For years, I was one of the many people, that denied the present day baptism with the Holy Spirit, along with speaking in an unknown tongue. I had been taught badly, and I hadn't taken the time to research the topic in scripture, so I didn't know any better. It's amazing how many people think they know things about God, Jesus, and the Bible, and yet really don't, because they haven't searched the scriptures, that deal with a topic, or perhaps don't know how to search the scriptures.
Here's my story:
One day, in around 1973, I was talking with a spirit filled Baptist pastor. I told him that I believed that spiritual gifts ( miraculous healings, casting out demons, speaking in an unknown tongue, etc. ) ended with the apostolic age. That was what I had been taught, in the churches, which I had attended, and that was what I had believed, for the 7 or so years, before this discussion.
I now know, that much of this incorrect teaching, is the result of a misinterpretation of 1st Corinthians, chapter 13, which I will discuss in a moment.
After trading a few Bible verses, he brought me to Acts 2:39 ," For the promise is to you and to your children, and to ALL WHO ARE AFAR OFF, AS MANY AS THE LORD OUR GOD WILL CALL! ." It was obvious from the context, that this was talking about what had happened to the disciples of Jesus, at Pentecost. At that point, I felt something happening within me. It was a warm feeling that is hard to describe, going through me. I knew that I had to research this topic deeper in scripture. I now know, that what I was feeling, was the presence, of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:39 is a powerful message to those teachers, who claim that the baptism with the Holy Spirit is not for today. ( and there a lot of them on the internet ) They need to look further in scripture, submit themselves to God, and change their way of thinking. It is dangerous to listen to this kind of teaching. There is plenty of evidence in scripture, that this teaching is wrong!
After that conversation, with the Baptist pastor, I began to do what the people of Berea did. I searched the scriptures diligently to find whether the things, that He told me, were true, or not. That's what you should do in this kind of situation. Don't ever accept anyone's teaching on anything in the Bible, without researching it thoroughly, yourself, and praying about it at the same time. Always search the scriptures for yourself. Otherwise, you will end up believing something that is not true, and may even find yourself accepting a doctrine, that is not sound. There are some issues that can only be resolved by searching in the original Greek language, although, I don't think this is one of them.
During the next three months, after the conversation with that Baptist pastor, a number of people prayed for me,- that I might receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, with evidence of speaking in an unkown tongue. And, nothing happened. Then one morning about 5 AM, I got up early, and was reading my Bible quietly at the kitchen table, so I wouldn't wake anyone, and a particular verse jumped out at me. I don't recall what that verse was, but I was touched in my spirit. I began to spontaneously praise God, and soon found myself praising Him in a language, other than any that I knew. This went on for about 15 minutes. I knew then, that the promise was indeed, " for all who are afar off,- as many as the Lord our God shall call ."
Since that time, my family and I, have prayed for many others, and they have been blessed with the baptism with the Holy Spirit also. One of these was a friend, who also happened to be a Baptist minister.
We have a tragedy today, that in many churches, which claim to be Christian Churches, they are trying to do the Lord's work, without the baptism with the Holy Spirit. They come up with all sorts of excuses, to avoid doing what the early followers of Jesus, told their followers to do. They don't teach obedience to the command to pray in the Spirit. ( Ephesians 6:18, and Jude 20,21 ) The Apostle Paul explains what this term means in 1st Corinthians 14:14,15. Jesus told His followers to wait, before going out to make disciples of all nations, until they had been endued with power from on high. Scripture is very clear what Jesus meant. He was talking about the baptism with the Holy Spirit. Read Acts 1:5.
One excuse, frequently put forth by those who neglect the necessity for the baptism with the Holy Spirit, is a misuse of a few verses in 1 Corinthians, chapter 13:
There is a significant translational error in the old King James Bible that was deliberately put there, in deference to King James I, himself. The translators were afraid that the King would be offended if they translated αγαπη as love, rather than charity. The correct translation is indeed love, not charity. When one reads the first few verses of 1st Corinthians 13, it is obvious that the use of the word charity, would be redundant.
8. Love never fails. But whether there are: prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.
WHEN WILL TONGUES CEASE? CONTINUE READING!
9. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10. But, WHEN THAT WHICH IS PERFECT HAS COME, then that which is in part will be done away. Let me say this. Those who say that their Bible is perfect, haven't read it, with an open mind. I have read and researched all of the popular Bibles. The errors are rare, and usually don't effect doctrine, but there are rare errors, perhaps a half a dozen, in all Bibles. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't trust your Bible. This means that you should take the time to study the whole Bible, not just read a few verses, and think you have all the answers. Jesus is the One who was, and is, perfect !
11. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but THEN FACE TO FACE. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
It is utter foolishness to think of looking at the Bible FACE TO FACE. This is an end result, of people worshiping the Bible, rather than the God who is proclaimed in the Bible. It is impossible to understand the Bible, without the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This will be covered in more detail below.
Look at 1st Corinthians 2:14: " But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. "
It is obvious today, that those, who deny the present day baptism with the Holy Spirit, have not yet received the baptism with the Holy Spirit. When you receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit, along with an special language to praise God with, you know it, and no false teacher can persuade you otherwise. Yes, there will be a day when prophesies will fail, tongues will cease, and knowledge will vanish away, but that day did not occur in the days of the early church. It is yet to come, and based upon what we see happening every day around us, that day is coming soon !
A discussion of WHEN THAT WHICH IS PERFECT HAS COME: ( verse 10 )
As wonderful as our English Bibles may seem, THEY DID NOT SIMPLY COME. You see, to ascribe that kind of activity to the Bible is a form of idolatry. Our English Bibles are the result of many years of work. The language experts start with the selection of what they consider to be the best manuscripts, out of the thousands of Hebrew and Greek manuscripts, that exist, and then construct a Greek or Hebrew text.
There are at least four major Greek New Testament texts in existence today. Once chosen, the Greek text must be translated into English, or another language. Most believe, that the authors of the original manuscripts, were in some way inspired by God. We would also like to believe that the manuscript selectors, and translators, were inspired of God, but their occasional errors, and omissions, even though rare, indicate that we need to do more than blindly accept their work. Also, the manuscript selection, and translation, occasionally reflect the religious beliefs held by the scholar who did the translation.
This bad teaching, that denies the present day baptism with the Holy Spirit, is the result of idolatry, the worship of the Bible, rather than the worship of the God, who inspired the writings, that became part of our Bible. People who exalt the Bible, using terms like infallible, inerrant, etc. need to realize that they have been poorly taught, and accept the Bible as God's message to us today, something to be researched and studied,- not an object for us to worship. Much of this bad teaching comes from so called " Bible schools " where the students are brainwashed into accepting Bible worship, and the views of the particular denomination, rather than engaging in any real Bible study.
A discussion of PUTTING AWAY CHILDISH THINGS: ( verse 11 )
It is not a childish thing to Pray in the Spirit ( pray in an unknown tongue ) as commanded by the Apostle Paul, in Ephesians 6:18, and the Apostle Jude, in verses 20 and 21. The Apostle Paul explains what this term means, in 1st Corinthians 14:14,15. No, this is not a childish thing to be done away with! That is simply obeying God,- something that those that worship the Bible frequently don't understand.
The Apostle Peter said ( Acts 2:39 ) " For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, AS MANY AS THE LORD OUR GOD WILL CALL. " ( NOT JUST THOSE WHOM THE LORD CALLED BEFORE THE 2nd CENTURY AD! )
A discussion of BUT THEN FACE TO FACE: ( verse 12 )
If you are an intelligent, thinking person, you have to admit, that you don't look at the Bible face to face. The only way that you can come up with an interpretation like that, is to idolize the Bible, rather than the God who inspired the Bible authors, the eyewitnesses who walked with Jesus, before and after His resurrection. In addition, if you look at this honestly, you have to admit, that while you may know some of the facts in the Bible, the Bible doesn't know you. The God who inspired the Bible authors knows you. The Son of God knows you.
Our Savior, many times, and in many ways, said, " Receive the Holy Spirit. " He was referring to the Baptism with the Holy Spirit, which was to come at Pentecost. You have a choice. Obey, or disobey!
Much of the problem concerning the failure to teach the baptism with the Holy Spirit, comes from BIBLE WORSHIP. We are to worship God in Spirit and in truth, not worship the record of God's dealing with mankind through the ages. An attempt to understand the Bible apart from the Holy Spirit is doomed to failure!
As we pointed out earlier from 1st Corinthians 2:14: " ... the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. "
We have learned, that the biggest hindrance to receiving the promise of the baptism with the Holy Spirit, and the ability to pray in the spirit, is the abundance of false teaching about the subject. We have helped many people to receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit, and I don't recall anyone, who didn't receive.
Tongues will indeed cease,- when that which is perfect is come! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
Our Sunday AM services are being held at the Mexico Beach Civic Center. In accordance with federal laws, we have permission to use this heated, and air conditioned, facility on Sunday mornings at 9:45 AM central time. We begin with a short time of greeting and fellowship, and then TJ leads us in worship. After the service we have holy communion, a time when people can request prayer, especially for healing, and sometimes, a pot luck luncheon.
The Mexico Beach Civic Center is located at 105 N. 31st Street. It is the white building with the dark green roof, which is just behind that new Mexico Beach restaurant, Mango Marley's. It is behind Parker Realty, and is on the northeast side of Rte 98. It is about 7/10 mile south of the Mexico Beach Welcome Center. For a map showing the location of the Mexico Beach Civic Center, click below the photo:
Mexico Beach Civic Center
Map of Civic Center Area
Would you like to know more about the return of Jesus Christ? Check out this page: Jesus Is Coming Soon!