Tongues as initial evidence of Baptism in the Holy Spirit,
Though there are many promises that believers shall receive the Holy Spirit and speak with other tongues, there are only four accounts given, describing this New Testament experience.
These accounts are found in Acts 2, 8, 10, and 19.
In Acts 2:
3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
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.
6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
So here we have three Biblical accounts (not merely Charismatic experiences, nor Pentecostal emotionalism) where believers received the Holy Spirit, and the evidence of this was at least speaking in their heavenly language, or as the Bible says, speaking in tongues.
These three passages alone are enough to establish doctrine, for Scripture interprets Scripture, and it is written:
This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.
We have recorded here three accounts, but what about the fourth?
Did believers there speak in other tongues?
I had always preached Acts 8, as the great unknown. That we did not know what the people saw after the apostles laid hands upon the believers there.
Yet certain things are known. Of all the things God could have taught the early church, He sent the apostles to ensure that new believers had recieved the Holy SPirit.
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:
15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:
16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
These verses from the historical record speak loudly to me this truth. That if the first apostles thought it to be the most important thing a new believer should receive from heaven, than it should also be the most important thing we teach new converts today!
Yet there is this mystery:
Let’s look at it:
Acts 8:17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,
19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.
21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter (3056) for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.
The joys of attending church!
I had always preached that speaking in tongues was the the initial evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit, based on the accounts of Acts 2, 10, and 19 documenting what happened when people received the Holy Spirit. In Acts 8 however, though I knew that Simon saw something when people received the Holy Spirit, I could not prove Scripturally, that what he saw was believers speaking in other tongues. That night, pastor Sharon was teaching on the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and rather than check out mentally after a busy day, I decided to stay engaged, and quietly pray for the service.
Sure glad I did!
Here in Acts 8 is the key to showing that what Simon saw, was indeed believers speaking in supernatural tongues, because of the definition of the word matter, strongs #3056.
3056 λογος logos log’-os
from 3004; TDNT-4:69,505; n m
AV-word 218, saying 50, account 8, speech 8, Word (Christ) 7, thing 5, not tr 2, misc 32; 330
1) of speech
1a) a word, uttered by a living voice, embodies a conception or idea
1b) what someone has said
1b1) a word
1b2) the sayings of God
1b3) decree, mandate or order
1b4) of the moral precepts given by God
1b5) Old Testament prophecy given by the prophets
1b6) what is declared, a thought, declaration, aphorism, a weighty saying, a dictum, a maxim
1c1) the act of speaking, speech
1c2) the faculty of speech, skill and practice in speaking
1c3) a kind or style of speaking
1c4) a continuous speaking discourse-instruction
1d) doctrine, teaching
1e) anything reported in speech; a narration, narrative
1f) matter under discussion, thing spoken of, affair, a matter in dispute, case, suit at law
1g) the thing spoken of or talked about; event, deed
We see from all the many faceted descriptive definitions of this word, that speaking is the primary thought of the definition used here.
So when they said to the sorcerer, you have no part in this matter – they literally said: Simon, you have no part in speaking in tongues (until you repent).
Many of us admire the Berean Christians:
Act 17:10 ¶ And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.
11 These 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.
Here is an article I wrote some years back: https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/11/27/is-speaking-in-other-tongues-of-god/
If you have studied Charismatic church history, you will stumble upon the accounts of Topeka, Kansas, where many believe that the baptism in the Holy Spirit was rediscovered here in the United States: https://www1.cbn.com/churchandministry/the-roots-of-azusa-pentecost-in-topeka
Here is an excerpt from the account:
“In October 1900 in Topeka, Kansas, a small band of believers led by Charles Parham started Bethel Bible School. The school “invited all ministers and Christians who were willing to forsake all, sell what they had, give it away, and enter the school for study and prayer, where all of us together might trust God for food, fuel, rent and clothing.” No one paid tuition or board and they all wanted to be equipped to go to the ends of the earth to preach the gospel of the Kingdom as a witness to every nation. The only textbook was the Bible. Their concerted purpose was to learn the Bible not just in their heads but to have each thing in the Scriptures wrought out in their hearts.
As they searched the scriptures, they came up with one great problem – what about the second chapter of Acts? In December 1900, Parham sent his students at work to diligently search the scriptures for the Biblical evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit. They all came back with the same answer – when the baptism in the Holy Spirit came to the early disciples, the indisputable proof on each occasion was that they spoke with other tongues.
Armed with this head knowledge, they now sought to have it worked out in their own hearts. Parham called a watch night service on December 31, 1900. He assembled about 75 people including the 40 students. One of the students, Agnes N. Ozman asked that hands might be laid upon her to receive the Holy Spirit since she desired to go to foreign lands as a missionary. According to Parham, after midnight on January 1, 1901, he laid hands upon her and:
“I had scarcely repeated three dozen sentences when a glory fell upon her, a halo seemed to surround her head and face, and she began speaking in the Chinese language, and was unable to speak English for three days. When she tried to write in English to tell us of her experience she wrote the Chinese, copies of which we still have in newspapers printed at that time.”
They continued the prayer meeting for two more nights and three days. According to Parham, “We all got past any begging or pleading; we knew the blessing was ours.” The rest, as they say, is history.” http://www1.cbn.com/churchandministry/the-roots-of-azusa-pentecost-in-topeka
Out of the mouth of two or three witnesses, every word may be established, so I have confidently preached the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues, for several decades now, but this little nugget really blessed me.
Hope it blesses you too.
John 7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
39 (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.)
The Holy Spirit has been given, and Jesus will still fill you with living waters from heaven if you simply ask!
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?