Most Christians believe that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and tongues were restored to the Church at the dawn of the 20thcentury. After studying Church History for years, I have come to know that Saints in the past who were open to God received the Baptism of the Spirit and spoke in tongues. The Pentecostal experience is not something alien to Christianity nor did it cease with the Apostles (which is a “demonic” belief held by many denominations).
Salvation and Baptism in the Spirit:
Salvation and the Baptism in the Spirit are two distinct experiences. Salvation is Holy Spirit “in” you, and Spirit Baptism is Holy Spirit “on” you. Salvation is the Well of water (John 4:14) Jesus talked about to the Samaritan woman and Spirit Baptism is the Rivers of Living water Jesus promised in John 7:37-39. Jesus says in John 14:17 that the world or sinners cannot receive the Holy Spirit but salvation cannot occur without the Holy Spirit. Confused? Here, Jesus was talking about a post-salvation experience which is not available for sinners.
The Book of Acts records 5 instances (Acts 2, 8, 9, 10, 19) of the Baptism of the Spirit and in all instances people who received the Baptism in the Spirit were “already saved”. Cornelius and His Household were saved while Peter preached and were baptized in the Spirit while He continued to preach. “God doesn’t have a problem with people getting saved in the middle of a sermon in their seats without an altar call”.
Baptism in the Spirit is for every Christians:
Baptism is the Spirit is a gift like salvation. Salvation is for everyone but Baptism in the Spirit is for everyone who has been saved. Spirit Baptism is not only for Pastors or the Apostles of the Early Church alone, it is for every Christian. Peter after His first Revival meeting proclaims that Spirit Baptism is for every child of God-
Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to “all” who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” Acts 2:38(NIV)
You don’t have to wait for hours to receive the Baptism of the Spirit:
I was told that we have to pray for 3-4 hours to receive Spirit Baptism but when a Pastor prayed for me I was filled in a few “minutes”. After studying the Bible properly, I led a new believer into Spirit Baptism in “seconds”. It is a gift and you don’t struggle, perform or impress someone to receive a gift from them. You just receive it. Believe and you will be baptized instantly.
The Wrong teaching of “tarrying” comes from Jesus’ command to His disciples before He left. A proper study of the Bible will show that apart from the first Pentecostal experience (120 in the upper room) there is no recorded instances saying that Believers waited for the Baptism in the Spirit. The 120 had to wait because Jesus commanded them specifically because the Holy Spirit was coming to empower the believers for the “first time”. If you are still not convinced you better go to Jerusalem and tarry because the verse says you must tarry in Jerusalem.
He commanded them “not to depart from Jerusalem”, but to wait for the Promise of the Father. Acts 1:4(NKJV)
Tongues, Initial evidence of Spirit Baptism? You decide:
There have been a lot of debates in this Subject even among Pentecostals and Charismatics. I believe tongues is the “initial” evidence of Spirit Baptism. Out of the 5 instances of Spirit Baptism in the Bible, 3 record the evidence of tongues. The remaining two is the Baptism of the Samaritan Believers and Apostle Paul. Early Church Fathers have nailed that the Samaritans spoke in tongues and Simon, the sorcerer asked Peter for the gift of laying on of hands as He saw some outer manifestation. Paul personally nailed that He speaks in tongues. That settles it.
I believe Evangelist Billy Graham was Spirit Baptized but didn’t speak in tongues because of His beliefs. Similarly, Bible teacher Andrew Wommack was Spirit Baptized without tongues but spoke in tongues when He received the truth after “3 years”. God will not compel anyone into tongues but tongues is the initial evidence if you are open to God. “You will not miss out on tongues if you know its benefits.” Other manifestations like prophesy may accompany tongues. Those who say Tongues is of the devil need a zip for their mouths because Jesus said those “who believe in Him” will speak in tongues.Period!
And these signs shall follow them that “believe”…they shall speak with new tongues. Acts 16:17(KJV)
For more info on Tongues, read my post “Mystery of Tongues Unveiled”- http://holyspiritrevolution.com/mystery-of-tongues-unveiled/
Purpose of Pentecost:
We have reduced the Pentecostal experience to tongues. Tongues is important but it is not the purpose of Pentecost. Jesus said we will receive power and not tongues when the Holy Spirit comes on us. Power to witness about Jesus with miracles, signs and wonders is the purpose of Pentecost. We instruct people to pray in tongues daily after they receive Spirit Baptism rather than sending them out to minister about Christ with power. Time to change!
You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you. Acts 1:8(NIV)
Great commission is for “every” Christian and it was followed by a Great empowerment to accomplish it.
If you are Spirit Baptized, you have power. What are you doing with that Power? If you are not baptized you better receive because it is a Love gift from our Loving Father to enable us to do His work.