Tongues as Initial Evidence?

by
William Arnold III
WmArnold@gmail.com


(original article: Why I Speak in Tongues)

Question:

Bro. Arnold, I am in process of reading in your website. I am a disciple who converted from Trinitarianism in1980. Thanks for your very excellent article on the day of the Lord as I have found few apostolic churches that hold a post trib view. I wish to discuss some on the evidence doctrine. I once held it also. I pray in tongues probably more than most but an unbiased study leads me to believe that the anointing "baptism" itself is the evidence of receiving the holy spirit. Jesus said it would be like living water. That very much sounds like an outpouring or baptism to me. When I came to Christ in 1974 it seemed every time I prayed waves of his love would flow through my being. Soon after that I began praying in the spirit and having prophetic gifts. I wonder how many souls have prayed into such an experience at Baptist or other churches or at home like me? One sisterís husband I know prayed at the altar many nights for the spirit. He always felt the living waters outpouring but hadnít spoke in tongues. They told him all he had was an anointing. Isnít an anointing the same as an outpouring? I hate to think how many after tasting Godís love and power have been sent away by our tradition. If it was a great enough sign when 120 spoke in tongues to make it into the Bible wouldnít it been more so to be able to say the 3000 did the same that day? The fact that it doesnít speaks for itself. The Ethiopian eunuch went away rejoicing. It doesnít say he spoke in tongues therefore he had nothing to rejoice over, still lost. Also the Phillipian jailerís household isnít said to have spoken. I realize salvation is revealed in Acts but something as crucial as this would be said I think at least once in the epistles. You said donít seek tongues but the spirit. Agreed. With this instruction souls from all walks of life and churches have witnessed receiving a living waters like outpouring. In love with God as witness, how many have you seen receive with tongues when no one taught that tongues was the evidence? At Pentecost and the house of Cornelius it fell with no instruction or priming. From what I have seen that canít be said much today. For your consideration in love a tongues speaking disciple mike gibson dayton-ohio

Response:

Well I'm glad to hear you like my stuff on eschatology. It's really become a passion of mine. I believe the Tribulation will take a lot of people by surprise who hadn't been expecting it and, sad to say, I believe that many will fall away because of this.

On the issue about tongues, I think we are skipping to many steps when we ask, "Can a person be saved who has not spoken in tongues?" Personally, I will never answer this question directly. If you'll notice, in my article I never even mention the word "saved." My position is merely that the Bible seems to indicate that when people receive the Spirit, speaking in tongues follows. In the case of the 3,000 and the Ethiopian eunuch, you mentioned that the Bible does not say that they spoke in tongues. My response would be that the Bible does not say that they received the Spirit either. Now I'm not saying that they did not, but if we infer that they did receive the Spirit even though Luke did not record the event, could we not also infer that spoke in tongues, especially since this is what happens every other time? The only time where it is not recorded is in Acts 8, yet even many non-Pentecostal scholars conclude that what Simon saw was them speaking in tongues. So what are we to do when this seems to be the reoccurring sign of Spirit baptism?

In Acts 8 we see that they believed (v. 12) and had great joy (v. 8) but they still had not received the Spirit (v. 16). How was it that Philip knew for certain that none of them had received the Spirit? If it is possible to believe in the Lord and experience great joy but not have the Spirit, then in what way can one know for certain that they do indeed have the Holy Spirit? There must be some type of evidence. The way that Peter knew that Cornelius received the Spirit was because he spoke in tongues (Acts 10:45,46). As I mentioned before, this just seems to be the sign which the scripture gives us to identify the infilling of the Holy Spirit.

See also, Are Tongues Part of Salvation?


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