We notice here that Luke speaks of Jesus’ appearing to the disciples and others providing infallible proofs. Over that period He was both seen and heard. Jesus manifested Himself as proof of His own resurrection from the dead. This so affected the disciples who fled from the garden at His arrest that they all became martyrs in different parts of the world spreading the news of the things they had personally seen and heard. The word manifest means, to make known to the senses. A witness has observed something first hand that others did not see themselves. Jesus’ disciples were the ones who did see Jesus alive. They died knowing He was alive and then each of them went out into the world and died horrible deaths for what they saw and heard – what they had witnessed firsthand.
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. John 14:21.
Jesus manifested himself to Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus in an overwhelming show of His power and glory knocking Paul to the ground from his beast! That convinced Paul by an infallible proof that Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God and raised from the dead by the power of God! He gladly suffered everything from humiliation to lashes and finally death because he had witnessed the living Christ! All of these men, ranging from fisherman to an educated member of the Sanhedrin, went to their death for what they had seen and heard. This is why I call Acts 2:4 the Baptism of the Resurrection.
The purpose of Pentecost has not changed since that day of Pentecost in Jerusalem in A.D. 29. Truth is a fact that can be proven by infallible and irrefutable evidence. And because God knew this church age would extend over a period of two thousand years, the resurrection of his Son, Jesus of Nazareth, was the hope and cornerstone of the church. The proof of His resurrection would have to establish the fact of His resurrection over the entire period of the church’s history with a convincing power equal to the evidence given to the apostle’s on the day of Pentecost. In fact, it is perhaps more essential for the saints who make up the church to be convinced of the Resurrection as time goes into the second millennium and the falling away at the end of the church age according to prophecy. The further the existing church is from the resurrection and the day of Pentecost and the events of the forty days following His death and resurrection, the more is the need of supernatural evidence linking us directly to the power of the resurrection!
Today two millenniums of the church’s history have passed, and like Thomas who was absent when the Lord showed Himself to the disciples, the posterity of the church was “absent” when Jesus manifested Himself to His disciples. Thomas insisted that he should have the same evidence of His appearing that the other disciples had. Thomas had legitimate desire, and the Lord heard him and returned to give the same convincing evidence to him that He had given those who saw Him and talked with Him when Thomas was absent. Again note that they saw Him and spoke with Him.
External and Internal Evidence.
You can enter heaven without speaking in tongues, but you cannot enter heaven without holiness and a love for the truth of God’s word. But if you are baptized in the Holy Spirit according to Acts 2:4, and you possess the glorious transformation of the inner man, you have the complete power of both the internal transformation of the redeemed and the external manifestation of a supernatural baptism of the Spirit that constitutes the scriptural principle of the double witness in order to establish the truth (Deuteronomy 17:6).
The Double Witness of the Spirit
The Holy Spirit came suddenly manifesting His appearance with two accompanying signs: the sound of a mighty wind and the sight of tongues of fire that sat upon each of them. Humanism is defined as “That which you perceive, by what you become aware of through the senses of sight and sound”. Humanists insist that nothing is real unless you can experience it with your senses and especially the empirical senses of sight and sound. On the day of Pentecost there was the sight of the small flames of fire that settled over each of them and then the sound of a mighty rushing wind. When Peter rose to his feet to answer the remarks coming from the crowd, note what he said as he neared the end of his discourse:
This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now SEE and HEAR. (Acts 2:33)
The writer of Hebrews said, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) The Greek word for substance is hupostasis meaning confidence or assurance. Allow me to paraphrase what he said here that is contrary to what I have heard many preachers say; “Faith is the confidence we have in the evidence before us.” Or we may say without violating the sense of what the writer has said in his verbally inspired choice of words; It is faith in the evidence God has provided!
Actually, faith is confidence in the evidence!
And there is plenty of evidence!
God Provides Experiential Evidence because it is Essential to Faith
The supernatural physical manifestation of the Holy Spirit baptism will give a supernatural dimension to any believer’s faith, and that supernatural evidence is equal to the same kind of faith supernatural evidence of the resurrection gave to the disciples proving the resurrection. This supernatural manifestation is so essential that a Christian’s faith is not complete without it. I am not saying it’s our salvation, except to compliment it with power and divine optimism (faith). But we cannot do what other doctrinaires have done stressing something as being essential to salvation other than the redeeming blood of Jesus which is the only means of justification and the only principle thing our Father in heaven has provided making us fit for heaven. Only the blood! The soul that sinneth shall die, and if I do not accept the death of Jesus as my substitute taking the penalty of sin, death in my place, then I must pay that penalty of death myself! Oh, the precious blood of Jesus! It alone saves us from an eternity of damnation and gives us access to an eternity in the bliss of the mansion He has prepared for us!
Did the disciples need that baptism of tongues to convince them of the resurrection? Probably not because they had seen Him die and then saw Him alive and articulate many times over a 40 day period. They had sat at meat with Him and walked with Him on the road to Emmaus. But they did need the other powers and spiritual endowments that come with that baptism. There is more than one purpose and element of divine power in this baptism than a supernatural manifestation. The powers that come with this promise are given to every age of the church unto the very end.
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children,and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. Acts 2:38-39.
Yes, there are many dimensions of power for all who receive this baptism. The first is that this baptism every believer is entitled to receive remain with us as it did the disciples as supernatural prayer. This supernatural prayer is our first and most powerful endowment that comes with the baptism of the Holy Spirit! There is evidence that the gift of the baptism remains with us and we are able to pray in the languages of men and angels as we will. Paul said, “I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:” (1 Corinthians 14:8). However, this is not true in the church! (Verse 9). The supernatural prayer language given to us is for the closet of prayer and not in public. The resurrection baptism Luke describes in Acts 2 is to all believers (Acts 2:39) and not to be confused with the gift of tongues, one of the least of the gifts Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 12. When you pray in the Spirit you are allowing the Holy Spirit to pray and your own understanding is unfruitful. But, when He prays, He prays with omniscience and omnipotence knowing all things and can pray with complete knowledge of what to pray with preciseness! His prayers are perfect and my heart is edified because I know God is praying through me and for me according to all the powers of His divine attributes! Every believer in Christ reading these lines, and especially any minister of the gospel, seek this baptism and have it to yourself and add a whole new dimension to your life and ministry. The Pentecostal denominations and the Charismatics have cheapened the real and original ministry and purpose of this precious and sacred baptism of power. It is a God given gift to everyone who believes. Read 1 Corinthians 12 through 14 and you will see many truths in a new way if you read the Word with an open heart. Terrible things are coming upon this earth as the powers of the Antichrist are looming over the evangelical, bible believing, fundamental Christians. We need the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives to stand for what is coming.
I want to address one other common error I have heard some of my evangelical brethren teach when they confuse the gift of the baptism that came upon the 120 on the day of Pentecost with the gift of tongues Paul speaks of in 1 Corinthians 12:1-11. In this chapter Paul says plainly that he is speaking of the gifts of the Spirit for the edification of the church. In verse 10 he writes, “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:” There are 9 of these gifts given to the church to operate within the church with each gift a channel (or a vessel) that God’s Spirit uses to speak directly to the church. These gifts are to operate within the church. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is not for operating in the church but for our personal edification as Paul stated. There is a big difference between the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The one functions in my heart for my personal edification and is a gift for everyone who is called of God and living under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, while the other is not for everyone but for whosoever the Spirit chooses to move upon. Paul said in I Corinthians 12:30, “do all speak with tongues?” He is speaking here of the gift of tongues which is one of the 9 gifts that are supposed to operate within the church.
So, any man who claims the call of God and holds the Word of God in his hands must be very careful to always be honest and make the distinction between these two operations of the Holy Spirit and the two uses of the supernatural utterance of tongues. The man of God must rightly divide the Word of God, not add it, not subtract it or multiply it, but rightly divide it, and I have shown you here that there are two very distinguishable operations of tongues that are easily seen by an honest heart. If you don’t know how to handle the Word of God just leave it alone! It is better you do that than to distort and teach a falsehood that could bring serious consequences in the judgment. That supernatural manifestation of the resurrection is just as essential to the completeness of the believer’s faith today, or even more so, as it was the week after the resurrection when Jerusalem was abuzz with the report that Jesus had been seen alive and that His body was not found in the tomb where they laid Him.
Let me say with solemnity, that you not confuse the tongues movements that have become popular in apostate Christianity circles today with the Holy Ghost of Acts. Do not allow the neo-Laodicea Charismatic movement and what it has done to deform, disdain and damage the authentic gospel of the apostles’ doctrine distract you from what the Word of God teaches. I include myself among those who have become ashamed of the word Pentecostal. Pentecost as a movement is completely removed from the Pentecost of Acts. I identify with the truth of the Biblical doctrine of the Holy Spirit being the Divine Agent of moral perfection and holiness, the Teacher of the church possessing the perfectness of the divine nature. If Balaam can go to hell for teaching the Midianites how to corrupt Israel then you can speak in tongues and go to hell with Balaam! The baptism of the Holy Spirit, emotionalism and miracles are no guarantee you’ll see inside the kingdom! Read Matthew 7:21-23 for proof of what I say. The quality of the Christian life is in holiness, separation from the world, godliness and righteousness and modesty. It is seeking moral perfection after having a moral transformation; a salvation experience of true conversion. It is keeping a pure thought stream in the heart and the joy of obedience to the principles of the moral principles of the kingdom! It is when my delight to please Him makes me twice as willing to obey His commandments than what the law demands. That is where salvation lies – not in any supernatural experience or gift. But the gifts He makes available to us are divine ennoblements that empower us to maintain all of those glorious virtues of holiness.
The true Holy Spirit ministry is to perfect Christ in us, teaching us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and to live soberly and righteously and godly in this present age (Titus 2:11-12). He teaches the pure doctrines of the apostles only. According to Jesus, He will teach us all things.
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. John 14:26.
I’ll never become like the angels unless I can live like the angels and talk like the angels and believe what angels believe! Those who have had an in depth conversion through repentance have had old things pass away and all things become new – a life changing moral transformation – the only proof of salvation. Seek your own Spirit baptism experience according to Acts 2:4, and keep your own tryst with God without identifying with a tag that has some man or non-Biblical word in it.
Back to our subject: I want to review what we have said above in just a little different way to make the facts of the Day of Pentecost even more real to us. We come to the conclusion that evidence is a very important thing to God as it relates to our faith in Him and in His Word! Why? Because God will not require me to believe something He has not provided sufficient evidence calculated to cause me to have belief in the truth. There must be sufficient evidence to prove the thing He wants us to believe or He would not require us to believe it. The disciples heard the wind and they saw the tongues of fire. Evidence! Evidence of what? That Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God, the Messiah, and that He was risen from the dead, had returned to the Father and received from the Father the Holy Spirit and sent Him to be at the side of every believer as Jesus had promised! The baptism of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost was the promise of Jesus to send the Comforter when He returned to the Father.
On that day the God of heaven provided sufficient evidence of the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, and three thousand Jews turned to Christ after Peter finished his message and the church was born! The resurrection of Christ had taken place, an event that has impacted the world for two millenniums and will continue to impact the world even more in the next Kingdom millennium! May I add the fact that the growth of the church that has circled this globe was not built by a dead man? The existence of the church had its beginning after the death of Christ on the cross! That is also proven by secular history as well as the scriptures and archeology! More evidence!
That is why there was a resounding response of faith and belief by the Jews who witnessed the phenomena of the Holy Spirit falling on the disciples of Jesus! Yes, these Jews who had come to Jerusalem to celebrate the holy Passover feast from many different nations had heard these local Jews speaking in their tongues the wonderful works of God! How can this be?! Because this was what He promised! (See Luke 24:49 and compare Acts 2:16 with Joel 2:28).
When the huge crowd of foreign Jews heard this the crowd grew larger. Some said those speaking in their own language were drunk, but that doesn’t make any sense, does it? I’ve seen a lot of drunk people in my more than eighty plus going on ninety years, and I don’t recall ever hearing a drunk speaking intelligibly and fluently in a language he had never learned. If that were true, beer and alcoholic beverages would cost hundreds of dollars a bottle! Peter replied to the crowd, explaining that this was a work of God in heaven and that Jesus had returned to the Father and had sent this power to pray and praise in another tongue as proof He had reached the Father in heaven and sent this bit of heaven to them to prove He had indeed risen!
Peter lifted up his voice and said, Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: 23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: 24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. (Acts 2:22-24, 33)
The Infallible Proof of Jesus’ Resurrection
Here it is in Peter’s own words. He had returned to the Father in heaven sending the Holy Spirit which they could see and hear, as He promised to prove the fact He was indeed glorified and now with His Father at His right hand!
This takes us to a very important principle: God the Father establishes divine truth with evidence. God places great importance on evidence and provides evidence sufficient to prove the facts. It is commonly used by him all through the Scripture in His dealings with man, with Israel, and even to this very day in the church. Time and space does not allow us to exhaust this fact with Scripture references. I will only mention a few examples of the past because the baptism of the Holy Spirit is the miraculous evidence of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and still happening today.
Proof of the Resurrection Today
Here is the promise of the Word of God: “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Acts 2:39) That includes everyone reading these lines. Verse 38 makes it clear that He was speaking of the phenomena of the supernatural praise in other languages.
But, on a little different note: If the Word of God is true, then perhaps 80% of those who speak in tongues today is not speaking a language given by the Holy Spirit. There are all kinds of “tongues” in all kinds of churches that preach a gospel far removed from the gospel of holiness and moral transformation. There is a Para-gospel that mimics the true gospel and revolves around the person of Jesus but bears no resemblance to the gospel recorded in Scripture. This writer has preached the gospel in forty nine nations of the world including exposure to the Macumba, Voodoo and other demonic cults. I have heard these people under trance speak in other tongues. It is a common practice among many godless religions. The true church MUST operate within the boundaries of the truth set forth in the Word of God! The doctrines of grace must be Scriptural. Justification MUST be the foundation, and sanctification is the theme and characteristic of that church. If any of these biblical pillars of truth are not an integral part of any worshiping group in Jesus name, they are apostate and their candle will be removed.
Worship of Jesus or speaking in tongues does not make a church approved or accepted by God. Without moral transformation at the altar and walking on the highway of holiness after the altar is a Laodicean apostate church that Christ will cast off in the judgment! There is a Pentecost that is false and apostate that will be rejected at the judgment. They will miss the glorious hope and be brought up at the White throne and judged severely with the sinners.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew 7:21-23)
Again let me say, according to Scripture, God does not nor will He require that we believe anything that He does not provide sufficient evidence to cause us to believe. He uses evidence to arouse faith in a man or a nation. When we believe anything that conflicts with the Word of God we ignore the evidence God has provided and place our souls in serious jeopardy.
The writer of Hebrews states the evidence factor well when he said, Time would fail us to tell of … and then continues; There was Gideon’s sheepskin – evidence! Naaman’s leprosy healed through the prophet Elisha – evidence! Doubting Moses saw his rod become a serpent, and his hand turned leprous and then healed (Exodus 4:1). Convincing evidence! There was Noah and the Patriarchs who heard the voice of God. The prophets and the people of Israel saw many manifestations of God’s power calculated to give them hope and faith in the promises of God.
For the church, the supernatural baptism of the Holy Spirit is proof of the resurrection! It was on the day of Pentecost, and it still is today.
But let me be very quick to say that there are many other internal evidences of the Holy Spirit coming into the inner man to take abode. I have stood giving altar calls and watched the countenance of faces at an altar change as they cried out to God in repentance. When they get up from the altar they testified that a heavy load has been lifted and they feel like a new person. There is a dramatic change that takes place in only seconds when we come to the Lord. Once we confess our sinful nature to Him and ask His forgiveness the Holy Spirit brings the Spirit of Christ into the heart, that secret inner self where we do all of our thinking and decision making and form all of our beliefs out of sight from all men. Christ comes within bringing the power we need to live a holy life, cleaning the thought streams of the heart and giving us a desire to please Him, which is greater than His moral law requires.
At my conversion I wept in prayer for one and a half hours, and when I finally stood I had experienced a complete moral transformation! I had been raised from childhood as a Christian Scientist and made to go to Sunday school every Sunday. But when I stood to my feet in the prayer room at Bethel Temple in Sacramento, California, about 1:30 pm on February 18, 1951, all of my Christian Science doctrine was gone! All I wanted to do was read the Bible day and night. I was not the same man that kneeled when that altar call was given! Never once have I looked back.
When we come making a full surrender to receive Jesus as Lord there will be a complete transformation. In recent years there has been a tragic lack in the depth of conversions. The result has been shallow Christianity and little difference between the Christian and the sinner. The church has become so worldly and the world so churchy that there is little difference between them. This is also true in many holiness churches.
But where there is in-depth conversion there will be a moral transformation in that life that may include a sanctification (hagiasmos) experience at the same time they are sanctified (hagiazo). Yes, there is a big difference! (Search the Greek words on this web site for further study of these two Greek words.)
So, while the baptism of the Holy Spirit is an infallible proof of the resurrection of Jesus that took place two thousand years ago, there are also many other evidences in the spirit of man that alters his character and his personality instantly upon having a good solid connection with the Holy Spirit at the time they come to Jesus. So, Scripture is clear, and human experience verifies the fact that moral transformation at the time of conversion to Christ is the evidence that we have been born again. Tongues in any professing Christian’s life that is without the pure truth of the apostle’s doctrine and holiness of life (separated unto God) is not scriptural and is counterfeit! Don’t whine and tell me that this will discourage many tender believers. Let them find a church that preaches the need for “praying through” and get the real thing instead of criticizing someone that is telling you the truth according to the Word of God. Try reading Revelation chapters 2 and 3 a hundred times and tell me if Jesus tolerates falsehood in the church.
The baptism establishes the fact that our moral transformation is a result of the resurrection of Jesus and not merely an emotional phenomenon. It is a supernatural transformation that makes my nature compatible with the moral standards of the Lord’s commandments and the apostle’s doctrine.
These (the Bereans) were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. (Acts 17:11)
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. (Galatians 4:6)
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. (Romans 8:9)
Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. (1 Peter 1:11)
Jesus told the crowd who came to hear His teaching with the palsied boy lying at his feet after He had forgiven him his sin, “But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.” (Mark 2:10-11)
In this writing I want to deal with the empirical teaching of Jesus and the apostles that explain the two primary objectives for operating in us.
Allen Swift, the founder of Eastern Bible Institute and a godly man of the Word gave to his generation several major explanations of Bible truth. One of those works he had printed gives one of the finest explanations of the operation of the Holy Spirit in only a few pages. To view this work click the link at page one of this post, or go to http://actsion.com/the-spirit-within-and-upon/. I will treat it here briefly as an excellent foundation truth to help us understand the three major operations of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer.
The Holy Spirit With, In, and Upon
The Holy Spirit came upon men in the Old Covenant enabling them to accomplish what was not humanly possible. Samson was an example of the Holy Spirit coming upon a person enduing them with supernatural power. This is the relationship between all men from the beginning. The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Godhead and therefore He is God and He is omnipresent. He is present at all times in all places and knows all things. This means that His presence is everywhere… where He is loved and welcomed and where He is hated or ignored. He is in the dens of iniquity and in houses of worship. He is with everybody and all-knowing. God is present wherever you are and whatever you are doing. In this sense God is WITH ME and He was with me before I was with Him.
God WITH man was from the beginning when man was created in paradise. All through the ages of Innocence, Conscience, Nations and Government and Law God was WITH man. Through those ages He manifested Himself to righteous men directly through communication. He communicated directly with Adam, Cain, Job, Noah, Enoch Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Balaam in this way. During the Period of Law God spoke directly to King David and to all the prophets whose words are preserved for us in the Scriptures. At the end of the age of law God spoke to Mary, to Joseph, to Zacharias and Elizabeth. At the baptism of Jesus God spoke to those present saying, “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.” This period of time that God was WITH man was approximately 3,973 years. During these periods of time God did manifest Himself in supernatural acts of intervention when He wished.
Perhaps the greatest of the many enablements that we receive when we accept Jesus as Savior and Lord is that we receive His Spirit within our hearts. When there is a total surrender of the heart the Spirit of Christ enters the inner man and there is a transformation that alters all of our previous godless concepts of morality. This is called moral transformation.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20) See also: John 14:20; 2 Corinthians 4:11; 13:5; Ephesians 3:17; Colossians 1:27.
By faith Christ dwells in me and uses my life to live through to do His works, build His church and evangelize the world.
To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: (Colossians 1:27)
Under the Law God manifested Himself in a different way. It was by divinely enabling man to carry out supernatural acts of judgment against the enemies of God’s people. The Spirit of God came upon those God anointed to do great feats from building a mammoth sea-going vessel by hand over a 100 year period to revelations of prophetic truth we are seeing fulfilled today. The Spirit was upon men and women in the Old covenant, but Grace brought God’s nature and power with the new creature! This is recorded in the time of the Judges when God enabled the judges against the Philistines. Under the Old Covenant the Spirit came upon and enabled men like Samson, Gideon and Japheth to act or perform beyond natural strength or ability. It was a divine enablement as a result of the Holy Spirit coming upon them to perform a feat far beyond natural abilities. However, under the grace of redemption provided by the cross of Jesus and the shed blood of the Lamb, God’s Spirit comes within and changes the heart of man, and His Holy Spirit, even the Spirit of Christ, enters within the human heart transforming our natures with a supernatural morality in regeneration of the inner man. Under grace we receive the Holy Spirit UPON and WITHIN!
BUT, what about those great men who have made such an impact on the church through its history that did not receive that baptism of power as did the disciples in the upper room proving to them the ascension of Jesus to the Father? Answer: You might be surprised if you knew how many great names of the past and more recent church history did have the glossolalia experience albeit unknown by others. Dwight L. Moody often had people slain in the Spirit, lying on the floor around the altar speaking in other languages all night when the janitors would come in to clean. There are many such reports long before the Azusa Street outpouring that most Pentecostals are familiar with. These men were men of faith and by the evidence they had, gave them faith to believe and be converted and preach the gospel to their world. It was sufficient for them, but it does not say that in the judgment they may suffer some loss of reward for not seeking and being open to the infilling of the Holy Spirit.
More serious, however, is the matter that some very good brethren have spoken against the baptism of the resurrection evidence in ignorance and will face serious losses at the judgment seat of Christ. It must be remembered by the honest heart that there is a genuine prophecy and yet we are warned of false teachers and false doctrines who will prophecy lies in Jesus’ name! The Scripture is clear that there are both true and false prophecies, and the same is true that there are true and false tongues. I never deny the charges of some non-Pentecostals of cases they cite where they have seen false tongues by false Christians. We have televangelists on national television that will be cast off by Jesus because they prophesied or cast out demons under pretense – phonies – but God will catch up with them. In the meantime I must live and die by the pure doctrine of God’s Word.
From the courts of Pharaoh when they faked their rods turning into snakes like Moses’ rod, up to and through the church age, we have the devil faking the true miracle powers of God. Jesus warned us! Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Matthew 7:21-23.
There are fake tongues. There are false prophecies and deceptive miracles made to look like God to give credentials to false prophets. Psychic miracles, symptoms by suggestion, and false cries of, “Yes, I feel God’s presence and you are healed!” deceiving God’s people. Then I have seen them go quickly to the next person who needs a false miracle. There are real miracles of God by real men of God, but just as there were the magicians of Pharaoh and Moses standing before the throne of the king of Egypt – the true and the false – so both stand before God today. But! By their fruits you shall know them! What are they producing? Who is benefitting from their works? Kenneth Copeland took in 100 million dollars in one year. It would be interesting to know what percentage was his income and what percentage went into evangelism and especially an outreach to a lost world – such as the 1000 unreached lost mountain tribes in northern India. Our mission spends every penny we can on Indian dialect and Hindu Bibles and blankets for these tribes through native evangelists. Men like Copeland could sell just one of his airplanes and we could evangelize hundreds of these villages with that money. In one special meeting of his supporters he received one million dollars as a birthday gift by cash and credit cards. Both the true and false prophets will stand before the throne of God. Woe unto the false who will share the fate of Pharaoh’s magicians.
A child can imitate someone speaking in tongues. I have heard false tongues many times! But that does not take anything away from the fact that there is the true, and there is a baptism of the Holy Spirit with an accompanying supernatural evidence of speaking (praying or praising God) in the tongues of angels and men. 1 Corinthians 13:1.
The Difference Between the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and the Gift of Tongues
There are two distinct mentions of two distinct operations of the Holy Spirit that non-Pentecostal preachers fail to divide between. But they are clearly two different operations of the Holy Spirit.
THE GIFT OF TONGUES is one of the nine supernatural gifts Paul reveals in his letter to the Corinthian church.
Over the 64 years of my ministry that has allowed me the privilege to preach my Lord’s gospel in forty nations and living in those cultures with the people and seeing hundreds come to the Lord in crusades and many times one on one witnessing, I have talked to wonderfully saved preachers of good sound faith and doctrine who were not Pentecostal. The most frequent misunderstanding these great men have is knowing the difference between the baptism of the new believer in the Holy Spirit and the gift of tongues Paul then mentions in 1 Corinthians 12:30. I want to address that difference here for the sake of anyone it will help. The difference is very clear.
In this discourse we have endeavored to treat the real purpose of the supernatural enablement that is promised to believers in Christ upon or soon after conversion as the supernatural evidence of the resurrection, ascension and glorification of Christ after his death on the cross. It was proof of the resurrection! It still is. Those who refer to 1 Corinthians 13:8 as proof that the Bible has replaced tongues are stretching things a bit as I will point out. In this verse Paul wrote that faith, knowledge and tongues shall all cease comparing it to the fact that love shall never cease to be. True! But under grace we, the church, need all three of these doctrines to remain until they are no longer needed which will be at the end of this dispensation. It is certain that knowledge and faith are still very much needed! It’s quite an arbitrary attitude to say that tongues are to be lifted out of that verse and end them without one whit of scriptural authority to do so. There is still the need for the proof of the resurrection of the Lord to leave its impact upon the heart of the believer. It is the seal of the heart that the soul can cling to as proof that JESUS IS ALIVE!
But then they have said to me, we don’t need that proof anymore because God’s Word is now all the evidence we need. I would first say that there is a big difference between seeing a painting of Jesus and when we shall see his face. A personal contact with the power of the Holy Spirit that affects my heart and imparts to me a supernatural power of prayer with the omniscient Spirit of God praying through me cannot be compared to my deepest natural prayer. That baptism is not just an UPON experience – it is a gift endowing us with the ability to pray with the powers of omnipotence as the Holy Spirit prays through me. It is sacred, and it is powerful. But let me explain why the Word of God is not the replacement of the Holy Spirit baptism.
First of all we have no Scripture that implies such a thing. Forgive me for being a little outspoken, but I must say that I have found exponents of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit that hold all kinds of cleverly devised interpretations of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and are quite ignorant of the Scriptural facts when they try to make their interpretations explain this doctrine. When Jesus walked the earth and chose his disciples and launched His miraculous ministry that would literally turn Israel and ultimately the world upside down, His death and His resurrection had to be preserved and go on living long after Jesus and His disciples had passed off the scene of history.
JESUS’ MINISTRY WAS CONTINUED BY THE COMING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. John 14:26; 15:26; 16:7. There! You have the Word of God telling you in simple language that the Holy Spirit is the extension of the continuation of His earthly ministry when He would return to the Father. It is the Holy Spirit whom He sent in His place to continue His comforting ministry among His disciples and all who believe and are baptized. The Bible as we know it, containing the Old and the New Covenants, was not available to the church for hundreds of years after the cross. For several decades the early church had only the writings of the prophets as their final authority. THE GOSPELS AND EPISTLES OF THE APOSTLES ARE THE CONTUNUATION OF THEIR WITNESS OF JESUS WHEN HE “HAPPENED.”
The witness and the life, the miracles, and finally the revelations of the mysteries of blood redemption and the complex plan of God to restore man back into His presence and fellowship is contained in the written record of the apostles of Jesus including Paul. Their written account constitutes the continuation of the apostles’ witness to the posterity of the church and the kingdom of God on earth. This record of those who lived close to Jesus for more than three years, providentially preserved in the Antiochian MSS, translated into English, and contained in the authorized King James Version, constitutes a tangible witness to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. It is an extension of the apostles’ ministry and not the fulfillment of the promise of the power the Lord would send upon the church as they waited in the upper room. That distinction can be easily seen. The Word of God is a tangible witness to the nations and to all individuals saved and unsaved. It is a universal witness and the continuing message of the disciples of Jesus witnessing to all men. But, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a personal gift of grace only given to each of his disciples empowering them with supernatural prayer, and it is a supernatural sign from His presence in heaven as proof that He remains in heaven in the presence of God.
“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter; that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” John 14:16-17.
The Scriptures are the extension of the Disciples’ ministry. They have come from the disciples to the posterity of the church to reach all men of the world.
The Holy Spirit is the extension of Jesus’ ministry. The Spirit was sent by Jesus Christ when He returned to the Father to take His place beside the disciples as their teacher and comforter.
These are the two witnesses from God to restore man and provide the enabling graces and power to become the children of God. The mysteries of redemption were mostly explained by Paul. Then the Epistles of Paul and Peter and John became joined to the Old Covenant making up God’s complete plan of the redemption of man by justification. The Word of God is the continuing ministry of the apostles who were the witnesses of His life and ministry and left those records and teaching through their diaries and letters to the churches which became the Word of God of both covenants. The Bible is the continuation of the witness of the apostles who were closest to Jesus when He “happened.”
This is the scriptural fact regarding the continuation of Jesus’ ministry. It is not just the Holy Spirit or just the Word of God that constitute that witness. They both are there as witnesses because it is essential that all truth be established in the mouth of two witnesses – the Spirit and the Word! The Word of God is the tangible witness. The operation of the Holy Spirit is the spiritual witness.
We have two soul centers; the heart and the mind, and these constitute both the spiritual and the tangible (body). The Word of God is the tangible witness God has provided for the mind; the intelligence of man. The Spirit is sent to join the spirit of man and empower him spiritually – again, the two witnesses for the two soul centers of man.
Then we see it again in the time of the Kings when the Spirit of God came upon Saul and he prophesied. That is, he spoke utterances inspired by the Spirit of God.
On the day of Pentecost, in the words of an old gospel hymn, something beyond the reach of mortal men, God chose to move IN with me, into my inner man, to join my human spirit, placing in me the power of His presence IN ME to guide me and enable me to become a son of God! (John 1:12). Next to the resurrection itself, this wondrous act of God is a wonder! These words of Jesus, “and he shall be in you,” was beyond anything the disciples had thought.
This must be equated with the fact that when a person comes to the Lord in contrition, confessing that they are a sinner possessing a depraved nature, thanking Him for taking the wrath of God in my place, asking for forgiveness, this person will experience a moral transformation within. They have a complete change of moral values literally becoming a new and different person! This should happen when any person comes to the Lord. Unfortunately, many precious souls come to an altar of prayer and never pray through to a deep confession of sin that cleanses the soul. They are brought to the front of the church to repeat a prayer and told they are saved. For a very few this may be enough, but for most there should be more opportunity to pray longer until they have broken in contrition and know He is now IN ME! I teach my people that they have not prayed until there are tears and contrition before a holy God.
Those in the upper room were the most faithful of Jesus’ disciples. Of the thousands He had touched and taught after three and a half years of miracles throughout the nation, only 120 tarried in Jerusalem as he had commanded. It was on these faithful few that the Spirit fell.
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. (Luke 24:49)
This was spoken on May 28, AD 29, and the Holy Spirit made His sudden appearance to them as they tarried according to His command on June 5. According to Klassen’s Calendarized Study Bible they tarried for eight days in Jerusalem in the same room He gave them the promise. They tarried for what Jesus said was, The promise of my Father upon you to be endued with power from on high, waiting for the promise.
Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. (John 14:17)
Three times in chapters 14, 15 and 16 of John’s Gospel Jesus gives us the name of the Holy Spirit – THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH! Truth is the supreme virtue of the Kingdom and the substance of every Word that proceeds from the heart of God. Love the truth, and when you find, it follow it wherever it takes you! In the day we live God is going to separate the men from the boys, and we must settle it now that it is better to be divided by truth than be united with error! When you are baptized in the Holy Spirit you are filled with the Spirit of Truth. Truth is the principle of all principles and will survive all the wickedness of the Sodomite Antichrist One World Order. Truth is the power that will cast the beast, the false prophet and ultimately Satan into the lake of liquid fires of brimstone! Truth is like a straw in the ocean where the screaming winds turning the sea into a violent range of watery mountains and valleys BUT cannot sink the straw! Truth survives, and Jesus sent to us that Spirit of truth to keep us in the power of His truth. Stay in the Word! Stay in the Word! Only in the Word do we find the sweet, calm faith and hope that will take us through the violence of the coming storm! Get all of God He has for you. Love the truth and sell it not!
The Lord Jesus announces a relationship between the Holy Spirit and the believer of the Covenant He will make with us. This is the new relationship for those who believe on the atonement and receive Jesus as Savior and Lord. They will have a “Spirit within” type of relationship with God.
Notice that Jesus said, UPON them. And when the Holy Spirit suddenly manifested His arrival it says, “And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” This was an IN experience and proof of CHRIST IN YOU, the hope of glory. (Acts 2:3-4)
This was a historical event! For the first time the servants of the Lord were introduced to all three dimensions of the Spirit presence! WITH, IN and UPON.
He is WITH all the heathen the world over whether they are aware of it or not. God is omnipresent monitoring every secret niche from the deepest sea to the highest heaven! He is present in every den of iniquity and every dark heart, knowing every secret thing. He knows the secret agenda and everything hidden by the wicked, and it will all come out in the final judgment. In the second resurrection all the wicked will be brought out of the caverns of the lost and will be proven guilty and fall like tons and tons of lumps of lead into the sea of liquid fire. There will be billions of souls converted to the truth of God’s Gospel in only seconds.
Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. (John 14:7)
And when Samson came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands. (Judges 15:14).
The church has all three dimensions of the Holy Spirit’s relationship to man. Christians who know the real purpose of God choosing this miraculous sign of speaking (praying) in other tongues as the evidence of the resurrection need to share it with others so that the truth of God is established in the hearts of His children. God’s power will be desired by all who love Him and want more of God’s power operating in their lives.
We must address a very special subject of the Bible to establish a fact that is very much related to the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
I like to find causal truths in the Scripture, and this is one of the greatest causal doctrines of all biblical truths! The Charismatic’s and many apostate Pentecostals have become so absorbed in the phenomena of the physical experience that they have overlooked the true cause, purpose and divine intent of God choosing this method of speaking (praying) in an unknown tongue as the supernatural evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Actually, it is a wrong statement and very misleading when we say that tongues is proof that I have received the Holy Spirit which in turn the Gentiles were also receiving about seven years after the resurrection of Jesus. Through the ministry of both Peter and Paul, the church had to accept Gentiles into the predominantly Jewish church at that time because God was pouring out the baptism of the Holy Spirit on the Gentiles also. This was a very traumatic transition for the church to experience at first. First there was the transition from all of the liturgies of the ceremonial law and the many sacrifices and holy days, and now another big change of admitting the Gentiles into the church. We see by this that the baptism, or what we like to call the “Resurrection Baptism,” was also proof to the disciples that God had received the Gentiles into the body of Christ when He fell on them at Cornelius’s house as on them in the beginning. (Acts 10:44-46). It was proof that the Lord was receiving them as Gentiles into the church. This would also apply to any new convert whether Jew or Gentile.
The report of Paul and Peter to the brethren that the Gentiles were receiving the Resurrection Baptism and speaking in tongues as were the Jews, was the convincing evidence that prompted the apostles in Jerusalem to make a decree that the Gentiles be accepted into the body of Christ and that the church was not exclusively a Jewish body, but that redemption was for the sins of the world through the blood of Christ! This also weakened the claims of the Judaizers who were at the same time trying to influence the apostles in Jerusalem to make a decree that the church be merged with Judaism and come under the Mosaic system requiring all to be circumcised. But the Holy Spirit baptism was the determining factor, and the Judaizers suffered a crushing defeat and the “all nations” commission of Jesus to His disciples went into full force.
Peter and the apostles were quite aware of the real purpose of the baptism in the Holy Spirit when it “happened” on the day of Pentecost. But as is the case with every revival God has sent the church throughout its history, it corrupts when man puts his hands on it!
Peter preached a message on the day of Pentecost with ten scriptures from the Old Testament as his text. In his message he explained the true cause of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and yet we pay no attention to it and go on with all kinds of theological or random theorizing about this experience and remain completely oblivious to God’s divine purpose on the day of Pentecost.
I have never heard it preached or even mentioned (although I am certain it has surely been by some brethren), but it should be the eternal flame of truth when we think about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit so that we will stop saying such a shallow thing as, “The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the proof I have received the Holy Spirit.” It pains me to write these words when I know it is like shooting a child’s cap gun compared to the atomic bomb of truth!
Peter made it the very theme of his message!
The purpose and cause of the Holy Spirit falling on the church was to prove that Jesus of Nazareth had most certainly returned to heaven to be glorified, and He sent the Holy Spirit in a flaming baptism as proof of His resurrection to the end of the church age! This fact alone proves that He is indeed the Son of God!
I will repeat it the third time in this study: “Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.”
This fact alone proves to the Jews He was Messiah.
This fact alone proves that He was God!
This fact alone proves He had ascended to the Father.
This fact alone proves He was glorified! (Revelation 1:12)
This fact alone proves the Scriptures to be infallibly inspired!
This fact alone proves His teaching is to be trusted.
This fact alone proves that He is building the church! (Matthew 16:18)
This fact alone proves that He will return as He promised!
This fact alone proves He has power over Satan.
This fact alone assures us that Antichrist will be destroyed!
This fact alone assures us of the extinction of all evil; that Satan, and all evil powers will be cast into the lake of fire!
This fact alone proves that there is a heaven and there is a hell!
The resurrection of Jesus had to be proven, and that proof is that He seals every believer with a supernatural gift of supernatural prayer that is also a gift we retain once we receive him. Paul said he thanked God that he
spake with tongues more than ye all (1 Corinthians 14:18). This was forty years after Paul’s conversion and the day of Pentecost. This is not the gift of tongues that is one of the nine gifts operating in the church and given to some but not all believers. This is the promise of power to every Christian of all ages. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. (Acts 2:39)
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is for the edification (strengthening) of each individual. It is an added dimension of power for each and every child of God. It is an initiation into the supernatural world of God! The Baptism of the Spirit is not given to individuals for the edification of the body of Christ, or the local church, but for the edification of the Christian heart and the empowerment of His witness and His evangelistic ministry.
I was fellowshipping with a brother who was a teacher at a prominent seminary that nearly every reader would know if I mentioned the name. He invited me to a dinner at the home of a family in his church in a nearby town. As we sat eating, our conversation was on the Holy Spirit, and he was explaining to the friends around the table that there was only one ministry of tongues mentioned in the Bible and quoted Paul as saying, “Do all speak with tongues?” I very gently entered the discussion because it was a wrong teaching, and I very carefully explained the distinction between the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the gift of the Holy Spirit. This gracious man, in front of his church members, admitted to his error and thanked me for the explanation from the Word of God. I had a deep respect for that man ever after that night.
One is an EXCLUSIVE GIFT to individuals in the body of the church. The other is an INCLUSIVE GIFT to all who receive Christ – proving to every Christian that Jesus is still at the Father’s right in heaven and it is all-inclusive!
This experience is for all believers, and we should not strain to seek it but open our hearts to a genuine baptism just as the disciples waited in the upper room waiting on the Lord when He descended and filled them giving them the proof that Jesus was now in the presence of God the Father. Every Christian, even more today, living in this end time, needs that gift and proof – that resurrection evidence, that Christ was indeed raised from the dead and now sits on His throne beside the Father making intercession for the saints.
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27)
Let us also note that this supernatural baptism is more than proof of the Lord’s resurrection… it is also a gift of supernatural prayer that allows the all-knowing Holy Spirit to pray through the believer choosing the subject and choosing the vocabulary with perfect knowledge of the persons and the circumstances for which He prays. If I go before the Lord with a heavy burden on my heart that needs His intervention, He will pray through me for me. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a supernatural experience that convinces us of God’s miraculous intervention in our world of natural laws. It is therefore our initiation into the supernatural, giving us faith in God’s power and His will to answer our prayers.
I pray according to sight, but He, knowing what lies ahead in my path, prays for me according to His divine knowledge. He prays with a divine intelligence and knowledge for me in a dimension far beyond my limited knowledge of all the facts surrounding my burdens and needs. The supernatural prayer power of the Holy Spirit is the power that moves the hand of God, dispatching angels on missions at God’s command. Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. (John 7:24)
The Holy Spirit coexists with the Father and the Son who occupy the eternal thrones of final authority. His prayers are always in perfect accord with the will of God for our life. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:27)
My final word to all who open their hearts to God and ask Him for this gift is this… This gift is to be the power of God to believe the Word of God. When I taste the supernatural power of God and have been given the ability to pray in the Spirit, that supernatural gift is mine. It is a gift from God to use to pursue my spiritual desires to be holy and pure. If you repent of your sins and accept His death on the cross as a propitiation death in your place, you will experience a moral transformation the same as the thief who died beside Jesus. That man will have no works to his credit in the judgment, but he had a transformation, and in the throes of death he defended Jesus to the other thief, professing Him, then prayed the prayer of contrition asking to be remembered by Jesus when he returned to His Kingdom. He had no theology, but he believed on the Lord, and his was the only word of comfort that came to Jesus during the six hours He hung there under the mockery and laughter of the cruel crowd.
If you seek the truth it will lead you to God.
If you seek God He will lead you to holiness.
If you seek holiness it will lead you to heaven.
To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect. (Hebrews 12:23)
Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:21)
Matthew 5 is for the Kingdom age. But the call to holiness begins in Genesis when the Scripture states that we were made in the image and likeness of God. When man violated the values of the holy life he was cast out of the garden of paradise and lost eternal life. Holiness begins when we are born again and become new creatures in Christ Jesus. Old things pass away and all things become new. We are restored to the original purpose of Adam’s creation in the beginning. Even though this statement by Jesus is directed to the Kingdom age it is also applicable to any age for any believer who knows what the will of God is for his children. Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:48)
Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
Note: Peter applied an eternal principle first given in the Old Testament but also to be applied to the church age under grace because holiness and perfection have always been God’s will for His servants. (1 Peter 1:16)
But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. (Romans 6:22)
For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. (1 Thessalonians 4:7)
But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation (conduct). (1 Peter 1:15)
Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness. (2 Peter 3:11)
Every Christian needs this baptism of the Holy Spirit as Scripture defines and not what men have made it today as the apostate Laodicean’s teach. I will leave you with one precious Scripture that was the Word God gave me when I received this baptism of the resurrection:
Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? (Matthew 7:9-11)
For further study see: http://actsion.com/the-spirit-within-and-upon/