In this letter let’s look into the fifth Gift, The Gift of Divers Kinds of Tongues within, Classification #2: The Gifts of Inspiration, or the Vocal Gifts. Definition: Simply put, the gift of tongues is supernatural utterance by the Holy Spirit through a believer in a language, which the believer has never learned. That is to say, tongues (unknown languages) to the speaker, but known somewhere in the universe.
For there are many hundreds of languages and dialects in the world, and many do not sound like a real language. This gift is one of the three main ones (the vocal gifts) to be used in the meetings of believers. (Acts 2:1-21; 10:44-48; 19:1-7; 1 Cor. 14).
This gift has nothing to do with the mind or intellect as far as the understanding is concerned. For it is simply the Spirit employing the vocal organs and other facilities of speech. Yes, man’s will and spirit are active and in perfect accord with God, who is the one directly speaking through the man by the Spirit; the miracle of utterance in unknown languages speaking spiritual mysteries unknown to the individual, which we cannot understand. (Rom 8:26-27; 1 Cor.14:2-5).
Man’s spirit is weak, because of the dominion of satanic power for so many centuries, but God made provision for man to communicate and edify man’s spirit and strengthen the inner man through “tongues” or an unknown language.
Yes this impartation to man, from God His Spirit, to man’s spirit, brings supernatural power and strength. This one Bible doctrine has been the ridicule, slander and object of blasphemy on the part of man, yet it is God’s very way to communicate to and through man…can we afford to reject this blessed gift given to man…the blessings of the Spirit…just because we are ignorant of its purpose or benefits?
- In Hosea 4:6 (NKJV) God says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge, Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.”
Just because man cannot understand God’s ways does not make it right. Do we lower to the human plane before we can believe that He has a better way…a good purpose in them?
Speaking in tongues was foretold in the Old Testament along with the prophecies of the end-time events. When discussing the various gifts of the Spirit in
- 1 Corinthians, Paul referred to prophecy and pointed out that it foretold the coming of the gift of tongues, for personal edification and that of diver kinds of tongues given for the New Testament Church. He also made mentioned that the prophecy in Isaiah, gave one of the great purposes of the gift… that it should be a sign to unbelievers.
- Isaiah 28:11 (NIV) Very well then, with foreign lips and strange tongues God will speak to this people, to whom he said, “This is the resting place, let the weary rest”; and, “This is the place of repose (trust or rest)”— but they would not listen.
Like prophecy, it is God’s desire that speaking in tongues be practiced by all, for the building up of their own spirit with the Lord. Many do not speak in an unknown tongue because of the lack of understanding, faith, consecration, and yielding to the Spirit. We must control this gift like all the other gifts – There must be an order in the worship service when it comes to the manifestation of the gifts of the spirit.
- Apostle Paul states in 1 Corinthians 14:32. Remember, that people who prophesy are in control of their spirit and can wait their turn. We are not to forbid the use of tongues but should always flow in an orderly manner as well as all other gifts during service.
- 1 Corinthians 14:39 So, dear brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and don’t forbid speaking in tongues.
What is the difference between the gift of tongues and the gift of diver kinds of tongues?
You might say that (gift) of speaking in tongues is the infilling of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in an unknown language for personal edification and it should be used for strengthening your own personal spirit in the Lord.
The gift of diver kinds of tongues (languages) is the gift of tongues to be used in the public /church in conjunction with an interpretation of the tongues so that all may understand what the spirit is saying.
- 1 Corinthians 14:2-5 For if your gift is the ability to speak in tongues, you will be talking to God but not to people, since they won’t be able to understand you. You will be speaking by the power of the Spirit, but it will all be mysterious. But one who prophesies is helping others grow in the Lord, encouraging and comforting them. A person who speaks in tongues is strengthened personally in the Lord, but one who speaks a word of prophecy strengthens the entire church. I wish you all had the gift of speaking in tongues, but even more I wish you were all able to prophesy. For prophecy is a greater and more useful gift than speaking in tongues, unless someone interprets what you are saying so that the whole church can get some good out of it.
- 1 Corinthians 14:12 Since you are so eager to have spiritual gifts, ask God for those that will be of real help to the whole church. “Well, my brothers and sisters, let’s summarize what I am saying. When you meet, one will sing, another will teach, another will tell some special revelation God has given, one will speak in an unknown language, while another will interpret what is said. But everything that is done must be useful to all and build them up in the Lord.”
10 Reasons Why Every Christian Should Receive the Holy Spirit!
Christ’s great gift to His followers was the baptism with the Holy Ghost as stated in Acts…
- Acts 1:4 (NKJV) And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
Upon speaking these words, the Lord ascended to heaven and the disciples returned to Jerusalem where they spent the next ten days in prayer and worshiping God, after which the Holy Ghost fell. Yes, this wonderful gift that they received revolutionized their lives and set them on fire for God. Through unlearned laymen they went forth and preached a message that changed the world.
- (Acts 4:13 (NLT) The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men who had had no special training. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.)
- If Christ and the apostles needed the Holy Ghost, then we need Him, too. Hebrews 5:7-9 While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could deliver him out of death. And God heard his prayers because of his reverence for God. So even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. In this way, God qualified him as a perfect High Priest, and he became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey him. Before Jesus’ first act of His public ministry, He received the Holy Spirit as He was being baptized by John in the River Jordan (Matt. 3:16).
- The twelve apostles received the baptism of the Holy Ghost in the upper room…
- Acts 2:4 And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability…every one of the 120 in the upper room received the Holy Spirit, and every person of the 3000 who heard Peter preach his sermon on the day of Pentecost, was given the promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit, this mighty gift of the Holy Ghost is for all as stated in:
- Acts 2:37-39 Peter’s words convicted them deeply, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” Peter replied, “Each of you must turn from your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is to you and to your children, and even to the Gentiles (to those far away) – all who have been called by the Lord our God.”
- The Holy Ghost gives power to witness.
- Acts 1:8 But when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power and will tell people about me everywhere-in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
For a victorious Christian life…there is a need of power over the forces of evil, and we are continually facing strong temptations that the human will cannot successfully stand up against. With the Holy Spirit in our lives; this gives us the power, to defend ourselves against evil and the power to take the offensive.
The purpose of the baptism of the Holy Ghost is to give us this power; the power to become an effective witness and to influence others for Christ. Yes, by the power of the Spirit, to the believer, those mountains, which he cannot cross in his own strength, can be moved by the power of the Spirit.
2. The Holy Ghost gives power to live a holy life. Yes, the Holy Spirit frees us from the law of sin and death.
- Romans 8:1-2 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. For the power (law) of the life-giving Spirit has freed you (me) through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death. (vs 13) For if you keep on following it, you will perish. But if through the power of the Holy Spirit you turn from it (or put it to death) and its evil deeds, you will live.
Every Christian has the Spirit of Christ to some degree or he would not be a Christian…but the experience as received on the day of Pentecost represents a fuller measure of the Spirit…for He was with the believer, but now He is in the believer.
It must be noted that, the baptism does not automatically make a man holy nor an ideal Christian, for man is a free moral agent. It requires discipline and correction, acting on what you have been taught and what the Holy Spirit has revealed. Discipleship must be on going in the Christian walk.
3. The Holy Spirit is a comforter who will abide forever.
- John 14:16 “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, (Or Comforter, or Encourager, or Advocate) who will never leave you.”
Through His indwelling presence, we become the temple of God. In the soul of man there is a spiritual vacuum…for he is not complete without the infilling of the Holy Ghost …
In Luke Jesus speaks of the man that is not filled with His Spirit.
- Luke 11:24-26 “When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, searching for rest. But when it finds none, it says, ‘I will return to the person I came from.’ So it returns and finds that its former home is all swept and clean. Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before.”
4. The baptism of the Holy Ghost is the “refreshing” spoken of in prophecy. As spoken in Joel, the Holy Ghost (Spirit) is the refreshing that is needed in one’s life.
- Joel 2:28 “Then after I have poured out my rains again, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams. Your young men will see visions.
- Jesus declares in John 7:3-38. “If you are thirsty, come to me! If you believe in me, come and drink! For the Scriptures declare that rivers of living water will flow out from within.” (Or “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. (vs 38) For the Scriptures declare that rivers of living water will flow from the heart of those who believe in me.”
The infilling of the Spirit with the speaking of in unknown tongues is as the prophecy declares, “rest” and “refreshing”.
5. The Holy Spirit will quicken our mortal bodies.
- Romans 8:11 “The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as he raised Christ from the dead, he will give life to your mortal body by this same Spirit living within you.”
6. Divine healing is accomplished by the power of the Spirit, but God’s purpose goes further than that…it includes divine health as is declared in:
- 3 John 1:2 Dear friend, I am praying that all is well with you and that your body is as healthy as I know your soul is. The Spirit of God will quicken our physical bodies, so that we may have the strength necessary to perform the work God has called us to do.
7. Jesus said that He came to give life, and life more abundantly. There is a peace and assurance that follows the spirit filled life even through our troubles and tribulations. The Holy Spirit will guide the believer into all truth.
- John 16:12-13 “Oh, there is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not be presenting his own ideas; he will be telling you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.
Again, I want to note, that God never takes away man’s free will and it is possible for man to choose error (1 Tim 1:19-20; 2 Tim 2:17-18) But if he is obedient to the light he has…the Spirit of the Lord will keep him from serious wrong.
8. The Holy Spirit will help you pray supernaturally. The idea is not that we receive the Holy Spirit to pray, for the Spirit of God in convicting power will help the sinner to pray the sinners’ prayer. In Romans Paul states clearly that the Spirit of God will make “intercession” for us.
- Romans 8:26, And the Holy Spirit helps us in our distress. For we don’t even know what we should pray for, nor how we should pray. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. Also (1 Cor. 14:14-15).
9. One should have the Holy Spirit to exercise the gifts of the Spirit fully. The manifestation of certain gifts in the ministry of Peter became evident only after he received the baptism of the Spirit.
- For example, neither Peter nor any of the other disciples knew that Judas was intending to betray the Lord (Mark 14:17-21).
- Yet, after Peter received the baptism of the Holy Ghost, he instantly discerned the hypocrisy of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11).
Another example was on the Sea of Galilee, when the storm arose, the disciples showed only a human faith (Matt. 8:23-26). But after they had received the Holy Spirit, they had faith for great miracles, even to the raising of the dead. (Acts 5:12; 9:36-42).
10. The Holy Spirit produces the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Galatians 5:22-23 But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law.
The fruit of the Spirit growing and maturing in our lives. When we allow the Holy Spirit to work FREELY in our lives these characteristics (or fruit) will also be the characteristics (or fruit) of our lives. Then and only then, will those around us see the great manifestations of the Holy Spirit working in and through us!
Yes…the FULLNESS of God’s mercy and grace…here on earth as it is in heaven! Let us desire and receive the FULLNESS of His Spirit:
- the power…that washes away sin whiter than snow
- the power…that sees things that is not as though they are
- the power…that changes man in HIS likeness
- the power…to communicate with our heavenly father, daily!
Love in Christ Jesus,