Monthly Archives: June 2012
(Ver 1.1) Today’s lesson is Part 16 in one of the most important Bible study series that I have ever shared with you about the subject of “Understanding Bible Faith”. If you have not read all of the lessons I would strongly recommend that you go and start reading with “Part 1” first and then continue through the series. I have been working on another subject entirely when suddenly the Holy Spirit woke me up early this morning and gave me the title to this lesson for me to share with someone that needs to read it. After the title was given to me, God then shared the scriptures to use in this teaching. So I am typing as fast as I can and I am hoping, praying and believing that I can write down everything that He said for you to read. I have touched on this specific subject in several other lessons, but this lesson will be much more direct about this specific revealed characteristic of faith in the Gospels and how that having aggressive faith is the same as having receiving faith. I’ll start by addressing what is aggression? Aggression can be viewed as a negative quality when misdirected for evil. But as I taught you before on the subject of “deception” that any negative quality can be turned to a positive for a good use or purpose. Aggression or aggressive behavior is one of these qualities that can be used for evil or for good. For example, if you know of people in the world that are starving it would be good for you to become aggressive to get them some food. That would be a pro-active pursuit of spreading a positive aggression. Negative aggression would be beating someone over the head to steal their money. Let’s start today by researching one of the definitions of “aggression”.
Aggression of course can be taken to an extreme with violent disregard for anyone else and that is not what I am attempting to teach you. Pursuing a goal and being forceful to achieve it is not always a negative unless it is directed for an evil purpose or plan. Every Bible subject must be balanced with every other Bible subject. For example, aggression is one of those Bible subjects that we must balance with the subject of “Love”. We are never aggressive towards our neighbors or our brothers or sisters. But as you will learn from what God said to me, we must learn to have aggressive faith in order to receive anything from God. I am going to give you several examples of people in the Bible that had direct aggressive faith and these should become the models for your faith that you possess.
What is the opposite of being aggressive? I believe that being passive is one possible way to define someone as not being aggressive. I have learned that when studying the Bible it is always very wise to review the unstated antithesis truth from any verse of truth that you are reading. In other words I am saying that when God gives us a direct stated truth in a verse, He also always gives us an unstated antithesis or opposite truth that we can learn from. That is why I asked you to think about the opposite of being aggressive. As we read through my scriptural examples today, observe who is passive and who is aggressive. You see I read the Gospels very closely and I could find no reference to anyone that was passive of ever receiving anything from God. Let’s quickly review a definition being passive:
This is an amazing definition. Can you begin to see the difference between being passive and being aggressive? Aggression is a show of force and being passive is a show of inactivity. The synonyms for being passive are “inert”, “inactive”, “submissive”, or being “flaccid”. Being flaccid is an interesting word that means that you have no firmness and you are like a Jell-O Christian. Therefore being aggressive is the active pursuit of one’s goals or desires with firmness. Being passive is the acceptance of whatever has happened to you without any response or resistance. Wow, the difference between those two realities speaks volumes to me knowing what I know about the subject of Bible faith.
When you read the Gospels closely and carefully you will discover a repetitious pattern for receiving faith. The majority of the people that received a miracle from God were never passive. Most of the time, they did not sit back and wait for anything to happen or come to them, but they were rather direct and forward, going to Jesus and taking what God was giving to them. I’m going to go through a story in the Bible that the Holy Spirit pointed me to and attempt to give you a different new perspective to what was happening and being taught so that you can learn what God was teaching us about being aggressive. We will read today starting in verse 2 of John chapter 5:
Joh 5:2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.
Joh 5:3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.
This is the beginning of the story in John about the pool of Bethesda. I want to first draw your attention to the fact that this was called a sheep pool. If you have read my other Bible lessons you might remember a lesson I did on symbolic sheep. Symbolically in the Bible sheep are a representation for the people of God. Goats are a symbolic representation of those that are not the children of God. Therefore we can understand immediately that this story here in John is relevant by indirect symbolic reference to be something that is needed by the church. Next, if you look up the definition of the word Bethesda it means the “house of kindness”. How should we view God’s extension of saving and healing Grace to the human race? I believe God’s Grace to heal and to save is a display of His great mercy and His loving kindness. Right from the start of this story in John we can see that this story is about the saving and healing grace of our God. Therefore we can apply our knowledge from this series and say this story is about two related factors working together for good. One factor was the grace of God to heal and save and the other factor we will soon see was the aggressive faith of the people that were present to receive their healing. Let me try to bring you up to speed by reading the next verse:
Joh 5:4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.
Verse 3 of John 5 informed us that there was a great multitude of sick, lame and diseased people that were present at the pool. Why were they all there? The Bible says here in verse 4 that God sent an angel occasionally to stir the water and the first one in the water got healed no matter what was wrong with them. Do you understand the reasoning behind what is happening here? It sounds like a race to me with a starter gun signal to begin. The winner was the first one in the water and they took the whole prize for that day’s race. All of the other people were losers and they went home with nothing. Think with me for a moment and help me determine who got healed when the angel stirred the water? It sounds like it was more than just luck or a random chance that determined who got healed. The water was not healing when still but when stirred it would heal only one person. I believe sincerely that this one healing that occurred was placed upon the one who wanted it the most. It would only make sense that only the most observant and most aggressive person present would be the most likely one that got healed. Did you know that your aggressive desire was a factor for your receiving anything from God? Are you beginning to learn that your passive attitude is probably why you are not healed or receiving what you asked God for? This lesson of aggressive faith is definitely still true for us today. For example, in Matthew 7:7 Jesus implied that if you were not seeking that you were not finding anything. What does it take to seek something? Seeking is never sitting and doing nothing. Therefore seeking is an act of aggression and effort to search. Certainly the one that got healed in the pool made extraordinary effort to be the first one in the water. Therefore, God was teaching the people that being passive is never a good quality to possess for receiving from God by faith.
After this point in time when someone had just gotten healed in the pool, for those that remained waiting at the porches it is both good news and bad news. The good news after someone is healed is that one of the competitors for next time to be healed was eliminated but the bad news was that they are still not healed because they were not aggressive enough to get in first. I believe that every winner of the race that gets there first teaches all of those that were left that they better increase their aggression level the next time. Do you see what God was teaching the people by only healing one? You see once someone was healed the word will spread about this miracle occurring again and the next time the water is stirred there might just be more sick people present waiting to receive. God said in verse 3 that there were five porches of people that were all seeking to obtain the prize and that really sounds like a lot of competition to me.
I do not want you to misunderstand what I am teaching. You are not competing today to be healed with anyone else. That is not what God is doing. Today there is no pool, no angel and no water to stir or get in. You do not have to wait for healing; God only has to wait on your aggression to receive. I am teaching a concept today from a Bible pattern. I am not teaching you a natural formula to receive in a pool of stirred water. Quit thinking naturally and step beyond what you see with your eyes to understand the spiritual application. Step out of the natural story and look at this story from an applied aggressive spiritual viewpoint. Later in this lesson I will attempt to transfer the natural pattern to a spiritual way to receive, but I’m not ready to go there yet.
Let’s take this part of the story and apply what we have learned about Bible faith so far in this series to verify God is speaking about faith in this lesson. In one previous faith lesson I told you that having faith was like a woman being pregnant and expecting something to come to pass. Wasn’t that exactly what these five porches of sick people were doing there? If they were not expecting the angel to come and stir the water again why are they even present? Does misery just love company? Perhaps someone in town called a meeting for sick people and they were just there to stand up for sickness rights. I really do not think that is the case although some people feel better if they are not the only one that is suffering. Others in the world today want you to believe they have a right to be the way they are but that is just passive lack of faith to change. I often asked myself, how did this pool dip race get started? Why was there so many present on this day and who was the very first one that ever got healed to start the people coming to this location? I mean this race must have been going on for a long time if they had the time to build five porches to sit under. I do not really think that we are given all of the direct answers to those questions in the Bible. However we can still learn what is happening and why God is doing this by applying what we have learned about faith so far.
Do you remember how faith comes? Romans 10:17 says Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. The presence of a great number of people proved that they heard something and believed what they heard thus they had the foundational basis for having faith even though it was not faith in God’s Word that I know of right now. Can you understand that everyone present at the pool must have heard the same report of previous healings that had occurred before? Can you also understand that in order to have faith they must also have believed what they heard and thus establishing their reason for being there? They no doubt had heard before that whenever the water had been stirred that someone had gotten healed before and believed it. Having a right belief in what God says or does is the classic foundation for having sound faith by definition. Since this was an angel sent by God, there is still an opportunity for the people to believe or doubt and do without.
How about this new question; what makes sick people stay around without any proof or evidence that the water will ever be troubled again? I believe that is an important question to ask and to answer. The answer to that question is called faith and faith is always based upon the concept of Bible hope. Do you remember what Bible Hope was? Bible hope is not a wishing that something might happen. Bible hope is defined as an “expectation” knowing that something is certainly coming. Bible hope goes back to the pregnant woman example. If you are expecting something to happen then you are aggressively preparing for it to occur. A pregnant woman doesn’t wait until after she has the baby to get the baby’s room ready to receive it? Wow, did you understand what I just said. If you are not making plans for after you are healed you are not aggressively in preparation with any Godly expectation. I believe that I just said something very valuable, so take hold of it and don’t let it go.
The people at the pool certainly had expecting aggressive faith by just being present and not sitting at home. But they also exhibited patience for the appearance of an unseen angel and the moving of the water was then their trigger for an even more aggressive action. Having patience is certainly a factor being taught in this story. No stirring of the water meant no action was necessary, if stirring of water is present then I better do something fast. This stirring was called a point of contact and this just gets into some more basic faith concepts that I have taught on before. Do you remember the contact point example that I talked about before. I tried to teach you to release your faith by your actions up until you know that you have made contact with the power of God. For example, the woman with the issue of blood did this by physically touching the hem of the garment of Jesus. Her physical touch of His garment was her pre-established contact point and the exact moment in time where she stopped being aggressive in her faith having believed that she had now received what she desired. Did you understand that statement? The woman with the issue of blood was totally aggressive to receive right up until the point that she touched Him and received what she said. What she said was “If I touch His garment I will be healed”. Therefore she aggressively fought her way through the crowd of the other people that were also trying to touch Him but because only she had faith attached with her extreme aggression did she receive her healing when they did not. The entire crowd was aggressively touching Jesus but the others only had aggression lacking any faith. Aggression is worthless without faith and faith is worthless without aggression. The woman after touching Jesus turned and stopped being aggressive. Do you understand what I am saying? The woman with the issue of blood can now go home knowing she is healed and she hasn’t even talked to Jesus or asked for anything. Of course Jesus felt the power leave Him and He immediately turned to see who had this kind of faith that takes without asking. Only this single woman in the whole crowd of people exhibited the aggressive take it faith that receives without asking or without praying. She was the only one in the crowd that believed what she heard about Jesus and came for it. This kind of receiving is still available from God today no matter what it is that you need from God. Let me teach you something new about the woman with the issue of blood story that I have not mentioned before. The woman with the issue of blood was healed in chapter 5 of Mark. But, wait and see what happens in chapter 6 of Mark a little while after this news spread about the woman getting healed:
Mar 6:56 And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole.
Suddenly everyone that touches Jesus is healed but in one chapter earlier it was only one woman that received. What changed from chapter 5 to chapter 6? People heard that touching Him works and they all believed it now. Now they could come in chapter 6 with the same level of aggressive expecting to receive faith as the woman in chapter 5 and they all received their healing. From this information we can learn that the aggressive faith of one woman can produce aggressive faith in many others by them observing what had happened. Before in chapter 5, the people had inadequate information and lacked expecting aggression. But, now they have overcome their ignorance and achieved a new level of aggression to receive because they learned some new valuable information and believed it. What you do not know is usually what is keeping you from receiving from God. In Hosea 4:6 God says “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge..”. The only way to overcome this insufficient knowing is for you to learn. That is why I teach on this subject a lot. I hope you are learning it.
Let us go back to the person that was healed at the pool. It was only the first person with this aggressive expecting type of faith that received their healing at the pool and this type of aggressive expecting faith will still receive today. As soon as the first one was in the water they were done. They got up, got out and walked home just like the woman with the issue of blood would have done. Learn the lesson that is being presented to us from the Word of God and then apply the concepts to your faith walk with God’s Word. Whatever you need from God if you have found the scriptural promises that say that you can have it, and if you believe them without wavering it is your time to go and get it. Be aggressive and take; do not sit passively waiting to receive anything. Keep the woman with the issue of blood and the one that was healed first at the pool in the forefront of your mind as your examples to follow. Do not let the others around you keep you from being the one that receives. I’m again not talking of natural physical aggression but of a spiritual aggression since there is no physical Jesus present and no natural competition to contend with. However, the Spirit of God is present and the devils are present and this is the spiritual atmosphere realm that you are in now to receive. Let’s look at some more examples in the Bible of aggressive faith to insure that this is a valid pattern found to learn from:
Mat 20:30 And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David.
Mat 20:31 And the multitude rebuked them, because they should hold their peace: but they cried the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David.
See the two blind men in Matthew 20:30 and 31 and how when they heard that it was Jesus, they cried out loudly (aggressively) ignoring the opposing multitudes of people that were rebuking them for shouting. They immediately had aggressive faith because they heard. These two blind men received from God what they desired because of their faithful acts of aggression. Clearly the two blind men had faith in something that they had previously heard about Jesus otherwise they would not have known who He was. No one said it was the Son of David but they called Him by this respectful title. Clearly they had great opposition but they were not going to let anyone around them talk them out of what they knew they could have. Clearly this is another example of not being passive and allowing what has happened to them to stay as it was. They heard who it was, they believed in Jesus as Messiah, they took action, they cried out loudly, they expected to receive, Jesus heard them and they received their sight. This is exactly how receiving faith works. Let’s move to another story of a lame man that received:
Mar 2:3 And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.
Mar 2:4 And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.
Mar 2:5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.
Review this lesson of the lame man brought to the house by his four friends where Jesus was teaching in Mark 2:4. The crowd present was so large that they could not get anywhere near to where Jesus was, but did they let that stop them from receiving? Clearly they were faced with great opposition, obstacles and challenges to overcome. No one was present yelling at them to leave but yet they still could not get near to Jesus because the people were not going to move and let them in. What did they do, did they give up? No, they went up to the roof top and made a large hole and dropped their friend down to where Jesus was. Wasn’t that another example of creative positive aggression? Weren’t these men thinking outside the box of limitations? If they would have been discouraged by the size of the crowd they would have went away without receiving anything, but since they made a way where there was no way they got exactly what they needed. This verse says that Jesus saw their faith. This type of aggressive faith caused them to go away victorious. I have just given to you 4 great examples of aggressive expecting faith. All of them were presented with challenges to overcome. No one in the Bible ever said that you will not have any opposition. No one in the Bible said it will be easy to receive a miracle from God. But, persistent aggression overcomes the enemy every time and receives.
CHANGING OUR PERSPECTIVE FROM THE NATURAL TO THE SPIRITUAL
Let’s put this Gospel information into a spiritual context with spiritual opposition rather than a natural opposition story with a physical Jesus. You see these Gospel stories were only given to you in the Bible in order to teach you about the reality of the coming spiritual things that you would be faced with in the right now. There are several scriptures that inform us of things in the Old Testament were given to us as patterns for coming unseen spiritual realities. If you do not understand this you will be mostly confused with reading the Old Testament. You do understand that everything in the Gospels prior to the resurrection of Jesus was nothing but Old Testament examples, don’t you? In lessons 7 and 8 in this series I talked about the concept of taking the Promised Land. God’s stated Bible promises are representative of the symbolic Promised Land that the natural nation of Israel was told to take (receive). This clearly was described to be a fight for the land between opposing aggression. That was a physical natural reality and we in the church are not them and we do not fight like they fought:
2Co 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
To war after the flesh is a concept that too many churches today are promoting in their ignorance. One recent unnamed ignorant pastor made the national news by preaching we need to lock up all the gays and just let them die off. Wow, how stupid can one man be and be called a preacher of God’s Word. Does he not know how to read his Bible? We are not wrestling against flesh and blood (Eph 6:12) therefore people are not our problem? If you lock up people without addressing the real spiritual force controlling the people you have solved nothing. Homosexuality has been around since the days of Lot. Did the death of the gays in Sodom solve the problem of homosexuality? No, obviously not. The spirits that were in them are now in others in the modern world. We are not in a physical conflict. Let’s get back to the subject of faith and our spiritual war:
1Ti 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
Faith is defined to be and described to us as a spiritual contest very much like the race to get into the pool first that we read about today in the Gospel of Matthew. In every fight there is one winner and a loser. Therefore a fight is a competition of opposing aggression and the winner is usually the one that wants it the most. However, we have a problem now. How do you fight in the spiritual realm? Who is your spiritual opposition that you are fighting against and what causes you to win or overcome in this fight? These are very relevant questions. In lesson 8 on faith I went into some of the answers to these questions. I listed 4 spiritual enemies that you are presented with. Do you remember what these 4 spiritual enemies were?
These were four revealed internal spiritual enemy conflicts that you can control and fix. If you do not understand that you were born ignorant on the subject of faith and that you needed knowledge to overcome this ignorance, then why are reading my Bible lessons? Next, I talked about fear being an opposing force to faith. If you are controlled by what it looks like on the outside rather than what God said to you on the inside you are probably going to die or loose. The children of Israel let their fears, worries and doubts keep them from their possession. I’m not going to go through all of that information again, but I thought that you should familiarize yourself with those subjects again as being potential enemies to receiving from God. I sometimes go back and reread all of my Bible lessons on a subject to remind myself what I said. It refreshes my memory and puts it in the forefront of my mind like God told Joshua to do in Joshua 1:8. I would recommend that just because you have read these lessons once that you go back and reread them again and again because there is no way that can remember everything and you should review them periodically as a fresh meal from God. Just because I ate steak yesterday does not mean I do not like to eat steak again.
What is Spiritual Warfare? I did a lesson on this subject a long time ago and it might help you to go and review it, to learn about what other spiritual enemies there are that you are faced with and how you can fight them. In that lesson I talked about how our weapons of war are not flesh based. But, God has given to us spiritual weapons of war to fight a spiritual battle. I’m going to take one of those weapons and discuss it here again today for you to connect it with your spiritual faith fight and how it works to defeat your enemy. This weapon of war is called the sword of the Spirit and it is described to us as being the Word of God (Eph 6:17). This Sword of Spirit is just one part of the six piece complete armor package of God that we are commanded to put on. Have you put on your armor? If not you are about to lose before the fight even begins. Prior to the verses describing the six piece armor of God, God reveals to you who you are fighting:
Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Why would it be necessary to fight a defeated foe? If Satan has been rendered totally defeated why are we putting on any armor? You really need to ask God some hard questions in order to understand the whole truth. What God has given to us by His Grace can only be received by your faith. Thus the good fight of faith is now still on with Satan. Satan is your number one enemy and he is at the top of the food chain in this category of spiritual oppostion. Every other enemy that you are faced with is a direct result of something that Satan is using to try to defeat you. For example, fear is a spiritual force produced by Satan’s words.
Therefore we are in a spiritual war or fight concerning our faith and belief in God’s Word. How do you fight this unseen spiritual enemy? We can directly learn how to fight by observing from how Jesus fought Satan and then apply this knowledge to how we must fight him. When did Jesus fight Satan? It was actually a continual fight all the way to the cross, but there was one specific written example of this fight and that is what we are going to study next. This spiritual fight is popularly called the Temptation of Christ. Turn with me in your Bible and follow along in the battle:
Mat 4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
Here in this chapter of Matthew we can read about Jesus being led by the Spirit of God. One of the key words in this verse is given to us as “tempted” in this translated version of the KJV. However, this Greek word means significantly more than that narrow definition. This Greek word represents a “test”. A test is normally a measure of a person’s knowledge, skill or endurance. A test in school provides instructors with evidence or proof that you know the material taught to you in their class. If you pass the test you are good to move on, but if you fail the test you better go and study the material again. That is a descriptive example of the fight of faith that you are probably in right now. God is not the tester or the test giver. It is unnecessary for God to test you since He already knows the results. Do you understand God’s omniscient quality and why He does not to test you? God provides the material and Satan is the one that attacks you to see if you know it, understand it and can use it against him. That is what is happening in this “temptation of Jesus” story. Satan comes to Jesus and speaks 3 different things to him in sequence. This represented a three part test with each part of the test being graded separately with a pending sudden death failure penalty if one test is not passed. The one being tested is only passed to the higher level in the test if they got the previous part of the test correct. To me it sounds like a progressive test of endurance with progressive skill levels from basic to advanced levels. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Ok, let’s go through the test that Jesus endured and learn from it:
Mat 4:3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
What was the first level of test brought before Jesus? Jesus had just fasted and not eaten for 40 days and the Bible says he was hungry. Satan came to Jesus with a basic flesh test. Satan gave Jesus the thought to turn the stones around Him into bread. This thought of food appealed to His flesh. His flesh was very hungry and would have loved to eat some physical food. Being in the wilderness there was no physical food present, so Satan tells Jesus to turn stones into bread. But, Jesus responded with the Word of God.
Mat 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Do you understand that in this faith fight that Jesus also had on the armor of God? You do understand that this is a spiritual fight that is occurring, don’t you? This fight example describes how Satan will attack you. It also describes how Jesus countered the attack of Satan. The only key offensive piece in the armor of God is the sword of the Spirit. The sword of the Spirit is the written Word of God (Eph 617). Jesus aggressively quoted a written verse of God’s Word speaking it with His mouth to counter Satan’s thought and because He believed it He passed this phase of the test.
Mat 4:5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
Mat 4:6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Now we are seeing more of the intelligence of your enemy in test number 2. Just because you can quote the scripture does not mean that Satan cannot do the same right back at you. Satan is taking a small part of the Sword of the Spirit and attempting to use it to test Jesus on a higher level of spiritual conflict. It has now become a battle of wits, wisdom and Bible knowledge and not just a battle of the flesh that we observed in test number 1. Satan has just progressed up to a higher test level from the flesh to the realm of the mind. You see man is a spirit being that has a mind and he lives in a body. The progressive levels of testing go from the exterior to the interior and these are your body or flesh first on the outside followed by your soul or your mind in the middle layer in between your body and your spirit. And then finally the real you on the inside called your spirit is the ultimate realm of testing that can occur. Satan is moving from the easier levels to the more difficult levels using progression steps. I hope you are learning something new today and that it will make a change in what you see that is happening to you and how to fight Satan.
Mat 4:7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
Jesus just quotes the Sword of the Spirit to Satan and once again passes the test. Jesus did not debate the Bible with Satan, but also Jesus did not ignore the verse that Satan quoted either. Jesus quoted a higher truth that takes precedence over what Satan has said to Him. You see you cannot take one verse in the Bible out of context, misapply it and then think that this is all of the truth there is or is necessary to understand. This battle of the mind that is occurring proves to us that not all scripture is equal. We must balance and weigh each verse against each other verse to see if any of them are greater in importance. Just because Satan said you can jump and the Bible says that God will save you, Jesus was smarted than Satan and understood first the Bible doesn’t tell us to jump. Then Jesus understood that if I obeyed this suggestion He would be testing God’s ability to save. Therefore, Jesus said it is also written “Don’t test God”. Do you understand how the second verse that Jesus just quoted helps to interpret what the first verse that Satan just tried to use against Jesus meant? Therefore, the second verse represents a greater truth to know and Satan did not dispute it anymore and moved to the next level. This brings up a very important point. If you do not know what God says in His word how can you fight against your adversary Satan? Wow, that is probably why and how Satan is using your ignorance to defeat you. You need to spend a lot of time in the Word of God and get it into your spirit so that is what automatically comes out of your mouth in abundance when you are under pressure. Jesus did not have time to say to Satan wait a minute and let me look up that verse. I know it is here somewhere. No Jesus’ response was built into His Spirit and this is what you need to do quickly.
Mat 4:8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
Mat 4:9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
Now we can see the final temptation is on a spiritual level. Worship is only what a spirit being can do to another spirit being. No other mammal on the earth worships anything or anyone? None of them set up shrines or temples to bow down to their gods. Only ignorant men have the opportunity to worship the wrong god and they have created many of them in the last several thousand years. This is an amazing set of illustrated steps of progressive levels of testing. Clearly Satan started at the flesh exterior level of the man and then worked his way into the spirit going through the mind. I believe that this is exactly what will occur with you in your faith fight.
Mat 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Here we have the final example of how to counter every level of attack and to overcome each progressive step of the test. In every case given the only weapon mentioned was the Sword of the Spirit when Jesus quoted what was written in God’s Word. I certainly do believe that the rest of the armor was present and a factor, but they were not what were emphasized in the lesson of how to overcome a test. Every other part of the armor of God is designed as a defensive part of the battle gear to keep you safe from the aggressive attack blows of your enemy, but only the Sword of the Spirit was designed to be a weapon that can be used to aggressively counter the attacks. After these three tests Satan really has no choice but to go away and try to fight another day with Jesus. I really hope that you understand how to better fight your faith fight. When Satan comes to you and says look at your symptoms of illness and that you are not healed, you can simply quote God’s Word and tell Him “By His stripes I was healed”. That is an example of the good fight of faith.
Possessing the promises of God is a spiritual battle with spiritual enemies. To win the battle you must get the Word of God built on the inside of you in your spirit and believe it with your whole heart. Your salvation was the greatest spiritual battle that required your fight of faith to posses. Let’s reveiw a verse in the N.T. and see how you fought this fight and won:
Rom 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Here is a single verse that describes the entire spiritual battle using one statement. This verse refers to the heart of man so that takes us into the spiritual realm immediately. This verse speaks of spiritual beliefs and that takes us into the faith fight. There are implied enemies, there are implied failures, there are implied weapons and there is a literal stated victory that can be achieved. Do you see it? It is amazing what God can put in one verse when you understand a few other verses. The confession of the words of your mouth is your sword of the Spirit in your armor. If you are not speaking out loud you are not fighting to win. If you want to be defeated don’t say anything. That is called being a passive Christian and just letting whatever happens, happen. No, confession is an aggressive use of your mouth to get what you desire. This verse is about the subject of desiring salvation, but that is a much broader subject and it includes much more than us just going to heaven some day in the future. Did you notice that this verse started out with “belief”. We are back to having faith in God’s word. Therefore we must have heard God’s Word, believed God’s Word and then spoke God’s Word. If your beliefs are not based solidly upon the Word of God then your spiritual fight is already lost. Let’s stop and look up the word “salvation” in the Strong’s dictionary to see what else this includes or applies to in your faith fight.
G4991 – σωτηρία sōtēria
Feminine of a derivative of G4990 as (properly abstract) noun; rescue or safety (physically or morally): – deliver, health, salvation, save, saving.
This Greek word can legally be translated as “delivered’ or “saved” or even “healed”. Therefore it is an all-inclusive statement including our physical wellbeing, our mental wellbeing as well as for our spiritual wellbeing and deliverance. You see God’s salvation does not exclude any area of your life only you do that by your unbelief in that area. Remember what I said earlier of the three levels of human existence? You are a spirit which possesses a mind that lives in a body. Therefore God provided “salvation” and “deliverance” to save from each realm of existence. No that does not mean that you will be problem free in life, we already know that is not the full truth. You still have an enemy that is alive and well trying to “kill, steal from and destroy” you (John 10:10). In this same verse in John, Jesus said “BUT I HAVE COME so that you might have life and that life more abundantly”. Did Jesus mean that life was later in the future or here available for us in the right now? I personally believe that He meant it for right now in this world. Later when we get to heaven there will be no need for salvation from anyone, or any need to overcome because there will be no more enemies present there. However, there are other truths written in the Bible that must be balanced that say “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). But in this same verse, Jesus also said be of good cheer because I have overcome the world. If you do not understand that Jesus set an example of how to overcome in the world for us to follow, then we would have a legitimate expectation to think that there is nothing for us to overcome. However that is not what the Bible teaches us. The Bible tells us that we also must overcome our adversities and our adversaries? At least 10 times in the New Testament we are commanded to be overcomers. Why would Jesus make this stipulation if Satan was already completely defeated and a non-factor?
Satan’s future is sealed in a gloom of darkness, but he is still trying to take down as many people as he can with him now. That makes him a significant angry aggressive spiritual force for you to overcome here and now. This enemy is trying to keep you from experiencing the abundant life that Jesus said was given to you in John 10:10. This life of abundance was much more than physical prosperity, but I believe that was included. I believe that our mental and spiritual health is much more important features to focus on instead of us getting rich or getting healed. However I did not say you cannot have it all if you that is what God says you can have. I’ll end this Bible study with this statement written from John and God to the church:
3Jn 1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
John prayed that the people would prosper financially and have good health but he placed the final greater emphasis upon their minds and spirits as being the determining factor for both of these other benefits to occur. There is an implied association that if your soul and your spirit are prospering, then your health and your finances are also prospering. I am not a health and wealth preacher, but I do preach the Bible and I do not ignore one part of the Bible to remain pious to believe a selective spirit only salvation theology teaching. If Jesus only saved our spirits why is there so many other references taught on so many other subjects in the Bible? You have to completely ignore verses like this one in 3 John if you want to believe in a sickness and poverty bad news type of gospel. Why would John pray for something for others that was not the will of God for all?
My emphasis in whatever I teach is always for you to seek the God of creation and His Word to prosper you spiritually and mentally and the other parts of your life will come almost automatically after you do this. There is not a valid reverse order or approach to finding God or getting God to answer your prayer. You do not seek healing or prosperity and think that God will give them to you just because you need them. God does not consistently respond to needs, but God does consistently respond to faith. I learned this over and over in the Gospels and many other examples in the Bible. When you find out what God says in His word the needs will become insignificantly minor. I could give you many more Bible examples that prove this point but I will only quickly focus on one. For example Solomon asked God for only His wisdom and this wisdom made him one of the richest men of all of the men on the planet. That was how prosperity was supposed to work doing it God’s way. You need to change your focused approach to God today. Quit seeking healing or prosperity without first seeking the divine wisdom from the God who blesses and heals.
Start right now and pray “God help me to see me as you see me”. Then pray and ask God to bring correction and direction into your life and tell Him that you will change. Then pray and ask God for revelation knowledge of what His word declares. Ask God to open the eyes of your understanding and to enlighten your mind and spirit with His Great Wisdom. However, like anything that you pray for you must use the prayer of faith and believe that you received what you asked for when you prayed and before you see the answer. I did a whole lesson in this series on the Prayer of Faith. This means when it does not look like that you have any wisdom from God, this is the perfect time to believe God heard and answered your prayer and for you to say “I have the mind of Christ today”. “The wisdom of God is formed in my spirit”. “I hear the voice of the Good Shepherd and the voice of a stranger I do not follow”. After you do that you will soon see that God honors your request and has given to your mind new insight that you never had before. Before too long you will be teaching others God’s word on your own being healed and blessed. Thank you for your time and I pray that you have been blessed by what God gave me to say in the early morning hours to teach you. Alyaws remember that an aggressive faith is a receiving faith and a receiving faith is always an aggressive faith. I’ll try to move back to some other subjects that I have left before, but I do want to be led by the Spirit of God so that I can help someone to receive. So as long as the Spirit of God does not wake me with a specific lesson topic I will be going back to a recent study subject. God Bless!
If you would like to continue in this Bible study reading the next lesson please go to “Part 17” now.
(Ver 1.5) Today’s lesson is Part 1 in a brand new Bible study series about “Understanding the Subjects of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and Speaking in Tongues”. This will be a very different lesson today for I will change my approach in how I teach in this lesson to give you some new additional information that I have never gone into before in any depth. While teaching you this subject I will simultaneously teach you how I studied this subject in the Bible. You will learn about many of my basic Bible study methods and tools. I think this will really help some people to learn how they can improve what they are finding in the Bible. Have you ever thought or felt like you do not have enough power or ability to do what God has called you to do? Have you ever thought or felt like you lack the ability to be a witness for Jesus to lead people to the saving grace of Christ? Do you struggle with your Christian walk and feel frustrated when you read the Bible not understanding what the words are saying? If you ever have felt like any of those then it is very possible that what you lack is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. I pray that you will read this lesson in its entirety before you write it off as a matter not from God. I will warn you up front that this will be a long lesson, simply because I need to cover a lot of information.
I often ask myself, do I want to be popular with everyone on the internet or do I want to tell people the truth no matter what it costs me? Today’s advanced spiritual lesson will either enlighten you or highly offend you. I am about to find out very fast how spiritual you are and how hungry you are to know more about God, His Spirit and His Truth. I could also learn how carnal you are to know more about Satan and his lies by you unsubscribing from my lessons. Nevertheless we will find out for sure one way or the other. I will either loose many carnal readers and subscribers today, or I could also help you to learn something new about the greatest single thing that has happened to me and helped me more than anything else since I was saved and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord many years ago. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the only reason that I am even able to do this Bible study website for you today. Without the awesome gift of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit I would be void of any of the knowledge of God, I would be lacking the teaching anointing of God to share His word and I would be completely unable to understand anything spiritual found in the Bible. Therefore, I am totally dependent upon God’s gift of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and His anointing for anything that I accomplish that brings a blessing to you on this website. I hope and pray that you can see my sincerity in giving the Spirit of God any and all of the credit and all of the glory for everything that I teach you, because it is not about ME!
INTRODUCTION TO THE TONGUE
This subject today has divided many churches while creating many other new ones. I have never directly addressed this subject because I knew it was so controversial and offensive to so many people. I personally never want to offend anyone and I could have sent this Bible study to the one person that asked me a question on the subject in private. But, I know when one person asks me a question there are many others with the same question, but not the bravery to ask. Therefore, since I received the brave question directly on this subject, I will be bold and brave enough to attempt to answer it for anyone else that wants to learn about it from the Bible spiritual perspective. My reader sent me this question “where in the Bible does it say that tongues come from the Baptism of the Holy Spirit”. From this question we need to first ask “what is speaking in tongues”, “where does it come from” and then ask “what is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit”. Finally we need to determine if speaking in tongues is related to the baptism of the Holy Spirit. So in this lesson series I will attempt to answer these very difficult, complex and controversial questions to help you to understand that God has something greater for you if you have never been baptized in the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. Let’s begin by looking up the word “tongues” and find the definition found in the Strong’s Concordance for this Greek word:
G1100 – γλῶσσα glōssa
Of uncertain affinity; the tongue; by implication a language (specifically one naturally unacquired): – tongue.
This Greek word that is translated in the N.T. as “tongue(s)” is defined literally as a “tongue”. It is very difficult to miss that from what was written in the definition. However, the definition is brave enough to extend the literal definition to also include a figurative meaning that is much deeper. The reference is given to us in this definition that a tongue refers to a spoken language and further goes into more depth to break it down into a naturally acquired language versus an implied antithesis supernatural gift of language. But, we are not ready to go there yet, just remember what Strong’s just said to you. Let’s get a dictionary definition of the literal definition of the word “tongue” to see what that reveals to us:
Anatomy. the usually movable organ in the floor of the mouth in humans and most vertebrates, functioning in eating, in tasting, and, in humans, in speaking
You can observe by the definition that this word “tongue” refers to the human organ found in the lower part of the mouth of humans and vertebrates. As you can also read, this mouth organ called a tongue is one of the central components necessary for human speech and thus providing the reason why it was figuratively used to imply a language spoken as we read from the Strong’s definition. Therefore either definition is a possible application depending upon the Greek word’s usage and the context found in the surrounding Bible verses. This Greek word G1100, occurs 50 times in the N.T. in 47 verses. Therefore, “tongues” is a definite subject found in the Bible. However, 47 verses is not a great number of occurrences for any dominant subject of the New Testament that includes 7959 verses. 47 verses is less than one percent of the New Testament and all this teaches me is that this is not a dominant subject of the New Testament. However, some of the least mentioned subjects in the Bible are the most important ones for you to know, like the virgin birth. You cannot find but a very small number of scriptures that describe this virgin birth, yet this single event is the foundation for the rest of your salvation. Without the virgin birth of Jesus you are not saved and Jesus was just a man like any other man. Take the Greek word translated as “resurrection”. This word only occurs 40 times in the New Testament, so “tongues” occurs more frequently than the word “resurrection”. Therefore, do not ever judge by the number of occurrences in the Bible of a subject to try to determine if it is a subject that is important or not. There are just too many Bible subject exceptions found to try to make the frequency of occurrence the factor for the dominance of a subject.
Let’s analyze the usage of the word G1100 in the New Testament. This Greek word G1100 is used in both the plural sense and the singular sense again based upon the context. In some verses this Greek word is clearly used as a reference to the literal human mouth organ (Mark 7:33, Luke 16:24) and in many other verses it is clearly used as a reference to a single spoken language (John 5:2, Acts 26:14). Finally the Greek word is also used to describe a group of languages that many people speak using this organ (Rev 10:11, Rev 17:15). I have just given you 3 examples of English word variance from a single Greek word and any of them are potential correct interpretations depending on the context and usage. Therefore, this means we need to use a certain level of deductive reasoning and logic to understand what is being communicated in each verse where this word is found. We of course must also use the guidance of the Holy Spirit every time we study the Bible (John 16:13). Never omit God from your Bible study and always allow Him to guide and direct you into all truth.
The exact English term “speaking in tongues” is not found in the Bible. However there are several variations of this phrase that are directly found in several scriptures (Mk 16:17, Acts 2:4, Acts 10:46, Acts 19:6). These verses also give us a fourth usage of the word “tongues” in the Bible. The implied meaning in these verses is that people can speak in many different languages and not just the dominant one that they were taught when they grew up as a child. As we can clearly see, “speaking in tongues” is definitely a subject found in the Bible. To attempt to preach that speaking in tongues is not found in the Bible would clearly be a fallacy or fantasy approach to the Bible based upon the scriptural evidence that I have just presented to you.
From our definitions found in the dictionary and the Strong’s Concordance we should be able to understand that the term “speaking in tongues” can also be transferred or interchanged with a synonymous phrase “speaking in languages”. A spoken language will be an important aspect to consider when studying this subject of tongues. If I ramble, stutter or stammer out sounds that are not recognizable words to anyone, there is no way that you can call my sounds a language. Any viable language must incorporate grammatical rules of structure and understandable recognition by a hearer. Do you understand what a language is? A spoken language always requires someone to listen and to understand or it cannot be defined as a language. It goes back to what an old proverbs says about “if a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound if no one is present to hear it”. I know people can talk to themselves, but even in talking to yourself, you must understand the words that you just spoke for it to be a known and valid language. The reason I am introducing this concept to you is because the Bible presents us with a new concept when people speak known verses unknown languages. I guess that is not a rocket science statement that I just made. If I don’t know Spanish and you and your friend are speaking in Spanish, then I know that you two understand it, but I do not. Therefore Spanish might be just an unknown language to me, but not to you.
The Greek word translated as “tongues” is a noun and it can be and often is further qualified with restrictive or limiting adjectives such as “known” or “unknown” to describe a type of language that can either be understood or not understood respectively by the hearer. I hope that you understand the usage of adjectives in the grammatical syntax. An adjective is used to describe a noun and how it is related to a specific type of the noun. The net result of this adjective usage is the elimination of all other types of the noun that are not being included or mentioned in the statement. There are actually many verses that have adjective modifiers before the noun “tongues” and these are all very important to note because they convey descriptive qualities that limit the broad scoped definition. You will observe God’s use of adjectives in several verses of the Bible. For example, the known Hebrew tongue (language) is referenced directly in 6 different verses in the New Testament in John 5:2, Acts 21:40, Acts 22:2, Acts 26:14, Rev 9:11 and Rev 16:16. But, also note this fact in the Bible, that some adjective qualifiers were added by the translators and are not found in the original text and these should be considered more carefully before your acceptance. For example, the translators added the word “unknown” before the noun “tongues” in 1 Corinthians 14:2, 14:4, 14:13, 14:14 and 14:27, because they believed that this was the implied meaning of the Greek word context and I would have tended to agree with them if we were only viewing the statement from the human perspective. Clearly what is being stated in 1 Corinthians 14 is about people speaking in unknown human languages and we will learn this when we get to them later in this series. However just because someone speaks in a tongue that is unknown to men does not mean that it is unknown to God. This is exactly why God could not put the adjective word “unknown” in front of the word “tongues” in these 6 verses. We need to begin to learn to see the Bible from the author’s perspective and leave the human perspective as of secondary importance. I just went though some very basic information that will become the foundation to the rest of this lesson series. I hope you are grasping the basics, because this subject only gets more complex from here. For example, let me introduce another new concept to you in the next section.
GUARD THE GATE OF MY MOUTH
Psa 141:3 Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.
I once did a Bible lesson about spoken words and their relationship to human gates and spiritual guards. If you have not read this series of lessons about spoken words I would highly recommend it. You see, the human body was designed by God as a physically structured unit of limitations which keeps your spirit hidden on the inside while keeping other things on the outside. The body is like a walled barrier but it also has portal openings that I call gates that allow access into and out of this natural world. Without these God given gates we (our spirits) would not be able to survive or live on this physical planet. In this verse in Psalm 131:3, God refers to one of these gates as being your lips. If your lips are closed nothing exits and nothing enters. The Hebrew word in this verse translated as door literally means a swinging gate with hinges. Depending on how you count the human gates you will find that most bodies normally have between 6 and 10 gates. The number varies depending on how you count or combine the gates and if you are a male or a female. Females always have one gate that males do not possess. Where the variation of count comes from is how we count our ears as either being one sound receiving gate or as two separate gates that provides us with stereo reception. The eyes are also a stereo gate concept that produces a three dimensional image and could be counted as two eye gates, but both eyes could also be labeled as our vision and counted solely as one gate. The nose also has two openings but they merge internally into a single air passage and these two units could be called the human smell organ. Therefore the number of human gates will vary depending upon your perspective. Do you understand my introduction to human walls and gates? If you do, then you should be able to define what a gate is now.
A gate is an opening in a structure like a building, a wall, a fence, that allows something or someone entrance or exit depending on the type of gate and the design of the gate. For example, when I crossed the border into Mexico from San Diego, I passed through a one-way gate that would not allow me to re-enter back into the USA through the same opening. Therefore this gate was purely one way only and I could only pass from the USA to Mexico through this gate. That is exactly what I am teaching you about the gates in the human body. Some of the gates of the human body are entrance gates, some gates are exit gates and still other gates are both. The human body gates are either one way or two way openings by God’s designed pattern. This means certain human body gates allow entry only like the eyes and the ears, while other body gates allow exit only like the body parts that eliminate human waste and still other human gates permit two way accesses for the entrance of something and the exit of something else that is usually different. For example let’s take the mouth. The mouth is definitely one of these two-way types of gates found in the human body that some things enter in and other things exit out. We can breathe oxygen in through our mouths but, then exhale carbon dioxide out also from the same mouth gate. What entered in is not exactly what came out. We can also drink in water through the mouth as well as take in food to our stomachs through our mouth gate which is supposed to be a one way path to our stomach. However, there is one more very important thing that exits from the mouth and these are your words that you speak. Where do spoken words come from? That is something you may not understand fully and that is another part of this lesson that you need to grasp immediately. Let’s find out from Jesus where your spoken words come from:
Mat 12:34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
I pray that you can receive what Jesus is teaching you. Your spoken words come from your inner being and Jesus called this your heart, but that is just another concealed term for your spirit. The Greek and Hebrew words translated as “spirit” can also be defined as “wind” or “breath”. Both wind and breath are moving air particles. How do we speak? We breathe air in and then this air moves out from our lungs to produce vocal sounds. Therefore, moving voiced air and spirits are clearly connected together. Keep that in mind as we continue our study. The heart cannot be a reference to your blood pump organ since words do not originate from there directly. Therefore, the term heart must be more a reference to the “center” or “core” of your being. It would be like me saying the heart of an apple, the heart of a tree or the heart of a watermelon. It is the spirit that makes you a human and very different than any animal on the planet. What am I trying to teach with this part of the lesson? My point is to tell you that your spoken words exiting out of your mouth gate are an external expression point for your internal unseen spirit. That is an extremely important concept found in this subject on speaking in tongues. Spoken words will always come from your spirit no matter what the words are. Where then do you think the words that are spoken came from if someone spoke in tongues right now and you could hear them? If you said their spirit, you would be exactly correct, but also don’t forget a person’s spirit is joined to God’s Spirit and He dwells in them if they are born again. Uh oh? Now where do you think these words could potentially come from if I speak in tongues? I think I’m shaking you up to change your perspective on things, if you can see what I am saying. We will eventually get to this in our study, but we must wait to learn a few more things first.
We should be able to see now that God created the human mouth as a multi-purpose gate. One of the primary purposes for the existence of our mouth is to allow what’s on the inside in our spirit to come to the outside in the natural realm. I just gave you the foundation for why speaking in tongues, is so important and why Satan does not want you to do this under any circumstance. This is why Satan fights speaking in tongues and even uses deceived Christians to do it. Let’ talk briefly how Satan fights against tongues in the church next.
INTRODUCTION TO FALSE TEACHINGS ON TONGUES
I’m not going to go into any great depth on the myriad numbers of false teachings surrounding this subject of “speaking in tongues”. There are just too many of them and their doctrinal backing in the scriptures is just too weak for me even to mention them as being legitimate. However I will briefly mention a couple of prominent erroneous teachings found today. There are a few modern carnal churches that teach an erroneous doctrine that speaking in tongues occurred in the Bible, but it has since ceased after the end of the initial church age. Therefore, in this doctrine of tongues no one today should be speaking in tongues for any reason. I honestly do not have a clue what they base their beliefs upon but that is what I heard them say. Of course there are other churches that teach speaking in tongues is a gift from God given to only a select few people to communicate with the people in other countries like a missionary traveling to Africa and they like to quote verses, out of context found in Acts 2 to help verify this doctrine. Therefore, in this group only certain Christians need this gift and this explains why they don’t have it or want it. Finally, there are other churches that take the whole subject of “speaking in tongues” to another extreme level and try to say that this only comes from the devil and only people full of the devil will ever speak in tongues. That is one of the stupidest beliefs that I have ever heard taught in a church. Clearly they do not know God nor understand their enemy the devil. To ignore parts of the Bible to believe something else entirely not found in the Bible is very foolish. You cannot find one scripture that says Satan causes people to speak in tongues. Therefore throw this belief away quickly.
In all of these false teaching the net result is the elimination of tongues from the believer. I personally do not care what these false teachers teach because I know differently from the Word of God and from my own personal experiences with my God that “speaking in tongues” is very real and it is for me today. You of course can do whatever you like and believe anything else you like. As I stated earlier I’m not going to go through any verses that these people try to take and explain them in this lesson. If you believe in one of these false doctrines and you want to tell me why, I probably will not even read your comment because I know the truth. When you know the truth, the lies are made extremely obvious.
I guess I will address one more false teaching that is prevalently taught in some churches today. Some churches that do not understand the Baptism of the Holy Spirit teach that when you are saved you receive the Spirit of God into your spirit and this is all of the Spirit of God that there is. Therefore they stop seeking for anything else from God after salvation. This is actually one of the greatest deceptions taught by a church. This teaching keeps people from the greatest event from God since their salvation and it will keep them in a state of Christian wilderness existence that does not allow them access into the Promised Land. Using the O.T. typology of the children of Israel coming out of Egypt as a pattern of our salvation of Jesus saving us from the world, we can observe many truths in this story. Just as Moses led the children of Israel out of natural slavery, Jesus saved us from the spiritual slavery of Satan. However, being saved from Egypt, Satan and the world did not end the story, did it? Unless you learn to fight to enter into the Promised Land you will be destined to die in your salvation wilderness not achieving the victory that God had already given to you. Where were the children of Israel for 40 years? They were in the wilderness lacking water. What is baptism? Does it not involve water? Do you see any connections here? Was there any lack of water in the Promised Land? Are you seeing what I am saying in making this comparison? This is exactly why the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the next step after your salvation from Egypt. Do you want to be victorious? If not, stop reading now, leave my website and go find some other Bible teachers to scratch your itching ears.
HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE AND THE SUBJECT OF TONGUES
People need to first realize that there is no single verse in the Bible that states any of God’s most important spiritual truths plainly, clearly and obviously. If you want one single Bible verse that says speaking in tongues is the baptism of the Spirit of God and this comes after your salvation you will be very disappointed that this is not in the Bible. However that does not mean that the truth is not found in the Bible in multiple verses and that is why many fail to find the truth because they do not search for all of the occurrences of a given subject being studied in the Bible. Reading the Bible is NOT studying the Bible, but studying the Bible does involve you reading. Spiritual truths are certainly found in the Bible, but they are all cleverly concealed from the natural viewpoint of the human mind by God’ design (1 Cor 2:14). If God and the Bible presented every spiritual truth in a plain self-evident text book format with bullet points and itemized lists of prioritized information, man would have no choice but to believe the truth of God. However, God created man to have freewill and since man was created with this predominant feature, no spiritual proof or written evidence in the Bible was clearly given about God’s existence or any other truth that would override this human right of choice. If you do not understand that God conceals things for us to find in the Bible I would recommend that you go and read Proverbs 25:2 to start with and then go find all the other verses that confirm this truth.
Every spiritual truth given to us by God is concealed in multiple layers of natural word verses and historical information in the Bible that must be searched, found, assembled together correctly and understood spiritually. I just described Bible study to be a known process with steps. Do you know what Bible study is like? Bible study is exactly like putting a complex natural jigsaw puzzle together. If you have ever put a complicated natural puzzle together, you should be able to transfer these skills, this basic knowledge and this puzzle experience to your personal spiritual experience of how you should be studying the Bible. If not, go and buy yourself a complex puzzle of at least 1000 pieces and see how long it takes you to solve. If you want the jigsaw puzzle to be more like the Bible, make the puzzle at least 5000 pieces with different front and back pictures. If you can learn to solve natural puzzles you can learn to study the Bible. The same concepts and challenges presented in puzzle solving are incorporated by God in a written word format puzzle. God gives us many spiritual facts randomly in some very isolated distributed verses in the Bible and these are the individual puzzle pieces needed in solving the bigger mysteries.
Did you solve the puzzle yet? If not why are you still reading my Bible lesson? I’m serious you need to stop and solve a natural puzzle before you continue reading my Bible study. To begin solving a natural puzzle you should usually lay out all of the pieces face up or picture side viewable. Of course if both sides are printed with different pictures then this further complicates the solution process. A double sided puzzle is more like the Bible since the Bible contains both natural truths and spiritual truths using the same words. I will liken this initial step of taking out the puzzle pieces and laying them on the table to be like you reading the Bible without studying it. Most new Christians only read the Bible and that is the entire effort that they extend with understanding it and that is why they are greatly confused and easily deceived. One of the next steps in puzzle solving could be to study the big picture on the box to learn it intimately the best that you can from memory. The more you can remember the more the Holy Spirit can bring certain verses up to you when you are reading other verses in the Bible to show you how they are related pieces of the puzzle. Only by understanding the big picture can you begin to try to understand the finer detailed pieces of the puzzle and where they fit. I believe seeing the big picture in puzzle solving is like the part of Bible study where you learn and list all of the known central basic themes of the Bible. For example, one of the greatest central themes of the entire Bible is God and Jesus and therefore the entire Bible must relay or convey this information in some way. Another central theme of the Bible is love and there are many reasons why I say that. Another central theme found in the Bible is faith and again there are many reasons why I say that. You see if you don’t even know all of the main themes in the Bible, how can you learn to solve the details like “speaking in tongues”? The next logical part of puzzle solving can be to begin to sort or organize all of the pieces. This is the beginning of the time consuming work part of Bible study. It is definitely a detailed oriented step and it is not always fun, but the benefits are very great when you understand why are you doing it.
As you then begin to sort through each of the 5000 pieces of the puzzle this is like you searching for related verses in the over 31,000 verses of the Bible that contain the subject that you are studying. In puzzle solving you might look for the shape of the piece to be a straight edge or not a straight edge piece as your first basic sort. After finding all of the straight edged pieces then you could look for non-straight edge pieces that have similar colors or patterns and begin to further organize these pieces into smaller groups of categories together. In Bible study sorting verses is a word based effort and not picture, shape or color based. You will discover related verses if God uses the same Greek or Hebrew word in both verses. Notice that I did not say the same English words. There are just too many translation problems for you to use the words of human translators to relate verses together. This is why we look up the Greek words and the original Hebrew Words to see where they are used by God. God selected and designed the original text, the translated text is man’s ideas of what they thought God said and many times they got it wrong.
You can also find related subject verses if God quotes the Old Testament verse in the New Testament. The repetition of the same words is one of the dominate ways that God links subject verses together. Also note that where the New Testament quotes an Old Testament verse, it many times will explain what the Old Testament meant and this is always very important information. Here is another secret that I will let you in on. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and the New Testament was written in Greek. Why did God do this and how do we find related subjects that cross between the Old and New Testaments? This is where you must find a verse in the New that quotes a verse in the Old. Now using this quote you can legitimately tie Hebrew words directly to Greek words using a one for one correlation. We now can see everywhere a subject is repeated in both predominant sections of the Bible using this technique to link them.
But, God is also very tricky and He can use a totally different word to describe the same subject. For example, God uses approximately 6 different names for the sun in the Bible. The sun is a concealed reference to Jesus in the Bible and He is a well hidden subject using word titles like “day star”, “the greater light”, “dayspring”, “morning star”, “Sun of Righteousness” and “the true light”. This is how you must study the Bible and if you do not study the Bible this way you are probably very lost in what you know. Learn and understand that every piece of information given to us by God only fits correctly together in one way to give us the correct big picture solution. Many preachers have tried to take and force unrelated Bible facts and pieces of information together but their big picture doctrine will always fail the truth test. Preachers that try to make two unrelated topics fit together by forcing them are never going to produce the correct harmonious big God TRUTH picture of what God was attempting to say to us. I pray you are learning something about Bible study and God.
What I am doing today in this lesson is an attempt to help you by giving you some clear clues in how to study this subject in the Bible. I have been doing this from the beginning of the lesson without mentioning all of the steps, but now I am trying to teach you using a step by step approach to Bible study in order to tell you what we are doing so that you can learn to look for some of these new methods that might help you to see God’s Word more clearly in your personal studies. So I have two goals in this single Bible lesson. I want to first teach you how I study the Bible and learn a new subject and then I want to teach you what God reveals on this subject of tongues and baptism in the Bible. In other words I’m going to teach you how to fish first rather than doing all of your fishing for you and feeding you the fish that I have caught on the subject of what to look for in the Bible on “Speaking in Tongues” and the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit”. Let me help you correlate the Bible to be a very complex puzzle by giving you some more known facts. Remember what I said earlier, that a very complex natural jigsaw puzzle will have at least 1000 pieces or more and one more like the Bible will have at least 5000 pieces. The more pieces the larger the puzzle and the more potentially complicated it will be to solve. I think if you own a Bible, you can understand that it is not a small book with limited information. But, let’s review some of the known facts about the KJV Bible that you need to consider in your future Bible studies:
BIBLE STATISTICS (King James Authorized):
- Number of books in the Bible: 66
- Chapters: 1,189
- Verses: 31,102
- Words: 783,137
- Letters: 3,116,480
- Different Hebrew Words: 8,674
- Different Greek Words: 5,624
- Different English Words: 12, 143
Reviewing the facts of the Bible reveals this is definitely way beyond the level of an extremely complex puzzle based upon the numbers alone. Searching in over 31,000 verses that contain over 700,000 words for related words and subjects is going to take you a lot of time. I believe that each verse is like one piece of a puzzle. But how do these 31,000 verses fit correctly together and what do they mean individually or by combining them correctly does that ever change the invidivual understanding of the single piece? Now we must also understand that there are more levels of complexity than the sheer numbers of words and verses involved in the search. These other complexity factors are also not as easily calculated or recognized. For example, there is God’s use of riddles, parables, symbolism, allegory, typology, shadows and I could go on and on. The complexity found in the Bible is by far over the heads of many readers and it can be as overwhelming as you trying to solve a 5000 piece jigsaw puzzle without ever solving a puzzle before in your life.
CONTINUING OUR BIBLE STUDY
How would you begin to study this subject in the Bible? Has your approach changed since I introduced you to the puzzle solving approach? There are probably more approaches to Bible study than there are to anything else in the church and thus the main reason for the confusion that exists in the church with the existence of thousands of denominations. Rarely can you find people teaching this subject of how to study the Bible correctly; therefore everyone is forced into learning by a trial and error approach. This is actually a great mistake; it is like learning how to parent as your kids are growing up. Trial and error is never a great approach to doing anything and we all do it because we are forced to by our ignorance. The wiser approach to Bible study is to learn from someone that you can see has achieved a level of sound methodology from what they teach. By them being led by the Spirit of God and through many years of trial and error study they can quickly teach you the mistakes to avoid and the secret things that will help you not to repeat them and waste your time. If what I teach appeals to your spirit, then the way that I study my Bible might also appeal to you. You are the judge of what I teach and how I arrived at what I teach, if anything I say fits you then use it, if not no harm done.
When I do any Bible study now, I always do it using my computer exclusively. Before PC’s were invented and became cheap, I previously studied using my leather bound paper Bible book and a very large heavy book concordance, but now I have learned that computers are the most efficient study tool available to man. The digital power of the computer allows us to do things that were not possible using paper books only. A Bible program can contain 12 or more different translations and present them all to you for you to read and compare. Every good Bible software program uses a database format to store the information and every word is indexed and can be searched and referenced immediately. You can search the digital copies of the Bible using specific key words, phrases, Greek words, Hebrew words, definitions, synonyms and combinations of any of the above. If you don’t have a Bible program on your computer, get one now because many of them are FREE! I recommend one called eSword and you can find it easily if you Google it. Downloading it and installing it is not that difficult. Just do it!
Beginning any Bible study I always list the subject key words that I am attempting to study. The primary key words in this Bible lesson might be “tongue”, “tongues”, “speaking”, “speak”, “baptism” and “Holy Spirit” to name a few of the obvious words. Of course Bible study is way more complicated than this and beginning your study correctly only comes from repeated experience and being led by the Spirit of God. I have also learned from God that He uses multiple names, titles, descriptions, symbols and even many indirect references for the same subject in the Bible. This technique makes finding every reference considerably more difficult. For example, let’s analyze the subject of the human tongue. As we have already learned this literal word for the human tongue organ can also be used by God as an implied language or even multiple languages. So right there we need to expand our Bible search to include that additional subject and all the possible synonyms. Do you know what a synonym is? This is like God using 6 different names for the sun with them all being correct simultaneously. Synonyms are interchangeable words that have very similar meanings. Finding all of the possible synonyms for a subject is one of your greatest challenges.
There are also other parts of Bible study that make learning God’s truth an extended effort of deep research because of the hidden intelligence and complexity of our God. Depending upon God’s desire to hide the spiritual information the wording of certain subjects in the Bible can be easily missed reading the surface text only by the use of indirection. Indirection is the lack of specific straightforwardness when speaking words. I am describing to you that God wrote many indirect hidden references to many subjects found in the Bible. For example, what produces sound from the human body? You can come up with many names or descriptions for this sound producer and we could call it a mouth, a tongue, your lips, your voice, your speech, your vocal chords and probably several other terms that you have not even thought of yet. These would all be examples of direct references using synonymous terms. However, God can also hide information in the Bible using indirect or implied statements that do not have any of these direct keywords that you are searching for in the Bible about the mouth but the verse can still be about this subject. How do you search for scriptures on “tongues” when it does not mention tongues directly? That is just one more of the challenges presented to us in the Bible for us to overcome. Let me give you a quick example of a verse with indirection that you could read over and over and never see what God is saying and how it is related to the subject of “speaking in tongues”:
Joh 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
Do you believe on Him? According to Jesus in this verse, you should be speaking in tongues if you are a believer. Oh, I know you don’t see it, but that is what this verse is about. This verse is simply a hidden indirect reference to the subject of speaking in tongues and because you do not understand what it says you miss it. Jesus said out of your belly or the inward part of your physical being, which is another hidden reference to your spirit, will flow rivers of living water. What exactly do you think that God is talking about in this verse? It is impossible to take this verse as being a literal statement from God. Therefore, it must be a symbolic statement from our God with concealed information presented in it. As a general rule of Bible interpretation you always take the Bible literally except when you cannot, like in this verse. Jesus was not saying that you are going to throw up your dinner or your beverage even though this is where those substances go after being swallowed. However, Jesus was definitely saying that something will come up and out from your mouth that will produce life. Words and air are the only two substantive things that can legally exit from the human mouth by God’s design. Anything else that exits or comes out of the mouth was not by God’s design. Therefore, these “rivers of life” that exit must be related to our spoken words. Since my mouth is connected to my belly this verse must be about my words that I speak, but not just any words will qualify, these words must produce life. I could try to explain this verse, but I really do not have the time in this lesson. Just try to understand for now that this verse is a hidden indirect reference about you speaking in tongues and when you finally receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit you will finally know by your own experience what God was saying to you in this verse. Until then you are not going to have a real clue about it and you will have to either reject what I just said or believe it by faith.
WHAT IS BAPTISM?
Let’s shift the focus and subject from tongues, language and spoken words to the subject of baptism. What is baptism? If you are a Baptist you know at least partially what it is because they teach a part of the baptism truth very strongly. Baptism is a New Testament revealed concept. There are some hidden references to it in the Old Testament but they are usually cloaked in symbolism, typology or allegory. Baptism was introduced for the first obvious time by John the Baptist in the Gospels. John was of course the prophesied forerunner of Christ that led the way to Christ. John would go into the river Jordan and take people with him and there he would fully submerge them under the water raising them back up again for the remission of their sins (Luke 3:3). I find it very interesting that the Holy Spirit led me to end the last section talking about rivers coming out from our mouth to now John standing in a river to baptize someone. Do you think this was a accident? Do you see a potential connection? This water baptism of John was an act of outward repentance of the sinner participant that was being baptized. In fact this statement about repentance is found repeatedly in the Gospels and “repentance” and “remission” are two new words that we might need to add to our complete study of this subject. The act of repentance will always be a forerunner to salvation. The act of remitting our sins was an accomplished work of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ok, here is where we again need to come up with all of the related subjects and synonymous words to search for in the Bible. If baptism is one of the main subjects, what other related words are also important to include in the study? We must include “baptizer”, “baptize”, “baptized”, “baptizing”, “Baptist” and probably several other related words like “water”, “bath” and “washing”. By searching our Bible for these words, we will learn how they are used, where they are used and why they are used; expanding our knowledge of the complete subject. By doing this type of research we will potentially find many related clues to learn from God’s word, helping us to solve the greater puzzle. Every verse containing any subject content is a possible puzzle piece that you need to research to learn how and where they fit in the big picture. Keep this in mind as we continue. Since I have already done this research I will skip this part of searching the many verses and give you a few of the important ones that I found. If you don’t believe me, you should do the steps that I omitted and verify them. Try to see what God says about the subject baptism here in this verse:
Act 11:16 Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.
When I searched for the 5 Greek words that are related to baptism, I found approximately 100 verses with this subject in it. How did I find the 5 Greek words? I searched the Bible dictionary for a partial word “bapti” and told it to give me all of the Greek words that contain this partial word in the definition anywhere. Perhaps you did not know that you could do that, but that is the power of computers at work. The 5 Greek words that have “bapti” in the definition are G907, G908, G909, G910 and G3067. This search of the dictionary covered many of the words that I was looking for about “baptism”. I then took these 5 specific Greek words and searched the entire N.T. and said give me any verse that has any of these 5 words in it. I’m not going to go through each word and discuss them here; you can do that for yourself.
Out of the 100 verses that were returned with one of these Greek words being present, I found that over 50 of them are found in the Gospels and this makes sense to me because John first introduces us to this subject there. The next most popular book with this subject content is the book of Acts with 23 verses and then the rest of the verses are spread out in the letters written to the church. It is important to read them all, but it is also important to see what other information is given in each of these verses to help you to learn the more complete subject. For example, here in Acts 11:16 is found one of the most critically important verses about the entire subject of baptism that I found. This verse is located in one of the most unlikely places in the N.T. Hidden here in the middle of the book of Acts, God reveals and compares two separate variations of one named noun truth called “baptism”. If you had not searched your Bible for all of the variations of the word “baptism”, you might have easily bypassed this verse and missed one of the most important new revelations from God on the subject.
Here in this verse God is revealing that there is more than one kind of “baptism”. Did you know that? If you did not know this then you just learned something that will change you forever. One was called “John’s Baptism” and one is called the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit”. One baptism was done by the hands of human men and one is done only by the hands of almighty God. One is totally natural in water and the other is completely spiritual. This single truth alone changes almost every other place in the N.T. that speaks of “baptism” and forces us to rethink what we are seeing. Do you understand what I am saying? You see if there was only one kind of baptism in the whole Bible, then it is extremely simple for us to understand it. However, God just introduced us to a new type of baptism that is different, done differently, performed by different individuals and suddenly the complexity has more than doubled even if they are both called “baptism”. Are you learning anything yet? I am about to rock your Bible study world. God is revealing that there are two dimensions of truth. Wow, did you hear what I just said? Can you even wrap your mind around this concept? One truth realm is called the natural and this visible truth parallels but also reveals to us the other truth realm called the spiritual which is unseen by human eyes.
I had some people write me a comment a while back trying to tell me that people can’t be saved and go to heaven unless they are fully water baptized in the name of Jesus like the Bible clearly states. I told them NO that is not what the N.T. clearly teaches us and I based my statement upon my knowledge of verses like this one that they must be either unaware of or ignoring because it does not fit with their beliefs. I said the Bible says “We look not at the things that are seen, but the things that are unseen, for the things that are seen are temporary, but the things that are unseen are eternal” (2 Cor 4:18). If you can see someone getting water baptized that is an external inferior temporary thing that God commands us NOT to even look at now. Why then do some Christians still want to look at this temporary external water baptism as being a requirement for their eternal salvation if it should not be viewed according to God? They love to look at the external things because they are carnal, naturally thinking individuals being people who are ignorant of God’s spiritual internal truths. God told the prophet Samuel “Look not on the outward appearance of the man, because the Lord does not see men as men see them, I look upon their heart” (1 Sam 16:7). I tried to argue with them and ask why are you looking at the outside to determine what is saved on the inside, are you God? Obviously they are not God, because God is only viewing the inside of the man to determine his salvation. But, I learned quickly that I was wasting my time arguing with an un-teachable brick wall type of Christian.
These temporary naturally seen things were created and given to us by God to teach us about the unseen eternal spiritual things, that we have never seen and can never prove exists. That is the absolute truth and there are no other hidden reasons for the natural to exist that are relative for this discussion. Therefore, quit looking at the natural realm and giving it your priority over God’s Spirit, what He does or has done and accomplished in the spiritual realm. Your natural water baptism is not ever going to save you and if you think it is you might be on your way to hell already. I know I just lost a bunch of readers with that blunt statement. But I would rather standalone telling you the truth than stand in your crowd on the way to hell with you. You see I know this because I have been baptized by the Spirit of God. Since my God did this for me and to me, I now completely understand that there is nothing that you can ever try to do with your natural water baptism that is greater than what He did for me with His Spirit. Again if you have not experienced this work of God you will not understand what I am saying and you can be happy with your natural water and miss the Spirit of God. Since the Bible commands us to establish every truth in the mouth of two or three witnesses, we technically need another verse that states there are two kinds of baptism that exist, so I’ll give you another verse found in the Bible spoken to us by the Lord Jesus Christ:
Act 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
I believe that you can read this verse and see that Jesus is again comparing what was coming in a few days to that which has already been in the past. Which one do you believe is greater? Which one do you believe is more important for your salvation? Why do you think Jesus did not tell them to wait to be baptized in water so that they could be saved after His resurrection? Which one did Jesus command them to wait for? I know probably all of the disciples were technically baptized before by John so they have already experienced the natural water type of baptism, but that still does not prove that the spiritual baptism of the Holy Spirit is dependent upon the natural occurring first. Since I have found no verses that reveal a dependent relationship between the two, it would be wrong to create a doctrine of baptism dependence without literally two or three verses stating this direct dependence. But, you can still believe whatever you like.
Also notice that what Jesus was describing in this verse to His disciples was a baptism that had not taken place for them or to them. Therefore I can legally call this a new baptism and that would be a completely truthful statement. Do you understand this point? The baptism that was about to happen in a few days later from this statement was not the baptism that had occurred in the past to them. However, since this new baptism is to be done by the Spirit of God, it is only understandable by us observing what was previously done externally in water. Being baptized by the Holy Spirit is clearly a spiritual experience and when Jesus spoke these words to His disciples it had never occurred before to them. These are very important points, and that is why I am repeating myself. I guess I should clarify that this spiritual baptism was one that Jesus had personally experienced before, but no one else in the Acts 1 and 2 had this experience that I have found. I know this truth from two facts found in the Gospels. First, when Jesus was water baptized by John in the river, immediately after coming up from the water, the Spirit of God descended from heaven upon Him in the form of a dove. Therefore, Jesus was baptized spiritually immediately after being baptized physically by water. Let me show you the verse:
Joh 1:32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
This verse is describing an Old Testament form of one of the spiritual baptisms from the Holy Spirit as it was being experienced by the Lord Jesus who is the future stated head of the church. The Spirit of God is clearly observed by John to be descending out of heaven and in this experience the Spirit of God appeared as the form of a dove which rests “upon” Jesus. This is actually very important information to take notice of. This is describing a spiritual baptism from the Holy Spirit upon a natural man and this is exactly a pattern of what Jesus was describing that would be happening to the disciples in Acts 1:5. Therefore, the disciples had already technically witnessed a spiritual baptism even though they did not fully understand it before they experienced it in Acts 2. I want you to pay attention that when the Spirit of God came upon Jesus that Jesus was not yet risen from the dead and thus no new birth had yet taken place. I believe that this proves a form of spiritual baptism existed in the Old Testament prior to it being introduced to the church in the New Testament. I will discuss this further in future lessons in this series. I also said that there were two references in the Gospels to Jesus being baptized with the coming baptism and here is the other verse that you need to read carefully:
Mat 20:23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.
Jesus told His disciples that they would soon be baptized with the same baptism that He had experienced. Wow, that is an awesome statement from God. This is one of those Bible references that can only be interpreted correctly using the new knowledge that there are two different kinds of baptism described in the Bible and Jesus had already experienced both of them, but no else could until Jesus was raised from the dead. In this verse I believe that Jesus was speaking about the coming spiritual baptism of the Holy Spirit, since everyone else present had already been water baptized at this point in time. Do you see it? Logically speaking, it is impossible for Jesus to be speaking about the natural water baptism, because it would not make any sense.
OK let’s recap again what we have just learned about baptism from all of these verses in Acts, Matthew and John. We have observed two references in the book of Acts where God describes two separate kinds of baptism. These are completely unique and distinct types of the same named action but being clearly a different kind of experience for each involvement or participation. The first baptism was one being entirely natural in water and the other coming baptism was one being totally spiritual done by God without getting physically wet. We just saw that Jesus experienced both of these, but no one else living in the church had this second experience until a few days after Acts chapter 1. This further reveals to us that what John did with water was not what God was going to do to the coming church even though they are both called baptism. The entrance of this information brings us knowledge about a new spiritual baptism that supersedes the old natural baptism. From the knowledge of these new facts, that means whenever we read a verse about baptism, baptizing, being baptized or any variations of these words we need to understand which experience God is describing. If God says it is “John’s baptism” then you will immediately understand it was the natural baptism done with water and the hands of men. If God says the baptism of the Holy Ghost, then we can also know with great confidence that this verse is about a spiritual experience done by our God. If the verse says only “baptism” without qualification, it could be either type of baptism being described or referenced especially if there is no mention of water. This part of the Bible study might have been some of the most important information that you have learned so far in this lesson, so hang on to it and don’t let it go. Let me show you one verse example that people like to quote proving we must be water baptized.
Act 19:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Do you see any problems with this verse now that you know that there are two kinds of baptism? If you back up in the chapter you will discover these men were previously baptized by John in water for the repentance of their sins. Why then would it be necessary for them to go back into the water again? Of course we can clearly see that it says that we need to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus and this is why many people have reasoned the need for another water baptism that is necessary for their salvation to become valid to be done in the name of Jesus. But notice that no natural water is mentioned here in Acts 19:5, there is no mention of getting wet, there is no human man called to be the baptizer in this verse, and there is no qualification given to us of this being a type of “John’s” baptism; therefore to try to make this verse say that they were water baptized again in Jesus’ name is ridiculously creative human reasoning. That would clearly be adding to the verse and making it say what it does not say. Reading the context in the very next verse it says that Paul laid his hands on them and they spoke in tongues. Could that possibly be the baptism that they were given in Jesus’ name? I don’t have time to prove every scripture. Just read them and then notice what they say and more specifically what they don’t say. Don’t add your own definitions or interpretations to them; just see if there is any direct mention of water being present and then ask if it could be a spiritual baptism that was done by God. If you immediately see that they are speaking in tongues it cannot be anything but the baptism of the Spirit of God. Change your perspective and quit being so single threaded and narrow minded that there is only one kind of baptism mentioned in the Bible. We have clearly learned that there is not one but at least two types of baptism mentioned in the Bible.
ARE YOU SPEAKING IN A NEW TONGUE?
Let’s go back to the subject of “tongues” again since that is where my discussion of baptism ended. Let’s do a search again for this Greek word G1100 in the N.T. I will tell you that there are at least 5 Greek words that have something to do with the word “tongue” in the definition, but I am for now not going to address any of these other words. If you do the search for G1100, you will remember that this word only appears in 47 verses in the N.T. and that is not that many. This makes it much easier to go and read every verse to see what they are saying. If the subject of tongues appeared in 500 verses, that would be too many to read them all and remember what they said. One of the key verses that might stand out to you in your search is this one found in the book of Mark. Let’s read it carefully and notice what Jesus said to the church:
Mar 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
Many have tried to take this verse and remove it from the Bible. However, I know for sure that it is an excellent statement from God and that it should be there. Jesus said we would speak with “new tongues” and this is definitely not us learning to speak a new language that we can understand as in going to language school. Therefore, we need to ask when does this occur and how does this occur? Before we go there, let’s examine two other Greek words found in this verse. The first Greek word is translated as “speak” and it means to utter words, talk, to preach or to say. This of course is the human mouth vocalization skill with articulated audible words. Speaking involves us producing sound waves that can be heard by those that are nearby. Therefore, the word “speak” introduces us to a new concept that involves producing sound and that is a whole new very important subject to put in your vocabulary. I believe that we need to include the keyword “sound” in our Bible study to see what clues are given to us by God on this subject. Does God link sound to our study anywhere? We could do a search and find out what God says or we can just remember that word and keep it in our mind as we go forward looking for links.
We have already looked up the noun “tongues” in this verse and it literally means “tongues” so I will not repeat that part of the introduction. But, notice the noun qualifier adjective that precedes this word “tongues” in this verse. This reference to spoken tongues in Mark 16:17 is restricted to or limited by the adjective “new”. “New” is the stated opposite or antithesis of something being “old”. This verse is not saying that we will get a physical tongue transplant; God is saying by the inclusion of the word “new” that we will begin to speak in new languages that we have not ever heard of or learned to speak before. The Greek word translated as “new” literally means a “fresh” language. This clearly distinguishes this language from any of the old languages that we might already know and speak right now. It would be like me saying I bought a new car today. A new car means it is not my old car that was sitting in my driveway yesterday. If you speak English today that means this new language that you will speak cannot be English. Do you understand what I am saying? Do you believe in Jesus? If you do, then Jesus said you should be speaking languages that you never spoke before, right now! So how do you do this? Are we supposed to go out and buy a new language course and start studying something new, learning to speak it? No that is not what God is saying at all. That would be the works of your flesh and not the works of the Spirit of God. But that is exactly how many carnal Christians try to interpret it. Let’s go find out how they did this in the early church and this should reveal how we do it today since we are in the same body and the church as they were. We can only find this information by continuing to search in the Bible for the keyword “tongues” or “G1100” and see where else it is mentioned in the N.T. and I found these verses almost immediately:
Act 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
Act 2:2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
Act 2:3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
Act 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Let me recap quickly the context of these verses and why this is so important. In chapter 1 we already saw one verse where Jesus said the baptism of the Holy Spirit will be coming to you in a few days. Jesus actually commands His disciples in chapter 1 of Acts to wait in Jerusalem until they are endued with power from on high. This is actually more important than you know and probably why you do not have the power of God working in your life right now. After Jesus tells the disciples this, He ascends into heaven and there He remains until He comes to take His church out of this world. However, in chapter 2 of Acts this is the few days later that Jesus was describing. The early church was being obedient to Jesus and they had gathered together in an upper room in Jerusalem waiting for this supernatural spiritual baptism that was promised by God. We should now understand the context of these verses in Acts 2 and we should know that these people that were present in the upper room represent the entire church body at this period of time on the earth. Do you understand that? There were no other saved church members on the earth that were not present in Acts 2. Technically there are already saved church members in heaven during this event, but I do not have time to explain that. Just understand that everyone else in the world not present in the upper room represent the lost unbelievers that need to be added to the church and that would include you and me in future terms since we were not yet born during this event.
Reading these verses very carefully in Acts 2 you should be able to notice some things that I have already introduced you to. First,notice that this event was described as a “sound” that came from heaven in verse 2. This information gives us “sound” as a direct keyword link to what we learned about speaking audibly in tongues earlier in Mark 16:17. The location of heaven connects us to where this sound originated from and that is also very critical to understand the source as being from God. What we see is the mention of heaven just like the baptism of Jesus in Matthew that we read when the Spirit of God descended like a dove. So these verses have immediate relevance based upon our keyword association and our previous knowledge that God is in heaven. If a sound came from heaven what was the result of this sound after it entered into the earth’s atmosphere? What we begin to observe in these verses is another repeated pattern found in the Bible in more than one place. For example, in Genesis 1, you can see that God was speaking repeatedly and then something in the natural realm came into manifestation. For example, God saw darkness and said “Light Be” and then light was in the natural. This is exactly what is happening in Acts 2 whether you understand it or not.
God is revealing that being Baptized with the Spirit of God started with God sending a sound from heaven from the spiritual realm and this spiritual sound that was sent resulted in an external sound manifestation being heard in this natural realm. While this does not say that God spoke directly, I believe exactly that this is what occurred in Acts 2. Where do sounds from God come from? Perhaps it is time for a new Bible verse:
Mat 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Here we have a verse spoken by Jesus revealing that God has a mouth and that He speaks words audibly. These words according to Jesus produce life in us. What did I quote earlier that Jesus said? Remember I said “Out of your belly shall flow rivers of life”. Uh oh? I think we are finding more puzzle pieces that are falling together in harmony. This river that comes out of our mouth that produces life has to be the Words that were spoken by God. I mean what else is there that creates life? So does this mean we memorize the Bible and speak these words to produce this life? That is certainly one interpretation or possibility, but not the whole truth either. How else can we speak God’s words? We’ll that is where speaking in tongues comes in and we will get there eventually.
Did you understand what I just said? Do you know that this is practically how everything from God works? God is a Spirit and what He speaks in the spirit realm will cause things in the natural realm to vibrate. Uh, oh? I really do not want to get too technical here but sound waves are the root fundamental substance to everything that exists in our world. If you can see it, touch it, taste, hear it or smell it, it has the root of being a sound wave created by God’s words. Sorry that was another side trip; but I believe that it was an interesting point to consider. What we are observing here in Acts is that a sound came from heaven and then something happened in the natural realm that was externally evident!
Before I go to the next point, let’s notice that this sound sent from heaven filled the physical place where the entire early church was assembled and that it “sat” upon “each” and “everyone” of them in verse 3. Isn’t this exactly what the dove did to Jesus in the Gospels? Learning this fact alone proves that whatever happened to all of them should be what happens to everyone else that comes into the church later since God did not omit anyone or selectively give this gift only to a few of them. Do you see that and can you agree? Are you in the church? Do you speak in tongues? This is why I called the church teaching of selective tongues to only missionaries a very false doctrine. If you do not speak in tongues now then you are missing what God gave to the whole church in Acts 2. If the entire church was supposed to speak in tongues in Acts 2, then the entire church is still supposed to speak in tongues in Acts 29. Oh maybe you did not understand what I just said, there is no Acts chapter 29 in the Bible; we are the church writing Acts 29 right now. Nowhere in Acts is it stated that speaking in tongues ceased or was terminated, so do not believe that it has or you will miss it.
This is really not complicated, but it is an easily missed truth and one truth that is widely ignored by many Christians. Then notice that this sound that fell from heaven is also described to us using some new descriptive phrasing called “tongues of fire” in Acts 2:3. Why, is fire so important and why is this word even included in these verses or even mentioned at all with the same Greek word G1100 tongues? Here is another secret clue that God is trying to teach you. “Fire” is directly linked to “tongues” in this verse and that produces a new “keyword” to search for in our Bibles for us to learn a totally new subject and see some more puzzle pieces and how they fit together. Are you learning how to study the Bible? It is much more complicated than you thought isn’t it? When I searched the N.T. for “fire” I found something that is definitely important and completely related to our subject discussion. Here is the reason that “fire” is so important to see and why God included it here in this chapter of Acts:
Mat 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
Here we have another hidden key to what is happening to the church in Acts 2. John the Baptist says “I baptize you with water, but He that comes after me, He will baptize you with the Holy Ghost fire”. Here again we have an additional confirmation to the existence of two different types of baptism. Since John is speaking in this verse we can clearly understand that one was his baptism that was done with water. The other future prophesied baptism was one that would be done by Jesus and this is not done with natural water but with spiritual fire from the Spirit of God. Fire and water are natural opposites but yet we can be baptized with either and they are called the same type of act. God directly connects the Holy Ghost baptism with the events that are happening to the early church in Acts 2 with the key word “fire”. Now we can see that was happening to the early church was the Baptism of the Holy Spirit that Jesus told them to wait for in Jerusalem to receive. Since Jesus went back to heaven and sent this fire from heaven we can know that this was the prophesied baptism just spoken of by John the baptist. John was clearly pointing people to the coming baptism as being greater than what he was doing. This is exactly how you must study the Bible and every subject in the Bible looking for clues to connect together.
Why has God been comparing or contrasting between John’s water baptism and the spiritual baptism of fire that we just read about in Acts 2 that came from the Spirit of God? It is because the external water baptism teaches us what God was about to do in the internal part of us with His Spirit. We can only understand the internal by observing the external. Is this too complicated? Just understand that the fire being referred to in Acts 2:3-4 is the Baptism that was spoken of by John in this verse in Matthew 3:11. Now let’s go back to Acts and learn another confirmation for this truth by what God says to us.
Did you notice in Acts 2:3 that the Spirit of God sent from heaven as a sound and a fire did not enter into them, but rather “sat upon” each of them? This is actually a very relative distinction to observe. It is the stated difference as if I poured a cup of water on your head as opposed to giving you a cup of water for you to drink internally. Which cup of water experience is more representative of water baptism? Normally the water that you wash with is not the same water as what you drink? They both are clearly water, but one is for external use and one is for internal use. Both of these participations of water are two completely different experiences of the same substance. This is exactly what is being taught in this lesson about God’s Spirit. Being born of the Spirit of God internally is not the same event as being baptized with the Spirit of God and if you think it is you are deceived. This reference found in Acts 2:3 cannot be the New Birth when the Spirit of God entered into the man’s spirit to abide forever and I can prove that using the scriptures. Go back to the book of John and reread the events after the resurrection of Jesus. Jesus appeared to the disciples and He said and did this to them all:
Joh 20:22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
You still have a lot to learn if you do not understand that what comes out of the mouth of God is from the Spirit of God. When Jesus breathed on these disciples He tells each of them to receive His Spirit into them. This is when they were born again and this occurs only a few days after the resurrection of Jesus and over 40 days before the day of Pentecost that occurs in Acts 2. Why if Jesus gave them the Spirit of God in John 20 do they still need to wait in Jerusalem for more of the Spirit of God in Acts 2? You really need to ask God some very specific questions when you read these little details in the Bible or you are going to miss out on the most important thing that could happen to you since being born again. What we are observing are two experiences of the same Spirit. One is a spiritual birth and the other is a spiritual baptism. Don’t confuse them and don’t mix them up in reverse order.
Acts 2:3-4 is clearly describing to us that the baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues is the same event but it is also not the indwelling of the Holy Spirit internally because it was an external spiritual emersion poured out upon them from heaven. The Spirit upon you is not the same as the Spirit within you even though He is the exact same Spirit in both experiences. This is no different than us washing with water or drinking the water, both are different water experiences of the same substance. One is for our external benefits and the other is for our internal benefits. Technically we can survive wihtout the external, but we will not survive without the internal. However without the external expierence, we will be stinky and smelly Christians. Therefore, God left nothing out and gave us both. I’ll end my current Acts 2 part of the discussion pointing out this fact. Did you notice that in Acts 2:4 that God used the exact same two Greek words that we just looked at earlier when Jesus was speaking to us in Mark 16:17? These two words were “speak” and “tongues”. God’s usage of the same two exact Greek words again connects this event to the other verse in Mark 16 directly. God does this on purpose to provide you with more solid clues for you to see and learn the truth. In Mark 16 Jesus said you will speak with “NEW” tongues meaning this was not any of the previous “OLD” tongues that you already possessed, knew or even understood. The term “NEW” means something not in your previous possession or it would not be new to you. That is exactly what happened in Acts 2. Here in Acts 2 God uses the adjective “other” tongues and that makes them different than previous tongues using a different but similar word statment. Jesus said it would happen before it happened and then it happened. Sound like God doesn’t it?
I really think I have gone long enough in this lesson even though there is so much more that I could teach you on this subject. I covered a lot of new information in this lesson. We certainly learned that spiritual things and natural things exist in unison, but the natural always precedes the spiritual so that we will be able to understand the spiritual. I also changed my approach in this lesson to include more study methods for searching the Bible to find God’s distributed clues. If you can learn how God has written the Bible it will greatly help you in all of your future study efforts. I hope that you understood how I linked God’s spiritual baptism to speaking in tongues. This event was actually the first thing that God did for the church in Acts 2. This heavenly baptism is why everything else in the book of Acts occurs. Without the baptism of the Holy Spirit and them speaking in tongues in chapter 2 no other chapters would have been written. I hope you understand how the Power of God was necessary for what is written. Jesus told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for this power and we are also required to receive this power from God to accomplish what He needs us to do. Peter went from denying Jesus 50 days before to preaching to 5000 to get them saved. That was the result of the power of God being received by Peter. This same power will still do that for you also.
I will do another lesson in this series eventually, but first I want to see what the reaction to this one is to find out if it was really worth all of my time and effort that I spent on it. If everyone has been offended by this lesson and leaves, I am not sure if it was worth me teaching it. I do hope that you at least benefited with the parts of the lesson that dealt with my Bible study techniques and methods. If you have any questions or comments you are welcome to leave them and I will attempt to respond either in public or in private. Thank you for your time in reading and studying the Bible today, God will richly reward you for your effort. God Bless!
If you would like to continue to read in this series on the Holy Spirit baptism please go to “Part 2“.