Why Speaking in
Awesome, Wonderful, Amazing & Good!
7 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 "Which of you, if his son asks for bread (Jesus & the Word of God are "bread"), will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake (serpent)? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!
The gifts of the Spirit are referred to as "charis" in Greek. "Charis" means: "grace," "gift" or "gift of grace." Grace is a
beautiful gift from the Lord to us.
So what about grace expressions of the Lord like prophecy, gifts of healings, working of miracles or other gifts?
Prophecy, throughout the Old & New Testament, has always been a grace
gift. In Corinthians, "charis" is often translated gift. Elsewhere in the New Testament, charis, is translated grace. Salvation also is a gift of grace. When God brings healing or deliverance to someone, this is a manifestation of grace.
All God's gifts are good. And come through
Christ. John 1 says that when Jesus arrived on the scene, He came
"full of grace & truth." So, divine gifts come from the Father
of the heavenly lights. James 1:16-17
Gifts of healings, word of knowledge, word of
wisdom, gift of
faith, prophecy are each & all expressions of God's grace.
Grace from God is a beautiful, wonderful thing! "Charis"
bestowments to the church are holy, needed gifts poured out on us
by the Lord's Spirit. We should understand & embrace
Amongst the gifts 1 Corinthians 12 & 14 list,
are various spiritual grace enablements, including gifts of inspired
utterance: speaking in tongues (languages) & interpretation of tongues (languages), prophecy.
"Tongues" was an old English term (from the 1611
KJV), a terminology better understood back in the 1600's & earlier.
In those days, "Tongues" referred simply to languages. The Bible
makes use of this term (in King James English) to refer to Holy
Spirit-given or inspired spiritual languages.
These languages given by the Holy Spirit were inspired to believers
while they were praying, proclaiming spiritual truth, worshipping God or
prophesying (tongues, followed by interpretation of tongues can be seen
as somewhat the equivalent of giving a prophetic message).
Tongues, in scripture, often refers to believers
in Jesus speaking a message from God, or praying to the Lord or
worshipping Jesus in heavenly or unknown (non-native) languages.
Some people think this is scary or weird. But that
perspective is based on human emotion, misinformation, Biblical
ignorance & simply being afraid of what we do not understand.
Based on many scriptures, it is actually perfectly plausible to ask God for any of His amazing & wonderful grace gifts.
"Speaking in tongues" is not "spooky." It is
simply speaking in other languages as the Spirit gives utterance. In
this experience there is a supernatural element. Because the words
proceed out of our innermost being (like Jesus described in John
7:37-39) as a river flowing. These words, prayers & expressions of
worship are not the result of our human intellect, but come from
somewhere else. Actually, the Holy Spirit easily flows through
believers with a heavenly language, or the inspiration of another
earthly language they may not know. This communication channels
spirit & ends up in our mouth or ready to speak forth. If we
are given certain words or phrases (as prayer or worship), these can
us or through us (kind of like turning on a water faucet). The faucet
does not have to think a lot about the chemical composition of
water. Or worry whether the water source may run out? A good
faucet just opens & lets the water flow. Receiving spiritual
gifts, prophecy, speaking in tongues should be as simple as that.
The water comes from the Holy Spirit.
Contrary to superstition, when we do this we are never
"out of control" or taken over by anything. Paul simply says: "When I speak in a tongue (language) my SPIRIT prays." - 1 Corinthians 14
Speaking in tongues is a positive & healthy
experience, part of the normal Christian prayer life. A new way to
Have you ever tried singing in the Spirit, aka singing in other languages (tongues)?
How various people received & experienced speaking in tongues...
On one occasion, while Jesus was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." So when they met together, they asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?" He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, "Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have." So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.
While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" They answered, "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit." So Paul asked, "Then what baptism did you receive?" "John's baptism," they replied. Paul said, "John's baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus." On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. There were about twelve men in all.
"Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God. But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord. God did extraordinary miracles..."
We should not be afraid of the Lord demonstrating Himself in our lives in ways that are supernatural. When I have experienced divine healing, those (charis) grace gifts of healing were something I sincerely needed. I prayed & asked God to take away a physical injury to my knee or some other weakness in my body. To make my lungs breathe normally. Or return my heartbeat to normal. To take away asthma-like symptoms. To heal me from yeast infection or some other sickness. When the Spirit of God answers, the answered prayer is answered by a God Who restores us to health. As Christians, we should learn to be thankful & embrace the supernatural. What we think is supernatural is normal for God. Prophecy, working of miracles, speaking in tongues, words of (supernaturally-given) knowledge are simple for the Lord to do as well.
Don't be deceived, my dear brothers. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, Who does not change like shifting shadows.
Along this same line, Christians (believers in Christ) should also learn
about the Holy Spirit through the Bible. And ask the Lord to experience more.
Let God become more personal & real to you. Let Him work by His Spirit in your life & in the church
any way He wants. Pastors & church leaders should try to
control or limit God. The Lord is Sovereign. His ways are
not our ways. And our ways are not His ways. God's ways may
be ones you are not comfortable with.
God often will do things differently than what
humans & religious people are looking for. The Lord will challenge
your biases & preconceived notions. Why does God do this?
1. God is Sovereign & does whatever He pleases
2. God wants us to step out of our decor - and our decorum!
decor |dāˈkôr| The decoration and scenery of a stage
decorum |dəˈkôrəm| Behavior in keeping with good taste and propriety: "You exhibit remarkable modesty and decorum."
Suitability to etiquette or the requirements of an occasion, suitability of style; Latin: decorus, meaning: ‘seemly.
God is not much interested in our decorum.
Or our preferred decor. A lot of people want everything to be
picture perfect, planned & organized at Church. God is not
necessarily like us. What He wants may be different than what we
you remember when Jesus spit during the process of healing a man?
So much for decorum. To humans, decorum is everything. To
God, the Lord wants us to simply follow Him. Understand: God's ways are not our ways.
Jesus says: "Come, follow Me." Not the other way around.
Don't be surprised then when the Holy Spirit leads
you as far as you will let Him, right out of your comfort zone.
What does it mean to be baptized in the Holy Spirit?
Each Christian can be BAPTIZED (immersed) IN (filled with) THE HOLY SPIRIT! Ephesians 5:18, Acts 2:4, Acts 19:1-6
There are lots of hints in scripture that the baptism or infilling of the Spirit is
something more than salvation. And is more than the Holy Spirit beginning to dwell in us.
While it is true that the Holy
Spirit indwells or begins to work in a person's life along with
salvation, the Bible also teaches that there are subsequent experiences
with the Holy Spirit that go beyond salvation. John 3 describes being "born of the Spirit"
(born again). That is a beautiful experience. Elsewhere the
Bible calls this "justification" or being "saved." But don't stop
there. There's more!
There is a divine purpose in being filled with the Holy Spirit & speaking in tongues. 1 Corinthians 14 teaches that speaking in tongues is
a personal prayer language given for prayer, worship &
intercession. 1 Corinthians 1 tells us that everything written
about in the book of first Corinthians is for "all those everywhere who
call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Tongues (other
languages, heavenly words, phrases & utterances) are simply another
Spirit-charged way to draw near to God & worship the Lord. And
that's a good thing. 1 Corinthians 14 uses descriptions like: "singing in the Spirit," or "worshipping God well". No matter what you call it, it's good.
Don't be deceived, my dear brothers. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, Who does not change like shifting shadows.
Who is the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is the 3rd Person of the Trinity. God manifests Himself in three Persons, God, the Holy Spirit serves the main purpose of revealing Jesus to us.
The Holy Spirit is a Person (not some impersonal
force or unknowable entity). To
grow in Christ, we must open up to grow through the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God
is our Helper, Comforter, Teacher.
Once we receive Jesus as our Salvation, we are
ready to experience more from the Lord. The Holy Spirit helps with all that. Salvation is not the end,
but only the beginning. There is a further, deeper, filling or immersion of
Spirit called for in scripture.
How do we progress further in the Holy Spirit?
1. First, Jesus SAVES us. We receive the first & best gift of God: Jesus & His salvation!
2. The Holy Spirit indwells us upon receiving Christ.
3. The Holy Spirit then wants to come upon us & fill us, to empower us to walk as Christ's witnesses. Power from God gives us boldness & revelation to know Jesus more & witness to others.
4. The Holy Spirit enables us to grow, over time, in spiritual fruit. Galatians 5:22-23 To live in a way which pleases God! To be more like Christ.
5. The Holy Spirit is our Teacher. The Holy Spirit brings the Word of God alive to our hearts & minds. Illuminates scripture. Teaches us & daily brings Jesus into focus.
6. The Holy Spirit imparts to us spiritual gifts (Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, 14, Ephesians 4, etc.)
7. God wishes to crown our salvation by FILLING us, aka, baptizing us with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:4, 10:44-48, 19:1-6, Mark 16:17-18)
The book of Acts & other New Testament books
show some of these steps may happen in a different order with different
people, yet we all need the Spirit of God working in our lives in all of
After salvation, we will need
many additional repeat
experiences of fillings (or baptisms) in the Spirit. Over the days &
following our initial salvation, we can experience more gifts &
manifestations & let the Holy Spirit draw us into God's
Presence. The Spirit of God can teach us to worship & deepen
us in prayer. The Lord wants to fill our
lives during daily seeking
We should ask Jesus to fill us. "Ask & it
shall be given to you. Seek & you shall find."
Complacency is the surest path to slow growth or no growth. Return
to your first love!
To learn from the Holy Spirit (as John 15 describes), we need to hunger & thirst for righteousness. Through Christ & the help of the Holy Spirit, we can abide in the Vine. Then the fruit of the Holy Spirit increases in our lives!
The point is we all need God's Spirit! Since
we are weak, empty humans, we need our hearts FILLED WITH JESUS!
Draw close to God's Presence. We need God's
Word in our hearts. It is beautiful to let the Holy Spirit fill
& put a song of praise, and anointed prayer & intercession plus
the proclamation of the gospel in our mouths.
It is a truly WONDERFUL privilege to be FILLED with the Holy SPIRIT! Ephesians 5:18
God's purposes for speaking in
Why does the Bible encourage SPEAKING in
A. To HELP US GET CLOSER TO GOD (and glorify Jesus)
the gifts and manifestations of the Holy Spirit are bestowed to HELP US GET
CLOSER TO GOD!
Psalm 84 says: "Better is one day IN YOUR COURTS (close to God) than a thousand elsewhere!"
Similarly, speaking in tongues, like all
Christ-sent gifts, are grace enablements from
God. These empower us to experience the Lord more. To
understand His Word better. To walk closer to God. The Holy
Spirit's workings make us more sensitive to the Lord, strengthen our
ability to draw close. All God's gifts bring more of Jesus to us.
So these are all VERY GOOD!
Speaking in tongues is a gift of GRACE helping us to go deeper in prayer & walk closer with God!
Closeness to Jesus, enabled by the Holy Spirit, is a very good thing.
Without the Holy Spirit we cannot see &
understand Jesus & His Word. Or live the
Christian life. By nature, man is a fallen sinner, far from God,
separated by sin. To remedy this, we need
cleansing, forgiveness & reconcilation. The power of God's
Spirit can enable us to rise above our human weakness and walk closely
Along this same line, speaking in tongues - and each gift of the Spirit - are
EMPOWERMENTS of GRACE strengthening us to walk closer with God! So needed.
The New Testament word translated "gift" is often "charis" (in Greek). This means God touches us with the gifts of the Holy Spirit through His grace.
We should not scoff at or reject spiritual experiences which scripture recommend to us.
Isaiah 28:14 Therefore hear the word of the LORD, you scoffers who rule this people in Jerusalem.
God's heart is made clear in Isaiah 28 & 1
Corinthians 14 on matters of being baptized in the Holy Spirit,
receiving and embracing spiritual gifts. Both Isaiah & Paul urge us to welcome speaking in
tongues as good.
Indeed, the Lord will speak to this people. Through stammering lips and a foreign tongue.
12 He who said to them, “Here is rest, give rest to the weary,” And, “Here is repose,” but they would not listen.
The Baptism (Gk. immersion) of the Spirit is an
experience during which God Himself fills us with more of His Holy
Spirit. We can see
described in Acts 2:4, 10:44-48, 19:1-6, Mark 16:17-18, etc. The
Holy Spirit and each of Jesus' gifts are awesome! We love & want
more of Jesus & His Presence in our lives. We hunger to know the
Holy Spirit. We eagerly desire spiritual gifts. All Christian believers
should want to speak in
tongues (which can deepen our worship & prayer to the Lord).
And we should be eager to prophesy. All gifts from the Lord are really
Spiritual gifts are wonderful & good
It is SO WONDERFUL to receive grace gifts from the Lord. Beginning with salvation (the first & most important gift). Each of the spiritual gifts following are grace enablements each worth having, beautiful to experience. We should never be afraid of gifts from the Lord. The wise believer should receive them all.
1 Corinthians 14:1-2 "Follow the way of love and EAGERLY DESIRE spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy...Anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God."
More of the Holy Spirit means
MORE grace & MORE of GOD in our lives! More of JESUS! Those are good
things. The Lord desires that we would experience more overflow
of the Holy
Spirit in ministry to others. The result, like on the day of
Pentecost? More people saved & brought to
the Lord. Though we love all spiritual gifts, truly Jesus and His
salvation is the very best gift! Beyond Christ Himself, the more
Word & other grace gifts, plus more overflowing of the Holy Spirit
that we receive the BETTER!
Speaking in tongues fulfills a variety of divine purposes
God's gifts fulfill blessed divine purposes and bring us deep personal meaning. The gifts all reveal Christ to us.
Why does the Bible encourage SPEAKING in
B. To HELP US INTERCEDE in PRAYER! (an enablement to enhance Spirit-inspired intercession & glorify Jesus)
One primary purpose for speaking in tongues (as a
Spiritual prayer language) is to provide praying Christians a NEW WAY
(or a new level) TO SPEAK TO GOD! Even in OTHER languages! 1
Over the years, I often spend dedicated focused time in prayer
and listening to the Bible. Sometimes when
praying I can run out of words,
or come to the limits of my own mental understanding. There is a
well of prayer by the Holy Spirit which goes beyond my human
limits. And brings a new level of faith
inspiration, to pray smarter & more completely than I could limited
to my own thoughts or perceptions. Did you ever feel your praying
was in a
Then, there is something (which the Bible calls) "speaking in
tongues" which is an enhancement & amplification to prayer & intercession. A very good things.
Every Christian needs EXTRA HELP in prayer! The Bible teaches us in Romans 8 that this help can come from the Holy Spirit.
example, I sometimes add an appropriate amount of praying in other (Holy
language(s) to a time of prayer. With my mind, I can pray in
English, French, Cebuano, Tagalog and that's about it. God
understands all those. "Speaking in tongues" takes
us a step beyond. And helps us pray beyond what we can mentally
know or figure out for ourselves. Speaking in other languages leads us
further into the realm of the Holy Spirit, letting God Himself step into
the intercession through our spirit, availing of our willingness to be His intercessor.
Charis, grace gifts lead us truly beyond
the limitations of our finite, human minds. Into a realm of
spiritual life & enablement. There, colaboring with God, intercession moves to the next level.
Our prayers can be led and filled by the
Holy Spirit. Letting the Spirit pray the Father's will and glorify
Jesus through us is a great experience! Speaking in tongues assists in
prayer and all spiritual gifts mentioned in the New Testament reveal
1 Corinthians 14:39 Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and
Do not forbid speaking in tongues.
1 Corinthians 14:1-16 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy.
2 For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. (This is prayer.) Indeed, no one (except God) understands him; he utters mysteries (in prayer and worship to God) with his spirit. 4 He who speaks in a tongue edifies (spiritually strengthens) himself (and draws close to God in prayer that exalts Jesus, elevating His prayer life in an expression of supernatural worship), but he who prophesies edifies (strengthens) the church (both himself and others). 13 For this reason anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret what he says. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. 15 So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit (praying to Jesus in a Spirit-given worship or intercession language), but I will also pray with my mind (in my understood language); I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind.
Nowhere in the New Testament does the scripture warn us to
be afraid of or shy away from Jesus-given gifts. Or "speaking in
Tongues is simply a beautiful, nice, enjoyable, helpful, edifying, blessed
supernatural experience which enhances prayer and worship in the life
of the believer.
According to Jesus tongues is for "those who believe."
Mark 16:15-20 Paul also recommends speaking in tongues as something
he wishes would be the experience of EVERY Christian!
1 Corinthians 14:5
"I would like every one of you to speak in tongues."
Why does the Bible encourage SPEAKING in TONGUES?
C. To ENHANCE & DEEPEN PERSONAL WORSHIP of GOD! (and glorify Jesus)
1Corinthians 14:16-17 shares that "Speaking in tongues" is an HONORING way to praise God and "give thanks well."
The Holy Spirit (God's Word) through Paul was very clear that speaking in tongues is GOOD. Paul Himself enjoyed this gift in His prayer life. And worshipped JESUS in other languages as the Spirit gave him utterance. Paul was THANKFUL for speaking in tongues. And wanted every Christian to receive this experience.
1 Corinthians 14:18 "I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you."
1 Corinthians 14:5 "I would like every one of you to speak in tongues."
1 Corinthians 14:13-17
For this reason the one who speaks in a tongue should pray that they may interpret what they say. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. 15 So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding. 16 Otherwise when you are praising God in the Spirit, how can someone else, who is now put in the position of an enquirer,[d] say ‘Amen’ to your thanksgiving, since they do not know what you are saying? 17 You are giving thanks well enough, but no one else is edified.
18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you.
Why does the Bible encourage SPEAKING in TONGUES?
D. To demonstrate the Lord is a supernatural God! (and glorify Jesus)
Through speaking in tongues, God shows He is a supernatural God. And One Who fulfills prophecy
SPEAKING IN TONGUES IS A FULFILLMENT OF ISAIAH'S PROPHECY
God gives this gift to Christians all over the
world, in every century, since the time of Christ. To show His
Word & eternal purposes are being fulfilled. To demonstrate
that He means what He says.
Speaking in tongues & other spiritual gifts make the supernatural more real to us.
1 Corinthians 14:21
In the Law it is written: "Through men of strange tongues, and through the lips of foreigners, I will speak to this people, but even then they will not listen to me," says the Lord.
Isaiah, amazingly, prophesied that the Lord would endeavor to bring the spiritual gifts of Jesus, (the Cornerstone), Salvation (through JESUS) and speaking in other languages (as a gift from God) to men in a future time. Though this was yet in the future, when prophesied from the time of Isaiah, God said that when these gifts are brought to men some"will not listen."
Isaiah 28:9 "Who is it he is trying to teach? To whom is he explaining his message? To children weaned from their milk, to those just taken from the breast? 28:11 Very well then, with foreign lips and strange tongues God will speak to this people, 28:12 to whom he said, "This is the resting place, let the weary rest"; and, "This is the place of repose" &emdash; but they would not listen.
Paul quotes Isaiah 28:11-12 (in 1 Corinthians 14:21) and defines Isaiah's "tongues" as referring to the New Covenant spiritual gift of speaking in tongues. Isaiah said that foreign and strange tongues where a means by which " God will speak to this people." We should realize that it is only satan who wishes to silence God's Word. Or discredit God's gifts. When God speaks, satan wants to persuade men to NOT listen. Yet, " God will speak to this people."
Isaiah goes on to warn that if we reject the prophesied working and gifts of the Holy Spirit, then we will only be left with DEAD LEGALISM (a "to do" list of a bunch of religious rules. A dwarfed experience of "Do and do, do and do, rule on rule, rule on rule." Instead of the life of the Spirit and the grace of Jesus. Isaiah 28:13 So then, the word of the LORD to them will become: Do and do, do and do, rule on rule, rule on rule; a little here, a little there &emdash; so that they will go and fall backward, be injured and snared and captured.
This should scare you! Humans can so
misrepresent the way of Christ. Until nothing is left in it but DEAD
LEGALISM. Missing the Spirit, rejecting the gifts, bypassing grace.
Forgetting Jesus as the ONE FOUNDATION!
Why does the Bible encourage SPEAKING in TONGUES?
E. To strengthen the church (and glorify Jesus)
The believers' assembly was always intended by God to include
supernatural workings & ministry gifts from the Holy Spirit in
What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.
God's gifts are ALL good! James 1:16-17
like the gift of salvation, EACH of the Holy Spirit's gifts do not
expire, but bring
MORE OF JESUS to us! And JESUS IS GOOD! The Holy Spirit's
workings, the Word of God & the new covenant remain the same (from
the 1st century until now). Hebrews 13:8 says: "Jesus Christ (the
Giver of these gifts) is the same, yesterday, today & forever!"
Notice Jesus clearly teaches that the Holy Spirit and His gifts are expressions of love from the Father to bless His children.
Luke 11:9-13 "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"Matthew 7:6-11
The Holy Spirit is a GIVER of GRACE. Each spiritual gift, including speaking in tongues, brings us closer to Jesus & provides an EXPERIENCE OF GRACE.
Why does the Bible encourage SPEAKING in
F. To Reveal Jesus to ourselves & others
(Both inside & outside of the Church we are called to reveal Jesus to the lost and help fulfill the Great Commission)
Tongues with interpretation of tongues (as well as prophecy) in the
believers' assembly is meant to occur on a normal basis in
churches. With this result:
1 Corinthians 14:24-25
Then those who hear "are convicted of sin and are brought under judgment 25 as the secrets of their hearts are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, ‘God is really among you!’ "
1 Corinthians 14:21-31
21 In the Law it is written:
‘With other tongues
and through the lips of foreigners
I will speak to this people,
but even then they will not listen to me,
says the Lord.’
22 Tongues, then, are a sign, not for
believers but for unbelievers; prophecy, however, is not for unbelievers
but for believers. 23 So if the whole church comes together and
everyone speaks in tongues, and enquirers or unbelievers come in, will
they not say that you are out of your mind? 24 But if an unbeliever or
an inquirer comes in while everyone is prophesying, they are convicted
of sin and are brought under judgment by all, 25 as the secrets of their
hearts are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God,
exclaiming, ‘God is really among you!’
26 What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.
27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, two – or at
the most three – should speak, one at a time, and someone must
interpret. 28 If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet
in the church and speak to himself and to God.
29 Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. 30 And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. 31 For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged.
THE WHOLE POINT of
supernatural signs, spiritual gifts, including speaking in tongues, is
SO JESUS MAY BE REVEALED!
SPEAKING in TONGUES BRINGS FORTH the experience & REVELATION of JESUS!
Speaking in tongues, like each of the gifts of the
Spirit, is designed to open up to us a REVELATION OF JESUS
(and flow through us in prayer, intercession or a supernatural message,
interpreted if necessary, to benefit others). To bring others a
revelation of Christ.
Isaiah 28 prophesies:
Signs, gifts and tongues (spiritual languages) are God's working, to
demonstrate the reality of the Lord & provide Spirit-given
experiences SO JESUS CHRIST, the Messiah can BE REVEALED!
So this is what the Sovereign LORD says:
"See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious Cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed."
Jesus (experiencing more of Him in our lives) is the ultimate purpose of all spiritual gifts.
Read all the Isaiah 28 verses TOGETHER and see the flow of the whole context (the Holy Spirit and the supernatural sign of tongues LEADS US TO JESUS!)
11 Very well then, with foreign lips and strange tongues God will speak to this people, 12 to whom he said, "This is the resting place, let the weary rest"; and, "This is the place of repose" &emdash; but they would not listen. 16 So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed."
Everything we experience from God is deliberately ALL ABOUT JESUS!!!
Isaiah says this supernatural "tongues" by the giving of the Spirit is companion to God laying further the foundation of Jesus in our lives! Isaiah (28) goes on to say that we are to LISTEN and TRUST what God's Word says. To listen and receive Jesus, the Holy Spirit and tongues. That Jesus and these experiences (according to Isaiah 28) are trustworthy, true, the right way and FROM THE LORD!
Read these verses TOGETHER and see the flow of
context (and where all these things come from)...
Isaiah 28:11 Very well then, with foreign lips and strange tongues God will speak to this people, 28:12 to whom he said, "This is the resting place, let the weary rest"; and, "This is the place of repose" &emdash; but they would not listen. Isaiah 28:16 So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed." Isaiah 28:23 Listen and hear My voice; pay attention and hear what I say. 28:26 His God instructs him and teaches him the right way. 28:29 All this comes from the LORD Almighty, wonderful in counsel and magnificent in wisdom.
I am kind of amazed that Isaiah prophesied
speaking in tongues would be a wonderful New Covenant experience
which would REVEAL JESUS! And bring more of Christ into our lives. Isaiah's prophecy EMPHATICALLY states that
"All this (Jesus, the
Revelation of Jesus, the Foundation of Jesus AND SPEAKING IN TONGUES)
comes from the LORD Almighty!" It's all about Jesus & comes from the Holy Spirit to us.
Have you ever spoken in tongues? According to scripture, every (any) believer can. "Ask and ye shall receive."
These are some of my favorite scriptures on speaking in tongues: Acts 1:4-8. Acts 2:4, Acts 10:44-48 & Acts 19:1-6 All these passages share important instances of people encountering the power of God's Spirit touching them. This is important to all believers.
Jesus & the Holy Spirit are the SAME yesterday, today and FOREVER! Hebrews 13:8, Mal. 3:6 So we know according to God's Word that nothing has changed (or ever will). James 1:16-17 shares the longevity of God's gracious gifts as well.
"Speaking in tongues" is really a wonderful and VERY GOOD experience for any Christian. Needed in prayer especially. The Apostle Paul did it regularly and was very thankful for it. 1 Corinthians 14 tells more "Speaking in tongues" is mainly for private prayer, intercession and worship ("giving thanks" to God well). Jesus also said we could/would do this in His Name: Mark 16:15-20 "In My Name they will speak in new tongues."
Why does the Bible encourage SPEAKING in
G. To bring rest, comfort & peace from Jesus to our hearts during prayer
SPEAKING in TONGUES BRINGS an EXPERIENCE of DIVINE REST
Personal edification is often one of the goals of
spiritual gifts. "He who prophesies edifies the church."
According to Jesus, spiritual, mental & emotional rest are
important. These are experiences God wants to give to us as we
draw near to Christ.
Sometimes, over the years, I simply relax and praying in
tongues for awhile, maybe five, ten or fifteen minutes. Afterward, I felt
rested. And that's a good thing.
Is. 28 (which is quoted in 1 Corinthians 14) says that speaking in tongues has the side benefit of bringing rest (like Matthew 11:28-30 describes). Rest is given to those who pray to Jesus in other languages (tongues). Rest comes because speaking in tongues is one more way (an important one) of COMING TO JESUS! Speaking in tongues is meant to companion with a heart wishing to draw near to Jesus in prayer or worship, then the revelation of Jesus will often come to you. And in Matt. 11:28-30 Jesus said this would bring an experience of "rest for your souls."
Is it possible that for some Christians, even years along in pursuing God & truth, that the baptism (immersion/filling) in the Spirit has been partially missed? Or some of God's gifts have somehow been ignored? Or may there be yet more from the Holy Spirit for us to receive? Is there always an even closer walk with Jesus through the Holy Spirit? These scriptures can guide our way: Acts 2:4, 10:44-48, 19:1-6, Mark 16:17-18, etc.
Trying to be a Christian without the very real and heart-touching infilling of the Spirit is like going to a church for years but only having "God the Holy Bible." Somehow missing the "Word MADE FLESH" (Jesus & His Word made real in us by the Spirit). We can be Christians, yet lacking the Spirit's strength and vision to see "Christ in us the hope of glory." The Holy Spirit IN US is the power we need to live the Christian life and move past obstacles which hinder our way. We need more of God!!! Speaking in tongues is one more important & needed grace experience from Jesus. For all Christians.
People today still receive
People today still receive the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues
A baptism in the Spirit with speaking in tongues can open new realms of spiritual reality to you. Jesus will become more real. You'll understand the Bible better. And your prayer life will increase. Love for others and a heart for evangelism, even a deeper experience of drawing near to God in worship all tend to come with the "package deal."
I personally did not get very much of a grasp on God or His Word until I was FILLED/BAPTIZED/immersed in the Holy Spirit's infilling/overflowing (which happened one day in Feb. 1982). I experienced it like Acts 2:4 & Acts 19:1-6 describe. Though I was unsure of these new experiences, I simply read the book of Acts and believed the Bible was true. And asked God, like a child, to experience the filling of the Spirit in a new measure WITH SPEAKING IN TONGUES. "Ask and ye shall receive." There are wonderful gifts to be given us from Heaven above! And Jesus is the BEST gift of all!!! Speaking in tongues is a devotional expression of close and deep love for Jesus, the Son of God and Saviour of all. It is like the deep understandings which only a husband and wife can express by "languages" which go beyond words. Jesus wishes that we would hunger and thirst for Him. And then, within us, "deep (would) call unto deep." Psalm 42
Since we are too weak in ourselves and unable to live the Christian life alone by our strength, it is important to seek more of God (MORE from the Holy Spirit). Letting the SUPERNATURAL of God work IN us daily. Jesus is our DAILY BREAD!
God is MORE interested in helping, saving, forgiving and filling us than we are ourselves. Jesus gives GOOD GIFTS to His kids! James 1:16-17
It is the Father's express offer and desire to redeem and save lives. Increasing experiences of Holy Spirit baptism (Acts 1:8, 2:4) deepen in us a POWER to be Jesus' witnesses in a needy world. Desire Jesus to fill you with more of His Spirit. Salvation is/was the first step. Yet Jesus is pursuing us daily with everlasting love. Jer. 31:3 And there is MORE. Speaking in tongues is only one more step in letting Jesus increase in your heart and life. And all God's gifts are GOOD! James 1:16-17 God wants to give more and more to us. Don't let anything hold you back from asking Jesus for more. I was afraid of this new experience when I first read about it. But I found faith to ASK by settling my mind in the scriptures themselves. God's Word is flawless. His gifts are perfect. "Ask and you shall receive!"
Romance with God is an everlasting LOVE that NEVER ENDS! Hallelujah! And when you LOVE someone, you give them GIFTS! Jesus is just the same.
The "Dove" will come down and fill us again with wonderful GIFTS from above! All because of Jesus, His cross and Blood! "Ask and ye shall receive."
Joel 2 prophesies to us that dreams, visions,
prophecies, signs, wonders and the POURING OUT OF GOD'S SPIRIT will
be increased and readily available in the last days. These are the final days
when Jesus will shine brightest! Not less but more. Truly, Jesus loves to save the BEST
wine for LAST! Let the pouring out of the Holy Spirit touch & empower your life.
What next? How can we receive from the Holy Spirit?
If you wish to experience more of God in the ways these scriptures refer to...simply begin by reading the scriptures mentioned on this page. Perhaps, like me, you would also benefit from reading the book of Acts. Only make sure to see all things in Acts as "FOR ME." If you read the Bible like that - and ASK GOD to do those things in your life - He will. And your life will be changed.
Permanently banish from your mind all doubts, traditions or false teachings you've ever heard which (falsely try to) say God has "changed." Religious men (even some misguided 'Bible teachers') make great efforts to nullify God's Word and say His promises are "not for us today." They will even use the scriptures inappropriately to shut the Holy Spirit out of their churches. Do not follow them! God's gifts are all still here. Just like the SCRIPTURE says. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. Hebrews 13:8 Believe simply what the scripture says. Grow more in your personal hunger for God. Then Ask and receive. And you WILL.
I have found it important, in keeping with scripture, to ask God to fill you (or fill your heart more, "baptize you") in the Holy Spirit. Specifically ask for this. (And keep on asking.) Along with this, be very open to receive a prayer language when God ministers more of His Spirit within you. This can happen in a variety of ways. Just make sure you are open for Jesus to do as He wishes in you. He will touch you and fill you JUST LIKE THE SCRIPTURES SAY!
Remember that"Tongues" is for praying and worshipping Jesus in other languages. As Paul tried to explain (in 1 Corinthians 13-14), this is actually a heavenly language given by the Holy Spirit to enhance private devotional worship and prayer (even singing). "Tongues" is a companion gift which happens in scripture right along with the BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT experience. This blessing is described in 1 Corinthians 14 and Mark 16:17-18, Acts 1:8, 2:4, 10:44-48, 19:1-6. And many more scriptures. Other gifts may be given additionally to a person along with this new grace experience from God. First, receive Jesus as your Saviour. Then ask for a (further or fuller) filling of the Spirit. Have love in your heart for God and give thanks to Him in the new language He gives you. Worship Jesus! For the revelation of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy. You may even get a second gift (like prophecy for others). All God's gifts are good.
Jesus said: "Ask and YE SHALL RECEIVE!"
- brother Jeff
To learn more about how speaking in tongues (and the miracle of language) relates to worldwide evangelism,
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What should we think about those who reject spiritual gifts or the Biblically recommended Christian experience of speaking in tongues?
Over the years, I must admit being discouraged and mystified by a loud minority of churchgoers or religious people, even some Christians, who seem to fear, reject, deny or even despise the Holy Spirit and His gifts. The Bible gives very serious warnings about denying Jesus. And the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. I believe denying the Holy Spirit, His reality, gifts & miracles is also very serious.
It is actually shameful and dishonoring to the Lord to reject His gifts. Beginning with the gift of salvation. Those who reject that gift end up with eternity in hell. Rejecting other gifts from God also involves missing grace. And is a serious mistake.
Anyone who teaches God's gifts are expired should rethink their (second-hand) questionable theology. If someone thinks the gifts of the Spirit, sent to reveal Jesus, are scary or bad, this is simply misled.
Some well-known traditional, denominational "pastors" or teachers over the years, seem like their teachings are running on fumes of untrue traditional doctrines. Perhaps they got these from theological seminaries. Or other misinformed sources. Some infer that, supposedly, gifts from God are expired, passe, rejected or even bad. Naysayers warn against receiving gifts though they actually are from God. (Especially spiritual manifestations they or their church do not like.) For example: Healing, miracles, spiritual gifts, speaking in tongues, prophecy. Anything that demonstrates God is supernatural.
Honestly, this uncomfortable perspective on the supernatural is incorrect. God, by definition, is supernatural. And Malachi 3:6 clears it all up: "I, the Lord do not change."
Neither Luke, Matthew, Paul or Jesus had any "phobia" about spiritual gifts. Jesus encouraged us to receive them. Jesus authored the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. And told all those (in Acts 1) who had already received salvation, to wait for a second experience with the Holy Spirit from on high. We are to ask and receive all the gifts the Holy Spirit calls good.
We should not be confused or deceived or deterred by satan against the good that comes into our lives through spiritual gifts.
One especially harmful deception is the false notion that God, only in the old days, used to give supernatural gifts, but (supposedly) now we don't need them anymore. That seems preposterous considering Jesus said that, in the last days, there would be times of great tribulation. During the last days, the need for believers to experience the supernatural sustaining power of Christ will increase, not decrease.
1 Corinthians 13, properly understood, says that spiritual gifts, like prophecy, miracles, word of knowledge, speaking in tongues, will CONTINUE throughout the full time period of the New Covenant until we see Jesus FACE TO FACE. Following that, in heaven, the partial glimpses of His glory & Presence (like prophecy and tongues and miracles) will no longer be needed. When we see Him FACE to FACE. The Holy Spirit & His gifts last AS LONG AS EARTH LASTS. For the entirety of the New Covenant.
1 Corinthians 13 is really full of divine advocacy, encouraging us to receive the LOVE of God along with all the Spirit's gifts. 1 Corinthians 14 (& 12) both confirm the unchanging purpose of both LOVE & GIFTS in the lives of all believers.
Notice how scripture many places confirms the UNCHANGING nature of God and the UNCHANGING giving of His gifts.
James 1:16 -17
Don't be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Therefore, since Jesus does NOT change...) 9 Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. (In other words, simply accept and stick with what the BIBLE says. On all matters. For...) It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace."
That some humans would misunderstand - even reject or neglect to experience God's blessings is unfathomable. Why do people reject & deny Christ's salvation? It makes no sense. Why would Christians reject or minimize the Holy Spirit? Rejecting God's gifts which richly bring us the revelation of Jesus, also does not make sense. Jesus Himself demonstrated almost all of the Holy Spirit's gifts throughout His earthly ministry and wants them for us.
"The things that I do, you also will do. And even greater."
Best recommendation: Believe God's Word.
As for me, I am going with GOD'S WORD (not what Christ-rejecting people say). Isaiah 28 hits every nail right on the head. God is right. The Bible is our infallible truth. Any voices contrary to scripture are false & suspect.
Romans 3:2-4 They (Jews like Isaiah through whom the Holy Spirit brought forth the revelation of Scripture) have been entrusted with the very words of God. What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God's faithfulness? Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar. As it is written: "So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge."
Prayer in other tongues or worship by singing in the Spirit are great ways to draw close to God & glorify Jesus. Through the supernatural, the Holy Spirit challenges our human boundaries and doctrinal prejudices. God Himself bursts out beyond our doctrines and takes us out of our comfort zone. When it comes to decided how God wants to do things, we are NOT in control. Jesus is Lord. No one tells the King what He can & cannot do.
Gifts, signs, miracles, healing, tongues & many of heaven's wonders are each a divine way of God saying: I want to move you beyond what you can do. I want to transcend what you can figure out with your brain. I am not limited to your human words or your limited vocabulary. I want to transcend your spiritual studies & academic understanding.
Yes, you're right, speaking in tongues doesn't have anything to do with being saved. But after you are saved, speaking & praying in tongues, plus singing in other languages are all great ways to draw close to God, deepen your understanding of Jesus, worship the Lord & add to your prayer life.
Some people try to contradict tongues in their spiritual circles. Why? They want to deprive people of a bonafide Holy Spirit inspired experience that is clearly Biblical.
It's actually no wonder the devil fights against spiritual gifts & supernatural experiences.
The devil is master at deceiving & declaring gifts from God are not available or speaking in "tongues" is now invalid. satan himself tries to discredit the Acts 2:4 experience, saying it's not you or not for us today (these are lies). "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today & forever." Hebrews 13:8
Some misdirected, but perhaps well-meaning, Christians try to persuade us that tongues or other supernatural gifts may be over long ago (or only historical). But these ideas do not hold up to scripture. The same world-wide heart of God that reached men from many languages & nations on the day of Pentecost has actually never changed!
Naysayers sound off to deny the communication abilities of the Holy Spirit or prevent God's heart from reaching out to every tribe & language by cutting off spiritual gifts, supernatural prayer & more. This is tantamount to denying John 3:16 plus the Holy Spirit of Acts 2! We should not be doing that.
Even good Christian folks can form doctrines or biases against God, His gifts, grace & Word. God Himself is the One Who decided to create a world with many & plural languages (in Genesis). We should not let any doctrinal idea from humans dwarf our ability to understand the outreach of the Holy Spirit through all languages to express the worldwide heart of God.
For years, I've even seen some brothers and sisters seem to speak against the Bible or resist God's Spirit. I hear them mistrust, accuse those who believe, even disallow legitimate spiritual gifts, deny contemporary and wonderful, miraculous workings of God. The naysayers want to outlaw the supernatural altogether, because it does not fit their doctrines, theology or personal preferences.
Some people want to accuse Jesus of no longer giving good gifts. James 1:16-17 says otherwise. Other dear, but confused, ones say prophecy or healing or tongues or other miracles God can no longer do. (Because we won't allow Him to?) In Christ's day, the Pharisees accused Jesus, when He performed miraculous works of being Beelzebub & not of God. There's really nothing new under the sun. Religious people are still accusing Jesus & trying to outlaw His miraculous works today.
I personally would rather not reject the Lord's gifts. "Every gift of God is GOOD & PERFECT." People are flawed, but God's gifts are all good. James 1:16-17
Instead of picking and choosing gifts (as if we were God or in charge of Christmas), I've always felt God's Word alone is our guide. Everything in the Bible is right & true. And all the gifts are still on the menu. The Father can choose which gifts are best for you. But there is no denying, in Acts 2:4 that "all of them were filled with the Holy Spirit & began to speak in tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance."
Jesus taught we, like sons, are free to ASK of a loving, generous Heavenly Father, Who delights to give us gifts.
Forget all the doctrinal debates. Step beyond denominations, sects & human doctrines. Set aside man's religious confusion & controversies. God's word is the right source.
"To the law & to the prophets. If they do not speak according to this Word, they have no light of dawn."
The scriptures are clear on spiritual gifts. God's Word speaks for itself. And actually all God's gifts are good. James 1:16-17 All of them. Divine gifts flow from above. From a Gift-giver Who is unchanging. Malachi 3:6 Likewise, the kinds of gifts He gives also never change. We are still in the same new covenant. Same as always. From the first century until now. I personally have learned that God, the never changing gift giver, is generous in His Spirit outpourings!
Speaking in tongues is a great way to celebrate Jesus, worship Christ as our Saviour, to draw close to the One we love, adore Him (like the Magi), bring Him GIFTS! We honor God most when our gifts are truly focused on worshipping JESUS. Just as the Magi brought gifts humbly and bestowed them in worship before the newborn King, so every Christian needs to offer gifts and spiritual talents to honor and glorify God! 1 Cor. 10:31
I've often baffled at those who, nevertheless, feel a need to rage or scoff, or be afraid of divine things supernatural.
Some miscreants preach a fuming mistrust toward the Holy Spirit & many of the gifts God delights to give. Set this aside. And remember that the Bible commands us to ENCOURAGE & EAGERLY DESIRE spiritual gifts. 1 Cor. 12-14
I notice great irony, even in some of my fellow "evangelicals." Over the years, I have known dear friends who somehow inflamed themselves to declare we should reject tongues, prophecy, healing & miracles (and other gifts and workings of God established by the scriptures). To any honest reading of the Bible, such contradictions simply can not hold.
Rejection of spiritual gifts or forbidding others to receive Christ's gifts is a really SCROOGE kind of "Christianity." Bah. Humbug! (God, we refuse & reject your gifts. Return to sender.) Such attitudes dishonor the Lord.
Instead of being spiritual scrooges, let's resolve to believe the Bible, welcome all the Spirit's gifts and love the miraculous workings of Jesus in our midst, all for God's glory. Test and discern what's real & right, yes, always. But hold to the scriptures as the only guide. ENCOURAGE Jesus to reveal Himself. Welcome the Holy Spirit to do the Father's will. Encourage all spiritual GIFTS, not just the ones you are comfortable with. Above all, encourage the seeking of God. Remember James 1:16-17. All good gifts come from God. From above. And spiritual gifts are given to REVEAL Jesus to us. John 1:29 That's a good thing. Like the magi of old, it is best to draw near to Christ. And bring our gifts to His feet to worship Him. Truly Jesus is the One Who we love. And the One Who we honor with all the Holy Spirit's gifts that are given.
1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
3 They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.