Bible Basics: Spiritual Gifts
By: Brother S. Evans
Promises of the Holy Ghost
Isaiah 44:3 For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring: 44:4 And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses.
Joel 2:23 Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.
Joel 2:28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 2:29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
Acts 2:16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 2:18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
Eight hundred years before Christ came to earth in mortal flesh, the prophet Joel wrote of the promise of the baptism of the Holy Ghost. His account prophesies events on the day of Pentecost and those that we have seen fulfilled within the last century. In Joel 2:23,28-29, we read, “Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. . . .And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.”
Joel may not have fully understood the prophecy that he gave, but God moved upon him and those words were spoken by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, to let us know that there would be an outpouring of the Spirit of God. The Former Rain referring to the outpouring on the Day of Pentecost and the Latter Rain referring to the outpouring of the Holy Ghost that began in the early 20th century.
Matthew I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
Mark 1:8 I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.
John He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet.
John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; 14:17 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.
Who is the Holy Ghost
The Holy Ghost is the third person in the Holy Trinity or God Head, composed of God the Father, Jesus Christ his Son, and the Holy Ghost. Each of them is an individual being but they work together in agreement as one. Some “Oneness” or “Jesus Only” beliefs wrongly interpret the God Head as being one entity that has worked in three different functions at various times in history, but the following scriptures illustrate that there are three distinct entities in heaven.
If three names refer to one person, why would that individual refer to themselves using all three in one statement?
Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
All three present at one time when Jesus was baptized by John
Luke 3:22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.
Stephen was filled with the Holy Ghost and looked up into heaven and saw God the Father and Jesus at his right hand.
Acts 7:55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, 7:56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.
Three bear record in heaven and they agree as one, but are as distinct as the spirit, water, and blood.
1John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 5:5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? 5:6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 5:8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.
The names “Holy Ghost” and “Holy Spirit” are interchangeable in Scripture; they are both translated from the same Greek word in the original texts. He is part of the Trinity that is comprised of God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son of God, and himself.
He was present at Creation as we read in Genesis 1:2 , “The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” From Creation and through out the Bible, we see evidence of Him, but in the New Testament, we find a fuller revelation of the workings of the Holy Ghost.
What are the functions of the Holy Ghost in our lives?
The Holy Ghost provides helps to all born again believers as some of the following topics illustrate, but other blessings are only received in the fullness of the Holy Ghost baptism. Listed below are some of the benefits, but definitely not a complete list.
Brings Conviction of sin and Reproves the World
John 8:9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
Romans 2:15 Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 16:9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; 16:10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 16:11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
He will demonstrate these matters so clearly as to leave no doubt on the minds of those who are simple of heart.
Define: REPROVE - 1. To scold or correct usually gently or with kindly intent. 2. To charge with a fault to the face; to chide; to reprehend.
1John Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
1John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
He provides a witness of Jesus Christ and God the Father
1John 5:6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.
Hebrews 10:15 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, 10:16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
John16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.
John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
Provides the believer with Boldness
After receiving the baptism in the Holy Ghost, you receive a spiritual uplift or boldness to work on God’s behalf in a greater way.
Acts 4:30 By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. 4:32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that aught of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
The Holy Ghost is that Comforter that Jesus promised
John If ye love me, keep my commandments. 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; 14:17 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. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
14:26 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.
Spirit of Truth
John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
John16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.
The Holy Ghost is a teacher
John 14:26 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.
1Corinthians Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
The Holy Ghost provides prophetic incites
2Peter For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
Joel 2:28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
Provides spiritual Joy
Romans Let not then your good be evil spoken
of: For the
Acts And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.
Praying in the Spirit
Jude But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
1Corinthians 14:15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.
Romans 8:27 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.
Provides spiritual Power
But ye shall receive power,
after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me
Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
Romans Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
Luke 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
1Thessalonians 1:5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.
Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Seals our Salvation
The Holy Ghost seals our salvation to the point that nothing can separate us from the love of God except ourselves.(Rom 8:38-39).
Ephesians 1:12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, 1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
Ephesians Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
Fills the believer’s mouth with Spirit-filled words in the time of need, leads a Christian
Luke 12:11 And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: 12 For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.
Romans For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
Mark 13:11 But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.
First outpouring of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost
his ascension to Heaven, Jesus instructs his followers to wait in
And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of
Act 1:4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
One hundred and twenty (including the Disciples and Jesus’ relatives) were gathered in an upper room tarrying in prayer as Jesus had instructed them.
Acts 1:13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren. And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about a hundred and twenty,)
This group of one hundred and twenty was in one accord or in agreement with each other and with God on the day of Pentecost. We can also look back to the Holy Ghost revival during the early 1900s in Topeka KS, Wales (Great Britain), and (Azusa Street) Los Angeles, CA where the people gathered together with a hunger or desire for more of God’s spirit. During some of these occasions there were people praying day and night for God to send the his blessings (they typically rotated in shifts of three people for three hour intervals). This act demonstrated the hunger that they had for the blessings of God, and they were rewarded with the baptism of the Holy Ghost and many miracles following. (In 2Chronicles , we can read of his promise to hear us when we come in humility with prayer and seek his face)
2Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.
After tarrying for ten days, the promise of the comforter was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost (This Jewish holiday is celebrated in late May or early June, This feast provided closure for the festival activities during and following the holiday of Passover).
What is meant by the baptism of the Holy Ghost?
The filling of the Spirit, or the baptism of the Holy Ghost, is an experience beyond regeneration (salvation) and sanctification. Although the baptism of the Holy Spirit was alluded to by Old Testament prophets, it was not until after the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus that the Holy Ghost was made available to all believers. When Jesus completed his work on earth and returned to the Father, the Holy Ghost came as the promised Comforter. We read in Luke 1:15,41,67 that John the Baptist and his parents were filled with the Holy Ghost for the preparation of Jesus’ ministry, but this wasn’t the wide spread outpouring that was written about in the book of Acts.
There are various theological understandings and opinions of the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Some say that this experience was only for the early church and not for believers today. Others teach that a person receives all that God has for him at the point of conversion. However, we must base our beliefs on the Holy scripture. What does the Bible have to say about the baptism of the Holy Ghost?
Let me make note that all Christians are helped by the Holy Ghost, but to be baptized goes to a much deeper experience. This is evident in that the Old Testament prophets were moved upon by the Holy Ghost, but they did not receive the baptism.
Just as you can’t express in words how a person feels when they are saved, the same can be said of receiving this spiritual baptism. It brings such spiritual strength, faith, and boldness that can’t be realized until you receive it. It is an amazing realization to comprehend that the third person in the Godhead or Trinity is physically working through you.
Luke If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
Acts 2:38 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.
It is obvious from Acts 2:38 that this promise of the Comforter is available unto all generations and all races of people.
If the Holy Ghost baptism is actually received at salvation, why would Paul have asked the Ephesians if they received the Holy Ghost since they believed? It is obvious that this is not a one step process. (Acts 19:2)
Acts 19:2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
John the Baptist prophesied that Jesus, the one of whom he spoke, would baptize with the Holy Ghost and with fire. I believe that the fire represents the power and strength provided by the Holy Ghost. On the day of Pentecost there was also the visual sign of the cloven tongues of fire.
Matthew I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
The word that is translated as baptism means “to be immersed; to be totally covered” and can be understood by looking at the physical demonstration of water baptism. When we come to be baptized in water after we have been saved, we go down into the water and the water completely covers us. We are immersed, totally under the water. When we receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost, we are totally immersed, covered, and filled with the Holy Ghost.
Scriptures referring to being full of the Holy Ghost
Acts 6:3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
Stephen was full of the Holy Ghost
Acts 7:55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
Barnabas was full of the Holy Ghost
For he was a good
man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of
faith: and much people was added unto the Lord. Then departed Barnabas to
Jesus also used the word baptism in connection with the outpouring of the Holy Ghost. He explained to His disciples that just as John had baptized with water, they would be baptized with the Holy Ghost. The word baptize gave his followers an idea of what they were to expect—that they would be immersed in the Holy Ghost.
How do I receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost?
What are the qualifications?
In order to be eligible to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, essential requirements must first be met.
A person must first be saved or born again, justified by faith. Scripture is clear that the Holy Ghost is not given to the unconverted. Notice the words of 1 Corinthians below.
1Corinthians But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
John He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
Acts 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 19:4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. 19:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 19:6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
The second step is entire sanctification, which occurs when the saved person goes deeper in consecration and God purges the heart and life. Believers are not only forgiven for committed acts of sin, but they also need to be delivered from the inherited nature of sin through entire sanctification. The old sinful nature must be crucified so that the new nature of Christ can be fully expressed. After sanctification, the heart is ready for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
Galations And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
1Corinthians What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
John If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever;
24:49, the purpose in the disciples to tarry in
behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of
The 120 who gathered in the upper room at the time of the initial outpouring were saved individuals; they were close followers of Christ, and were obviously committed to following his instructions. They had gathered in the upper room and had continued in prayer and supplication. When the Day of Pentecost came, ten days after Jesus' ascension, they were all “with one accord, in one place.” Jesus had prayed for them to experience the unity described by that phrase (John 17).
John 17:20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
Salvation and sanctification accomplish the forgiveness of sins and then the removal of the sinful nature. Then the condemnation for committed sins and the nature of sin are gone, and the heart is a suitable dwelling place for the Holy Ghost. The God who wants to live within us is a Holy God. The place where He dwells must be a holy place. So we must have the sin taken care of and the heart cleansed. When the habitation is made holy, we are ready to receive the fullness of the Holy Ghost.
Him hath God exalted
with his right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, for to give repentance to
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Know ye not that ye are the
John I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
Acts 15:8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;
Acts 15:9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
6:9 Know ye not
that the unrighteous shall not inherit
Romans 15:16 That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.
leaders at the start of the 20th century (when the “latter rain” was poured
out) were firm advocates of salvation and of sanctification as a second work of
grace. These included William Seymour, the leader at the
We see today that this worldly counterfeit charismatic movement which does not teach sanctification, is very wide spread. Some churches even “teach” people how to “speak in tongues”, which is totally against what the Bible describes when it says “as the spirit gives utterance”. These worldly charismatic movements are instruments of Satan as they attempt to tear down the Holiness doctrines and bring confusion among the church. If God wanted us to repeat phrases provided by man, then he would have given a script for it, but he did much more than that by providing a genuine experience.
As a young Christian seeking for the baptism of the Holy Ghost, I was concerned that I would be deceived or “in myself” in speaking in tongues instead of receiving the genuine gift. Because of this, I fervently asked the Lord to baptize me and remove any doubt about my experience. The Lord heard my prayer and provided an experience that I could not doubt or deny. Once I received the baptism and started to speak in tongues as the Spirit gave utterance, I could not stop speaking in this new language on my own. All through the remainder of that church service and up to going to bed that night, every word that I spoke came out in another language. It was one of the most amazing things that I have personally experienced. When people asked me questions and I tried to respond in English, but it came out in some other language. Needless to say, the Lord proved to me that without a shadow of doubt, that there is a real baptism in the Holy Ghost with a real evidence of speaking in tongues!
I also recall that while seeking for the baptism, that Satan sent a false prophet that tried to convince me that you could be filled with the Holy Ghost without the experience of speaking in tongues. I have to admit that this preacher had me questioning what I had been taught and believed, but the Lord showed a sister in the church that the devil was trying to deceive me and the others that were seeking God for this gift. After she let us know about this warning from the Lord, I had no doubt that speaking in other tongues was the sign that is given as the evidence of the Holy Ghost baptism. It wasn’t long after this incident, that we had a great outpouring and several of us received the baptism.
The baptism is a gift to those that meet the qualifications, and is not for sale as demonstrated with Simon in Acts 8 (below).
Acts 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.
Acts And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.
A third step in receiving the baptism is to have a hunger and desire for more of God
To receive the Holy Ghost, one must have a hunger or real desire for more of God. This typically involves tarrying in prayer and worship of the Lord. Robert Hayden was my pastor during my youth and I recall him telling us to “seek” for the Holy Ghost and not “sneak” for it. In other words, if we really wanted this gift we should tarry at the altar at every opportunity and let God know the sincerity of our desire. He also taught us that a Christian needs a real “hunger” for the things of God in order to reach this goal and should pray that God would provide an appetite that would not be quenched until we reached our desire.
Luke 11:9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Laying on of Hands to receive the baptism
I have both witnessed and experienced the baptism being given by the Laying on of hands. There are also numerous accounts in the Bible that verify this. The qualifications of salvation and sanctification are still required, but Laying on of hands can be a conduit of faith to receive the baptism. More recent history tells us that churches during the early 20th century revivals also experienced many baptisms by the laying on of hands.
Acts 8:14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: 8:15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: 8:16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
Acts 9:17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.
Acts 19:6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
What are the signs of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost?
Acts 2:2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 2:3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
Before the initial outpouring, God provided special signs to those gathered in the upper room on the day of Pentecost. There was a sound from heaven as a rushing mighty wind (Jesus breathed on them -John 20:22) and then what appeared as “cloven tongues like as fire” (fire representing power and being purified as gold) upon each person. Cloven means divided, so the fire looked like it was a forked or a split flame. Records of the early 1900s outpourings (latter rain) also witness to cloven tongues of fire appearing unto them. I personally haven’t heard of these two special signs being experienced at other times, but that is not to say that it doesn’t or couldn’t occur. What would we witness when someone is baptized in the Holy Ghost, if we could see with our spiritual eyes instead of the fleshly man? I think that these two occasions were so significant that God provided the two special signs to those gathered, showing that this was Joel’s prophesy of the “former” and “latter rain” being fulfilled.
What is the evidence that we receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost?
2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
After they were filled with the Holy Ghost, the sign provided was speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gave utterance.
Technically, there are two terms or descriptions given to the way a person “speaks in tongues”.
1) Glossolalia – speaking in a language unknown to humans or in a heavenly language (1Corinthians 13:1) as the spirit gives utterance (not performed by repeating phrases or chants as taught by some modern churches). Our Spirit speaking directly to heaven through the Holy Ghost. This language is typically manifested during prayer or worship for our own edification, but we should pray that the Holy Ghost will provide an interpretation for our understanding (1 Corinthians 14:4, 14:13). If the Holy Ghost is providing the utterance, then the Holy Ghost can provide the interpretation, if we ask God for it.
2) Xenoglalia - to speak an earthly language that he or she could not have acquired by natural means but as they are moved upon by the Holy Ghost. This manifestation can be understood by those present that know the language being used or by interpretation provided by the Holy Ghost. In this manner, the Holy Ghost can speak through us to provide a message to someone through a language foreign to us or by interpretation. I’ve read and heard of several occurrences where people from other nationalities have visited churches and received warnings through a Holy Ghost filled person via their language.
There are two distinct ways that the act of speaking in tongues are used in the church
1) The first is that of a spontaneous manifestation typically during (but not limited to) prayer or worship.
The tongues used in praying in the spirit or worship of the Lord. This manifestation is the evidence of receiving the Holy Ghost and occurs as the spirit moves spontaneously up on us. Anyone that is baptized by the Holy Ghost will encounter this experience and can continue to be moved up on through out their Christian experience.
The Bible teaches that this prayer and praise language is provided for our own edification (unless an interpretation is provided), while the “gift of tongues” (see below) is only to be used with interpretation (for the edification of the entire church). According to 1Corinthians 14:2 our spirit is speaking directly unto God if the tongue is unknown.
I believe that God can provide the interpretation of utterance (Glossolalia or Xenoglalia) by the Holy Ghost, when he feels necessary and when we pray for it, but there is also a gift of “divers tongues” that goes further in a spiritual experience than most people ever achieve. As we will discuss later, there are Gifts of faith, healing, and miracles, but that doesn’t mean that every Christian doesn’t have some lesser amount of each function.
2) The second is the gift of divers tongues with interpretation. The gift of divers tongues is one of the nine spiritual gifts to be used in the congregation to present a message or sermon when there is a known interpreter present. If it is done in the spirit, not the flesh and if the congregation is in order, there will be an interpreter present. You do not receive the “gift of divers tongues” at baptism, but only the evidence of speaking in tongues (described above).
The "gift of tongues" is still available to those that seek for it, but not everyone in the church has the "gift of tongues." But everyone who receives the Holy Ghost does speak in tongues as the evidence of that experience.
Did the group on the day of Pentecost have the Gift of Divers Tongues? If so then they should have spoken in tongues in an orderly manner with a known interpreter as Paul instructed. They did not though, because they did not receive the “gift of tongues”, but the baptism of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of tongues. (I’m referring to Paul’s instructions in 1 Corinthians 14:28 which is discussed in detail at the end of this commentary).
I’ve heard of Pentecostal Holiness preachers that would stop a move of the Holy Ghost in their churches because they wrongly interpret the instructions that Paul gave the Corinthians concerning the orderly use of the gift of tongues (see more details under spiritual gifts section of this document). In either manifestation, a true move of the Holy Ghost is not to be stopped by man, as God’s ways are much higher than man’s. After Paul’s instructions he concluded by saying “forbid not to speak with tongues”. We know that Satan has a counterfeit for many of God’s gifts and he can bring confusion (some times referred to as wild fire), but I’m speaking of a true move of the spirit on someone that lives a holy, consecrated, sanctified life. Spiritual wisdom, discernment, and common sense can judge the real move of God vs. counterfeit. (Reference Matthew 7:20 “by their fruits”)
Out pouring of the Holy Ghost after Pentecost
In the years following the Day of Pentecost, the gift of the Holy Ghost continued to be poured out upon believers. Scripture records some of those instances. The Holy Ghost was given about eight years later to gentiles in the household of Cornelius. Those with Peter immediately recognized that the believers (gathered at the house of this Roman centurion) had received the gift of the Holy Ghost, for they “heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God” (Acts 10:46). In Acts 19:6, we read of the Holy Ghost falling on a group of believers at Ephesus, and when that occurred, “they spake with tongues, and prophesied.” All received the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues—a previously unlearned, distinguishable language.
Acts And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God? When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.
Acts 15:5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses. 15:6 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter. 15:7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. 15:8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; 15:9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.
Acts 19:1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, 19:2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. 19:3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. 19:4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. 19:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 19:6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
1Thess 4:6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. 4:7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. 4:8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his Holy Spirit.
prior to the 20th century, God poured out his Spirit on individuals here and
there. However, those were only “sprinklings” of the “latter rain” prophesied
by Joel. In April of 1906, a small group of people from Holiness organizations
arranged for prayer meetings in a home located on
went on, the power of the Holy Spirit continued to fall, and thousands received
the baptism. People came from all over the world to receive their Pentecost,
and went forth to spread the flame, which began to set fire to the world. Those
attending the services compiled the accounts of the meetings into a paper
called “The Apostolic Faith”, and the headlines of the first edition published
the news, “Pentecost Has Come.” It proclaimed that “many are being converted
and sanctified and filled with the Holy Ghost, speaking in tongues as they did
on the day of Pentecost.” Don’t confuse the word Apostolic used in the title of
the paper with it’s present day use by some of the
Unitarian (Oneness, Jesus-only) movements, as this original group at
Sin Against the Holy Ghost / resisting the Holy Ghost
From scripture we can conclude that there is one sin that will not be forgiven in this life or the one to come, which is to blaspheme the Holy Ghost. You may ask the Oneness group to explain the difference in the penalty for blaspheming against Jesus vs. the Holy Ghost if they are actually the same being (Matthew 12:31, Luke 12:10).
Define: Blaspheme 1. To speak of the Supreme Being in terms of impious irreverence; to revile or speak reproachfully of God, or the Holy Spirit. 2. To speak evil of; to utter abuse or calumny against; to speak reproachfully of.
Matthew 12:31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. 12:32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.
Luke 12:10 And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven.
This is a serious matter and should not be taken trivial, but it should also be kept in proper perspective. If we as Christians are led by the Spirit, it would be impossible to blaspheme the Holy Ghost. I’ve heard of Christians that would become nervous with worry that they might have blasphemed, but I firmly believe that someone that blasphemes would be a reprobate and have no conscience or concern for the things of God. We can see from the scriptures below that God expects reverence and godly fear from us, but he hasn’t given us the spirit of fear but of a sound mind.
2Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Hebrews 12:28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
Resisting the Holy Ghost
How many Christian denominations today are guilty of resisting the Holy Ghost? This would not be considered blasphemy, but some preachers are so hard against the Pentecostal experience that they could be in jeopardy.
Acts 7:51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which showed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:
The Apostle Paul described the Spiritual Gifts that God has for his people. All of these are described as being gifts of the Holy Ghost. All Christians have a certain amount of Faith, Wisdom, Knowledge and those filled with the Holy Ghost speak in tongues, but the Spiritual Gifts take these to a much higher level. The same hunger or desire that helps us receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost is also required to reach these other spiritual gifts.
Hebrews 2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; 2:4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will? 2:5 For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.
The Nine Spiritual Gifts described
1 Corinthians 12:1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. 12:4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 12:5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 12:6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 12:8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 12:9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 12:10 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: 12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
Functions of the Spiritual Gifts described
1 Corinthians 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet show I unto you a more excellent way.
1) Word of Wisdom –
God's supernatural perspective on how to achieve His will. God's knowledge rightly applied to specific situations. Spiritual wisdom doesn’t require education or man’s wisdom but is a gift from God.
1Corinthians 2:6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to naught: 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
2) Word of Knowledge - "Facts" given by God that are unknowable without revelation. The supernatural ability to understand the meaning of the Word of God. The Word is foolishness to the unbeliever but the Holy Ghost teaches us.
2:2 That their
hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of
the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of
God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
2:3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Colossians 3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
1Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
3) The Gift of Faith - The supernatural ability to believe God without doubt. Essential to the Gift of Healing and Miracles.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
4) The Gift of Healing - Supernatural healing through special anointing of the Holy Ghost.
1Peter 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
5) The Working of Miracles - A supernatural display of power that goes beyond nature to counteract earthly and evil forces.
John 3:2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
6) The Gift of Prophecy – The forth-telling of God's utterance. It is divinely inspired and anointed words spoken by a believer. A foretelling; prediction; a declaration of something to come. Preaching; public interpretation of Scripture; exhortation or instruction. True Prophecy will always agree with the Word of God and up lift him, instead of uplifting man.
7) Discerning of Spirits – Spiritual insight into differences between the spirit of God, the spirit of Man, and evil spirits at work in the earth. Ephesians 6:12 tells us that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual powers of evil.
1John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
1Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
8) Divers kinds of Tongues - This is not to be confused with the use of tongues in prayer or worship. This refers to the ministry of tongues to others. An utterance from a believer to another in a language unknown to the speaker. Some of the people during the early 1900s revivals obtained this gift and went to preach to nations where they had no former knowledge of their languages. This would also be for prophesy in an unknown tongue that would be interpreted for the benefit of the church (works in conjunction with the gift of “Interpretation of Tongues”).
Acts 2:6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. 2:7 And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? 2:8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
9) Interpretation of Tongues - Supernatural power to reveal the meaning of unknown tongues. Not a translation by man’s knowledge, but an interpretation by the Spirit. Tongues and Interpretation working together can be the equivalent of prophecy.
1Corinthians 14:13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.
Paul explains to the Corinthians how the Spiritual Gifts should be manifested
Paul instructs the Corinthians to seek for spiritual gifts, but explains that the most beneficial gift to the church is that of prophesy. He explains that speaking in an unknown tongue without an interpreter does not edify the church as a whole as much as prophesying. He states that he would that they all spoke in tongues, so it is obvious that he isn’t condemning the act, but explaining the importance of edifying the entire church either by interpretation of the unknown tongue or spoken word in the native tongue of the people. We should also realize that we have to be edified ourselves before we can help others.
1Corinthans 14:1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. 14:2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. 14:3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. 14:4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. 14:5 I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh, with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying. 14:6 Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine? 14:7 And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? 14:8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? 14:9 So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air.
1Corinthians 14:10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification. Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.
In verse 12, Paul continues with this thought, as he suggests that they seek to edify the whole church instead of the individual. He wanted to ensure that the whole church benefited by the Word of God. He explains that he will pray in the spirit (in unknown tongues) and with understanding (native language or interpreted) as well as singing in both. Paul states that he speaks in tongues more than any of us, but in the church he would rather speak five words with his understanding that he might help others.
He continues by saying that we should not be children in understanding, but men.
If we look at the entire context of Paul’s instructions as spiritually mature men or women, then we will not misunderstand his teaching. I sense that Paul knew that people would wrongly interrupt his instruction as thinking he was objecting to the Holy Ghost moving in the church (by the evidence of speaking in tongues).
1Corinthans 14:12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church. Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. 14:16 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest? For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified. 14:18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all: 14:19 Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue. Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.
In verse 21 we see that speaking in tongues is a sign to those that are lost, but to receive instruction they also need to hear the Word with understanding. Evidently the Corinthians had a lack of understanding that the lost needed to hear the gospel and that reaching the lost is the most important objective that we have as Christians. Paul also explains that if the whole church is assembled into one place (public gathering) and all speak in tongues and no one prophesies or preaches, then the unlearned and lost will be confused instead of being helped.
1Corinthans 14:21 In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe. If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad? 14:24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: 14:25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.
As the 26th verse illustrates, the Corinthians also “competed” with each other during the church services, as it states that “every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine ..”. In other words they all thought they should sing, teach, preach, and speak in tongues in every service and sometimes at the same time, but Paul said to let all things be done unto edifying of all. This competition brought contention and confusion to the church, which means that they were not in “one mind” or agreement. It is a great thing to have a desire to perform God’s work, but in Romans 12:10 Paul instructed us to prefer one another first. (Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another;) He lays out a guideline for the church that two or three people should preach or prophesy in the native language or in unknown tongues (with interpreter present) during a service and that successively instead of altogether. It definitely would not be logical for someone with the gift of “divers tongues” to present an entire sermon without an interpreter or understanding of the hearers. I’m convinced that Paul isn’t talking about the typical spontaneous move of the Holy Ghost, but the use of the “Gift of divers tongues” in presenting a message to the church. From the other verses, it seems that some in the Corinthian church were guilty of providing an entire sermon in an un-interpreted tongue without the rest of the church receiving understanding or edification.
In verse 32, he mentions that the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets, meaning that evil spirits control those that are possessed, but God’s spirit leaves a Christian to make use of their own judgment. In other words the Holy Ghost does not control our decisions, but provides help and comfort in making the correct ones. If there is contention among the church in preaching or other functions, it is not due to God bringing confusion, but is directly a result of man’s decisions and actions.
1Corinthans 14:26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
Some preachers misunderstand Paul’s instructions in the 28th verse as though it condemns the move of the Holy Ghost in the church. As we mentioned earlier in this commentary, there are two manifestations of the “tongues” in the church:
in a tongue unknown to the speaker as evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost
(occurring during the initial baptism and after during prayer and praise). This
is a spontaneous response when the Holy Ghost moves through our speech.
2) The Gift of Divers kinds of Tongues and Interpretation of Tongues. The gift of “Divers kinds of Tongues” was illustrated in one form during the later rain (early 1900s) when God miraculously gave people the ability to teach/preach to other nations in languages that they did not previous speak. Another example of this gift is when the Holy Ghost prophesies in an unknown tongue with someone present that has the gift of interpretation. The gift of “Interpretation of Tongues” allows one to interpret what is spoken by the Holy Ghost in an unknown tongue. The main difference of the gift of tongues is that it is a more “orderly” use of tongues. If this was not the case, how would Paul expect us to know if an interpreter was present or not?
Let us demonstrate why the speaking in tongues at Pentecost was not the "gift of tongues." In 1st Corinthians, the Apostle Paul regulates and gives specific instructions concerning the use of this gift in the church. Let us see if these instructions apply to the Baptism of the Holy Ghost.
Paul said "Let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret." We read on the day of Pentecost that they all began to speak in other tongues simultaneously, not just two or three by course (or in turns). And we read nothing at all of any "gift of interpretation" during the Pentecost outpouring. Let us look further. Paul said, "If there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself and to God." If the "gift of tongues" was manifested on Pentecost, the disciples were completely out of order! But we know that this was not the case, as they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost and spoke as he gave utterance.
1Corinthans 14:34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. 14:35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. 1Corinthans 14:36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. Let all things be done decently and in order.
You can view the right of women to prophesy or teach as you understand it, but I think it is clear in verses 34 and 35 that Paul was not addressing this question; as it is evident that the women are being taught and not presenting the message. Women were not allowed to question or dispute with a man in public, much less question a man presenting the scripture. Also women should not disturb the service by asking their husbands to explain the meaning of the message during the meeting, but should wait until they are home and then ask their husbands. Basically, Paul was requesting respect and honor in the house of God.
He said that these instructions should be acknowledged as the commandments of the Lord, but if they were not accepted as such, let that person remain in ignorance of understanding.
Again, Paul had great spiritual wisdom about how people would misinterpret his instructions and use them to meet their own objectives, as he stated at the conclusion “forbid not to speak in tongues”. During his discourse to the Corinthians, he wasn’t condemning the act of speaking in tongues or spiritual gifts but the use of the spiritual gifts in a manner that didn’t edify the entire church.
Quote from – Charles Haddon Spurgeon (
Oh! men and brethren, what would this heart feel if I could but believe that there were some among you who would go home and pray for a revival - men whose faith is large enough, and their love fiery enough to lead them from this moment to exercise unceasing intercessions that God would appear among us and do wondrous things here, as in the times of former generations.
As C.H. Spurgeon so eloquently spoke, what wondrous things could be achieved by the church, if we would wholly seek for stronger relationship with God? We have the promise of the Holy Ghost and his spiritual gifts available to us, but do we desire them enough to make the necessary sacrifices in time, prayer, and consecration? Imagine how many more lost souls could be reached if today’s churches would rekindle the fire of God!
Wasn’t reaching the lost with the Gospel the great commission that Jesus charged to the Church? (Matthew 28:19).
Brother S. Evans