“Tongues” in the Scriptures!!!

Questioner: I am Baptist and don’t believe the same doctrine that you do. I believe that if you have accepted the Lord as your Savior, that the Holy Spirit came into your life at that time.

Brother Hicks’ response: Concerning your own thoughts and beliefs: Thank you for being “open and honest”!

The scripture says: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” (1 Peter 3:15) So … rather than giving you my “opinion”, or some “denominational doctrine”, I’m ready to answer … from a Scriptural basis.

First of all, I also believe in the work of the Holy Spirit at the new birth. He’s the “agent” in the new birth. He’s the One who makes you into a “New Creature”. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Near the end of Jesus’ bodily ministry on earth, (Mark 16:15-20), Jesus gave believers what is universally known as The Great Commission: “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized (immersed into Christ) shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”

Later, Jesus, after his crucifixion, burial, and resurrection … reappeared to His disciples and about 500 others, and taught them for 40 days. During that time, He breathed on His disciples and said, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost”. (John 20:22) At that very moment, they were “Born Again”. They became the very first “Born Again” people in the history of the world. “Regeneration” is the initial work of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer!

Subsequently, (Luke 24:49), at the very end of that 40 day period, Jesus gave them His very last command, just before ascending to heaven to be seated at the Right Hand of God, The Father.

“And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49)

In Jesus’ last command (Luke 24:49),¬†He said that they were not to leave the city of Jerusalem until they had received the promise of God, The Father. That promise was fulfilled on the “Day of Pentecost”, when the Holy Spirit descended upon them and “endued them with power” for service. (Acts 2:16-17)

“And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel.” (Acts 2:4, 16-17)

The outward sign that was visible, was that they began to speak in languages that they had never learned. But there were other evidences of Jesus’ promise of “power for service” (as related to the Holy Spirit.)

Remember, “Little Faith Peter”? He began to walk on the water (Matthew 14:30-31) but then he re-focused on ¬†“the wind boisterous” and began to sink. Jesus said of him, “Oh thou of little faith.”

But after being born again … and being subsequently Baptized in the Holy Ghost … Peter was a changed man. He became a powerhouse for God. So much so, that people brought the sick and laid them in the streets so that his shadow would fall on them … and they were healed! (Acts 5:15)

“Faith Filled Peter”, (now Baptized in the Holy Ghost), while entering the temple with John to pray, commanded a 40+ year old man who had been lame since birth … to walk. (Acts 3:2-10) He took him by the hand and lifted him up. The man went “walking, and leaping, and praising God” into the temple!

Oh, what a difference there is in “Born Again Christians” who obey Jesus’ command and become “endued with power from on high”. (Baptized in the Holy Ghost!!!) ¬†A new and exciting walk with God awaits you when you receive the “Promise of the Spirit”.

“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 , all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Acts2:39)

Questioner: I was wondering if you have an interpreter when someone in your church does that, as the Bible says you should.

Brother Hicks’ Response: As a point of clarification, there are two different kinds of “tongues” mentioned in the Scriptures.

The first, is associated with the infilling of the Holy Spirit (Baptism in the Holy Spirit with tongues as an accompanying prayer language) as commanded by Jesus in Luke 24:49. That “Prayer Language” is available to anyone who is “Born Again” and receives the “Baptism in the Holy Spirit”. That prayer language is referred to in Jude 20, where all Spirit-Filled believers are reminded that Christians can “build themselves up” on their most holy faith, by “praying in the Spirit”.

The Apostle Paul reminded us that sometimes we don’t know how to pray about a matter … so we should “pray in the Spirit”. By doing that, we are allowing the Holy Spirit to make intercession for us, in accord with the “will of God”. (Romans 8:26-28)

The second use of the word “tongues” is in association with one of the 9 supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit, listed in 1 Corinthians 12:1, 4-11). This use of the word “tongues” refers to “Divers (different) kinds of Tongues” along with the corresponding gift of “Interpretation of Tongues”. Verse 11 specifically states that each of these 9 gifts are distributed individually to those whom God desires to use in that way.

These 9 “Gifts of the Spirit” are normally used to minister to others in a public setting, such as a church service … whereas, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit’s Tongues (that is, one’s “prayer language”, which is an outward evidence of a believer being supernaturally empowered by God) is primarily for edification of that particular believer.

“Divers Kinds of Tongues” requires an interpreter because it is for public ministry.

A believer’s “prayer language” of tongues, on the other hand, is communication between that particular believer and God, so no interpretation is necessary.

Paul, in his statement, “I thank my God that I speak with tongues, more than ye all.” (1 Corinthians 14:12-19) indicated that he understood the value of Praying in the Spirit (tongues). He prayed in the Spirit, and he sang in the Spirit!!!

By way of comparison, in public settings, God sometimes delivers a message to His people through someone whom He has chosen to be used in delivering “Divers Kinds of Tongues”. When that occurs, that message is to be interpreted by someone used in “Interpretation of Tongues”, in order that the congregation may benefit by what God said.

In Isaiah 28:11-12, God’s Word emphatically states: “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to his people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith he may cause the weary to rest: yet they would not hear.”¬†¬†The Word of God reveals that God will use “Tongues” to speak to His people. That goes right along with the scriptures in Romans 8:26-28, where we’re instructed to “Pray in the Spirit” concerning things that we don’t know how to pray about.

Isaiah also reveals that by praying in the Spirit, we get “refreshed”.¬†

Jude 20 states that we “build up ourselves” when we pray in tongues.

Additionally, our prayer language (tongues), enables us to speak of divine secrets with God. “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.” (1 Corinthians 14:2)

On the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1) we see that 120 believers (Born Again Christians) were assembled and … “And when the day of Pentecost was 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 all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” God gave each of them languages that they’d never learned. Tongues!!!

Acts 10:44-47 “While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. 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. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?”

In every single scriptural account, it is either directly stated, or inferred, that the way people knew someone had been “Baptized (immersed) in the Holy Spirit”, was because they spoke with tongues.¬†When people speak with tongues (their prayer language) they are sometimes “magnifying God”. Praise the Lord!!!

Well, Brother Hicks, you certainly can quote scripture, but I’m afraid that I can’t go along with speaking in tongues. My older sister goes to a church where they do and I was very uncomfortable there when they did. I know there are people who believe the way you do, but I just don’t.

Brother Hicks’ Response:
I’m not sure about your Sister’s Church, since I’ve never been there. However, I didn’t give you my opinion but instead … quoted the EXACT Word of God.

“What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God. For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.” (Romans 3:1-4)

According to this scripture … we are to believe the Word of God … above all else!!! That includes “above denominational doctrine” (whether it be Baptist, Methodist, Nazarene, Lutheran, Church of Christ, Presbyterian, or whatever.)

In fact, the Holy Scriptures directly address this very issue by stating: “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual , let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. Let all things be done decently and in order.” (1 Corinthians 14: 37-40)

We all have to decide for ourselves, whether or not, we’re going to obey the COMMAND of The Lord, Jesus. He once asked some of those who professed to follow Him: And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.” (Luke 6:46-49)

I trust that you’re someone who not only calls Jesus your “Lord” … but who DOES what Jesus says!!!

Be blessed!

Brother Hicks


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