praying-in-tonguesIn Acts 1:4-8 Jesus tells His disciples they should remain in Jerusalem and “wait for the promise of the Father”, which He spoke to them about earlier. This promise of the Father would give them power they did not yet have and they would be witnesses unto Him all over the earth.

Today we know this power came upon them on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:4,17; 32-33) as God poured out His Holy Spirit upon all flesh. The same Holy Spirit whom Jesus said had been with them in His presence was now in them as He is now present at the Father’s right hand in heaven.

In our legal system today witnesses are called upon to testify to their receiving or seeing or hearing credible evidence that is necessary for making a verdict or decision, sometimes resulting in life or death of a person. The power of a witness rests solely in his ability to present evidence confirming his words or his testimony is worthless to the making of a verdict. In other words, their power is in the confirming of their words.

In Mark 16:19-20 we see this being demonstrated by the Church as they are obedient to the command given them by Jesus. Their words are His word (witness) and He is the “power” working with and confirming the word with signs following. Many who heard believed but not all. However, as the word being preached by the disciples was confirmed by the power of the Holy Spirit, those who refuse to believe the credible witness of God concerning His Son as confirmed by the manifestations of the Holy Spirit shall be damned.

To be obedient witnesses of Jesus Christ in this world today is no easy task. I am not saying it was any easier in the beginning days of the Church. (Just ask any martyr) However, with all the “advanced technology” of today any message/vision may be globally communicated instantly. The Gospel of Jesus Christ stands in direct opposition to any other “Good News” today. When Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth and the life: no man comes to Father, but by me.” (John 14:6), in the eyes of the world He is throwing down the gauntlet of racism, bigotry, prejudice, intolerance, etc. Such things, the world says cannot and will not be tolerated. This is due to the spirit of anti-Christ god of this world (philosophies, thoughts, manners) is now working in the children of disobedience. (Ephesians 2:1-3; 1 John 5:19) This can tempt born again and filled with the Holy Spirit of Christ believers to become weary in well doing and faint, casting away their confidence which has great reward. (Galatians 6:9; Heb. 10:35-37)

Our Heavenly Father has given means to the Church for building ourselves up against such temptation individually and corporately.  Assembling together. Praying in tongues, speaking in tongues and prophesying.  Gifts of the Holy Spirit. (Hebrews 10:22-25; 1Corinthians 14:1-4; 12; 1Corinthians 12:1-11)

I will address two of these Holy Spirit manifestations. Tongues as a prayer language and tongues for interpretation/understanding. As a prayer language tongues is an ability all believers should practice. Tongues for interpretation/understanding is a gift to be given as the Holy Spirit wills. Understanding this difference will help clear up much misunderstanding about speaking in tongues.

First point I make is: Tongues is evidence of one having received the Holy Spirit.

·         Acts 2:4 In this instance the given tongues were understood by the hearers as their native tongue as they heard of the wonderful works of God. (v11) Not recorded whether hearers spoke in tongues – does not mean they did not

·         Acts 2:41 Not recorded that they spoke in tongues in response. Does not mean they did not.

·         Acts 8:12; 14-19 They were already saved. Why the second word? What did Simon see?

·         Acts 10:44-47 Did they not understand Peter? Why were tongues given? (Acts 11:15-17)

·         Acts 19:4-6 Why were tongues given?

When I study a topic I like to read “both sides”. I do this to check up on my believing as I do about the subject. There are many who disagree about tongues in any form being necessary for the believer today. I have read many articles saying so. One common denominator I find to be missing in ALL I have read is 1Corinthians 14:2, “For he that speaks in a tongue DOES NOT SPEAK TO MEN BUT TOGOD; for NO MAN understands him; HOWEVER, IN THE SPIRIT (John 4:24) he speaks mysteries.” To God! Not men.

Proverbs 4:7 says that “Wisdom is the principal thing; get wisdom.”

1Corinthians 2:12-14 Paul says there are words which man’s wisdom teaches and there are words which the Holy Ghost teaches.

The Holy Spirit does not teach natural knowledge but spiritual truth to your spirit. Read the Bible of course but do not limit your learning to only your understanding. Pray and learn words that the Holy Spirit teaches you in your praying with your spirit while your understanding is unfruitful. (1Corinthians 14:14)