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For those who like to discuss and debate theology. This is a forum for people who enjoy strong and lively debate with people who may not be likeminded. Participants are requested to always treat other opinions with respect.

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Postby ROBIN » Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:20 am

The day I received Jesus as my Savior I was simultaneously baptized with the Holy Spirit. I remember I was reading a book that my mother had given me to read called, The Holy Spirit and You: A Guide to the Spirit-Filled Life by Dennis and Rita Bennett. Each night I read more of it and eventually one night while reading I felt the presents of the Lord very tangibly near to me. I did not formally pray any sinner’s prayer or anything like that, but the words I read convinced me of who Jesus was and what he had done for me. Baring in mind I was not bogged down with any religious dogma. I didn't have any question marks as to the why’s and wherefore’s of speaking in tongues. It happened and I needed no convincing of the reality and veracity of my supernatural encounter with Jesus and the Holy Spirit baptism.

Because I had met Jesus and was born again I felt the need to go to a church. I started attending a Baptist church, needing fellowship with fellow believers. I remember giving my testimony one day and telling my fellow Baptists how I had received Jesus and was baptized with the Holy Spirit, thinking, erroneously that all believers were baptized with the Holy Spirit with the gift of tongues. I had no inkling that there was such a schism in the body of Christ. I thought everybody who was born again spoke in tongues. I was innocent and naive. To me it went without saying. It was the bread the butter and the jam. How could it be any different? I didn't need to be convinced and debate the matter. It was a given as far as I was concerned after all it was my experience. It had happened to me without any doctrinal bias. The truth is, it is a given. To be more emphatic, it is a gift that the Father ‘wants’ to ‘give’ us all.

And yes, many years have passed since that wonderful encounter but only in the last couple of years has the Holy Spirit impressed on me just how important it is that as a Spirit baptized believer I should be praying wherever, whenever and for whoever, in tongues. I am convinced more than ever as to its supernatural benefits. It is a powerful gift that has been given to us for a reason. It can be likened for example to purchasing a basic Land Rover Discovery 4x4 that has no extras on it. It will cost you say R700,000.00 and it will definitely get you through rough terrain, bad roads and through water hazards etc. But if you purchased the extras such a winch, spotlights, long range fuel tank, snorkel, off road GPS. map, duel battery system, front tow bar, raised air tank, sunshades, deploy-able side steps, air helper springs, sump and steering guard, nudge bar and roof rack or roof tent, it will enhance your off road capability, capacity and performance. Your journey will be enriched. Now this may be a simplistic analogy, but the message is the same with regards receiving the gifts of the Holy Spirit. When we get saved Jesus enters our heart (spirit) by the Holy Spirit. We have the fullness of the Godhead bodily residing in our spirit, no question. The disciples of Jesus also had received the Holy Spirit. “And when he had said this, he breathed on [them], and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:” (Jhn. 20:22) But after they had received the Holy Spirit which saved them he told them later on to tarry in Jerusalem. “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” (Luk 24:49)

It is a definite promise of a ‘second blessing’. Why? That we may be endued with power from on high.

When I pray in my mother tongue as well as in tongues I am praying perfect and powerful prayers. When I pray in English about a situation I eventually run out of words but if I continue in tongues the Spirit helps my infirmity. (Rom.8:26,27) The Holy Spirit knows more than I know about any situation. He takes over and imparts revelation, knowledge and wisdom with regards the person place or circumstance that I may be praying about. The Holy Spirit then can pray for that which my mind, in its limited capacity is incapable of expressing or sorting out. “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1Co 2:16) This is such Good News. This is a dynamic gift of the Holy Spirit.

I read in Acts 2:1-4
1. And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Act 2:4)
Paul wrote the following about praying in tongues.
1) When we pray in tongues, our spirit is praying but our understanding is unfruitful.
• “For if I pray in an [unknown] tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.” (1Co 14:14)
2) When we pray in tongues we edify ourselves.
• “He that speaketh in an [unknown] tongue edifieth himself;” (1Co 14:4a)
3) When we pray in tongues we are praying in the Spirit.”
• “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit,” (Eph. 6:18a)
4) When we pray in tongues we build ourselves up.”
• But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, (Jude1:20)
5) Paul said he prayed in tongues more than others.
• “I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all: (1Co 14:18)
6) We can sing in the Spirit.
• “What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.” (1Co 14:15)

So how can we receive this gift? The answer is, simply by asking the Father in faith.
“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall [your] heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? (Luk 11:13)

You might ask the question, is there any specific state or condition I should be in to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit?
The only condition is that you are a believer in Jesus Christ and desire to receive this gift by faith. Not how you look, how confessed out you are, how spiritual you are, how good you are, how much you've fasted and prayed. No, no, and no again. It is a faith matter, to be received by faith as a free gift, as an added benefit and blessing so that you may be a blessing to others.

There is no set manner or position to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
• You can receive it by the laying on of hands by a fellow believer.
• You can receive it while praising the Lord.
• You can receive it by getting revelation to a truth in scripture.
• You can receive it by just thinking on the goodness of the Lord and His wonderful Grace.
• You can get it by pondering on the crucifixion and the enormous price Jesus paid on the cross to purchase your salvation.
• You can receive it while listening to or singing a Christian song.
• You can receive it while praying.
• You can receive it while reading a Christian book.

I didn't receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with a great manifestation. I simply felt the presents of the Lord very near to me and an overwhelming compunction or prompting to speak. I loosed my lips by faith and tongues flowed.
Now that I am baptized with the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues is important for many reasons, certainly ‘more than’ just to prove I've received the Holy Spirit. It should be a part of my daily life. It is a way to communicate directly to the Father spirit to Spirit without my brain getting in the way. My brain which has so many fears and doubts and which is quickly side tracked. It will build me up in the Holy Spirit and enhance and empower my walk with Jesus. (Jude 1:20)
It is my desire that all who read this and who have not yet been baptized with the Holy Spirit, that they will ask the Father. For it is the Fathers sincere desire to give good gifts to His children. (Lu.11:13)
“For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.” (Isa. 28:11)
“And it shall come to pass afterward, [that] I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:” (Joe 2:28) Amen.

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Postby jo555 » Tue Sep 23, 2014 11:24 am

Hi Robin. Welcome to the Theology section. Love your writing. You have a way of drawing your audience in.

I will never forget the day I was baptized in the Holy Spirit. Just a kid, but an incredible marvelous experience.

And, loved your emphasis on prayer because it is so important and I find the Lord generous about sharing. Now, I have also been through those silent times, when heaven seems afar, but I know He's still there. Overall though, I find that it gives the Lord much pleasure when we invite Him on this journey with us, sharing the details of our lives / hearts with Him.

Thanks for sharing.
People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord looks upon the heart - Proverbs

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Postby mikeedwards » Tue Sep 23, 2014 11:43 am

Hi Robin,

Good article. Many disregard speaking in tongues as coming to an end but I have yet to find where it says this in the Bible. You should join the main site and start posting your articles there for a much wider audience.

Many Blessings to you,

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Postby Fullheart » Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:03 pm

Hello Robin,

I enjoyed reading this post and felt compelled to try one more time. You see, though I am absolutely certain that the Holy Spirit resides within me and that I am in fact IN Christ and have experienced regeneration in Him, I've never been enabled to speak in tongues. I'm also a minister of the gospel of Christ Jesus.

Each time I hear or read of these wonderful experiences by my siblings in Christ, I want to experience it also, and have asked for this gift. As Mike wrote, I find no place in scripture indicating that this gift has ceased. And I know I have faith. But am yet to speak in tongues. Therefore I can only assume that this gift is not for "ALL" believers. Paul wrote, "Do all speak in tongues? Do all prophesy, or all have the gift of healing?" And the answer is no, not everyone has the same gifts. We have the same spiritual fruit, but not all have the same gifts. My most prominent gifts are teaching and discernment.

Perhaps, however, what you speak of is separate and different than gifts?


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Postby carpenterdaughter » Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:30 pm

I want to be very, very careful replying to this thread because I do not want to discount anyone else's personal experience. There is most definitely scripture that specifically talks about speaking in tongues as a spiritual gift. I have not studied enough about it to feel qualified to address the notion that it is a gift that is "on its way out." Honestly, I don't know what the Bible says about that.

However, I do want to share one of my experiences. When I was in college, I spent a summer as a "summer missionary" at a campground. My partner and I were given the task of visiting with campers daily, organizing a Vacation Bible School-like daycamp for children in the campground, and leading weekly sing alongs and a Sunday morning worship at the campground. That summer we became acquainted with a family who took us in and spent a lot of time fellowshipping with us and talking to us about the Lord. It did not bother me at all that we were from different denominations. We worshipped the same Jesus.

During one of our talks, the couple asked my partner and me if we had ever spoken in tongues or been baptized by the Holy Spirit. Having come to my own conversion point through the nurturing of the southern Baptist tradition, I was not very familiar with speaking in tongues. Tongues was not a gift I had been given. Definitely, I knew the story of Pentecost--and I had read and studied it before. I had even participated in discussions about speaking in tongues. I knew people from other denominations who did not believe that they could be truly "saved" unless and until they spoke in tongues. Of course, this automatically led me to question the validity of my own salvation--not for long though. Since the moment I confessed faith in Christ as an eleven year old girl I had had many experiences where the Spirit would speak to my heart, convict me, lead me . . . answer my questions as I studied scripture--ALWAYS THROUGH SCRIPTURE--so I knew that my friends who told me that I did not have the Holy Spirit until I spoke in tongues were very wrong. I probably even told them, "Well, somebody needs to tell Him that . . . " in that sarcastic tone I am apt to use.

My talks with that couple that summer stirred in me a serious question, though. I began to wonder if I were missing something that I was supposed to have. I begin to think about the topic and even started reading a book that they offered to me. I suppose I even begin to pray in that way that is an ongoing conversation with the Lord. I begin the asking, "Is this true? Should I be speaking in tongues?"

On the last night of the couples' stay at the campground, they invited us to eat dinner with them. I remember feeling very excited--anticipatory, even. I was hungry to learn more--maybe even to receive something more. I didn't have to bring our conversation back around to the speaking in tongues topic. The couple asked us if we had read the book. They asked us our thoughts. I told them that I still wasn't certain what the Bible clearly stated about the gift of tongues--and I shared with them that I was pretty certain that the Holy Spirit began His residence in my life on the day that I confessed my faith in Christ. However, I also told them that I was open to whatever good gift God had to give me--that I didn't see anything wrong with speaking in tongues if there was a purpose in it. I remember being excited. I wanted it to happen to me--probably mostly because I wanted more evidence for myself that the Lord was living in me. I wanted to experience Him more.

What happened next is my definition of quenching the Spirit. He did give me something that night, but it wasn't the gift of tongues. He spoke solidity apart from emotion. He comforted my heart when I was completely confused and disappointed by two people who, despite their sincerity, were dead wrong. When the couple began to share with us that speaking in tongues was something we could practice and develop--we just needed to start practicing. We should go to the quiet of our own room and just start babbling sounds--that eventually we would become good at it and would be able to do it publically . . . I was SO DISAPPOINTED--and, I knew right away that their idea of speaking in tongues definitely was not a picture of a sudden onset of being full of the Spirit.

Since that experience so many years ago, I am automatically skeptical of speaking in tongues. Not because I do not believe the Lord would do that if He so chose--but because people can pretend. They can take and manufacture something and pass it off as something that comes from God when all it is is a product of the human heart trying to gain something . . .

This does not mean, though, that I do not believe that there are people that this genuinely happens to. What I do not believe is that speaking in tongues is something that every believer will have, and I definitely DO NOT believe it is something we have to have in order to prove that the Holy Spirit is in us. Anyone who says that needs to take a deeper look at I Corinthians 12--and read right on to chapter 13. We aren't supposed to worry about who is getting what gifts. We're all supposed to desire love above all. The most satisfying exercise of who we are in Christ would probably be to know exactly how to use the gift we have been given to benefit the entire Body and to bring honor and glory to the One who gave us gifts.

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Postby mikeedwards » Wed Sep 24, 2014 11:22 am

Great points.

The Holy Spirit comes to a person when they change their mind from unbelief to belief (repent = change mind - metanoeó in Greek) and place their trust in Gods words again by trusting in Jesus, the only way God says we can be saved. 1 Cor 12:13 declares, “For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.”

When speaking about how believers are different parts of the body and have different functions, Paul clearly states that not all people will speak with tongues.

27Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 29Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.1 Cor 12: 27-31

Paul goes on to tell us that love is the highest of all gifts and should be sought above anything. I believe this is speaking of the love of God for us. When we are established in Gods love it will flow as a fruit onto others. Without love tongues, prophecy or whatever gift is worthless according to Paul, 1 Cor 13:1-3.

Therefore it is important for believers to not questions Gods love for them or their salvation because they do not speak in tongues. Satan's primary agenda is to instill doubt in the believer, specifically doubt that God really does love us. He convinced Eve of this lie by insinuating that God was holding the best back from them (How could God love us if He is doing that?). He gave the impression that they would be better off if they did not believe God, they would actually be like God. I can see satan using the same lie here by making a believer question their faith if they do not speak in tongues. This is why we know it is imperative to read the word and believe what it says.

Nowhere can I find that says tongues have ceased but I believe it is also clear that "Not all will speak in tongues".
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Postby jo555 » Fri Sep 26, 2014 12:11 am

I'll post my experience. I used to speak in tongues . . . but haven't been able to in a long time. I used to ask the Lord to allow me to do so again, yet don't much anymore.

What I did realize that since I could not speak in tongues, I would wrestle more with the Lord, so to speak, some times with groanings that were too agonizing to put into words. Maybe that is why my tongues have ceased for the time being. Maybe that is something I needed to do.

I remember one time when I started a new church the pastor was laying his hands on others and appeared to be moving in the Spirit (although not sure if that was the case). For a time it appeared that the thrill, or power, was getting to him. I thought I was probably reading more into it, and tried to ignore it. Then, he looked at me and asked if I spoke in tongues. I said I used to . . . and he said that I was going to speak in tongues. He laid hands on me and nothing happened. I said a prayer that if God wanted me to, to let it happen. Nothing.

I left when service was over and in tears. I didn't cry because I didn't speak in tongues. I had peace in that. It doesn't bother me. But, I cried because I believe I was right about what I had sensed with him.

Now, I do believe this pastor had a heart for the Lord and his sheep. I just sensed that in that moment he got caught up in the thrill and power of it and went where he shouldn't have gone.

Been there, done that. So, won't be casting any stones.

Anyway, I'm not sure if it is for all. I tend to lean towards not for all believers, but I don't know. Either way, I don't think it makes anyone less spiritual than others. Obviously there are benefits that others won't have, but most important are the fruits of the Spirit, and the greatest of these is love. Can't get more spiritual than that.

Still think it was a wonderful article and it came across to me as someone trying to help others see the wonderful benefits in it, amongst other things.
People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord looks upon the heart - Proverbs

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