âAnd 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 boldnessâ (Acts 4:31).
The first thing that Peter did on the day of Pentecost, after he was filled with the Spirit, was speak with tongues. The second thing he did was speak with boldness. The last article I shared was about speaking with tongues and how it is evidence that one has received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I want to say a few more things about tongues and then I will move onto another form of speaking, speaking with boldness.
The issue of speaking in tongues has become a very divisive issue in the church today. Because of that, many believers would just as soon ignore the whole topic. I have to be honest and admit that I have done that at times for fear of causing division or chasing people off. However, speaking in tongues is not a subject the apostle Paul avoided. He wrote a whole chapter on it (I Corinthians 14). He mentions it in the 12th chapter as well. So I too must not be afraid to teach about it when needed.
Did you notice when you read what Paul said about tongues, that he never said it was of the devil? He was rebuking the Corinthians for their abuse of it. He was rebuking them for not letting love dominate the using of the gifts of the Spirit. Why do we have so many, supposedly Bible believing Christians, say tongues is of the devil? Now I know the devil uses his false version of the real, but that false comes from the devil not from God. Could it be possible that there is some blaspheming of the Holy Spirit going on?
There are also many Christians that believe speaking with tongues ceased with the first century Apostles. They act as if the Apostles were the only ones that spoke with tongues. If that were the case, then Paul would never have written to the Corinthian church for their abusing that gift. Many Christians believe the things they are told when they first get saved. Some of those things are inaccurate. Nonetheless, some of those believers never really prayerfully study the scriptures. I know of a sister in Christ who was raised up in a church that taught against speaking in tongues. Talking to her one day, she told me that she used to pray for those poor deceived Pentecostal Christians. Then she was filled with the Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. She quit praying for them, at least in that way, and joined up praying with them. I praise the Lord that the man He used to lead me to the Lord was a Pentecostal believer. I canât help but to think the confusion it would have caused for me to be told some of the New Testament is not for our generation. I would have had to trust someone to sort that out for me. That is really a dangerous proposition. What a wonderful liberty to just believe the whole Bible as it stands. If the church would just come together and agree that the anointing for ministry that God gave to the early church at Pentecost is for every church generation, all the way up to the day He raptures His church, then the book of Acts would surely make more sense and come alive before the reader. I trust that you will allow the scriptures to develop your doctrine, not the teachings of men.
Have you ever wondered why God chose to use speaking in tongues as a sign that a person received the Spirit? I have, and I believe I have a thought on why that is. God used tongues to show that this power He promised us would flow through our mouth. The releasing of the tongue to the Holy Spirit in a sense opens up the flood gate of power and authority for men to preach.
âBut 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 Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earthâ (Acts 1:8).
Enough on tongues, now I want to go on to the topic of this article which is, the baptism of the Holy Spirit gives us the power to speak with boldness. Speaking with boldness is another evidence of being filled with the Spirit. In this day of watered down seeker sensitive messages, that are more like motivational speeches, there is a real absence of bold preaching and teaching. What it really is, is that there is an absence of Spirit filled preachers and teachers. Without the boldness that comes from the Spirit, the pressures from all angles, church and world, will cause the most godly of men to lighten it up a little bit. Just a little bit here and a little bit there until there is nothing there but cotton candy.
For the most part, bold preaching is not appreciated today. Some consider it old fashioned while others refer to it as finger pointing. Some others consider it judgmental or just too negative, but according to the text in Acts 4:31, boldness is what exploded from those that were filled with the Holy Spirit. After Peter received the Spirit and spoke with tongues, he went out to speak to the multitudes, not in tongues but with bold authority and power. It was only about fifty three days before this that he was buckling under the accusations of a little damsel telling everyone that he was one of Jesusâ followers. One preacher said that when Peter was acting like a chicken, God used a rooster to speak to him. That all changed when he was filled with the Spirit. On the day of Pentecost, Peter preached a less than three minute sermon and three thousand men came to know the Lord. How we need Spirit filled preachers today.
What you are likely to hear from preachers and teachers that are not filled with the Spirit are messages and teachings that speak to the practical mind, but do not penetrate the Spirit. They can move the emotion of man to make him want to try harder to serve God. But unless it moves his spirit, he will end up disappointed when he canât overcome and will feel far from God when the excitement wears off. Preachers that lack the Spirit will preach messages on how to live by biblical principles in a God rejecting society. They will educate the intellect. They will use plenty of scriptures and say a lot of true statements, but there will be something missing. That something is the quickening work of the Holy Spirit â.piercing even to the dividing asunder of the soul and spirit and of the joints and marrow.â (Hebrews 4:12). We call our Bible the âBook of Life,â yet Christianity can sound like dead religion the way some preachers preach it.
Being filled with the Spirit is of the utmost importance. Consider what John the Baptist said when he first made comments about the one that is coming after him. John called the people to repentance. He taught the people what they should do. However, when it came time to turn his attention on Jesus he did not say, the one coming after me is coming to save you. He didnât say, the one coming after me is going to deliver you. He didnât say the one coming after me is going to heal you, feed you or teach you. Though Jesus did all those things, John said,
âI 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 fireâ (Matthew 3:11).
There is no other kind of believer that Satan fears more than the Spirit and fire baptized believer. They are the most effective believers on the face of the earth. When Holy Spirit boldness comes out of a believer, the people will take notice.
âNow when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesusâ (Acts 4:13).
There was a man in the sixth chapter of Acts who met the requirement of being filled with the Spirit so he could be appointed as a deacon. His name was Stephen. His time with the church was very short. Why? Because he spoke with boldness. Read what he said.
âYe stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it. When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of Godâ (Acts 7:51-56).
There are only two reasons a man will talk like this to others. He is either filled with hate and self-righteousness, or he is filled with the Spirit of God and given the ability to speak with boldness. Speaking with boldness is so needed today. If we are going to have a church of bold Christians then it is up to you, saint of God, to ask the Lord to fill you with the Spirit. Will you ask Him right now?
âIf ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask himâ (Luke 11:13)?