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Chapter 2, Section 6

What are the Facts?

Let’s enumerate the basic facts as found in the story of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.

  1. The apostles were in Jerusalem.
  2. They were waiting for Jesus to fulfill His promise.
  3. They were all with one accord in one place.
  4. They heard a sound as of a mighty rushing wind.
  5. It filled all the house.
  6. They were sitting when it occurred.
  7. The Holy Ghost filled them.
  8. Cloven tongues as of fire descended upon them.
  9. They received the ability to speak with other tongues, which were understood as foreign languages by the hearers.

In this first example of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit found in the New Testament, there is no indication that the disciples (a) prayed specifically to get the Holy Spirit, (b) prayed for one another to receive the Holy Spirit, (c) laid hands upon one another at that time to receive the Holy Spirit, (d) were assembled to witness to one another with tongues, or (e) went through spiritual practice sessions to ready themselves for the reception of the Holy Spirit.

In the second example, Acts 10:44-46, the Holy Ghost fell on Peter’s listeners while he was still preaching, and they began to speak in tongues. Again, no desperate prayers, no repetition of disconnected syllables, no laying on of hands, no practice sessions.

The third example is again different, for Acts 19:2-6 shows us that the Holy Ghost was received after true repentance (baptism), and for the first time the laying on of hands, manifesting itself in the ability to speak with tongues. But here too, we have no indication that they either prayed for themselves or that Paul prayed for them, thereby preparing the way for the Holy Spirit.

Again the question, Why do the charismatics use the Pentecostal experience of the disciples as their prime example? If their reception of the Holy Spirit is to equal this all-important outpouring, then why are so many essential elements missing?

  1. They are not patiently waiting for Jesus to fulfill His promise.
  2. They do have an uncontrollable desire to produce the spectacular.
  3. The "spirit" is not accompanied by the sound of a mighty rushing wind.
  4. The phenomenon of cloven tongues as of fire descending upon them is strangely absent.

So the charismatics’ experience cannot be based on Pentecost; it does not run parallel to Acts 10:44-46; and it certainly cannot be based on Acts 19:2-6, as that has been eliminated too.

This leaves only one conclusion: The claim that their gift of tongues is founded on, or equated with, New Testament experiences is erroneous. Their ability to speak untranslatable gibberish is real, and goes unchallenged—the linguists testify to that—but that this should be placed on a high spiritual level and be the result of the workings of the Holy Spirit seems unsupportable from the Biblical record. We do not question anyone’s sincerity; just the source.

The spurious tongues are not Biblical

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