For everyone's learning and discerning, here's a good article on Initial Evidence of Tongues: http://www.abortionessay.com/files/Spirit.html
History about the doctrine, accepted by some Holiness churches, but not others:http://www.pctii.org/arc/synan.html
Abigail, in reviewing the dialogue below I noticed you classified speaking in tongues as an evidence. Do you believe it's one of many manifestations of evidence or the only uncontested initial evidence? If you accept the idea that it's one of many evidences, then my words below in my recent post are for others and need not apply to you, unless you affirm the only initial evidence one is truly saved is also speaking in tongues(this idea I just cannot in good conscience accept).
Alan, if what you posted is true, the supremacy of Scripture is violated. I was thinking last night as I went to bed, Jesus says "He who hears you, hears me..." so could it possibly be, now that we have the Apostles' words, we need not have additional messages and revelations from the Lord, considering how many claim "thus saith the Lord" these days--some with outrageous claims(give a certain amount of money, etc)? Just asking and considering if this is true or maybe not. Just a question about a thought I had. Thanks.
"All who fight against the Gifts of the Spirit and against Speaking in Tongues as an initial evidence of receiving the Holy Ghost are fighting against the Spirit of God and do not have the Holy Ghost."
Sorry, I have to get into it again. I'm not fighting against the Holy Ghost in denying Initial Evidence. The ancient Christians said "I believe in the Holy Spirit" and I confess the same. Initial Evidence was not even accepted by the earliest pentecostal people called Holiness folk--it was seen as an evidence but not the uncontestable initial evidence. Some accepted it. Not all. Jesus says "by your fruits, you will know" not by manifestations and the Epistles describe both fruit and manifestation of the Holy Ghost. 1 Cor. 12 states the manifestations are given by the will of the Spirit, not what we want to see or have, so Initial Evidence is opposed to the Spirit's will(cessationist might be also unless tongues have truly ceased). Initial Evidence confounds justification by faith and has encouraged ecumenism among many who deny this central doctrine. Did every martyr of Jesus Christ speak in tongues? God gives the gift and describes how it works and for what purpose it is in the Epistles. Go there to learn it's significance. It helped me out tremendously.
Jesus says of the Apostles "He who hears you, hears me." I think this is why CBC(as well as myself) attach a great importance to the Epistles(although we might still differ on Acts). I don't think CBC belittles the Gospels or Acts, but he knows that if he hears what the Apostles say in the Epistles, it's the Lord's teaching and doctrine("He who hears you, hears me..") That's also why I said the only correct understanding about tongues or other manifestations mentioned in the Gospels and Acts is to be found in the Epistles. The Lord mentioned tongues in Mark 16, but he also says "He who hears you(the Apostles) hears me," so let's see what the Apostles had to say on the matter. Same with tongues in Acts: No indept teaching on them, just mentioning them, so let's see what the Epistles say. Thus I arrive at my conclusions. I think this is one reason the Church is plagued by problems: People elevating their own interpretation of Christ's words over or equal to that of the Epistles written by the Apostles. There's a great amount of comfort to know that if I hear the Apostles, I'm hearing the Lord. Just thought I'd speak up since this is turning down a differnt path from the tongues discussion(kinda getting into the supremacy of Scripture). Good night all
Thanks Abigail for the time you have spent. The only indepth apostolic teaching on the nature of tongues and the other gifts discussed in Acts and the Gospels is found in the Epistles. I am obliged to believe this over other opinions. If Initial Evidence was true, everybody should automatically speak in tongues when preached to or praying for a filling of the Holy Ghost. Yet it doesn't happen. I have seen this far too many times in my fellowships among different Christians and attending different churches. I'd encourage you to research the matter---from Pentecostalism to the Holiness movement, etc. Thanks again for the hearty discussion....I'll try to just be a spectator now, but sometimes that's hard .
If a more crucial doctrine like Justification by faith or the supremacy of Scripture is being challenged, I'll be sure to speak up again.
Considering the Acts 10 account, everybody should automatically speak in tongues when they are preached to, but it doesn't happen. If all had tongues, there would be a member but no body(1 Cor. 12:19)....no church(the body). Anyway, 'nuff said. I'll let the Spirit decide who gets what, because that's what one of His duties is (1 Cor. 12:11 & 12:18 & 12:28&30).
It cannot be denied that Jesus says those who believe will speak with tongues, but when we read the infallible doctrine of the Apostle Paul on this matter "Do all speak in tongues?" it's clear Jesus is not requiring everybody to speak in tongues nor saying it's required of salvation. If they did, they'd all be one member, but the Apostle addressed this also: "And if they were all one member, where were the body?" So Paul concludes later in 1 Cor. 12 "Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues?..." If it was normative for all to speak with tongues, why did he ask that? Later, Paul says "I would that ye all spake with tongues, but more so that ye prophesy." Why would Paul prefer prophecy if tongues was a sure sign somebody is saved or the uncontestable and universal initial evidence of the Holy Ghost?
Abigail, It is to me proof that not all are required to speak in tongues and that the manifestation is given as the Spirit wills. In light of 1 Cor. 12 this is very clear. I agree, it doesn't annul Jesus words. I wasn't trying to do that and wouldn't want to. OK, time to read 1 Cor. 13.
CBC, thanks for encouraging me to read Acts in light of the Epistles. It is evident to me that the tongues mentioned in Acts are the gifts and manifestations given as the Spirit desired(or "wills" according to 1 Cor. 12), not as some kind of initial evidence required of all, because "now hath God set the members, every one of them in the body as it hath please him"(which sounds much like 1 Cor. 12:11). 1 Cor. 12:30 also shows this. Therefore, what was taking place in Acts was the giving of the different gifts and manifestations to those believers as the Spirit saw fit, not as initial evidence. It's definitely a better balance.
Abigail, CBC didn't deny the importance of good works: "Then those "good works" of Eph. 2:10 that we are ordained to can come from a heart that knows it is secure in the finished work of Christ, not the continuing work of self." His understanding is quite scriptural and not a novelty. We are saved unto good works, not because of them. Works come from saving faith already in the heart and not works in order to get faith and salvation. This puts all the discussion in the Bible about faith and works into much better balance. He evidently acknowledges true Christians will manifest the fruits of the Spirit and are "preserved in Jesus Christ."(Jude 1:1). All for now. Back to 1 Cor. to continue the study.
Abigail, I am not sure where CBC stands on it, but from my experience, there are many non-pentecostal Christians who believe in the Holy Spirit and ask God to send the Spirit and fill their hearts. I pray the same, using the words from the Psalms "Send forth your Spirit and they are created." I say this every time I read the Psalms aloud, saying them as a prayer. I know the Spirit is sent according to God's promise and I know we have the Spirit regardless of what gifts or manifestations come, because it's Christ's promise(Luke 11:13). However, the Holy Ghost is sovreign in the administration of the gifts, "dividing severally as He will."(1 Cor. 12:11) and this kinda refutes the Initial Evidence of Tongues doctrine. It also can be a headache for the cessationist though More later.
CBC, regarding that I'd like to also say I asked Jesus into my heart many times. Thankfully I am at peace to know the sciptural doctrine of justification "We maintain a man is justified by faith without the works of the law"(man made laws, sinners' prayers, restrictions, ideas, etc....) and "By grace are ye saved through faith and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God. Not of works that no one may boast." Regarding this, it is my conviction that the Initial Evidence of tongues leads at least to boasting among individuals..."I've got something you don't have..etc" despite the great cloud of witnesses to Jesus Christ even though they haven't had the same experience or posess the same gifts. I feel it is highly urgent that the professing Church would get a refreshing renewed and pure understanding of Grace Alone through faith and the sufficiency of the Scriptures Alone for faith life and salvation.
For everyone's reading pleasure. Click, learn, discern....input would be helpful. http://www.rickross.com/reference/upci/upci28.html
I'd like to hightlight this part from the article: "Regardless of ones position regarding tongues, Baptism in the Spirit, and spiritual gifts, if he is truly trusting Christ's atoning death alone for his salvation, he should be accepted as a Brother or Sister in the Lord. These peripheral issues are secondary in importance. They should never be a cause for separation among the brethren. With this said, we can continue our expose.
In 1914 a group of these Pentecostal believers began teaching the doctrine that a person could NOT be saved without first speaking in tongues."
CBC, I am not sure if you saw one of my posts from a couple of days ago, but I mentioned to Abigail that I spoke in tongues prior to having a powerful conversion experience later. It has left me wondering if I was speaking in tongues of my own volition while just having head knowledge of the facts about the Lord, or something else. I don't know, however, I feel quite sure, had I died before that personal repentance experience, I'd be in hell. And again, that conversion experience came much later after my prayers in tongues. If the Pentecostal doctrine is right, I was saved, or they'd think so, but I didn't have assurance till much later.
This raises the question: Are all those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and ask God to give of His Spirit yet never spoken in tongues unsaved and unfilled?
I think to be fair in this discussion, one thing needs to be clarified: To the best of my knowledge, no pentecostal group teaches you speak in tongues to get the Holy Ghost, but one speaks in tongues because of the person has received the Holy Ghost.
Although registered Republican, I don't limit myself to the Republican Party. I favor more those of the Constitution and at times the Libertarian parties. Constitution and Libertarian, sprinkled with a Republican and Democrat here and there .
I will be reading 1 Cor. chapters 12 - 14 tonight to help me discern the issues discussed. I will also be revisiting scriptures discussing justification and separation unto purity without compromise, in addition to scriptures emphasing the Scriptures' sufficiency alone.
CBC, I was raised pentecostal and word-faith together. The "thus saith the Lord" and "touch not mine annointed" are abused. It's easy to know especially when on says this and another that. Who then is annointed and which is the correct "thus saith the Lord?"
Thanks CBC. I've considered the Gospels best interpreted by the Epistles, but didn't consider Acts may need the same apostolic treatment and be interpreted by the Epistles also. I'll consider this as I'm reading the New Testament and see if I can see some connection between Acts and the Epistles in this regard and I think you gave one example of this below about the deity of Christ.
I agree with your comment: "the epistles are given for teaching and must determine HOW we interpret the events that we see in the historical books." I guess my difference is whether or not Acts falls into this as well. Something I'll consider. Thanks for continuing with the exposition on speaking in tongues and one's standing with God. As you probably saw, I voiced my concerns earlier and posted for fruitful dialogue.