amen to the brothers prayer because you can never understand anything another is saying.
Oh, you have arrived today to be so spiritual, because spirituality is demonstrated by the evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit in the speaking of tongues while you disobey the word of God practicing the same thing you claim your very gift to be, the same as the Holy Spirit gave in Acts.
In 1 Corinthians 14:20-22 Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature. 21 In the law it is written: “With men of other tongues and other lips I will speak to this people; And yet, for all that, they will not hear Me,” says the Lord. 22 Therefore tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophesying is not for unbelievers but for those who believe.
This passage is enormously important for the church today as it was for the church of Corinth then. Why? Because, Paul is giving a commandment to grow up to the the believers, by clarifying at the same time for them the proper meaning and use of the gift of tongues.
Paul exhorts them to mature in their reasoning and to stop being spiritual children, There is a false doctrine going around in the church today, that says that we do not need to reason with the mind but only be “guided by the Spirit”. Are we kidding?
We always have to use reason, not with a mind corrupted by the world’s values or with false and erroneous spiritual ideas, but with the mind of Christ that God has given us, that is what it means to have spiritual discernment, value all things by the word of God and examine everything by the same, using the word of God as a standard, using logic in the reasoning of the word.
The word logic in Greek comes form the word logos. Everything has to be reasoned logically-biblically, especially the experiences we have. In ROMANS 12:1-2 Paul is exhorting the believers to offer themselves as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God in reasonable service, the word reasonable is the Greek word logikeén in other words, service guided by logic. It is however logic that is only clearly understood with the illumination of the Holy Spirit and through a renewed mind.
This logic is present in the word of God, being that Jesus is the word, logos of God, from where all logic therefore originates. The word being logical is also understood logically only through the transforming and renewing of the mind by the Spirit and the word itself. The two go hand in hand, to be led by the Spirit therefore is to also reason out the word of God through the mind, renewed by the Spirit and the word, 1 CORINTHIANS 2:10-16 nevertheless the word of God remains logical and has to be reasoned alsowith the mind. Remember,that one of the elements we are commanded to love and worship God with is the mind LUKE 10:27.
Paul then is making the Corinthians reason, telling them, that this gift was given exclusively as a SIGN FOR ISRAEL, a sign of judgment and a confirmation of their unbelief. It is the prophetic fulfillment of
Isaiah 28:11 Nay, but by men of strange lips and with an alien tongue the LORD will speak to this people,
To whom does the prophecy in Isaiah speak to? Who is the people in question? Israel is the right answer. In fact Paul is quoting from that passage of Scripture, citing the law, explains what was the gift of tongues and for who it was. This was for the Jews, the prophecy fulfilled, the Lord was speaking to His people through alien tongues and lips, but His people remained deaf and hardened in unbelief.
It is obvious that in four specific episodes the baptism with the Holy Spirit was confirmed by the speaking in tongues as a sign to the Jews. But, let me ask you, today is God still giving a sign and confirmation to Israel? Confirmation to Jewish Apostles that those who believe the Gospel are baptized into Christ with the Holy Spirit as they have? Today, when people receive Christ does God still have to give a sign of judgment for Israel? People are not being saved through Jewish Apostles and especially not in Jerusalem or Judea or Samaria where the church is still a mystery concealed and being revealed and where Apostolic confirmation is needed. Are we today still in the transition period between Kingdom and church? Is the foundation of the church still being built?
When a person or persons believe the Gospel today, in the jungle or in any other place for that matter, how many Jewish Apostles need confirmation that these have been added to the church and received the same Spirit they received? How many Jewish Apostles are there? The answers to all of the above are NO and NO ONE.
The transitional period between Kingdom offered to Israel and the church was a distinct period of time. The transition came to an end after 70 AD, in other words after the destruction in judgment of Jerusalem and the Temple, when Israel entered in the period of God’s judgment and the church age began to be God’s program of salvation, until the fulness of the Gentiles comes to pass, which time we are still in ROMANS 11:25.
I firmly believe that the sign gift of tongues began to gradually diminish after AD 70 and eventually ceased to exist in time. We have documented confirmation by historical records of the post-apostolic church that this specific sign gift came to a definite end about 100 years after 70 AD. So from 170 AD forward it is confirmed by the church fathers that this gift was no longer in operation.
But here we are talking about the real gift of languages, but from even before 170 AD the use of ecstatic or spiritual languages during the post apostolic church age, was condemned by the church as false. The church did not after a period have the real gift and did not ever accept the counterfeit gift. In fact even Paul condemns the use of the counterfeit gift in 1 Corinthians 14.
There is no continuity in all of church history of the real sign gift of languages and there are only sporadic episodes of groups, sects really, considered heretical by the church through the ages, including the post apostolic church and the reformed church, who spoke in ecstatic gibberrish such as we hear today.
It was in fact only at the beginning of the XX century that the “gift of tongues” was re introduced and accepted by some as the same as the one of Pentecost. But in reality, this time as it had been in the past centuries when it was tried to be introduced, not as a gift of real languages that would have to have been validated in the presence of Jewish Apostles, rather introduced in the form of completely unknown ecstatic gibberish. This unknown ecstatic gibberish manifests itself with unknown and incoherent sounds and does not at all ever manifest itself as it did the day of Pentecost.
This immediately has to raise many question sand doubts, but a very important question is paramount, is this a manifestation of the same Spirit of God that gives the manifestation of His baptism to a believer with the same identical gift of tongues given the day of Pentecost? Today we are not seeing real foreign languages as a manifestation of the Spirit, but a completely strange series of sounds that are completely foreign to any language or dialect glossaries of the world.
Let’s examine another important passage to determine if the sign gift of foreign languages is also for today or only for a determined period of apostolic history.
1 Corinthians 13:8-10 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.
Please pay close attention to the words used in this passage, which are important for the understanding of the subject of prophecy, knowledge and tongues. Prophecy and knowledge it says will be done away while tongues will cease. Why the difference of the use of the words will be done away and will cease? To be done away is not a natural or spontaneous action but it necessitates a precise action caused by another.
To cease instead has the indication of ending by itself, a natural process. In the original Greek text the two verbs used are different then. In reference to prophecy and knowledge the verb is Katargeo, that means to cause to be eliminated by another specific action or event. Someone or something that causes the ending of the action. These two will be done away by the arriving of the perfect state verse 10, when it comes, that which is only partial will be done away with. Even today, prophecy and knowledge are still in use, although in use today not as before but through the interpretation, teaching and preaching of God’s written word and through it the Spirit applies and gives us edification, exhortation and consolation in the church, but not trough new and direct revelations inspired by God through the prophet.
The tongues of ACTS 2:11, the text says they will cease, the verb to cease is Paùsontai from the verb Pauo, which means a gradual and a passive ceasing, self caused for lack of utility. And indeed they did cease. When they were not necessary any longer they ceased automatically to manifest.
How is it possible then, that according to Pentecostal/Charismatic doctrine, the evidence of the baptism with the Holy Spirit is confirmed by the speaking in tongues and it is for today and for every believer?
Have they not read 1 Corinthians 12 ? It is evident that the Bible teaches there, that this gift of tongues WAS NOT FOR ALL believers.
This is a HUGE PROBLEM for Pentecostals and Charismatics.
That is why they had to come up with another type of spiritual language to confirm that spiritual language or prayer language or angelic language that does not exist in Scripture is the sign or the confirmation of the baptism with the Holy Spirit. How can this be?
Paul speaks of only one type of gift of languages or tongues, it is one and the same as Acts 2;10;19 it speaks of world known languages not angelic, spiritual or prayer languages.
The fact alone that this gift is not for every believer automatically excludes tongues as evidence of the baptism of the Spirit.
I know that all the evidence given so far has not convinced you right? I cannot really understand why, but it is not enough. I can see now that the Pentecostal “experiences” count more than the word of God, however, there are many more evidences, so since they are not enough so far, here are more of them for you.
The sign gift of tongues we already said it and will repeat it, as Paul says, is not available for all believers, but the Pentecostals try to say that it is.
Without a doubt based on ACTS 10:44-47 and 1 CORINTHIANS 12:13 we see that it is at the moment a person is regenerated and saved by God through he work of the Holy Spirit and the word of God TITUS 3:4-7;ROMANS 10:17;1 PETER 1:23 a believer is baptized with the Spirit and by the Spirit into the body of Christ, the church, it is to make a believer a partaker of Christ, to unite him or her to Christ and one believer to the other making them all one as Jesus had prayed in JOHN 17:20-26 and to indwell ALL believers for always JOHN 14:16-18. That’s what the baptism with the Holy Spirit is all about.
1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free–and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.
Did you ever ask yourselves why Paul says -and have all been made to drink into one Spirit?
Scripture interprets Scripture,
John7:37-39 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
Honestly, what is this Scripture saying? Verse 38 He who believes in me, this means every person, all, every individual believer, without exception, will be given to drink by Jesus’ Spirit. Who would have received the Holy Spirit? ANY person that becomes born again of the Spirit, ANY one who truly believes in Christ. No one is excluded of who believed in Him from this process of being been made to drink into one Spirit that Paul confirms in 1 Corinthians 12:13.
Note carefully that no Christian exists that is not baptized with the Holy Spirit.
EVERY SINGLE BELIEVER IS BAPTIZED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT AT SALVATION.
Every one has been made to drink into one Spirit, notice the inclusion of everybody and the past tense used by Paul, by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body- and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.
The specific grammatical use of the word ALL and the past tense of the verbs were and have been together with JOHN 7:37-39 leaves no other valid explanation, it is a fact, all believers have been baptized with the Holy Spirit and all have been made to drink into one and the same Spirit at the point of conversion.
Ephesians 1:13-14In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
2 Corinthians 1:20-23Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, 22 who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
It is a fulfilled action of the Holy Spirit and no one after conversion needs a second blessing.
The blessing is one, given by Christ at salvation as it happened after all to Cornelius and his house, period.
Paul in Ephesians 4 describing our common faith says, verses 5-8 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism;6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. 7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive,And gave gifts to men.”
If we examine this passage carefully and even the greater part of the same chapter, it has the exact same context we find in 1 Corinthians 12 They both speak of one body and one Spirit, one Lord, one baptism, grace in the measure of Christ’s gift and the fact that Christ has given gifts to believers.
He uses all the same terms in the same context in Ephesians 4that he used in 1 Corinthians 12.
Same exact context.
In regards to the one baptism mentioned in Ephesians, many will say it is the baptism in water.
Is it really? How can you say that? By the context in 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4 the baptism is in reference to the baptism of the Holy Spirit. In fact John the baptist in one of the favorite Pentecostal passages said:
“ I baptize you with water, but He is coming who will baptize you with the Holy Spirit”
The water baptism of the believer in Christ is a external symbol of an inward reality and a connection with the spiritual one as well. It is the symbol of the baptism that Jesus Himself performs by His Spirit. The baptism that unites us to Christ, in Him, His death, burial and Resurrection in His body, that’s the baptism with the Holy Spirit, water in baptism is a symbol, of what? Death, burial, resurrection life, the Spirit and the word, all symbolized by the water, both necessary to be regenerated, born again, JOHN 3:5;JOHN 4:14;JOHN 7:37-39;EPHESIANS 5:26; TITUS 3:5-6;EZEKIEL 36:25-27;1 CORINTHIANS 6:11. JAMES 1: 18 1 PETER 1: 23
Going ahead in Ephesians 4 verse 7 Paul says that to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
What is the gift of Christ? The Holy Spirit. Through Him we have received the grace ROMANS 5:1-5 where Paul says that the Holy Spirit was given to us, we did not ask for Him, He was given to us, it’s not an optional, it’s a fact and a certainty, an event that has happened.
In fact, going ahead in the context of Ephesians 4, Paul speaks of gifts, ministries and operations given to the church by Christ, through the gift of the Holy Spirit.
1 CORINTHIANS 12:4-7 also describes the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. The context is the gift of Christ, that is the Spirit and the one baptism of EPHESIANS 4:5 then has to be the baptism with the Holy Spirit.
This confirms we are talking about the same things in Ephesians 4 as in 1 Corinthians 12.
In 1 Corinthians 12:7 Paul says: “ But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all”
This Scripture DEMANDS, that, the each one spoken of to whom the MANIFESTATION is given, has to be already baptized with the Holy Spirit. Therefore, this manifestation is recognized through the manifestation in a believer by three possible things, the gift 1 Corinthians 12:4; the ministry 1 Corinthians 12:5 and the operation 1 Corinthians 12:6, these three are the complete manifestation of the Spirit, not a measure of the Holy Spirit all of it, verse 7 for the profit of all.
In fact the meaning of 1 Corinthians 12:13 has all to do with the baptism with the Holy Spirit and the manifestation of the Spirit, the gifts, the ministries and the operations all of the Holy Spirit. This parallels the context of Ephesians 4 is then evident we are speaking of the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ, that through this gift to the believers manifests His gifts, ministries and operations. These are the entire contexts of these two chapters we looked at, and we do not at all take 1 Corinthians 12:13 out of context, instead we keep it exactly in the context it has to be.
This baptism is for all and occurs at salvation not after. We see that Paul in 1 Corinthians 12:3 says
“ Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.”
This confirms what Paul said one had to do to be saved, confess Jesus as Lord ROMANS 10:9-10
This is also confirmed by the entire subject written by Paul as the context of Romans 8
we want to look at particularly what is written in
Romans 8:8-11 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
This passage speaks of real born again believers, who have already been baptized with the Holy Spirit, otherwise we could not even belong to Him. This confirms 1 Corinthians 12:13
Without the Spirit we are not His, the Spirit instead dwells in the real believer, in them dwells the entire Holy Spirit, not a measure, all of the Spirit, the same Spirit Who raised Jesus from the dead lives in the real believer. This passage in Romans is connecting salvation to the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, which is only possible if such believer has been baptized into Christ, into His body.
So when Paul continues in 1 Corinthians 12 he does not mention only a measure of Spirit but the manifestation of the Spirit in the believers, that is only possible if the believers are already baptized with the Holy Spirit. It is exactly in this context, that Paul mentions the baptism with the Holy Spirit 1 CORINTHIANS 12:13, with out a doubt we are talking of the baptism with the Holy Spirit, to which are connected the manifestation of the Spirit, the gifts, ministries, operations and the inclusion of the believer into the body of Christ which is without a doubt at salvation even by admission of the Pentecostals.
So this Pentecostal doctrine of the baptism with or in the Holy Spirit, since in the Greek thre is no distinction of the article, is the way I understand it, one of the most divisive doctrines in the church and one that causes people to fall into spiritual pride, to offend other believers who they claim are not as “spiritual” as they. It also causes idolatry, how?
Yes, you MUST, according to them speak in their tongues otherwise you have not been filled with the Spirit of God. In fact some even say if you do not speak in tongues you d not even have the Holy Spirit. This is a problem, a huge problem because as we have seen without the Spirit we could not even be born again nor cpuld we belong to the church, we could not be children of God.
In some way they differenciate this by saying that we who do not speaking tongues only have a measure of the Spirit while they have Him all. Us only a little. How can this be possible since the Holy Spirit although Spirit is a person, and as a person, God Himself has to be omnipresent. In His omnipresence He MUST be ALL in the place He is in.
How can the Holy Spirit be only partially in a place while intirely in another? In the end this denies the omnipresence of God the Spirit and additionally it implies that God is partial and distinguishes between one child of God and another by giving one only a measure of Spirit while to others fulness.
How do Pentecostals who claim one must want and ask for this baptism, this gift, explain even those amongst themselves then who receive this at the moment of salvation without asking? Are they better than others? This image portrayed of the Holy Spirit is erroneous and distorted and when we do this we are tinkering with idolatry. Why?
In essence a false image of God is being made, an image that is not in line with His true image revealed in the Scripture, it distorts and negates God’s attribute of ominipresence and impartialityand this is a grave and serious thing.
However, there is another misused passage to prove that the baptism of the Holy Ghost or by the Holy Spirit, same thing, is an experience that a believer experiences at a later time, after, even long after salvation.
So according to our Pentecostal friends the Spirit is bestowed in measure or part to a believer at salvation, however, the fullness of the Holy Spirit is obtained only as a second experience. The passage that they mistakenly interpret is this
John 20:22 After he said this he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit;
So, with this simple one verse, a whole doctrine is sustained,doctrine that, according to them, shows that the disciples have received a measure of the Spirit through this acts Jesus performs, but that the fullness of the Holy Spirit, that was given in Acts 2 on the day of Pentecost.
However, what does Jesus do in John 20:22 with this strange act of breathing on his disciples and telling them, “Receive the Holy Spirit” ?
However, even if we can make a slight and forced connection between this incident and Acts 2 saying that a measure of the Spirit was given to the disciples in this episode and the fullness at Pentecost, the most novice exegete would see that this is a misinterpretation.
First we must consider this episode in light of what all the Scripture says in its coherence and unity regarding this context. Then let’s see if this episode together with the rest of Scripture can be interpreted that the disciples have received only a measure of the Spirit or if in fact the passage tells us that they have received anything at all.
The first thing we observe that is wrong with this interpretation is precisely the fact, as we have previously mentioned, namely, that the Holy Spirit is a person even though Spirit and to dwell in a place He needs to dwell there fully, how can a person be only partially in place, it is impossible. So if the Spirit dwells in us He does entirely and not only in part.
The second thing we notice in this passage is the following, if Jesus when he breathed on them has given them only a measure of the Spirit then poor Thomas has not received even a measure of the Spirit in that episode because he was not present.
But Jesus blew on them and told them to receive the Holy Spirit. What does this mean?
In the light of what Scripture tells us he can understand what He meant by this gesture by this statement.
It’s actually quite simple. What Jesus did here in John 20:22 he did it prophetically by declaring, prophesying upon them the fulfillment of the promise of the gift of the Spirit, but why did He breathe on them?
Because when He, later together with the Father, sent the Spirit to dwell IN them and to baptize them in the Spirit, do you remember when the Spirit came on Pentecost, He came with a sound like a great wind. ACTS 2: 1-2
Here, Jesus first of all proves to be God when He breathed on them, because even in Hebrew Ruach Elohim, is the title used for the Holy Spirit and it means breath of God, Perhaps the same breath, wind, that was symbolized in
Ezekiel 37:4-5 Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! 5 Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live.
Ezekiel 37:9-10 Then He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” ‘ ” 10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.
Quite interesting prophetic analogy regarding the Spirit called breath, the breath that comes and gives life.
Jesus then has symbolically demonstrated to them that His Spirit is the Spirit of God, the breath of God, that He is God and He proved this prophecy fulfilled when He came as the breath of God on the day of Pentecost. The gesture in John 20 was not an action that was meant to be for that current moment, but in essence it was a prophetic symbol, in other words they , the disciples, were the onesto receive the Holy Spirit a little later on, onthe day of Pentecost.
Sure you could argue that since Jesus did say “receive” instead of will receive the Holy Spirit, perhaps was indicating this action as a present thing, however there is also another reason why it can not be that they have received only a measure of Spirit at that time. Why?
Because Jesus had to return to glory, to the Father in order to send the Holy Spirit, if He had not been glorified and had not returned to the Father, the Holy Spirit would not have come and this is made clear in various scriptures
John 7:39 39 And he said this of the Spirit, that they would receive those who would believe in him because the Holy Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, because if I do not go away, the Comforter will not come to you, but if I go, I will send Him to you
John 14:16-17 I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you forever, 17 the Spirit of truth whom the world can not receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans come to you.
In this latter passage Jesus clearly explained to them the coming of the Holy Spirit not in John 20, but rather in Acts 2. Indeed this passage should precede the one in John 16:7 and therefore we understand that the Holy Spirit would not come to dwell in them, inside them until Jesus had not gone to the Father, ascended to heaven see Acts 1:8.
Jesus does return and does not leave them as orphans, He came to dwell forever in them and in the lives of ALL believers who believe in Him through His Spirit. This began at Pentecost and this still continues in today in all who have faith in Jesus, therefore, we do not receive the Holy Spirit in two episodes, but only once, they also have received Him only once, not twice, once at Pentecost.
The Holy Spirit in the economy of the Old Testament came to rest upon the subjects on which God sent him, then ONLY in the New Testament we find that the work of the Holy Spirit is to dwell IN, INSIDE, the believer, this Jesus made clear in John 14: 16-17
In the New Testament the Spirit comes to dwell in the believer 1 CORINTHIANS 6: 19 and baptizes believers in Christ, 1 CORINTHIANS 12: 13, this is a new concept, as indeed was the church, andGod does this fully and not partially, this happens at the time of regeneration, conversion, and not after.
Now if we make the distinction between being baptized and being filled or we can say then that being filled in reality means to be given power to do or equipped by the Spirit for a specificwork, well, this is far from saying that we “receive” the Spirit. We receive the all of theSpirit once, we are baptized by or in the Spirit once we are filled many, many times. These are two different things and we will see the differences in our study, so even in the word of God.
Even John the Baptist said a very interesting thing that is a biblical principle that hs to be attached to the fact that God makes no favoritisms and treats all His children the same, giving them the same gift. all of Him.
John 3:34 For He whom God sent speaks the words of God; God in fact does not give the Spirit by measure
To Christ was given the fulness of the Spirit, without measure, in Christ and by Christ ALL who are in Him then also receive ALL the Spirit without measure, without conditions,this only by grace and at the very moment of conversion.
So we do note the divisions these doctrines cause, because if you do not speak in tongues, which Scripture today as then says are not a gift for all, anyway, if you do not speak this strange language basically you are considered a second class believer, not by all who believe this doctrine but by most, and the most say then that you cannot fully understand the word of God. They say you cannot have the pwer of God to minister, you do not have the spiritual maturity that they have. So thus they elevate themselves above otherswho do not speak this strange language andthat is not at all biblical.
However, only the Samaritans in Acts 8 received the gift or the baptism of the Holy Spirit as a second experience or a separate event form their salvation, This happened because there had to be Peter and John to be Apostolic witnesses to what God was doing with the Samaritans including them in the church. Remember the Samartianswere a people hated and dispised by the Jews JOHN 4: 9and there was this great racism, bigotry and exclusivism that the Jews had against the Samaritans and such toward the Gentiles as well.
Confirmation threfore had to be given to and by the Apostles that the Samartiansreceievd the same exact gift ofthe Holy Spirit tha thye receievd on Pentecost otherwise many would have objected to their salvation only having believed the word of the Gospel preached by Philip.
The reason why the disciples had to wait so long after their salvation and why they had to wait specifically for the day of Pentecost to be baptized with the Spirit?
There were two reasons mainly, God chose exactly when He wanted the Holy Spirit to come and to give birth to the church. The first reason was because Jesus had to yet be glorified as it states in JOHN 7:37-39 and had to yet go to the Father JOHN 16:7.
The second reason was because this event had to happen the day of Pentecost, was for the prophetic fulfillment of the feast. This is a very important reason, yes, all of Israel feasts are prophetic and they all have been and will be fulfilled by Jesus in His person.
For example Passover has been fulfilled in Him, the Feast of First-fruits fulfilled in Him, The feast of Unleavened Bread fulfilled in Him through His death and resurrection, Pentecost fulfilled in Him. There are some that still have to be fulfilled. That is why Jesus said in Matthew 5:17-18
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.
This is the reason why the disciples had to wait the period from Passover to Pentecost to receive the Holy Spirit and why they had to wait even though they were saved. Fort he Gentiles you will remember God gave the Holy Spirit AT THE MOMENT OF SALVATION, WITHOUT WAITING, WITHOUT LAYING ON OF HANDS.
If then all the other episodes are by Pentecostal doctrine the way that the Holy Spirit operates, then for the Gentiles it is this one, what is delineated in Acts 10 and not the same way it happened for the Jews, the Samaritans or the 12 Jews in Acts 19, or not? In fact the 12 in Acts 19 actually received the Holy Spirit basically at the moment of salvation. With the exception that Paul laid hands on them, which, by the way, the imposition of hands was a Jewish custom used in fact only with people of Jewish background, after all the Samaritans were half Israelite.
So those who teach that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is an event that usually follows salvation at a later time and it happens only if the person meets determined spiritual criteria is a fallacy. They use those two episodes mentioned to prove that it is an event that occurs at a distance from salvation, forgetting that in the Gentile’s case it happened at the instant of salvation. They therefore do not understand at all the true meaning of Scripture nor its correct interpretation.
The same baptism, minus the tongues, that happened on Pentecost and succeeding episodes, happens today every time one person believes the Gospel and is born again. God gives the fulness of the Holy Spirit at the moment we believe, after all, so it was at Pentecost and so it was when Cornelius believed. It is absurd to think we can have less of the Holy Spirit than all of Him. How much Holy Spirit do we receive? 50%, 30%, 80%? Noooo, 100%!!!
In addition, how can one say you receive the fulness of the Holy Spirit only when you meet a certain level of spiritual consecration? Where does this doctrine come from? Not from Scripture.
God gives the gift of the Holy Spirit to those who become His children, all of them. If you had to deserve to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit no one would receive it. A gift is by God’s grace, God’s grace is unmerited favor.
There are NO spiritual conditions except to be saved by grace through faith, to be born again, that is what makes you ready to receive the gift of God, immediately. If any one thinks they have to earn the Holy Spirit, that is nothing but spiritual pride and you then believe that there are believers of a greater spiritual category than others. This doctrine creates nothing more than division, favoritism and spiritual pride, it is not from God, nor is it in His word.
When we witness a genuine conversion we witness an instant infilling of the Holy Spirit that becomes evident in the person that begins to give glory to God and thanking Him, often we hear them prophesy, but today in their own language. The evidence of the baptism and infilling of the Holy Spirit is not whether or not a person speaks in tongues, but the fact that the person gives glory to God, praises God, thanks God, prophesies and has the evidence of other spiritual behavior the Scriptures teach as being the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Such as EPHESIANS 5:18-21.
Even in the Acts 2 account we notice that the baptism with the Spirit verses 1-3 and the filling of the Spirit verse 4, are two events, chronologically very close, almost simultaneous, yet two distinct events. This and other Scripture indicate that the baptism with the Spirit and the filling of the Spirit are not exactly the same things. Baptism has occurred as we said at salvation and the believer has ALL the fulness of the Holy Spirit, it is one event.
The filling or infilling is an event that occurs at the baptism and continues after to occur for the entire life of the believer. Let us scripturally establish the difference between the baptism with the Holy Spirit and the filling of the Holy Spirit. It is worth repeating it, the baptism happens only one time at salvation, the filling can happen many times for various reasons and occasions. Scripture makes this extremely clear.
The word used for filled, being filled is not the same word as that of being baptized, the word used for filled or filling is a word based upon the various forms of the verb pleo, the word used for baptism or baptized is based on the various forms of the verb baptizoo, the two have entirely different meanings.
The word baptizoo is mainly used to immerse, to give to drink, to sprinkle even, pleo instead means to impregnate, influence, supply, imbue.
To be filled by the Holy Spirit means all of these mentioned things, when the Spirit fills us He imbues us and influences us, He supplies us with His power and fruit to do and to behave as He wants. Practically under the influence of the Spirit of God we become possessed by Him.
Let us now look at the episodes in Scripture that describe the filling of the Holy Spirit. If the Bible teaches us that they spoke in tongues or if they did other things. One day God willing I will do an in depth teaching also of the filling of the Holy Spirit, suffice to see the passages this time, to establish what Scripture really teaches on this subject.
I would like to start in the Gospel of Luke 1:67 Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying: (see also NUMBERS 11:25-30 very interesting passage, from the OT view that parallels the context of 1 Corinthians 14 and prophecy and what happens by the coming upon them of the Spirit of God)
Yes, I realize that this passage in Luke is before Pentecost, perhaps some of you will refuse to retain it a viable example for this reason. Please bear with me, I am trying to establish a specific case in regards with the filling of the Holy Spirit, which is NOT foreign tongues nor those we hear today, incomprehensible noises, I ma trying to show you a thread of connection in the episodes of the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Even here we see Zacharias filled with the Holy Spirit, what did he do? Prophesied.
Very well, let’s proceed after Pentecost, ACTS 4:8-13
This passage indicates that Peter (notice that Peter was already filled with the Spirit in Acts 2 and had not only spoke in tongues but preached powerfully), now in verse 8 it says Peter filled with the Spirit said (in Hebrew or Aramaic,his language, not in tongues)in other words Peter preached or prophesied, same thing.
In verse 13 They saw the boldness of Peter and John. Boldness or courage is the same thing, and it is an operation of the Spirit 2 TIMOTHY 1:7, follow the thread please.
Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.
OK,please answer yourself, what did they do when they were filled with the Spirit? Did they speak in tongues as evidence that they were filled with he Holy Spirit? What does the word of God say? No! They did not speak in tongues, instead they spoke boldly the word of God.
Acts 13:9-10 Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him 10 and said,
What is the result ? Paul looked at him intently and began to speak in tongues and making all kinds of strange incomprehensible sounds? No! Paul filled with the Spirit, his boldness seen by the way he looked at the man he was rebuking, preached. So far the evidence of the filling of the Spirit are boldness in preaching.
As a manner of fact, when the disciples of John in ACTS 19:1-7 were converted and received the Holy Spirit, what was,except tongues the evidence of the Spirit filling them, they prophesied, they spoke in foreign tongues AND prophesied, in their own language no doubt.
I am not denying the fact that in certain instances, those recorded in Scripture, there was actual speaking in other languages of the world, and that it was a gift and a sign, I know they are not for the church today. They served their purpose in the program of God. IF the conditions were the same today they were then and the tongues spoken were real languages of the world, I would certainly retain them real and valid even today. Except, this is not the case today.
Other reason I believe that the Pentecostal doctrine that teaches that the tongues of today are the evidence of the filling of the Spirit is erroneous is because, some Pentecostals say they are the evidences of the baptism, others of the infilling, others of both, and that this gift is available for all believers that want it. First of all there is so much disagreement even amongst Pentecostals, which is it?
There is no biblical confirmation that in either of these cases this gift is for all believers and those that desire it and ask God for the gift. Paul with a rhetorical question asks the Corinthians if all spoke in tongues.
1 Corinthians 12:30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?
In the context the only possible answer to the question is NO! This means for example the same about all the other gifts and ministries of the Spirit as well. The answer is always NO!
This creates a HUGE PROBLEM in the Pentecostal doctrine of the baptism and filling of the Holy Spirit, because if the answer is always no, then how do we have confirmation or evidence of who is baptized or filled with the Spirit if the gift is not available for all?
If indeed tongues is the confirmation, then only those who speak in tongues are the baptized and filled? I do not think that that was at all what Paul was saying. On the contrary.
1 Corinthians 14:5 I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.
If Paul says that he wished they all speak in tongues, this precludes that they all did not. However, he would prefer they all prophesied instead, because prophecy is greater than tongue speaking.
1 Corinthians 14:13 Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret.
This confirms that there were many even in Paul’s day that were faking the tongue gift while they really did not have it (we will look at that more on depth later) Suffices to say however that these two passages prove that not everybody spoke in tongues and that it is not a gift for all believers.
This then excludes categorically that this gift is the evidence of the baptism or the filling with the Holy Spirit. If it was so, it would then exclude many of receiving either. Scripture shows instead that both, the baptism and the filling are indeed for all believers without exception.
Not only Scripture excludes this false doctrine generally but even the very own grammar of these verses contradict the Pentecostal/Charismatic doctrines, There is however, several other things besides boldness and preaching that are the evidence of the filling of the Holy Spirit.
Yes, boldness and preaching and rightly interpreting the word of God are evidence of Spirit filling, not foreign tongues nor gibberish. There are other very important evidences of the believer being filled with the Spirit. The demonstration of other biblical behavior taught in Scripture is the evidence of Spirit filling.
The demonstration of the fruits of the Spirit for example, other spiritual behavior. Prophesying and others are the evidence, let’s look at some.
Acts 13:52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Ephesians 5:18-25 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God. 22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,
Here are the evidences the word of God gives us to confirm that a believer is filled with the Spirit. Does it say they speak in tongues foreign or spiritual? No! Speaking to one another in a comprehensible language, Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, that are not tongues, but a type of real songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, this last could even be silent. Believers will submit to one another in the fear of the Lord, wives will submit to their husbands without excuses or rationalizations and husbands will love their wives sacrificially and with comprehension.
I can tell you that I have seen many people who are not Pentecostal and who do not speak in tongues, who exhibit instead the variety of behaviors just mentioned, who preach the word with boldness and properly interpret and teach it. I can say it without arrogance, I myself, based on the Scripture am filled with the Spirit often, and I do not speak in any tongues, except that I speak fluently two languages, English and Italian but not by the Spirit, but because I was taught from infancy.
These are the spiritual behaviors that confirm the filling of the Spirit and not any kind of tongues or strange incomprehensible gibberish.
I would like to bring your attention to another erroneous Pentecostal doctrine connected with the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This is the doctrine that states that a believer has to ask for and seek to receive the baptism.
Most say: “ Pray to receive the Holy Spirit”. First of all, if you do not have the Holy Spirit, you are in serious trouble, you are not even saved, born again.
However, I believe it is clearly evident from what we have already seen so far that this doctrine has to be wrong. But since there will be objections still, let’s start by looking at
Acts 2:38-39 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
Let us examine carefully Peter’s words. These Jewish men convicted by the Holy Spirit through Peter’s words, ask what they can do about the situation they are in, how can they be saved? Peter answers them, what every evangelist should preach, they should repent of their sins, obey the Gospel call, be baptized in the name of Jesus. In so doing, Peter said “ you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” The only condition to receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit is salvation. The word shall denotes the certainty of receiving the gift.
The gift of the Holy Spirit, it’s a gift that God liberally gives to all those who have done what? Believed in the Gospel, repented of their sins, this is in fact the unarguable evidence that the Holy Spirit does it’s work in the person at the moment of salvation. No one asks for a gift, a gift is given from the giver without having to ask for it, unless you still believe in Santa Claus.
Let us in fact look at the rest of what Peter rightfully says, For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” .
The Holy Spirit is a gift promised to ALL who will be effectually called by God. The called, are the elect to salvation, also see ROMANS 8:28-32 Peter does not teach them that they have to ask for the gift of the Holy Spirit, but if a person is one who is an heir to salvation, it is a promise, those shall receive it without conditions.
This doctrine that a believer after salvation has to ask in prayer for the baptism of the Holy Spirit is a doctrine that is never taught in Scripture, it is not a true apostolic doctrine. No Scripture teaches that we must ask to receive the Holy Spirit. This false doctrine originates in the wrong interpretation of what Jesus says in LUKE 11:13 and not from any other passage we can find in Acts or any other Epistle for that matter.
Let us see what Jesus really is teaching in LUKE 11:13 and if indeed it has any valid connection whatever with this doctrine, created exclusively on this verse. Is the requesting of baptism of the Holy Spirit in prayer really what Jesus has in mind? First of all, we must realize that there is no Scripture where either the Lord nor the Apostles teach that the believers have to ask for the baptism of the Holy Spirit in prayer. None!
So we must then understand that Jesus is referring to another thing and not the asking of the Holy Spirit. In no case we find any person asking to receive the baptism or the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The only passage that may remotely come close besides Luke, is found in ACTS 8:15 but even in this case and only in this case we find that those who pray are not those who need to receive it but the Apostles are those who pray. In addition, it is the only passage even where Apostles pray for this event to happen. In all other cases connected with the baptism of the Spirit there is never a reference to anyone asking for the Holy Spirit.
If anything, the filling of the Holy Spirit besides certain conditions of the believer’s state of consecration, can be obtained in accordance with a specific request in prayer, see ACTS 4:29-30
In Luke 11:13 instead, that which Jesus is talking about in in the entire context of prayer and the persistence of prayer. Jesus is placing the emphasis upon the gift and the giver rather than on the request itself within the prayer.
Let us look at what Jesus is saying. In another place, Jesus said to seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all the needs we have will be met by Him MATTHEW 6:33 Jesus also said in MATTHEW 6:8 that God already knows what we are in need of, this is all in the context of prayer, remember the context.
Also Jesus in both accounts Matthew and Luke instructs how to pray, the manner in which we ought to seek God’s will in prayer. OK, this is the context. Because of the context of prayer, we know that what Jesus is saying is in regard to prayer. Jesus is saying, that the gift of God, the Holy Spirit, is the answer to all that is good that we need, for our Spiritual life.
Whatever we ask God for, the Holy Spirit is the gift God gives us to be the answer of all the things we need. If we need, consolation, He is the comforter JOHN 16:7; if we need and ask for love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and self control we have the Spirit GALATIANS 5:22. If we need power and courage He is the one that gives us those thongs 2 TIMOTHY 1:7;ACTS 4:29-31 if we need to know the truth, He is the Spirit of truth
JOHN 14:17, 15, 26, JOHN 16:13.
If we ask for assurance of salvation and the love of God, the Spirit confirms we are the sons and daughters of God ROMANS 8:15-16. So for all the needs of our spiritual life in which we ask for, God not only answers, He answers us by giving us His Spirit.
Even in the assistance in prayer, when we do not know how to pray the Spirit aids us praying for us ROMANS 8:26-27 and no these are not the spiritual tongues of prayer, because in this passage the groaning of the Spirit cannot be uttered. In the Greek, the words used here are groanings “stenagmois” means sighs and the word cannot be uttered is “alaleètois” which means unspeakable unspeakable sighs is not speakable sounds like those called tongues in the Pentecostal churches today.
This instead indicates just what it states,sighs are not any kind of gibberish, instead praying in silence, without the use of words.
The excuse of the spiritual languages or the language of prayer that is being used today, is nothing but a justification, very hard, actuallyimpossible to prove Biblical, justification to demonstrate that today’s speaking in tongues is the same sign gift of the days of Acts.
They cannot at all demonstrate to be able to speak in real world languages. I am not a language expert, but I can recognize the sound of many languages, sometimes even recognizing what language it is even not knowing the meaning of the words of some.
The Pentecostal/Charismatic gibberish is not any demonstrable nor comprehensible language or dialect in existence. Many language experts have been called to the task of recognizing languages or dialects while listening to today’s tongues, no one ever can recognize any language nor interpret what is being said.or very rarely in some casesa few words here and there were understood but never full and articulate sentences.
In many named churches, they have classes and persons that teach how to speak in tongues. This is ridiculous, the tongues of Acts were not ever taught, they were a gift, and they were real languages.
I do not think we need to go much further to see what is happening with today’s tongues. It is not the confirmation of anything, not of baptism, not of filling, not of anything, they confirm that they are not the same gift of Acts and that real gift is not active today.
This is why instead, going back to the context of LUKE 11:13 what interprets the Scripture is that every good gift that we need we have by the gift of gifts the Holy Spirit, which is the One who is given us as an answer to all we ask for.
A man named Simon, was the only person known in Scripture who asked to receive the Holy Spirit even by paying money for Him, was rebuked sharply, actually cursed, by Peter, but by the Scripture Simon appears to have believed, was even baptized in water, ACTS 8:9-24. Many will say that this proves that he had not received the Holy Spirit after having believed.
I believe instead that Simon Magus was not a real believer, but wanted to receive the power to attract attention onto himself. This is why Peter condemns him, and condemns his motivations and his heart. This is why even today, in a much subtler way many run after the tongues, signs and wonders, they prefer the gifts that are for show and attract the attention to the person who has the gift, namely them.
Another important thing that I would like to take into consideration is the passage in Acts 2, that reveals itself interesting. In the description of the many that believed Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost. It is not mentioned at all that they received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues.
What are we to deduce then from the fact that Luke did non write of such an event? Should we presume that they spoke in tongues even though it is not written? Can we instead presume that they did not receive the visible manifestation of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues because it is not written?
Since it is recorded in all the other accounts of Scripture regarding the baptism with the Spirit, can we then deduce that Luke omitted writing it because it did not occur in that same way?
Many will say that it is not written because we must take it for granted. If we use this errant reasoning, then it would not have been important to write of the other episodes either.
We can never make Scripture say what is not written directly and confirmed and taught or contradicted even by the entire Scripture. There are concepts not directly written out such as the Trinity for example, or the dispensation time periods in Israel’s redemption story. They are not spelled out but they are taught and confirmed by the Bible as a whole.
To me that which the Bible clearly demonstrates is enough to comprehend biblically that either foreign tongues are not spoken today and that are not those of Acts 2 and 1 Corinthians 14, however they are not at all the evidence of the baptism with the Holy Spirit nor the infilling.
This fact confirms that any type of experiences a person can have do not at all confirm doctrine. It is only sound and real Apostolic doctrine, properly interpreted which confirms if experiences are biblical or not, the context in fact of 1 Corinthians 14.
Except for those four episodes of apostolic confirmation mentioned, never again in the Bible is seen any other person who ever received salvation through the Gospel and who exhibited the speaking in tongues. It is obvious that in the first epistle to the Corinthians we understand that there were people who had the real gift of tongues and some who faked having it, but not all believers had it.
I firmly believe that if Paul or Peter were so attached to this doctrine of the baptism or the receiving of the Spirit as a second blessing as the Pentecostals and Charismatics are, they would have given detailed directives and instructions in regard, instead there is complete silence on the matter.
They would have, after all, the same way all these denominations that teach these doctrines do. The reality, however, is that all these doctrines were born out of taking Scripture out of context and not interpreting rightly the word of God. This was done to confirm experiences people had that were otherwise not founded on biblical facts.
To this day, I personally, in all my years of being together with Pentecostals have never heard any one speak a foreign existing language and certainly not as a testimony to Jews. No real experience that confirms what the Bible says in regard to this gift. God is not, giving signs to Israel and it would be then not useful to have a sign gift like this today. Paul teaches that this is the reason for the gift.
We should go deeper in this subject now by examining the only chapter in the Bible where this doctrine is expounded by an Apostle.
The only church where there was a problem with this gift.
Paul had to write to them to give them Apostolic instructions on the purpose, the function and the proper practice of this gift.
Apostolic instructions that the majority of the Pentecostal/Charismatic church disobeys continuously, disregarding Paul’s warning at the end of chapter 14 of 1 Corinthians,
1 Corinthians 14:36-40 Or did the word of God come originally from you? Or was it you only that it reached? 37 If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord. 38 But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant. 39 Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues. 40 Let all things be done decently and in order.
Remember, however that the whole base of the tongues of 1 Corinthians 14, is 1 CORINTHIANS 14:21-22 If you want to go beyond what is written , it’s up to you.
Let’s repeat now what we have said in the very beginning of our study,
The Holy Spirit NEVER, EVER, DOES ANYTHING AGAINST OR IN CONTRADICTIONto what the word of God says, commands and teaches.
The Holy Spirit is also the Spirit of truth, so calls Him Jesus, He would never then inspire God’s word and then act or operate differently from what He Himself inspired to be writtenin God’s word.
Before I begin, I wan to say that I know there are objectors to what I will explain that will say that Paul is making reference to the plurality of tongues, distinguishing between speaking only one tongue or a multitude of tongues. In other words that the gift itself is sub-divided into two categories of the gift.
In other words those who have the ability to speak in only one foreign language and those who have the ability to speak in more than one. This would be a useless distinction that does not even make any logic sense for the function of the gift.
The Scriptures speak of languages of the world and not nonexistent non biblical gibberish that is not a real language of the world. This whole problem today would die here, because today real languages are not spoken in the Pentecostal movement. In fact the same exact kind of gibberish we hear today is spoken by Roman Catholics and other people who practice other religions that are not even Christian.
How do we know which ones are genuine since there is never anyone who interprets them? Are we to assume that these other people who are not Christian, have received the baptism with the Holy Spirit with tongues? Are we to believe that these have what other real born again believers do not, because they do not speak in tongues?
So then these real believers are considered less spiritual than people who exhibit the same gibberish Pentecostals do. Wow! However, I need to respond biblically to this objection as well.
The one and only true grammatical description of the gift of tongues is found in
1 Corinthians 12:10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
The term in the Greek text is other tongues, not diverse and it is always in the plural form. The word diversity or diverse, were added by the biblical translators and are not present in the original texts.
Therefore, in the original text it would state to another (other) tongues. This is the description of the gift given by Paul, as well as,
1 Corinthians 12:28-30 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?
The word tongues referred to the real gift is always in the plural form. This is essential to understand the context and grammatical use in 1 Corinthians 14 because in regards to this Paul only in chapter 14 makes a distinction about the singular and plural form of the word tongue and tongues, but as we have seen in chapter 12 they are always referred to the gift of tongues in the plural not singular.
The use of diversity or plurality of tongues and tongue in the singular does not have anything to do with the distinction of singular and plural within the real gift.
With the purpose of bettering the study we will divide 1 Corinthians 14 in three sections that will concentrate on the theme of the gift of tongues and the gift of prophecy.
The first section is from verse1 to verse 19 and here Paul speaks of
The POSITION of the gift.
From verse 20 to verse 25 we find the PURPOSE of the gift,
and from verse 26 to verse 40 the PROCEDURE of the gift.
The position of the gift is SECONDARY,
The purpose isFOR ASIGN,
The procedure is SYSTEMATIC.
The gift of tongues is secondary because it is less important than the gift of prophecy. Why? Because the gift of prophecy edifies the church. Let’s remember that the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the profit of all 1 Corinthians 12:7. Tongues did not edify the church
1 CORINTHIANS 14:1-5. So according to the Apostle Paul what is the main reason the church comes together? The edification of the church, the spiritual growth of the body of Christ
EPHESIANS 4:11-16. In fact it is confirmed, in verse 26 of 1 Corinthians 14, Paul says, “ How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.”
Also in verse 12 Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel.
Verse 31 in regards to prophecy as well, For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged.
The purpose of coming together is to manifest the gifts delineated for the edification and the growth and the encouragement of the church. This is the primary purpose, the edification of the church through, teaching, preaching, and words of knowledge and wisdom, today through God’s written word.
The real gift of tongues was considered of secondary importance for Paul and prophesying of primary importance as it should be today, even because TODAY’S TONGUES DO NOT SERVE ANY PURPOSE WHATSOEVER, and they are not for today’s church.
Two obvious reasons are given of why the gift of tongues was inferior to prophecy and teaching, the first was that only through an interpreter could be understood what was being said and only with an interpreter the gift would have edifying value for the church.
The second reason it was inferior was because the purpose of the gift itself was not for the church but for Israel. Not for the believers but for the unbelieving Jews. This is the subject of Paul’s teaching on the real purpose of the real gift. In fact the second part of the chapter is to explain the intended purpose of the gift, we have mentioned it several times before, let’s look at it again.
1 Corinthians 14:21-22 Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature. 21 In the law it is written: “With men of other tongues and other lips I will speak to this people; And yet, for all that, they will not hear Me,” says the Lord. 22 Therefore tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophesying is not for unbelievers but for those who believe.
Here Paul quotes a passage in the OT precisely ISAIAH 28:11-12.
There is then the curious difference as we did mention before in the chapter where by the translators of the texts the word other in reference to tongues was added., and the difference of the use of the singular and plural in the word tongue/s. Paul distinguishes tongue and tongues, differentiating the two. So when you read the text in English you will read, other tongue, singular, remember the other was not written by Paul. In other places Paul uses the word tongues, plural. We have to focus on the use of the singular and the plural. There is a specific reason why Paul uses the distinction between singular and plural when referring to tongues. Paul identifies, as we have seen in chapter 12, the real gift of tongues using the plural form, he uses the plural for the real tongues. Paul instead uses the singular word tongue, to describe the language, pagan gibberish,the counterfeit gift.
What? Some will say aghast, you mean that gibberish tongue is pagan? Well, it is really no mystery that, for who has studied a little biblical historic background, that many of the behaviors, rites and traditions of the pagan world were dragged into the church. In fact we see Paul, in a special way writing to the church in Corinth, rebuking them for various reasons tied to paganism and idolatry that many would be bringing into the assemblies of the church.
In fact chapter 14 was really written to put an end to things and behaviors that were not acceptable in a Christian meeting and to bring back order in the meetings. Things that are problematic in the Pentecostal/ Charismatic churches today as well.
The false tongue, gibberish, used in pagan rites was imported in the church and it is in this context that Paul makes reference often and sarcastically to this practice, which he distinguishes from the real gift showing the difference in his writing. The tongue, (singular) is a tongue, or language considered ecstatic or let’s call it “spiritual” but not coming from the Holy Spirit, rather usually from the spirit and human fantasy and imagination, in some cases demonic manifestation.
A famous pagan temple of the day was erected to the god Apollos, was the temple of Delphi. In this temple would preside a so called priestess or prophetess of the represented divinity, called the oracle of Delphi. This prophetess to whom many form all parts of the known world would go to inquire the gods. She would enter like a medium would a trance, and would begin to utter an incomprehensible language. This language was called the language (in Greek tongue) of the gods or spiritual tongue. The tongue this priestess would speak had to be translated by a priest of the temple. This esoteric or ecstatic tongue, would develop as an incoherent and incomprehensible language, not with languages that are understandable in human terms. This type of language behavior was practiced not only by priests and priestesses, but by ordinary people engaging in pagan rites and ceremonies. This was considered a language to speak with the gods. These facts can be researched by you with a simple online search in regard to the subject. Pagan religions today have many subjects that speak in a spiritual tongue, such as the type that is used in the Pentecostal /Charismatic movements
It’s in this background that Paul is writing to the Corinthians, to put in order their meetings. Paul knows the difference between this pagan tongue used in pagan ceremonies and the real gift of tongues given by the Holy Spirit in Acts2 or 1 Corinthians 12:10. This subject is tied also to what Jesus said when he spoke regarding prayer. A fact that escapes the eye and ear today is that Bible translation in another language other than the original text often loses the true meaning of what was otherwise intended by the writer.
Unfortunately most believers today either do not or cannot take the time, I lean toward they do not, take the time to really study the word of God the way it has to be studied. In the historical context of the time in which it is written and the grammatical context of the original text it was written in. This brings us often to misunderstand a lot of what is being written,it brings to interpret wrongly the word and to espouse false doctrines or passages only partially well interpreted.
Let’s look at the passage where Jesus gives instructions how not to pray.
Matthew 6:7-8 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.
Notice that Jesus uses distinct words to describe how the heathens, or the pagans pray, using vain repetitions. The Greek word used here is “ battalogeo”.Interesting word, compound word, batta and logeo.
Batta in Greek is not even an actual word, rather a sound to indicate just that, a sound without a meaning, an incoherent sound, a sound without sense, like a senseless stutter, logeo means words.
So the literal translation would be, incoherent sounds as words, senseless stuttering as words. This gives the connotation for the use of incoherent sounds instead of comprehensible words, such as a sound like batta-batta-batta. Jesus is not saying in reality that the words used by the heathens are words that can be comprehended but they are many, this is how we would comprehend it reading it in English, but, Jesus is warning the Jews, not to be sounding like the pagans who use vain repetitive sounds , even the sounding of real many words in the same fashion, is not what makes God answer prayer. The reality and context of the pagan prayer language is confirmed even biblically by Jesus. So we can comprehend the context of 1 Corinthians 14 just in the light of the true gift and the false tongue, the pagan language. So again, to distinguish the two, Paul uses the singular tongue and tongues plural forms of the word to distinguish the true form the false.
1 Corinthians 14:2 For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries.
No, we cannot build an entire doctrine on a prayer language from this passage, because the purpose of the real gift of tongues was to speak to men and not God. So the first thing that Paul does, he uses the singular form of tongue,but follow Paul’s teaching, in Acts 2 as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 14:21-22 for what purpose are tongues given? As a sign, to who? To unbelieving Jews. Are Jews men? Yes. But here Paul says who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, This is a theme and a context that is entirely different.
A theme and a context NEVER delineated by other Scriptures. Who speaks in tongues with interpretation speaks to men, it is obvious, otherwise why would you need interpretation? God does not need interpreters to understand a language, especially if the language, as our Pentecostal brothers and sisters say, it is indeed a gift to speak to God. In fact Paul rightly says that who speaks in other tongue does not speak to men but to a god. Yes, because in the literal Greek, in this passage would have to be translated properly to a god and not to God, because the article the in front of God is missing, that is the article which gives to the word God the representation of the true, one and only God. Paul’s theme then is that one with a tongue does not speak to men, for it is useless to speak to men with it, but speaks instead to a god, not the real God. In spirit. What spirit? The human spirit not the Spirit of God. If it were the Holy Spirit it would definitely be specified.
The spirit is referred to the spirit of man. It is then in the person’s spirit that mysteries would be spoken. Paul then is NOT saying that it is good to exercise a special “spiritual language of prayer”,even because even if such a language existed it would not edify the church, instead it would only “edify” one self. Personal edification is not the reason why the church comes together, the manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit is for the common good 1 CORINTHIANS 12:7, not personal.
My gift is not for me, it’s for others, others’ gifts are not for them they are for me and others. Whoever uses this justification for the personal use of this gift would be in contradiction with the Holy Spirit and with Apostolic doctrine.
It’s the argument that Paul presents in 1 Corinthians 14:4-5 He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. 5 I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.
In these two verses we see that Paul is giving us the first point, that he who speaks in a tongue
does not edify the church, rather the person feels spiritual for himself, he swells with spiritual pride, he edifies himself. In the sad majority of the case the person only deceives himself. Note the sarcasm and the disapproval of Paul. It has to constantly be repeated that the only edification that counts is when we manifest the gifts of the Spirit ONLY FOR THE COMMON GOOD, in love
That is why 1 Corinthians 13 is sandwiched between 12 and 14.
The argument that Paul is giving is this, even if, a person could speak in a spiritual tongue and could edify themselves, this kind of behavior is not acceptable in the church. Paul eliminates the practice of speaking in a tongue. In verse 5 in fact, what Paul is saying changes tone, in other words he would have no objection is ALL believers spoke with the real gift of tongues from the Holy Spirit, but only if the tongues were interpreted. Once again this passage confirms that the real gift of tongues is not for every believer, those who do not have it are NOT INFERIOR to those who do. In fact, one who has the gift of prophecy, as a gift, it is superior to the gift of tongues.
It is then evident that this passage completely eliminates the the doctrine that the gift of tongues confirms the baptism or the infilling of the Spirit. To speak in real tongues an interpreter is needed in order to make the gift an edifying one for the church, see end of verse 5.As a manner of fact in verse 6 Paul says, But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you unless I speak to you either by revelation, by knowledge, by prophesying, or by teaching?
Paul recognizes that even the use of the real gift, in fact he uses the plural tongues, does not bring utility to the church for edification, while apostolic revelation, knowledge prophesying and teaching would edify. Yes, Paul is really saying, if I come to you who speak Greek, speaking in tongues it will not profit you, unless I spoke Greek, or if as said before someone would interpret.
In the following passage, Paul with irony and sarcasm compares all the incoherent noise the Corinthians were making in their meetings, like is happening today, even using their real gift of tongues and also the counterfeit gifts of tongue and comparing them to out of tune instruments which cannot play any coherent tune or melody, while instead they emit unrecognizable sounds that do not amount to anything that a person could comprehend. In other words, great chaos an nothing else.
1 Corinthians 14:7-12 Even things without life, whether flute or harp, when they make a sound, unless they make a distinction in the sounds, how will it be known what is piped or played? 8 For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare himself for battle? 9 So likewise you, unless you utter by the tongue words easy to understand, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air. 10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of languages in the world, and none of them is without significance. 11 Therefore, if I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be a foreigner to him who speaks, and he who speaks will be a foreigner to me. 12 Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel.
Focusing on verses 8-9, it the trumpet sounds a tune no soldier recognizes, who will prepare for battle? There is confusion in the barracks. In the same way then, if it is not understood what is being said, in other words an incomprehensible sound, how can any one understand that which is being said for the common edification? We see Paul in fact that even worsens the situation saying, you would be speaking into the air, not even to God. Paul then specifies that he is speaking of known world tongues that have a meaning for who understands them and not an unknown tongue no one can ever understand. In fact otherwise we would be as strangers one to another.
Is it not what is happening in certain denominations today? Paul instead makes it clear,this kind of confusion is useless, instead of trying to abound in gifts that can really edify the church.
These are not the “ Charismatic gifts” rather prophecy, teaching, knowledge, wisdom, gifts that will edify and make the church grow to maturity, not those that are spectacular and attract attention to the gifted.
Notice verses 13-14, the words used are very important, 13 Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful.
Here we need to make sure we understand precisely the real meaning of what Paul is saying, First of all, he is saying that those who “speak in a tongue” the non language, the gibberish, the language that does not exist, as we have said before the pagan ecstatic language some were speaking, those Paul says an interesting thing, pray that he may interpret.
We need to really understand what this really means. Paul is using irony and sarcasm because it is first of all impossible to interpret a language that does not exist. To pray to receive the gift of interpretation, for the person who actually speaks this tongue is only sarcasm because it is a spiritual impossibility and it would be a violation of Scripture. We cannot pray to receive a specific gift. There are two passages that deny the possibility to request a spiritual gift for oneself.
1 Corinthians 12:8-11 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
1 Corinthians 12:29-30 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?
It seems very clear, that through the same Spirit to each person is given a gift distributed to each person exactly as the Spirit wishes, not as the believer wishes, but as the Spirit of God wishes.
In fact Paul in this chapter of 1 Corinthians 12 exposes the truth that the believers are not all the same part of the body nor can they desire which part to be. They cannot desire to be an ear if the Spirit made them an eye. The same for the gifts, which are actually connected to the part one is made. This all means that one cannot pray to receive a particular gift of the Spirit. At the end of chapter 12 in fact the rhetorical question Paul asks in our case, can all speak in tongues or can all interpret? The only obvious and right answer is NO! This then excludes that a person could request a specific gift.
The same person then, CANNOT speak in a tongue and also interpret the same tongue they speak. Or a person speaks in tongues or another interprets. Even by logic, what purpose would it really have if a person could interpret what they say in spiritual tongue ? What credibility would the person have? Yet, only another person could interpret tongues, real languages of the world if it were possible only another person could interpret an ecstatic language, but certainly not the one who speaks it. One could then say what they feel like saying and make it pass for the word of God. At that point however if one could interpret what they themselves are saying, it would become totally useless to speak it first in a tongue or even tongues before interpreting it. One could then interpret immediately in the language that could be understood; the same way after all a language interpreter would do. For example, I speak, read and write Italian and English at the same level, but if I had to interpret what I could hear in English into Italian I would not have to speak aloud in English before I interpret it in Italian, I would immediately translate and speak it into Italian. What sense at all would it have then for a person to even interpret themselves what they say? It would be absurd under every circumstance. No, only another person with the gift of interpretation could validly interpret tongues the real gift, because no one can interpret a tongue, the gibberish.
So, Paul in 1 CORINTHIANS 14:13-14 is saying how it would be an impossibility for one that speaks in a tongue to pray to interpret what he is saying. In fact because it is impossible, he says if you pray in a tongue it is the human spirit that prays and not the Holy Spirit, but the man’s spirit that would be praying, while the mind remains unfruitful.
So if that which is being prayed is not useful because it cannot be interpreted , what the man does in that case is useless. Paul is also teaching that it is not good to have an unfruitful mind, to have the mind in neutral, we must instead keep it active and fruitful. God has given us a mind with which, He wants us to love Him, worship Him and praise Him. The mind has to obviously be submitted to the Holy Spirit and therefore it is this way we must worship God in Spirit and in truth. Only the mind that reasons can discern the truth that the Holy Spirit reveals to us through the word of God.
It is never OK when the mind remains unfruitful and inactive.
Whatever the gift of the Spirit might be given by the Spirit as He wishes, we have to accept it with humble submission to the will of God, It is not OK to fake having the gift to appear more spiritual.
The easiest to fake then is tongues. This is why there needs to be an interpreter, always, to verify what is being said and that the church would receive edification. Did you ever ask yourself why in 1 CORINTHIANS 12:1-3 certain things are written? Let’s examine them together,
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: 2 You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led. 3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.
Three important truths in this passage we need to understand. The first, Paul says that he does not want the Corinthian believers to be ignorant concerning spiritual gifts. Why? There was evident ignorance in this church regarding the manifestation of the gifts. Secondly, Paul explains to them that he did not want them to be guided by the impulses of the moment in the manifestation of the gifts as they did when they participated in pagan ceremonies, when they followed the dumb idols’ ways. Third point, dumb idols, because they could not speak themselves, they needed to have men or demons speak some pagan gibberish to be able to hear them speak. The difference between the real and only God and the false gods. Because of these things, Paul says that no one speaking by the Holy Spirit in any way could ever say Jesus is accursed. This gives us evidence that in Corinth in the church people were cursing Jesus in the great chaos of their assemblies, probably even using a foreign tongue. For this reason also that when there is an interpreter real and false information being uttered was possible to be recognized as such and determining if what was being said proceeded from God or it was a fabrication of the human mind or even worse demonic.
Getting back to 1 Corinthians 14, some now will say, Paul is saying that the Corinthians were desiring gifts and then he tells them to desire to prophesy, but then we can ask for specific gifts. Noooo!!! We cannot,that is the point of the entire argument that Paul is making. We can desire the gifts and ask that the Lord give them to the church for the edification of the church in the general sense of the request, but not individually for ourselves.
At the end of 1 Corinthians 12 what does Paul say? But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.
No, what Paul is saying to them here, it is not alright to earnestly desire the showy gifts such as power, miracles and tongues. Paul instead brings them to understand what they should strive to manifest more than anything, BIBLICAL LOVE. He writes for them chapter 13 that speaks of biblical love, instead of the gifts he speaks to them about the fruit of the Spirit (love).
The gifts, Paul says the Spirit gives as He pleases to whom He pleases, love He gives to all, for all and all must be manifested in love. Corinthians seek and desire to love and do everything in love.
Paul is saying there is a more excellent way, a higher way than to look to manifest the best gifts.
God wants that we practice and seek to love, After chapter 13 ends in fact opens chapter 14 with this very important exhortation.
1 Corinthians 14:1 Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.
We see then how Paul closed 1 Corinthians 12 saying But earnestly desire the best gifts remember he is saying this in a negative way, not encouraging to do it,that would violate the entire context of chapter 12. He speaks to them now about the supremacy of love and begins to speak about the order of the meetings and the speaking in tongues and tongue by exhorting them to pursue love in the church and the edification of the church, not to try to fake the gift of tongues to appear spiritual, that is selfish and not loving.
If you notice, in Pentecostal/Charismatic meetings when they begin to speak in a tongue a great chaos is lifted, indescribable confusion, incomprehensible gibberish from which no one at all receives edification. Paul instead criticizes and prohibits such behavior in the assembly. In fact even the real gift of tongues could not be used unless there were interpreters, figure then the counterfeit one.
It is crystal clear then that Paul would have NEVER APPROVED of the chaos and confusion of the manifestation of fake tongue speaking that is practiced today, he did not approve it then and even did not approve of the real gift when not manifested with order and rule. Paul called the Corinthian assembly to order, there is no apostolic commanded order in Pentecostal meetings today.
1 Corinthians 14:23-25 Therefore if the whole church comes together in one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those who are uninformed or unbelievers, will they not say that you are out of your mind? 24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all. 25 And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; see HEBREWS 4:12 and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you.
What demonstrates that God is in the church? Speaking in tongues even the real gift? No, the preaching of the word of God, when the Spirit through the word convicts the sinner JOHN 16:8
1 Corinthians 14:27-28 If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret. 28 But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God.
So as it was then it is today, if anyone speaks in a tongue, take notice he does not say when one speaks but if one speaks, when would indicate the regular operation and manifestation of the real gift, but since the word tongue is used and the word if is used, it indicates that if one speaks in a tongue, false manifestation, only one at a time please, but there has to be an interpreter. If there is no interpreter one must keep silent in the church. So even if the reference were to speaking in real tongues if there are no interpreters one must keep silent in the church. This excludes also that the same speaker could interpret himself.
Notice the sarcasm of Paul, but the truth, in other words Paul is saying, since there cannot be an interpreter for the fake speaking in a pagan tongue, then keep quiet in the church, speak in silence to yourselves or to God. But the same principle would apply for the operation of the real gift.
For these two commandments of apostolic authority in today’s Pentecostal/Charismatic churches as well as in Corinth there would be complete silence as far as speaking in a fake pagan tongue and order, interpretation, edification or silence even in the speaking of the real tongues.
In the Pentecostal/Charismatic today the real gift of tongues is not ever spoken, the speak in a tongue, but never one at a time never with interpretation. Today there is nothing but chaos, disorderly conduct and disobedience to the word of God, without speaking of the falsification of the real gift of tongues which has ceased to be operational for over 1900 years.
If the real gift was still in operation there would be Jews to witness as a prophetic sign, we would still be in the transitional period between Messianic Kingdom and church, there would be interpreters and unbelieving Jews who would comprehend the spoken tongues and all would be done in the order that Paul commanded to have in the assemblies. None of these conditions are present today, so I leave you at the one and only conclusion regarding the other tongue spoken in the churches today.
1 Corinthians 14:37-40 If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord. 38 But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant. 39 Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues. 40 Let all things be done decently and in order.
Today instead those who think themselves to be a prophet or to be spiritual are clearly and openly disobeying the commandments of God given Paul. How can God bless entire congregations that clearly and openly disobey God’s commandments by Paul’s apostolic doctrine? You are only deceiving yourselves, God does not bless disobedience, Those who behave contrary to God’s instructions are not spiritual but carnal. Exactly the problem in the Corinthian church and alive and well in churches today. In verse 33 Paul had already stated For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.
Today, even I, if the real gift of tongues, in other words of languages of the world spoken by the Spirit of God, was operational with interpretation, would not forbid to speak in tongues
It is clear in the Pentecostal/Charismatic churches today, the real gift of tongues does not exist, because it does not exist any longer. Instead chaos exists, disobedience, confusion and spiritual pride and therefore love does not prevail, we are experiencing Corinth all over again but multiplied by one thousand. This is even more the evidence that those who like to proclaim themselves apostles and prophets today, do not, could not, retain those offices and positions that are the same of the apostles of Christ and prophets of those days. If they were real apostles they would teach and apply the same doctrine of 1 Corinthians 14 in their assemblies. Instead it is they who encourage the believers to disobey the real apostolic instructions of Paul, of God’s word, and teach erroneous doctrines to the believers in their congregations.
So it is obvious that Paul is concluding saying not to forbid the speaking in tongues, the real ones, which had to be practiced decently and in order, as the apostolic instructions had delineated for the Corinthian church.
To conclude the teaching on this subject regarding the gift of tongues, I would like to review another famous passage that the Pentecostal/Charismatic friends love to use to create another doctrine to justify the confusion of their tongue speaking today. The famous passage is used in concert with the passage in ROMANS 8:26-27 which also has nothing to do with speaking in other tongue as a prayer language. In fact, the other passage from where the doctrine on prayer language that does not exist in Scripture is built, is this one
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
Especially the first verse is used to support that an angelic language exists that man can speak and that that is the language that is spoken in the churches today. I need however to ask my Pentecostal friends that say this, you declare that the language you speak is what Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 13:1 and that you call spiritual language and that this language is also the Holy Spirit which prays in accord with Romans 8:26 and in addition you claim that it is the same gift and confirmation of Acts 2, 10,19, 1 Corinthians 12? It cannot be!
We have already seen that Scripture confirms clearly that the tongue spoken today is not the same gift of Acts 2, 10, 19, 1Corinthians 12, 1 Corinthians 14:21-22. If it is not that gift then it cannot be the confirmation of the baptism with the Holy Spirit nor the filling of the Spirit. So I ask you what is it? A spiritual language? Angelic or the Holy Spirit that prays?
Scripture nowhere sustains the doctrines in regard to the tongue spoken today.
1Corinthians 13:1 does not at all speak of men being able to speak the language of angels, but Paul instead is using a certain rhetorical figure of speech used often in the Bible also by Jesus, called hyperbole. Hyperbole is a figure of speech in which statements are exaggerated.
It may be used to evoke strong feelings or to create a strong impression, but is rarely meant to be taken literally. Hyperbole is used to create emphasis. It is a literary instrument often used in poetry , and it is frequently found in casual speech. It presupposes the good faith of those who use it, it is not in fact an alteration of the truth with the intention to deceive but, to the contrary, it is intended to give credibility to the message, through an excess of the phrase that would imprint in the listener the concept one wants to express.
Paul is therefore saying “ Even if I spoke all languages men speak and even if I could speak the language of angels” impossible as well as the fact that no one could verse 2-3 understand all mysteries and have all knowledge, no one could actually move a mountain out of its place, know any one who did, having all faith? No! These are hyperbole, things that cannot happen in reality but even if they could they would not be of any use or profit without love, that was the point Paul was making. He is not confirming that him or anyone else was capable of speaking the language of angels
Let’s give the benefit of the doubt, what about an angelic language? What purpose would it have in a practical way?
Let’s think about it for a moment. In the Bible when angels spoke with men, for men to understand them what language was used?
Angels have always spoken the language of the persons who they wanted to communicate with, there are so many episodes of these occurrences, let’s mention a few.
GENESIS 19: 1-3angels speak to Lot in his language and Lot speaks to them in his own human language. ISAIAH 6: 2-7 Isaiah hears angels cry out in praise to God and he hears them in his language as well as when the angel speaks to him.
DANIEL 9: 21-27The Archangel Michael spoke and gave a revelation to Daniel and this was done in Daniel’s human language.
The Archangel Gabriel is the one who also spoke to John the Baptist’s fatherLUKE 1: 11-20 as well as to Mary the mother of JesusLUKE 1: 26-35 and also to Joseph Mary’s husband MATTHEW 1: 20-21 . As we see in all these stated episodes Gabriel speaks in the comprehensible language of the people he speaks to and they respond in their own human spoken language.ZECHARIAH 1: 9-19 angel speaks to Zechariah in his own language and Zechariah speaks to the angel in his own human language.
When the women go to the grave and see Jesus’ empty tomb they see angels whom speak to them in their own languageMARK 16: 5-7, LUKE 24: 3-7 . Angels spoke to the disciples in the disciples’ language right after Jesus’ ascensionACTS 1: 10-11
Now, many could say, probably would say, “yes, but this was before the giving of the Holy Spirit, after, when the gift became available to man the angelic language became also available”. OK, the question would remain for what purpose whatsoever would this angelic language exist? After the giving of the Holy Spirit angels still spoke to people and people still spoke to them in the same manner they spoke before God sent the Holy Spirit, in other words in their own earthly languages ACTS 5: 19-20 , ACTS 12: 7-9 .
Once again the angel spoke to the Apostles in their own earthly language not in some angelic language nor some prayer language. There are other incidents where men spoke with angels and angels with men but nowhere in the Bible is it recorded or mentioned that a special language or angelic language was necessary for them to communicate. Now if angels spoke to men and men with angels in the earthly language of that person this means that at least between angels and men a special language is not needed.
Now, here we come to the most important issue, and it is this, does man need a special prayer language or angelic language to speak with God? If yes, as our Pentecostal brothers and sisters continue to say, the very important question still remains why?
Is God omniscient? Yes. In fact He even knows our thoughts and what we are going to say even before we say itPSALMS 139: 1-4 and He knows what we need even before we ask for it ISAIAH 65: 24 ,MATTHEW 6: 8
Does God not understand the earthly languages of man? Yes of course He understands them. Is it necessary for Him to understand or to listen to a prayer language or angelic language to answer prayer? No, absolutely not!
In fact, every single instance of recorded prayer written in the Bible is prayed in the original earthly language of the people that uttered the prayers to God.
There are too many of these recorded prayers to mention here but you can search high and low in the Bible and you will not find one episode of recorded prayer that is not prayed in a human language.
However, let’s limit ourselves to see what Jesus Himself said when asked how one should pray. What does He tell His disciples but the words and content with which one should prayMATTHEW 6: 7-13 . He did not ever mention praying in a spiritual language, rather He, the most spiritual person that ever existed NEVER prayed in a spiritual language but only in His human earthly language MATTHEW 11: 25-27 ,MARK 14: 35-40 InJOHN 17: 1-26 an entire prayer, one chapter long is recorded and it is not prayed in a spiritual prayer language rather in the language Jesus spoke on earth.
Why did not the Son of God exercise a prayer, angelic kind of language? I’ll tell you why, it does not exist and it was not necessary, and it is not necessary today, that is not what the gift of tongues or better yet of languages was. Paul explained to us exactly in plain English, Greek whatever, what this gift was for 1 CORINTHIANS 14: 21-22 .
For example once Jesus groaned in Himself,JOHN 11: 38 but that would be consistent withROMANS 8: 26-27 and not with 1 CORINTHIANS 13: 1 , nor with1 CORINTHIANS 14: 14-17 nor with EPHESIANS 6: 18neither with
Jude 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,
These Scriptures that speak of praying in the Spirit and Jesus’ groaning in Himself are consistent with ROMANS 8: 26-27 and with the fact that one needs to pray in a manner consistent with the will of God and this is found in His word. So praying in the Spirit or the Holy Spirit is praying in a way consistent with how one ought to pray according to the word of God. To know what to pray for and how to pray is found in God’s word and not in a strange spiritual or angelic language where no one not even who prays knows anything that is being said.
We cannot make a whole doctrine on this language of prayer based on these few scattered passages which need to be brought together within the whole context of Scripture and what it confirms and demonstrates regarding how believers are to pray.
In fact, in1 CORINTHIANS 14: 14-17 the context is still at best speaking of earthly foreign languages, not angelic ones, nor prayer language, which is never ever mentioned in Scripture. These languages in essence are not comprehensible to the one who prays in one of those languages, nor are they comprehensible neither are they of any use to those who listen.
That is the only reason why Paul mentions the fact that one prays in the spirit, little s, not capital S as in Spirit. Look at the difference of what Paul is saying here in comparison to the other passages we mentioned where the believers are exhorted to pray in the Spirit.
In fact in the Greek they are different words. While in Jude 20 it is clear Jude is referring to the Holy Spirit as that is how He indicates Him, in Ephesians 6:18 Paul uses the word Spirit, in Greek Pneùmati.
In1 CORINTHIANS 14: 14-17 Paul uses the word pneùmà . This use of a different version of the word and the small p and capital P used in the different passages give us the confirmation that we are speaking of two different things here.
Now an angelic language as we saw would be useless because to communicate with angels earthly languages have always been employed. In addition, an angelic language as that is what it is called, would only be useful to communicate with angles, but man does not pray to any other than God, man is not to invoke nor pray to angels.
God on the other hand, as we saw, does not need us to communicate with Him in any language at all for that matter as He knows the desires of our heart, He knows our thoughts, so we can even pray in silence without even saying a thing.
1 Samuel 1:12-16 And it happened, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli watched her mouth. 13 Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk. 14 So Eli said to her, “How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!” 15 And Hannah answered and said, “No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD.
By the way another thing praying in the Spirit is not, it is not praying in the spirit, this means that it is the Spirit of God who often, rather should always really initiate our prayers through the word of God or by placing what God desires for us to pray in our spirit, that is in essence what ROMANS 8: 26-27really means.
However it is evident in all of Scripture OT and NT that the primary means of prayer is the normal human, earthly language of the person praying to God. No special prayer language or angelic language is ever needed or ever was employed in the whole Bible.
Paul is not confirming at all that he or anyone else was capable of speaking the language of angels. Even if this language existed, men do not speak it, because the gift of the Spirit is either speaking in real world languages, which is what Scripture confirms that they are, or it would be otherwise an angelic language, or it is the Holy Spirit who prays for us, but they cannot be all three. So please can you decide once and for all what languages you are speaking today.
There is however yet another reason why the Pentecostals / Charismatics want to promote this strange language that nobody can understand.
We have seen previously that the origins of this strange language spoken today is almost certainly due to two sources of origin.
The first one is that this language is a language originating from a pagan practice and therefore has a connection to something false, but also supernatural, so that the source is demonic.
Now I want to make astatement here, I do not think that all those who speak this strange language are directly affected by anything that invades them or owns them in the spiritual sense.
I believe however that the initial source of speaking in tongues at the birth of the Pentecostal movement in the early twentieth century was demonic, the rest has become in most cases in which this language is used, only one mimicry of the demonic original language.However, it is false and is not from the Holy Spirit.
Then the second thing is that most of the Pentecostal believers speak this strange language because of continued exposure to it it is learned in their minds by hearing it constantly spoken. Obviously, the human mind is like this after all. If you hear something so many times our mind creates a memory and if it is constantly heard the memory becomes programmed that inevitably becomes something that involves the conduct of the person.
However, that this language is not the language which is spoken in Biblical writing is also evidenced by these facts confirmed for us in many storiesof people who were speakers of these languages and recanted.
They themselves emerged from both the Pentecostal / charismatic movement and also ceased to use this language because they themselves have admitted that they had spoken it only having learned it mentally and spoke it because they wanted to feel accepted and valued in their communities.
Often, it depends on which church you belong to, but in many if there is no evidence of speaking in tongues you are not only considered an immature believer but you can not even serve in the church, you can not have positions and ministries.
The reason, however, more psychologically misleading is this, you have to lie if you want to serve and also because the Pentecostal /charismatic movement is linked to the false doctrine of Arminianism, the doctrine that erroneously teaches that you can lose your salvation and go to hell even if you are a born-again believer.
The only assurance, security, or confirmation that they have to declare that they still are in the grace of God and being filled with the Holy Spirit is therefore speaking in tongues.
This then in fact becomes the only source and hope that they have tobelong to God , some fundamentalists and fanatic Pentecostals and charismatics even have the courage to say that if you are not baptized with the Holy Spirit, which can and is only confirmed by speaking in tongues, you’re not even saved.
Now, they are partially right in saying this because if you are not baptized with and in the Holy Spirit you are not born again and are not in Christ however this is not at all evidenced by tongues,
see in fact1 CORINTHIANS 12: 13 and1 CORINTHIANS 12: 11 and most importantly 1 CORINTHIANS 12: 30 , to which the answer is no!
Now these are a minority thank God, but let’s see how this thing is still very attached to their only way they have to haveassurance of salvation and that even if the majority of Pentecostals do not believe as these fanatics do, they are influenced at least to see themselves speaking in tongues as being intrinsically linked to the only one source of security that they have to be still in the grace of God.
Meanwhile, perhaps many still live and act in disobedience to the Word of God, but they delude themselves of being filled with the Spirit because they speak in tongues.
There is in fact the problem of going against the Scripture for example and speaking in tongues without an interpreter in the assembly and doing it out of control and out of order as the Scripture says not to do, so if there is no interpreter and it teaches to do it in order why do they inisist on disobeying God’s word?
However the fruit of the Spirit is also described as self-control. There is thus a hypothetical demonstration of a gift in their tongue speaking, but there is no proof of the fruit of the Spirit, how is this possible when we have already said and repeat again that
The Holy Spirit NEVER, EVER does anything or works in contradiction to what He says, commands and teaches in the word of God
The Holy Spirit is also the Spirit of truth, so called Him Jesus, then He cannot inspire the word of God and then do or act differently or inconsistently with what He himself inspired to write in the word of God.
However, I wonder how many poor people are deceived by their speaking in tongues and the one other believes to not because their security is by faith in Christ but it is in their false spiritual experience.
This is also an important link to the speech of false prophets and apostles, why? Because they always need to have something that can somehow give the appearance of the supernatural why?
To give credibility to their false prophecies and false doctrines, which is why the languages spoken today, and therefore the false signs and wonders and miracles exist today, so people believe in what these these false prophets and apostles teach.
Without these things the credibility of God’s word would have to be believed by faith, but faith with these things it is no longer necessary, and then the sight and the senses become what they believe the word of God with.
This is extremely dangerous. Why? Because it can be believed only by faith, real faith, faith, motivated only by the work of the Holy Spirit and not by language, signs and wonders in a way that satisfies the senses and the carnal desires of the people.
This all becomes like a drug and is addictive and so people do not live by faith but by the experience of these things, instead of believing and obeying the word of God only.
And so, having proven false the tongue or language spoken today in the Pentecostal churches now we will prove biblically and will examine biblically other things we must prove and examine to see if they hold up to the scrutiny and correct interpretation of Scripture.
Now we will prove biblically and examine biblically even the other things we must prove and examine, to see if indeed they will hold up under the correct interpretation of Scripture.
We will examine the fact that the greater if not all of the Pentecostal/Charismatic movements believe that the office of Apostle of Christ and prophet are still valid and active today in the same way they were during the infancy of the church. This doctrine also, as those until now delineated, is due to erroneous comprehension and erroneous interpretation of the Bible.
This false doctrine brings much confusion, deception and pain into the lives of many innocent believers that remain bamboozled and deceived by the false revelations and prophecies, without mentioning the astute manipulation of many of these false ministers. So it is, that many good believers in many churches whom really love God with sincerity and want to do the will of God, find themselves without knowledge, to be victims to the false doctrines that their denominations teach and promote, often even without malice.
Nevertheless even they are all deceived by the lies perpetrated by the false teachers that sowed them all through the last century and passed them down as apostolic doctrine from generation to generation. These doctrines have been defended and are being defended as apostolic doctrines but are in opposition to the true Apostle’s doctrines.
My heart reaches out to these brothers and sisters that have been deceived by false teachings and I really pray and hope that in their spiritual life they can be victorious and be set free from those errors, hoping that what Jesus said becomes reality in their life.
John 8:31-32 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Therefore, I encourage you brothers and sisters, abide in the written word of God and you will truly be His disciples, you will come to know the truth and it will set you free, free from erroneous thinking, erroneous doctrines and free from those who want to either knowingly or unknowingly deceive you.