Why is it that some people speak in tongues and others do not?
Speaking in tongues has been and will contine to be a topic of debate. This is perhaps one of the most misunderstood and misapplied topics in the Bible. The actual gift of speaking in tongues is found in only a few places in the Bible:
1. The first occurence is found in Acts 2:3-4 – on the day of pentecost when the church began.
2. The second occurence is found in Acts 10:46 – Cornelius who was a gentile was converted and then baptized by Peter.
3. The third occurence is found in Acts 19:6 – Disciples who received Johns’ baptism were baptized by Paul in the name of Jesus, then hand were layed on them. Please read these occurences before you continue to read on!
Please note these occurences happened because they were promised and foretold by Jesus the Christ. It was told specifically to his disciples who later became his apostles. John 14:26, 15:26-27, 16:12-13
There were only two ways the gift of speaking in tongues could be received.
1. Directly by God
2. Laying on of hands
At this point in response, the question that needs to be investigated and answered is: Is it possible to speak in tongues?
In order to answer this question lets first answer these questions:
Who? – Who spoke in tongues? ans. Those whom God approved. Those whom God poured out his spirit. (Joel 2:28-29, Acts 2:17-21)
The apostles on the Day of Pentecost – Acts 2:3-4 B) The Disciples – Acts 6:6, Acts 19:6, a disciple is a follower of Christ. C) God Fearing Individuals- Cornelius who was a gentile received the gift. Acts 10:46, Acts 10:1-2, Acts 10: 34-35
What? – What are tongues? ans. Tongues are languages, prophetic messages ” Revelations ” given by God through His Spirit to men in different languages. Acts 2:7-8
Where? – Where did speaking in tongues take place? ans. In an assembly. An assembly is a congregation of people or individuals.
When? – When did speaking in tongues take place? ans. When the church was established on the day of Pentecost. Acts 2:3-4 The actual speaking in tongues is not found in the Old Law, it is only found in the New Law.
Why? – Why did/ does speaking in tongues occur? ans. Speaking in tongues was a sign from God of His power, and proved the validity of the message to whom the gift of speaking in tongues was endowed. Acts 1:4-8, 2:14-21, 1 Cor 14:22
How? – How was the gift of speaking in tongues given/received? ans. 1) By God – Acts 1:4-8, 2:14-21, 10:46, Joel 2:28-29, 1Cor 12:11 2) Laying on of Hands – Acts 6:6, Acts 19:6, Acts 8:18, 1Tim 5:22, 2 Tim 1:6, Heb 6:2. The laying of hands was the method/means that god gave to men to be able to impart/endow spiritual gifts to others.
Speaking in tongues is dealt with in detail in 1 Cor 12-14, speaking in tongues was only one of many spiritual gifts. In 1 Cor 12, Paul lists the different spiritual gifts.
vs.8 1) Gifts of the message of Wisdom 2) The message of Knowledge 3) Faith 4) Healing 5) Miraculous powers 6) Prophecy 7) Ability to discern/interpret different spirits 8) Speaking in tongues 9) Interpret vs.11- states that “all these gifts are the work of one and the same spirit.
In 1Cor 12:27-31, Paul asks many questions in these verses to help the Corinthians to better understand spiritual gifts. Please understand that not everyone in the early church had the ability to speak in tongues. We could even go further and say that it was very few. In vs. 30-31, Paul asks them “Do all speak in tongues?, Do all interpret? but eagerly desire the greater gifts.
Read 1 Cor 13:1-8, Paul states that love is the most excellent way. Love is the correct way to exercise all spiritual gifts.
Now let’s bring it home!!!!! Conclusion
In 1Cor 13:8-13, Paul states” Tongues shall cease” Question: When will tongues cease? ans. vs.10 “when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.”
Question: What is Paul referring to? Is he referring to Christ? Answer – . Christ had already has come and died and at that time was in heaven on God’s right hand.
Question: Is he referring to Christs second coming? Answer – . Again, perfection already came and died. When Christ returns, this earth and universe will be destroyed. 2 Peter 3: 1-13. Notice 1 Cor. 13:9 that sets the context for vs.10 “for we know in part” refers to “knowledge” “and we prophesy in part” refers to “prophecy”
Knowledge…. God revealed knowledge to man in parts-partial, he gave them a little bit at a time.
Prophecy….. God revealed his will/word to man in parts- partial, God gave certain men the ability to prophesy, a little at a time. Partial Revelations! 2 Pet 2:20
Perfection in Scripture denotes completeness. Perfection in this context refers to Gods complete revealed word for man, which is today called the bible. In particular the New Covenant, which Christians who call on Christs name live by today.
Now, I would like you to answer the question….
Is it possible to speak in tongues?
By Jomo Kenyatta