The Advent Part 35
Acts 2:4, “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
As we continue with our discussion of what occurred on the Day of Pentecost we see two other elements introduced into the collective experience of those who were present. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
In total we see four distinct events that took place on the day the Holy Spirit descended:
1. A sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind.
2. Divided tongues, as of fire, which sat upon each of them.
3. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit.
4. They began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
In reality, we can call these four events elements of a singular work, the advent of the Holy Spirit, because these four events took place simultaneously even though Luke describes them as though they occurred in different stages.
From this moment forward, until the return of Christ Jesus, from this moment forward until His bride is caught away, the Holy Spirit will remain among us, as the Helper, The Comforter, the Spirit of holiness, the Spirit of prophecy, the Spirit of knowledge, the Spirit of truth, the Spirit of might, the Spirit of wisdom, the Spirit of counsel, the Spirit of adoption, the Spirit of glory, and the list goes on.
For such emphasis to be placed on the Holy Spirit within both the Old and New Testaments, for Jesus to have mentioned Him and spoken of Him so often, and for Him to have only been available for a brief window of time after which He would return to the Father who had sent Him would be both absent of reason and illogical.
With the baptism of the Holy Spirit we as redeemed and born again children of God also receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We will be discussing each individual gift at length in subsequent postings, but for now there are certain truths we must understand regarding these gifts that are of great import for us as followers of Christ. First, not all believers receive the same gifts, but as God sees fit, as He ordains, and as He wills, He gives one or more of these gifts to individuals, that they might be fully equipped for the task that He sets before them. In essence the gifts of the Holy Spirit are tools with which we can faithfully carry out the duty, ministry or calling that God has set before us as individuals. Some receive the gift of prophecy, while others the gift of tongues, while others the gift of interpretation of tongues, while others still the gift of working miracles, the gift of discerning spirits, the gift of healing or the gift of faith. Having one or more of these gifts does not make us superior, it does not entitle us to lord over our brethren, rather with the full knowledge that to whom much is given much is required, we ought to be all the more diligent in walking the narrow path of faith faithfully.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit occurs once, it does not repeat itself, yet we are constantly filled with the Holy Spirit, as is confirmed by the Word of God.
Acts 4:31, “And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.”
Those of whom the Word speaks as being ‘filled’ with the Holy Spirit, were the selfsame individuals gathered in the upper room, the Apostles and those that fellowshipped with them, who had previously been ‘baptized’ with the Holy Spirit. Once we have been baptized with the Holy Spirit, it is incumbent upon us to do as the Apostles did, and continue in prayer and supplication, that we might continually be filled, that we would never run low, that we would perpetually and without fail have boldness to speak the Word of God and walk in the authority we have been commanded to walk in.
So within this singular work of the Holy Spirit, there are three distinct elements, just as in the Godhead there are three distinct persons. There is the baptism with the Holy Spirit, there is the distribution of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and there is the infilling of the Holy Spirit.
The infilling of the Holy Spirit, or ‘being filled with the Spirit’ follows receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and is a frequent experience within the life of a believer.
One other thing that took place as a direct result of being baptized with the Holy Spirit, and receiving the gifts of the Holy Spirit is that all who were present, both men and women, began to speak in other tongues. In total there were twenty tongues in which those who were gathered spoke in, tongues or languages they had not previously learned. It was not of their own unction, or intellect that they spoke in these tongues, but rather, they spoke as the Spirit gave them utterance.
This gift was given to them by the Holy Spirit, as fulfillment of the promise they had been living in expectation of, but also as a personal edification and encouragement.
Although we will get deeper into the topic of the gift of different kinds of tongues, there is one aspect of tongues that I wanted to deal with from the onset, and that is the assumption some have made wherein the gift of tongues is simply the ability to speak in other human languages as the Spirit gives utterance.
Yes, the gift of tongues includes speaking in other human languages, as was the case on the Day of Pentecost, where those who had gathered understood, in their own tongue, what the fellowship of the hundred and twenty souls were saying, but there are also unknown tongues, by which the Spirit speaks not to men but to God.
1 Corinthians 14:2, “For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries.”
So for those who contend that unless one who is speaking in tongues is speaking in a known earthly language it is not of God, perhaps something more than a cursory reading of a singular passage of the Bible is in order.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.