Posts Tagged ‘baptism of the holy spirit’



As a local church here at PlentyValleyChurch (www.pvcoc.org.au) we are part of an international church planting movement that began in Brisbane Australia, called Christian Outreach Centre. (www.coc.org.au)

At the beginning of our church movement in 1974, we were birthed in a world wide phenomenon that was called Charismatic Renewal. All around the world in the 1970’s there was a massive growth and revival of churches that emphasised the gifts of the Holy Spirit. These gifts of the Holy Spirit included: (from 1 Cor 12:8-10) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charismatic_Movement

  1. Word of wisdom
  2. Word of knowledge
  3. Gift of faith
  4. Gifts of healing
  5. Gift of miracles
  6. Gift of prophecy
  7. Gift of discerning of spirits
  8. Gift of tongues
  9. Gift of the interpretation of tongues

All of these gifts were readily practiced, however the gift that had always been the most well known and identifiable gift from an observers point of view was the gift of speaking in other tongues. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speaking_in_tongues This gift attracts the curiosity of the world because it seems so strange and different. It doesn’t seem to have a purpose and it has this supernatural aspect that not everybody can do it. Only some people can do it, and it’s not like wiggling your ears where some people can do it, some can’t, and that will never change. With tongues, you can start off not being able to do it and then God does something to you and then you can do it – that’s supernatural. It’s not learned, you can’t study to be able to speak in tongues. I know people who have tried really hard to speak in tongues for decades and simply cannot.

Of course speaking in tongues was restored to the church world wide in a supernatural revival of Pentecostalism in two places; 1901 in TopekaKansas and 1906 in Azusa Street in Los Angeles. Since that time the Pentecostal church has spread out around the world and now numbers around 12% of world population and 36% of the world’s Christians and rapidly growing. See…



Today I want to address two important questions for our church and for maybe a lot of churches in Australia and in western cultures.

  1. Isn’t it true that only some people can speak in tongues? – It’s a gift.
  2. Why do I even need to speak in tongues?

I intend to show from the scriptures that anyone who is a Christian believer and who wants this gift can receive it and secondly that one must deeply hunger and thirst for it with passion in order to receive it.


My fear is that the practice of speaking in tongues is falling away in the Pentecostal/charismatic scene in Australia. People don’t see a value in it and the media bias is that it’s weird and only crazy people do it. It’s associated with Fundamentalist Christianity (a dirty word in the west); and further that it’s antithetical to the educated mind.

Just as the preaching of the cross was foolishness to the Greeks in Pauls day, I believe that tongues is foolishness to the educated minds of our day (1Co 1:23)

As if Christianity hasn’t got enough to contend with in our pluralistic and secular society, modern Christians today probably feel like, “I don’t want to have to defend tongues when it just seems so weird and unhelpful. You can get to heaven without it so why bother?” We confidently teach that a person will go to heaven if they have repented of their sins and received by faith the Lord Jesus Christ. After that, being baptised in water has powerful advantages and also baptism of the Holy Spirit is also a powerful advantage but neither is necessary for salvation. (Interestingly the Old Testament picture here is 1Co 10:1  FOR I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, that our forefathers were all under and protected by the cloud [in which God’s Presence went before them], and every one of them passed safely through the [Red] Sea, [Exod. 13:21; 14:22, 29.] 1Co 10:2  And each one of them [allowed himself also] to be baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea [they were thus brought under obligation to the Law, to Moses, and to the covenant, consecrated and set apart to the service of God]; In other words, this is a picture of two baptisms – one in the Red sea and One into the cloud – Water and Spirit)

The problem from my point of view is that tongues is very valuable and is a sign that one is baptised in the Holy Spirit to receive power. This power is essential for us as Christians to be successful in winning lost people to Christ.  As Christians become lukewarm, they back away from some of the basics that empower their faith like:

  1. Regular personal times of prayer
  2. Regular reading of God’s Word
  3. Regular attendance at church.
  4. Sharing their faith with non-churched people.

On fire Christians, who are spreading their faith all over the world, are passionate people, not lukewarm people. They are people who are motivated by love and empowered by the Holy Spirit for witness. In the last three weeks we have taught that:

  1. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is necessary for the purpose of being a witness of our faith (Week 1 – April 7)
  2. Being baptised with the Holy Spirit is a subsequent experience to being born of the spirit. (Week 2 – April 14) (Also what regeneration means)
  3. Being filled with the Holy Spirit has enormous advantages to the believer for their walk in life. (Week 3 – April 21)

As I said, my fear is that less and less people are speaking in tongues for all the reasons I have spoken about here; and that is a diminution of the power and effectiveness of our local church. So my goal is to assure you that you can speak in tongues should you so wish; and that you should so wish, because we all need this power. If you haven’t received in the past then don’t give up – press in and passionately seek God so that you can have all the gifts and power that He has for you.


In my view there are two kinds of tongues that the bible speaks of.

  1. A prayer language available to all.
  2. A gift that is to be used in the church service and coupled with the gift of Interpretation is equal to prophecy.

Let’s look at two groups of scriptures – the first speaks of tongues as it refers to your own personal prayer language; the second as it refers to the gift of speaking in other tongues to be used in conjunction with interpretation in the church service.


Mar 16:17  And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues;

Rom 8:26  Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. Rom 8:27  And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (ESV)

1Co 14:2  For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit.

1Co 14:4  The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church. (ESV)


1Co 12:28  And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 1Co 12:29  Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 1Co 12:30  Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues*? Do all interpret?

(*The answer to this rhetorical question is expected to be “No.”)

1Co 12:8  For to one is given….1Co 12:10  to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.

1Co 14:5  Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up.

1Co 14:13  Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret.

1Co 14:23  If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your minds? (ESV)

It is my firm belief that God grants the ability to speak in tongues as a personal prayer language to help us be built up as spirit filled believers. This ability is available to anyone who is filled with the Holy Spirit. We confidently teach that one may be filled with the Holy Spirit and not yet be able to speak in other tongues. God also gives gifts to the body to help with the work of evangelisation and the building up of the church. Gifts such as Faith, Healing and Prophecy.  Speaking in tongues is the only incontrovertible evidence that a person is Baptised in the Spirit. If there was another evidence, it could only be that you are a witness for Him (Acts 1:8)

All other evidences such as love for God, patience, healing, prophecy, etc have been practiced by those in the Old Testament who were not filled with or baptised in the Holy Spirit. In the Book of Acts there are 5 occurrences** of people being baptised in the Holy Spirit. In four of these it states that the people spoke in tongues and in the remaining one, Simon the sorcerer wants to pay money for the gift. It was so different that he saw great value in it, however he had previously seen miracles sand healings so it wasn’t that. It may have been tongues.

**Acts 2:4; (Acts 9:17 + 1Cor 14:18); Acts 8:15-19; Acts 10:46; Acts 19:6.


1. One study on the subject of speaking in tongues made the amazing discovery that the human brain’s language centre is inactive when subjects were speaking in tongues. This is in agreement with the bible’s teaching that when speaking in tongues the mind is unfruitful because it’s from the spirit of man that the language arises. (1 Cor 14:14)

Youtube video about the study – http://youtu.be/NZbQBajYnEc

2. Indeed, an earlier study in Britain of glossolalia (TONGUES) among the clergy found that those who sometimes spoke in tongues showed more emotional stability and less depression than a control group.


3. DR. Carl R. Peterson, M.D

Through research and testing Carl found out that as we pray in the Spirit, or worship in the Spirit, (our heavenly language) there is activity that begins to take place in our brain. As we engage in our heavenly language the brain releases 2 chemical secretions that are directed into our immune systems giving a 35 to 40 percent boost to the immune system. –


4. Dr. Caroline Leaf a spirit filled Christian neuro-scientist who has studied the inner workings of the brain is teaching that when you pray in the Spirit (tongues) your brain goes into the highest intellectual state possible.

I know for myself that when I pray in tongues lots of ideas and creative thoughts come to my mind. I am in a place of receptivity that makes it easy to remember all kinds of things that are important to my vision, goals and strategies. So as I pray in tongues I am writing down lots of really great ideas and thoughts that help me plan out my future goals. Pastor Peter Pilt of Nowra COC is probably known best for his amazing creativity in preaching and presenting at church. He reports that easily half of all his creative ideas come from a time of speaking in tongues. (http://peterpilt.org/2012/08/04/56-ways-to-inspire-creativity-in-any-area-of-your-life/)

Many people I meet have been prayed for to receive tongues and have not received it.

I feel for these people because often they feel like a failure. They feel like God has favourites and He gives that gift to some but not to all, and that maybe they are inferior in some way. Of those who have shared with me their story of how they got filled with the Holy Spirit, almost every time there was nothing happening at first, but they pressed in and got HUNGRY and kept on seeking God for that infilling and the overflow that comes with it. You see tongues is the overflow – it comes out of the innermost being and flows out of the mouth…(John 7:37-39)  And one must be thirsty at first in order to receive. You may be only half filled? Or maybe three quarters, keep on seeking God and be filled to overflowing; then the overflow will come and you will speak in tongues.

In our modern world – let’s be honest – aren’t we used to “instant everything”? But when it comes to receiving form God; it’s not a push button A, receive the Holy Spirit next. Instead, God works in us to see how hungry and thirsty are we really? Do we really want it more than our next breath? If you haven’t received yet, even though you have been prayed for, read this verse…

Luk 11:13  If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good gifts [gifts that are to their advantage] to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask and continue to ask Him! (AMP)

God wants to give you the gift. But you need to be thirsty and hungry first then press in and seek Him for it. Some might say, “Done all that – still no tongues!” But I challenge you to get serious with God and call on Him according to that verse just mentioned. Come on – have you fasted and prayed? Have you sought God till it hurts?


This wonderful gift is such a blessing and Oh So Needed!!  Paul thought it was so important he says, 1Co 14:18  I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. When we pray in tongues our spirit prays and our mind is unfruitful (1 Cor 14:14)

That’s important because Rom 8:26  Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. Rom 8:27  And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (ESV) You see praying in tongues means we are praying the perfect prayer and God hears and understands. The Holy Spirit is helping us and praying through us. That’s powerful. This is true intercession, God praying through me. When you pray in tongues, 1Co 14:4  He who speaks in a [strange] tongue edifies and improves himself, It edifies you and builds you up when you pray like that. Don’t we all need that? Look at this verse in the amplified… Eph 3:16  May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the [Holy] Spirit [Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality]. (AMP)

Living this spirit life is about us being in the Spirit, walking in the Spirit, being led by the Spirit, therefore we need to be filled over and over by the Spirit. This happens when we speak in tongues.

In the first sermon after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost Peter the apostle says, “This – what you see and hear, is the promise of the Father.” (Acts 2:33+39) What did they see and hear? They saw people reacting as if drunk and they heard speaking in other tongues. This promise Peter says is Act 2:39  For the promise [of the Holy Spirit] is to and for you and your children, and to and for all that are far away, [even] to and for as many as the Lord our God invites and bids to come to Himself. [Isa. 57:19; Joel 2:32.] That’s go to be you!! This promise is for you!!

So again let me answer these two questions

  1. Isn’t it true that only some people can speak in tongues? – It’s a gift.
  2. Why do I even need to speak in tongues?

I believe we can show here that speaking in tongues as a prayer language is for all who are afar off even as many as the God shall call. In my name they shall speak with new tongues. Also we need to speak in tongues because God designed it as a prayer language, so that we can pray powerfully and effectively with the Holy Spirit praying through us.


1. Please share your story about being filled with the Holy Spirit, did you speak in tongues yet? (Only share if you’re comfortable with that)

2. How should we answer the objection that tongues sounds like gibberish?

3. Do you get put off speaking in tongues because you don’t see value in it? Why?

4. What are the benefits of praying in tongues?

5. Why do you think God made it so that we needed to press in to get it – to be hungry and wait on Him seriously before we could obtain the baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues?

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Preaching message for Plenty Valley Church Sunday 21st April 2013

Ps John Matthews.

You’re are full of it – The Holy Spirit



Why we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit – To be a witness

Pastor Craig talked about The person of the Holy Spirit


Pastor Craig talked about what happens when we are born again, how we become  a new person, Regeneration takes place our spirits are made anew. What happens when we are born again is a new life beginning, later we need to receive the POWER of the Holy Spirit for witness. There is two steps.

Week 3  (today) Allowing the Holy Spirit to work in our lives, Living with the power.

My baptism story

I was 16 and going to a church youth group, I had asked Jesus into my life about six month earlier. We call that being born again. The leader at the time was talking about being filled with the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues;

That got me really interested, I had heard other people talking in tongues (a languish that was not their natural one),  I had wondered what that was about. The leader talked about having a languish that talked straight to God.

I said to myself I want that, after the leader had finished talking he invited anyone who wanted the be filled with the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues to come and get prayed for, The Bible says how they laid hands on them to receive the Holy Spirit (Act 8:17)

So I got prayed for, as he was praying for me I tried so hard to speak in tongues

For I believe I was filled with the Holy Spirit, but I did not speak in tongues.

I walked away a bit disappointed, it did not however stop me from having a relationship with God. It was about two week later when I was praying in my bed room just telling Jesus how much I loved him, music turned up getting lost in His presents,  that a different sound came out of my mouth, it surprised me that I stopped. I realised that I had tried so hard to make tongues work, I wasn’t until I let go of trying that I made room for the Holy Spirit to do His work in me.

Living in the power of the Holy Spirit

 Act 1:8  But you shall receive power, when the Holy Spirit come on you. And you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

Power means strength,

For what you may ask?  I believe there are two reasons.

1.   To live our life to the fullest

(a) When life throws curve ball at you.

i.      Strength

ii.      Might

iii.     Power

iv.      Over comer

My story of the Holy Spirit pouring himself over me in a time of need.

Sitting in my office feeling very overwhelmed with life, needing the power of the Holy Spirit to bring a peace , strength and to revitalize me.


  • Wisdom and understanding, Gift of God, Spirit of life, Speaks, Guides
  • Teacher, Helps in our weakness, Comforter

2.    To be a great witness to the world

Does the world know there is something different about you

i.      A peace

ii.      A strength

iii.      Knowing who you are

(a) Jesus living in us, forgiven set free

We have been talking about how you are full of it  –  The HOLY SPIRIT.

Having the power of the Holy Spirit and not utilizing it is like having Bill Gates as your father, having all that he has at your disposal and you living as a pauper on the street without a place to stay .

God has created us for this purpose to tell the world about Jesus, We cannot effectively do that without the help of Holy Spirit.

To get our head in the game, our thinking right (Pressure of the word)

Power to share the good news, Wisdom, Guidance

Look at this verse with me… Act 1:8  But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth.

You are the answer to this world; let’s step into the fullness of God using the Gifts of the Holy Spirit to help this hurting world


1. How would you describe living a supernatural life with the Holy Spirit living inside you?

2. What are some of the ways the Holy Spirit can assist you as a Christian believer.

3. When you feel overwhelmed, how can you relate to the Holy Spirit in your moment of need?

4. Explain how you can be the answer in this world to people all around us through the power of the Holy Spirit.

5. Read Acts 1:8 all together –  what is God saying to you in this verse?

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