Hi Mitch, I have had a chance to take quick look at your website. There is a lot information there, but I like to ask you a couple of questions:
1) I have been to non-denominational churches that touch a doctrine of the baptism of the holy ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues. Does this still happen today or is it just something that happened back in the bible days?
2) You spoke of the new Jerusalem as being spiritual. Why does revelation speak so much in detail about it like: its size, number of gates, what it is made of such as different gems and the such?
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
It was great to have you. I really appreciate your questions. I’ll do my best to answer. Your two questions are actually very much related…I’ll explain.
I have not personally been involved with a non-denominational church that has this practice, but I am familiar with the doctrine.
Here is the verse where the churches get this doctrine from:
Mat 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
Christ is primarily concerned about cleaning the inside of our cup and transforming us from the inside out. He is focused on things of spirit less so than things of the flesh.
Joh 6:63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
Baptism is really about being cleansed within by the washing of God’s word.
Then the fire is the trials that God puts us through to cause us to obey his word, which is also symbolized by fire.
1Pe 4:12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you;
Jer 23:29 “Is not My word like a fire?” says the LORD, “And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?
The spirit of God is given to us that we may understand the the truth of God through our daily trials and his word.
Joh 16:13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
It is only through God’s spirit opening our eyes to the truth that we come to see the truth. It is God’s spirit that makes us a “spiritual man” and gives us the mind of Christ more and more as we mature in the spirit.
1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
1Co 2:15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
1Co 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
Here is a study on baptism that explains more: http://tryingthespirits.com/2012-05/3rd-milk-doctrine-doctrine-of-baptisms/
Speaking in tongues was originally in the book of Acts the ability to speak other known languages, not the gibberish that is practiced today in the churches.
Act 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Act 2:5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
Act 2:6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
Act 2:7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
Act 2:8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
This was a shadow of the true spiritual language that we are to speak today as followers of Christ. God uses the example of physical languages to how spiritual language works.
Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
The spiritual language is the scriptures themselves that at first do not make any sense to us until God gives us the ability to understand. It’s much like speaking in parables…the meaning is hidden unless we are given eyes to see and ears to hear.
Mat 13:10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”
Mat 13:11 He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.
Here is an article that explains more:
The New Jerusalem in Revelation is a great example of speaking in tongues. When we are thinking according to our natural, carnal mind all we think of is a physical city with physical gates etc. However the book of Revelation is written in a spiritual language, full of signs and symbols.
Rev 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John,
Here is another example of the Greek word translated as “signify”. Christ was not speaking plainly in John 12 below. The people around him did not understand what he was saying because he spoke in symbols….not obvious to the natural mind.
Joh 12:28 Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.
Joh 12:29 The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him.
Joh 12:30 Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes.
Joh 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.
Joh 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
Joh 12:33 This he said, signifying what death he should die.
The book of Revelation is the same, spoken in parables and symbols so that the natural mind cannot understand.
Here is a study on the New Jerusalem that will explain what all of the symbols mean and how they apply to our own lives as God builds us into a holy temple.
The website above is run by Mike Vinson, who I’m in fellowship with. We are in complete agreement on all these topics. The same goes for Larry Groenewald who wrote the tongues study and Ayo Fabiyi who wrote the baptism study.
I hope this answers your questions. If not please let me know and I’ll explain further. It is a process to learn this new spiritual language just like it would be to learn Italian or Spanish for example.
Thank you for the questions,