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Summary: Speaking in other tongues is a Biblical part of the Christian experience. It makes people uncomfortable because it stretches us in ways that we are not used to begin stretched.

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ARTICLE 9 We believe in speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance and that it is the initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 2:1-4.. When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them. ." In our culture, the phrase "speaking in tongues" conjures up strange images in people’s minds.

1. They envision people caught up in uncontrolled speech or incoherent babbling.

2. Some people envision a voodoo-like mumbo-jumbo muttered from slightly foaming lips or weird gibberish emitted from a hypnotic trance.

This is not the case. Speaking in other tongues is a Biblical part of the Christian experience. It makes people uncomfortable because it stretches us in ways that we are not used to begin stretched.

It also makes people uncomfortable because individuals who have moved into this realm have not always acted with doctrinal integrity.

Our denomination began in 1886 in the mountains of North Carolina. The early pioneers had a passion to experience the presence of God and to follow His leadings. They committed themselves to prayer. Ten years into this journey of faith the miracles that were documented in the New Testament were released in their services.

This was like a fire that swept through the community and the region. People were being saved, experiencing miracles and speaking in tongues. When the news of these occurrences were made public, people in the community did not embrace this activity. In fact, they persecuted these mountaineers by burning down their churches and attempting to run people out of town.

This created a defensive posture and as a result many of the participants developed an arrogant attitude claiming that they were more spiritual than the churches down the street. During this time fanatical teachers came on the scene and led many of them into heresy. They began seeking other baptisms of fire that were not scriptural. For instance, some of the heresy concentrated on receiving "holy dynamite, holy lyddite, and holy oxidite." These experiences were clearly non-biblical and were later considered heresy.

The power of God fell on these seekers, but they did not have enough theological training to communicate a balanced approach to Spirit-led living. If the devil can not stop a person from growing spiritually, he will attempt to drive that individual into fanaticism. This is what happened.

The concept of spiritual language or speaking in tongues is completely Biblical

1.Jesus prophesied that people would speak in tongues.

Mark 16:15-20..15 He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;

God designed the church to be born with tongues of fire.

Acts 2:1-31 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.

The Holy Spirit enabled the disciples to speak.

Acts 2:4..All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Speaking in tongues is viewed among many Pentecostal’s and the Church of God as the initial evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. When we look at this response we must understand that yes they are other signs of Baptism of the Holy Ghost, but tongues is the initial emphasize “initial” evidence. “Speaking in tongues is a sign of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.” The expression initial evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost refers to the first outward sign that the Holy Spirit has come in filling power.

Furthermore, a study of Scripture indicates there was a physical sign by which observers knew that believers had been baptized in the Holy Spirit. The evidence always occurred at the very time the believers were baptized in the Spirit and not on some future occasion. The scriptural basis from which the Church of God and other Pentecostals draw this doctrine from is found in 5 passages of scripture. Acts 2:4 “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 10:45-46 “And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.” and, Acts 8:17, Acts 8:18-19 and Acts 19:6.

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