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October 07, 2006


Joshua Ballard

WooHoo! I like it! But sadly I have nothing to say because I don't have anything to critique.

I sat around wondering what I would post on this...and came up with:

"MmmHmm...yessir...that's some good stuff right there"

Feel free to footnote/quote that anytime. You know...on like a book jacket or something. ;)

Craig Bennett

Hi David,

I agree with the doctrine of initial evidence, but wonder if it doesn't go far enough to include prophecy as it is Spirit inspired speech as well?

I'm thinking of the time when Paul encountered the disciples at Ephesus who spoke in Tongues and Prophecised after hands were laid on them to recieve the Holy Spirit and the time in Samuel when Saul recieved power to become king and joined in the school of the prophets in prophecying with them.

I personally know of people who have not spoken in tongues (though they would like to) - that is as we know it, yet had a dramatic experience of the Spirit and prophecised how Jesus is Lord which had a great empowering effect on them.


What a pity that this topic didn't have more time to be developed before we quickly moved on to other topics on the blog.
What a fantastic topic for us to discuss as Pentecostals!
This has been our primary identity marker from the beginning, and I believe that this focus on Spirit baptism/initial evidence is something that we have been losing in our churches of late to the detriment of our movement.

John Alchin

Yes, I'd have to agree with Josh's comments. DP has given us much food for thought. My own theology of the Spirit Baptism often uses the language of the classical Pentecostal position but in practice I realise I have kept some of the theology from my Reformed Anglican (yes, Sydney Diocese) childhood as well as views on Spirit Baptism that came through my involvement with mainline charismatics and vineyard movement. I appreciate and have taken on some of the views espoused by each of these different positions but think I've probably ended up with an inconsistent theology. I'd love to be able to talk it out.

Paul Thomas

Greetings David,

Thanks for the article, and your support of tongues as the initial evidence. Could I take this another step further and suggest that pentecost was the birthing of the new creation, and since a christian is one who is 'born of the spirit' (John 3;5) then no one can be born again without speaking in other tongues. ie (Acts 238)

What are your thoughts on this matter?

Regards and God bless you


Hi Paul,
I wonder if you might expand on your post a little.
I'm not sure that I follow the logic.

mark jr.

I liked this comment: "unintelligible mass tongues is a negative sign to unbelievers while intelligible speech (prophecy) is a positive sign to believers."

Having grown up in the A.G. it was always embarassing when my unsaved friends came to church and heard the pastor say, "everyone stand up and praise God in your heavenly language" and then everyone would 'shon-dye' while my friends would ask in colorful terms "what the *blank* is this? These people sound crazy...". I didn't realize at the time that Paul warned not to do this sort of thing for this exact reason. Any questions I raised as a kid were put down quickly with rhetoric as opposed to soundly reasoned thoughts.

This next part I still don't agree with: "I propose then that the initial evidence of Spirit baptism is tongues..."

Now, mind you, I'm a man who prays in tongues and will speak a word given of God to another, but I look at the apostle Paul being prayed for by Ananaias and only demonstrating two evidences of the filling of the Spirit:
1) he ate
2) scales fell off his eyes.

Nothing else is given and we should not assume anything nor insert our doctrines into verses that are silent. We know that eventually Paul spoke in tongues ("more than you all"), but this could have been given to him while in Tarsus or the desert of Arabia. There is approx. a 20-25 year gap between his conversion and his appearing in Corinth, planting a church and then writting to them out of the need to set things straight in regards to questions given him by the elders there.

But we don't see "the initial physical evidence" in Paul's conversion. He ate, scales fell off his eyes and then he began debating his fellow Jews. I won't go so far as to say that he could not have received this gift, but it's not right to say he absolutely did when there is no evidence given in the account. And it seems from the wording in Acts 10 that more than one gift was in operation amongst Cornelius' household. (they spoke in tongues 'and' prophesied).

We see in 1 Cor. 12 that "all" had the Holy Spirit in the Corinthian church, yet not all spoke in tongues and were not expected to. This chapter speaks of "the manifestation of the Holy Spirit" given to all (all being a key word) and we see that not 'all' spoke in tongues.

Anyway, just thought I'd try and throw a monkey wrench in the thing and see what happens. Not in a mean spirited way, but I have never been satisfied with the typical Pentecostal reasonings behind this "initial evidence" doctrine. Even as a new christian I still stumped my pastors...they had no answer, yet still taught this doctrine. Wether it's true or not, no one should ever teach something that they can't first prove to themselves, much less one of their young congregants.

Anyhow, God's blessings on you. I like the tenor and scholarly bent of this blog and will link to you from mine.

mark jr.

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