Do the Iglesia ni Cristo believe in baptism in the Holy Spirit and in speaking in tongues upon receiving the Holy Ghost, as the early Christians did on the day of the Pentecost- Acts 2:4?
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On glossolalia or speaking in tongues
(Acts 2:4)

Letter to the Editor:
PASUGO, October 1997, p.2

I WOULD LIKE to know if your religion believes in baptism in the Holy Spirit and in speaking in  tongues upon receiving the Holy Ghost. The early Christians spoke in tongues when they received the promised Holy Spirit on the day of the Pentecost (Acts 2:4). 

Jenny Villareal
Mindoro, Oriental, Philippines

Editor's reply:

     The Lord instructed that a person must be taught His commandments, believe in them, and be baptized in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit for him to become His disciple (cf. Mk. 16:15-16). Those who receive this baptism receive the forgiveness of their sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 2:38).

     A person who receives the true baptism also receives the gift of the Holy Spirit.

     The true baptism is also called by the apostles as baptism into death because those who are baptized share in the death of the Lord Jesus Christ (cf. Rom. 6:3-5). Those who have received this are found in the one body or Church which is the Church of Christ (cf. I Cor. 12:13; Col. 1:18; Rom. 16:16).

     On the day of the Pentecost, the disciples, who were mostly Jews, received the Holy Spirit as promised by the Lord Jesus Christ, through which they were able to speak in tongues (cf. Acts 2:4). But this happened during the time of the apostles since the apostles were the ones who were personally instructed and promised by Christ to receive such gift (cf. Mk. 16:15-18). However, the language uttered by the apostles when they spoke in tongues was not unintelligible. Instead, the message they spoke came to the ears of the listeners as if the words were articulated in the hearers’ native languages (cf. Acts 2:7-11).

     This occurrence in the apostolic era was the fulfillment of God’s prophecy that His sons and daughters would prophesy, see visions, and dreams as they have received God’s Spirit, the Holy Spirit that He has poured out (cf. Joel 2:28-29; Acts 2:16-18).

     On the other hand, preachers of different religious denominations who claim to speak in tongues, as they have allegedly invoked the Holy Spirit, admit that they utter sounds which no one has ever heard before nor understood (cf. The Protestant Churches of America, p. 171). They themselves concede that these ecstatic utterances may have come from the devil as no one could readily distinguish which is from God or from the devil:

     “Speaking in tongues is the most dramatic of the nine gifts listed by Paul, and the one whose genuineness is most readily suspect, for the gift is not difficult to simulate. Such simulation may be conscious or unconscious, and there is the further possibility, admitted by Pentecostalists, that ecstatic utterance may be of the devil as well as of God, and that one may not be readily distinguished from the other.” (Sects and Society, p. 20)

     But such a demonstration is likened by Apostle Paul to speaking into the air as if one is out of his mind:

     “So it is with you. Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air.

     “So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and some who do not understand or some unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind?” (I Cor. 14:9, 23, NIV)

     Like what the early Christians did, there is anyone among the congregation who does not understand the language spoken by the preacher during a worship service, then there should be an interpreter so as for the message to be understood (cf. I Cor. 14:27).  



Bible Study Suggestion: If you have further questions, please feel free to visit the Iglesia ni Cristo congregation nearest you. A minister or an evangelical worker would be happy to answer any biblical question you have in mind. For the latest Worship Service Directory of Iglesia ni Cristo Locales and Congregations outside the Philippines, please visit www.iglesianicristoworshipservice.com or just click link at home page.

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