Message from the Monthly Flyer from May 2015
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” Acts 2:4.
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 learn.
1. He that speaks in an unknown tongue is not speaking to men but to God. Verse 2
2. He is speaking spiritual mysteries. Verse 2
3. He that speaks in an unknown tongue is edifying or building up himself in the Lord. Verse 4
4. Paul desired that they all would speak in tongues. Verse 5
5. Paul desired that they should all interpret. Verse 13
6. If I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit is praying, even though I may not understand it with my mind.Verse 14
7. 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
8. Paul spoke in tongues more than any of the Corinthians. Verse 18
9. 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.
What a wonderful gift God has given His church! He will give it to you, too. Luk 11:13 "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!"
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