Is tongues proof of being filled with the Holy Spirit?

I was just searching for information in your site after not finding the answer in the Bible, I wasn't brought up reading the Bible or for that fact knowing anything about God. Although I have been praying and searching for truths in his word for about 12 years,and I can't seem to find the answer to this question. Does there have to be a manifestation of tongues in order to be filled with the Holy Spirit?

My response is in Green:

No speaking in tongues is not the evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit. It was a sign in the early church but it was not what people claim tongues are today. Let me show you what I mean:

(Acts 2:6-12 NIV) [6] When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. [7] Utterly amazed, they asked: "Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? [8] Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? [9] Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, [10] Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome [11](both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs-- we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!" [12] Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, "What does this mean?"

Notice that these 'tongues' were known languages. The Holy Spirit enabled these Christians to preach in languages they had no knowledge of, not in some unknown language which needed an interpretation. This is where people go off into the weeds. This was a sign which pointed to the authority of the early church. Now there is also the 'gift' of tongues, but look at this:

(1 Corinthians 12:27-30 NIV) [27] Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. [28] And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. [29] Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? [30] Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?

The clear implication of what Paul is saying is that not all believers speak in tongues. Could he mean that all believers are not filled with the Holy Spirit? Hardly, so we know that tongues are not a sign of being filled with the Holy Spirit. Here is one more:

(1 Corinthians 14:5 NIV) I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy. He who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may be edified.

Again the clear implication is that not everyone speaks in tongues, plus Paul says he would rather have them prophesy. Here is something to think about; how could a person prophesy without being filled with the Holy Spirit? He couldn't, so Paul is not saying he would rather have them prophesy than be filled with the Holy Spirit.

I hope that helped clear it up for you.

Ralph

My question is about speaking in tongues. Some believe that this gift is given to prove a person has been filled with the Holy Spirit." Initial Evidence doctrine." How would you explain this to a person that this doctrine isn't true?

You asked a good question and it is one that many people ask. I would like to quote three passages to you and let them speak for themselves:

(1 Corinthians 12:7-11 NIV) [7] Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. [8] To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, [9] to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, [10] to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. [11] All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.

(1 Corinthians 12:28-31 NIV) [28] And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. [29] Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? [30] Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? [31] eagerly desire the greater gifts. And now I will show you the most excellent way.

(1 Corinthians 14:5 NIV) I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, I would rather have you prophesy. He who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may be edified.

Notice in the first passages it says that the Spirit decides what He gives to each person. In the second passage Paul uses a rhetorical question, but the point is clear, not everyone speaks in tongues. In the third passage Paul goes to far as to say that he would rather that people prophesy than speak in tongues. Now if tongues is proof of salvation that passage would be very strange in deed.

Tongues is a gift given by the Holy Spirit to whomever He wishes to give it too. We have no control over which gift we get and all gifts are given for the common good. If tongues were the sign of salvation then Paul would not be wanting people to desire the other gifts instead.

People do the same thing with baptism. Because there are a couple passages that say that whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, they assume that baptism is what saves a person. Yet Paul again makes the statement that he is glad he did not baptize anyone at Corinth. That would be pretty strange if baptism was required. People need to take the Bible as a whole and not just portions and ignore the rest.

I hope that helps.

Ralph

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