The Initial Evidence of the Baptism in the Spirit

When a believer is baptized in the Holy Spirit, the initial evidence of his experience will be that he speaks in a new language, what Scripture refers to as “new tongues” or “other tongues.” Numerous scriptures support this fact. Let us consider them.

First, during the final moments before to His ascension, Jesus said that one of the signs that would follow believers is that they would speak in new tongues:

Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues (Mark 16:15-17, emphasis added).

Some commentators claim these verses should not be in our Bible because certain ancient manuscripts of the New Testament don’t include them. Many of the ancient manuscripts, however, do include them, and none of the many English translations I’ve read omit them. Beyond that, what Jesus said in these verses correlates perfectly with the experience of the early church as recorded in the book of Acts.

There are five examples in the book of Acts of believers being initially baptized in the Holy Spirit. Let’s consider all five, and as we do, we will continually ask two questions: (1) Was the baptism in the Holy Spirit an experience subsequent to salvation? and (2) Did the recipients speak in new tongues? This will help us to understand God’s will for believers today.