Acts 2:4 “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” There were tongues! But this was limited to those in the upper room, it does not say that those who experienced the salvation from Peter’s message spoke in tongues.
Peter proclaimed to the Jews after they were filled with the spirit and spoke in tongues, “Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, (Greek-by the authority of) in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)
If the requirement of speaking in tongues were necessary for salvation, would he not have included it here? This “evidence” is all based upon three verses in the book of Acts that presumes that when someone receives the Holy Spirit, they spoke in tongues.
Acts 3:18-19 the topic is Christ’s death, and repentance is the focus for the forgiveness of their sins.
In Acts 4:2-4 Jesus & the resurrection is preached, not baptism & again they believed the word and 5,000 were saved. There was no tongues!
Acts 4:31 tells us they spoke the word boldly when they were filled with the spirit. There was no tongues.
Acts 8:17 While Philip was a miracle worker without being an apostle he was an apostolic legate. It was only through the apostles’ presence that supernatural gifts were manifested.
Peter and John came to the Samaritans who had already received the word of God and were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus and still did not have the Spirit. ( Peter needed to be there; he was present for all three groups salvation — the Jews, the Samaritans, the Gentiles).
There was some type of outward sign it doesn’t tell us what exactly what it was (Simon saw this and wanted this power). It could have been tongues or prophecy or both, since both are noticeable.
Acts 8:37-38 After hearing Isa.53 which is about the death of Jesus he asks to be baptized, Philip replies if you believe with all your heart. He confesses Jesus is the son of God.
When they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Phillip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. There were no tongues, but he had the joy of the Lord. Joy is part of the fruit of the Spirit.
Acts 9:17-18 when Paul received salvation he did not speak in tongues until later, yet no one would contest he was saved on the road to Damascus. When he gives his testimony he refers back to the Damascus road encounter as the time of his Spiritual birth (lCor.15:18, Gal.1:12). There were no tongues. He does speak in tongues later, as probably all the apostles did.
Acts 10:43 Peter says “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” We have the exact reversal of Acts 2 they then received the Spirit before baptism, from hearing the word & believing.
The Gentiles spoke in tongues as proof of their salvation to some of the unbelieving Jews present. (They did not believe anyone but Jews could be saved up until then). Acts 11:16-18 Peter recounts the Lord saying about the difference between water baptism and spirit baptism. Vs 17 “if therefore God gave them the same gift as he did unto us, when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Acts 16:31 The Phillipian jailer asks what must I do to be saved? Answer: believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved, you and your household. Then they spoke the word of the Lord to both him & his household. What we find in the book of Acts is no set formulae for the giving of the Spirit. There were no tongues.
Acts 19 Jews who only received John’s baptism had not heard of Christ’s death and resurrection or Pentecost. It is Paul who initiates the conversation on the Holy Spirit. He finds that they are not disciples of Christ but of John, years after they had not heard that the one John was pointing to had already come.
After receiving the Gospel they are baptized Paul lays hands on them the Holy Spirit comes upon them and they speak in tongues and prophecy. They did not seek after the Spirit as Pentecostals are told to do. Not one instance do we see anyone laboring for the Spirit. Why was the Spirit given after Paul laid hands on them?
It was to illustrate that they were no longer to follow John the Baptizer but the apostles who now had the leadership role for Israel. The church with the apostles replaced the Sanhedrin and Pharisees and even John the Baptist.
Till next week,
Elder Dr. Robert L. Harrison