Summary: The proper uses of speaking in an unknown (to the speaker) language, both in private, and in public settings.
Heavenly Languages Explained
Pastor Eric J. Hanson
May 24, 2015
Today is Pentecost Sunday. This is a good time to remember what happened on the first Pentecost after the resurrection and ascension of the Lord, and to consider what these things means for us now. Let’s review Acts 1:1-14 so as to set the stage for what happened next. (Read these verses now.) Now let’s continue in chapter 2, and consider the supernatural occurrences there. (Now read verses 1-13)
There were some rare things that the Holy Spirit did on that occasion, such as manifesting Himself as a mighty rushing wind, and then as visible fire. These are not unique in Bible history. As early as Genesis chapter 3, God revealed himself as wind or “the breeze of the moment”(in the Hebrew language) when he came into the garden after Adam first sinned. Various times, such as the burning bush in the wilderness, which was on fire but did not burn up, and really grabbed Moses’ attention, God revealed himself as fire. But on the day of Pentecost, as recorded in Acts Chapter 2, the Holy Spirit revealed himself both ways.
Immediately after the fire of God rested on each of the 120 believers in that room, they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they all began to speak in languages they had never learned, telling the wonderful works of God in such a way that the foreigners who were crowding Jerusalem because of the Feast of Pentecost then heard about God, each in his or her own language.
This outburst of many languages amazed the crowd and it grabbed their attention totally. When Peter stood up and began to explain to them what was going on, and then shared about Jesus, they were listening intently. Nobody was bored or distracted. The final result that very day, was that 3000 people became followers of Jesus Christ.
Unlike the unusual wind and fire manifestations on that day, the phenomenon of believers in Jesus becoming filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit, and also speaking in totally unlearned languages, became widespread, and has been repeated millions of times across the past 2000 years. Even today, there are millions of Holy Spirit filled believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, who pray in languages they have never learned, and who also sometimes bring a message forth publicly in such a language, unknown to the speaker, but either known to the hearers of the message, or else interpreted into a language known to the hearers, immediately after it has been spoken forth.
Unfortunately, there is also much confusion about these things, in the minds of many church people today, even among people who have long been active in churches and/or organizations which believe in these expressions of the Holy Spirit’s work and power within us, there remain many questions and misperceptions.
Today, the burden the Lord has given me is to bring clarity to the matter of speaking in unknown languages, or in old style English, unknown tongues. It is important for Christian people to have a good understanding of this matter.