Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a tract to read:
by George C. Clark, Sr. and John D. Clark, Sr.
“The wind blows wherever it will, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it is coming from or where it is going. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
If we believe Jesus, then we must admit that there is such an experience as being moved by the Spirit to make a sound, even to speak in a language that we have not learned. The Jews received the Spirit first, in Acts 2, and they all spoke in tongues. A few years later, Jesus began baptizing Gentiles with the Spirit, and when he did this, the Jews who were there “were astonished because the gift of the holy Spirit had also been poured out on the Gentiles. They knew this because they heard them speaking in tongues and magnifying God” (Acts 10:45–46). That this was not a experience meant just for those people is evidenced by the fact that in Acts 19, Paul was surprised that men who believed in Jesus had not received the Spirit. But when Paul laid his hands on them and prayed, the Spirit’s sound was heard, for “the holy Spirit came upon them, and they started speaking in tongues and prophesying” (Acts 19:6). Just as Jesus said, the Spirit makes a sound when one receives it.
There is no new birth where the sound of the Spirit is not heard. The moment one receives the Spirit, the Spirit speaks, testifying to the work of God in a soul. Jesus said, “When the Comforter is come, whom I will send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father, he will testify of me” (Jn. 15:26). And Paul would later write, “The Spirit itself bears witness, together with our spirit, that we are children of God” (Rom. 8:16). The Comforter’s testimony, mentioned by Jesus, and the Spirit’s witness, mentioned by Paul, refer to the same thing: a sound of the Spirit coming from the lips of the person who receives it.
Long before Jesus suffered and died to make the holy Spirit available to us, God decided that the sound of the Spirit would be the sign of His New Covenant, distinguishing those who have been born again from those who have not. God announced that choice through prophets such as Isaiah: “He will speak to this people with stammering lips and another tongue, to whom He said, ‘This is the rest with which you will cause the weary one to rest,’ and ‘This is the refreshing’ ” (Isa. 28:11–12). And Paul made it clear that Isaiah was prophesying of the Spirit producing a sound through people when it entered them: “In the law it is written, ‘With strange tongues and other lips will I speak to this people, and even at that, they will not listen to me, says the Lord.’ This means that tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe, but to those who do not believe” (1Cor. 14:20–21).
Notice Paul’s words, “tongues are for a sign”, and then ask yourself, “A sign of what?” Clearly, the sound of the Spirit is a God-given sign of the way of salvation. In this covenant, we are not dependent upon men to declare someone to be born again; God does it, by the Spirit.
My father once dreamed he was carrying the crucified Lord to a cemetery to bury him. As he was lowering Jesus into the grave, Jesus opened his eyes and raised his hands, and in them was money. Then Jesus spoke. “Take this,” he said to my father. “This will not be buried with me.” Obeying the Lord, my father looked at the money in Jesus’ hands and saw that in one hand was twenty-eight dollars and eleven cents, and in the other hand was eleven dollars and twenty-eight cents. As he was waking from the dream, the twenty-eight dollars and eleven cents changed into the word “Isaiah” and the eleven dollars and twenty-eight cents changed into “Matthew”. When he awoke, he took his Bible and turned with great anticipation to Isaiah 28:11 and to Matthew 11:28, wondering what this should mean.
In Matthew 11:28, he found Jesus pleading with his people, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavily laden, and I will give you rest!” Then my father turned to Isaiah 28:11–12 and read, “He will speak to this people with stammering lips and another tongue, to whom He said, ‘This is the rest with which you will cause the weary one to rest’, and ‘This is the refreshing.’ ”
In his list of a few gifts of the Spirit (1Cor. 12:8–10), Paul mentioned the gift of “diverse tongues.” Many think this gift is the same thing as the sound which the Spirit makes when one is born again, but not so. It is a gift for those who have already made the sound, just as the gift of faith is for those who already believe. Paul never said that “speaking in tongues is a gift.” He knew better. The gift is “diverse tongues”. Multitudes have received the baptism of the Spirit and been moved by the Spirit to make a sound, but only a few have received the gift of diverse tongues.
Many claim that being moved by the Spirit to speak is a thing of the past or that it is merely a gift for a few believers. Don’t swallow that poison, my friend. It is the gift of “diverse tongues” that is given only to some. The sound of the Spirit is still given to all who truly believe, and speaking to God by the Spirit (1Cor. 14:2) makes our prayers more effective. Paul wrote, “The Spirit helps with our weaknesses, for we do not know what to pray for as one should, but the Spirit itself intercedes for us with groanings beyond words” (Rom. 8:26). Jude also encouraged us to pray in the Spirit by saying that we build ourselves up in faith by doing so (Jude 1:20).
A sound from the Spirit is the sign God chose to indicate that someone has been born again. Every born-again person has produced such a “joyful sound”, beginning the moment the Spirit entered their hearts. If you have not yet experienced this, please do not take this message as a belittling of your faith in Jesus. It is not. There were sincere followers of Christ in the days of the apostles who thought they were on the right path, but then, they had the way of God explained more perfectly to them and received the Spirit (Acts 18:26). This baptism of the Spirit is for you, my friend, and so are we. Let us know when you receive this wonderful blessing, please, and we will rejoice with you!