The Bible teaches speaking with tongues. When the Holy Ghost comes in to set up His abode within a life today, He does just what He did on the day of Pentecost: with another tongue He speaks through the person being baptized. Speaking in tongues is the initial evidence of the Holy Ghost baptism.
For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people (Isaiah 28:11).
In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord (I Corinthians 14:21).
What Did Jesus Say about the Holy Ghost Baptism?
Jesus told the disciples that when the Holy Ghost came in, He would testify or speak. But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me (John 15:26).
Jesus said that the Spirit would testify, and that the disciples would be the ones to witness. And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning (John 15:27). But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth (Acts 1:8). These verses speak of the witness by the disciples; read them along with John 15:26 which plainly tells that the Holy Ghost will speak when He comes in.
Just to make sure that Jesus meant exactly this, let us go to the second chapter of Acts and see what happened when the Holy Ghost filled the disciples at Pentecost: 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).
Did People Speak with Tongues after Pentecost?
Ten years after Pentecost, the Gentiles received the gift of the Holy Ghost; the Holy Ghost also testified through them when He came in.While Peter yet spake 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).
Twenty-five years later we find some people receiving the same Holy Ghost in the same way. He took over their vocal organs and spoke in another tongue. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues(Acts 19:6).
There is no place in the Bible that tells us the method has been changed, so why try to find another way? If you ever receive the real Holy Ghost as the disciples did on the day of Pentecost, you, too, will speak with tongues.
Have Tongues Really Ceased?
Some say that speaking with tongues has ceased: whether there be tongues, they shall cease (I Corinthians 13:8). But we must take the whole verse and discover what Paul was really saying. Verse 8 tells usCharity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. Paul said prophecies would fail, knowledge shall vanish away. Have prophecies failed yet? Has knowledge vanished away? No, of course not; and tongues have not ceased, either.
For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away (I Corinthians 13:9-10).
Paul was not referring to Christ here: Christ had already come when Paul was writing this. Paul said we know now in part and prophesy in part, but, when we get to Heaven where all is perfect, then we will see clearly.
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