Speaking in tongues has been a very controversial subject for many churches for decades. The Pentecostal Churches have a positive outlook on this subject, but many other Churches believe speaking in tongues is not for today’s believers. THE DAY OF PENTECOST “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. ” 1 Acts 2:1-4 NKJ. This was the beginning of the phenomenon of glossolalia. There are several reasons in scripture for the purpose of tongues. The first is there were a multitude of people from many different nations with different languages that were present on the day of Pentecost in the upper room. Then they heard tongues spoken in their own language and they were all amazed and perplexed.
They asked what this could mean because some were confused, but others were amazed. Some mockers thought they were full of wine or drunk. Second, the Holy Spirit with the evidence of tongues empowered the apostles to witness the gospel of Jesus Christ. 1. The Holy Bible. New King James Version Acts. “And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness . ”2 Acts 4:31 NKJ “God fulfills His promise given in Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:4 when Pentecost arrives. 2 Dunn states, “Proclamation is inspired utterance that creates the community of believers. ” 3 In Charismatic Theology, Stronstad states, “And tongues is the sign that all who belong to this charismatic community have been empowered by the Spirit for charismatic ministry. ”4 Third reason for tongues is prophecy. At Pentecost, tongues were a sign that the disciples had been empowered to bear witness to the gospel, just as Jesus had promised. In Acts 8 and 10, speaking in tongues shows that a certain group of people have received the Holy Spirit and become part of the community of Christians. McDonald states, in the definition of glossolalia; “Tongues is discussed in the context of public worship and is described as having at least Two other functions, it can be used to edify the speaker and, when it is used with the gift Of interpretation, can be a means of God communicating with His people. ” 6 Many Churches in our community don’t believe in this type of communication with God. They think tongues ceased at the end of Acts. 2. Bock, Darrell L. Acts, Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2009. 3. Dunn, Jesus and the Spirit. . Stronstad, Charismatic Theology 5. Gromacki, Modern Tongues Movement Advocates of the view that New Testament tongues are always foreign languages, but they are wrong. Paul used Greek words to describe the phenomenon of tongues and states that the meaning is the same. Luke describes the phenomenon of speaking in tongues in Acts, but Paul assumes that his readers know what this phenomenon is and explains how tongues should be used in public worship. Tongues of Acts and 1 Corinthians 12-14, have the same basic nature, but they have different functions.
Tongues also have benefits for the believer and the believer’s relationship with God. MISSIONARY TONGUES The phenomenon of glossolalia is inextricably tied to the beginning of the Church mission. In Acts 1:8, Jesus tells His disciples, you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth. His words are fulfilled on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit comes and the disciples are given the power to bear witness to Christ.
The witness is not just the power to preach the gospel; the first result of the coming of the Holy Spirit is the ability to speak in other tongues. THE HEAVENLY LANGUAGE So what do interpreters who understand tongues as ecstatic utterance do with Acts 2? Those who believe that tongues can be either foreign languages or heavenly languages have no trouble explaining the relation of Acts 2 to 1 Corn. 12-14. In one instance the tongues were foreign languages and in the other they were heavenly languages, but it was still the same basic phenomenon of Spirit inspired speech. These interpreters have trouble understanding the foreign languages at Pentecost as a miracle, so they suggest that Luke may have added the foreign language motif in order to make the phenomenon more intelligible and rational or in order to emphasize the theological theme that the gospel would be preached to all nations. 7 The heavenly language was and is used to pray to Jesus when we want to have fellowship with Jesus. The Holy Spirit can help us to communicate with Him in a very special way. Jesus provides a spiritual language to make up for what our natural minds do not know or comprehend.
His spirit intercedes directly with our reborn spirit, and can also provide an interpretation of what was said. This gift is a personal, private, and individual prayer language provided by Jesus himself for our reborn spirit to assist all believers in growth, praise, edification, power, and most importantly, our personal relationship with Jesus. The apostle Paul referred to it as speaking in tongues and used it continually in prayer. Specific passages that talk about this are in the New Testament book of Acts and 1 Corinthians.
The gift of tongues id directly from Jesus through His Holy Spirit, the reason for providing us the language is that it can help us know Him and grow in His nature and power. That’s the main reason Satan has tried so hard to keep believers from knowing and receiving the truth about the gift. Some believe the gift is not for today. Like salvation, the heavenly language is asked for and received by faith, so the language is available from the very first moment of salvation. Acts 2: 1-4; Acts 10:44-47; Acts 19: 1-6. The language is available when you want to have intimate fellowship with Jesus through the person of His Holy Spirit. . Kelsey, Tongue Speaking 7. Watson E. Mills, Understanding Speaking in Tongues. Having fellowship with the Lord through the special prayer language is not a prerequisite for being saved, nor is it the only evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit. However, in almost every instance mentioned in the New Testament, regarding thousands of people who received the baptism with the Holy Spirit, the specific way in which it was known was by hearing them speak the new language (tongues) Acts 2:1-4; Acts 10:44-47; Acts 19:1-6; Acts 2:38-39, and other scriptures.
CONCLUSION I believe the speaking in tongues or the Baptism of the Holy Spirit was the most important part of the Book of Acts, because the Spirit gave to early Church the boldness and power to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the whole world. This is the same for today’s believers if we want to have a closer intimate relationship with the Lord, and be a better witness for Him we must seek in faith and receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith praying in the Holy Spirit. Jude 20 The apostle Paul was careful to point out that all gifts must be shared in love. This gift is for all believers in Christ if we will just have faith that Jesus wants this for us. Speaking in Tongues in Acts Outline Introduction: I. Pentecost a. Upper room b. Apostles filled with Holy spirit c. Foreign language d. The Phenomenon of glossolalia II. Nature and purpose of Tongues a. To understand foreign languages b. Empowered to witness the gospel c.