And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Acts 2:1-4.

On that day almost 2000 years ago God poured out of His Holy Spirit upon the little group of believers in Jesus Christ that were met together in an upper room in Jerusalem. According to Peter this was the fulfillment of a prophecy given by Joel some 700 years earlier. And certainly it had to be the fulfillment of the words of John the Baptist who said,

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire. Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Matthew 3:11

Then also we must consider this event to be the fulfillment of Jesus' words to His disciples just before departing from them at His ascension,

And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. Luke 24:49

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

That this was indeed the fulfillment of these Scriptures is evident since the little church moved out in great power and saw so many converts that it swelled the ranks of the believers a thousand fold in just a few short years. This baptism must have been present in the church for many years after the day of Pentecost because the church's growth under severe persecutions was phenomenal. In spite of the horrible persecutions of the Romans the church continued to grow for about two centuries and its sanctity and holiness were renowned the world over. The fire-baptized preachers of that era turned the world upside down and destroyed the plague of idolatry that had flooded the world for ages.

There is no doubt that this was the inauguration of the Church into the world and is accepted as such by all Christian denominations. But the question that must be asked is whether this was a baptism of the Church as a whole or a baptism of the individuals that were present in the upper room. This is a most important question because if it was a one time outpouring onto the Church then we need not look for another. But if this was a baptism of only those believers that were present in the upper room, then we must look for and expect to receive such a baptism ourselves so that we will be empowered to be witnesses of and for Jesus in this wicked world just as the apostolic church was in its day.

It must be admitted that the generality of Christian denominations consider it to have been a one time thing that brings the Holy Ghost into the lives of all Christians in all ages. The belief is that when a person converts he receives the Holy Ghost in the only measure that one can ever receive Him. However, there are and have been through the years many individuals and some denominations that have professed and taught that every person may and ought to be baptized with the Holy Ghost in the same manner as those saints that were in the upper room. Notably among them were the original Quakers, the old Methodist Episcopal Church, the old Salvation Army, the various Wesleyan denominations, and the various Pentecostal denominations. And of late years there has been added the churches of what is called the Charismatic Movement.

It should be obvious to any professor of Christianity that this topic is of paramount importance since it played such an essential role in the amazing growth of the apostolic church. In this treatise we will examine the Scriptures concerning the following points: 1) Is the Baptism with the Holy Ghost an individual experience, 2) What are the effects of this Baptism, and 3) Does the speaking in tongues play a necessary part in this Baptism?

The key to question number one is found in Peter's message to the Jews after the Holy Ghost was poured out on the band of believers in the upper room. Peter refers back to a prophecy of Joel,

This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: and on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. Acts 2:16-18

It is clear from these words that Joel was speaking of that which had just taken place in the upper room and it is also clear that he spoke of it as encompassing people from every walk of life, even a vast multitude. God said that he would pour out of His Spirit on all flesh, not just the handful that were meeting together in the upper room. Ostensibly Joel leaves nobody out of this wonderful event because he specifies men, women, young men, handmaids, and old men. Thus we must conclude that this outpouring is meant for everybody that serves the Lord.

Later on in his message Peter makes it plain to the listeners that what had just occurred could be experienced by them and even their children and everybody in the whole world.

For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. Acts 2:39

Once again let us consider the words of John the Baptist in Matthew 3:11 quoted above. John spoke of two baptisms, one with water administered by him and another with the Holy Ghost administered by Christ. First let us take notice that John's water baptism was not a baptism of the community of believers but of each individual. In other words, baptism is experienced by the individual or not at all. Thus we conclude that the Baptism with the Holy Ghost is also to be experienced by the individual or not at all. Second, John was speaking this to a great multitude that had gathered to hear him. It is hardly likely that the 120 of the upper room were present at that time. Thus, we conclude that John was speaking of an event that could happen to anybody at some time in the future.

Also, we must ask ourselves if all believers in Jesus were in the upper room. Clearly they were not because we are told that just ten days before when Jesus ascended there were about five hundred people present. All of these five hundred were believers and so much so that they were actually allowed to witness the ascension of the Lord into heaven. But three hundred and eighty were apparently not as dedicated to the Lord as that band of one hundred and twenty because they did not tarry in the upper room to receive the promise of the Father. So we see that the Holy Ghost did not fall on the whole church but only those believers that met certain qualifications, which we will discuss later.

To argue that the Baptism with the Holy Ghost was a one time event in which the Holy Ghost was given to the church once and for all is to ignore the fact that the Book of Acts tells us of at least three other times in which the Holy Ghost was poured out on believers. When the Gospel was preached in Samaria, many people believed on the Lord. The news of this came to Jerusalem and they sent Peter and John to Samaria. We are told the following,

Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (for as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they [their] hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. Acts 8:14-17

The second incident occurred while Peter was preaching to the Gentile believers at the house of Cornelius, a Roman centurion. We are told,

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

Finally, when Paul came to Ephesus, he found about a dozen believers who knew nothing about the Holy Ghost. Paul talked to them,

And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. Acts 19:6

From these three incidents it becomes obvious that these various people received the Baptism with the Holy Ghost just as the one hundred and twenty had on the day of Pentecost. Thus, it becomes impossible to say that what happened on the day of Pentecost was a one time affair. Since it is clear that these believers received the Holy Ghost themselves in their own Pentecostal experience, it follows that this experience is available to all believers in all times in order for them to receive the Holy Spirit and the consequent and subsequent effects of His indwelling presence in their own lives and ministries.

In order to avoid prolixity I will let this suffice to demonstrate that the Baptism with the Holy Ghost is an individual experience that is meant for all believers, although it seems to be experienced only by those that are especially dedicated to the Lord. Further, it appears to be an experience that is available in all ages of the Church and to all manner of individuals. And now let us turn to question number two.

It cannot be denied, if we believe the Scriptures to be truth, that there is a Baptism with the Holy Ghost. And it is apparent that what the disciples experienced on the day of Pentecost was that baptism. Now the question naturally arises as to what this baptism does for the individual. To answer this we must see what the various writers of the Scriptures have to say about it. What we will find is that each one describes it according to one or more of its effects.

Let us first consider what Joel had to say since Peter plainly says that what had happened to them was what Joel had prophesied many years before. From the above quotation we see that one of the results of this Baptism with the Holy Ghost is that it makes powerhouse preachers out of believers no matter what their ages or positions in life. Joel specifically says that boys and girls, men and women, and oldsters will prophesy (which is nothing more than preaching under the inspiration of the Lord). So one of the aspects of this baptism is that it makes us bold in the declaration of truth.

From the above quoted statement of John the Baptist in Matthew 3:11, 12 we see that the prophetic view of John was that the Baptism with the Holy Ghost will be like a fire that burns up the chaff in the heart and life of the believer. The Greek word transliterated baptism has as its root meaning the idea of a purification and the rite itself was merely one of the many washings and baths of purification found in the Jewish religion. As a matter of fact, water baptism was a common Jewish ritual by which a person was initiated into a particular sect. Water baptism made him ritually clean so that he could begin his new life in that sect and live according to its precepts. Thus, the Baptism with the Holy Ghost must involve a purification of the believer.

Jesus Himself in the above Scriptures (Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:8), who according to the Baptist is the baptizer with the Holy Ghost, very plainly tells us that this baptism is for power for service. It will give boldness to the believer so that he will be able to go into all the world and preach the good news about Christ. He called it "the promise of the Father." Jesus emphasizes that this baptism gives us spiritual power and makes us witnesses of Him. It enables us to carry the good news of Jesus Christ to our neighbors, our townsfolk, our fellow citizens, and our fellow human beings throughout the world. Without this enduement of power we will never have the strength of will to fulfill the great commission that Jesus gave His Church before He ascended. It is noteworthy that almost every great soul winner professed to have been baptized with the Holy Ghost prior to his or her fruitful ministry.

In addition to this, in the 14th through the 16th chapters of John's gospel Jesus describes the role of the Holy Ghost whom He would send to believers after He ascended into heaven. He tells us that the Holy Ghost will be a comforter and encourager of the believer and He will enable us to be effective evangelists by convincing the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment to come. He also tells us that the Holy Ghost will guide us into all truth and will reveal the will of God to us. Without the Holy Ghost we can never understand the Scriptures nor can we know the will of God. All communication with the Father and Jesus is through the agency of the Holy Spirit.

In the fifteenth chapter of Acts Peter, speaking before the church at Jerusalem, describes what occurred when the Lord sent him to the Gentile believers at the house of Cornelius. He describes how the Gentiles were accepted by the Lord and that they were filled with the Holy Spirit exactly as they themselves had been earlier. Then Peter says that the Holy Ghost purified the hearts of the Gentiles by faith. Thus, we see that to Peter the most prominent effect of this baptism is a pure heart, that is, a heart that has been purified from the sin nature which man inherits from Adam.

John the Baptist tells us of two baptisms, his with water and Christ's with the Holy Ghost. Then a little later John says that he must decrease and Christ must increase. So from this we may assume that John's water baptism would cease and Christ's baptism would continue in full force. That this is the case is evident from two things that Paul says. First, he says,

Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name. And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other. For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. I Corinthians 1:13-17

It appears that by the time that Paul wrote this epistle he had come to realize that water baptism was a Jewish ritual that had no place in Christianity. After all, if water baptism was meaningful, surely this great apostle would have been sent to baptize as well as to preach. But He plainly says that he was not sent to baptize and even thanked God that he had not baptized more than he did. If water baptism was meant to be a Christian ordinance, could the chiefest of apostles have thanked God that he had not baptized but just a few people? I think not.

In many ways the most spiritual epistle that Paul wrote was his epistle to the Ephesians. His message is so spiritual and heavenly that for centuries the readers of the Bible have marveled at the depth and breadth of his prayers and his revelations to us. It is in this epistle, one of the last of his life, that he plainly teaches that there is just one baptism in the Christian religion.

There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Ephesians 4:4-6

This is an amazing statement. Paul is telling us that just as there is one Father, one Lord, and one Holy Spirit, there is but one church, one hope of our calling, and one baptism. In the Christian religion there are not two Fathers or two Lords or two Holy Spirits. Likewise, he assures us that there are not two baptisms. Since John the Baptist told us that his baptism with water was to decrease and Christ's baptism with the Holy Ghost was to increase, which baptism would one expect to exist at about 61 AD? Obviously Christ's baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire is the true Christian baptism and, according to Paul, it is the only baptism in the Christian religion.

Almost all of Paul's epistles are dedicated to the great work of Christ on the cross, the conversion and regeneration of sinners, and the entire sanctification and filling with the Holy Ghost of the believers. Paul emphasizes that the result of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is the deliverance from the carnal, wretched man.

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1, 2

And by this Baptism with the Holy Ghost we are made free from sin.

How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [him], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. Romans 6:2-6

Also by this baptism our whole being will be sanctified and made holy.

See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all [men]. Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. I Thessalonians 5:15-24

So let us summerize what the apostle Paul says about this glorious work of God in the heart of man. First, It makes a man love the law of God and enables him to do it. Second, it frees from the carnal mind. Third, it destroys the body of sin and frees the believer from sin. And finally, fourth, it sanctifies the whole body, soul, and spirit, and keeps blameless unto the coming of the Lord.

Nobody knows for sure who wrote the epistle to the Hebrews, but most Bible scholars think that it was either Paul or Apollos. Whoever it was, the central message of the epistle is this glorious work of God. This writer calls it an entering into His rest and resting from our own works (Hebrews 3 and 4). Then also he calls it a going on unto perfection (Hebrews 6). For he points out that the law could never make a man perfect, but the coming in of a new covenant could (Hebrews 7:19). Being perfected by the washing of the blood of the covenant, we are able to enter in to the holy of holies and have access to the Father (Hebrews 10:16-19).

The apostle John calls this an anointing and says that it will teach us all things.

But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. I John 2:27

John says that we will be perfected in love and that this love is evidenced by our keeping God's commandments. His commandments cease to be grievous to us because our hearts are made perfect before Him. Being perfected in love, we walk as He walked.

But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. I John 2:5, 6

Let us list all of the results of this wonderful baptism that comes from Jesus Christ. 1. It gives power to be witnesses. 2. It gives a holy boldness to the believer. 3. It perfects the heart in love. 4. It frees from the carnal mind. 5. It frees the believer from the power of sin. 6. It wholly sanctifies the body, soul, and spirit. 7. It preserves blameless unto the coming of the Lord. 8. It gives rest and perfect peace to the soul. 9. It gives access to the Father and receives answers to prayer. 10. He, the Holy Ghost, teaches us all things so that we need no man to teach us. 11. It gives us the power and the desire to keep all of God's commandments and it makes them joyful to us. 12. In short, it delivers us from the love of the world and all of its vain ways and makes us like Christ so that we can walk as He walked.

And now we come to the very difficult question of the role that speaking in tongues plays in the Baptism with the Holy Ghost. To my knowledge this question never arose in all of the centuries since the day of Pentecost until the first decade of the 20th century. The writings of the early church fathers are silent about it in the sense that they do not say nor imply that this phenomenon occurred after the apostolic days. None of the writings of the various Christian men and women of the middle ages ever mention it. And none of the great men and women of God during and after the Reformation up until this century ever testified to the experience of speaking in tongues, even though many testified to the experience of the Baptism with the Holy Ghost. I could give a list of hundreds of powerful men and women of God that testified to the Baptism with the Holy Ghost without the speaking with tongues, such as Jeremy Taylor, George Fox, John and Charles Wesley, William Bramwell, James Caughy, Jonathan and Mrs. Edwards, Charles Finney, Asa Mahan, William and Catherine Booth, John Inskip, Daniel Steele, Seth C. Reese, D. L. Moody, and hundreds of others. All of these men and women had very powerful ministries and lived exemplary Christian lives after experiencing the Baptism with the Holy Ghost, but not one professed to having ever spoken in tongues.

The proponents of the tongues experience say that the reason is that tongues was lost from the church during those years but has been restored in these last days. But this does not appear to be a sensible answer because these same people claim that tongues is not merely one of the gifts of the Spirit but it is the sign that you have been baptized with and received the Holy Ghost. So if that is the case, then it follows that all of those wonderful saints of God did not experience the Baptism with the Holy Ghost since they did not speak with tongues. This means that Charles G. Finney and D. L. Moody, two of the most powerful preachers in church history, were not filled with the Holy Ghost. This means that George Fox who was the first fruits of the amazing Quaker movement in the 17th century and John Wesley through whom God raised up the Methodists in the 18th century and William Booth through whom came that awesome group called the Salvation Army in the 19th century were not really filled with the Holy Ghost. Then one must ask how these men had such apostolic ministries.

This is one of the problems that have faced the modern tongues proponents. How do you account for the ministries of such men and women? It is not possible to merely overlook this dilemma. For either they did receive the Baptism with the Holy Ghost without speaking in tongues or they did not receive it. You cannot have it both ways. If they did receive the Baptism with the Holy Ghost without speaking in tongues, then tongues is not necessary and is not really a sign of that experience. And if speaking in tongues is the Scriptural sign of having received the Holy Ghost, then they did not receive Him because not one ever testified to speaking in tongues. So are we to say that these saintly men and women were deceived about it and that their spiritual power came from some other source? If their spiritual power and sanctity did not come from the Holy Spirit, then through whom did they come? These are questions of the utmost importance and must be answered by the proponents of tongues.

Let us examine certain aspects of the tongues issue. First, let us look at the supposed scriptural basis for this phenomenon. Second, let us consider the scientific evidence of studies of this phenomenon. Third, let us examine the other scriptures that have to do with tongues to see if they justify the doctrine that speaking in tongues is the sign that one has received the Holy Ghost. Fourth, let us examine the fruits of the tongues experience. Fifth, the writer will give a detailed account of his own experience with this phenomenon.

We will begin by examining the foundation on which the tongues movement rests. Essentially, it can be said that their only basis for believing in tongues as a sign of having received the Holy Ghost rests on three of the four scripture accounts found in the Book of Acts quoted above in which believers were baptized with the Holy Ghost and spoke in tongues. I say that it is their only basis because tongues is never given by any of the apostles as a necessary evidence of having received the Holy Ghost. In other words, the necessity of tongues is not stated doctrinally by Christ or any of the apostles and is merely inferred from the fact that tongues accompanied the baptism on three occasions.

It will be noted that one account does not mention tongues at all, the case of the converted Samaritans. And it should be apparent that in the other three cases they were speaking in real recognizable languages. This is obvious in the case of the day of Pentecost because we are given about 15 languages that they were speaking and by which they were magnifying God. And at the house of Cornelius and at Ephesus we are told that they spake with tongues, prophesied, and magnified God. Clearly one could not know that they were prophesying and magnifying God unless they were speaking in a known human language. If they were speaking non-human and unintelligible languages, one could not know what they were doing. I know this to be true because I have personally attended meetings in which hundreds of people have spoken in tongues and I had no idea whatsoever what they were saying of if they were saying anything at all.

Thus, it seems clear that the tongues that they spoke in all cases recorded were actual human languages. There is not the slightest reason to suppose that they were speaking angelic or unknown languages from what the Scriptures say. This is very important because the tongues people insist that the proof of having been baptized with the Holy Ghost is that one speaks in tongues just as they did on the day of Pentecost. Yet, the tongues spoken by the modern Pentecostal and Charismatic is never identified as being a known language. In other words, they do not speak the kind of tongues that were spoken by the believers on the day of Pentecost. It would follow then from their own assertion that they have not really been baptized with the Holy Ghost and that they are deceived.

The Greek word in these scripture verses translated tongues is glwsshV and it simply means the same thing that we mean when we use the word tongue in English. In English the word tongue means either the organ by which we speak or a language in which a people speaks. It does not have some strange and mysterious meaning that implies a language that is totally unknown to humans. Throughout the Greek world and the rest of the world, the word tongues simply means languages that are spoken by our fellow man. It is stretching the meaning of the word to try to make it mean some language that is not human. And this is a very important point because the modern tongues phenomenon has been studied by philologists and semioticians and never one time have they found the modern tongues speaker to speak a language of any kind. They utter nothing but meaningless gibberish.

The tongues speaker may argue that in this case we are speaking of unknown tongues and perhaps the tongues of angels and therefore the general rules of syntax need not apply. But in answer to that claim it must be pointed out that the Bible does not refer to those cases of speaking in tongues as speaking in an unknown tongue. The word unknown does not appear in the original Greek text. It must also be pointed out that all language must follow rules of syntax because it is only through these rules and relations between and among sounds that communication is possible. And when all is said and done there is only one function of language and that is to communicate ideas by means of sounds.

Only God performs true miracles and certainly to speak in a tongue in which one has not been raised or has not studied would qualify as a bona fide miracle. Satan always imitates God in all that He does, but Satan's imitations are just that—they are imitations. He imitates salvation with a salvation that does not save from sin. He imitates healings with a healing that does not heal. And he imitates tongues with a tongue that is no tongue at all. Satan's tongues are merely meaningless gibberish. It is the sort of thing spoken by witch doctors and dervishes and wizards.

In all of the New Testament there are only two other places in which the speaking in tongues is referred to. Let us examine the one found in the gospel of Mark.

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. Mark 16:15-18

I have taken the liberty of underlining the part in question. First I would like to point out that this need not mean that they will speak in some strange unknown language. All of these things that the Lord is supposed to be saying here to His apostles are things that will empower them to spread the Gospel. Certainly, since they must go into many strange lands where their own languages of Greek and Aramaic are not spoken, it would be a great help if they were empowered with the ability to speak the various languages of the lands through which they must travel and preach. That this actually happened we have no way to know because the Bible does not indicate that it did. But, nonetheless, this is the natural interpretation of this place.

However, there is a great difficulty with this particular set of verses. Almost all Bible scholars of the 19th and the 20th centuries agree that Mark did not write these verses but that some unknown person added them at a later time. They conclude this principally from the fact that they are not in the oldest known manuscripts now in existence, principally the Sinaitic and the Vaticanus versions. As a consequence, many of the newer translations leave these verses out of the Bible altogether and the rest indicate the strong possibility that these verses were not in the original. Since they are certainly suspect, it is not proper to use them as a proof of any doctrine and must be left out of consideration.

So we will turn to the only other mention of tongues in the Bible, the 12th, 13th, and 14th chapters of Paul's first epistle to the Corinthians. It must be noticed that the other New Testament writers are completely silent about tongues. And surely this is a serious deficiency in the establishment of this phenomenon as an essential doctrine of Christianity. After all, if tongues implies that the person has been baptized with the Holy Ghost and if the Baptism with the Holy Ghost is the crowning experience of the Gospel, then surely it is stretching the imagination past the breaking point to believe that Peter, James, John, Jude, and the writer of Hebrews would be absolutely silent about such an important thing. As shown above, they are not silent about the effects of this baptism, but they make no mention whatsoever to this thing that is considered to be the only mark of having been baptized with the Holy Ghost. If tongues is indeed what the proponents say it is, it is absolutely inconceivable that these five writers would say nothing whatsoever about it.

The passages in I Corinthians that are referred to above are much too lengthy to reproduce here. So it is recommended that the reader open his Bible to those chapters to verify what will be said below. First, let us notice that in these chapters the phenomenon of tongues is spoken of in conjunction with other phenomena and is clearly referred to as a gift of the Spirit.

Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 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; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another [divers] kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: but all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. I Corinthians 12:4-11

Now let us examine these verses step by step. First we must recognize that Paul is talking about gifts that the Holy Spirit gives to certain individuals. He does not give all of these gifts to everybody nor does everyone receive all of the gifts. He divides these gifts among the brethren as He sees fit. Some may receive the gift of wisdom and another may receive the gift of faith. Some may receive the gift of one or more tongues or languages and another may receive the gift of interpreting such things. But these gifts are not given to everybody and they are not toys. They are given to the church for its edification and its efficient operation.

The thing that one must remember about a gift is that the receiver has no say over the giver. The giver determines everything. He gives to whomever he will and he withholds from whomever he will. A gift is not earned, although a gift may be deserved. A person may be deemed to be worthy to receive a gift but he can never earn it. Otherwise it is not a gift but wages. In these verses it is clear that the tongues spoken of here is a gift. It is not received by everybody nor is it the result of what one does, not even faith.

Do all receive this gift of tongues? The tongues proponent says that all must receive it, that it is mandatory. Let us examine another statement of Paul.

And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? I Corinthians 12:28-30

It is obvious that the answer to all of these questions is no. All are not apostles or prophets. All do not do miracles or have a gift of healing. Thus, we conclude that all do not speak with tongues. Yet, the tongues proponents say that all must speak with tongues. Paul goes on to say,

I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all: Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that [by my voice] I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an [unknown] tongue. I Corinthians 14:18, 19 (That found in the parentheses is not in the original but added by the translators.)

But it must be remembered that Paul traveled over much of the Middle East and into Europe. He would have come to many places where they did not understand Paul's languages. It must also be remembered that the gifts are for the furtherance of the Gospel and the efficient operation of the church. So it would be reasonable that Paul would be gifted to speak in many languages. But he had no desire to speak a language that would not be known and understood in the church.

The tongues proponents claim that the tongues that the Christian believer receives is a personal language known by nobody, not even the person that speaks it. It is supposed to be a prayer language, although there is nothing in the Bible that indicates this. But Paul tells us,

If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in [those that are] unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?
I Corinthians 14:23

Please note the word unlearned. This is the key word in this verse. This clearly says that it is possible to learn the languages that are spoken by these people that have the gift of tongues. In other words, this places the tongues that people were gifted with as real human languages that can be learned or known by others. The writer has a grandson that has learned five languages. If he were to enter a church in which a person was speaking Japanese, that person would not appear mad to my grandson because he knows that language. As a matter of fact, if he went to a church service and a person who does not know Japanese were to stand up and preach in Japanese, my grandson would be overwhelmed and convinced that God was truly in that place. That was the purpose for the gift of tongues. It was meant to be a church function. But it was grossly abused in the church at Corinth.

We must keep in mind that the gifts of the Spirit are not toys to be enjoyed by an individual. The gifts are for the edification and smooth operation of the church. Any gift received is supposed to be used for the benefit of the church, not for individual enjoyment. Thus, if a person is gifted with some foreign language by the Holy Spirit, he ought not to use it frivolously. He ought not to use it in a meeting for worship where there are no people present to understand it any more than a person that is gifted to do miracles would do miracles for his own enjoyment or to impress his brethren.

Now let us come to the most important question of the fruits of the tongues experience in the lives of them that profess it. Do they exemplify those wonderful traits of holiness that were outlined above as being that which Christ and His apostles said would accompany and proceed from the Baptism with the Holy Ghost? Are the prominent professors of it examples of holiness and godliness and unworldliness? This is not an unimportant issue because the truth or falsity of any doctrine is seen in its adherents.

The truth of the matter is that from the beginning of the Pentecostal tongues movement at Azusa Street in southern California the movement has been rife with problems of a sexual or financial nature. Almost every dangerous and absurd cult of this century has had the doctrine of tongues in its beliefs. With the single exception of Billy Graham the big names in television ministry are tongues people and many of these have been involved in sexual and/or financial scandals. The TBN and its PTL Club are so worldly that their productions look like Hollywood extravaganzas rather than godly enterprises. Christianity is supposed to save one out of and from the world, but by and large the Pentecostals and Charismatics are wholly given to the fads and fashions of dress, sports, politics, and every other form of worldliness known to man. Their love of clothing and make up is easily seen. Their congregations are filled up with people in their second and third marriages. In other words, if you stand a tongues person side by side with an unsaved worldling, it is impossible to tell which is which. In short, one and all they lack the scriptural marks of that glorious Baptism with the Holy Ghost as found in the Bible.

The writer of this treatise spent several years in fellowship with the tongues community. I have heard hundreds of people speak in tongues and never once heard anything that vaguely sounded like a legitimate language. I never one time met a tongues speaker that was truly delivered from the world with all of its foolish fashions. Tongues women waste just as much time and money on dress fashions as non-Christian women. Tongues men waste just as much time and money on sports as non-Christian men. Adultery, fornication, and homosexuality are just as frequent in tongues assemblies as in any other church or as in the world in general.

The tongues ministers in the television industry are, in many cases, money hungry liars, promising to contributors that God will give back to them many times more than they give to their ministries. This is a promise that is almost never fulfilled. I do not say that they use this money for their own pleasures, but I do say that they lie in order to make their ministries larger and more successful. The Bible says that all liars will have their place in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone. That includes ministers that lie in order to get donations. This is an evil that is very common among tongues ministers.

Some years ago the writer was at a Pentecostal convention. The congregation went to prayer. Many in the congregation were praying in their tongues. I decided to pray in Spanish just to see what would happen, a language in which I have some fluency. After the prayer the man next to me asked what language I was praying in. Although he did not know what language I was praying in, he knew that I was praying in a real language. He could tell because of the rhythm and patterns of the sounds. In other words, all language has a rhythm and pattern unique to itself. But the tongues that the tongues people speak and pray in has no such thing. It is just gibberish and sounds like it. So he knew that I was not praying in the so called tongues. He knew that I was praying in some real language spoken in this world by men and women of some country or culture.

Have there been legitimate examples of the gift of tongues in modern times? The answer is yes. I know of one case that happened at about the end of the 19th century. There was a missionary in China named Jonathan Goforth who could not seem to learn the language. He became very despondent and one night in prayer he told the Lord that if He did not help him he would have to go home. He was at the end of his rope and really meant to return to the States. When he awoke the next morning, he was able to speak Chinese with absolute fluency and over the years he was instrumental in the salvation of thousands of men and women in China. This is Biblical gift of tongues.

Why would Satan want to imitate God's gift of tongues? This is a legitimate and important question because it gets to the heart of the problem. There must be a reason for this counterfeit. The answer is easy to find because it is the same reason why Satan wants people to believe in the doctrine of eternal security. It is what Satan always does. He instills in men and women a false sense of security, knowing that this will encourage them to carelessly sin against God. The wages of sin is death and the soul that sinneth shall die. Satan knows first hand that this is true. Thus, he constantly labors to make people think that they are safe and secure no matter what they do. If a sinful person is persuaded that if he speaks in tongues it means that he has the Holy Ghost abiding in him, he will never worry as long as he speaks in tongues because the Holy Ghost will not abide in a hell bound person. So no matter what he does, if he still speaks in tongues, he thinks that he is still going to go to heaven.

I have seen this many times. I have seen men and women that are involved in gross sins believe themselves to be safe because they still speak in tongues. After all, doesn't speaking in tongues mean that the Holy Spirit is in the heart? And if the Holy Spirit is in me, how can I be lost? So this doctrine gives us an assurance of heaven even when we are hell bound. It is one of Satan's big guns and it has deceived millions of poor sinners in this world. It ranks right up with his other big gun—eternal security.

I find it a thing incredible that Pentecostal and Charismatic theologians fail to see that their religion is totally without foundation in the Scriptures. The tongues experience is the central doctrine of all Pentecostal churches and all Charismatic assemblies. Without this experience their churches fall to pieces. Yet, it can be truly and demonstrably said that there is not one doctrinal statement in the Bible that indicates that the tongues experience is essentially connected with the Baptism with the Holy Ghost or that it is a necessary concomitant of that sanctifying experience. It is truly incredible that so many people who claim to believe the Bible will adhere so strongly to a doctrine that has no biblical basis at all. It is not sensible that Christ and the apostles would be totally silent about a doctrine that is as essential as the Pentecostals claim tongues to be. Yet, not one of the writers of the Bible has made even one doctrinal declaration about the role of tongues in the Christian religion. This means that all Pentecostal churches are on a false foundation and are not evangelical at all.

Dear Reader,

There is a Baptism with the Holy Ghost. It is Christ's own baptism. It purifies the heart and sets one free from sin. It gives us victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil. It makes us holy. That is why the Spirit of God is called the Holy Spirit. Not because He is holy but because He makes us holy. Speaking in tongues has absolutely nothing to do with it. That is a modern delusion of Satan. The Baptism with the Holy Ghost produces holiness. It makes us like Christ—pure, undefiled, and separate from sinners. It is the true message of the Gospel because without holiness no man shall see the Lord. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. Matthew 5:8