Is Speaking in tongues of God?
Many of you have already received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with evidence of speaking in other tongues. For you, this is just a useful note set you can copy or email to your friends as an answer to a Biblical question. For some of you though, this is spirit and life, and although you have heard about people speaking in tongues, and perhaps been around it, it has not yet been your experience. Well, it can be, and this little teaching explains emphatically that this is a Biblical doctrine, not just the emotional experience of a few fringe elements. Let’s look at it.
Baptism in the Holy Spirit
- Why do we need to be filled with the Spirit?
- After you make Jesus the Lord of your life, it is the will of God that you experience the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 5:18 says, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.” It is the Holy Spirit’s ministry not only to impart the nature of God to the spirit of man at salvation, but to come and live in the new creature. His job is to reveal the exact knowledge of God from the heart of the Father. A believer cannot understand, by his own spirit alone, the profound wisdom of God. This is why Jesus said in John 14:26 that the Father would send us the Comforter to teach us “all things.”
When you receive the Holy Spirit, you receive the ability of God. Acts 1:8 says, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.” The word power in that verse is translated dunamis, which means ability and might. It is through the energizing force of the Holy Spirit living in us that we are transformed into effective witnesses. So, to be born again and not filled with the Spirit is like being a train without a track.
The ability you receive to pray with your spirit when you are baptized in the Holy Spirit is powerful. It edifies and builds up your spirit man and puts you in contact with the deep things of God (1 Corinthians 14:4, 2:10). For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.
- He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.
We see in Romans 8:26 ¶ 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 according to the will of God.
It also allows you to pray God’s perfect will apart from your natural understanding and aids you in interceding for others (Romans 8:26-27).
And according to Jude 1:20-21,
20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
Praying in the Spirit strengthens and intensifies your personal relationship with God, and helps us in our love walk.
- How can I receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit?
- The promise of receiving the Holy Spirit is for everyone in the Body of Christ because God gave His Spirit to the Church on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:32-33, 39). As a partaker of your covenant with God, however, you must individually receive what He has given you.
I like this picture, reminds me of Rhinhart Bonnke preaching: “A Flame for every name! Your own personal flame!”
When you ask for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the Word of God promises that you shall receive.
Luke 11:9-13 says: And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone?…Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
In the Bible, when believers received the Holy Spirit, they began to speak in a heavenly language. Acts 2:4 says, “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” This is still true today. When you accept the Spirit’s indwelling, your spirit will immediately have a desire to express itself in praise to God. The Holy Spirit will give utterance through you as you give Him permission.
When you pray in tongues, you are praying in the Spirit. You are letting the Holy Spirit pray through your spirit. The Amplified Bible says in 1 Corinthians 14:14, “My spirit [by the Holy Spirit within me] prays….” Just as your native language is the voice of your mind, your prayer language is the voice of your spirit.
A Brief Bible study on the Baptism in the Holy Spirit
Is 28:11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
- To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.
Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
Praying in other tongues will cause the weary to rest, and brings refreshing from the presence of the Lord. In today’s fast paced world, who doesn’t need rest and refreshing?
I heard Gloria Copeland testify that the Lord told her, thirty years ago, that if she would pray in tongues one hour/day that everything would be alright. Well, she has been faithful to do this, and everything in their life, health, finances and family are still alright.
Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
It is the promise of God, uttered through the lips of Jesus before He left the earth.
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
- For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
All who are afar off, means you, right there where you are reading this, for the Lord our God has called you. Now, if we are going to study a certain doctrine or area of theology, we need to look at what it looked like in the Bible. I have recorded here the experiences of other Christians who have received the infilling of the Holy Spirit, to see what happened, and how we can learn from their experience.
Instances where believers were filled with the Holy Spirit:
Acts 2:1 ¶ And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
5 ¶ And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
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.
7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
Read v 4. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and who spoke? The Holy Spirit?
No, they spoke as the Holy Spirit gave them utterance. God will fill you with His Holy Spirit whenever you ask. He will not overpower you and force you to speak. You must, by faith, open your mouth and speak a heavenly language that you have never spoken before.
Act 8:14 ¶ Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:
15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:
16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,
We see here a number of interesting things.
- The baptism in the Holy Spirit is an event that occurs after salvation. People had already been saved under Phillips ministry, but then God moved, sent the apostles to them, and then the believers received the Holy Ghost.
- One of the ways to receive the Holy Spirit is through the laying on of hands.
- Simon saw something after the Holy Spirit was given. Many preachers have added their interpretation of what they think Simon saw, but let’s stick with the Scripture. There was obviously some type of physical manifestation when believers received the Holy Spirit. I think they spoke in other tongues, but the Scripture does not say, so THIS IS STILL ONLY MY OPINION!
Acts 10:44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
We see here a number of interesting things:
- God couldn’t wait for Peter to finish preaching before He baptized these folks in the Holy Spirit. Seems one can get saved and filled with the Holy Spirit all in one shot.
- These believers did not need hands laid upon them to receive the Holy Spirit, they simply believed the Word they heard.
- One of the initial evidences of receiving the Holy Spirit is to speak in tongues.
Acts 19:1 ¶ And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.
4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
We see again, a number of interesting things:
- Again, the Holy Spirit baptism is a different event than salvation. These people Paul preached to were already saved.
- Again these people received through the laying on of hands.
- They spoke with tongues as initial evidence of the infilling of the Holy Spirit.
- They also prophesied: they did not have to wait years before prophetic gifts from the Holy Spirit were given to them.
These are the only four accounts recorded in the Scripture of believers being baptized in the Holy Spirit.
Two received through laying on of hands, two received directly. You can receive this gift directly from God, right now as a direct response to this Word that you have heard.
Scripture interprets Scripture and Jesus said: Matthew 18:16
But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
Three of the four cases, and possibly the fourth, spoke in tongues as initial evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
You will speak in other tongues after you are filled.
I remember a couple of years ago, a friend of mine asked me to prove to him from the Scripture that the infilling of the Holy Spirit is Biblical. I shared with him, the verses I just gave you. He was still not convinced, and argued vehemently that these Pentecostal and Charismatic gifts had passed away with the 1st Century church. I asked him to show me that in the Scripture, and he showed me several vague references, but nothing concrete. Seems the denomination he came out of didn’t believe in the infilling of the Holy Spirit, and they were well grounded in their unbelief.
Well, I brought this man to a Pentacostal Church, and as God would have it, the pastor asked everyone to pray in tongues for five minutes before the service. This man was shocked at the heavenly roar, and obvious power in what happened, but still unconvinced. He invited me over for coffee and then argued vehemently that speaking in other tongues was of the devil, and that I was involved in some cult.
So, I said to him this: “Do you believe Jesus is God the Son, and that God raised Him from the dead?” Yes, of course he replied. “Have you accepted Jesus as your Saviour and Lord?” Of course! He replied heatedly. “Do you believe the Bible is the Word of God?” I pressed. Yes, he replied angrily. Ok then what do make of these two verses:
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
“The fact that we are here debating the Word of God shows me that you are diligently seeking God, looking for His best for your life. Right?”
What are you getting at? He asked.
Read: Mark 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
Jesus said these signs would follow those people that believe. I believe, therefore I speak in other tongues, you don’t believe so you don’t. Don’t let this bother you any more. God is not going to force His good gifts upon you, for tongues are only a sign for those that have faith, for one who believes. You refuse to believe, so you will not speak in tongues.
He was so angry that he asked me to leave! Well, I thought that was the end of it, and I went down the road rejoicing. Yet, I met him again several weeks later. Seems he went back to that Pentecostal church to argue more, but during worship, he got filled with the Holy Spirit, and began speaking in other tongues, and has continued to do so, every day since. To God be the glory!
If you desire the infilling of the Holy Spirit or if you are unsure whether you have received it, say the prayer below:
“Father, I am a new creature in Christ. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit to enable me to be a powerful witness of Jesus. I believe that I now receive the Holy Spirit just as the disciples did on the day of Pentecost. Amen”
Now open your mouth and speak!
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