Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Another Mistaken Idea: Tongues were merely for evangelizing in foreign languages

For the one speaking in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; indeed, no one understands him, yet he is speaking mysteries by the Spirit. 1 Corinthians 14:2 Mounce

 Nothing can bring more misunderstanding, misdirection, and misconception in the life of the believer than mistaken ideas concerning God. Nothing can trip up the believer more than mistaken ideas concerning His Word. Therefore, periodically, we address these mistaken ideas and shed the light of the Gospel truth on them.

 When it comes to praying in the Spirit or speaking with tongues, a major mistaken idea has formed in light of the tradition of men. Traditional religion, in a vain effort to conceal their unbelief, has perpetrated an absurd idea concerning evangelism and tongues. This mistaken idea allows and gives credence to a powerless, faithless Christian expression. 

 When the Spirit came on the day of Pentecost, He ushered in a new way of living, a new expression of power and praise, and a more personal intimacy between the Father and His Family. With His coming, Jesus began baptizing believers in the Spirit. The timid become bold. The weak triumphant in Christ.

 The Church was also given Grace gifts to confirm the Word. With all these amazing gifts and benefits, tradition found a way to make the Word of no effect in the lives of believers. Tradition says tongues and the fullness of the Spirit are not for today because they have served their purpose.

 Tradition's mistaken idea is that speaking with tongues was merely for evangelizing in foreign lands. They cite a mere portion of the events of the day of Pentecost when the Spirit was poured out. They've lifted the verses out of full context in Acts 2 to prove this absurdity.

 Looking at the full events of Acts 2 we can see how mistaken this idea is. The idea is that since the Jews gathered from all nations in Jerusalem at this time heard the believers speaking tongues in their own languages, thus eventually getting saved. This means tongues were merely about the Apostles being gifted to preach to foreigners. Actually reading the second chapter of Acts clearly refutes this.

 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Acts 2:4 NKJV

 If tongues were merely about evangelism, who were the 120 preaching to in the upper room? Each other? Was Peter preaching to John to get saved? Was Andrew preaching to Mary to trust in Christ? Also, why would they be speaking in a foreign language when they all spoke the same language? 

 When Peter preached to the multitudes he didn't speak in tongues to share the Gospel. Clearly, he didn't speak some thirty dialects all at once, that's impossible. He spoke in his native Hebrew, remember all those gathered were also Jews, the diaspora Jews so they would know Hebrew, and there would be no need to "speak in tongues to preach the Gospel."

 Let's go further in debunking this absurd claim. Look at Acts 10 and the account of the Baptism in the Spirit and tongues there.

44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. 45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Acts 10:44-46 NKJV

 Again the mistaken idea is that speaking with tongues was merely for the purpose of evangelizing to foreigners. You can't get more foreign than Cornelius. He was Italian and Peter was Hebrew. 
 So what happened here? Peter was preaching to Cornelius' household in his known tongue. Suddenly, the Spirit falls upon Cornelius' household and they get filled with the Spirit and speak with tongues. 

 So who was Cornelius preaching to? Peter? Peter needed to get saved? I trust you're tracking with me and seeing how absurd this mistaken idea truly is. 

 You can see further proof in Acts 19 when Paul laid hands on the Ephesian disciples. This mistaken idea is clearly debunked when we stay with God's Word and simply read it. Tradition and the Word don't mix.

 Tradition forms and formulates ideas based on man's experience and a mere scanning over the Bible instead of actually reading it. Tradition shields itself within these mistaken ideas. It provides blinders so as not to see its weakness, its lack of power, and its Faithless condition. 

 Tongues are supernatural gifting of Grace to build up the believer. To provide greater intimacy in prayer. Are the number one source for receiving wisdom and clarity in our daily life. Tongues provide the believer with rest and refreshing in a weary world. 

 In summation, stay with God and His Word. His Word debunks the traditions of men. His Word is Truth and the final authority. His Grace supplies all we need to live in victory in this life. Don't neglect so great a gift as the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and the powerful prayer language the Spirit gives. It's because of Grace, and it's for you!
Image by Trid India from Pixabay 

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