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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Tongues, Initial Physical Evidence?

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"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

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 Re:

Quote:
A difficult subject for anyone to say for sure I think.


I don't think so its quite clear to me that the Gift of the Holy Spirit was given because Jesus was risen. Watchman Nee handles this subject very well in his chapter on the Holy Spirit in the book 'The Normal Christian Life.' Read the entire chapter here:
[url=http://www.ccel.org/n/nee/normal/normal11.htm]Chapter 8: The Holy Spirit[/url]

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In considering the gift of the Holy Spirit it is helpful to think of this in [b]two aspects[/b], as the Spirit outpoured and the Spirit indwelling, and our purpose now is to understand on what basis this twofold gift of the Holy Spirit becomes ours. I have no doubt that we are right in distinguishing thus between the outward and the inward manifestations of His working, and that as we go on we shall find the distinction helpful. Moreover, when we compare them, we cannot but come to the conclusion that the inward activity of the Holy Spirit is the more precious. But to say this is not for one moment to imply that His outward activity is not also precious, for God only gives good gifts to His children. Unfortunately we are apt to esteem our privileges lightly because of their sheer abundance. The Old Testament saints, who were not as favoured as we are, could appreciate more readily than we do the preciousness of this gift of the outpoured Spirit. In their day it was a gift given only to the select few -- chiefly to priests, judges, kings and prophets -- whereas now it is the portion of every child of God. Think! we who are mere nonentities can have the same Spirit resting upon us as rested upon Moses the friend of God, upon David the beloved king, and upon Elijah the mighty prophet. By receiving the gift of the outpoured Holy Spirit we join the ranks of God's chosen servants of the Old Testament dispensation. Once we see the value of this gift of God, and realize too our deep need of it, we shall immediately ask, [b]How can I receive the Holy Spirit in this way to equip me with spiritual gifts and to empower me for service?[/b] Upon what basis has the Spirit been given?


In this excerpt Watchman Nee cleary says that there are 2 aspects to recieving from the Holy Spirit, the [i]inward[/i] and the [i]outward[/i].

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What, then, was the basis upon which the Spirit was first given to the Lord Jesus to be poured out upon His people? It was His exaltation to Heaven. This passage makes it absolutely clear that the Holy Spirit was poured out because the Lord Jesus was exalted. The outpouring of the Spirit has no relation to your merits or mine, but only to the merits of the Lord Jesus. The question of what we are does not come into consideration at all here, but only what He is. He is glorified; therefore the Spirit is poured out.


This statement clearly shows that the Outpouring of the Spirit came only when Jesus was exalted and risen from the dead. This brings the attention of the saint back to the cross of Christ which should be paramount in our views on these doctrines. The Holy Spirit will never overshadow the Risen Christ! All glory belongs to Him.

In the section 'The Diversity Of The Experience' Watchman Nee also gives some great examples of the outpouring of the Spirit in promonent Christians lifes. I hope this chapter helps some.. It has been very helpful for me in the past.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2004/2/21 6:41Profile
chadsepulveda
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Posts: 13
college station , tx

 Re:

Hey a great book that Ravenhill recommended about this topic which I think would be rather helpful to you is called "Christ's Paralized Church X-Rayed" by T.J. McCrossan. McCrossan was a Greek and 'examiner of language' scholar.

The work addresses a number of common theological problems and examines them conclusively and thoroughly in the Greek. The book would be suitable for scholarly type material but is also readable and understandable. He examines questions such as

Did the church begin at Pentecost?(he says no)

Every Christian baptized with the Holy Ghost at conversion?(he says baptized but not filled)

Does anyone need to tarry for the Baptism with the Holy Ghost and power?(he says yes, all do)

Does any sinner need to repent before salvation?(he says yes)

If one accepts Christ by faith , should he be sure of heaven if he goes on sinning afterwards and dies practicing sin?(he says(I quote) "The author believes in eternal security, as the Greek text teaches it, but not in this devilish brand which has rocked thousands into the sleep of self-complacency, and so damned their souls."

Is bodily healing in the atonement?(he says yes)

Are apostilic miracles, signs, and wonders of the past and we should not expect them today? (he says they are for today)

Is speaking in an unknown tongue the one and only sign of a genuine baptism with the Holy Ghost? (he says no)

All in all, this book is a marvelous work on these complex issues and the author, in my estimation, does a great job in handling them (at least in the chapters I have read). Ravenhill writes the intro to the book. Look on abebooks.com to find it. I hope this helps!


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Chad Sepulveda

 2004/2/21 7:15Profile
jeremyhulsey
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Joined: 2003/4/18
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 Re:

PTC,

Look up Gordon Fee's "God's Empowering Presence", and Stanley Horton's "What The Bible Says About The Holy Spirit." in your school's library.

They will help you with your paper, but they are very devotional also.

If you take two people and add in enough time eventually you will come up with a disagreement.

My answer to PTC's questions would be

1. Yes
2. Yes
(I am Assembly of God after all :-) )

While Ron and I would differ on the initial evidence, we will certainly agree on the final. And that is a life filled with the fruit and the power of the Spirit.

While one can make arguments for or against the initial physical evidence, and site many of the great souls of the past, one cannot escape the tangible encounter with God in the lives of these men AND women upon their consecration wholly unto the Lord.

In Christ,
Jeremy Hulsey


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Jeremy Hulsey

 2004/2/21 14:39Profile
5nva
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Joined: 2003/8/15
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 Re:

Greg:

I am not saying that the subject of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is a difficult one. I believe for certain there is a baptism of the Holy Spirit.

I was saying that the subject of tongues as the initial evidence is a difficult one. At least for me, I can not say I am convinced that it is and clearly Ravenhill couldn't either.

Just wanted to make clear what I was saying.

God Bless,

Mike


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Mike

 2004/2/21 16:26Profile
KingJimmy
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Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
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 Re:

Quote:

My answer to PTC's questions would be

1. Yes
2. Yes



So, you believe that there can be something other than tongues as the initial physical evidence? I thought the Assemblies of God taught that tongues will always be the initial physical evidence.


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Jimmy H

 2004/2/22 10:04Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
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 Re:

I held the teaching of tongues as the initial evidence for quite a few years as a young Christian. I had experienced a pentecostal/charismatic event and had spoken in tongues. I subsequently prayed for many and saw them experience the same things. So why do I no longer believe that tongues is the initial evidence? There are two main reasons; the first is that I don’t believe the Bible teaches it to be so, and the second is I am not prepared to believe that something which can be so readily counterfeited by our enemy can ever stand as incontrovertible proof of Spirit-baptism. I have changed my teaching not my experience; I still speak with tongues.

My main scriptural proof for tongues as initial evidence was the events in the home of Cornelius. 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. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, [Acts 10:45,46]. It seemed to be saying very clearly that it was the initial evidence of tongues which provided the necessary proof.

Some time later as I examined this passage of scripture I began to ask the question ‘who was it that needed a proof of any kind’? Not God, not the friends of Cornelius (you need no external proof to know that the Spirit of God has arrived). The people who needed such ‘proof’ were they of the circumcision, as many as came with Peter A delegation of 7 orthodox Jews had travelled from Joppa to Caesarea. Caesarea was a mini-Rome. It was the gateway and port to Rome and the real centre of Roman rule in the land. These 7 men were clearly very sceptical at what was happening here. Peter’s reluctance spoke for them all.

How could God convince them that He had opened the kingdom to the Gentile world? God had a way predicted centuries earlier. For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. [Isaiah 28:11,12] To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. This is the verse that Paul quotes in 1 Cor 14. I think this teaches clearly that ‘tongues are a sign’ but for whom? this people is the people of Israel. For those Jews who did not believe that the Gentiles could receive the promise of God’s Spirit, tongues was ‘the sign’ predicted. Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: [1 Cor 14:22.]

So I believe that tongues are the sign, but only for sceptical Jews. ;-) If you are looking to tongues as the sign, you are behaving like an unbeliever... stop it. ;-) You may have noticed that even here Paul refers to tongues as 'a sign' rather that 'the sign'.

The events in the household of Cornelius are the most frequently told story of Spirit-baptism in the scriptures. Aspects are repeated in Acts 11 & 15. Where we see the emphasis that Peter placed on the event rather than one aspect of the event, tongues. In Acts 15 he is struck by the fact that this was a genuine ‘beginning’ for the Gentiles, just like his own genuine beginning. In Acts 15 the scripture adds a fascinating detail; 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. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us. And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. ; Acts 15:7-9.

For me, I thank God that I speak in tongues, but the initial (and continuing) evidence for Spirit-baptism is a new, clean heart. Any powerful spirit can produce powerful external manifestations, only a ‘Holy’ Spirit can change the character.


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Ron Bailey

 2004/2/23 1:28Profile
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 Re:

Greg:

I was about to quote Watchman Nee. I guess you've done the work for me already. :>

001


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Sam

 2004/2/23 4:41Profile
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"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

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 Re:

Quote:
There are two main reasons; the first is that I don’t believe the Bible teaches it to be so, and the second is I am not prepared to believe that something which can be so readily counterfeited by our enemy can ever stand as incontrovertible proof of Spirit-baptism.


(I am playing the devils advocate here) Your first point on believing that the bible teaches that that tongues is not an intial evidence is fine. But your second point goes against your first. If the enemy is counterfeiting, that supposes that there is something true and right that they are counterfieting? :-P

Quote:
I was about to quote Watchman Nee. I guess you've done the work for me already. :>


yea. Watchman Nee has helped me greatly on this subject.

Quote:
So I believe that tongues are the sign, but only for sceptical Jews. If you are looking to tongues as the sign, you are behaving like an unbeliever... stop it.


[i]Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: [1 Cor 14:22.[/i] Thats quite clear.. thank you Ron.

Quote:
For me, I thank God that I speak in tongues, but the initial (and continuing) evidence for Spirit-baptism is a new, clean heart. Any powerful spirit can produce powerful external manifestations, only a ‘Holy’ Spirit can change the character.


You said 2 things Ron that I was scared to say.. I believe that the Holy Spirit is accepted by faith (no sign really) and that the evidence of it is a Holy life!


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2004/2/23 4:51Profile
jeremyhulsey
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Posts: 777


 Re:

PTC,

Yes, I tow the line of the A/G doctrine that teaches the initial physical evidence is speaking in tongues. I do believe that. I am also very comfortable in this belief that it is taught in scripture.

I am attempting to upload a series of sermons to Greg to put on the web-site that are an excellent apollogetic for Pentecostalism. If I can't get them to upload I'll have to send them by snail-mail. I would say that I am in complete agreement with these teachings that I am sending. I only wish I had the elloquence to make the arguments that are brought forth in those sermons. The minister is George O Wood. You can download these sermons to listen to if you like off of www.georgeowood.com Look for them under the Topical Series link and then open up the link titled "Holy Spirit".

In Christ,
Jeremy Hulsey


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Jeremy Hulsey

 2004/2/24 12:29Profile





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