Part 2 Baptism Of Holy Spirit MEO L.A.M. Norman Oetker Missionary “The Light Amidst the Mong/MEO” Hmong Thailand, Reynosa Mexico, English Class, St. Charles Missouri US.
WANTED… A WRITER FOR A BOOK ON MY LIFE AS A CHRISTIAN MISSIONARY
CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org October 2009
One desiring God’s Gifts, needs first to become a Christian. A repentant heart, the acceptance of Jesus into their heart and life. The practical demonstration in their daily life, of the teachings of Christ, and the Apostles, and Evangelists.
Accepting only the Christian Bible, of the Old and New Covenant/Testaments, as the rule of Faith, none other.
Understanding God’s Plan for man:
The Old Testament Law, was holy and pure, this holy and pure Law wasn’t known to the barbaric Hebrew peoples.
Upon this rebellious group being freed from Egypt, by God’s power, with God’s choice of leadership in Moses.
God, was then able to continue to prepare the people, for His future Son to come, as the Messiah to the World.
Purposed for the freeing of man, from his Original Sin, which had been past down to all people, by the first man, Adam.
God instructed Moses of His Plan, for the preparation of the Hebrews, for the coming of the Messiah, through the giving of the "Law," that was given to Moses. One must remember, that when the Hebrews were lead from slavery, by the Power of God, how did they show God reverence? they made a golden calf and worshiped it! and in the end, because of their obstinence and inward, along with demonstrative outward attitudes, that entire generation died in the wilderness. Thereafter, God’s Plan continued with those, who choose to believe and trust in their delivering God.
The Law thus began it’s true purpose, and that was in part, to instruct these barbarians, these Hebrews, into living a totally different type of lifestyle, to thinking of their God and fellow man in a new and complete light. Furthermore, it was foreign to them, and, as a matter of fact, to all of the peoples of the known world, of how to live a pleasing life to God.
Accordingly, this paradigm, the "LAW" was an introduction to some of the following: honoring the beauty, perfection, and purity to wards God, virtue, humility, to have a contrite and humble spirit, one needs to be slow to anger, lusts,and lewdness of all kinds forbidden, along with gluttony, drunkenness, to not covet, not to oppress others, all violence, oppression, and fraud, forbidden. The Law is the defender of the poor and oppressed, thou shalt not hate thy brother, not avenge, or bear a grudge against your people, to help the stranger, or sojourner, thou shall love thy neighbor, If thy enemy be hungry feed him, or thirsty give him drink,etc…
The Law was good and perfect for the purposes that it was designed for, to civilize the Hebrews, for the preparation, in the receiving of the coming Messiah.
Now, the Hebrews, at that time, had no ideal what they were being lead into, into a transformation of their total being, their mind, their heart and their soul. The Law and it’s affects, was God’s plan to wards all of humanity, it was the birthing of civilized civilization as we now know today. God’s timing, God’s Providence.
God’s timing, God’s Providence in the 1st. and 2nd. centuries.
As the new Christians, of the first and second centuries A.D. began to understand God’s plan unfolding in their lives, they soon,- through Grace and Prayer,- began to understand about God, through God directing their understanding’s about the Personage of God.
In the formation and of the three person in one God doctrine. Or, Of one, substance.
1. The Father, the first person of the Trinity.
1a. Then, the Father said from Heaven, as Jesus was being baptized, that this was His Son, in whom He was well pleased.
2. The Son, the second person of the Trinity.
2a. Jesus said He was God.
3. The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity
3a. Then upon Jesus leaving this earth and returning to the seat of holiness and honor, at the right hand of the Father.
Jesus told the Apostles, and those gathered with them, to wait for the Holy Spirit to come upon them in Jerusalem, which in fact, happened.
Then, when Jesus told His disciples to go and baptize the new converts, "In the name Of The Father, In Name Of The Son, And In The Name Of The Holy Spirit. The Christian believers, then, in the second and third centuries, where able to understand the cornerstone of God’s relationship to man.
As a result, the cornerstone, that was laid centuries after the risen Christ, was now the cornerstone, to the Christian faith, "The Trinity." This concept of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, being of the same substance, was clarified by the use of the name "Trinity," the word Trinity, is not in the Bible.
The reason is simple, it was realized and understood after the fact. God’s providence, had that critical part, that revelation of His Godhead, to be known, in order to prepare for the next part of His Divine Plan.
God’s timing, God’s Providence, about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
This description of the Holy Ghost Baptism can be best understood by reading Parts One, and Two, from the Assembly Of God’s General Council, beginning below.
God’s Timing To Receive This Additional Gift Of The Baptism Of The Holy Spirit, After Becoming A Christian, That Timing, God’s Providence Is For Now! "Asked And You Shall Receive."
Norman Oetker Christian Missionary October 2009
Frequently Asked Questions
Questions are often raised about the doctrine of baptism in the Holy Spirit. The following are a few
of the more frequently asked questions.
1. Is the Book of Acts intended to be history or theology, and can doctrine be based on less than
The Bible itself responds to this question. The Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write, “All Scripture is
given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine” (2 Timothy 3:16, KJV). Again Paul wrote,
“Whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning” (Romans 15:4, KJV). After
recounting Old Testament events that happened to the Israelites, Paul says, “These things happened to
them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has
come” (1 Corinthians 10:11).
While doctrine should not be based on isolated fragments of Scripture, it can be based on substantial,
implied truth. The doctrine of the Trinity is based not on declarative statement, but on a comparison of
Scripture passages relating to the Godhead. Like the doctrine of the Trinity, the doctrine of tongues as
evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit is based on substantial portions of Scripture relating to this
subject. It is evident Peter and the church leaders in Jerusalem established doctrine based on repeated
experiences of the Spirit understood to be the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. They recognized
tongues as evidence of people being filled with the Spirit (Acts 10,11). The weight of the biblical text,
both in quantity and frequency, provides a solid base for doctrinal formulation.
Luke’s writings (Luke and Acts) clearly present more than just history. While Luke describes his
Gospel as a “narrative” (Greek diegesis—Luke 1:1) written to be “accurate” and “orderly” (1:3), the way he
selects items to include and his editorial and narrative comments reveal an author with an agenda to
advance the cause of Christ. Luke is clearly a Christian. In fact, today there is an overwhelming consensus
among New Testament scholars that Luke is a theologian, not just a historian. For those interested in
learning more about Luke and Acts as inspired historical narratives that also teach theology, we recommend
Roger Stronstad’s Charismatic Theology of St. Luke (Hendrickson, 1984).
2. Isn’t baptism in the Holy Spirit connected with water baptism in some special way? Since water
baptism is a witness to one’s faith in Christ and the reception of God’s saving grace, isn’t Spirit
baptism also associated with salvation?
The answer to both questions is no. The theology of the Spirit presented in Acts emphasizes the
empowering of believers by the Spirit for effective witness and the utterance of inspired speech. Only by
wrongly imposing Paul’s theology of the Spirit (never intended to stand apart from the remainder of
biblical revelation) upon Luke’s Gospel and Acts can baptism in the Holy Spirit be associated with
personal conversion, spiritual renewal, or ethical transformation. In short, baptism in the Holy Spirit is a
gift given to those who are already Christians. It does not make people Christians.
3. Isn’t speaking in tongues a phenomenon that belonged only to the apostolic period? Did not
Paul say that tongues “shall cease” (1 Corinthians 13:8)?
First Corinthians 13:10 says, “When that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be
done away” (NKJV). This does not imply, however, that speaking in tongues would be in effect only
during the apostolic period or until the New Testament canon had been completed, as some have
suggested. Clearly the arrival of “the perfect” is connected in some way with the second coming of Christ
and the perfect establishment of God’s kingdom in which God’s will shall “be done on earth as it is in
heaven.” Paul also indicated that at the time when tongues shall cease, knowledge shall also vanish away
© General Council of the Assemblies of God 8 The Baptism in the Holy Spirit:
and prophecies shall fail (1 Corinthians 13:8). If knowledge and prophecy are necessary and available to the
Church today, then speaking in tongues is as well.
4. When Paul wrote, “Not all speak with tongues, do they?” (1 Corinthians 12:30), does this not
contradict the teaching that all should expect to speak in tongues as evidence of baptism in the
To understand 1 Corinthians 12:30 one must recognize the various functions of speaking with
tongues. Speaking with tongues serves as the initial physical evidence of the baptism in the Spirit (Acts
2:4; 10:46). Speaking or praying with tongues in private is for personal edification (1 Corinthians 14:4).
And speaking with tongues in the congregation, accompanied by interpretation of tongues, is for the
edification of the Church (1 Corinthians 12:4–11, 14:5).
There is no contradiction between Paul’s desire that all speak with tongues (1 Corinthians 14:5) and
the implication of his rhetorical question in 1 Corinthians 12:30, since different contexts are in view.
These contrasting contexts are highlighted in 1 Corinthians 14:18,19: “I thank God that I speak in tongues
more than all of you. But in the church . . .” Here private tongues are contrasted with public tongues (that
is, in a worship service).
Paul recognizes that the Corinthian believers prayed quite frequently in tongues, so frequently in fact
that congregational meetings had been disrupted because the distinction between tongues appropriate in
public and tongues appropriate only in private prayer had not been observed. To address the potential for
disruption, Paul limits the public exercise of tongues while encouraging private prayer in tongues (1
Corinthians 14:18, 19,27,28). Thus private prayer in tongues is encouraged for “all” (1 Corinthians 14:5),
with Paul’s own practice as a model (1 Corinthians 14:18), but “not all” pray publicly in tongues in church
meetings (1 Corinthians 12:30; 14:27,28). Only those to whom the gift of tongues has been apportioned
by the Spirit are to speak in tongues publicly (1 Corinthians 12:10,11) and such tongues must always be
interpreted (1 Corinthians 14:27). Private tongues, on the other hand, do not require interpretation, for even
without interpretation the one who prays in tongues privately is edified (1 Corinthians 14:4).
When examined in context, any apparent contradiction between Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians
12:30 and the Pentecostal expectation that all Spirit-baptized believers will speak in tongues quickly
evaporates. Instead of contradiction, we find complementary truth.
5. If speaking with tongues either as evidence or gift is scriptural, why were there periods in
church history when the phenomenon seemed to be absent?
The possibility exists that any biblical doctrine can suffer from neglect. In fact, great spiritual
renewals have often been accompanied by the revival of doctrine. For example, the doctrine of justification
by faith was almost completely lost until the time of the Reformation, when Martin Luther and others
reemphasized this biblical truth. The doctrine of sanctification had suffered neglect until the time of the
Wesleyan Revival, when it was again brought to the attention of the Church. While the truth of the
baptism in the Holy Spirit and speaking with tongues has appeared in revivals throughout Church history,
it did not have the emphasis it has received in the present revival.
Just as there were those who opposed the revival of the doctrines of justification by faith and
sanctification, there are those who oppose the revival of the doctrine of the baptism in the Holy Spirit with
the initial physical evidence of speaking in tongues. The fact some refuse to accept a doctrine, however,
does not make it unscriptural. The instruction for believers is to “prove all things; hold fast that which is
good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). The basis of the testing is not human opinion but the Word of God (Acts
6. In teaching the doctrine of tongues as evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit is there a danger
that people will seek for tongues rather than the actual baptism in the Holy Spirit?
Unfortunately this is a possibility, but the abuse of a doctrine does not invalidate the doctrine.
Abuses and counterfeits, rather than disproving a doctrine, help to establish the importance of the genuine.
While speaking in tongues accompanies the baptism in the Holy Spirit, it is important to remember Jesus’
command to the disciples was to wait until they were filled with the Spirit. The emphasis must always be
on seeking to be filled with the Spirit. Tongues will naturally accompany the experience.
7. If people speak in tongues, will there not be a temptation to spiritual pride?
© General Council of the Assemblies of God 9 The Baptism in the Holy Spirit:
When people truly understand the baptism in the Holy Spirit, it will result in humility instead of
pride. Believers are baptized in the Spirit not because of personal worthiness, but to empower them for
service and a more meaningful life. The baptism in the Spirit is received by faith and not because of
meritorious works. It cannot be earned or bought. Like all gifts of God it is by grace through faith.
Baptism in the Spirit does not guarantee spiritual maturity. Paul’s need to rebuke the Christians at Corinth
provides clear evidence of that. The cultivation of fruit of the Spirit and a sanctified life are the real
indicators of spiritual maturity.
8. What about truly born-again people who have accomplished great things for the Lord but do
not speak in tongues?
Without question, some believers who do not speak in tongues have accomplished great things for
God. However, every student of Scripture must determine whether to base doctrine on God’s Word or on
experiences of even the most devout believers. Because the Bible indicates that all may speak with tongues
in private prayer, if not in the congregation, every believer must determine whether to accept or reject this
provision of God’s grace.
Scripture makes clear that believers must recognize their accountability to God and not evaluate
Christian experience on the basis of human comparison. Paul wrote: “We do not dare to classify or
compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves
and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise”(2 Corinthians 10:12). Doctrine must always
be based on the Word of God, not on personal experience.
9. What is the relationship between the baptism in the Holy Spirit and the experiences of
regeneration and sanctification?
Spiritual life is composed of specific experiences or events, ongoing processes, and occasional unique
experiences. Conversion is a specific experience, or event. At a certain moment a person believes in Christ,
is forgiven of sin, and is converted or justified. However, after that, there is a lifelong process of
sanctification, of conforming to the image of Christ. In the same way, the baptism in the Holy Spirit is a
specific event. After it, however, there is a lifelong development of Spirit-filled life and ministry. The
person matures in the Spirit-filled life, is more responsive to the leading of the Spirit, and is more fruitful
in the ministry of the Spirit. In the same way that salvation is an initiation experience leading to
Christlikeness, the baptism in the Holy Spirit marks a supernatural enduement leading to Christlike
ministry in the power of the Spirit. For example, children or teenagers may be baptized in the Holy Spirit
at a young age. Their baptism is real and valid, but as they mature they will grow in their ability to be
used by the Spirit in various supernatural ministries. What they receive at the moment of their baptism is
not all they will ever receive, nor is it the fullness of the expression of the power of the Spirit that will
flow through their lives.
10. What is the relationship of the baptism in the Holy Spirit to other spiritual experiences such as
weeping, falling, shaking, etc.?
Periods of renewal and revival have historically included physical manifestations not described in
Scripture.18 The writings of Jonathan Edwards and John Wesley contain many such references.
As one’s spiritual life develops, one may experience a variety of spiritual responses. For example,
during periods of revival, including both personal and corporate revival, it is not unusual for people to be
overcome by compulsive weeping. They may fall or shake, or quake, when influenced by the power of the
Spirit, or they may run, jump, and shout. In short, when people feel the power of God they may respond
in a number of ways. These are, or can be, very legitimate and fruitful encounters with the power of God.
However, it is a mistake to confuse these responses with the experience of salvation or the baptism in the
11. What is the “anointing” and how does it relate to the baptism in the Holy Spirit?
Old Testament kings and priests were anointed with oil to symbolize the power of God in their lives
to fulfill their calling. Jesus used this imagery when He said that the Spirit of the Lord was on Him, for
He was anointed to minister in a number of ways (Luke 4:18). Therefore, anointing is a declaration that the
power of God rests on a person’s life enabling one to fulfill the ministry God has given.
© General Council of the Assemblies of God 10 The Baptism in the Holy Spirit:
The baptism in the Holy Spirit fits this imagery perfectly. This is the thrust of Peter’s words at the
household of Cornelius when, in explaining the baptism in the Holy Spirit, he indicates that Jesus was
anointed with the Spirit and went about doing good and performing miracles (Acts 10:38).
Some, however, when they experience the presence of God in a significant way or when they respond
to the power of God in an unusual way (falling, etc.) report that they have received an anointing. Further,
some teach, or at least imply, that certain individuals possess a unique “anointing” and are able to minister
it (pass it along) to others when they pray for them. We believe that this is an unwarranted confusion of (1)
the anointing that comes from God in the form of the baptism in the Holy Spirit with (2) other legitimate
spiritual experiences a person may have when sensing the power and presence of God. If people come to
believe that the unusual spiritual experiences they have (falling, etc.) are the anointing, then the biblical
doctrine of the baptism in the Holy Spirit could easily be replaced by other experiences. We can
acknowledge and rejoice in these other experiences that contribute to a person’s spiritual life. Nonetheless,
people should not be led into confusing these experiences with the baptism in the Holy Spirit. It is the
baptism in the Holy Spirit that endues a person with power for ministry. Nothing else can take its place.
12. Is speaking in tongues the only evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit and a Spirit-filled
Tongues are not the only evidence of a Spirit-filled life, but they are always the initial, or first,
evidence that one has been baptized in the Holy Spirit as the entrance into a Spirit-filled life. One purpose
of baptism in the Spirit is to empower the believer for witness; therefore, enthusiasm and boldness in
witnessing, divine guidance and enabling in the presentation of the gospel, and miraculous manifestations
of God’s power before unbelievers all may serve as additional evidences of baptism in the Holy Spirit,
though not as substitutions for speaking in tongues.
The Spirit-filled life should also demonstrate progressive development toward a complete Christlike
character. The fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22,23) should be developing in the life of every believer. It
has been observed that some who have received the baptism in the Holy Spirit and claim to be living
Spirit-filled lives demonstrate less evidence of the fruit of the Spirit than some who have not received the
Baptism experience. Such a fact does not destroy the truth that the Spirit takes raw material and, if given
the opportunity, helps develop Christlike character traits in every believer. Yet development of the fruit of
the Spirit can, and should, be enhanced in those who have been filled with the Spirit.
Other supernatural gifts of the Spirit (besides speaking in tongues), though sometimes seemingly
evident in the lives of believers who have not been baptized in the Spirit, do not in themselves give
evidence of having been baptized in the Spirit. The manifestation of supernatural gifts in the life of a
believer who has not been baptized in the Holy Spirit is possible, but being baptized opens the door to a
more dynamic, more effective manifestation. See Question 13 and its response.
13. Can believers who have not experienced the baptism in the Holy Spirit minister with
supernatural signs following?
As the question is stated, the answer must be yes. Mark 16:17 speaks of signs following “those who
believe.” Yet the promise to believers before the outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost was,
“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you” (Acts 1:8). The power is a supernatural,
divine power consistently doing supernatural things through Spirit-filled believers.
The question might better be, “Is there any difference between the frequency and effectiveness of the
supernatural gifts of the Spirit in the life of a believer after being baptized in the Holy Spirit?” The Bible
records many miraculous demonstrations of the supernatural in the lives of Old Testament individuals, and
in the lives of New Testament believers both before and after their Baptism experience. When Jesus sent
out the pre-Pentecost 70, they returned reporting with joy, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your
name” (Luke 10:17).
But there was definitely a higher incidence of spiritual gifts operating through Spirit-filled members
of the Early Church than there was prior to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon yielded believers.
Miracles were wrought through people like Stephen and Philip who did not have apostolic positions (Acts
6:8 and 8:6,7). The full range of gifts was everywhere seen after the Day of Pentecost. It was as if a highoctane
fuel additive propelled the Church to incredible growth and outreach. Activity after the Day of
Pentecost was not just an extension of activity before the great outpouring. The Church had experienced a
major empowerment for more effective ministry. The baptism in the Holy Spirit, with the initial physical
evidence of speaking in tongues, is the doorway leading to a greatly empowered church of Jesus Christ.
© General Council of the Assemblies of God 11 The Baptism in the Holy Spirit:
14. What about persons who are convinced they were baptized in the Holy Spirit in a definite
encounter with God, but did not speak in tongues until some time later?
Since the Bible teaches and demonstrates that tongues are the initial evidence of receiving the baptism
in the Holy Spirit, the Church cannot confirm the opinion of individuals until they actually speak in
tongues. But neither can we depreciate a person’s special experience of the presence of the Holy Spirit of
God. Such an in-between time might be described as involving a process that is completed only when the
person speaks in tongues. To take any other position on the question would open the door to individuals
claiming to be baptized in the Holy Spirit without having received the biblical evidence of speaking in
tongues as the Spirit gives utterance, and feeling content with what they already have experienced
15. What is the relationship of John 20:22 with Acts 1:8 and Acts 2:4?
John 20:22 is important to understanding the full ministry of the Holy Spirit. This verse records the
disciples’ receiving the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit before the Day of Pentecost (under the New
Covenant founded on the resurrection of the crucified Jesus). The Acts 2:4 experience occurred after the
disciples’ regeneration by the Holy Spirit, as a separate and distinct work of the Spirit. The regeneration
and the Spirit baptism experiences are normative for all believers. Thus all believers receive the Holy Spirit
at salvation, or regeneration. After this regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, every believer can experience
the baptism in the Holy Spirit, the enduement of power to be more effective witnesses (Acts 1:8; 2:4;
Some have suggested that John 20:22 was merely a symbolic promise of the Holy Spirit’s descent at
Pentecost. But the Greek aorist imperative for “receive” indicates that an action took place at that time, not
sometime later. John recorded a historical event which had its own significance for the normative
experiences of every believer today.
1All Scripture quotations are from the New International Version.
2Vinson Synan, “Policy Decisions on Tongues as an Indicator of Future Church Growth,” Address to the
Evangelical Theological Society meeting in Orlando, Florida, November 20, 1998.
3Throughout Scripture, some kind of supernaturally inspired speech accompanies the giving of the Spirit. For
example, it is said of the elders of Israel, “When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, but they did
not do so again” (Numbers 11:25). The prophet Samuel told Saul, “The Spirit of the Lord will come upon
you in power and you will prophesy . . . ” (1 Samuel 10:6,10). When God gave the promise to Joel, “And
afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people,” He added, “Your sons and daughters will prophesy . . .
” (Joel 2:28). In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit is most often active in prophesying through specially
selected human beings. The Spirit is quite literally the Spirit of prophecy, and some form of verbal
proclamation, perhaps along with other power phenomena, is the special sign of His coming.
In the New Testament, the Pentecost phenomena are consistent with this promise, “All of them were filled
with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them” (Acts 2:4). The word
“enabled” is from the Greek verb apophthengomai, which means “to speak” usually in connection with an
inspired utterance, e.g., “to speak as a prophet.” The same word is found in Acts 2:14 where Peter
“addressed” the crowd. Luke understood Peter’s address to be prophetic, a sign that the Spirit had come in
power as prophesied by Joel.
4“Being continually filled with the Spirit” is the meaning of the tense of the Greek word.
5“Speaking in tongues” refers to the ability the Holy Spirit gives believers to speak in languages they have not
learned. Like our English word tongue, the Greek word glossa of the New Testament era meant both the
physical organ and the language it produces. The technical term for this usage of one word (tongue) to
indicate a related concept (language) is metonymy.
6Neither are such widely accepted theological terms as Trinity and Incarnation found in Scripture.
7i.e., people are baptized only once as a first-time expression of faith in Christ and entry into the community of
© General Council of the Assemblies of God 12 The Baptism in the Holy Spirit:
8At the very outset of Jesus’ ministry, each one of the Gospel writers emphasizes John the Baptist’s prophecy
“He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire” (Matthew 3:11; see also Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16;
John 1:33). Jesus himself reiterated the prophecy to His disciples just before His ascension: “In a few days
you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:5). Jesus also explicitly commanded the disciples to
“wait” for the promised gift of the Spirit (Acts 1:4; cf. Luke 24:49), described by Him as being “clothed
with power from on high” (Luke 24:49) and “power . . . [to] be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8). For the
disciples, the promise was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost when the Spirit came in dynamic and powerful
ways, filling them with His presence and enabling them to speak prophetically in other tongues (Acts
2:1–4). True to the baptismal language of the biblical promise, Pentecostal believers have referred to the
Spirit’s coming in power as “the baptism in the Holy Spirit.”
9The Holy Spirit baptizes into the body of Christ at conversion; Christ baptizes in the Spirit at Spirit baptism.
10Though conversion and Spirit baptism appear in this instance to be simultaneous because Baptism with the
evidence of speaking in tongues follows conversion so quickly, there is still a chronological distinction in
the two experiences.
11“As the Spirit gave them utterance” (KJV) does not mean that some who were baptized spoke in tongues
while others did not. It simply means that all spoke in tongues prompted by the Holy Spirit. Speaking
with other tongues as the Holy Spirit gives utterance is not achieved through a heightened emotional state
or through the repetition of words and phrases. It is not the result of imitating the sounds made by others.
To the contrary, human attempts to speak with tongues only stand in the way of the utterance the Holy
Spirit gives. The believer speaks by the supernatural, motivating power of the Spirit, although cooperation
is required. One needs only to respond in faith and speak out as the Spirit gives utterance. Any
manipulative technique for receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit is without biblical pattern or propriety.
12The King James translation “since ye believed” is more accurate than “when.” The Greek pisteusantes is an
aorist active participle more accurately translated as “having believed,” indicating that the believing took
place prior to the action Paul is asking about.
13See Ralph W. Harris, Acts Today: Signs and Wonders of the Holy Spirit (Springfield, MO: Gospel
Publishing House, 1995). Includes documented instances of individuals speaking in French, Croatian,
Chinese, Ukrainian, and Aramaic-Hebrew, despite a lack of any training in those languages.
14The sound of wind and the sight of tongues of fire preceded and were external to the disciples’ personal
15For all its importance as initial evidence, speaking in tongues is not the only purpose of the baptism in the
Holy Spirit. Another purpose of the baptism in the Holy Spirit, according to Jesus’ words in Acts 1:8, is
to empower believers to be witnesses. The Greek word translated “power” is dynamis, or the power and
ability to get things done. God’s Great Commission is the evangelization of the world. As the Book of
Acts clearly shows, evangelizing the world is to be done in the power of the Spirit. The powerful
proclamation of the gospel, healings, casting out of demons, raising the dead are all clearly seen in the
Book of Acts as Spirit-empowered believers, after being baptized in the Holy Spirit, bear witness to the
saving power of Jesus. All of these powerful signs of God’s presence are available to the Church today.
When believers are baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues, they should
expect to become agents of God’s power in this world.
16The fruit of the Spirit result from the sanctification process, which must take place continually after
17For a complete biblical description of the gifts of the Spirit, see Romans 12:4–8; 1 Corinthians 12:1–11,
27–30; Ephesians 4:11.
18See Christian History, Issue 58 (Spring 1998).
©General Council of the Assemblies of God
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Springfield, Missouri 65802-1894
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