8: The Initial Physical Evidence of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit

The baptism of Christians in the Holy Spirit is accompanied by the initial physical sign of speaking in other tongues (unlearned languages) as the Spirit of God gives them audible expression (Acts 2:4).

This form of speaking in tongues is basically the same as the gift of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:4-10, 28). The difference is the purpose and use. [The manifestation of tongues can be observed in the life of every Spirit-filled believer at the initial infilling. The audible expression of tongues should also continue to function in the Spirit-filled believer's personal prayer life. However, the gift of tongues (sometimes called "messages in tongues") operates publicly, usually in congregational worship settings. This gift is followed by the gift of interpreting the tongues. Both are given to individuals within the church. Their purpose is for the spiritual benefit of the individual and the congregation.]

Importance of this doctrine: Some non-Pentecostal Christians teach that Christ-like character and the fruit of the Spirit are better evidences of the Baptism than speaking in tongues. They believe the Baptism experience occurs at the time of salvation, without the manifestation of tongues. The Pentecostal position maintains that speaking in tongues is the initial physical evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and is separate from salvation. The belief is based on the five instances of such infillings recorded in the Book of Acts (chapters 2, 8, 9, 10, 19). From these passages and personal experience the Assemblies of God holds firm that the Biblical pattern of the Baptism is a separate work following salvation. It is always accompanied initially with the audible expression of tongues. While it is true the Holy Spirit dwells in every Christian at the time of salvation to convict of sin and point the person to Christ, this work of the Holy Spirit is different from Baptism. Sadly, many Christians because of anti-Pentecostal teaching, fear, or lack of understanding, never open themselves to receive this wonderful gift. To some non-Pentecostal Christians the idea of speaking a language one has not learned is disturbing if not frightening. But to the millions of Pentecostals who have spoken in tongues under the impulse of the Holy Spirit-it is a precious gift. And like a gift, it must be received before its value and usefulness is personally realized. This is only accomplished through a cooperative human vessel who fully yields to the Holy Spirit and opens himself to His Spirit Baptism, signified with tongues.

 

BETHANY ASSEMBLY OF GOD

 

916 Hollister Street San Diego, California 92154

 (619) 423-0661 Fax: (619) 423-2310

E-Mail: bethanya@clearsail.net

 

Statement of Fundamental Truths

 

[Scriptures Inspired] [One True God] [The Deity Of Christ] [Fall of Man] [Salvation Of Man]

[Ordinances of the Church] [Baptism in the Holy Ghost] [Evidence of Baptism in Holy Ghost]

[Sanctification] [Church and its Mission] [Ministry] [Devine Healing] [Blessed Hope]

[Millennial Reign of Christ] [Final Judgment] [New Heaven and Earth]