Have you traveled in a
country where the language is different from your own? Perhaps
you have learned a little of the language and are able to understand
the conversation and make your needs known.
But what joy when passing
through busy streets, far from home, to hear someone speak your
own language! You immediately make yourself known and, for
the moment, are like old friends. “Where is your home?
What are you doing in this place? How do you like it here?”
These are questions you may ask.
Our own language is beautiful
to us. Our most tender memories are wrapped up in the language
we’ve heard our parents and friends speak. Their language
is the language of our heart.
Each child of God, born-again
by God’s Holy Spirit, is an alien, a foreigner in this world.
We speak the language of this world with clumsy lips and awkward
manners. We cannot communicate the heart and mind of our
spirit to those who have never tasted the goodness of God.
God has given us a tongue, another tongue by which we communicate
with Him. Yes, God can understand and speak the language
of your family, but when He desires to speak heavenly knowledge
to our spirits He chooses the language of His Holy Spirit.
This “other tongue”
or “unknown tongue” was first manifest on the Day
of Pentecost, ten days after Jesus Christ returned to heaven.
On this feast day God’s promised Holy Spirit was poured
out upon the believers. “And
they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with
other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance”
This heavenly tongue became
the witness of the presence of God’s Holy Spirit everywhere
the spirit was outpoured. It was almost twenty years after
the Jerusalem outpouring that we read of a Roman soldier and his
family receiving the Holy Spirit. Those who had preached
to them were astonished “…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.
Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should
not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as
we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of
the Lord” Acts 10:45-48. Another
account is found in Acts 19:6. God was giving His children
the language of His kingdom.
Is there a practical purpose
of “other tongues” beyond showing forth the presence
of the Holy Spirit? The apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians
about this. The Corinthians had been so excited about the
use of tongues in prayer and in the church that they needed correction.
They were encouraging the use of the “unknown tongue”
without praying for interpretation. You can read Paul’s
instruction in I Corinthians 14. Here are some things we
He that speaks in an unknown tongue is not speaking to men but
to God. Verse 2
He is speaking spiritual mysteries. Verse 2
He that speaks in an unknown tongue is edifying or building up
himself in the Lord. Verse 4
Paul desired that they all would speak in tongues. Verse
Paul desired that they should all interpret. Verse 13
If I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit is praying, even though
I may not understand it with my mind.Verse 14
Paul prayed with the spirit, sang with the spirit and blessed
with the spirit, but he also spoke these things in his own language
that others might be blessed. Verses 14-17
Paul spoke in tongues more than any of the Corinthians.
In spite of the terrible errors that the Corinthians had fallen
into, Paul's last word on the subject was “…and forbid
not to speak with tongues.” Verse 39
is the native language of the Holy Spirit. God desires to
pour His Spirit within you. He will communicate with your
spirit and this communication can be interpreted. When these
“tongues” are interpreted, the mind of the believer
is enlightened and the church of Jesus Christ is built up.
All are speaking in other tongues as the spirit of God gives utterance
when receiving the Holy Ghost, but not all are used by the spirit
of God to exercise the gift of diverse kinds of tongues or in
interpretating these tongues (1 Corinthian 14:5).
What a wonderful gift God
has given His church! He will give it to you, too.
If you are interested in receiving the Holy Spirit, with speaking
in other tongues, we invite you to visit an Apostolic church,
where the full Gospel is preached or email us for further information.