Category Archives: Pentecostalism (D)

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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