Speaking In Tongues, in simple terms, is the Biblical proof of earthly human beings receiving God’s Heavenly Holy Spirit. It is a wonderful experience. God promised an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all people in the last days (Joel 2:28,29). Fulfillment of Prophet Joel’s Prophecy occurred on the Day of Pentecost when 120 believers were filled with the Holy Spirit, and spoke in other tongues.
The subject of “Speaking in Tongues” is constantly being debated among main-line, protestants and pentecostal churches alike. Some claim it has ceased, others claim it is not necessary for Salvation, and still others say, it is an optional gift.
Here in the Revival Centres of PNG we emphasize all believers must Speak In Tongues. We tell people to Repent, Get Baptised and Receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 2: 38). As a proof that one has received the Holy Spirit, the believer MUST speak in tongues (Acts 19:6). All our congregation members in the fellowship encounter this wonderful experience. Signs, wonders, miracles and healings take place in peoples’ lives after they are filled with the Holy Spirit, with evidence of speaking in tongues.
Our congregation members who have been healed by God, will testify of this phenomena. God healed them, after they received the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues. You can read more about Speaking In Tongues here on the Revival Fellowship website!
Jesus commenced His ministry by telling Nicodemus that being born of the Spirit, accompanied by a “sound” or “voice” was essential for salvation (John 3:5-8). His parting words in Mark 16:15-20 included the mention of speaking in tongues.
If the message were to be different at some other later date then it would make the Word of God into lie when it says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8).
Therefore, speaking in tongues is definitely for today.
We know that we are now in the last days when “knowledge shall increase”, and many prophecies are being fulfilled. Clearly, as knowledge and prophecy have not ceased, neither have tongues. Thus, tongues shall cease but not until the Lord returns.
Later, as recorded in Acts 9:17, Paul the Apostle received the Spirit when Annanias laid his hands on him. Yet, Annanias was not an apostle, simply a disciple.
Subsequently, in Acts 10:44 Cornelius and his household were converted as Peter spoke the words of Salvation. No “laying on of hands” occurred here.
We are told however, that the languages given by God may not necessarily be identified by man since He said that there would be tongues of men and of angels (1 Corinthians 13:1). Since angels and men and women of all nations and languages are not available to ratify whether the tongue is a known language on every occasion.
There is not basis however, for concluding that because there is not one there to understand a tongue that it must be a babble.
However, the story told in the first two chapters of Acts demonstrated that the disciples were not preaching but rather initially, praying for the Holy Ghost and later, praying in the Holy Ghost. (Acts 2:1-4).
Although the visitors overheard the Galileans speaking miraculously in foreign languages, they were not being directly spoken to and were certainly not being preached to.
Indeed, if tongues were being used for preaching there would not have been a need for Peter to have stood up and explained to the crowd in his own understanding what had just happened.
Paul tells us that it is with an understanding language, and not a tongue of the Spirit that is to be used for preaching. “…I had rather speaks five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in a unknown tongue (1 Corinthians 14:19).
The apostle had earlier said, “For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him…” (1 Corinthians 14:2).
There are no accounts in the Bible of tongues being used for preaching but for prayer to God (Jude 20,21).
Here Paul is not criticising the use of tongues but rather expressing concerns about the misuse of tongues. He explains that speaking in tongues is not for preaching as no one will understand it, and if nobody understands it why speak to them in tongues?
Speaking in tongues in private communication with God does not make you a barbarian. In any event, to say that attempting to preach in tongues would make you a barbarian adds weight to the argument that tongues is not for preaching.
Hence, speaking in tongues was neither a part of the law nor of Jesus’ personal ministry. The New Testament and tongues could only come into force after the death of the testator, Jesus himself.
(Hebrews 9:15-17). Thus, tongues could not be in force while Jesus was alive.
Jesus did not speak in tongues because he was not supposed to nor did he have any need to. Jesus did not need to be converted nor did he require any assistance in His communion with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Jesus did not say He would speak in tongues, He said we would. (Mark 16:17).
It is not surprising that God has chosen to tame and take control of the most unruly member of our body and uses it to create a new language, pure and undefiled with which we might speak to Him.
Paul writes, “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 accordingly to the will of God.” (Romans 8:26,27). Jude tells us that praying “in the Spirit” edifies (builds us up) spiritually (Jude 20).
Interestingly, the next story in Luke relates to Jesus casting a demon our of a dumb man and being accused of having done so by the power of the devil. Jesus Christ, who was perfect, blameless and without sin, had an impeccable testimony. He demonstrated all of the fruit of the Spirit. He loved, forgave, uplifted, helped and healed. He demonstrated mercy, kindness, temperance, gentleness, faith and miracles. Finally, he gave his life for mankind.
He was the epitome of love and yet for all of His righteousness, the religious leaders of the day said that he was of the devil. Jesus said in Matthew 10:25, “…If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?”
In fact, when a person receives the Holy Spirit, that is, when they speak in tongues, it is common that then or shortly after, ungodly practices and influences such as alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, bad languages, gambling, immorality and so on leave them. In other words, the conversion is to a Godly life, not the opposite.
There is no evidence to suggest that the order in which items appear in Scripture signify the greatest to least importance. For example, consider the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20).
Can we say that the 4th commandment (“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.”) was more important than the 6th commandment (“Thou shalt not kill.”)?
Consider also the list of the works of the flesh in Galatians 5:19-21. Would one then say that “murders” which appears 15th down the list is less a work of the flesh than say “wrath” which appears at positive 10?
Rather than attaching various levels of importance to the blessings of God and then perhaps even eliminating those we think less significant, surely we should happily embrace and appreciate all that God offers.
As we have said before, “…these signs shall follow them that believe…they shall speak with new tongues…” (Mark 16:15-20). Further, the literal translation of Jesus’ comments to Nicodemus in John 3:8 reads: “The Spirit breathes where he chooses, and you hear his voice, but you do not know where he comes from or where he goes to. So is everyone born of the Spirit.”
This text clearly demonstrated that everyone born of the Spirit will have the voice of the Spirit. Jesus spoke these words and as such we can correctly and confidently say that the infilling of the Spirit does include a voice.
If there is any doubt to what this sound or voice or language might be, we have complete clarification in Acts 2:4 when the Spirit was first poured out, where they spoke with other languages as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Paul’s question relates specifically to the context of a church meeting (1 Corinthians 12:28, 14:23,26) and therefore, the answer is in the negative. The exercise of this gift is to be limited to two or at the most three in any one meeting (1 Corinthians 14:27) and these tongues should be interpreted.
Nevertheless, all do speak in tongues when they receive the Holy Spirit and all should continue to pray to God, in private, in the Spirit (speaking in tongues).