SPEAKING IN TONGUES IN ACTS
Speaking in tongues has been a very controversial subject for many churches for decades. The Pentecostal Churches have a positive outlook on this subject, but many other Churches believe speaking in tongues is not for today’s believers. THE DAY OF PENTECOST
“When the day of Pentecost had 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 the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided Tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” 1 Acts 2:1-4 NKJ.
This was the beginning of the phenomenon of glossolalia. There are several reasons in scripture for the purpose of tongues. The first is there were a multitude of people from many different nations with different languages that were present on the day of Pentecost in the upper room. Then they heard tongues spoken in their own language and they were all amazed and perplexed. They asked what this could mean because some were confused, but others were amazed. Some mockers thought they were full of wine or drunk. Second, the Holy Spirit with the evidence of tongues empowered the apostles to witness the gospel of Jesus Christ.
1. The Holy Bible. New King James Version Acts.
“And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness .”2 Acts 4:31 NKJ
“God fulfills His promise given in Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:4 when Pentecost arrives.” 2 Dunn states, “Proclamation is inspired utterance that creates the community of believers.” 3 In Charismatic Theology, Stronstad states, “And tongues is the sign that all who belong to this charismatic community have been empowered by the Spirit for charismatic ministry.”4 Third reason for tongues is prophecy. At Pentecost, tongues were a sign that the disciples had been empowered to bear witness to the gospel, just as Jesus had promised. In Acts 8 and 10, speaking in tongues shows that a certain group of people have received the Holy Spirit and become part of the community of Christians.5 McDonald states, in the definition of glossolalia; “Tongues is discussed in the context of public worship and is described as having at least Two other functions, it can be used to edify the speaker and, when it is used with the gift Of interpretation, can be a means of God communicating with His people.” 6 Many Churches in our community don’t believe in this type of communication with God. They think tongues ceased at the end of Acts.
2. Bock, Darrell L. Acts, Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2009. 3. Dunn, Jesus and the Spirit.
4. Stronstad, Charismatic Theology
5. Gromacki, Modern Tongues Movement
Advocates of the view that New Testament tongues are always foreign languages, but they are wrong. Paul used Greek words to describe the phenomenon of tongues and states that the meaning is the same. Luke describes the phenomenon of speaking in tongues in Acts, but Paul assumes that his readers know what this phenomenon is and explains how tongues should be used in public worship. Tongues of Acts and 1 Corinthians 12-14, have the same basic nature, but they have different functions. Tongues also have benefits for the believer and the believer’s relationship with God. MISSIONARY TONGUES
The phenomenon of glossolalia is inextricably tied to the beginning of the Church mission. In Acts 1:8, Jesus tells His disciples, you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and...
Cited: Bock, Darrell L. Acts. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic. 2009.
Columbia University Press. “Glossolalia.” Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th Edition. (October 2009): http://search.ebscohost.com
Dunn, Jesus and the Spirit
Gromacki, Modern Tongues Movement, pp. 82-87; MacDonald, “Glossolalia”, pp. 59-60. EBSCO host. (accessed July 15, 2010).
Kelsey, Tongue-Speaking, pp. 39-40; Harold D. Hunter, Spirit-Baptism: A Pentecostal alternative (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1983), p. 134. EBSCO host. (accessed July 20, 2010).
Morton T. Kelsey. Tongue-Speaking. An Experiment in Spiritual Experience (New York: Doubleday. 1964) p. 151. EBSCO host. (accessed July 16, 2010).
Powers, Janet Evert. “Missionary Tongues?”. Journal of Pentecostal Theology 8, no. 17 (October 2000): EBSCOhost (accessed July 19, 2010).
Samarin, Tongues of Men. P. 110; EBSCOhost (accessed July 15, 2010).
Stronstad, Charismatic Theology, pp. 68-69. EBSCO host. (accessed July 15, 2010).
Watson E. Mills, Understanding Speaking in Tongues. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1972. Pp. 56-58.http://search.ebscohost.com. ( Accessed July 20, 2010)
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