Q & A With Sister Swaggart - IV
Can a born-again believer receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit and not speak in tongues?
No. When you are baptized in the Holy Spirit, you will speak in tongues, which is instant, immediate, and totally of the Lord. If you have not spoken with other tongues, then you have not been baptized with the Holy Spirit. There are no exceptions.
When comparing Acts 2, 10, and 19, we can arrive at no other scriptural conclusion but that speaking with tongues is the initial physical evidence that a believer has been baptized with the Holy Spirit. Unless that believer does speak with other tongues, he or she has not been baptized with the Spirit. No other evidence is offered or suggested.
Acts 2:4 says, “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” In Acts 10:46 we read, “For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.” And in Acts 19:6, when Paul laid his hands on certain disciples, “the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.”
Speaking with other tongues is the initial physical evidence—there are other evidences but that is the initial physical evidence—that one has been baptized in the Holy Spirit.
We want people to understand—you do not have to have the baptism of the Holy Spirit to be saved. The only requirement for salvation is to simply believe on Christ. When the Scripture speaks of a person believing as it does in Romans 10:9-10, it simply means that he or she accepts who Jesus is—the Son of God—and what He has done, which refers to Christ dying on the cross of Calvary, in effect taking our place that we might be saved. It means you accept Him—and Him alone—as your personal Savior and resolve to make Him the Lord of your life, and to follow Him with all of your heart, mind, soul, and strength as long as you live.
Upon salvation, the believer is definitely regenerated by the Holy Spirit because that is the only way one can be saved (Rom. 8:14-16). However, there is a vast difference in being “born of the Spirit,” which happens to every person when he is saved, and being “baptized with the Spirit,” which is the second work of grace (Acts 2:4). Understand that being baptized with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking with other tongues does not make a person more saved. One is as saved as is possible the moment he or she accepts Christ. The baptism with the Spirit is for power regarding the work of the Lord. Without this experience, there is precious little or no power at all (Acts 1:8).
At salvation, the Holy Spirit baptizes believing sinners into Christ. In Spirit baptism, Jesus baptizes believers into the Holy Spirit, completely immersing them in the Holy Spirit, with the Holy Spirit in them and them in the Holy Spirit, which is the true meaning of baptism (Matt. 3:11).
While believers can certainly pray and worship in their own native language, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of praying in tongues—the prayer language you receive from the Lord when He baptizes you in the Spirit. If you don’t have a prayer language, you are missing out on a great blessing because when you pray in a language that the Lord gives you, you go deeper, you climb higher, and you experience more of the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
When I pray, the majority of the time I do pray in English, but there are other times when I spend my whole prayer time speaking in tongues and worshiping God. When you pray in the Spirit, you’ll hear yourself move from the most beautiful and peaceful kind of worship to intercession for the needs of others.
Paul said, “For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.” (I Cor. 14:2). When one speaks with other tongues, he speaks the “wonderful works of God” (Acts 2:11). And in I Corinthians 14:4, Paul said, “He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself.”
Not long ago, a friend of mine called me about a situation that we had been praying about, and after I hung up, I immediately felt the need to go to prayer. Without me thinking of whether I was going to pray in tongues or in English, I opened my mouth and began to pray. I began to pray in tongues, and the whole time I was praying concerning that particular situation, I was praying in tongues, and it was not something I instigated. I guess God knew what needed to be said. I did not know, but God knew, and I thank the Lord for that. The Holy Spirit prays through us. Every time I prayed concerning that same situation, I immediately went into tongues. I never prayed anything in English. That was the Holy Spirit. I did not have the words; I only knew that it was a desperate situation and that God needed to intervene. And thank God, He did.
The Bible says, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Rom. 8:26-27).
And we cannot forget the tremendous joy that comes into your life once you receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
I remember the night I was baptized, and the joy that filled my heart! I came home, I could not sleep, I was just walking through my house from room to room to room praising the Lord! My husband had never seen me do that—I had never seen me do that—I was too shy to do things like that. Before I was baptized in the Holy Spirit, I’d been too shy to pray or worship in public, but afterward I could have cared less who saw me praying and worshipping the Lord. Being filled with the Holy Spirit is a tremendous joy!
Holy Spirit baptism seems to open up the door to everything. It’s like your mind becomes clearer, and you are able to grasp and understand the things of God so much easier. The truth of God’s Word starts penetrating your mind, praise God.
Again, if you are a born-again believer, and you have not yet received the baptism in the Holy Spirit, you will still make heaven because you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, and that’s all that is required to be saved.
But between now and heaven, all believers face difficulties in this life on earth, and you don’t want to face them by yourself. Trust me when I say that you want the baptism of the Holy Spirit in your life; you need it. There are no words in my vocabulary to explain how wonderful the Holy Spirit is. Folks, there is a life in the Spirit that you will never know unless you receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking with other tongues. I can’t be strong enough about that. There is absolutely nothing like the Spirit-filled life!