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What about the fruit of the Spirit?

Submitted: 11/15/2012
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Question: Hello, thanks for your response and I appreciate the effort you guys put forth to do God's work. You said tongues is the only way to know if someone has received the Holy Spirit. We agree that you must receive the Spirit in order to be saved, but the Bible states clearly the way that you will know who is truly saved (who has the Spirit). Matt 7:16 and 7:20. These fruits are the fruits of the Spirit. They are the acid test given by the Bible to identify true Christians, because they can't be faked to any real degree. It's against our fallen nature to have patience and meekness. Only the Spirit of God can manifest these in our lives. I bring this to your attention for this reason. Firstly, when I was baptized, I felt a surge of comforting energy wash over me and when I came out of the water, I couldn't stop laughing. I was filled with joy, because I was filled with the Holy Spirit. I didn't start speaking in a strange tongue, but I did feel like my face was glowing. I can assure you, if I had been lead to start doing backflips and singing praises in another language, I would have, but all I could do was laugh, and cry tears of joy. I know that doesn't happen to everyone when they are baptized, but it happened to me. Your assessment, however, is that I was not filled with or baptized in the Spirit, because i didn't start uttering strange sounds, I tell you friend, that I was, and I didn't quench the Spirit for fear of what others may think, I don't bother with men's oppinion, only God's. When Jesus received the Spirit in a physical way at His baptism, He didn't utter sounds. The next reason, is this. I have friends that attend a pentecostal church, and my family and I have visited it a few times with them. The sundays that we went, our friends would get up start saying strange 'words' over and over, and I noticed that everyone at that church, basically sounded very similar in thier 'prayer language', as if they all spoke the same dialect of utterance. Not ones own special language, but slight variations of the same rolling 'R's' and hard 'L's'.Nxt as soon as service would end, the wife would hurry outside to take alternating turns puffing on her breathing machine , to her newport 100. Then when my wife would talk with her, she would have bad things to say about her husband, like he won't quit smoking weed, even though he knows she is having trouble breathing, and how they constantly argue in front of the kids. Keep in mind, just a few hours before, they were ' filled with the Holy Ghost', and the entire church was yelling and moaning, but no one had discernment that this dude is getting blazed before Jesus is praised and all he ever asks me is have i been baptized in the Holy Ghost, not what has God delivered you from, or what has God revealed to you, or even let me share what God has shown me, just that I haven't received the Holy Spirit, because I don't speak in tongues like him and his wife and his church. I'm not judging them, but as someone that wants to understand this and other things of God, this church has let me down. And honestly, I don't think that they are the exception, but the example. Having said all that, I'm a little long winded, have you concidered the fruits of the Spirit as proof of the in-dwelling Holy Spirit?

Answer: We agree that the fruit of the Spirit is another evidence that a person has received the gift of the Spirit. But all through the book of Acts, when people received the Spirit, it mentions them speaking in tongues; it never mentions the fruit of the Spirit. This is why we say that speaking in tongues is the 'initial evidence,' but certainly not the only evidence.

I am concerned that because of what you have observed at this local church, your ideas about speaking in tongues have become jaded. You don't seem to be able to appreciate the points I am making. Instead, you have convinced yourself that you have the Spirit in spite of the absence of the one manifestation we read about in the Bible: speaking in tongues. This is a form of self-deception. Please don't be insulted by this analysis. Anyone of us can be deceived, especially when we are absolutely convinced we are right, regardless of what the Scriptures say. I encourage you to continue you to seek for the gift of the Spirit, keeping in mind that you may have experienced the moving of the Spirit but not received the gift. You must admit that this could be possible. Also, please do not judge all apostolic churches by your experience at a few. Just because there are some fakes out there does not mean all are fake.