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Why don't we believe IE anymore? Why the change?
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Post Why don't we believe IE anymore? Why the change? War Eagle
Didn't want to hijack the survey thread.

Why don't we believe in the tongues as the initial evidence anymore? While there is no direct scripture that specifically says it, there is at least enough ample evidence that it occurred on a consistent basis upon someone receiving the baptism?

There's probably more evidence of the IE doctrine than the pre-trib doctrine or mid-trib doctrine. Granted these ideas aren't in our declaration of faith but they are equally a strong part of our belief system.

I guess I'm trying to figure out why the change. Doyle made a good point that for years the COG was known by this doctrine. Now we want to disregard it? Is our reasoning because other Pentecostal denominations have done so and therefore we may be losing people to them? If so, shame on us for compromising. That's what it is right? Is our rationale because it makes our people feel better about not speaking in tongues? If so, shame on us again for not promoting this wonderful experience.

On what basis do we now find that tongues doesn't show the initial evidence that a person has been baptized in the Spirit? The reality is that by the indwelling of the Spirit in a saved person, (John 20) the Spirit will do exactly as Jesus said He would. Jesus said the Holy Spirit would teach us, guide us, and lead us. That is to say by virtue of listening to the Spirit, a saved person will have levels of discernment, the ability to encourage themselves and others, wisdom, and even be able to see into the prophetic realm to some degree. Why? Because the Spirit lives in them and according to Jesus it's the job of the Holy Spirit to do such in our lives.

I've always looked at the baptism of the Holy Spirit separately, not because I was raised that way, but because structurally speaking, it makes perfect sense to me.
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1/28/11 8:21 am


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Post Quiet Wyatt
I'm pretty sure the majority of CoG preachers probably still hold to it. If not, it would probably come up for debate in the GC or GA. Acts-perienced Poster
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1/28/11 8:36 am


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Post Mighty Army
Quote:
While there is no direct scripture that specifically says it,


That statement alone means you have nothing but speculation and assumption. It is not that people want to rebel, it is that for so many years, there have been people that lived a life with the Fruit of the Spirit evident in their lives, to the point that it should be enough evidence that they were filled with the Spirit. This while others would live with very little evidence of the Holy Spirit except they said a few words in tongues one time. That is enough to allow them to hold office in a COG while the other person could not.

Again, it is not to rebel but to seek the truth. People should not be ridiculed for seeking truth.
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1/28/11 8:50 am


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Post Simple reason is Mark Ledbetter
because of lack of sound doctrine and an authoritative voice. As long as we are "free" to interpret the passages as we "see" them, then there can be no definitive answer.

A major hindrance is a failure to separate the purpose and dynamic between two important issues:

The Initial evidence as described in Acts is not the same as the Gift of Tongues found in 1 Cor 12 & 14. They are different in purpose and are not synonymous.

The "Baptism" and the "Fruit" serve two different purposes and should not be pitted against each other. One is to enter into a relationship with the Holy Spirit and to be equipped accordingly, while the Fruit bears character as one "walks" in the Spirit. What is needed is both.
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1/28/11 8:59 am


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Post War Eagle
I would agree with you Mark.

For me though, there has always been an understood distinction between the gift of tongues and the baptism in tongues.

I do speak in tongues, but I wouldn't necessarily say I have the gift of tongues. Does that make sense? I've always interpretted the gift of tongues to be the ability to give out messages in tongues to someone or to a congregation. No I don't mean Bro. So&So who just gets excited and gets loud. I've always looked at the baptism in tongues as a prayer language such as Paul described in Romans 8. To me that's the distinction.
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1/28/11 9:06 am


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Post War Eagle
Mighty Army,

There are also no scriptures specifially saying rapture either or trinity. These are things that we derived based on a collection of scriptures that seem to indicate they exist.

Why aren't these doctrines being considered along with IE?
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1/28/11 9:07 am


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Post IMHO (Didn't Mean to Hi-jack the other thread) mytwocents
My thoughts of changing from "the" initial evidence to "an" initial evidence has nothing to do with upsetting folks. It has to do with rightfully dividing scripture.

I know that in four of the five records in Acts, when the Holy Spirit fell on the church that it is recorded they spoke in tongues. And I know in the fifth incident that something visible occurred such that those present knew the Holy Spirit had been given. But these incidents are ALL IN A CHURCH CORPORATE SETTING!

Individually we have recorded in scripture incidents where people were filled with the Spirit and there is NO record that they spoke in tongues.
-The Apostle Paul, when he was prayed for to be healed of his blindness. Yes, we know he will speak in tongues, but there is no record that it occurred at his initial filling.
-John the Baptist, who was filled with the Spirit in His mother's womb. Our doctrine would decree that in his mother's womb he spoke in tongues.

How can we tell our people individually you have to speak in tongues to be filled with the Spirit when both John and Paul were said to be filled without speaking in tongues? We can say the Spirit filled church will be a church marked by speaking in tongues, but we lack scriptural authority to say that for every individual.

Loran, who I think chairs the Council of 18, preached a sermon in January where he said, citing the John the Baptist example, that we cannot say you have to speak in tongues to be filled with the Spirit.

Now, along with this I offer life experiences. I have heard people speak in tongues who bore no fruit in their lives, were in no way Christlike. Consider Jimmy Swaggert who in the middle of living a double life was regularly heard to speak in tongues.

Then I have met people who never claimed to speak in tongues whose lives were living testimonies to divine empowerment, with evidence much larger than tongues.

Don't get me wrong, I believe in tongues, I am glad I speak in tongues more than all of you, but I am at a point that I'll take FIVE INTELLIGENT WORDS ANYDAY!
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1/28/11 9:54 am


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Post Mighty Army
War Eagle wrote:
Mighty Army,

There are also no scriptures specifially saying rapture either or trinity. These are things that we derived based on a collection of scriptures that seem to indicate they exist.

Why aren't these doctrines being considered along with IE?


Have you not heard of the pre-trib, post-trib discussions? Have you not heard the trinity discussions? They exist as well. The reason they do is that there are no specific scriptures. Of course, there are people who believe they have the light on these subjects and would reject any discussion. In fact, they may bring heresy charges against you for simply discussing it.

We could talk about LOTS of subjects that the scriptures are not totally clear, but for now, the discussion is concerning IE, so let's stay on topic.
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1/28/11 10:01 am


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Post Quiet Wyatt
While it is true in Acts 8 and in Acts 9 it doesn't say the recipients of the baptism spoke in tongues, it is just as true it doesn't say they didn't. In Acts 8 the experience had to be accompanied by something pretty significant and plainly evident, for there had already been many miracles occurring there prior to the apostles coming down from Jerusalem, so much so the sorcerer wanted to purchase the power with money.

Also, Paul said in 1 Corinthians "I would that ye all spake with tongues," so he evidently saw speaking in tongues as a very important gift, despite the fact that the gift of prophecy is even better.
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1/28/11 10:07 am


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Post Mighty Army
He also said:

19 howbeit in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that I might instruct others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue
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1/28/11 10:29 am


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Post Quiet Wyatt
Yes I am certainly aware he did. I don't see a contradiction though. It shouldn't be either/or but both/and, and that is precisely what we find Paul teaches concerning tongues vs. prophecy in 1 Cor 14. Acts-perienced Poster
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1/28/11 10:39 am


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Post Re: IMHO (Didn't Mean to Hi-jack the other thread) War Eagle
mytwocents wrote:
My thoughts of changing from "the" initial evidence to "an" initial evidence has nothing to do with upsetting folks. It has to do with rightfully dividing scripture.

I know that in four of the five records in Acts, when the Holy Spirit fell on the church that it is recorded they spoke in tongues. And I know in the fifth incident that something visible occurred such that those present knew the Holy Spirit had been given. But these incidents are ALL IN A CHURCH CORPORATE SETTING!

Individually we have recorded in scripture incidents where people were filled with the Spirit and there is NO record that they spoke in tongues.
-The Apostle Paul, when he was prayed for to be healed of his blindness. Yes, we know he will speak in tongues, but there is no record that it occurred at his initial filling.
-John the Baptist, who was filled with the Spirit in His mother's womb. Our doctrine would decree that in his mother's womb he spoke in tongues.

How can we tell our people individually you have to speak in tongues to be filled with the Spirit when both John and Paul were said to be filled without speaking in tongues? We can say the Spirit filled church will be a church marked by speaking in tongues, but we lack scriptural authority to say that for every individual.

Loran, who I think chairs the Council of 18, preached a sermon in January where he said, citing the John the Baptist example, that we cannot say you have to speak in tongues to be filled with the Spirit.

Now, along with this I offer life experiences. I have heard people speak in tongues who bore no fruit in their lives, were in no way Christlike. Consider Jimmy Swaggert who in the middle of living a double life was regularly heard to speak in tongues.

Then I have met people who never claimed to speak in tongues whose lives were living testimonies to divine empowerment, with evidence much larger than tongues.

Don't get me wrong, I believe in tongues, I am glad I speak in tongues more than all of you, but I am at a point that I'll take FIVE INTELLIGENT WORDS ANYDAY!


Twocents,

I would say there is a difference in being filled with the Holy Spirit and baptized in the Holy Spirit. It doesn't say John was baptized. It says he was filled as is described for all believers who come to know the Lord.

Again, with the empowerment idea . . . . are we saying that the dwelling of the Holy Spirit in our lives at salvation isn't empowerment enough to do great things?
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1/28/11 11:24 am


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Post Re: IMHO (Didn't Mean to Hi-jack the other thread) Randy Johnson
mytwocents wrote:
Individually we have recorded in scripture incidents where people were filled with the Spirit and there is NO record that they spoke in tongues.
-The Apostle Paul, when he was prayed for to be healed of his blindness. Yes, we know he will speak in tongues, but there is no record that it occurred at his initial filling.


I think the reason it was not spelled out in detail is because:

1. Luke was not giving a defense of Spirit-baptism accompanied by tongues to doubting 21st century believers.

2. It was automatically understood by his readers that this happened because Spirit-baptism and speaking in tongues was the normal experience of the 1st generation of believers Luke was writing to. Everyone already knew that tongues accompanied Spirit-baptism by experience, and since Luke wasn't giving a defense, there was no need for him to mention it specifically (the same thing could be said of the Samaritans).

Later, Paul does say that he thanks God that he speaks in tongues more than the Corinthians, and he is not referring to "in the Church", but to his personal prayer life.

mytwocents wrote:
-John the Baptist, who was filled with the Spirit in His mother's womb. Our doctrine would decree that in his mother's womb he spoke in tongues.


Sigh. John the Baptist was under the Old Covenant economy, he was not a New Covenant believer. Jesus said of him that no one born of woman was greater than him, but the least in the kingdom is greater than he. John was filled with the Holy Spirit in the same way every other Old Testament prophet was - it was a temporary manifestation of the Spirit for a specific purpose - he was not baptized in the Holy Spirit in the same way New Covenant believers are. John even stated that he needed to be baptized by Jesus, and the baptism done by Jesus is the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

mytwocents wrote:
Now, along with this I offer life experiences. I have heard people speak in tongues who bore no fruit in their lives, were in no way Christlike. Consider Jimmy Swaggert who in the middle of living a double life was regularly heard to speak in tongues.


The baptism in the Holy Spirit, as Mark said, should not be pitted against the fruit of the Spirit. They serve two different purposes. I've spent some time today on the website of the Apostolic Faith churches, the descendants of those associated with the Azusa street revival and Frances Crawford who edited their newspaper and later moved to Oregon.

I found it interesting that their group still holds to sanctification as a second definite work of grace subsequent to justification (that is where the fruit comes from - sanctification) and to Spirit baptism as a third work of grace for enduement of power on a saved and sanctified life!

Maybe the problem we have been seeing in Pentecost is that people have skipped over sanctification and gone directly to Spirit-baptism (or a counterfeit that just has tongues) from salvation. That could definitely produce people who think they have power but have no fruit.

mytwocents wrote:
Then I have met people who never claimed to speak in tongues whose lives were living testimonies to divine empowerment, with evidence much larger than tongues.


And what were these acts of divine empowerment?

mytwocents wrote:
Don't get me wrong, I believe in tongues, I am glad I speak in tongues more than all of you, but I am at a point that I'll take FIVE INTELLIGENT WORDS ANYDAY!


What are tongues, mytwocents? If someone asked you to define tongues, what would you tell them? Would you tell them that tongues are the Holy Spirit, who now lives within them, giving them words to speak in prayer and praise to God that do not come from their human mind? I hope you would tell them that, because that is what genuine tongues are. The only difference between speaking in tongues and speaking in your native language is the source of the words.

Paul said that when he was assembled with the church, he would rather speak five words in his native language to teach others than ten thousand words in tongues, so that the entire church could be edified. Paul's admonition to prefer native language over tongues was in the context of teaching publicly!

Tongues as the initial evidence serves one purpose, and one purpose only, to give a public sign that Jesus has baptized someone in the Holy Spirit. And those tongues serve as such a sign one time, and one time only, upon the initial (that means, first) experience of being baptized in the Holy Spirit. Tongues are not a continual evidence or the only evidence, they are an initial physical evidence only, and only the first time they are manifested accompanying Spirit-baptism.
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1/28/11 11:24 am


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Post Initial Evidence Questioned John Hughes
Many Pastors in the COG have questioned the Dogma of speaking in tongues as the initial evidence. There is no doubt that the experience of speaking in tongues is valid and should be encouraged. Much of what the church believes today came about as sincere, God fearing people entered in to discourse concerning Scriptural doctrine. When your livelihood depends upon you totally supporting the Declaration of Faith, Teachings, Etc. There is often a fear to express ones true feelings or understandings when to do so may jeopardize their standing with the state AB or to be viewed as a rebel or insubordinate. Thus it becomes a process of intellectual compromise in order to perform in the COG system. There is a real lack of trust among the ministry. I applaud the efforts of Raymond Culpepper to bring more transparency, but at the same time there is a sense that if one truly expresses prayerful, heartfelt and intellectual conviction that somewhere there is a list of those who do this and will have the hammer applied to their ministry. I for one, have questioned the doctrine of Initioal evidence for many years and yet at the same time hold to the fact that Christ gave the Holy Spirit to empower one to be a witness. In my 58 years I was a part of the COG I saw a lot of demonstration, wild fire, shouting and the like....but little power from the tongue speakers to actually witness and be a witness. Yet history records many a martyr whose lives exemplified that very power to be a witness even to the end of their lives without the evidence of speaking in tongues. Believe in tongues? I do! Should it be a test of ministry in the local church or should it be a test to serve on the church council? I think not! Being "Spirit Filled" is being saved from sin. On the day that happens The Spirit of Christ....The Holy Spirit comes to dwell in the believer....Forever!
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1/28/11 11:26 am


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Post War Eagle
Quiet Wyatt wrote:
Yes I am certainly aware he did. I don't see a contradiction though. It shouldn't be either/or but both/and, and that is precisely what we find Paul teaches concerning tongues vs. prophecy in 1 Cor 14.


You're spot on.

It may not say the did speak in tongues in some instances, but it doesn't say they didn't. I don't think it's too far a stretch to believe that Luke would assume we would know they spoke in tongues considering the first outpouring and many sequential outpourings that resulted the same way.

It would almost be the equivalent of me saying everyday, "I'm going to church" and then one day saying "I'm going to work." They obviously mean the same thing but it certainly could be viewed differently.
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1/28/11 11:27 am


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Post IE Pastors Friend
The Apostles was not confused about it on the day of Pentecost
The people at Azusa was not confused about it in the early 1900's
I was not confused about it in July 1966
It is January 28, 2011 and I still am not confused about it.

The initial evidence is just that--the FIRST evidence. The other evidences come as we grow.

What was wrong about the way I was taught, initially, you had to speak in tongues before you were saved. We were heavily armed though. We had an ax and two 38's!
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1/28/11 11:30 am


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Post War Eagle
Mighty Army wrote:
War Eagle wrote:
Mighty Army,

There are also no scriptures specifially saying rapture either or trinity. These are things that we derived based on a collection of scriptures that seem to indicate they exist.

Why aren't these doctrines being considered along with IE?


Have you not heard of the pre-trib, post-trib discussions? Have you not heard the trinity discussions? They exist as well. The reason they do is that there are no specific scriptures. Of course, there are people who believe they have the light on these subjects and would reject any discussion. In fact, they may bring heresy charges against you for simply discussing it.

We could talk about LOTS of subjects that the scriptures are not totally clear, but for now, the discussion is concerning IE, so let's stay on topic.


I would say we're right on topic. There may be discussions about the trinity and rapture but to the point of taking them out of the DOF? Not at all.

My simple question is why is this item getting so much attention suddenly? I've already shared a few reasons I think so, but let me share another one.

I think another reason is simply that many folks who have claimed to have the baptism didn't live any differently or any more of an effective life for Christ than those who didn't claim to have it. In such cases, we've allowed the hypocrisy of others to make us rethink our own doctrine.

It sounds like the classic example of compromise for feelings' sake and for growth's sake.

If you'd rather not discuss this alongside the IE doctrine under attack and feel it's off topic, you're more than able to start your own thread. I believe if the argument for the abandonment of the IE doctrine is soley based as has been said numerous times by many on a lack of specific scripture that spells it out, I think it is plenty appropriate to ask how come that same logic isn't being used in other dear doctrines. Because if it's not, then we ourselves are hypocritical in our application of understanding and argument.
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1/28/11 11:32 am


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Post Eduardo Nieves
I think the problem I have is why someone would want to become a COG minister and not believe in I.E.? I had a discussion with someone who wanted to be credentialed, yet didn't agree with initial evidence. I told him that it would be deceptive for him to proceed if he didn't agree with it. I fear that we haven't been asking people the right questions early in the process. Now, we're facing a crisis from within.
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1/28/11 11:36 am


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Post Quiet Wyatt
Excellent post, Randy.

Along with an emphasis on the purpose of the baptism (to be a witness), I strongly believe an appropriate emphasis on scriptural holiness of heart and life (life in the Spirit of Christ) is absolutely essential in order to avoid many of the problems of non-fruitbearing disciples.

I often say to my congregation, you can make it to heaven without speaking in tongues, but you certainly cannot enter heaven without being holy.
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1/28/11 11:38 am


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Post War Eagle
Quiet Wyatt wrote:
Excellent post, Randy.

Along with an emphasis on the purpose of the baptism (to be a witness), I strongly believe an appropriate emphasis on scriptural holiness of heart and life (life in the Spirit of Christ) is absolutely essential in order to avoid many of the problems of non-fruitbearing disciples.

I often say to my congregation, you can make it to heaven without speaking in tongues, but you certainly cannot enter heaven without being holy.


AMEN!

For without holiness, no man will see God.
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1/28/11 12:06 pm


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