Thursday, May 03, 2007

Testimony on tongues -- the filling of the Spirit

The testimony of the filling of the Spirit in the early church in the book of Acts -- numerous accounts are given of disciples being filled with the Spirit, most without the evidence of speaking in tongues.

1. Acts 1:8 -- Jesus promises the Holy Ghost will fill them with power to be witnesses of Him and His resurrection.

2. Acts 2:4 -- 120 filled with the Holy Ghost; they speak in tongues and preach of Jesus (vs. 11, 14-36).

3. Acts 4:8 -- Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, preaches Christ to the rulers.

4. Acts 4:31 -- Members of the church at Jerusalem, filled with the Holy Ghost, speak the word of God with boldness.

5. Acts 6:3 -- Seven men, full of the Holy Ghost, are chosen to relieve the ministry of the apostles. At least two of them are soon found preaching the gospel (Stephen & Philip, chapters 7 & 8).

6. Acts 7:55 -- Stephen, full of the Holy Ghost, preaches Jesus before the high priest and the council.

7. Acts 9:17 -- Saul, filled with the Holy Ghost, immediately preached Christ in the synagogues (9:20).

8. Acts 11:24 -- Barnabas is a man full of the Holy Ghost. People are added to the Lord through his witness. He travels with Paul to fulfill the mission of Acts 1:8.

9. Acts 13:9 -- Saul (now called Paul), filled with the Holy Ghost, preaches judgment and confirms God's word.

10. Acts 13:52 -- Discples are filled with joy and the Holy Ghost.

11. Ephesians 5:18 -- Filling with the Holy Spirit is here associated with speaking in songs of truth and thanksgiving, but not with tongues.

The filling of the Spirit is consistently associated with that which Jesus declared would happen after the Holy Spirit came upon them -- power to be witnesses. Speaking in tongues is mentioned in connection with filling of the Spirit only on one occasion - the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:4). Even on that occasion, the preaching is central to the event, and 3000 are converted. The obvious conclusion is that the filling of the Spirit could and did occur without the experience of tongues.

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