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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : The Baptism in the Holy Spirit: The Evidence

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TimmyJoe
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Joined: 2007/6/19
Posts: 120
Panama City, FL

 The Baptism in the Holy Spirit: The Evidence

The Baptism in the Holy Spirit: The Evidence

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you… Acts 1:8

…the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. Rom. 5:5

In Christianity today, especially Pentecostal churches, there is a lot of talk about the baptism in the Holy Spirit, an experience that Jesus said His followers should seek and expect to experience, and with that talk usually comes the question of the evidence of this Holy Spirit baptism. If you’ve been around the Pentecostal or Charismatic movement you’ve probably heard the answer “speaking in tongues”. This answer comes from Acts 2:4, “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues..”. All throughout the books of Acts we see believers being filled with the Holy Ghost and speaking in tongues (all except twice Acts 4:31, 8:17). So should we consider that to be sufficient enough to label speaking in tongues the “initial physical evidence”, or should we dig a little deeper to see if the Bible tells us of any other evidence that someone has received this gift promised by the Father. First I want us to remember that the book of Acts is a history book, though I dare not compare modern records of church history with Holy Scripture, I think we should take a look at the experiences of other believers who profess to have been baptized in the Holy Spirit:

D.L. Moody

In 1871 at one of Mr. Moody’s meetings, he was stirred with a desire for spiritual power by two women who would attend the meetings. He could see that they were praying, and at the close of the service they would say to him:
“We have been praying for you.”

“Why don’t you pray for the people?” Mr. Moody would ask.

“Because you need the power of the Spirit” they would say.

“I need the power! Why?” said Mr. Moody, in relating the incident years after, “ I thought I had power. I had the largest congregations in Chicago”, but the two women kept praying for him. There came a great hunger into his soul as he visited New York.

“I was crying all the time that God would fill me with His Spirit. Well, one day, in the city of New York -- oh, what a day! -- I cannot describe it, I seldom refer to it; it is almost too sacred an experience to name… I can only say that God revealed Himself to me, and I had such an experience of His love that I had to ask Him to stay His hand. I went to preaching again. The sermons were no different; I did not present any new truths, and yet hundreds were converted. I would not now be placed back where I was before that blessed experience if you should give me all the world -- it would be as the small dust of balance.”


Paul Washer

“When I was 22 years old I’d go out street preaching in Austin, TX. I was scared half out of my wits. I’d walk around a lot of times the whole night with my Bible and not be able to share with anybody or preach, like a coward… So I decided that either this whole thing is a hoax, and I knew it wasn’t, but I said where’s the power? Where’s the life? What did those apostles do?… I went out west of Austin and I climbed up on a hill and I went crazy for 3 days. I would grab rocks and throw them at the sky and beg God to come down. Nothing happened! I went home, it went on couple more months, I almost got to the point where I was crazy. And one night I cried out to God, I don’t know how long, but God came, and I thought I was going to die. I laid on my face I don’t know how long, I covered my head, I curled up in the fetal position and just laid there. Then all of a sudden a joy that I had never known in my life, my mouth shot open… It was like everything I had ever read in the book of Psalms came pouring out of my mouth. After that did I struggle with sin? Yep! Did I struggle with fear? Yep! Did I have all the common problems with sanctification? Yep! But did my life change? Yep! I started going out there and preaching. God was real, He’s more real to me than all of you sitting in this room right now.”


Charles Finney

“As I turned and was about to take a seat by the fire, I received a mighty baptism of the Holy Ghost. Without any expectation of it, without ever having the thought in my mind that there was any such thing for me, without any recollection that I had ever heard the thing mentioned by any person in the world, the Holy Spirit descended upon me in a manner that seemed to go through me, body and soul. I could feel the impression, like a wave of electricity, going through and through me. Indeed it seemed to come in waves and waves of liquid love, for I could not express it in any other way. It seemed like the very breath of God. I can recollect distinctly that it seemed to fan me, like immense wings”

“No words can express the wonderful love that was shed abroad in my heart. I wept aloud with joy and love; and I do not know but I should say, I literally bellowed out the unutterable gushings of my heart. These waves came over me, and over me, one after the other, until I recollect I cried out, ‘I shall die if these waves continue to pass over me. I said, ‘Lord, I cannot bear any more; yet I had no fear of death.”


Duncan Campbell

“But listen, friends, as I lay there, God the Holy Ghost came upon me. Wave after wave came rolling over me until the love of God swept through me like a mighty river! So much so, that there were moments… now listen, my daughter beside me put her hand on my shoulders and she prayed, ‘Oh God, keep his reason to daddy.’ I was never more sane in my life! But I was so wrought by the Holy Ghost that I cried and I laughed and I prayed.”

“Someone asked me, ‘Did you speak in tongues?’ Oh, I was asked that again and again. No, my dear people, I’ve never spoken in tongues nor have I ever been in a meeting where tongues have been practiced… No dear people… mind you, when I say that, don’t think that I’m denying the gifts mentioned in the New Testament, precious gifts when God gives them. But all I can say is that it never came to me!”

“But I say that the baptism of the Holy Ghost came to me… in a mighty cleansing, empowering power!”

(A professor essentially asks him what difference the experience made in his life and he responds):

“Well, I think, professor, that the difference must be obvious to you from what has already happened, ‘I said. ‘I went out to preach the same sermons with this difference- that I now saw hundreds converted, hundreds brought savingly to Christ.”


R.A. Torrey

“I had been a minister for some years before I came to the place where I saw that I had no right to preach until I was definitely baptized with the Holy Ghost… Then just as far as I could, I shut myself up alone in my study and spent the time continually on my knees asking God to baptize me with the Holy Spirit… I recall the exact spot where I was kneeling in prayer in my study… It was a very quiet moment, one of the most quiet moments I ever knew… Then God simply said to me, not in any audible voice, but in my heart, ‘It’s yours. Now go and preach.”

“Some time after this experience (I do not recall just how long after), while sitting in my room one day, that very same room… suddenly, as near as I can describe it, though it does not exactly describe it, I was struck from my chair onto the floor and I found myself shouting (I was not brought up to shout and I am not of the shouting temperament, but I shouted like the loudest shouting Methodist), ‘Glory to God, glory to God, glory to God,’ and I could not stop. I tried to stop, but it was just as if some other power than my own was moving my jaws. At last, when I had succeeded in pulling myself together, I went downstairs and told my wife what had just happened. But that was not when I was baptized with the Holy Spirit. I was baptized with the Holy Spirit when I took Him by faith in the naked Word of God…”


Jonathan Edwards

“Once as I rode out into the woods for my health, in 1737, having alighted from my horse in a retired place, as my manner commonly had been to walk for divine contemplation and prayer, I had a view that for me was extraordinary, of the glory of the Son of God. As near as I can judge, this continued about an hour, and kept me the greater part of the time in a flood of tears and weeping aloud. I felt an ardency of soul to be what I know not otherwise how to express, emptied and annihilated; to love Him with a holy and pure love; to serve and follow Him; to be perfectly sanctified and made pure with a divine and heavenly purity.”


Jonathan Edward’s didn’t (to my knowledge) refer to this experience as the baptism in the Holy Spirit, but it does show that he was no stranger to the power and presence of the Holy Ghost. Likewise his ministry also validates the fact that he was “endued with power from on high”.

So all throughout church history we see men, who have accomplished great things, who were baptized in the Holy Spirit, yet without ever speaking in tongues. At the same time there are many others who have received this baptism that do speak with tongues (David Wilkerson, Zac Poonen, B.H. Clendennen,). So what should we say then? Can speaking in other tongues be the evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit? Or were these men wrong in calling their experience the baptism in the Holy Ghost? What does the Bible say?

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 12:4, “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.” and in verse 11 it tells us that the Holy Spirit “gives them to each one, just as He determines.” In the entirety of Chapter 12, Paul is assuring the Corinthian believers that everyone will not have the same gifts of the Spirit, and that just because one is not an “eye” or an “ear” doesn’t mean that they are not part of the body. Now with that said, I fully understand the Pentecostal interpretation of 1 Corinthians chapters 12-14, the belief that Paul is speaking of two different kinds of tongues. But lets be honest and simple in our interpretation of these chapters. In 14:5 Paul says, “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.” Now is Paul here talking about two different types of tongues in this one verse? He would that all spoke in tongues, obviously because he sees benefit in this gift, as the preceding verse says, “He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself”. Paul also said that he thanked God that he spoke in tongues more than them all, yet in the church would rather speak with understanding. Paul saw great benefit in this gift and desired that all have it, and that in the church it would be used for the use of edifying the body through interpretation, but he also realized that the Spirit “gives them to each one, just as He determines.” In chapter 12:30 he asks the rhetorical question “do all speak with tongues?” , to which, the answer is obviously, NO. But our Pentecostal brothers always say, “ well not everyone who speaks in tongues has the GIFT of tongues.” (referring to giving a message in tongues that is followed by interpretation), but just because someone hasn’t used the gift in that area of ministry doesn’t mean they don’t have that gift. It is the same gift just with different uses, to edify oneself, and to edify the entire body. I believe an honest simple reading of chapters 12-14 will reveal that to anyone who is open to truth.

Sadly we are often times blinded by our traditions. The testimonies of the men above would be denied as being the true baptism in the Holy Spirit in the majority of churches today, because of the lack of the gift of tongues, even though they got just what Jesus promised, POWER! The only evidence Jesus ever said would be is power, power to be witnesses, and power to love like He loved. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” I love the Pentecostal church ( I am a member of an A/G church), I believe the gift of tongues should be in operation in every local body, but I do pray that the emphasis that is put on tongues as the “initial physical evidence” would be placed on the evidence that Jesus gave us:

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you… Acts 1:8



 2010/6/26 16:32Profile
TimmyJoe
Member



Joined: 2007/6/19
Posts: 120
Panama City, FL

 Re: The Baptism in the Holy Spirit: The Evidence

sorry this should probably be in the articles and sermons thread.

 2010/6/26 16:51Profile
sojourner7
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Joined: 2007/6/27
Posts: 1573
Omaha, NE

 Re: The Baptism in the Holy Spirit: The Evidence

Baptism in the Holy Spirit is evidenced
by the fruits of the Spirit!!


_________________
Martin G. Smith

 2010/6/26 17:17Profile









 Re:

If it is the wrong category, our moderators will see that it is transferred.

ok, here goes:

God is not going to force anybody to do anything. He Guides and we willingly obey or He disciplines us towards His ideal, i.e., into the image of Jesus Christ.

Further, if a person does not believe in something our ever unchanging God has testified of doing in the scriptures, it is not going to be that way for them. This is the path of the reprobate, and God will abandon them to their own devices, until they turn to Him.

Unbelief is locked into pride, fear (of man?), trust in the arm of the flesh, which all can be summarized as components of idolatry. In idolatry, people become blind and deaf towards God's message for them, and rather speculate and rationalize away what does not happen -(in their case)- due to their idolatry. In this human reasoning away of God's message, hardness of heart ensues.
(see Rom. 1:21-2:11)

The question is if we think God is limited to what we think He is capable of (idolatry), or whether we will rest all our confidence in Him to do more than we could ever ask or think (worship in Spirit and Truth).

It's this: Is. 44:25
OR
this: Rom. 12:1-2

Jesus proclaimed that no man can serve two masters.
In any one thing, nobody but nobody can have it both ways...
["...butcha' gotta' serve somebody..."<---Bob Dylan]

Is. 55:6

Jas. 4:6, 7, 8, 9, 10

We need always examine ourselves to see whether we are trusting in the machinations of men or God's unadulterated testimonies.

Agapeo,
g
Acts 20:32

 2010/6/26 17:48









 Re:

To me, walking in the Spirit is walking in fullfilment of His word. When someone offends me, but I do not take the offence, I am walking in the Spirit. When I am insulted , yet I do not care because I am dead to my own self, when I love when naturally I should not, when I should be angry, but anger quickly gives way to love and forgiveness, then I am walking in the Spirit.When I have something against a brother, or know that he has something against me and I go to that brother and reach out to him, then I am walking in the Spirit. When I agree with someone who attacks me, rather than defend myself, then I am walking in the Spirit.

When I look upon a woman, not with lust but with purity, when I would rather pluck out my eye than offend my Holy God, when all men know that my word is my bond, that I do not have to attach oaths to my word, then I am walking in the Spirit.When I am assaulted and I turn the other cheek, if I am robbed of my wallet, and I reach into my pocket and give my robber all that I have, when I can bless those who curse me, and pray for those who hate me without cause, then I am walking in the Spirit.If I can love , not only those who love me, but those who hate me, when I do a good thing for someone and I make sure no one knows about it, when I talk to my Lord all day long, whispering loving thoughts to Him, then I am walking in the Spirit.

When I fast, and no one knows about it, when I refuse to be anxious, when I make a concious descision to do all things by prayer and supplication and thanksgiving, when I judge others by the same standard that I judge myself, then I am walking in the Spirit.When two paths open up before me, and I choose the narrow one, when I do all these things and men know me because of them, when disaster strikes my life and my response is to praise my Father in Heaven and lift up the name of Jesus, then I am walking in the Spirit.As I do all these things and a peace that is beyond understanding fills me completely, then I know that I am walking in the Spirit of the Living God and my heart literaly burns within my chest. And as it burns, it gives off a light that men can see and they are drawn to Christ in me. When this happens, I know that I am walking in the Spirit!

Doctinal correctness, theological knowledge, its all information. And without the Spirit of the Lord it is dead orthodoxy. It is illumination of the Word, and by that I mean it is the Holy Spirit working in us for His good pleasure that prompts us in a certain direction. When we respond to that prompting, then we are walking in the Spirit. All the things I mentioned above I would never do. In fact, my nature is such that I would do the exact opposite for most of the examples and be applauded by my culture. My only part in this is to yield to the inner workings of the Spirit. It must come from the inside out. If it comes from the outside in, then I will eventually cry out “Oh wretched man that I am.’ The problem is that for long periods of time we cannot tell if a man’s outward piety comes from the inside out or the outside in. Time and circumstances will of course tell the story. The man who operates and lives his life by dead orthodoxy and tries to accomplish a Christ like life from the outside in, will eventually, or sooner or later, fall to pride and then fall as he ultimately fails. If we try an accomplish the commandments of God in our own strength, then we will utterly fail in short order, or have some success and self-righteousness and then utterly fail. This can take one year, but I have also seen it take 30 years.

My part is to surrender and yield to the Spirit that is within me. I must also be able to hear that small still voice that leads and guides me. I must also be genuine in all that I do, my outward actions must be a reflection of my inner state. That right there is the difference between life and death. I must cultivate my relationship with Jesus because my ability to walk in the Spirit is directly tied to Christ in me and my relationship with Him. I must be able to come into His presence. It is only by walking in His presence, walking in the Spirit, that I can be used of Him to be light to the darkness. Experiencing His presence actually, as opposed to believing a theological truth, having a faith in information, giving a mental assent to an abstract truth is also the difference between Spiritual life and a fleshly life........brother Frank

 2010/6/26 19:38
TimmyJoe
Member



Joined: 2007/6/19
Posts: 120
Panama City, FL

 Re:

I agree that the fruit of the Spirit is evidence that someone is walking in the Spirit,and will continue to increase throughout the christian life, but I also believe that the baptism in the Holy Spirit is an experience to be sought by every believer. I think Greg said it best in his 95 theses to the modern church #2:

Quote:
Thesis 2 - Evangelicals ignore most of the methods, practices and principles found in Acts chapter 2.



We need to be clothed in power from on high!

 2010/6/29 17:35Profile
InTheLight
Member



Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2730
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Re:

Quote:
To me, walking in the Spirit is...



Brother frank, outstanding post, the Spirit bears witness to what you have written. This is one of the best descriptions of spiritual life that I have read, thanks.

Oh to walk as He walked, all the day, all my days...

In Christ,

Ron


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Ron Halverson

 2010/6/29 20:56Profile
Goldminer
Member



Joined: 2006/11/7
Posts: 1178
Alabama

 Re: The Baptism in the Holy Spirit: The Evidence

"Charles Finney

“As I turned and was about to take a seat by the fire, I received a mighty baptism of the Holy Ghost. Without any expectation of it, without ever having the thought in my mind that there was any such thing for me, without any recollection that I had ever heard the thing mentioned by any person in the world, the Holy Spirit descended upon me in a manner that seemed to go through me, body and soul. I could feel the impression, like a wave of electricity, going through and through me. Indeed it seemed to come in waves and waves of liquid love, for I could not express it in any other way. It seemed like the very breath of God. I can recollect distinctly that it seemed to fan me, like immense wings”

This is almost an exact description of my experience in 1976 when filled with the Holy Ghost and power, however I spoke in tongues too.

I had only been saved for 3 days, and had people at my church pray for me, laying on hands, for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I was pretty much ignorant of the things of God, except that I was a wretched sinner, and had been powerfully delivered from my sinful past. I had never been to church since I was a small child. I didn't feel any difference after they prayed for me, but I kept praying, practically day and night to recieve all God had for me. If there was something to this baptism of the Holy Spirit I wanted it. After that third day I was sound asleep and found myself sitting straight upright in the bed with my arms out cross fashion with what felt like electricity surging through my body, and I was speaking in tongues. No words I could recognise. I woke my husband up with the noise.

Immediately after this infilling I was compelled to share what God had done for me. It was like a fire shut up in my bones. It felt like a huge lump of love in my heart and it oozed out to everybody. Just about everybody I came in contact with got saved, glory to God, and my life was totally tranformed to live for God. I feel this event has been the most important thing in keeping me following Jesus. Nobody can ever tell me it didn't happen and that it wasn't a true gift from God. It is a treasured time that I can't deny. It was real and solid. I thank God for it.

Like Appolus shared these signs of our relationship, the fruit of the Spirit, are accompanying the baptism of power. You can't help but show love, you can't help but show mercy. Not that you have these things in yourself, but Christ in us is manifest through these earthen vessels that all the glory should go the the lover of our souls.

It is real. However, I would never say that people who have not had the "evidence of tongues" are not filled. Only God knows that for sure. That dispute has gone around and around and it will probably never be answered to everyone's satifaction. All I know I experienced it this way, but I have seen many people who appear to be full of the power of the Holy Spirit and they have never said they experienced it the same way I did. I do thank God for making is it so.... clear to me.


_________________
KLC

 2010/6/29 21:07Profile
learn
Member



Joined: 2008/7/24
Posts: 613


 Re: The Baptism in the Holy Spirit: The Evidence

TimmyJoe, can you provide the link on where you got this from. I'm the most interested in Paul Washer's one. Thanks


_________________
geraldine

 2010/6/30 14:46Profile
TimmyJoe
Member



Joined: 2007/6/19
Posts: 120
Panama City, FL

 Re:

This is just a little article I wrote myself. Here is the link for the Paul Washer testimony: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpZyl8VcCYc it is about 13 mins in. 13:49 to be exact. Finney's is from a biography of his. Moody and Torrey I got from a website http://www.prmi.org/files/gem2.pdf. Campbell's I found on a forum here on SI, and Edwards came from an E.M. Bounds book, The Essentials of Prayer.

 2010/6/30 15:41Profile





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