Speaking In Tongues

Question
First, I was wondering about the filling of the Holy Spirit. I have been informed that the filling is evidenced by the speaking of tongues. This theology calls this the baptism in the Holy Ghost and I am confused. I believe that the filling is not the baptism. It is a filling. And to be filled you do not have to speak in tongues. Also I believe that the Book of Acts is not speaking of everyone’s baptism in the spirit as coming at a later date. Now I believe once we are saved you immediately receive that baptism. The Bible says you are baptized with water and of the spirit. To be filled do you always have to speak in tongues? I have always understood this as just a gift. And the least of all gifts at that.

Second, do tongues present themselves as Baptism in the Spirit? Is this the only evidence of Baptism? Or, is Baptism in the Spirit the salvation experience? Also do all people get all gifts? Why do people say everyone can speak in tongues when half the population of our churches can’t? Are tongues for a message from God? Or, are tongues something we can just use at will without the Spirit’s unction? I am so confused!!! I have been in Charismatic churches where this gift is exalted and is high and lifted up and seems to be an earmark of Christian supremacy and ultimate maturity.

Answer
The idea of being filled with the Holy Spirit evidenced by speaking in tongues is a belief system developed at the beginning of the last century (1900s). It is the “cardinal” doctrine of such denominational bodies like the Assemblies of God. I have written about this in my Spiritual Gifts booklet called Spiritual Gifts for Boneheads Spiritual Gifts for Boneheads.

The Gift of the Spirit is seen as the fulfillment of promise (Gal. 3.14). In the Old Testament, the prophets frequently referred to a day when the Spirit would be given (Isa. 44.3; Ezek. 36.26-27; 37.14; 39.29). Such prophecies in the Old Testament look forward to the salvation that the Messiah would bring. From an Old Testament perspective, the promise of the Spirit is a future (eschatological) promise, and is one of the blessings of the establishing of the Rule of God on earth. For Paul in the New Testament, this promise had occurred (Gal. 3.2-3; 4.6; 5.25). To Be Continue…

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