Baptism with the Holy Spirit

 

 

12. Where are - according to your point of view - all those who lived before the birth of the Pentecostal Movement, which rose at the beginning of the twentieth century? Were they mistaken? Have you ever wondered if speaking with tongues was so much important in order to receive the Holy Spirit, or His manifestation? Why did speaking in tongues occur just three times? And why did the apostle Paul in all his doctrinal epistles never mention it? Then I will give you by myself the explanation with the Word of God. Why did the disciples speak with other tongues? It was absolutely necessary an outward sign, otherwise the disciples would not know that the Holy Spirit had been poured out and that the Holy Spirit might be given also to the pagans, while to us who live after that period of introduction to the new dispensation cannot be said that the Baptism with the Holy Spirit is necessarily connected with speaking with other tongues; on the contrary, Paul affirms that not all speak with other tongues (1 Corinthians 12:13-30). If it were as you would like us to believe, why then did the same Spirit not guide Paul to write that thing in his epistles, where we can read the fundamental doctrines of Christianity? And if the Holy Spirit did not prompt Paul to write that, why today do you want to make it become a doctrine? Why did not Paul and many others speak in tongues when they were converted? Why did not Elizabeth speak in tongues when her baby leaped in her womb?

 

 

 

All those believers that from the day of Pentecost until the beginning of the twentieth century believed and stated that the baptism with the Holy Spirit or the filling up with the Holy Spirit was not immediately followed by speaking with other tongues, were mistaken just as are mistaken all those believers who believe and teach such a thing nowadays. It does not matter how much famous were those believers, they did not believe nor teach rightly concerning the baptism with the Holy Spirit. Of course I am not saying that they were not born again, but only that they lacked knowledge on this part of the counsel of God. They were in a condition similar to that of Apollos before he met Aquila and Priscilla, for Apollos – even though he taught about Jesus accurately – knew only the baptism of John (so he did not know the baptism with the Holy Spirit) and when Aquila and Priscilla heard him “they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly” (Acts 18:26). Of course, those believers were saved if they continued in the faith to the end, but on this point they were mistaken. They were mistaken as all those believers who taught that water baptism could be ministered to infants too, or that water baptism had the power to regenerate spiritually the sinner, and so on. Can you say that those believers taught about water baptism accurately? Certainly not. So why are you offended if I say that those believers who taught that the baptism with the Spirit is not followed by speaking in tongues were mistaken?

Now I will give an answer to these other questions of yours: why did speaking in tongues occur only three times, and why did Paul not speak in tongues when he was converted? First of all I want to say that the fact that in the book of the Acts of the apostles are recorded only three cases in which believers began to speak with other tongues when the Holy Spirit came on them, does not mean at all that speaking in tongues occurred only three times during all those years that went from the ascension of Christ to the journey of Paul to Rome. If we came to this conclusion, we should also come to the conclusion that since in the book of the Acts of apostles only once it is written that a believer was baptized by immersion – I am referring to the Eunuch of whom Luke says that he and Philip went down both into the water and Philip baptized him (Acts 8:38) – at that time water baptism was not always ministered by immersion and thus we should not conclude that water baptism must be ministered only by immersion!!! And again, we should also conclude that since in the book of the Acts of the apostles it is not written even once that believers were baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit as Jesus – before He was taken up to heaven (Matthew 28:19) - had commanded the apostles to do (I say it again, not even once), the apostles did not baptize using the Trinitarian formula but they baptized only in the name of Jesus Christ!! And in addition to this, we should conclude that since it is not always written that believers were baptized in water (see the examples of the believers at Antioch of Syria, of the proconsul Sergius Paulus, of the believers at Antioch of Pisidia, at Iconium, at Thessalonica, and at Athens), not always the believers at that time were baptized in water, thus today believers are not bound to be baptized!! Now, I ask you: ‘Can we come to such conclusions?’ Certainly not. Therefore, the fact that in the Acts only three times it is written that believers spoke with other tongues when they were filled with the Holy Spirit, cannot lead us to think that speaking with other tongues was not a phenomenon that occurred every time a believer was filled with the holy Spirit and consequently we must not always expect that a believer will speak with other tongues when he is filled with the Holy Spirit.

As for Paul, we need to say that even though it is not written in book of Acts that when he was filled with the Holy Spirit through the laying on of the hands of Ananias he began to speak with other tongues, actually he began to speak with other tongues. We infer this from the fact that Paul said to the saints of Corinth that he did speak with other tongues (1 Corinthians 14:18)

You say that Paul in his epistles never speaks about speaking with other tongues as a sign of the baptism with the Holy Spirit. You are right, however I would like you to note that in all his epistles – where you say we can read the fundamental doctrines of Christianity – he never stated that water baptism must be administered by immersion, and he never said that it must be ministered in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. What shall we do then? Shall we baptize people also by sprinkling, and only in the name of Jesus Christ (or only in the name of the Son of God)?

Now I come to the argument you give to hold that today there is no need of the sign of speaking with other tongues to confirm that the Holy Spirit has fallen upon a believer. I confess that even though I tried to understand your argument, I could not understand it. For I don’t understand why that sign was necessary to the early believers in order to understand that the Holy Spirit had come on them and that the Holy Spirit could be given also to the Gentiles, and after a certain period of time that same sign is no longer necessary IN ORDER TO UNDERSTAND THOSE SAME THINGS!!! Why should we not need that same visible sign in order to understand that the Holy Spirit has come upon believers? In my opinion, it is logical to think that the same outward sign is still necessary for the same reasons it was necessary at that time. According to your words, today we do not need something that the apostles needed so much!!! And then I ask you: ‘How can we know then that somebody – whether he is a Jew or a Gentile - has been baptized with the Holy Spirit? Of course, you will say: ‘Not by the sign of tongues!’ Well, then it should have been the same thing with the early disciples, don’t you think so? Actually, I can’t understand why today we – according to your point of view – are able to understand if someone has been baptized with the Holy Spirit even without the sign of tongues, while the early disciples needed to see that particular outward sign!!! That is really a contradiction.

You are right when you say that not all speak with tongues, quoting the words of Paul, but if you read carefully the context, there the apostle is speaking about the diversities of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:28), that is, about the gift of the Holy Spirit called “divers kinds of tongues” 1 Corinthians 12:10 (which is the ability to speak with several foreign tongues by the Spirit) that a believer may receive (just as he may not receive) for in the Body of Christ not all have the same gift. The same thing can be said about the gifts of healings and the gift of interpretation of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:30), and so on. Instead, speaking with a tongue (that is the ability to speak with only a foreign tongue) is present in all the believers who are baptized with the Holy Spirit but it is missing in all those believers who are not baptized with the Holy Spirit.

As for the question about Elisabeth, please read the answer to the following question: ‘Under the law when some people were filled with the Holy Spirit they did not begin to speak with other tongues, could you tell me why?’

 

 

 

Back