Speaking in Tongues

Question from a Site Viewer
Do you believe that speaking in tongues is an outward evidence of the filling of the Holy Spirit? Scriptures?

Tim’s Answer
I answer your question with a negative. I believe at Pentacost tongues was a sign of the infilling of the Spirit of God in those believers. I believe that the same occurred with Cornelius in Acts 10:44-48. This is part of God’s bearing witness that this new work was of Him, as described in Hebrews 2:4.

However, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12:30 that not all speak in tongues. Yet, he said earlier that all have the same Spirit (1 Corinthianss 12:4). The Spirit gives to each one different gifts (1 Corinthians 12:7-11). The evidence of the Spirit’s control in the life of a believer is the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). If someone is filled with the Spirit, this will be the fruit. There is no teaching that all will speak in tongues. In fact, in the second filling of the Spirit spoken of in the book of Acts, there is no mention of tongues, but rather of boldness to speak the Word of God (Acts 4:31). I think it is dangerous to take descriptions of what happened to local groups of believers and make such normative for all believers. I believe the Spirit has a great deal of flexibility in the way He chooses to work in our lives. However, when Scripture teaches prescriptively, that is, Scripture prescribes the way things are to be, than that is normative for all. Thus, the examples of speaking of tongues are not telling us how we should live any more than the examples of Peter walking on the water and sinking are teaching us how to walk on water and sink. These are examples. On the other hand, when Scripture teaches that the Spirit gives many gifts and not all receive the same gifts, that is a teaching that is for us to understand. So likewise is the teaching on the fruit of the Spirit.

God is most interested in a heart that is seeking to serve Him by serving one another and keeping ourselves unspotted from the world. If we concentrate on our love relationship with Him and with one another (these two cannot be divorced because if we do not practice love towards one another we cannot say that we love God), then we will please God. It is up to Him to distribute to us whatever gifts He desires. And whatever gifts He gives to us are given so that we might build up one another. Peter exhorts us to use them for that purpose.

May the Spirit guide you into the truth.

tim

One thought on “Speaking in Tongues

  1. David

    Greetings.
    The bigger question is what is being called today, “tongues” the same as the physical manifestation of the Holy Spirit of the New Testament? The answer is a clear and a simple one, no. I have been to many churches that claim different physical manifestations and everyone of them have been a phony. After expressing my doubt to the “tongue speakers” they all become rather angry and will always try to point out one verse or another as proof that they are speaking in tongues. I will point out that the verses they are using only support the fact that some people during that time “spoke in tongues”, not that THEY are “speaking in tongues”. Also, anyone trying to use the Bible to prove that they have the physical manifestations of the Holy Spirit is foolish. The manifestation itself is proof of a supernatural event, in other words, if you have to show scriptural proof that a miracle just happened then it must not be much of an event. Tongues were to prove, not to be proved.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available