Updated: Dec 30, 2019
Is Speaking in Tongues the Most Important Part of the Holy Ghost Baptism?
Speaking with tongues was the physical, initial evidence of the Holy Ghost baptism of the early church Christians and it is the physical, initial evidence of Christians who receive it today. The main purpose of receiving the Holy Ghost is not just to have something speak through you; speaking in tongues is simply the first evidence that He has come in; there are many evidences of the Holy Spirit. At Mount Sinai it was not the thunder, lightning, fire nor trumpet which were paramount, but the giving of the Law; and at Pentecost it was not the sound of wind or the tongues of fire, or speaking with other tongues which was paramount, but the giving of the Holy Ghost.
Is There a Pattern for Receiving?
Initial means entrance, beginning or making the commencement, first evidence. Remember, there are many evidences of the Holy Ghost in one’s life, but we are talking about the first evidence or the beginning. Jesus told the disciples that the Holy Ghost would testify when He came in; they expected that evidence. The disciples already had love, consecration and were in one mind and one accord. What is the one thing they all did which they had not done previously? And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance (Acts 2:4). This is the pattern of how people are to receive the Holy Ghost. It happened in the tenth chapter of Acts when the Gentiles received the Holy Ghost. The doubting Jews knew that the Gentiles had also received the Holy Ghost, not because of their joy, not because of the love of God in their hearts, but because they heard them speak with tongues (Acts 10:46). The initial evidence: speaking with tongues.
Peter said, And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. How did the Holy Ghost fall on them in the beginning? With the speaking in tongues. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God (Acts 11:15-17)?
Did Observers Recognize This Power?
Philip went down to Samaria and preached Christ. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. And there was great joy in that city (Acts 8:6-8). Verses 17-19 go on to say: Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. What happened when Peter and John laid hands on them that let Simon know they were receiving something other than what Philip had told them about? It couldn’t have been joy—they had great joy before Peter and John got there. Simon saw the physical evidence of speaking with other tongues. He thought it such a wonderful thing that he even offered them money; however, the gift of God cannot be purchased that way.
Have You Received the Holy Ghost?
Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed (Acts 19:2)? Paul was talking to believers here. To be a believer means your sins are gone. These people received something more than the born-again experience. What did happen to them? The Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues (Acts 19:6). Here again is the pattern of how people are to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed?
How Can You Receive Him?
Remember, the disciples were continually praising the Lord at Pentecost until the Holy Ghost came in. Consecrate your life to God. Yield yourself completely to Him. Rejoice in praises before Him and let Him come in.
Are you ready to step out of a religious experience into a Holy Ghost encounter? Or have you already recieved the Holy Ghost and you would like to share it with others? The Holy Ghost is not a religion, but a relationship with the creator, the infilling of his spirit, and the birth of the Spirit. When you recieve the Holy Ghost, may I suggest that the next time someone askes you "What is your religion?", you can tell them "What I have is not religion, it's the Holy Ghost"! Religion sets rules, but Jesus sets free!