A young woman asked me at a meeting recently, “Why is it necessary to speak in tongues?” It is the one question that keeps coming up over and over again.
My first words were, "because it is the most effective way to speak and hear from God." It is His communication system, as directed by the Holy Spirit” (Mk. 16:17; 1 Cor. 12:10).
However, the word, "tongues" is outdated as a translation, making it easily misunderstood. "Tongues" really means “other national languages”
"All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues (national languages) as the Spirit enabled them... each one heard their own language being spoken...Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?" (Act 2:4-8)
It is like using the words “horseless carriage” instead or “car” or “automobile”. Could you imagine the look on the face of a car salesman if you said to him, “I would like to purchase a horseless carriage?” This is the same problem when using the translation, "tongues" for meaning the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The Gift of Tongues (languages) is one of the 6,500 real languages spoken in the world today. By means of them, God is able to give messages to people around the world in their native language by using another person, who doesn't normally speak their language.
God's amazing "gift of tongues" gives us control over our own tongue, which is the most uncontrollable organ in our bodies – “no human being can tame”, “a restless evil , and "full of deadly poison” (Jas. 3:8).
But the Holy Spirit can tame our tongues so that we can deliver messages to people from Jesus. Spoken tongues can be accurately translated by people who normally speak the language, or who have the “Gift of Interpretation." (1 Cor. 12:10).
Unknowingly, while preaching in a church in Florida, I was told that my tongues language was Portuguese. This resulted in a tremendous response when people flooded to the altar receiving ministry - “signs, wonders and miracles”.
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c. 2016, GWEA