Is it essential to speak in tongues when receiving Baptism with the Holy Spirit?

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit, or with the Holy Spirit, has only one purpose: To be God’s witnesses on earth. The biblical basis is found in Jesus’ last instructions to his disciples before ascending to heaven.

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Acts 1:8

If we look at it, the text is clear in establishing the relationship between the Baptism with the Holy Spirit and the witness to the world of God given by his people. Notice the relationship: ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost, which in the same text is defined as “promise of the Father” (Acts 1:4), and just then concludes: and ye shall be witnesses unto me. The Baptism with the Holy Spirit has as its only purpose to be God’s witness on earth.

But this statement of Jesus was not really a statement coined by Him at that precise moment, it was a statement referring to God’s decision to dwell among His people, described in the Law of Moses:

And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. Exodus 25:8

And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God. Exodus 29:45

This decision of God, from David onward, was confirmed to each of the kings of both Israel and Judah,

12Concerning this house which thou art in building, if thou wilt walk in my statutes, and execute my judgments, and keep all my commandments to walk in them; then will I perform my word with thee, which I spake unto David thy father: 13and I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake my people Israel. 14So Solomon built the house, and finished it. 1 Kings 6:12-14

The prophets years later, because of the apostasy of the people, established prophetically in each of their Writings that there would come a time when the Lord would dwell among His people in a more intense way,

but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. Jeremiah 31:33

27And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. 28And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. 29 I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. Ezekiel 36:27-29

In this context, ye shall be my people, it means “to be God’s witnesses” to all the nations of the earth, as was the case with Solomon in his time, when many people came before him to “see and hear” Solomon’s wisdom,

And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom. 1 Kings 4:34

So, returning to the theme of Baptism with the Holy Spirit, Baptism is not an isolated act; Baptism is the spiritual empowerment by the recognition of the Lordship of Jesus, not only to be transformed into chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, but much more, to BE WITNESS BEFORE THE WORLD of the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light (1st. Peter 2:9)

Unfortunately, the religious and philosophical concepts that infiltrated the church and that have been preached as doctrine (what an abomination!), have given it a “miraculous” value as if it were something extraordinary and additional to salvation and to the Gospel, which requires extraordinary requirements to be able to receive it.

The “speaking in tongues ” was the testimony for an unbelieving people, according to the prophetic writings,

10For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: 11for with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. 12To whom he said,
This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. Isaiah 28:10-12

If we review the cases where it appears the Baptism with the Holy Spirit and the “speaking in tongues”, we will see that by that act, speaking in tongues, the apostles determined that those in whom that action was manifested were because they had believed in Jesus; speaking in tongues is in accordance with faith in Jesus, as evidence that those who “spoke in other tongues” had believed in Jesus. Jesus proposed it as a “sign” of faith in his name,

And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; Mark 16:17

This text is poorly written by Bible translators, the punctuation marks are misplaced; it must be read:

And these signs shall follow them that believe in my name, shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; Mark 16:17

In the Acts of the Apostles, we read that “speaking in tongues” was reliable proof that the disciples were speaking because the Lord had baptized them with His Holy Spirit,

7And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilæans? 8And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 9Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Acts 2:7-9

Remember that at the beginning of this manifestation, the unbelievers claimed that they, the disciples, were “drunk” (Acts 2:13-15).

In the case of Cornelius’ conversion, if Cornelius and his household had not received the Holy Spirit and spoken in other tongues as evidence of it, Peter and his companions, who were all Orthodox Jews, would never have allowed Cornelius to embrace the faith, nor to be baptized in water,

44While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. 45And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. 46For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, 47Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? Acts 10:44-47

And so, in every case, the “speaking in tongues” was the sign that those who did it were because they had “believed” in Jesus; speaking in tongues became the evident proof of their faith in Jesus. It is worth noting here, however, that the writer of Acts of the Apostles always adds in his accounts an additional explanation, that they spoke in tongues, and heard them magnify God; for example, in the case of the Baptism of the apostles: Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God (Acts 2:11). In the case of Cornelius’ conversion: For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God (Acts 10:46). In the case of the disciples of Ephesus whom Paul rebaptized: And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied (Acts 19:6).

What is the point of the writer adding this explanatory note if “speaking in tongues” is in itself a sign of conversion? The answer is simple, “speaking in tongues” was for the testimony of unbelievers, but as soon as the sign was confirmed that it was a legitimate conversion, the newly converted returned to speak in their original language, and to magnify God by their faith in Jesus. Paul years later would have to explain that tongues should no longer be the proof of the legitimacy of the new converts’ faith in Jesus,

Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. 1st. Corinthians 12:3

The Baptism with the Holy Spirit is not accompanied by “speaking in tongues”, it was the demonstration that the act was a divine action on those who had believed, but we must judge no more than it is the evidence that a child of faith has been baptized with the Holy Spirit; the apostle Paul classified it as a sign for unbelievers,

Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe. 1st. Corinthians 14:22

Tongues remain in force, yes, but manifested as a gift of the Spirit,

to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 1st. Corinthians 12:10

And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. 1st. Corinthians 12:28

have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? 1st. Corinthians 12:30

As far as we are concerned, WE SHOULD NOT establish the religious dogma that the Baptism with the Holy Spirit is accompanied by “speaking in tongues”, for not only would we be adding to an apostate and heretical doctrine, but we would also be “forcing” the congregation to lie, as has happened, because people begin to babble meaningless expressions without spiritual value, because they are forced to do so, because unfortunately those who “do not speak in tongues” have been classified as “second class” believers.

The processes for imparting the Baptism of the Holy Spirit are still in place, and should be applied in the same way as we read in the New Testament, but not necessarily expecting to see “tongues” as evidence that the person received the Baptism with the Holy Spirit; the testimony that the person received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit will be seen in the “testimony” of his faith before the community in which he moves.

The prophet stated that the work of the Spirit is to “speak with meaning” about the wonders of the Lord,

3And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken. The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammers shall be ready to speak plainly. The vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful. Isaiah 32:3-5

The apostle Paul also established it as sound doctrine, that it is better to speak one word with meaning, for edification, than a thousand that produce no edification at all,

yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue. 1st. Corinthians 14:19

For the edification of the saints in Jesus.





All biblical quotations are taken from the King James Version.


Pastor Pedro Montoya

Twitter: @pastormontoya

The Doctrine of Baptisms

Therefore leaving the word of the beginning of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. Hebrew 6:1

According to the text of chapter six of the Epistle of Hebrews, the correct theme of this doctrine is, the doctrine of baptisms, in plural, and not in singular, as if it were making reference to water baptism, or baptism in the Holy Spirit.

And it is that, indeed, in the doctrine of the apostles is contained the existence of several baptisms, some still in force, of which it is necessary to know about their use.

The first baptism of which we are aware is the Baptism of John;

And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. Luke 7:29

This baptism is by immersion in water, and was also known as baptism of repentance,

Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. Acts 19:4

Its main characteristic was that those who came to John to be baptized by him, before being submerged, each in turn publicly confessed their sins. This baptism is no longer in force.

And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. Mathew 3:6

The next baptism that follows John’s is water baptism, also known as the baptism of Jesus, or baptism in the name of Jesus,

(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Acts 8:16

When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Acts 19:5

This is the baptism that we all know, which is still in force, and which the reader can study in detail in the section: What is water baptism?

Then, the third baptism that arises is the Baptism with the Holy Spirit; it arises precisely on the same day as the Solemn Feast of Shavuot (Pentecost).

For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. Acts 1:5

It is a spiritual baptism operated by the direct intervention of the Holy Spirit, as we observe in the cases of the baptism of the apostles on the day of the celebration of Shavuot (Pentecost),[1] and in the case of Cornelius and his house when the apostle Peter visited them.[2] On other occasions there is an indirect intervention of a minister, as we observe in the case of the apostles who traveled to Samaria and prayed for their converts under the ministry of Philip,[3] and the case of the apostle Paul who prayed for the converts of Ephesus.[4]

Baptism with the Holy Spirit means the immersion of the person in the Holy Spirit. Since “baptism” means “immersion in”, the person who is baptized with the Holy Spirit is immersed within the Holy Spirit, of course, in a spiritual operation. Baptism with the Holy Spirit should not be confused with the “fullness” of the Spirit.

The baptism with the Holy Spirit is once in a lifetime, henceforth similar processes are known as the “fullness” of the Holy Spirit. We have a clear example with the case of the apostles; in chapter 2 of the book of Acts of the Apostles we read about their baptism with the Holy Spirit,

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Acts 2:1-4

Whereas, in chapter four, we read about one of the many times they were filled with the Holy Spirit. It is not to be confused although both events may be similar.

And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. Acts 4:31

This baptism is operated by Jesus himself who introduces the person into the bosom of the Holy Spirit; as we have already pointed out, it is a spiritual baptism accompanied in many cases with the impartation of tongues. This baptism is still in force.

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Mathew 3:11

Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. Acts 11:16

When there is indirect intervention of a minister, the baptism with the Holy Spirit is imparted with the laying on of hands,

Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. Acts 8:17

The fourth baptism referred to in the Bible is Baptism in the body of Christ,

Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Romans 6:3-4

Like the baptism with the Holy Spirit, this baptism is also a spiritual baptism; it is the baptism of the New Birth, of which Jesus referred to Nicodemus the night he visited him. Jesus referred to this baptism as being born of the Spirit.

That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. John 3:6-8

This baptism means immersion in the body of Jesus; it is not a simile, it is an operation of the Holy Spirit on the person in the process of the new birth, so that it is executed on the person, as the apostle Paul expresses, the body of sin die and rise in newness of life according to the image of Jesus.

This baptism is still in force, and is operated by the Holy Spirit who introduces the person into the body of Christ. The evidences of this baptism are seen in the transformation of the sinful nature of the person.

If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Ephesians 4:21-24

The person walks in newness of life, and no longer belongs to himself; according to the teaching given by the apostle Paul, the person is hidden within the body of Christ,

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

It is precisely because of this kind of baptism that the apostolic teaching emphasized that all the born-again in turn form the body of Christ.

And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. Ephesians 1:22-23

Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 1st. Corinthians 12:27

In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Colossians 2:11

The fifth baptism presented in the Bible, and it was Jesus himself who presented it, is Baptism in fire.

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Matthew 3:11 (Luke 3:16)

This baptism is identified by Pentecostalism as the same baptism with the Holy Spirit. However, John was not referring to the same baptism, but to two different baptisms: baptism with the Holy Spirit, and baptism with fire.

Baptism in or with fire is a trial baptism.

That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 1st. Peter 1:7

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 1st. Peter 4:12

It is a baptism operated by Jesus Himself, according to the instruction of John the Baptist: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire (Matthew 3:11). It is a baptism, of which even in the Law we find reference,

Everything that may abide the fire, ye shall make it go through the fire, and it shall be clean: nevertheless it shall be purified with the water of separation: and all that abideth not the fire ye shall make go through the water. Numbers 31.23

It is a baptism that is still in force, and can be repeated so many times in the life of the person, particularly whenever the person allows, tolerates, and shares with apostasy and/or doctrines that present life in Christ as a life of personal gain,

Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 1st. Corinthians 3:13

Finally, the sixth baptism that the Bible presents is a historical baptism, presented by the apostle Paul as Baptism in the cloud and in the sea,

And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 1st. Corinthians 10:2

It is an exclusive baptism for the people of Israel; it is a baptism of divine provision and salvation. It is a baptism of deliverance, which is still in force and has been, and will be, available to every generation of the children of Israel.

The doctrine of baptism was an important doctrine for the apostolic church of the first century, the evidence is found in the reference that the writer of the Epistle of Hebrews makes of it.

And this demonstrates that for the apostles and early believers, baptism was not simply a religious rite, or something similar, but part of the doctrine of the salvation of the Gospel of the Kingdom.

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. Mark 16:16


All biblical quotations are taken from the King James Version.

Pastor Pedro Montoya

Twitter: @pastormontoya

[1] Acts 2:1-4

[2] Idem 10:44-46

[3] Idem 8:15

[4] Idem 19:6