Is it Necessary for All Christians to Speak in Tongues?
GWEA Monthly Message, September 2020
REVEREND GORDON WILLIAMS
“Is it necessary for Christians to speak in tongues?” This is the question I’m most often asked, and my answer is always the same: “Yes it is, and for all Christians.”
Jesus said that, “these signs will accompany those who believe… in my name they will... speak in new tongues”, meaning believers will speak in “new languages”. The Greek word, “sign” is defined in the Greek Lexicon as “a sign or distinguishing mark whereby something is a sign, a token or an indication”.
Speaking in tongues is a “sign or the distinguishing mark” of an authentic Christian believer who has received Salvation and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (Mk. 16:16-18, Acts 2). When we receive the Holy Spirit, He gives us the ability to speak and to pray in other real languages which we have never learned before. Tongues is the “gift of national languages,” which is a language that is either spoken today, or has been in the past.
These signs: “they drive out demons; they speak in new tongues; they pick up snakes with their hands; they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they place their hands on sick people, and they will be healed,” all identify the signs of authentic Christian Believers (Mk.16:17-18).
Not everyone receives the Holy Spirit when they had their sins forgiven, as was the case on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:4) in Samaria (Acts 8:15-16), with Paul in Acts 9:17, and with John’s disciples in Acts 19:6.
On the Day of Pentecost, the people in Jerusalem were from many countries, and they were surprised to hear the 120 people speaking in their languages (tongues they received from the Holy Spirit) which they had never learned at birth (Acts 2:8).
God's Gift of speaking in tongues (languages) is proof that of Power of the Holy Spirit is living in us. This is God’s unique way to help us have control over our mouths, and what we will say. Only the Holy Spirit can solve our mouth problem of which James reminds us “but no human being can tame the tongue - a restless evil, full of deadly poison” (Jas. 3:8).
Tongues, the “gift of national languages” (1 Cor. 12:10), is God’s unique “communications system” which changes our personal prayer life (1 Cor. 14:4, 15; Eph. 6:18). And when combined with the “gift of interpretation of tongues”, when we come together in our fellowships in worship, we can give messages from God to people (1 Cor. 14:22, 27).
When Paul writes, “Are all apostles? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?” The answer is “NO because all have not received the Holy Spirit”. There were two groups of people in the church, just like today, who rejected the necessity of the Baptism of Holy Spirit: unbelievers (apistos) and outsiders, not full-fledged Christians (idiotes) (1Cor. 14:24). The same proof is necessary today or else as many people tell me, “There is something missing in me” or “I feel empty all the time” or “Why do I never hear the Holy Spirit speak to me every day?”
Jesus explained that forgiveness makes us into new wineskins and the Holy Spirit is the “new wine” (Lk. 5:37-39). But he also warns, “And no one after drinking old wine desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better’”. In other words, the Holy Spirit does not taste the way that we think He should.
Most church people do not like the taste or feeling the Holy Spirit gives them, especially when it is necessary to speak in the new “tongues” languages that He wants us to have. They go back to the old wine of their ineffective religion. We cannot rely on our feelings to validate the work of the Holy Spirit (Is: 55:8).
Many people have written books about why it is no longer necessary to speak in tongues (languages) which proves that they do not have the Holy Spirit in spite of all of their eloquence. They may be religious people but not “spiritual” people (Matt. 22:29). It took me about six months to get accustomed to speaking in a tongues language that I did not know, and to later find out it was Portuguese. I like most people, had to acquire a taste for the new wine. And it opened up a new and exciting way of prayer.
Did Jesus speak in tongues? Yes, of course He did, and He still does. He speaks in all the 7,111 languages that are spoken on the earth today. And through this unique sign of speaking in new languages (Mk. 16:17) as Jesus said, or as Paul said, “the gift of other national languages” Jesus gives His church the ability to reach every language in the world.
If you have not received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, or a Gift of the Holy Spirit, I invite you come to one of our house meetings or contact me for prayer. I will pray with you to receive the Holy Spirit with the signs (Mk. 16:17-18) of authenticity and you will have the proof that your Salvation is secure (Eph. 1:13-14).
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