Summary: EVIDENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN PERSONS LIVES-BIBLICAL EVIDENCE OF THE SPIRIT
DO YOU SPEAK IN TONGUES?
+ASK THE QUESTION--"Do you speak in tongues”? Just ask that question among Christians and you will get a variety of reactions. May I ask
you the question--- “Is speaking in tongues for today?”
The Baptism with the Holy Spirit was common among Christians in the first Church, then seemed to fade out gradually in succeeding centuries. In the early 20th century there came a resurgence of this biblical practice, notably in Topeka, Kansas, and on Azusa Street in Los Angeles.
From those and other places came many of today’s leading Pentecostal denominations. Subsequent movements in which speaking in tongues was a prominent feature included the Latter Rain revival, the mid-20th-century healing ministries, the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship, and the Charismatic Renewal. In this latter movement especially, the biblical doctrine of the baptism with the Holy Spirit, with the initial evidence of speaking in tongues, spread broadly into both the Roman Catholic Church and many Protestant denominations.
By the early 21st century, speaking in tongues (the theological term is glossolalia) — that is, languages unknown to the speaker, given by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit — had become broadly if not universally accepted within worldwide Christianity. Many portions of the worldwide Church today have once again come to embrace one of the landmarks of the Church that Jesus created.
But all of these things , as interesting as they may be, are still secondary. The Bible must be the source of primary importance in establishing the present-day validity of speaking in tongues. Sp we turn to the Bible to answer the question: “Why should we speak in tongues?”
Mark 16:15-17 He [Jesus] said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized
will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my
name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues.
The verses above are an excerpt of Mark’s account of Jesus’ Great Commission. It was Jesus Himself who initiated the subject of speaking in tongues in the New Testament. He said that it would be a “sign” that would accompany believers as they went into all the world and preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
• So to answer the question “Why speak in tongues?” is that Jesus endorsed the practice. In fact, Jesus said that speaking in tongues is one of the signs that “WILL ACCOMPANY THOSE WHO BELIEVE."
At this point, it will be helpful to examine several portions of Scripture in the book of Acts (see the three
speak of being “baptized with” or “filled with” the Holy Spirit. As we will see, on all three occasions believers
who were said to be filled/baptized with the Spirit immediately spoke in tongues. This is the biblical pattern.
When believers are baptized with the Holy Spirit, they begin to speak in tongues.
Acts 1:4-5; 2:1-4, KJV And, being assembled together with them, [Jesus] commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem,
but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye
shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.... [2:1] 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 the y 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.
This was the first New Testament day of Pentecost after Jesus’ resurrection. He had prophesied to His followers that they would be
“baptized with the Holy Ghost” (1:5). This occurred some few days later on “the day of Pentecost” (2:1), when it is said that “they were
all filled with the Holy Ghost” (2:4) and manifested this by the evidence of speaking in tongues (2:4).
As a point of interest, because this happened on “the day of Pentecost” (2:1), those who have received this baptism with the
Spirit, with the evidence of speaking in tongues, have often in modern times been called “Pentecostals”.
Compare verses 1:5 and 2:4. We see that the Bible uses the terms “baptized with the Holy Spirit” and “filled with the Holy Spirit” as
synonyms for the same biblical experience. And the discernible evidence of that baptism with the Holy Spirit was their speaking in
tongues. This same evidence will be seen again in Acts, chapters 10 and 19 (below).