Tuesday, May 24, 2011

When Jesus was Baptized with the Spirit, did He speak in Tongues?

Did Jesus Speak in Tongues?

By Abraham Israel

Jesus was actually Baptized in the water by John the Baptist for us all and then immediately as He prayed, he was actually filled with the Spirit or in other words was Baptized with the Spirit for ministry (Matt 3:15-17; Luke 3:21-22; Acts 1:4-5, 8; 2:1-4). The first great Church Historian Luke says like this, "21 When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. 22 And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.” 23 Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age....." (Luke 3:21-23). The above verses explicitly shows that Jesus started his ministry on earth only after receiving the "upon anointing" of the gift of the Holy Spirit. How do we know it for sure? Because in the very next Chapter Luke says, "Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness." (Luke 4:1). If Jesus is the model for all of us in the New Testament, then he must have been the first model for receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit which is also called as the Baptism with the Holy Spirit, along with the external evidence of speaking in tongues. But we do not see all the apostolic writers refer to Jesus explicitly as having spoken in tongues but there are enough implicit evidence in the New Testament that shows that he must have spoken in tongues. I believe why the apostles did not emphasize Jesus speaking in tongues is because he did receive the gift of the Holy Spirit as the first representative of man before God, and as appointed by God the Father only on the day of the Pentecost all men were appointed to get it freely through Jesus from the Father in heaven (1 Cor 15:45, 47; 1 Tim 2:5; Acts 1:4-5, 7-8; 2:1-4).

It is inevitable that a person who is baptized in the Spirit not to speak in tongues. John the Baptist himself said,
"I indeed baptize you with water ....But He (Jesus) will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire."(Matt 3:11). What fire he is speaking about, he is speaking about the "...divided tongues [or tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each], as of fire." (Acts 2:3). If Jesus Himself did not receive the fire of speaking in the supernatural prayer language of tongues while he was Baptized with the Holy Spirit, how could John the Baptist promise all of God's people that He will baptize them all with the Holy Spirit and Fire (Matt 3:11; Luke 3:16)? This is just a preliminary food for thought.

If God's purpose for giving the gift of the Holy Spirit to a person is to make him a witness through the power of the Holy Spirit, which gets stirred up through the personal intimate prayer language that a person receives along with the Holy Spirit Baptism, then Jesus must have got it for the same reason we get and with the same tongue manifestation that we experience. The Bible clearly says that He was
“tempted in all things as we are” (Heb. 4:15), so that he could understand and sympathize with our weaknesses of not knowing what to pray for (Heb 4:15; Rom 8:26). If this was true with Jesus, then He must have received the personal prayer language of tongues to pray to God by faith in the will of God. He must have been as weak as we are to understand the will of God and execute it in His life except through a personal intimate prayer language of tongues (Heb 5:7-8).

We see in the life of Jesus when He received the Holy Spirit Baptism, He was led up by the Spirit in to the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. There in the wilderness he fasted for forty days and forty nights, we could not see such fasting prayer even once before in Jesus' 30 years of earthly life. This shows that he could not have prayed for forty days and be in close communion with His Heavenly Father without the personal prayer language of tongues which he must have received during the time of the Holy Spirit Baptism
(Matt 4:1-2; 1 Cor 14:2, 4). When he came out of the temptation in the wilderness victoriously, "Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit" (Luke 4:14, a). All these things implicitly points to one thing, Jesus must have been the first person in the whole of New Testament to inaugurate and pray in the supernatural personal prayer language of tongues in intimacy with God. This is the also the reason Jesus preferred to be alone in the outdoors so that he could have unbroken communion and times of intimacy with God (Luke 9:18; 5:16; Matt 14:23; Mark 6:46; John 6:15). Even though Jesus would take his disciples with him, when he prayed to the Father, he went a little bit further from them to have intimate communion with the Father God (Mark 14:32-42). The disciples never understood how Jesus prayed supernaturally to His Father after being with him for a couple of years, then finally they asked Him to teach them how to pray just as John taught his disciples to pray (Luke 11:1). The main thing was that he could never teach them to pray in tongues, like a person can naturally teach prayer of understanding becuase it is the supernatural work of God done through Him. So he told them to ask for the gift of the Holy Spirit or Baptism in the Holy Spirit from the Father in order to pray like He himself prayed to the Father (Luke 11:9-13). But he also taught them a prayer of understanding like John the Baptist did to his disciples, in order to align them to the will of God so that they could receive the gift of the Holy Spirit without any fear or any inhibition of getting a counterfeit (Luke 11:2-4). And then He also explained to them to ask persistently for the gift of the Holy Spirit to be given to them with the power of the Holy Spirit to feed other souls, through this small parable of "a friend coming at midnight" Jesus assured that the Father is ready to give to them the gift of the Holy Spirit if they just keep on asking Him persistently with their whole heart, then Jesus reassured them several times before His death and after His resurrection saying that they for the first time will all receive Baptism with the Holy Spirit with the external evidence of speaking in tongues at the God appointed day of Pentecost as already promised by the Father (Luke 11:5-8; John 7:37, 38-39; 16:7; 14:26; 15:26; Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8, 13, 14; 2:1-2, 3-4, 33, 38-39).

So now let us see in details whether the Scripture that we have referred above really speaks about the gift of the Holy Spirit and the accompanying tongues that God gives as a personal supernatural prayer language along with it. The disciples were very eager to know the secret of Jesus' prayer and His power. Some of the disciples who were with John before joining Jesus were taught methods to pray to God by John the Baptist. So when they saw Jesus praying continuously, when ever He had time He spoke in tongues and they too wanted it. You may ask how do you know? In
Luke 11:1, Jesus was praying in a particular place, When He ceased [When something that is flowing suddenly stops, it is known as ceasing], the curious disciples did not understand a bit of the prayer that Jesus prayed, so they asked Him to teach them how to pray like Him (Luke 11:1). The same word 'cease' is used by Paul in the New Testament for stopping from continuously praying in tongues in 1 Cor 13:8 and 1 Thessalonians 5:17.

The Greek word used here is '
pauo'. For the word cease can be translated as leave or refrain. This word "he ceased" in Luke 11:1 is the same word that is used in 1 Cor 13:8 that says tongue will cease. And it is also the same word that is used to indicate prayer of thanksgiving in Ephesians 1:16. And again Paul says in 1 Corinthians 14:15-17, "when you pray in tongues you give thanks well", which strongly indicates that Jesus prayed in tongues.

The question is how can we pray with out ceasing?

For this Paul himself gave the answer by saying,
"I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all."(1 Cor14:18). Jesus taught the disciples the model prayer and it contains the answer for their question, "...Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, Give us this day our daily bread [i.e. revelation] (Matt 4:14; John 4:31-34), and forgive us our sins as we forgive everyone who is indebted to us, and do not lead us in to temptation, but deliver us from the Evil one."

Paul himself wrote in the book of
Romans 8:26, "Likewise the Spirit also helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, But the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered [spoken in expressible words]."

The above words prove that groaning in itself is a type of tongues because only the Spirit of God can make such intercession through us. And the next verse in Romans 8:27 speaks about the Holy Spirit [interceding] praying according to the will of God. Jesus also at the end of this conversation about prayer, He ends the conversation by saying in Luke11:13, "...how much more will your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!." For what? For praying persistently or unceasingly (Luke 11:8). Here He clearly instructs the disciples, If God's will needs to be done on earth as it is in Heaven, then they need the Holy Ghost to pray through them.

The next question is, Did Jesus groan in the Spirit? Yes, "..He [Jesus] groaned in the Spirit and was troubled."(John11:33).This shows that He spoke in tongues. Jesus " Who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplication, with vehement cries [i.e. tongues] and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear [(Proverb 8:13; Psalms 97:10)]."(Hebrews 5:7).

Jesus Himself have clearly told the secret to praying such powerful prayer like Himself who prayed in tongues, by telling them [the disciples] to ask the Father for the good gifts of the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13). Jesus promised the same gift to them later and He told His disciples to wait for "The Promise of the Father..." and He also calls it as "...baptized with the Holy Spirit...." (Acts 1:4,5). He even refers to this Promise as that which "you have heard from Me." This confirms that Jesus had already promised this particular gift of the Holy Spirit to his disciples even before He died on the Cross of Calvary (John 16:7, 12-14; 14:14-18, 26; 15:26-27; Acts 1:4-5, 8; 11:15-16). Jesus also promised His disciples and said, "And these signs will follow those who believe; In my Name they will speak with new tongues."(Mark16:17).

These information's He gave to the 11 disciples privately because they were seeking Jesus on how to pray and walk in the power in which Jesus Himself walked. How can Jesus tell them or make them understand [if they had not seen Jesus speak in tongues?], that they will also speak in tongues if they believe. When Peter started speaking in tongues, he was not at all surprised by this phenomenon, but he explained it clearly to others what was happening. If Peter was taken by surprise when he spoke in tongues, how could he have explained it to others, If he had not seen Jesus speak like that and if they did not seek for what Jesus had (Acts2:14-17).

Also when the Pharisees asked Jesus when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, "For indeed the kingdom of God is within you."(Luke 17:21). Paul said in Romans 14:17, "For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."

Comparing the above two verses it clearly shows that the kingdom of God is the extension of God's rule from heaven in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. This shows that when Jesus instructed the disciples about prayer, when He said them to ask the Father, "Thy kingdom come...", In other words Jesus was telling them to ask the Father to send the Holy Spirit to come in to them so that they can start praying perfectly according to the will of God in tongues, as Jesus Himself was praying (Luke 11:2). In Luke 22:44, Jesus being in agony, He prayed more earnestly [i.e. more intently]. Being in agony is to feel weak. So only in the verse before this verse in v43, "an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him.". These types of prayers are Holy Ghost inspired prayers.

Jesus himself says in Matthew 5:19, "Whoever does and teaches ....he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.". According to this verse He himself challenges that those who teach others should themselves do what they teach others. If He himself did not pray in tongues, Why should He promise the 11 disciples, personally meeting them, He rebuked their unbelief and promised, "And these signs will follow those who believe; In my Name they [i.e. you] will speak in new tongues."(Mark 16:17). If the disciples did not seek to pray in this supernatural prayer language, Why should Jesus meet them personally and promise them that they will also speak in tongues if they believe. This shows clearly that Jesus have spoken in tongues and the disciples have seen it and were desirous to receive it in their lives. Thus Jesus finally promised to them that they too will speak like Him in tongues if they believe.

We must also understand this is a sign tongues [i.e. Gift of speaking in new tongues to men whose language we do not understand] (1Cor 14:22; Acts 2:11). My question is, if God wants other men to hear the marvelous works of God through His sons and daughters, how much more will He be desperate to hear His sons and daughters speak the wondrous mysteries of His plan to Him, so that He will answer them? (1 Cor 14:2 ; 2:11-12). Praise the Lord!


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