Gift of Tongues: The Only Sign You Have Received the Holy Spirit


Gift of Tongues: The Only Sign You Have Received the Holy Spirit

by Jaymark Molo

“The gift of tongues according to Acts was a gift which enabled its recipients to speak in known tongues, or languages, at certain times determined by the Holy Spirit in order to authenticate the message of the early church in the presence of Jews. That it was not universally practiced by believers in the early church is evident from its limited occurrence in the Acts period, as well as from specific statements in the epistles (cf. 1 Cor. 12:30; Heb. 2:3, 4).”—Biblioteca Sacra, October 1963.

Pentecostal: Have you received the Holy Ghost?

Adventist: Could I know the sign that you have received the Holy Spirit?

Pentecostal: Sorry about that. Acts 10: 44-46 tells how the people that were gentiles received the Holy Ghost. They heard them speak with tongues. If you read you will find that while Peter was praying, God showed him a vision of animals that the laws of Moses taught them that they should not eat. Anyway if you read Acts chapter 10 it will explain. If you have more questions you may ask me or someone you know better (personally).

Adventist: I am very grateful to your answer. By the way, was the gift of tongues the only sign of the Holy Spirit?

Holy Spirit Stained Glass

Holy Spirit Stained Glass (Photo credit: hickory hardscrabble)

Pentecostal: The only way to receive the Holy Ghost is speaking in tongues. In the beginning of 1900, a Baptist Bible School set out to find out how people received the Holy Ghost and each student studied the subject and each found that speaking in tongues was the way to receive this wonderful experience. So they began to seek the Holy Ghost and one young lady received her Pentecost. Pentecostalism is an experience with God Almighty.

Adventist: Is there any scriptural basis to the claim, brother KT?

Pentecostal: To speaking in tongues?

Adventist: Remember your first claim? “The ‘only’ way to receive the Holy Ghost is speaking in tongues”.

I am intrigued by the word “only”. What is the scriptural basis that the only way to receive the Holy Ghost is through speaking of tongues?

Pentecostal: Do you have a bible? I must have missed something. I don’t believe I said only in any of my posts. But there are scriptures that say people received the Holy Ghost by speaking in tongues.

Adventist: “The only way to receive the Holy Ghost is speaking in tongues.” (This was your original post, see above)

Forgive me, I am not looking for scriptural evidences that “people received the Holy Ghost by speaking in tongues”, but specifically looking for the grounds of “the only way to receive the Holy Ghost is speaking in tongues” scripturally.

Hope you will understand the intent of the question.

Pentecostal: By your questions may I presume that you have not spoken in tongues? The first time The Holy Ghost is received is in Acts chapter two and verse four. And there are others.

Adventist: Oh yes, I haven’t speak in tongues and maybe will not. By the way, will you mind if I repeat the question?

Is there any scriptural basis to the claim that “the only way to receive the Holy Ghost is speaking in tongues”?

Hope you will understand the real intent of the question. The intricacy is in the word “only”. Acts 2:4 does indeed testify they did speak in other tongues, but did not assert that the only way to receive the spirit is through speaking of tongues.

Pentecostal: I can honestly tell you that it is the way that people in the book of Acts received the Holy Ghost. That is the new testament. Acts, 2: 1-4; 10: 44-46; 19:6: If you are reading in the epistles you will find scriptures saying when you believed, you received. But these epistles are letters to established churches that Paul and others wrote to Corinth and to Galatia, Ephesus, Philippi and the rest of the new testament. I don’t want to write a book. LOL.

Adventist: True that it is the “way that people in the book of Acts received the Holy Ghost.” But the impending question was: Is it the only way? The Scriptures says otherwise.

First, we do read, however, that a large number of the believers “were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.” Acts 4:31. Yet there is no recorded experience of tongues.

Second, a careful reader of the miracles of various kinds, and of other outstanding events in the book of Acts, will observe that the Holy Spirit was mightily at work. See Acts 3:1-11; 6:3-8; 9:36-42; 16:25-34, et cetera. Yet again there is no recorded experience of tongues.

Third, again, take the outstanding characters in the book of Acts, aside from Paul and Peter. There were, for example, Stephen, James, Agabus, Simeon, Philip, Silas, Timothy, Barnabas, Lydia, Dorcas, Crispus, Apollos, Aquila, Priscilla, to name only a few. These did great service for God, but we know nothing of the experience of “tongues,” known or unknown, in any of them.

Fourth, believers, must be Spirit-possessed men and women (see, Romans 8:9). But nowhere in these and many other references to the Spirit’s work do we find the lightest hint that any form of the gift of tongues was to be the fruit or the gift of the Holy Spirit in every believer’s life. Instead, it is specifically stated that “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” Galatians 5:22, 23.

Fifth, when it comes to the decision to obtain the gift of tongues, we find this categorical statement on the sovereignty of God’s will: “For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: but all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will.”1 Corinthians 12:8-11. These texts do not show only that the gift of tongue depends on the decision of God, not the will of man, but to show also that presence of any gift of the Holy Spirit it is not only through speaking of tongues.

If we could ask the great apostle Paul what his wish was for the believer, he would say: “Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy… I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied.” 1 Corinthians 14:1-5. Now, would it be stretching the argument to see here, once more, an emphasis on the relative unimportance respecting the troublesome gift of tongues in the Corinthian churches?

Thus, not all of us should speak in tongues, according to Paul. Even those who were to “covet earnestly the best gifts” were exhorted: “And yet I show unto you a more excellent way.” 1 Corinthians 12:31. To love all men and to preach and glory in nothing but the cross of Christ—that is the more excellent way. Galatians 6:14.

Unfortunately, the discussion abruptly ends. 

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3 thoughts on “Gift of Tongues: The Only Sign You Have Received the Holy Spirit

  1. […] Gift of Tongues: The Only Sign You Have Received the Holy Spirit (amologetics.wordpress.com) […]

  2. DO MEN RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT THE MOMENT THEY BELIEVE?

    When do Christians receive the indwelling gift of the Holy Spirit? In other words when do believers in Christ receive the person of the Holy Spirit? Do men receive the gift of the Holy Spirit the moment they believe in Jesus or is it after they-believe-repent- confess-and are baptized in water?

    Except for the special case of Cornelius, his family, and friends, believers do not receive the indwelling gift of the Holy Spirit until they are baptized in water as the apostle Peter commanded. Cornelius received the Holy Spirit to prove to Jewish Christians that salvation was for the Gentiles as well.

    The apostle Paul found some disciples of Christ and asked this question. (Acts 19:2 He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.”)

    Contrary to what some Bible commentaries say, Paul did ask them if they had spoken in tongues or received other spiritual gifts since they believed.

    Point: These disciples of Christ were already believers. They not only had not received the indwelling gift of the Holy Spirit, they had not even heard that there was a Holy Spirit.

    Acts 19:3-4 And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” And they said, “Into John’s baptism.” 4 Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who, was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.”

    John’s baptism was not valid after the Day of Pentecost. Even though they believed in Jesus they did not receive the Holy Spirit.

    Acts 19:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

    They needed to be baptized as Jesus instructed (In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit Matt.28:19) and as the apostle Peter implemented, in order to receive forgiveness of sins and to receive the indwelling gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38)

    After they were baptized in water Paul laid his hands on them and they spoke in tongues and began prophesying.(Acts 19:6)
    Paul did not impart the indwelling gift of the person of the Holy Spirit. They received the Holy Spirit Himself at the time of their being baptized in the name of the Lord.

    Romans 1:11 For I long to see you so, that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established;

    The apostle Paul and the rest of the apostles could impart spiritual gifts, to Christians, through the laying on of hands, however, they did not have the power to give the person of the Holy Spirit to others.

    WATER AND SPIRIT ARE LINKED

    John 3:5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

    WATER AND THE SPIRIT

    Titus 3:5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration [water baptism] and renewing by the Holy Spirit.

    WATER AND THE SPIRIT

    The three thousand souls on the Day of Pentecost did not receive the indwelling gift of the Holy Spirit until there were baptized in the name of the Lord.

    The twelve men at Ephesus did not receive the indwelling gift of the Holy Spirit until they were baptized in the name of the Lord.

    MEN TODAY, DO NOT RECEIVE THE INDWELLING GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT THE MOMENT THEY BELIEVE

    MEN RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT AFTER THEY —BELIEVE—THEY REPENT—THEY CONFESS JESUS AS LORD AND SAVIOR—AND ARE IMMERSED IN WATER FOR THE REMISSION OF THEIR SINS.

    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY CHRISTIAN BLOG. htpp:/steve-finnell.blogspot.com

  3. THE CASE OF CORNELIUS

    Cornelius, his relatives, and close friends were the first Gentiles to be saved under the New covenant. God sent the apostle Peter to preach the gospel to Cornelius.

    Acts 10:34 Opening his mouth , Peter said: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partially,

    Peter realized that salvation was not reserved for the Jews only, but for all men who fear God and do what is right.

    Peter preached the gospel to Cornelius, the results were.
    Acts 10:44-48 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon those who were listening to the message. 45 All the circumcised believers were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit and been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered, 47 “Surely no can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did. 48 And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ…

    Did Cornelius and all who heard Peter’s sermon receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit? Yes, they did. Did the baptism of the Holy Spirit saved them? No, it did not.

    Jesus said you have to be born of water and the Spirit in order to enter the kingdom of God.(John 3:5) Cornelius was not saved by “The Spirit only.”

    Peter order Cornelius and company to be baptized in water. Why would he do that if they were already saved?

    Peter knew the purpose of water baptism. Peter said: Acts 2:38 ….baptized…for the forgiveness of sins.

    If there sins were already forgiven there would be no reason to baptize them.

    Peter said: Peter 3:21….. baptism now saves you…

    If Cornelius was already saved , why was he baptized in water?

    Some erroneously believe water baptism is just an act of obedience to demonstrate men’s faith to others. Peter had already witnessed Cornelius speaking in tongues and exalting God. Peter and his fellow Christians had all the evidence they needed as to the faith of Cornelius.

    Jesus baptized Cornelius, his relatives, and close friends with the Holy Spirit in order to convince Peter and the rest of the Jewish Christians that salvation was for the Gentiles as well as them.

    Cornelius received the Holy Spirit before water baptism. That is the “only” case recorded under the New Covenant where that occurred.

    The 3000 that were saved on the Day of Pentecost received the gift of the Holy Spirit after they believed, repented, and were baptized in water. (Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.)

    THE CASE OF CORNELIUS DOES NOT PROVE THAT MEN CAN BE SAVED BEFORE THEY ARE BAPTIZED IN WATER NOR THAT MEN CAN BE SAVED WITHOUT BEING BAPTIZED IN WATER.

    If men believe they can receive the Holy Spirit before they have been baptized in water because it happen to Cornelius, then why do they not believe that men can receive the Holy Spirit before they believe that Jesus is the Son of God. John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit before he was born. John did believe in his mother’s womb. (Luke 1:15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he willbe filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb.)

    JESUS SAID YOU MUST BE BORN OF WATER AND SPIRIT TO ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD. (John 3:5)

    THE SPIRIT “ONLY DOCTRINE” IS JUST LIKE THE GRACE “ONLY” DOCTRINE AND THE FAITH “ONLY DOCTRINE. THERE IS NO”ONLY” FOUND IN THE BIBLE. THE “ONLY” DOCTRINES ARE ONLY FOUND IN EXTRA-BIBLICAL WRITINGS.

    (All Scripture quotes from: NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE)

    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com

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