Is ‘tongues’ the evidence of the Spirit? Part 1

Rev. Dr. Robert L. Harrison, PhD - Break the Cycle

 

There are some Pentecostals that make tongues as THE proof that one is saved or filled with the Spirit. Many wait for this evidence to occur and when it does not they look desperately to find whatever flaw or sin is holding back God’s Spirit from coming and become saved.

The Bible does not teach tongues is the evidence for salvation, but one of the many evidences of someone possessing the Holy Spirit. Their patience in striving and expecting is for naught. Paul states rhetorically in 1 Cor.12:29 are all prophets are all apostles and teachers? Answer is NO! Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak in tongues? Again the answer is NO!

In Chapter 14 he says he’d rather they prophecy and in vs.5: “I wish you all spoke in tongues but even more that you prophesied. At the beginning of Chpt.12 he states the Lord gives out the gifts as he wills and that they are all different gifts not everyone has the same gift vs.11. the gift of tongues is listed last. In Rom.12 and Eph.4 it is not mentioned at all, giving us the impression that it is a insignificant gift compared to the others. Tongues were never intended to be the common denominator of spiritual gifts to all believers, to make this as such is divisive.

(Jesus said you shall be my witnesses, literally martyrs. What if we were to give the same credence to being killed for Christ as a measure of spirituality. This certainly would clear the air about being spiritual. Imagine someone saying “ you don’t have salvation because you haven’t died for him”).

Many say God does not change, what He did before He will do today. This is used for Jesus healing all as well (Heb.13:8). It is not a matter of what He will or will not do, but what He has chosen to do in His Church. The truth is, God has changed the way He does some things, but it is His nature that does not change. For example when the Holy Spirit was first sent He came as a mighty rushing wind and fire (shekhinah) appeared over the apostles heads in the upper room. But he does not continue to do this each time people are baptized in Holy Spirit. In fact, it was only done once, and not repeated for any other group who was saved (Acts 2;8;10).

1 Cor.12:1-3 “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led. 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.” There were two of the mystery religions in this part of the world in Paul’s time when he was doing evangelism. Cybele and Dionysius were the name of the two false gods were worshiped.

The service was accompanied by speaking in tongues (ecstatic babble) and sounds from instruments, clanging symbols, smashing gongs, and blaring trumpets. Did Paul mean it was these mystery religions when he wrote 1 Cor.13:1, we can’t know for sure, but he was addressing the corruption of the gift of tongues in his letter to the Corinthian church. He certainly may have used an example they were well aware of, being saved out of that religious culture. They were delivered from the gibberish of the paganism of their culture, but they were bringing this conduct over into the church (certainly not in order).

Even though they had the genuine gift, they were practicing it wrong. Funny, we don’t seem to learn from our mistakes, even when it is written down in the Bible. Remember Paul is giving a rebuke for the way they were carrying on inside the Church. With all this said we are not to forbid the spiritual gifts to be exercised, only watch that they are exercised correctly.

Is there a 2nd blessing, YES and a third, a 20th and 100th…We are to be continually filled with Spirit. But you are baptized into the Body by the Holy Spirit once.

1 Cor.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.” God states we have all been baptized in the Spirit this is how one enters the body of Christ.

So there is no need to seek a baptism of the Spirit. It is a salvation experience. Nowhere do we find in the New Testament someone being re-baptized in the Spirit. However there is a need to be continually filled with the Spirit and this is a command. Eph 5:18 “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.”

I understand the semantics of what someone means, that they apply this terminology to being filled, so I’m not making an issue over the word but the meaning behind it. Is there a 2nd blessing? Yes, and numerable ones afterwards, as we are to be continually filled with the Spirit, not just once. But we are only immersed (baptized) into the body once. It is sometimes those who are supposed to be spirit filled that make this a divisive issue as if they are spiritually superior.

Till next week,

God Bless.

Elder Dr. Robert L. Harrison

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