Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Spirit Baptism and Tongues

7.33 Receiving the Baptism in the Holy Spirit

If you have not received the baptism in the Spirit with the new prayer language of tongues, you can ask believers who minister in this area to pray for you. Alternatively, you could pray by faith to receive from Jesus your Baptizer. Find a quiet place to pray the following from your heart:

Heavenly Father,
I desire to be baptized in the Holy Spirit so that I can receive empowerment in my Christian walk, and to be an effective witness. Lord Jesus, the Bible says that You are the Baptizer in the Holy Spirit. I receive the infilling of Your Holy Spirit now by faith. I receive this new prayer language of tongues. I thank You Lord, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

When you ask Jesus by faith, you will sense a gentle flow of the Spirit from within you. As the rivers of the Spirit flow out, you will sense the unction to pray in tongues. You can respond in faith by praying aloud as the Spirit gives utterance. Remember that Jesus is the baptizer in the Holy Spirit; we just need to relax, enjoy the moment, and receive.

If you have asked before, you should believe that you have already received. This new prayer language is dormant in you until you pray out in faith. The next step is simply to pray aloud together with friends who can encourage you.

Some could be waiting for God to take control of their tongue rather than praying out in faith. The Holy Spirit is a gentleman. He does not force us, unlike evil spirits who possess people to control their minds and speech. Instead, He empowers us to pray.

The Bible says that we are to speak as the Spirit gives us the utterance (Acts 2:4). The person needs to be encouraged to pray out in faith. Praying with fellow believers in the corporate anointing would provide encouragement.

Let me share another verse to show you that we are in control and we can use this new prayer language at any time. Paul said in 1 Cor 14:15, “I WILL pray with the spirit, and I WILL also pray with the understanding.” It was within Paul’s control whether he prayed in tongues or in the known language.

The Spirit gives the utterance but it is within your control, and you can pray out by faith. Why is this prayer language so important? In the days ahead, I will share about the many benefits of praying in tongue and how this humble prayer language has transformed the spiritual walk of believers. God gives us good things because He loves us.

7.32 Understanding the difference between devotional tongues vs. the gift of public tongues

On every occasion when the baptism in the Spirit was received in the book of Acts, speaking in tongues was the confirming sign. All 120 disciples spoke in tongues on the day of Pentecost. This means that every believer can have this wonderful experience.

There is a problem misconception that hinders people from entering this wonderful experience. Some have the idea that the prayer language of tongues is not for everyone. They say, "As one of the 9 gifts of the Spirit, not everyone will have it". There is confusion from the passage in 1 Cor 12:30 where Paul asked, “Do all speak with tongues?” Some have tripped over this passage and stopped short of receiving this new prayer language.

(1 Cor 12:28-30)
And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?

We must know that there is a difference between the GIFT OF TONGUES vs DEVOTIONAL TONGUES. This passage was written in the context of spiritual gifts for ministry. These are public gifts given to individuals for the edification of the body (1 Cor 12:7; Eph 4:16). Not everyone has the gift of “public tongues”, which is used to convey a message from God to the believers, just as not all are apostles, prophets and teachers, etc. This message has to be interpreted by the gift of interpretation in order to be useful (1 Cor 14:5). The question “do all interpret?” comes immediately after “do all speak with tongues?” confirming that Paul was referring to the gift of “public tongues”.

In contrast, the new prayer language of “devotional tongues” received during baptism in the Spirit is for our personal use and everyone can have it. It is a private prayer language for self-edification (1 Cor 14:4) and for you to communicate with God.

(1 Cor 14:2, 4)
For he who speaks in a tongue does not SPEAK to men but to GOD, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries.

He who speaks in a tongue EDIFIES HIMSELF…

In all the instances when they received tongues in the book of Acts, it was said that they spoke with tongues. The Bible never called it the gift of tongues (one of the 9 gifts of the Holy Spirit).

It is beneficial to receive this prayer language of devotional tongues because everyone needs personal edification. Mark 16:17 says, “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name... they will speak with new tongues…” This is a promise to everyone who believes. This understanding will be important for some who have not had the breakthrough and thinks they are excluded. The promise of Mark 16:17 is for you as a believer.

7.28 The Holy Spirit finds expression through our vocal cords (Part 4)

Yesterday, we shared about how Cornelius’ household received the baptism in the Spirit. Today, let us share about how Paul ministered the baptism in the Spirit to a group of disciples at Ephesus.

First Paul told them that they were to believe in Jesus. The disciples heard the message and believed. They received their salvation. Paul did not stop there; he ministered the baptism in the Spirit to them. Paul laid his hands on them to receive the baptism in the Spirit. The Holy Spirit came upon them and they spoke with tongues – all 12 of them.

(Acts 19:4-7)
Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism in repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came UPON THEM, and they SPOKE WITH TONGUES and prophesied. Now the men were about twelve in all.

From the passage above, it is clear that the apostle Paul did not stop at the salvation experience. The Holy Spirit comes to live within the believer at salvation. But Paul wanted the believer to experience the baptism in the Spirit. He wanted the Spirit to flow forth from the believers.

From all these passages, it is clear from the Scriptures that speaking in tongues is the only common Bible experience and Bible standard for the baptism in the Spirit. Once we have understood this truth, we will have the faith to receive the baptism in the Spirit with the new prayer language of tongues.

by Joshua Lye

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