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THE BAPTISM IN THE SPIRIT (And The Gift Of Tongues)

   
 

Kinross Christian Fellowship

Personal Notes

Acts 1:8 But you will receive power
when the Holy Spirit comes on you;

If I were to read the above title (assuming it was written by someone else), my questions would surely be; why now, and why tongues? So before I go any further I will attempt to answer these two simple questions. One of the first lyrics in the first musical I wrote with Paul Slaughter (a tremendously gifted musician and dear friend) was entitled, What Am I Missing? This has latterly become abbreviated as I see the state of the church today with its growing disregard for God’s laws and morality to, What’s missing? The booklet should open up and answer the question very simply. My next question, of all the gifts, why tongues? A number of reasons: in spite of being considered by some as the least important of all the gifts, it has been given an inordinate amount of prominence both positive and negative, it is often used indiscriminately and inappropriately, and has had literally millions of words written about it. Now, in rethinking this gift, and with a closer look at Scripture, I have had a major change of attitude and it is proper that I should share it with the folk of Kinross Christian Fellowship.

The reason for this booklet is simple. Many years ago, actually over forty years, a close and dear friend of ours wrote a short booklet, bearing the same title I have used, for the Church Sheila and I joined and eventually pastored. As I would have expected, the scholarship was worthy of its writer, and Caroline’s case was put forward with verve and convincing Biblical knowledge, especially in the need for the Baptism in the Spirit. It is only in the area of Speaking in Tongues (that is, the use of and when) that we may now differ, it seems. Nevertheless, it is Caroline’s research and commitment that has driven me, even if our conclusions are not necessarily the same.

Some parts therefore have been revised and rewritten to reflect my changing personal beliefs as my path has narrowed over the intervening years. There are ideas and paragraphs added - for example, this personal introduction - but I have tried to retain the simplicity of the original. It has been written because there are some in the Fellowship (Kinross Christian Fellowship) who are very young Christians, and others who may be experiencing difficulty with Baptism in The Holy Spirit, and also with glossolalia; which may be defined as: Speaking in Tongues is the fluid vocalising of speech-like syllables which lack any readily comprehended meaning.

It is also too long for a Sunday message, hence this booklet. (Of course, it could have been delivered as a series over three or four weeks, but a booklet at hand provides a far easier referral.)

It is my sincere prayer and hope that this booklet may be of real help to those who are still struggling with all aspects of The Holy Spirit Baptism. I ask only that you read it without presuppositions, and with the guiding of that same Holy Spirit. Be blessed, encouraged and infilled with a desire to know and experience more of the third Person of the Trinity, the God Whom we serve.

After much prayer and quiet deliberation (and some discussion), I decided the following should be included to reflect the teachings of the Bible regarding the work and purpose of the Holy Spirit - as opposed to the unbiblical opinions of man. (If there seems to be an intrinsic arrogance in my words, please forgive me. However I must assure you that nothing is written lightly, and all was brought before the throne before included.)

Under different names and denominations there is a quite common belief that the gifts of The Holy Spirit (and therefore, one must surely accept, the fruits of the The Holy Spirit) finished with the end of the Apostolic age. [The period from the commissioning of the twelve apostles/disciples around AD33 to the death of the last apostle, possibly John around AD100.] I have no intention of arguing this point with anyone as both The Scriptures and Church history over the last 2,000 years give the lie to the philosophy. Yet the biggest danger, as we will discover in the following pages, is not head-on disagreement, it is a general apathy, coupled with an acknowledgement of The Holy Spirit in name only - and not as an active and necessary spiritual power in our lives. I would emphasise that last point, an active and necessary spiritual power in our lives. Not an add-on to accept or reject as we will.

In recent years, with the bordering-on-the-manic behaviour of some, and the ever-increasing, off-the-wall, non-Biblical methods accepted by others, it is understandable that in both Christian and secular walks of life, doubt may be cast on the whole issue of scriptural Charisma (divinely conferred power or gift). The question we must face is this: how do we react to these concerns?

Simply, we do not look at the forgeries and condemn them - we do look at the truth, the Word of God, and rejoice. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hebrew 13:8.

One last point I would like to emphasise before continuing. The Gift of the Spirit and the Gifts of The Spirit are two distinct dimensions of the work of the Holy Spirit to the believer.

Acts 2:37 When they heard this, they came under deep conviction and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles: “Brothers, what must we do?” “Repent,” Peter said to them, “and be baptised, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Peter, it is very clear, is not referring to any of the gifts such as teaching, preaching, healing, prophecy, tongues, or discernment. He is simply stating that the Gift which is to be received is The Holy Spirit Himself, indeed the most precious of gifts. Receiving the Holy Spirit is a one-off experience and cannot be repeated; however, as we will learn later, Paul exhorts us to go on being filled with the Spirit - most certainly not a one-off.

Please stay with me now on my walk through these most wonderful (yet apparently sometimes vexing) subjects, The Baptism in the Spirit and The Gift of Tongues.

Finally, many thanks to Caroline Dover, for without her original work this booklet may not have been written.

All the truth in this work belongs to God, all the mistakes are entirely mine.

N.B. All Scripture quoted is drawn from the Holman Christian Standard Bible

 

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