EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT TONGUES BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK.

THEME – COME HOLY SPIRIT – WEEK 8 – 27 MAY 2018, 10AM - TONGUES

EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT TONGUES BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK.

Speaking in tongues – probably the most maligned activity of all Christian or Pentecostal practice. They call us the “Holy Rollers” – the tongue talkers brigade.

I think the most massively misunderstood aspect of the early church practice is that of speaking in other tongues.

Speaking in tongues is anti-intellectual. No person who wants to be taken seriously by their peers is going to front up and say at the work lunch room, “I speak in tongues!” It seems weird and unnecessary. What is the purpose of tongues anyway? Doesn’t it just give outsiders more reason to think this Christian mob are strange and who would want to join them!!!! Many denominations have ignored tongues or even preached against it. Warning! There is so much junk on the internet about tongues.

For these reasons I believe that many modern Christians have vastly undervalued Speaking in Tongues. It is a practice that has almost died even in Pentecostal churches. – This should not be so!

Firstly let’s be reminded that we believe the whole bible is divinely inspired. See the podcasts in the oldest part of the church preaching podcast list.

There are five times the book of Acts records that the early church received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. In four out of five of these experiences it records that the believers spoke in tongues. In the other event is most probable they did.

Here is the verse that most Pentecostals live by when the issue of tongues comes up….

1 Cor 14:19 AMP Nevertheless, in public worship, I would rather say five words with my understanding and intelligently in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a [strange] tongue (language).

This seems to undervalue tongues but…..Now here is two verses that are vastly overlooked….

1 Cor 14:5 AMP Now I wish that you might all speak in [unknown] tongues, but more especially [I want you] to prophesy (to be inspired to preach and interpret the divine will and purpose). He who prophesies [who is inspired to preach and teach] is greater (more useful and more important) than he who speaks in [unknown] tongues, unless he should interpret [what he says], so that the church may be edified and receive good [from it].

1 Cor 14:18 AMP I thank God that I speak in [strange] tongues (languages) more than any of you or all of you put together;

If the Apostle Paul wishes that you all might speak in tongues, maybe we should give it some consideration? Are you open to that?

Yes but it says he who prophesies is greater! – Well are you prophesying? No? Well then you’re not in the greater list yet!! Anyway it says if you interpret the tongue that’s as good as prophesying.

So what is the benefit of speaking in tongues?

1.   You are edified and charged up and built up spiritually.                                    1 Cor 14:4 AMP He who speaks in a [strange] tongue edifies and improves himself, but he who prophesies [interpreting the divine will and purpose and teaching with inspiration] edifies and improves the church and promotes growth [in Christian wisdom, piety, holiness, and happiness]. (Edify = to build up, to edify, to embolden.)

2.   It is an overflow of the spiritual infilling we receive from God. John 7:37-39AMP 37 Now on the final and most important day of the Feast, Jesus stood, and He cried in a loud voice, If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink!

38 He who believes in Me [who cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] as the Scripture has said, From his innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs and rivers of living water.

39 But He was speaking here of the Spirit, Whom those who believed (trusted, had faith) in Him were afterward to receive. For the [Holy] Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified (raised to honor).

NOW LET ME HELP YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ABOUT TONGUES.

There are two purposes for tongues.

1.   A personal prayer language.

2.   A way of bringing a prophetic message to the church – a group of believers.

The first purpose, you’ll agree, is all about talking to God. The second is all about talking to people. Right through the book of Acts we read about people peaking in tongues. In the book of first Corinthians we read all about instructions regarding tongues.

Look at this verse. – it’s all about tongues for speaking to God.

1 Cor 14:2 AMP For one who speaks in an [unknown] tongue speaks not to men but to God, for no one understands or catches his meaning, because in the [Holy] Spirit he utters secret truths and hidden things [not obvious to the understanding].

Now look at this verse, its all about speaking to men, not to God,

1 Cor 14:5 AMP  Now I wish that you might all speak in [unknown] tongues, but more especially [I want you] to prophesy (to be inspired to preach and interpret the divine will and purpose). He who prophesies [who is inspired to preach and teach] is greater (more useful and more important) than he who speaks in [unknown] tongues, unless he should interpret [what he says], so that the church may be edified and receive good [from it].

The first purpose of speaking in tongues is for your own personal edification. It is your prayer language. It is for you to pray to God, not for anyone else to hear. This verse also refers to this practice…

Rom 8:26-27 AMP  So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance.

27 And He Who searches the hearts of men knows what is in the mind of the [Holy] Spirit [what His intent is], because the Spirit intercedes and pleads [before God] in behalf of the saints according to and in harmony with God’s will.

 The second purpose of speaking in tongues is to use the gift of Tongues as a way of revealing God’s will to people in the church. It is a gift equal to prophecy if the tongue is interpreted.

There are nine gifts of the Holy Spirit.

1.   The word of Wisdom

2.   The word of Knowledge

3.   Faith

4.   Healing

5.   Miracles

6.   Prophecy

7.   Discerning of Spirits

8.   Tongues

9.   Interpretation of Tongues.

Read about these in 1 Cor 12:8-10. There is a gift – a Charisma – to interpret an unknown tongue. There is also a gift of Tongues that is to be used especially for bringing a message to people by way of being interpreted. You can’t use the gift of tongues without interpretation, because no one will understand. You may as well just use the gift of prophecy to speak to the church. Yet God has chosen to use two different ways to communicate his encouragement to the church. Who are we to despise this?

Throughout the book of first Corinthians Paul refers to both purposes of tongues. It does seem a little confusing. One purpose is about speaking in tongues to God, the other purpose is about speaking to men as equal to prophecy. It makes it easier, if you just ask yourself is this reference to tongues about speaking to God or speaking to men? I have highlighted the verses below in two different colours to assist you to understand.

SO DO I HAVE TO SPEAK IN TONGUES?

Value it. It builds you up. If Paul needed it, don’t you? It helps you pray, We don’t know how to pray as we aught, the Holy Spirit prays though us. It’s a perfect prayer.

ISN’T THE GIFT JUST FOR SOME PEOPLE?

Yes, the gift is for those who are given it by God just as some have the gift of prophecy or healing or miracles, BUT all are commanded to prophecy, to heal, work miracles. (raise the dead – Matt 10:8) Tongues is for all as a prayer language. (Mark 16:17)

CAN I BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT AND NOT SPEAK IN TONGUES?

Yes, many believers are filled with the Holy Spirit but do not speak in tongues. Tongues is an overflow, out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Out of your innermost being shall flow rivers of living water. (John 7:37-39)

 IT’S NOT FOR ME I HAVE ANOTHER GIFT.

The prayer language is for you if you want it. God isn’t going to force you. You choose to give, to witness, to pray, to receive the prayer language of tongues, to help you pray. You can live life without it but Paul thought it was extremely high value, does that mean anything to you?

I’VE BEEN PRAYED FOR 100 TIMES AND NEVER SPOKEN IN TONGUES, EITHER SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH ME OR GOD HATES ME.

Neither, you can still receive, seek God for it again with fresh passion. He that THIRSTS let him come to me and drink (John 7:37-39). Open your mouth, God can’t move your lips for you. Be so filled that there is an overflow.

OK WHAT SHOULD I DO NOW?

Receive prayer today, come forward and be prayed for, but also seek God earnestly. Many of us live passionless lives, the biggest key is to cry out to God and get really thirsty.

SHALL WE GIVE PAUL THE FINAL WORD?

1 Cor 14:39 AMP So [to conclude], my brethren, earnestly desire and set your hearts on prophesying (on being inspired to preach and teach and to interpret God’s will and purpose), and do not forbid or hinder speaking in [unknown] tongues.

 

APPENDIX 1 -     1 CORINTHIANS 12 and 14

This italic highlights the verses about speaking to God

This BOLD highlights the verses about speaking to men

1 Corinthians 12 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

12 Now about the spiritual gifts (the special endowments of supernatural energy), brethren, I do not want you to be misinformed.

2 You know that when you were heathen, you were led off after idols that could not speak [habitually] as impulse directed and whenever the occasion might arise.

3 Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking under the power and influence of the [Holy] Spirit of God can [ever] say, Jesus be cursed! And no one can [really] say, Jesus is [my] Lord, except by and under the power and influence of the Holy Spirit.

4 Now there are distinctive varieties and distributions of endowments (gifts, [a]extraordinary powers distinguishing certain Christians, due to the power of divine grace operating in their souls by the Holy Spirit) and they vary, but the [Holy] Spirit remains the same.

5 And there are distinctive varieties of service and ministration, but it is the same Lord [Who is served].

6 And there are distinctive varieties of operation [of working to accomplish things], but it is the same God Who inspires and energizes them all in all.

7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the [Holy] Spirit [the evidence, the spiritual illumination of the Spirit] for good and profit.

8 To one is given in and through the [Holy] Spirit [the power to speak] a message of wisdom, and to another [the power to express] a word of knowledge and understanding according to the same [Holy] Spirit;

9 To another [[b]wonder-working] faith by the same [Holy] Spirit, to another the extraordinary powers of healing by the one Spirit;

10 To another the working of miracles, to another prophetic insight ([c]the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose); to another the ability to discern and distinguish between [the utterances of true] spirits [and false ones], to another various kinds of [unknown] tongues, to another the ability to interpret [such] tongues.

11 All these [gifts, achievements, abilities] are inspired and brought to pass by one and the same [Holy] Spirit, Who apportions to each person individually [exactly] as He chooses.

28 So God has appointed some in the church [for His own use]: first apostles (special messengers); second prophets (inspired preachers and expounders); third teachers; then wonder-workers; then those with ability to heal the sick; helpers; administrators; [speakers in] different (unknown) tongues.

29 Are all apostles (special messengers)? Are all prophets (inspired interpreters of the will and purposes of God)? Are all teachers? Do all have the power of performing miracles?

30 Do all possess extraordinary powers of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?

31 But earnestly desire and zealously cultivate the greatest and best gifts and graces (the higher gifts and the choicest graces). And yet I will show you a still more excellent way [one that is better by far and the highest of them all—love].

1 Corinthians 13 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

13 If I [can] speak in the tongues of men and [even] of angels, but have not love (that reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion such [a]as is inspired by God’s love for and in us), I am only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

1 Corinthians 14 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

14 Eagerly pursue and seek to acquire [this] love [make it your aim, your great quest]; and earnestly desire and cultivate the spiritual endowments (gifts), especially that you may prophesy ([a]interpret the divine will and purpose in inspired preaching and teaching).

2 For one who speaks in an [unknown] tongue speaks not to men but to God, for no one understands or catches his meaning, because in the [Holy] Spirit he utters secret truths and hidden things [not obvious to the understanding].

3 But [on the other hand], the one who prophesies [who interprets the divine will and purpose in inspired preaching and teaching] speaks to men for their upbuilding and constructive spiritual progress and encouragement and consolation.

4 He who speaks in a [strange] tongue edifies and improves himself, but he who prophesies [interpreting the divine will and purpose and teaching with inspiration] edifies and improves the church and promotes growth [in Christian wisdom, piety, holiness, and happiness].

5 Now I wish that you might all speak in [unknown] tongues, but more especially [I want you] to prophesy (to be inspired to preach and interpret the divine will and purpose). He who prophesies [who is inspired to preach and teach] is greater (more useful and more important) than he who speaks in [unknown] tongues, unless he should interpret [what he says], so that the church may be edified and receive good [from it].

6 Now, brethren, if I come to you speaking in [unknown] tongues, how shall I make it to your advantage unless I speak to you either in revelation (disclosure of God’s will to man) in knowledge or in prophecy or in instruction?

7 If even inanimate musical instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone [listening] know or understand what is played?

8 And if the war bugle gives an uncertain (indistinct) call, who will prepare for battle?

9 Just so it is with you; if you in the [unknown] tongue speak words that are not intelligible, how will anyone understand what you are saying? For you will be talking into empty space!

10 There are, I suppose, all these many [to us unknown] tongues in the world [somewhere], and none is destitute of [its own power of] expression and meaning.

11 But if I do not know the force and significance of the speech (language), I shall seem to be a foreigner to the one who speaks [to me], and the speaker who addresses [me] will seem a foreigner to me.

12 So it is with yourselves; since you are so eager and ambitious to possess spiritual endowments and manifestations of the [Holy] Spirit, [concentrate on] striving to excel and to abound [in them] in ways that will build up the church.

13 Therefore, the person who speaks in an [unknown] tongue should pray [for the power] to interpret and explain what he says.

14 For if I pray in an [unknown] tongue, my spirit [by the Holy Spirit within me] prays, but my mind is unproductive [it bears no fruit and helps nobody].

15 Then what am I to do? I will pray with my spirit [by the Holy Spirit that is within me], but I will also pray [intelligently] with my mind and understanding; I will sing with my spirit [by the Holy Spirit that is within me], but I will sing [intelligently] with my mind and understanding also.

16 Otherwise, if you bless and render thanks with [your] spirit [thoroughly aroused by the Holy Spirit], how can anyone in the position of an outsider or he who is not gifted with [interpreting of unknown] tongues, say the Amen to your thanksgiving, since he does not know what you are saying?

17 To be sure, you may give thanks well (nobly), but the bystander is not edified [it does him no good].

18 I thank God that I speak in [strange] tongues (languages) more than any of you or all of you put together;

19 Nevertheless, in public worship, I would rather say five words with my understanding and intelligently in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a [strange] tongue (language).

20 Brethren, do not be children [immature] in your thinking; continue to be babes in [matters of] evil, but in your minds be mature [men].

21 It is written in the Law, By men of strange languages and by the lips of foreigners will I speak to this people, and not even then will they listen to Me, says the Lord.

22 Thus [unknown] tongues are meant for a [supernatural] sign, not for believers but for unbelievers [on the point of believing], while prophecy (inspired preaching and teaching, interpreting the divine will and purpose) is not for unbelievers [on the point of believing] but for believers.

23 Therefore, if the whole church assembles and all of you speak in [unknown] tongues, and the ungifted and uninitiated or unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are demented?

24 But if all prophesy [giving inspired testimony and interpreting the divine will and purpose] and an unbeliever or untaught outsider comes in, he is told of his sin and reproved and convicted and convinced by all, and his defects and needs are examined (estimated, determined) and he is called to account by all,

25 The secrets of his heart are laid bare; and so, falling on [his] face, he will worship God, declaring that God is among you in very truth.

26 What then, brethren, is [the right course]? When you meet together, each one has a hymn, a teaching, a disclosure of special knowledge or information, an utterance in a [strange] tongue, or an interpretation of it. [But] let everything be constructive and edifying and for the good of all.

27 If some speak in a [strange] tongue, let the number be limited to two or at the most three, and each one [taking his] turn, and let one interpret and explain [what is said].

28 But if there is no one to do the interpreting, let each of them keep still in church and talk to himself and to God.

29 So let two or three prophets speak [those inspired to preach or teach], while the rest pay attention and weigh and discern what is said.

30 But if an inspired revelation comes to another who is sitting by, then let the first one be silent.

31 For in this way you can give testimony [prophesying and thus interpreting the divine will and purpose] one by one, so that all may be instructed and all may be stimulated and encouraged;

32 For the spirits of the prophets (the speakers in tongues) are under the speaker’s control [and subject to being silenced as may be necessary],

33 For He [Who is the source of their prophesying] is not a God of confusion and disorder but of peace and order. As [is the practice] in all the churches of the saints (God’s people),

39 So [to conclude], my brethren, earnestly desire and set your hearts on prophesying (on being inspired to preach and teach and to interpret God’s will and purpose), and do not forbid or hinder speaking in [unknown] tongues.

40 But all things should be done with regard to decency and propriety and in an orderly fashion.

Infinity Church