Speaking In Tongues
The Initial Physical Evidence of the Baptism In The Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4)

TABLE OF CONTENTS
(Clicking on these internal links will move you down this page)

Assemblies of God Sunday School Leaflet
The Evidence Of The Baptism In The Holy Spirit by Bill Odermann
Is It Really Necessary To Speak In Tongues? By Dennis J. Bennett
God Satisfied Their Hunger by E. S. CALDWELL
Why Speak In Other Tongues? By Robert J. Lundstrom
Speaking With Other Tongues By Alfred F. Missen
"I Not Speak With Tongues" By Betty Jane Grams
I Wish That You All Spoke In Tongues By Forrest Smith

INTRODUCTION

Over the years the Pentecostal Evangel Magazine of the Assemblies of God has published some excellent articles on speaking in tongues. It is my great delight here to share a few of them with you.

There are two different aspects of tongues. When a believer receives the Baptism In The Holy Spirit he or she speaks in what is known as "Devotional Tongues." This is your daily, devotional prayer language to God while you are in your "prayer closet." When a person is moved upon by God in a church congregation to give a message in tongues this is known as "The Gift of Tongues." This must be accompanied by the "Gift of Interpretation" so that the message in tongues can be understood in the congregation's local language. This is so that the congregation is exhorted and encouraged and uplifted.

God wants full custody
Not just a weekend visit

SPEAKING IN TONGUES

THE CENTRAL TRUTH:
Speaking in tongues is the initial evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and its continued usage in orderly manner serves to edify both the Church and the individual.

THE GOLDEN TEXT:
"They were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance"
Acts 2:4.

The writer has a Greek friend whom he knew when he was a pastor in Washington, D.C. This man was born on the Isle of Patmos and had come to America. He was an elder in a church of a different denomination.

His wife was very interested in the Pentecostal experience and both of them occasionally attended our Sunday night services. He loved to play the violin and asked to play in our church orchestra.

One particular Wednesday night became a turning point in this Greek gentleman's life. He and his wife were present for the Bible study that night. He was still very dubious and skeptical about the baptism in the Holy Spirit and was unconvinced of its authenticity.

After the study people were at the altar praying when a young deacon began speaking in tongues. The Greek man suddenly became breathless with excitement. He moved up close to listen to the speaking in tongues. Afterward he asked the young man, "Where did you learn to speak such flawless Greek?" Startled, the young man replied, "Why, George, I don't know a word of Greek. I should do a better job with English." It wasn't long afterward that this Greek man was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues.

An incident of this kind dramatically demonstrates the reality of speaking in tongues but Scripture itself is the best authority for it. This study will explore the wonder of this sacred manifestation of the Holy Spirit. It is completely genuine and Biblical.

SEEING THE SCRIPTURES

Acts 2:1-4 (NLT):
1When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.

2Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.

3They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.

4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Acts 10:44-46 (NLT):
44Even as Peter was saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who had heard the message.

45The Jewish believers who came with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out upon the Gentiles, too.

46And there could be no doubt about it, for they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.

1 Corinthians 14:4, 22, 27, 28 (NLT):
4A person who speaks in tongues is strengthened personally in the Lord, but one who speaks a word of prophecy strengthens the entire church.

22So you see that speaking in tongues is a sign, not for believers, but for unbelievers; prophecy, however, is for the benefit of believers, not unbelievers.

27No more than two or three should speak in an unknown language. They must speak one at a time, and someone must be ready to interpret what they are saying. 28But if no one is present who can interpret, they must be silent in your church meeting and speak in tongues to God privately.

BIBLE COMMENTARY

Initial Evidence:

Read Acts 2:1-4
1. The word Pentecost means "fiftieth." In the Old Testament it was a harvest festival celebrated 50 days after the Passover. In the Book of Acts the Day of Pentecost came 50 days after the resurrection of Jesus and ten days after His ascension to heaven.

2. Who were "they" in the first verse of
Acts chapter 2? The total number of people was 120. Among those were the eleven apostles, Matthias, a number of unnamed women, Jesus' mother Mary, and the brothers of Jesus
(Acts 1:14, 15, 26).

3. The 120 supplicants were "all with one accord." The Bible does not say they were in discord at the beginning of their ten-day prayer meeting. It simply says there was unity among them on the Day of Pentecost. How important is unity? It is essential for collective results. God will never deny His blessings to sincere and honest individuals but unity is required if a group or congregation is to receive bestowments of common good.

4. The initial evidence that the 120 had received the baptism in the Holy Spirit was that they all spoke in tongues. This was a unanimous manifestation. Everyone of them spoke and it happened at the identical time they were filled with the Spirit. Some have theorized that a person may be baptized in the Holy Spirit and then belatedly, weeks or months later, speak in tongues. In the Book of Acts tongues occurred at the very time people were baptized in the Holy Spirit.

5. It is not easy to explain the "how" of speaking in tongues. It is doubtless a combination of divine inducement and human cooperation. The Holy Spirit gives the words and the person involved allows the use of his vocal cords, tongue, and lips. The person willingly speaks but his mind is not aware of what the words mean. Speaking in tongues is clearly miraculous.

6. We refer to speaking in tongues as the "initial" physical evidence of the Baptism. By this we mean to convey the truth that it is not the only evidence that will follow the Spirit's infilling. The Baptism will affect every part of our lives. Speaking in tongues is the first outward sign that this miracle has taken place.

MIRACULOUS MANIFESTATION

Read Acts 10:44-46; 19:1-6
1. There are five occasions in the Book of Acts where people received the Holy Spirit baptism. On three of these occurrences it is specifically stated that there was speaking in tongues
(Acts 2:4; 10:46; 19:6). The other two times it is clearly implied. In the city of Samaria Simon "saw" something evidential which he wanted to purchase with money
(Acts 8:18, 19). It seems logical to believe he observed the people speaking in tongues. Additionally, Peter and John were satisfied that the Samaritan believers had received the Holy Spirit. The criterion of their satisfaction had to be their own experience on the Day of Pentecost, which included speaking in tongues. In
Acts 9:17 we learn that Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit. Did he speak in tongues then? He said in
1 Corinthians 14;18, "I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all." Based on the pattern of others' experiences in the Book of Acts it seems clear that Paul also spoke in tongues when he received the Holy Spirit.

2. While Peter was preaching in the house of Cornelius all present received the Holy Spirit. There was a spontaneous quality about this outpouring. The people were not on their knees praying; neither were hands laid on them. They were sitting in their "pews." And there was the miraculous manifestation of speaking in tongues.

3. When Paul visited Ephesus he found 12 disciples who knew nothing about the baptism in the Holy Spirit. First they were rebaptized in water because their previous baptism— "unto John's baptism"— was no longer valid. Second, Paul laid his hands upon them so they might receive the Holy Spirit. They did and with the usual accompaniment of speaking in tongues.

4. Those who teach that there are other initial signs of the Baptism are invariably vague about what those signs are. Sometimes they confuse the initial evidence with the fruit of the Spirit which follows later as the believer walks with God. For those who promote the teaching that speaking in tongues is not the only possible initial sign, the burden of proof is on them. They are flying in the face of the clear pattern of the Book of Acts.

MINISTERING GIFT

Read 1 Corinthians 14:2, 4, 22
1. All speaking in tongues seems to be the same in essence. That is, it sounds alike. But speaking in tongues serves three different purposes:
a. it is the initial evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit;
b. it is a gift of the Holy Spirit for public edification;
c. it is a gift of the Spirit for private, devotional exercise.

In recent years some people have called this their "prayer language." The writer's father spoke in tongues almost daily in his private devotions but never did so in public. The Spirit saw fit for the gift to be used only for his personal edification.

2. Speaking in tongues is one of the nine gifts of the Spirit listed in
1 Corinthians 12:10. With the gift of interpretation it is for the edification of the entire congregation. Not only is this gift a blessing to Christians in the private use, but when exercised with interpretation it makes a profound impression on unbelievers.

3. Paul was careful to show that he was not forbidding tongues in public worship. His correction of the misuses of the gift in no way indicates it is to be disparaged or neglected.

BIBLICAL GUIDELINES FOR TONGUES

Read 1 Corinthians 14:23-28
1. No one should object to the discipline of the last
verse (40) of 1 Corinthians chapter 14, "Let all things be done decently and in order." If there is uncontrolled speaking in tongues in a church it will not be surprising if strangers have a negative reaction. Also, common courtesy dictates that only one should speak at a time. When scriptural guidelines are followed, speaking in tongues is a profitable manifestation.

2. The following is taken from the Adult Teacher. What four specific guidelines for the gift of tongues does the Bible give here?
a. The number must be limited to two or three. The Greek is distributive, so this clearly means two or three in each meeting.
b. Tongues should be given one at a time. Competition does not bring edification. This applies to "messages" in tongues.
c. One person should interpret. That is, one for each message.
d. If no one is present who has been used in the gift of interpretation, no tongues should be given aloud. Instead, tongues should be spoken quietly to God.
(But see 1 Corinthians 14:13.)

3. Guidelines are a help, not a hindrance. They establish once and for all the proper procedure. We can be grateful that the Holy Spirit, through Paul, has made it clear how to please God in the manifestation of spiritual gifts.

APPLYING THE WORD

QUESTIONS:

1. How many people were in "one accord" on the Day of Pentecost?

2. What explanation would you give for the absence of at least 380 who should have been in the Upper Room?
(See 1 Corinthians 15:16).

3. How would you answer those who said the 120 were drunk?

4. Where was it that Gentiles first received the baptism in the Holy Spirit?

5. Is it scriptural to have hands laid on to receive the Spirit? Explain your answer.

6. What is the value of speaking in tongues in private devotions?

7. What is a possible peril when there are more than three messages in tongues in one service?

8. Why does Paul insist that a public utterance in tongues should always be accompanied by an interpretation and that the speaker should keep silent if he or she knows no interpreter is present?

ACTIVITIES

1. Write the correct number in the spaces within the sentences below.
a. The word Pentecost means ___.
b. Jesus ascended to heaven ___days before the Day of Pentecost.
c. ___ received the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost.
d. Paul found ___ disciples in Ephesus.
e. There should not be more than___ messages in tongues in one service.
f. Only ___ person should interpret each message in tongues.

2. In the space before each statement, give either a yes or no response.
___ I approve of speaking in tongues in an evangelistic service.
___ I have been in a service where there were more than three messages in tongues.
___ I frequently speak in tongues in my private devotions.
___ There was a time when I disapproved of speaking in tongues.

This article was quoted from
LIFE IN THE SPIRIT, MARCH 27, 1983, STUDY 4,
ADULT LESSON FOLDER (ISSN 0190-4027) is published quarterly © 1982 by
The General Council of the Assemblies of God, Inc.
(Gospel Publishing House), 1445 Boonville Avenue, Springfield, MO 65802.

If you pause to think
You will have cause to thank

THE EVIDENCE OF THE BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
by Bill Odermann

"We need more than feelings to confirm our experience"

"How can one know he has been baptized in the Holy Spirit?

Some say, "I know it because I can feel the Spirit in a greater way." They are wrong in gauging their experiences in the Spirit by their own feelings. God has provided an evidence much more reliable than feelings.

In Acts chapter 8 we read how Philip preached the Word of God to a large company of people in Samaria. Many were saved, "and there was great joy in that city"
(Acts 8:8), but they had not yet been baptized in the Holy Spirit. That did not happen until later
(Acts 8:17). In this case, feelings did not prove that these new converts had been filled with the Holy Spirit. When they did receive the infilling, there was a more reliable evidence that convinced even Simon the sorcerer.

One hot summer afternoon a little boy, was asked by his father to turn on the water sprinkler in the garden. With childlike eagerness the lad ran outdoors, turned on the faucet, then returned.

"Did you turn on the water, son?"

"Yes," the lad replied.

"Is water coming out of the sprinkler?"

"I guess so. I picked up the hose and felt it wiggle, so it must be working."

"Better go outside again and make sure."

So the lad went outdoors and, to his surprise, found no water coming out the sprinkler. Then he remembered he had forgotten to switch on a little valve at the base of the sprinkler.

"Son," said his father, "next time be sure that when you turn on the faucet, water comes out the sprinkler. Don't go by what you feel, but by what you see!"

The same advice is good in the realm of the Spirit. We need more than feelings to confirm our experience. We need the evidence. The Bible makes it clear that speaking in tongues is the initial physical evidence of being baptized in the Holy Spirit.

There were 120 Christian believers in the Upper Room on the Day of Pentecost who were waiting for the promise of the Father. The Bible says, "They were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance"
(Acts 2:4).

Notice they were all filled, and they all spoke with other tongues. They all had the same experience, and all had the same evidence.

Read also the account in Acts 10:44-46. Peter was preaching in the house of Cornelius; and before he could finish his sermon, the Holy Ghost fell on that group. The Holy Ghost was poured out, and they spoke with tongues.

In Acts 19:1-7 we read of 12 men at Ephesus being filled with the Spirit. "The Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied."

Some tell us that bearing the fruit of the Spirit proves they have been baptized in the Spirit. I know Christians who don't claim to be baptized in the Spirit who bear more fruit than some who have experienced this Baptism. It was not the fruit of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit that Paul spoke about in
Galatians 5:22,23. It was the fruit of the Spirit. All Christians, whether Spirit-filled or not, should bear the fruit of the Spirit.

Others claim that when they sought God for the Baptism, they had some great experience other than speaking with tongues. This may be desirable and commendable, but our guide is the Word of God, not human experience. The Bible says speaking with tongues is the evidence, and we can thank God for other experiences that may follow.

Any who claim to be baptized in the Holy Spirit but have never spoken with tongues are failing to face the facts of the Scriptures. In the light of the Word they must confess they lack the specified evidence.

Remarkable changes in one's life may take place after he begins to seek God earnestly to be filled with the Holy Spirit, but these changes are not the initial evidence. Whenever we spend time seeking the Lord, we will find our lives are being changed. But the evidence of the Baptism is the same today as it was in the days of the apostles.

Some may ask, "Do I have to speak with tongues when I receive the infilling of the Holy Spirit?" The answer is that when you receive the infilling, you will speak with other tongues. This was the common and normal experience of the believers mentioned in the Book of Acts who were baptized in the Holy Spirit.

Never mind what others may tell you concerning their experience. What you need is an experience that conforms with the Book of Acts, not with their experiences necessarily. There are those who have some formula they like to share with earnest seekers at the altar of prayer. They will expound on some personal theory on how to be filled. They will express their own opinion. Often this only brings doubt and confusion. They should simply point the seeker to the Bible and encourage him to expect to receive what the Bible promises.

Don't be satisfied with anything short of the Bible evidence. If you are hungry, God will satisfy your hunger. Ask Him to fill you with the Holy Spirit; then use your tongue to praise and worship the Lord. Yield your tongue in childlike faith. Be willing to utter the words He gives you, no matter how strange they may sound, and thereby the Holy Spirit will be able to release His fullness and power in you.

If you will seek the Lord Jesus with all your heart, He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit. Then your faith and hunger will be rewarded with the evidence as you magnify the Lord with other tongues."

This article quoted from the
PENTECOSTAL EVANGEL, SEPTEMBER 21, 1980, pages 12-13
Bill Odermann was pastor of the Assembly of God in Stanton, North Dakota at that time.

Sin is not hurtful
Because it is forbidden
It is forbidden
Because it is hurtful

IS IT REALLY NECESSARY TO SPEAK IN TONGUES?
By DENNIS J. BENNETT

"Twenty years ago, when the Pentecostal renewal was beginning in the historic churches, we had at least two things in common: We all knew Jesus, and we all spoke in tongues!

But a Christianity Today! Gallup poll (Christianity Today, February 22, 1980) shows that, although 19 percent of the general population of the United States claim to be "charismatic," only 4 percent say they speak in tongues. Eighteen percent of all Methodists claim to be charismatic; less than 2 percent speak in tongues. Sixteen percent of Presbyterians are charismatic; less than 1 percent speak in tongues. Eighteen percent of Roman Catholics are charismatic; about 2 percent speak in tongues.

Perhaps the most startling revelation is that even some of the old-line Pentecostal churches seem less involved with speaking in tongues. The survey reveals that in one of the Pentecostal denominations in Chile, only 49 percent of the pastors speak in tongues.

It would be nice to know a little more about the survey. For example, what do people mean when they claim to be "charismatic"? The word was coined to identify those having a Pentecostal experience but remaining in their historic denominations. Has it come simply to mean any Christian who believes in being demonstrative about his or her faith?

Or again, when people say they don't speak in tongues, do they mean they did it once but don't any more? Or do they mean they never did?

Certainly part of the reason for the low percentages is that many have spoken in tongues but not accepted it. "Oh, I make sounds, but that's not it, you know," they say, or, "I try to speak in tongues, but it's just me!" Then there are those who have spoken in tongues since childhood but not recognized it.

Taking all this into account, it still seems that comparatively few who call themselves charismatic speak in tongues. Is speaking in tongues not important?

Killian McDonnell is quoted in the Christianity Today article as saying, "A greater sophistication in theological areas and, therefore, both an appreciation of tongues and a correct view of its small place in the Christian life" has led to a "new look at tongues." Early in the renewal did we think it was important to speak in tongues just because we were theologically naive?

My dictionary gives meanings of "sophisticated" as "not in a natural, pure, or original state . . . deprived of native or original simplicity." Does this account for the small number of "tongue speakers" these days, and for the loss of an "original simplicity"?

I think it was David du Plessis who told of someone who said speaking in tongues was kid stuff, just the ABC's of the Spirit-filled life. As I recall, David's response was typical. He pointed out it was difficult to write a Ph.D. thesis without using your ABC's!

What is speaking in tongues? If you've received Jesus, He has given you a new kind of life. The Holy Spirit has joined himself to your spirit. He's come to live in you. Since He is living in you, He can guide you, and one of the things He can guide is your voice. He can give you words to say in the language you normally speak— that's called "prophecy." But He can also give you words in languages you don't know— and that is speaking in tongues.

The ability to speak is part of being human. Animals do not use rational speech. If your dog or cat were to say to you, "It's a nice day, isn't it?" and proceed to hold a conversation, you would probably say, "Why, you're not an animal, you're a person!"

We have abused our ability to speak, just as we have other things. The Book of James says that the tongue is "a fire, a world of iniquity" that needs to be tamed, and that it's like the bit that guides the whole horse, or the rudder that steers the ship. If you control the tongue, you control the whole person
(James 3:3-12). Zephaniah 3:9 says that in the last days God will "turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord."

When you speak words from the Holy Spirit, you are letting Him tame your tongue and gain a new level of control over your whole personality. The voice is your chief means of expression. How can you speak of "total surrender" to God if you haven't surrendered your most important means of expression? It would be like one country surrendering to another while keeping control of the radio and television facilities!

Until it is tamed, our ability to verbalize and rationalize is a barrier to the moving of the Holy Spirit. If you let the Holy Spirit freely guide your voice, there will be a break-through which permits Him to flow forth from where He is living in your spirit, to fill, baptize, flood and over-flow your soul and body, and minister to the outside world. This outflow is, I believe, what Jesus meant by the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

The first reason for speaking in tongues, then, is that by it the Holy Spirit can set you free and keep you free.

The next reason for speaking in tongues is that by it you can talk to God beyond your intellect, to pray when you don't know how to pray or what to pray for. "The Spirit puts our desires into words that are not in our power to say"
(Romans 8:26, Basic English New Testament).

The kind of speaking in tongues we've been talking about so far is private and personal. The Holy Spirit will always honor your faith when you decide to pray this way, and will provide the words. When people think of speaking in tongues, however, they usually think of someone speaking out in an unknown tongue in a group situation. This is the "gift of tongues" spoken of in
1 Corinthians chapter 12, and it is only given as the Holy Spirit decides— "dividing to every man severally as He will." Paul lists this gift of tongues among his nine gifts of the Holy Spirit and says it must always be interpreted so that people can understand
(1 Corinthians 14:27,28). It is similar to prophecy and is one of the ways in which God speaks to people for "edification, and exhortation, and comfort"
(1 Corinthians 14:3).

Sometimes this kind of speaking in tongues will be in a language that, although unknown to the speaker, is known to someone else present. I spoke Japanese while praying for a woman at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Seattle. I don't know Japanese, but a friend was there just back from four years in Japan. She said, "Your accent is perfect," and told me some of the things I had said!

There are cases where lives have been saved because someone spoke by the Spirit in a language he did not know. I personally know of several people who were led to accept Jesus because they were spoken to in their own languages, given by the Spirit.

Speaking in tongues frees us to talk to God, but also frees us to express ourselves to one another, and stimulates our mutual love for God. "They that feared the Lord spoke often one to another"
(Malachi 3:16).

People form clubs to talk to one another about anything from stamp collecting to antique cars. They're enthusiastic about the subject and want to get together with like-minded enthusiasts— to encourage one another and enjoy their interest together. Christians have to be cajoled and lectured and even threatened to get them to meet together: "You must attend the prayer meeting. . . . It's your duty!"

One of the first things that happens when people get released in the Holy Spirit is they spontaneously come together because they want to share their enthusiasm about God. They want to talk about the Lord. You can't keep them apart, because their joy and love is increased as they stimulate each other in the Spirit.

Take two atoms, say, of uranium; one is radioactive and the other not. They look about the same and they are composed of the same basic material. The first little atom has got lots of good stuff in it. It's all full of electrons and protons and neutrons. It's packed with energy, but it's just sitting there.

The other atom, however, is not only packed with energy, it's emitting energy. It's firing out helium nuclei, electrons, protons, and all other kinds of atomic hardware! When these particles hit other atoms that are not radioactive, there is just a dull "clunk!" But when they hit other atoms that are radioactive, they stimulate them, and they begin to fire back. If this activity builds up too quickly, you'll have an atomic explosion. If it is controlled, you have a reactor, producing usable energy.

Christians are like that. Here is one. He is just sitting here. He's all full of good stuff! There's lots of energy inside him, but it's not getting out. If you put him together with others of his kind, he doesn't look specially happy, and there's little interaction. He knows God's in him, but he can't express it. So he "keeps his religion to himself."

Now look at this other Christian. He's full of energy too, but it's being released. In fact, he has to watch himself because he's so eager to release it. A few eyebrows were raised at the office last week because he accidentally responded, "Praise the Lord!" to something his boss said! He prayed for one of the secretaries in the office who had a splitting headache, and the headache went away. He looks joyful most of the time, and that bothers people. It bothers his minister on Sunday mornings. "What is Joe looking so happy about? What's he been up to?"

A "radioactive" Christian not only stimulates and encourages others, he is able to stimulate and encourage himself. Paul urges Christians to talk to themselves: "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord"
(Ephesians 5:19).

Finally, speaking in tongues helps us to express God's love to the world, to tell people about Jesus. Jesus commanded His first followers not to go anywhere until they had received the power to witness
(Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8). Most Christians don't share their beliefs with others, but after they've been released in the power of the Spirit, you can't stop them from telling. They're excited! They're good people to be with. The world can see that they've really got something. God's power and love are coming through them, and "signs and wonders" follow.

You do not have to speak in tongues to have the Holy Spirit in your life. The Holy Spirit comes to live in you when you receive Jesus. You certainly don't have to speak in tongues in order to be saved— a Christian can have wonderful experiences of God without speaking in tongues. Speaking in tongues does not prove you are holier or better than your brother.

But if you want the full spiritual freedom God has for you, what the New Testament calls the baptism in the Holy Spirit, you need to let Him guide your voice to speak "as the Spirit gives utterance." It's not necessary for you ever to speak in tongues in public— although it is a blessing to be inspired to bring a "message in tongues" in a meeting— but you need to do it in private, and continue to do it day by day, so as to keep free and fresh, and keep your channels of expression open.

Speaking in tongues is a simple thing. Little children do it easily. Parents who pray in the Spirit in the presence of their children will often find the youngsters beginning to pray in tongues quite on their own. It's such a natural thing to do. And indeed, if children are going to be protected in the kind of world they are living in, they're going to need all the power the Lord can give them. I don't believe, of course, that children should be "high pressured" into it, but as they display readiness, they should be encouraged to receive. Do remember, though, that the child or young person who has been set free in the Spirit is more open and receptive, both to good and bad, and therefore needs even more nurture, fellowship, teaching, and love than before.

If you have spoken in tongues, be sure you continue to do it, not just now and then, but every day, many times a day. Try to stop whatever you are doing every 2 or 3 hours, and spend 5 minutes just speaking in tongues. Circumstances may make it difficult, but it can be done. You can speak in tongues under your breath, you know; no one else needs to know you are doing it. A college professor friend used to break off in the middle of counseling a student and go over to the files. While he was presumably looking for something there, he was speaking in tongues, refreshing himself in the Spirit!

If you have received Jesus and have been prayed with to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, but have not yet spoken in tongues, it isn't because God is holding out on you. It's because you are holding back. Perhaps there is something you need to renounce— such as involvement in a cult some time in your past, or something to do with the occult. Or perhaps you need healing for your soul— some hurt deep inside is keeping you from letting go. We find that a person who has just come through deep grief or serious illness will hesitate to let himself go, and the same is true if there is an unhealed hurt in the past. This may require counseling with someone who knows how to pray for healing of the soul; but whatever it takes, get healed, so you can enjoy the freedom God has provided for you."

This article is quoted from the
PENTECOSTAL EVANGEL, JANUARY 11, 1981, pages 3, 18, and 19
Dennis J. Bennett was rector of St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Seattle, Washington. at that time. (This article was reprinted with permission from Logos Journal, 201 Church Street, Plainfield, New Jersey 07060. Copyright 1980 by Logos International Fellowship, Incorporated.)

Praise comes easily
To those
Who count their blessings

God Satisfied Their Hunger
by E. S. CALDWELL

"Everyone experiences spiritual hunger. God planned it that way.

And just as He provided food to satisfy physical hunger, He made provision to satisfy the longing of the soul.

But people tend to hide their spiritual hunger. Even preachers have admitted living for years with an empty, fruitless ministry because they were too proud to face the fact there was a gnawing hunger in their souls.

One such preacher served several pastorates with a deep sense of frustration. Outwardly his efforts were comparable with his fellow ministers, but inwardly he was keenly aware of emptiness.

He had seen his college roommate transformed by an experience he described as "the baptism in the Holy Spirit." Without a doubt his friend underwent some kind of change— what zeal for the Lord he had! What joy!

However, the seminary instructors told him he did not need what his friend received. Such manifestations as "speaking in tongues" are not for today, they said, assuring him that his spiritual experience was adequate.

But his hunger persisted.

Years later in the privacy of his study he sought the Lord. "0 God, I am empty and powerless," he prayed. "Fill me any way You choose."

In a few minutes he became aware of Jesus' presence in a manner different from any other occasion. He heard himself praying in a language he could not understand, and a sweet ecstasy filled his soul for nearly an hour.

Suddenly he remembered it was Sunday morning. Soon the people would be arriving. What would he tell them?

I will not tell them anything, He thought. If what I received has not changed my ministry, I'll know my professors were right.

After the morning service he stood near the door to shake hands with his parishioners.

"Pastor," a smiling woman spoke with enthusiasm, "today you preached like the preacher we thought we were getting when we called you to our church!"

Intensely interested in the remarkable change in their Baptist pastor, several members of the congregation accepted his invitation to special prayer sessions in the parsonage. Soon others received experiences similar to their minister's.

There was misunderstanding and persecution. But a spirit of Christian love prevailed, and today the baptism of the Holy Spirit is freely preached in that church. And the people testify that their spiritual hunger is being satisfied.

AN Episcopalian minister's wife spent several years seeking the answer to her spiritual hunger. Not only did she take an active role in all church activities; she traveled hundreds of miles to attend religious retreats, seeking something that would satisfy.

One night God gave her a remarkable dream. She saw an ocean of whiteness. Never had she seen so vast an expanse of purity. A tiny cork floated in the midst of those brilliant white waves.

Then she heard the gentle voice of Jesus say, "You are that cork. My presence is making you clean and pure."

Overwhelmed with joy, she began to praise and thank the Lord. Words poured from her lips in a torrent— words she could not understand, but she knew she was expressing her deepest feelings to God.

She awakened from her dream, but the "heavenly language" continued. Oh, the satisfaction that filled her soul!

Telling her friends about the experience, she said, "I was so quiet and self-conscious by nature, the God satisfied their hunger continued Lord had to "put me out" in order to fill me with the Holy Spirit."

No longer timid, this minister's wife conducts home prayer meetings to help others who want to find the answer to their spiritual hunger.

SOMETIMES this inner hunger is misinterpreted. Millions of dollars are wasted by pleasure-bent throngs seeking to placate a hunger sin can never feed. Revelry cannot satisfy the soul.

Here is where young people so often miss their way and discover they are on a dead-end street!

The beat of loud rock music attracted a young man away from his godly home. He decided to go the full route— alcohol, marijuana, illicit sex, perversion— he tried it all. And nothing satisfied.

Finally in desperation he turned back to God. And God met him!

A few weeks after he accepted Christ, he knelt again at a church altar. The minister told him that the Saviour who had forgiven his sins could totally satisfy the hunger of his soul.

Let him tell you what happened:
"I raised my hands to God and began praising Him. Shortly afterward I began to speak in tongues, and it was like I had found the secret valve to the outlet of my heart. God was running His cleansing Spirit through every fiber of my being.

"At last I had found the "hot line" to heaven. Joy flooded my soul, and power and love came into me. That night I stepped across the threshold of the door to the "walk in the Spirit."

ARE you unsatisfied with your religious experience? If so, return again to Jesus Christ. Tell Him of your spiritual hunger.

If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, you are a candidate for the soul-satisfying Baptism He alone can give— the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

When Peter announced, "Ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost," he did not restrict God's promise to a select group. He boldly declared: "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"
(Acts 2:39).

That includes every one of us!"

This article is quoted from the
The Pentecostal Evangel, May 16, 1982, Number 3549, pages 3-4
E. S. Caldwell was pastor of the Glad Tidings Assembly of God in Springfield, Missouri at that time.

The prayer line to Heaven
Is never busy

Why Speak In Other Tongues?
By ROBERT J. LUNDSTROM

"When I was a boy in New Britain, Connecticut, I attended some classes in an evangelical church. One day a student asked the instructor who the Pentecostals were. She answered: "Oh, they're just people who speak in tongues all the time."

As a teenager I heard a certain Christian university president say concerning Pentecostals: "I admire their soul winning, but I wouldn't give two cents for some of their doctrines."

Sometime ago I was denied the opportunity of earning a degree from a certain fundamental college because I would not sign a statement to the effect that I did not believe in speaking with other tongues.

Since speaking in other tongues is a controversial point with many, let us examine its validity and value.

To begin with, proof that speaking in other tongues is the initial physical evidence of having been baptized in the Holy Spirit is found in
Acts 2:4; 8:17 with Mark 16:17; 9:8 with 1 Corinthians 14:8; 10:44-46; 19:6. What God has so plainly set in the Church we have no right to set aside.

But tongues serve definite spiritual purposes in the life of the believer beyond the moment of the initial infilling.

1. Speaking in tongues is a symbol of complete control by the Holy Spirit.

This is important, because, as James said: "The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity:... it defileth the whole body ... it is set on fire of hell. . . . The tongue can no man tame"
(James 3:6-8).

The taming of the human tongue by the Holy Spirit as He takes control of it and speaks through it a supernatural language is evidence of complete submission to Him of the life that has been cleansed by the blood of Jesus.

2. Tongues provide a God-given means of expressing praise and worship and communion with Him.

The human vocabulary is inadequate to express to God our gratitude for His marvelous grace to us. It is here that the blessed Holy Spirit comes to our aid with a heavenly language which serves both for communion and for edification. "For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh . . . unto God. ... He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself"
(1 Corinthians 14:2,4).

3. Tongues make it possible to intercede according to the will of God.

Through spiritual travail souls are born into the family of God
(Isaiah 53:11; 66:8).

Paul stated in Romans 8:26: "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."

Jude speaks of this as "praying in the Holy Ghost."

4. Tongues afford spiritual rest and refreshing.

In Ephesians 6:12 Paul shows that the Christian is in a spiritual battle against the forces of Satan. At times we get spiritually, mentally, and physically weary in this great struggle for the souls of men. But there is a rest and a refreshing in God's presence. "For with stammering lips and another tongue will I 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"
(Isaiah 28:11,12).

5. Tongues are a sign to the unbeliever.

Paul brings this out very definitely in 1 Corinthians 14:22: "Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not."

There are many testimonies on record as to how the Holy Spirit has spoken to unbelievers in their own native language through someone who has no knowledge of that language. Then as the unbeliever has heard the correct interpretation given by another who did not know the language, he has been convinced of God's dealing with him and surrendered to Him.

Sometime ago a university student came into a service where I was preaching. He was somewhat confused about Pentecost and asked God that if this was the right way, he might hear a message in tongues.

At the close of the sermon the Lord used my wife, who knew nothing of the presence of the student, to give a message in tongues. An interpretation which seemed meant for the student was given through another person under the direction of the Holy Spirit.

As a result, this young man was convinced. He accepted the Lord that night as His personal Saviour.

6. Tongues are evidence that Jesus is alive and with the Father in heaven!

Jesus said in John 16:7: "It is expedient for you that I go away, for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you."

When the Holy Spirit came on the Day of Pentecost, the waiting believers in the Upper Room understood the significance of the event. They already knew Jesus was alive, but now they knew He was with the Father, for He had fulfilled His promise to send "another Comforter."

Peter explained to the crowds that gathered around the Upper Room that day: "This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear"
(Acts 2:32,33).

This was not hard for Peter to say or believe, for he had listened to Jesus make these promises just a short time before. He had heard Jesus say that the disciples should wait in the Upper Room for the "promise of the Father." So when the promise was fulfilled, what could he do but believe?

Now how can I, 2,000 years after Peter, never having seen Jesus physically, still prove that He is alive to my own personal satisfaction?

The answer is that the same thing that happened to the 120 on the Day of Pentecost happened to me as a 13-year-old boy in 1945 at Framingham, Massachusetts. I was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke with other tongues as the Spirit gave utterance and have been blessed with manifestations of the Spirit ever since!

According to John 16:7 and Acts 2:32-33, this makes me a witness of the resurrection of Jesus Christ in this 20th century.

Every time someone speaks in other tongues under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, he is witnessing afresh that Christ is alive, His sacrifice is complete, and all mankind can be saved if they will.

The Bible supports the fact that speaking in tongues is not a spiritual novelty. It is an integral part of God's total plan for winning the lost and building up His church."

This article is quoted from the
PENTECOSTAL EVANGEL, May 16, 1982, Number 3549, pages 4-5
Robert J. Lundstrom, D.D., was instructor in Bible and pastoral studies at Valley Forge Christian College, Phoenixville, Pa. at that time.

Your words
Are
Windows to your heart

Speaking With Other Tongues
By ALFRED F. MISSEN

"On the Day of Pentecost, according to the Biblical record in Acts chapter 2, the initial outpouring of the Holy Spirit was accompanied by three supernatural phenomena: a sound as of a rushing mighty wind, cloven tongues as of fire, and the marvel of men and women speaking with other tongues.

The wind and fire came before the believers were filled, as evidence that the Day of Pentecost had come and as audible, visible representations of the nature of this infilling. But there is no indication in the Book of Acts that these signs were ever repeated. The first thing the disciples did when they were filled with the Holy Spirit was to speak in tongues. Marvelously and wonderfully they praised and magnified God in languages they had never learned.

Wind and fire had accompanied manifestations of God in the Old Testament, but for men to speak with unknown tongues was something which had not happened before. The wind and fire preceded the infilling of believers on this occasion only, but the phenomenon of speaking with new tongues was repeated on subsequent occasions.

The disciples did not preach in tongues. They were speaking with tongues before the crowd gathered, and this remarkable sign drew the crowd. When Peter preached to this great company, he preached in his own language which all the listeners understood.

In Acts chapter 8 we have a record of the Samaritan revival. The Spirit-anointed ministry of Philip had resulted in scenes of enthusiasm as miracle after miracle was performed, and many found Christ. The hearts of new converts were filled with joy— but not as yet with the Holy Spirit. In fact, Peter and John came down from Jerusalem so these who had found Christ might be filled with the Holy Spirit.

When these apostles laid their hands upon the new converts, something vital happened— something so wonderful that Simon, outstanding for his own dealing in the supernatural through the use of sorcery, was anxious to buy. He offered money for a power obviously greater than his own. He wanted what he saw.

What did he see? It was not healing and miracles, for these had been abundantly evident in the ministry of Philip before. It was not joy, for this had characterized the new converts before their infilling. One could never imagine Simon offering money for an inner experience enjoyed by someone else of which he had no evidence. Is it not logical that he saw a repetition of the miracle of Acts chapter 2?

Acts chapter 9 tells us that Ananias was sent to Saul of Tarsus so he might receive his sight and be baptized with the Holy Ghost. The actual infilling is not recorded, and thus the passage does not tell us how Paul received. It is significant, however, that Paul later testified: "I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all."

The next chapter gives an account of the outpouring on the Gentiles. How wonderfully and supernaturally God brought together the eager Gentile seeker and the hesitant Jewish preacher. Peter, urged by the Holy Spirit, traveled to the house of Cornelius. As he told the good news, the Holy Spirit fell on the Gentile audience. Peter heard these men speak with tongues and magnify God. Amazed and yet convinced, Peter hastened to baptize them in water.

What was it that convinced Peter? It was the repetition of that supernatural sign given in Acts chapter 2. "The Holy Ghost," he later said, "fell on them, as on us at the beginning." The experience of these men bore the hallmark of genuineness.

Acts chapter 19 tells the story of 12 men who were disciples of John the Baptist, worshiping the true God under the very shadow of the great heathen temple of Diana. Paul's first question to these was, "Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?"

After they replied in the negative, he baptized them in the name of the Lord Jesus, and then he laid his hands upon them. As he did this, the Holy Ghost came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. What a stir followed this baptism- ending with the city in an uproar!

Why did God choose tongues? The question is often asked. Let us remember that God is sovereign and that His ways are past finding out. Any answer thus can be only partial and unsatisfactory.

Speaking with tongues is distinctively a New Testament gift. Prophecy, miracles, healing, discerning of spirits, and the other gifts all had some place in God's dealing with the Old Testament saints, but speaking in tongues was that new thing that heralded the Day of Pentecost.

The confusion of tongues at Babel had resulted from man's pride and had led to scattering and dispersal. The profusion of tongues in the Upper Room came as a result of man's obedience and humble waiting, and the product was a newborn church united in worship and witness.

There can be no valid ground for pride in having received a gift so distinctly supernatural and so liberally outpoured upon unlearned as well as learned. Linguistic ability resulting from patient study and quick apprehension might well merit some degree of recognition, but that which is received by supernatural endowment gives no room for giving glory other than to God the giver.

Speaking with tongues unintelligible to the hearers (except it be accompanied by the gift of interpretation) is not likely to appeal to an arid intellectualism. Quite the reverse is true. It often leads to charges of madness and emotionalism similar to those voiced on the Day of Pentecost. How wonderful, however, that God can so lay hold of the tongue, the organ of speech capable of doing so much damage, and cause it to speak mysteries unto himself.

"What about 1 Corinthians 12:30: "Do all speak with tongues?" asks the objector. But in this passage Paul is dealing with spiritual gifts in the regular life and ministry of the church. In verse 28 he is speaking of what God has set "in the church." All do not speak with tongues in the church, but all did speak with tongues at Pentecost, and all did speak with tongues at the Gentile outpouring recorded in
Acts 10:44.

There is a distinction between an individual speaking with tongues at the time of his baptism in the Holy Spirit or afterward in private communion (which is the primary purpose of this gift), and an individual giving an utterance in tongues with the accompanying interpretation in the church as envisaged in
1 Corinthians 14:2-13.

Many things prevent people from enjoying the experience of speaking with tongues: tradition, prejudice, fear, and— perhaps most of all— the cost in terms of their reputation in some evangelical circles. But more and more are receiving this blessing and rejoicing in the experience.

Jesus himself declared this sign of speaking with tongues would be given to a believing people
(Mark 16:17). Whatever the critics may say, the fact remains that the men who wrote the New Testament were men who spoke with tongues.

Throughout the history of revivals, evidences of this gift can be traced. Today in this 20th-century revival men and women of all denominations are entering into their inheritance.

Will you cast aside all fear and prejudice and seek earnestly to be filled with the Spirit— and expect nothing less than the Bible evidence of speaking with other tongues?"

This article is quoted from the
Pentecostal Evangel, AUGUST 21, 1983, pages 12-14. (Redemption Tidings)

Kind words
Bring
Kind echos

"I Not Speak With Tongues"
By BETTY JANE GRAMS

"A short, slender, dark-eyed Korean girl came to me after a Thursday evening service at a women's camp where I was speaking and asked to talk with me. I said, "I'm just going into a pastors' wives meeting. Wait for me."

The time flew by, and I forgot about her. As I came out, she came down the steps from the second floor of the basketball court. "You sleep here?" she asked.

"No, I'm staying in a cottage," I replied. "Come and walk with me."

The night air was crisp, and the rocks crunched as we walked on the sandy trail. She began to talk.

"I have holy baptism of love, but I have no prayer language. I hear a prayer language help so much. My pastor tell me I have Holy Spirit. I work hard; I help open Korean church. I love everybody, but I not speak in tongues! How I do it?"

"How I do it?" This has been the question of many.

I said, "Yes, your pastor is right. You do have the Holy Spirit. He comes to live with us at salvation. After we accept Christ, the Holy Spirit is with us. He is guiding us and helping us. But He wants to be in us to flow forth as a river of water. He wants to fill us and make us a blessing to others."

"But," I went on, "you must remember you can't speak two languages at once. You cannot speak English and Korean; just so, you cannot speak Korean and a new prayer language at the same time. You must be quiet, relaxed. Open your mouth, and the Holy Spirit will come like a breath of wind.

"He is a gift. God wants to give this Baptism to each of us. He doesn't withhold the best. It's yours, take it; but you must open your mouth and let Him fill it."

I laid hands on her there at midnight under the crisp moon in Michigan and prayed with her. "Now go back to the prayer room, ask someone to go with you, and wait before God. I believe the answer is already yours."

"I embarrassed!" she answered.

"No, don't be embarrassed. Be obedient," I said.

As it was already midnight, and I had been in service 5 hours, I was weary. I looked over my topic for the morning, arranged my speaking aids, sorted things into a bag, and fell asleep immediately.

My hostess called me, "Janie, Janie, it's 8:05!" Breakfast started at 8, so I got into my clothes and dashed over to the dining hall. I noticed a young missionary colleague sitting at the table, and across the long dining room I saw my Korean friend.

I said to my colleague, "Sally, this girl wants to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit before we leave here today."

"Oh, she already has!" Sally replied.

Here she came bubbling to tell me all the details, so we asked her to testify publicly to encourage others.

She said:
"I ask Sister Grams after meeting to speak. She said, "You wait for me." It was a very long meeting. I kept watching. Then I walked with her. I tell her, "I not speak in tongues. How I do it?" She said, 'You go, ask a sister to pray with you. You not speak two languages at once." I embarrassed— so she pray with me; then I obey.

"I come back and find a friend. Friend pray with me. I speak in tongues two, three hours until 4 a.m."

"Then nine others came in and were filled with Spirit. A Catholic girl accepted Christ. This is how I do it!"

I thought, Here is the formula for contemporary Pentecost.

First, she had a hunger. She waited for me, not counting the time as lost. And she was ready. She had come to the end of herself.

She realized her need. She obeyed. She waited. And she was filled.

Isn't that what happened at Jerusalem in the Upper Room
(Acts chapter 2)? They were obedient. They went back to Jerusalem to wait "until," as Jesus said. They waited. They were ready. They knew their need. They were at the end of their own resources. They surrendered their will and obeyed. "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." Just like the young Korean girl!

Now she will draw more and more Koreans into the church in her area, for the Spirit working with them will add daily such as should be saved."

This article is quoted from the
Pentecostal Evangel, JUNE 5, 1983, page 11
BETTY JANE GRAMS was a Missionary to Latin America at that time

God does not call the qualified
He qualifies the called

I Wish That You All Spoke In Tongues
By Forrest Smith

"In the Authorized (King James) Version, 1 Corinthians 14:5 reads: "I would that ye all spake with tongues."

The New American Standard Bible reads: "I wish that you all spoke in tongues."

The New English Bible: "I should be pleased for you all to use the tongues of ecstasy."

Other translations make it equally clear. The apostle Paul said he would like every one of the Corinthians to speak in tongues. I wonder: did Paul know his words would spark such a hot running battle among 20th-century churchmen as is being waged today?

In many circles the gift of tongues receives the most determined put-down of all the Holy Spirit's manifestations.

"The gift of tongues is an inferior gift!" they contend. "It is near the bottom of the list!"

"Paul said tongues would cease!" they argue. "Tongues is divisive!"

"It's better to speak five words with the understanding than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue!"

These are standard objections from non-Pentecostals. But a non-Pentecostal can no more assess a Pentecostal gift than a man who has never eaten an orange can judge the flavor of oranges, whatever other qualifications he may possess.

So let's make a brief examination of these objections.

1. "THE GIFT of tongues is an inferior gift"

Who said so? The Bible certainly makes no such declaration. I doubt that a thoughtful scholar would classify any gift from God as inferior.

The Scofield Reference Bible notes, "The important gift is that of prophecy." One might just as logically say that the husband is the important member of the family. It overlooks the fact that without a wife there is no husband. Nor will there be a family without both.

So prophecy, together with tongues and interpretation and six other gifts, are spiritual enablements placed in the church for the formation and development of members of Christ's body.

Even Paul, who said, "Covet the best gifts"
(1 Corinthians 12:31), declined to name the best. I think a man seeking guidance would not benefit from gifts of healing. Similarly, one desperately in need of healing would find prophecy inadequate.

And while Paul was opting for prophecy in the open meeting, he acknowledged that tongues, when accompanied by interpretation, served the same purpose
(1 Corinthians 14:5).

2. "BUT THE GIFT of tongues is near the bottom of the list!"

This objection doesn't really justify a rebuttal. It is like saying that Admiral Zumwalt is the least important naval officer because his name appears near the bottom of the roster. There is simply no reason to believe that Paul positioned the gifts in relation to their importance.

3. "BUT TONGUES is divisive!"

Why pick on tongues? Everything God does is divisive. There has never been a move of God that didn't set factions to warring.

The problem is that people refuse to take God seriously. The rabbis wrote many decisions and commentaries to deaden the impact of the Law. Churchmen have written volumes with the intent of removing objectionable passages in the Bible.

Satan has set liberal churchmen against the gift of tongues because it is the kiss of the great Prince on the cheek of His sleeping Beauty. Breath of life to the Bride, the gift of tongues is a thorn in the flesh to those who would maintain their dignity at any cost.

4. "BUT IT'S BETTER to speak five words with the understanding than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue!"

As noted above, Paul was opting for prophecy in the open meeting: "I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all [notice, he was even more fanatical than they!]: yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue"
(1 Corinthians 14:18, 19).

The sole purpose of speaking in the church was to teach others. This could best be done with inspired utterance (prophecy) in the local idiom. Tongues per se were not at issue. At issue were messages in tongues without interpretation, which tended to disrupt the services and distract worshipers, while instructing none. This is evident from
1 Corinthians 14:5, 13, 19.

Use of these passages of Scripture to bemean the gift of tongues overlooks Paul's own frequent exercise of the gift
(verse 18), and his injunction to "forbid not to speak with tongues"
(verse 39). The issue was an orderly exercise of tongues. At no time in this discourse did the apostle suggest that the exercise of tongues be terminated.

5. "BUT PAUL said tongues would cease!"

And in the same verse he said, "whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; . . . whether there be knowledge it shall vanish away"
(1 Corinthians 13:8). Notice, ceasing tongues was sandwiched between failing prophecies and vanishing knowledge.

I'll be the first to admit that a number of prophecies published in the news media have failed. One of the most notable of the seers is said to have an accuracy ratio of 60/40. It takes only one false prophecy to reveal that a prophet is false, so I'll stick with God.

Praise God, not one of His prophecies has ever failed!

And it must be obvious to all that knowledge has exploded beyond man's capacity to contain it. More people are educated today than at any other time in history, and knowledge has increased astronomically.

Why, then, would anyone forcibly wrench tongues out of this context and declare that they have ceased? This must surely be the classic example of wrongly dividing the Word of Truth.

Jesus said, "And these signs shall follow them that believe . . . they shall speak with new tongues"
(Mark 16:17). And Paul wrote, "And God hath set some in the church ... diversities of tongues"
(1 Corinthians 12:28). Shouldn't it be expected that a gift so patently placed in the Church by our Lord would remain for the earthly life of the Church?

There are a number of blessings that accrue to those who exercise tongues, and I would like to touch on three of them.

FIRST, the Pentecostal Christian's communication with God is less restricted.

"For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto man, but unto God; for no man understandeth him: howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries"
(1 Corinthians 14:2).

Many use this scripture to put down tongues, but I want you to notice the privileges cited: "Speaketh not unto man but unto God ... in the spirit he speaketh mysteries." What's wrong with that?

Who hasn't found himself floundering in his Christian experience, knowing he's missing the mark but lacking the power to better himself? Let him confide it to God in tongues!

Call it a prayer language if you wish. Call it tongues, or call it the language of heaven. Whatever you call it, it's supernatural! It's from the Holy Spirit! Too many are laboring in the valley of expertise when they could be leaping on the hills of enjoyment!

SECOND, the Pentecostal Christian has the advantage of personal edification.
"He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church"
(1 Corinthians 14:4).

Isn't it blessed to edify the church? But isn't it a drag to try to edify the church when you yourself need edifying— to stand and force out when you really should be in a secluded place receiving?

A number of years ago I heard a denominational minister decline to speak at a community service. "No," he said. "I have four sermons to get this month, already." He was an able minister, but had not at that time opened his heart to speaking in tongues. It was drudgery to put something together for the church.

But God knows how to make it a joyful experience! "He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself." After he is edified, he can edify the church.

A THIRD privilege the Pentecostal Christian may enjoy is intercession in the Spirit.

"For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful"
(1 Corinthians 14:14).

The only thing a lot of people get out of this scripture is that "my understanding is unfruitful." And they think, "How silly to pray when I don't even know what I'm praying about!"

But Paul wrote, "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"
(Romans 8:27).

That's really wonderful! If I pray with my understanding, I may miss God. But if I pray in the Spirit, I'm right on target. How can you fault that? Praying for the saints according to the will of God!

And John wrote, "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us"
(1 John 5:14).

He went on to say, "And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him"
(verse 15).

Isn't that marvelous? When we pray in the Spirit, according to God's will, we know God hears us, and we know the prayers are answered!

Prayer in the Spirit enables us to intercede for that one who has a filthy imagination, without our knowing the precise nature of his sin!

Prayer in the Spirit enables us to pray for that one who uses foul language on the job, and we don't even have to know his faults!

Intercession may be made in the Spirit for that sister with problems so personal that she may never express them to others. Yet the Holy Spirit knows and calls us to prayer without revealing her secret!

This is a real plus. There may be times when God will reveal the secrets of men's hearts to us, but knowledge of our own faults is burden enough for most of us. So God has mercifully permitted our minds to be uninvolved, while in the Spirit we intercede for others, and God answers!

Paul's instructions to the Corinthians were not designed to disparage or discourage speaking in tongues. Written by a thorough charismatic, the letter is clearly pro-tongues:

"I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all"
(1 Corinthians 14:19).

"I would that ye all spake with tongues"
(verse 5).

No, it was written to enable neo-Pentecostals to cross the bridge over troubled waters, to rest in the security of a mature relationship in Christ through the Holy Spirit, to exercise the gifts of God in a godly and considerate and profitable manner.

"Let all things be done decently and in order"
(verse 40). But let them be done!

". . . and forbid not to speak with tongues"
(verse 39)."

This article quoted from the
PENTECOSTAL EVANGEL, FEBRUARY 19, 1978, pages 4-6
FORREST SMITH was a pastor at First Assembly, Del Rio, Texas, at that time.

This document shared with you by
Bread On The Waters (BOW)
Kraig Josiah Rice
www.breadonthewaters.com

J. G. Hall placed a section in his book on speaking in (unknown) tongues

When Unknown Tongues are not unknown (article in the Evangel)

My testimony of receiving this wonderful baptism in the Holy Spirit

  • Praying In The Holy Ghost article

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