Glossolalia is from Greek glossa, tongue, referring to speaking in tongues, ecstatic utterances. One of the most interesting phenomenon in the modern church has been the tremendous growth of congregations which emphasize speaking in tongues. They emphasize a strict spiritual and Biblical authority, an austere morality, an enthusiastic faith and evidence of the Holy Ghost. Many however, strayed from the original vision confirmed by the Pentecostal doctrine and insisted that speaking in tongues was essential to any true baptism of the Holy Ghost. By their one burning desire to enter into the same supernatural experience which is described in the Book of Acts, tongues mistakenly became the only door through which they entered into this experience. By the use of the gift of tongues being out of order and congregations entering into in confusion, tongues became the most divisive influence in the modern church. From the one instance of the manifestation rising from the Azusa Street Mission, whole congregations sprang into being with the chief cornerstone, not on Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit but from one of His gifts.

To be as gentle as possible, it must be emphasized that the idea that speaking in tongues brings you to a higher level of spirituality than other people with different gifts has done untold damage. It is a deceptive schism that has fragmented spiritual gifts into a competitiveness one with another and left the church in different camps of confusion, ignorance and denominational arrogance. It is a false doctrine that creates a barrier to those that are ignorant of spiritual gifts to be able to understand the Baptism with the Holy Spirit. This needs to be taken point-by-point.

First of all, speaking in tongues is a desirable gift that edifies the one that receives it. It was never taken away in the first century as many teach and has always been a valid spiritual tool for the body and the one so gifted. We are all in agreement of that here.

We are told to desire the higher gifts but there is no mention of higher spiritual levels with the varying gifts. Personally, I do not like to see any gift referred to as higher but since Paul used that term, we are stuck with it. To point to I Corinthians 12 as if speaking in tongues is a higher level is taken out of context since apostles were put in as first and diversities of tongues listed in last place behind helps and administration. We have seen it time and time again that the gift of tongues is used as a badge of honor with a kind of spiritual superiority. This attitude comes from many prophets also but we have to agree here that Paul was stressing the prophetic gift over the others because it is God speaking to us in a language that we can understand. As soon as pride and arrogance gets in the way of any gift, it is in the flesh, not the spirit.

If the only way that you can pray in the spirit is to speak in tongues, you really do not understand what it is to pray in the spirit. Praying in the spirit is to have that sufficiency of spiritual power to be able to lift up your heart, unselfish desires and energies into a realm of effective intercession that need not be uttered. It is a spiritual thing, not a physical one and certainly not a prideful one. It is the wellspring of living waters, the daystar arising in your heart. We may be able to pray in the spirit while speaking in tongues but if you do not have the faith to be able to do it in the spirit alone, you need the understanding to know that others should not be criticized for having the faith to do something that you cannot. If you truly have the faith to pray in the spirit, it can be done without making a sound.

The Corinthian church acted like a cult. They elevated the gifts rather than the giver and exalted themselves by using certain gifts as if they were better than others. Paul admonished them in about as strong a language as he ever had in any of his letters, except maybe to the Galatians for their legalism. The Corinthians would all speak in tongues at the same time in the assembly and would prophesy without unction. Of course they may be forgiven for it and Paul did as much in his second letter to them and did not mention it again, apparently, they had learned their lesson. The church today has no such excuse since we have Paul's words to us all. Two or three should speak in tongues and only when an interpreter is present, but how many churches ignore the teaching with the arrogant attitude that speaking in tongues puts them on a higher level spiritually. Humility and obedience are thrown out as whole congregations are speaking in tongues simultaneously in open defiance to an apostolic mandate. Any denomination that believes and teaches that speaking in tongues is the only initial evidence of the Baptism with the Holy Spirit is a cult no matter how spiritual or non-religious they think they are.

Carl Jung came to the conclusion that there are levels of the unconscious beyond the personal, the buried memories, and the primitive impulses of the id. Speaking in tongues, Jung found, is one evidence of a breakthrough of this objective psyche or deep, collective level of the unconscious to be understood in terms of the soil from which it sprang - the 19th century holiness movement. This was a revival movement, almost exclusively Methodist in the beginning and affirmed vociferously the literal inspiration of the Bible.

There are two uses that have been taught for speaking in tongues. The first is that it is a personal prayer language and the second is the gift of tongues. The tongues used in prayer is praying in the spirit, generally in your own prayer closet or when the spirit bears witness to your spirit with groanings that cannot be uttered. It can be manifested audibly or inaudibly and can be something that you may not know how to pray at that moment. This type of prayer can be manifested at will. The gift of tongues is one of the gifts (charisms) of the spirit to be used in the congregation as the Spirit leads when there is a known interpreter present. If it is done in the spirit, not the flesh and if the congregation is in order, there will be an interpreter present. If there are more than one or two speaking in tongues at the same time or there is no interpretation, it is out of order. The Bible teaches that this prayer language is to be done in private for your own edification and the gift of tongues with interpretation is for the congregation. Disobedience of the Bible teaching on the matter one way or the other has been the cause of widespread division and the refusal of many churches to accept the gift of tongues in particular and the baptism of the Holy Ghost in general.

When I received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, I did not speak in tongues. Although I have spoken in tongues since then, it was quite a while later and I have never needed to have any experience to validate the fact that the baptism of the Holy Ghost was a genuine spiritual encounter from God. Before then and not too long after the baptism I was reading where Paul suggested that we desire to prophesy. I received my spiritual training through the Holy Spirit and the reading of scripture, so what Paul said made a lot of sense and I prayed for the gift of prophecy. Not long after, I was giving testimony of Jesus and God touched my lips, moving them in a way that I felt the power. I was speaking things that were previously unknown to me, the Lord took control over what I was saying and related to the person I was witnessing to exactly the things that he needed to hear to be saved. This has only happened in such a profound way once since, when I was typing a paper concerning the Lord and the power came over me and took control of my fingers. I was typing in such a way that I was not even conscious of what I was thinking except that the Lord was doing the writing. Jesus was doing His work through me and I understood that these manifestations were done to confirm that it was the Lord giving me the gift. That was after receiving the baptism, I have always thought of His work continuing through me even though I have not felt such profound experiences since. I thank God that these things happened between Him and me without the interference and confusion that reigned and still reigns in the churches. If I had received the baptism through another besides God I might be repeating the same mistake that has divided the church into charismatic and non charismatic fellowships.

I know the deeper things of the spirit and God knows my heart and bears witness with my spirit that these things that He has taught me are true, nothing anyone can say can change that and I cannot possibly deny or ever doubt that it is true. It would follow that those that spoke in tongues when they were baptized in the Holy Ghost would feel the same way. When I pray, I pray silently in the spirit with power, the type of prayer power that can receive interpretation in the congregation. I can ask God a question and He miraculously answers me through the voice of others. That is only a sign to me, others have no idea. I have done this many times. My wife says I spoke in tongues while I am asleep, when she told me this, I immediately spoke an audible interpretation. It matters not what anybody does to judge me one way or another, except I am called to unite, so division hurts. No one in our group is denying the validity of the gift but it cannot reasonably be up to one charism to judge the evidence of the Holy Ghost in others and we should be suspicious of those that do not have the love to accept others in this truth. It should then, be up to the Holy Ghost to judge whether there is sufficient love for acceptance in truth as to others and through our own discernment, it is they who should be questioned as to if they really have the Holy Ghost continuing in them or not.

Whenever I see a statement of faith that includes the baptism of the Holy Spirit and then adds "with the evidence of speaking in tongues", it sets off a red flag. This error has caused untold and irreparable harm to the body of Christ and puts whole congregations into schismatic disobedience. Since this a prophetic group, no one here is arguing against the validity of speaking in tongues but when the gift is exalted as a badge of honor or proof of the Holy Spirit to the exclusion of other gifts, it becomes prideful and produces a church that is out of order. The apostle Paul wrote much against the improper use of the gift of tongues but all it means for some churches is to take all of the wrong aspects of the gift and exalt them as the most prominent. Ungifted believers think them crazy and it has produced the unintended opposite result of congregations being ignorant of the gifts of the spirit and forbidding the speaking in tongues altogether. This disobedience has caused many tongue churches to become cults, unable to completely accept those that do not speak in tongues or accept the word of those with higher gifts. The devil can counterfeit any of the gifts through his own people.

To suggest that you cannot receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit without speaking in tongues is a lie, pure and simple and comes from the father of lies to divide the church. To teach that the speaking in tongues is a sign to the believers as evidence is another lie and a denial of apostolic mandate. Paul especially wrote about spiritual gifts in the 12th and 14th chapter of I Corinthians with the chapter on love in the center. Do you think that was a co-incidence? Love is the only true proof of the Holy Spirit in the life of a Christian. This is the true evidence that exalts the Giver, not the gift.

What if someone were to say to you that you were not saved because you have not been baptized the way that they were? This is ridiculous. It is another divisive lie of satan designed to produce a schism in the church and to draw others to themselves that would perpetuate the division. If you are truly saved, you know it, there is nothing in the world that could convince you differently unless your faith was so weak that your salvation would come into question. If you have the faith that confirms your salvation and the spirit bears witness to your spirit, nothing that anyone can say will alter that and you will stand up for it as truth. Exactly my point to the question at hand concerning tongues being the evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. There is nothing that can be said or has been said concerning the baptism of the Holy Spirit that could alter the fact that I know that this has happened to me, that it was of God and that it was genuine. Just because I prophesied when I was baptized in the Holy Ghost and did not speak in tongues or whether I, or any one of us have spoken in tongues before or after this experience is not the issue, or if we have prophesied, or any other gift unless of course, it is love. If there is a doctrine in the church that says I, or any one else has not been baptized in the Holy Ghost unless we spoke in tongues, it must be a false doctrine, sent here by the adversary to cause division. I cannot think any other way about it for to do so would question my own spirituality and this is not possible for me. So if I seem to be unyielding on this point, it is because I have the faith to believe in what God has done for me without question, not that we must only come to my own truth but because it is truth and to teach otherwise on this is false.

For those of you understanding what I am saying is true, there is no more to discuss. There are a few however, in the spirit of love that would want to agree to disagree from a sense of unity toward the whole body of Christ that would compromise in agreement to truth for the sake of that unity. This is not what we are doing here. There is truth and there is error. Jesus is coming for a church that is holy, spotless, without wrinkle or any thing false. And we are asked to speak the same thing. It is true that we do not have to agree on every little point but on many things we do. Democratically, this group has already come to the same conclusions that I have on this, but that's not good enough. There were three that were taken off the list over this issue. Two asked to be taken off and I had to cut another because he was prideful, contentious, took everything out of context, was against everything that we are doing and did not have the spirit of truth in him. That is unfortunate but to be taken off is a good thing, not a bad thing. This makes the group closer to true unity and more in agreement to the spirit of truth in one accord. Pray that Jesus is truly in charge here and the truth can be readily recognized and acknowledged within ALL of us.

We need to remain firm concerning the "red flag" that exists when one uses the term with the "evidence in speaking in tongues." Voodoo priests can speak in tongues as well as false prophets and witches. That does not mean that speaking in tongues cannot be evidence but it does suggest that speaking in tongues in not necessarily evidence. To lift up that one gift is a prideful element and to use it as the way to be baptized in the Holy Spirit is coming through a different door than Jesus. The five-fold ministry is as much pentecostal as it is apostolic and that includes speaking in tongues as well as all the gifts of the spirit. Those classical Pentecostals that fall into the Corinthian trap and believe that tongues is evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit may even fall into a more dangerous trap with the absurd belief that this is the only experience a Christian needs in order to have the fullness of a holy life. They don't just say that speaking in tongues is a sign of the Holy Ghost like other spiritual gifts, including love, they think that speaking in tongues is the ONLY proof and this where satan gets the advantage to use this error to cause division, corruption and a congregation that is out of order. Many reject the five-fold ministry because of these misled brothers and sisters among them. To use any spiritual gift to get the Baptism of the Holy Ghost instead of the other way around is absurd. Many who speak in tongues are not really holy at all so where is the Holy Ghost in that? It is a continuing relationship with Jesus by walking in the "holy" spirit that should be evident, not in any manifestation of the gifts or existential experiences.

Many tongue speakers believe that the least of the gifts make them spiritually superior than other Christians, a kind of super-saint. It is no longer one or two and with an interpretation, it is whole congregations speaking at once in confusion. Some forget the teachings of Jesus and Paul and only worship the Holy Ghost manifestations; conversely, they conform to the letter of the law instead of living in the spirit. They would be better off stressing a higher gift like discernment or faith rather than tongues; condemnation is the norm and love and unity for outsiders is really far from them. Being out of order has led them to a gross legalism and a babel of confusion and numbers them with the transgressors. Those churches are quite satisfied with the confusion and disorder reigning in their services and care nothing about it. Over time, more and more of these babel churches will be exposed as cults.

The tongues issue has been the cause of division no matter what any local church has united themselves on. There is nothing wrong with praying in tongues unless it is something that causes division or puts the congregation in confusion and out of order. Tongues without interpretation teaches us nothing from God except that we are spiritual show offs in public. If we want interpretation, we should ask God to provide it for this is what God has provided for our edification. Go into your prayer closet alone if you should speak in tongues without an interpreter, this is the prayer language that is for your own edification in praying in the spirit. Does your church have the prophetic element, or just the gift of tongues? Do they have interpretation and actual words from the spirit or just a public display of spirituality and a pastor that will not teach them the right way to go? Is your pastor obeying the apostolic mandate of scripture or avoiding it and doing his own thing? Does your church believe that the gift of the Holy Ghost can be given without the gift of tongues?

Obviously, the spirit should be spontaneous and if it is otherwise, it is of the flesh. If we are to speak in tongues, it should be done at home unless an interpreter is present "as the spirit gives utterance". To just speak in tongues in the church without the proper spiritual edification is condemned in scripture for a good reason, others will think that we are crazy and for many, they are exactly right. If you were to speak the word of the Lord, remind them that they are out of order and not in accordance to scripture. Spiritual gifts have been a cause for division in the church because on the one side is confusion and on the other side is ignorance. In the center is a spiritual accordance with the word of God that produces peace and a church that is in order.

Fortunately the gift of tongues is still being used mightily to confirm His Spirit and rhema word in the congregations and there has been much interpretation.

A consensus seems to have found a way in the discussion and it is love.

The question in our discussions was if "tongues are the only initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost." The answer is a little bit of a surprise to me, it seems that tongues is not necessarily evidence of the Holy Ghost at all. Not that tongues could not be evidence, but to use it as a plumb line for the Baptism of the Holy Ghost is not the way to go. There was a comment that even if we are to agree unanimously on any issue, that does not necessarily make it the truth. We are however, letting Jesus have control over what we are doing, have not isolated scripture but compared, we do have the Holy Ghost, we are not deluded in our thinking and if love is the answer, who is to argue with that?

What is significant is that others have had the same experience that I have had in receiving the baptism of the Holy Ghost before any initial manifestations. The experience was real, the signs came later for many of us. That is proof enough for ourselves, those that have received in this way cannot deny it. Those that have received it differently should understand that it is God that gives the gifts as He pleases and not in only the way that we receive individually. If any one receives differently, there should not be doctrines in the church that limit the way God deals with us and excludes themselves from the body because of the difference, that is causing division pure and simple.

I have put the consensus in a different form this time and just gone through all of the previous responses, including new ones and my own, picked out important points that lead to consensus, and put them into paragraphs like we are as one voice. This is not my writing below, I only compiled it from the discussion. Each paragraph is a collective effort. What a wonderful God given group we have!

I must say that I cannot agree that you must have tongues as evidence of being filled with the Spirit. Tongues may be just a sign to us, but I do not think it a necessity to indicate we have been filled. The Baptism in the Holy Ghost comes with the power to serve God. Tongues are important to the body, all the gifts are important but when one is used to give proof to the exclusion of the others, then that is where the error lies. Some people get locked onto a single verse and do not have eyes to see the rest of Holy Writ'.

I have been to Haiti, and while there, I personally witnessed Haitian voodoo priests speaking in tongues. I have also know of Mormons who speak in tongues. So, in what sense could tongue-speaking be conclusive evidence of the presence, let alone the baptism, of the Holy Spirit? My conclusion is that it could not possibly be. Tongues is a sign of receiving a spirit not the evidence of the Holy Ghost. Satan can counterfeit the gifts of the spirit. If we were to judge the baptism of the Holy Ghost with only the gift of tongues, we let the possibility of the counterfeit blind us to the true manifestations and open to deception. "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."

If these are all gifts from God, the Almighty, the Perfect One, no gift should be held as less than another. The gift of tongues was elevated to a position above the other spiritual gifts when it should not have been, placing the church out of order. Our blessed Father has many good gifts for us, His children, tongues are one of them, prophecy is another, discernment. The intimate relationship, being sensitive to His leading and a sign, not evidence, but a tool as one of the gifts. They are tools needed to accomplish the will of the Lord and just as we do not all have all the gifts (although I want them all and believe that because they belong to the Holy Spirit and He abides within us, we have access to them all), tongues is included as one of the gifts.

Are not love and prophecy and interpretation and discernment and the word of knowledge and healing and casting out demons manifestations of the Holy Ghost? Most importantly the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is something that God does. We as humans put limitations on an infinite God, who can manifest Himself anyway he chooses. The gifts were placed as "THE HOLY SPIRIT SAW FIT." Not as we saw fit. We don't pick and choose the gift and the time. The Holy Spirit supplies those as He sees fit. To be baptized with the Holy Ghost means we are immersed in or clothed with Him. The Holy Spirit is a person and is not the gift of tongues.

"But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal." "For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit..."

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is something God does personally for us by His Holy will. What flows out of that person as the result of the Spirit coming upon is between them and God. The person receiving the Spirit will also know when He comes upon them. That tongues are an evidence of this is such a minor point. His Holy will is the major point, and some of us don't get it that His Holy will in our lives is our only real Life. The conservative hard line that there is only one Baptism, seems to me just hard heartedness and a religious spirit that wants God in a comfortable box. Don't feel that we all have to believe JUST as YOU believe, at the SAME TIME that you believe, in the SAME MANNER. Christianity isn't just walking with the Lord, but growing with him as well.

"Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way."

Tongues is a gift and the least of all gifts at that, however I think for some it is needed to manifest to them that they were truly filled. It is according to their faith and some do not have the faith to speak forth as the Spirit gives them utterance. I do speak in tongues but I have found a more excellent way. LOVE to me is the real evidence of the Holy Spirit in my life. If everyone reads and accepts I Cor.13, there should be no division in the group. The greatest gift of the Holy spirit is LOVE and in love we can teach and learn from each other.

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal."

The main objective of the Baptism with the Holy Spirit is not tongues. We should not pray for people to get tongues in praying for someone to receive the Baptism. The Apostles didn't. We should instead pray for an immersion in the Spirit to take place. Get them filled first. It is so sad that so many are seeking "tongues" and not the Christ of Calvary, neither the GIFT GIVER! We should elevate the giver, not the gift. Let us seek HIM and all things He has for us will come.

Jesus said out of your belly (heart) will flow Rivers of Living Water. The River can flow out in many different forms, and not just tongues. When I pray, I pray silently in the spirit with power, the type of prayer power that can receive interpretation in the congregation. I can ask God a question and He miraculously answers me through the voice of others. That is only a sign to me, others have no idea. The speaking in tongues is the Sign, the Evidence is the manifestation of the fruits of the Spirit thru your life. It is the Character of Jesus Christ displayed thru our life to fulfill the Word. Holiness, character, etc are evidences of the Baptism, but could not be classified as the initial evidence. It doesn't matter how much you speak in tongues if you don't have these things reflecting him in your life you don't have the Holy Ghost. I agree it is the Sign of speaking with other tongues. The evidence is the lifestyle.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit."

The only way we will be able to know for sure, is when we see things the way the Lord sees things. When they walk in a way that they see the world the way Jesus sees the world, it will be readily apparent to them, what the spiritual "state" is for the people they interact with.
[104, 109, 116, 296, 12, The issue of if tongues is the only evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost was a topic of the latter rain discussion list]

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