Promised Land Pentecostal Church

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Are Tongues the Initial Evidence of Holy Ghost?

10.23.19 | Salvation, Doctrinal Teaching, Holy Ghost | by Elder Steven Rogers

Are Tongues the Initial Evidence of Holy Ghost?

    The Pentecostal experience is attributed to the distinct and supernatural outpouring of the Holy Ghost, also known as, the baptism of the Holy Ghost. The promise of the Holy Ghost was prophesied by the Old Testament prophets Ezekiel[1] and Joel[2] and later promised in the New Testament by John the Baptist[3] and Jesus Christ[4].  Upon the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Apostles of Jesus Christ were commanded to wait in Jerusalem until “ye be endued with power from on high[5]” which descended during the Jewish feast of Pentecost as recorded in Acts chapter 2. Thus, the term Pentecostal is often associated with the baptism of the Holy Ghost.

    The distinct and definite experience of the Holy Ghost is so pertinent to the Gospel message that the Apostle Paul ask certain disciples of John the Baptist, “Have ye received the Holy Ghost since you believed?[6]” It was Paul who noticed a miscue in the execution of these disciples common salvation experience that Jude mentions in his epistle[7]. In other words, the born-again experience of repentance, water baptism, and the indwelling of the Holy Ghost is not specific to one particular gender, culture, or race but common to all men. Thereby, all persons seeking salvation must have the same experience. This sentiment is also expressed by the Apostle Peter on the day of Pentecost stating, “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call[8]”.

    In his conversation with Nicodemus concerning the kingdom of heaven Jesus describes the spiritual new birth as the wind blowing and making a sound[9].  On the day of Pentecost, the writer of Acts describes the sound of a “rushing mighty wind” entering the room and those in attendance began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit of God gave the utterance[10]. The Apostle Peter declared that this event and personal experience was the fulfilment of Old Testament prophecies and New Testament promises of the Holy Ghost baptism[11].

    The account of Luke of the events that unfolded on the day of Pentecost etched speaking in tongues as the initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost into doctrinal stone and set the precedent for all believers to follow in their common salvation. The subsequent recorded events of the book of Acts provides accumulated evidence associating the baptism of the Holy Ghost with speaking in tongues. For example, the disciples of John the Baptist who were questioned by Paul if they received the Holy Ghost later had hands laid upon them by Paul, which led to the Holy Ghost coming upon them resulting in them speaking in tongues.

    In fact, speaking in tongues as the sign of the baptism of the Holy Ghost is so clear that the Apostle Peter was corrected in his belief in reference to Gentiles receiving the same promise as Jews. As Peter preached to the Gentile house of Cornelius the Holy Ghost fell on all. All those of Jewish descent that had already received the baptism of the Holy Ghost, including Peter were astonished, “For they heard them speaking with tongues, and magnify God”. It is clear in this text as it was for Peter and all others that speaking in tongues was the sign of the baptism of the Holy Ghost[12].

    As aforementioned, Jesus indicated that the spiritual birth would be evident by a sound that was later revealed on the day of Pentecost as speaking in tongues. The sign is so distinct and observable that Simon the Sorcerer saw Peter and John laying hands on Samarian believers and knew they received the Holy Ghost[13]. How did Simon know they received the Holy Ghost if there was not a clear, observable sign? Of course, there was a sign. Peter expressed in Acts chapter 2 verse 33 that the promise of the Holy Ghost comes is evident with sight and sound.  

    The book of Acts records the actions of the Apostles and the earliest converts to Christianity. It details the common process by which all individuals must enter into the body of Christ through repentance, water baptism, and the indwelling of the Holy Ghost. There is no place interpretation or debate; “For all Scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction for instruction in righteousness[14]”. The fact of the matter is, that the book of Acts is the book of actions that sets the example to be followed not debated by believers. All instances recorded in the Bible of the fulfillment of the promise of the Holy Ghost indwelling a believer is physically observed by speaking in tongues. Therefore, if there is a believer who has set to receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost this is not the time to be disheartened or dismayed. The sincerity and faithfulness of the disciples of John the Baptist was observed by the heavenly Father, which led them to the Apostle Paul to perfect their doctrine and experience; they too received the baptism of the Holy Ghost and spoke with tongues as the Spirit of God gave the utterance.      

    [1] Ezekiel 36:27

    [2] Joel 2:28-29

    [3] Matthew 3:11, Mark 1:8

    [4] John 14:26

    [5][5] Luke 24:49

    [6] Acts 19:2

    [7] Jude 1:3

    [8] Acts 2:29

    [9] John 3:8

    [10] Acts 2:2-4

    [11] Acts 2:15

    [12] Acts 10:44-46

    [13] Acts 8:17-20

    [14] 2Timothy 3:16