Baptism in the Holy Spirit

Through these writings it’s my intention to show the simplicity of faith; to encourage you to experience the depths of God. One of the most potent experiences you’ll ever have is baptism in the Holy Spirit, accompanied with speaking in tongues. It’s not a modern phenomenon.

People have been speaking in tongues for over two thousand years. The commemorative edition of “speaking in tongues” was at “Pentecost” hence the term “Pentecostal”. Now we tend to think the baptism of the Holy Spirit itself means “Pentecost” but that is not so.

Pentecost was an ancient feast to commemorate the giving of the “Ten Commandments” (the Law) on Mount Sinai. This feast is celebrated in Judaism as Shavuot. That’s Hebraic. The term Pentecost is actually Greek. It simply means “fifty” – “the fiftieth [day]” after the Passover offering of a sheaf of wheat in Judaism. Now you know how we got “Whitsunday” and why Whitsunday is 50 days after Easter.

After the resurrection of Jesus the disciples (120 in number) started meeting at a location in Jerusalem. This was in diffidence to Jesus. “On no account”, were they “to leave Jerusalem”, he’d instructed. They “must wait for what the Father promised: John baptized in water; you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit.”

Straightaway you see that baptism in the Holy Spirit is not the same as water baptism. Jesus distinguished the two: John (the Baptiser) baptised with water he said, but “you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit.” On the day of Pentecost there was a major switch in calendric protocol. The Old Testament (era of the Ten Commandments) was flipped for what we now call New Testament. A new social compact between God and humanity was put in effect. And we went from “BC” to “AD”. The shift was very dramatic. This is what happened according to the memoirs of Dr. Luke: “Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force – no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building. Then, like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks and they started speaking in a number of different languages as the Spirit prompted them.”

To signify the new global vision of God the disciples spoke in the major languages of the then world: Parthia, Media, Elam, Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt, Libya, Cyrene, Rome, Crete and Arabia! “They’re speaking our languages!” the people exclaimed. They had gathered round on hearing a bunch of Jews speaking various international languages fluently without learning. Peter took the opportunity to explain what was happening. It was the fulfillment of a prophecy, he said: “’In the Last Days,” God says, “I will pour out my Spirit on every kind of people’” Prophet Joel had prophesied. The spoken international languages were proof God had indeed poured out his Spirit on “all flesh”. And that was how a covenanted relationship with God went from being a Jewish proprietorship to a global franchise.

But if the early disciples spoke “tongues” in comprehensible languages how come modern “Pentecostals” speak “gibberish”? To answer this question we must reconcile scriptures. Paul actually says “tongues” is gibberish: “If you have the ability to speak in tongues, you will be talking only to God, since people won’t be able to understand you. You will be speaking by the power of the Spirit, but it will all be mysterious.” 1 Corinthians 14:2. “For one who speaks in an unknown tongue speaks not to men but to God, for no one understand or catches his meaning, because in the Spirit he utters secret truths and hidden things not obvious to the understanding” And so the “tongues” the congregants of the early Corinth Church spoke was unlike that at Pentecost.

At Pentecost the disciples spoke international languages; but the Corinthian “tongues” was incomprehensible. We must therefore resolve that the tongues at Pentecost were symbolic – commemorative and representational. But the “standard form” of tongues is scrambled code – a gibberish sounding phenom. What we call gibberish is a scrambled format of communication with God. At the other end is the Code Breaker. It does sound like a counter-intelligence system and it is! To bypass Lucifer’s intelligence network, speak in tongues.

Now, from Paul’s writing we know there are three levels of “tongues”. In 1 Corinthians 13:1, Paul wrote of the possibility of speaking in angelic tongue – “tongues of angels”: “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as tinkling cymbal.” And so we have the tongues of men (supernaturally exhibited at Pentecost); then we have the tongues of angels (angels have their language); and then encrypted tongues.

Since angels can obviously understand the “tongues of angels” we must hold that this is not the standard for “tongues.” Tongues is an enigmatic code according to Paul. Scrambled tongues is the standard format. Paul – the man given the revelation of the Church says, speaking “mysteries” to God is Church tongues default. The “gibberish” as some imagine is actually designed to be a sign for those “who believe not.” (1 Corinthians 14:22). It’s meant to draw attention, not unlike the burning bush for Moses. If you’re wondering about it, God’s got your attention. When people wonder about the incomprehensibility of tongues, it has fulfilled its purpose.

But why do I need to speak in tongues you ask? Why do I need baptism in the Holy Spirit? For one, it’s God’s wish. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 14:5: “Now I wish that you might all speak in unknown tongues…” It is proof of our faith in God. One of the signs listed in Mark 16:17 as proof of belief is speaking in “new tongues”.

We also speak in tongues to “edify” ourselves: “He who speaks in a strange tongue edifies and improves himself.” (1 Corinthians 14:4). To edify means to build, uplift, enlighten, inform. Every time you speak in tongues you build up your faith. Also means that when you’re down you should speak in tongues. It will lift your spirit. When things are tough and looking south speak in tongues.

The third purpose of tongues is enlightenment and for accessing of information. If you’re looking for a solution or an answer to something speak in tongues. It’s a foreign intelligence service code. As you speak in tongues you plug into pervasive information system (PIS) data. The answer will drop in your spirit.

How do I get baptised in the Holy Spirit in order to speak in tongues? There are the instantaneities and administrations of the Spirit of God. We saw this at Pentecost as well as Acts 10:44: “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all who were listening to the message.”

But the standard operating procedure for receiving the baptism of the Spirit is a believer laying hands on you. Acts 19:6, “And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spoke with tongues.” Walk up to a believer near you. Ask him to lead you to Christ, and to lay hands on you to be baptised in the Spirit. Or you can get on your knees now, give your life to Christ and ask God to baptise you with his Spirit.

Pray: Father I am a sinner. I acknowledge Jesus died for me. That you raised him from the dead. I accept Jesus as my Lord and my Saviour. Please baptise me with your Spirit. Let me speak in tongues. Amen.

© Leke Alder |