Speaking in Tongues
By Edwin Christiaan
Whether we belong to a Baptist, Pentecostal, Charismatic, Presbyterian, Methodist or any other Christian denomination or non-denominational church or ministry group, traditionally we all believe that we need to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior in order to be saved and ultimately go to heaven.
But when it comes to receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaking in new tongues there is clearly a difference in the body of Christ!
Some do not believe in speaking in tongues, saying it was only a one-time event for the believers at that time in the Bible. In other words, it conveniently doesn’t exist now a days anymore. Many who oppose speaking in tongues, link it with the Charismatic Christians who promote speaking in tongues, whom they think are somewhat flaky people.
Others show their disgust for it by calling the speaking in tongues demonic or a form of chanting, and they vehemently forbid anybody to practice it. Others avoid this subject all together, literally stealing away what God has meant for every believer to receive, in order for them to have an intimate personal communication with God.
“A person who speaks in tongues is strengthened personally in the Lord,” 1. Corinthians 14:4 NLT.
Or as another translation says:
“He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself,” (1. Corinthians 14:4 NKJV)
“For if your gift is the ability to speak in tongues, you will be talking to God but not to people, since they won’t be able to understand you. You will be speaking by the power of the Spirit, but it will all be mysterious.” 1. Corinthians 14:2 NLT
“For if I pray in tongues, my spirit is praying, but I don’t understand what I am saying.” 1. Corinthians 14:14 NLT
It gives the devil, whom Jesus calls a thief and the father of lies, great joy, if he can accomplish in stealing this awesome gift of God from the believers.
“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy.” John 10:10 NLT
“When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44-45 NLT
Let me guide you to what the Bible says about the speaking in tongues:
First of all, the disciples, as well those who are born-again Christians, receive the same command from Jesus Christ:
“And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Mark 16:15-18 NKJV
In Acts 1:1-5 NLT you can read the following about Jesus promising the Holy Spirit to the disciples:
“Dear Theophilus: In my first book I told you about everything Jesus began to do and teach until the day He ascended to heaven after giving His chosen apostles further instructions from the Holy Spirit. During the forty days after His crucifixion, He appeared to the apostles from time to time and proved to them in many ways that He was actually alive. On these occasions He talked to them about the Kingdom of God.
In one of these meetings as He was eating a meal with them, He told them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you what he promised. Remember, I have told you about this before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
Acts 1:1-5 NLT
And then it happened!
“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:1-5 NKJV
Check out the reaction of the people who wanted to find out what was going on:
“When they heard this sound, they came running to see what it was all about, and they were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers.
They were beside themselves with wonder. “How can this be?” they exclaimed. “These people are all from Galilee, and yet we hear them speaking the languages of the lands where we were born!” Acts 2:6-8 NLT
Just like it happened then, there are those today, who do not understand the speaking in tongues and the manifestations that many times go along with it, such as appearing to be drunk. Therefore, they mock it!
“We hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?” Others mocking said, “They are full of new wine.“ Acts 2:11-13 NKJV
This is how Peter the apostle explained this powerful event to the crowd who were watching all this unfold before their very own eyes.
“Then Peter stepped forward with the eleven other apostles and shouted to the crowd, “Listen carefully, all of you, fellow Jews and residents of Jerusalem! Make no mistake about this. Some of you are saying these people are drunk. It isn’t true! It’s much too early for that. People don’t get drunk by nine o’clock in the morning.
No, what you see this morning was predicted centuries ago by the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days, God said, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. In those days I will pour out my Spirit upon all my servants, men and women alike, and they will prophesy.
And I will cause wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below — blood and fire and clouds of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon will turn blood red, before that great and glorious day of the Lord arrives. And anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’”
Acts 2:14-21 NLT
Here is another example of believers receiving the Holy Spirit and the speaking in tongues in the Bible:
“While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the interior provinces. Finally, he came to Ephesus, where he found several believers. “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” he asked them. “No,” they replied, “we don’t know what you mean. We haven’t even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” “Then what baptism did you experience?” he asked. And they replied, “The baptism of John.” Paul said, “John’s baptism was to demonstrate a desire to turn from sin and turn to God. John himself told the people to believe in Jesus, the one John said would come later.”
“As soon as they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in other tongues and prophesied. There were about twelve men in all.”
Acts 19:1-7 NLT
In conclusion, the Apostle Paul admonished the Corinthian Church with the following words:
So, dear brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and don’t forbid speaking in tongues. 1. Corinthians 14:39 NLT.
Or as he said to them;
“I wish you all had the gift of speaking in tongues.” 1. Corinthians 14:5 NLT
So, don’t let anybody deceive you or steal this God-given gift from you. I encourage you to ask for it, since it is God’s will for you to receive the gift of speaking in tongues, He will surely give it to you!
“And we can be confident that he will listen to us whenever we ask him for anything in line with his will. And if we know he is listening when we make our requests, we can be sure that he will give us what we ask for.” 1. John 5:14-15 NLT
Copyright©2008 Edwin & Sophia Christiaan