Monday, September 2, 2013

The Visible Sign






For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.  (I Corinthians 14:2)






The Holy Spirit is invisible to the natural eye. The Holy Spirit was compared by Jesus to the wind:


The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (John 3:8)

Although the wind is invisible, the effects it produces can be seen and heard. When the wind blows the dust rises from the ground, the trees all bend in one direction, leaves rustle, the waves of the sea roar, and clouds move across the sky. These are all physical signs or evidence of the wind. So it is with the Holy Spirit. Even though He is invisible, the effects which the Holy Spirit produces can be seen and heard.

There are three places in the New Testament where we are told what happened when people were baptized in the Holy Spirit:

1.         DAY OF PENTECOST:

Acts 2:2-4 is the record of what happened on the day of Pentecost:

And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:2-4)

2.         HOUSE OF CORNELIUS:

Acts 10:44-46 is the record of what happened when Peter preached the Gospel to a man named Cornelius and his family:

While Peter yet spoke these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.  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...  (Acts 10:44-46)

3.         CONVERTS AT EPHESUS:

Acts 19:6 describes what happened to the first group of converts at Ephesus:

And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues and prophesied. (Acts 19:6)

As we compare these passages there is one physical sign which is common to all three: Those who received the baptism of the Holy Spirit spoke with other tongues. Other supernatural signs of the Holy Spirit are mentioned, but none of these were evident on all three occasions.

On the day of Pentecost there was the sound of a rushing wind and visible tongues of fire were seen. These were not recorded on the other two occasions. At Ephesus the new converts prophesied. This is not mentioned as having occurred on the day of Pentecost or in the house of Cornelius.

The one outward sign which the apostles observed in the experience of Cornelius and his household was that they spoke with tongues. This physical sign was proof to the disciples that this family had been baptized in the Holy Spirit. From these Biblical records it can be concluded that the physical sign of speaking in tongues through the power of the Holy Spirit confirms that a person has been baptized in the Holy Spirit.

The sign of "tongues" can be languages known to man. This is what happened on the day of Pentecost:

...And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold are not all these which speak Galilaeans?  And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?    (Acts 2:7-8)

Tongues can also be a language not known to man. This is called an unknown (or other ) tongue:

For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.
(I Corinthians 14:2)

There are some believers today that believe that this is no longer necessary, but God does not change and His word remains true.  On the day of Pentecost; the dawning of the church age, God poured out His Holy Spirit as promised as the visible sign of His indwelling within us.  He is still pouring out His spirit today all all who will hear, believe and receive Him.

(Biblical studies)

05/27/16
07/11/17


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