Speaking in Tongues (NY)

by Creflo Dollar | 28 Feb 2018

Summary

Speaking in tongues is a grace gift from God that is only beneficial during our earthly lives. Those who do not believe in tongues and do not operate in it are missing out on this temporary opportunity. This gift brings great power in that when we pray in the Holy Spirit, things change. We must not relegate speaking in tongues to religion or think it has died out, because it is still alive and well today. When we receive the Word of God and get born again, our very first experience as new Christians is receiving the Holy Spirit; the second experience is the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. These experiences were described in the book of Acts when several of the apostles ministered to the Samaritans. It is entirely possible to be a believer without the ability to speak in tongues, but receiving this gift changes our lives powerfully.

  1. The Samaritans were first baptized by water, and then by the Holy Spirit.
    1. Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word. Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them.  And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did (Acts 8:4-6, NKJV).
      1. Philip made sure the people heard the Word of God. We need that in order to get born again.
      2. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?... So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:14, 17).
    2. Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:14-17, NKJV).
      1. Baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ is water baptism; the laying on of hands accompanies the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
    3. Love never fails. But whether  there are prophecies, they will fail; whether  there are tongues, they will cease; whether  there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.  For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known (1 Corinthians 13:8-12, NKJV).
      1. Misinterpreting verse eight can lead us to believe that speaking in tongues does not exist anymore. We must read the entire passage in context.
      2. “That which is perfect” has not come yet. This speaks of the future.
      3. Tongues will cease when we stand face-to-face with Jesus in our glorified bodies, in heaven.
    4. But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase (Daniel 12:4, NKJV).
      1. Daniel prophesied about the same thing that Paul wrote to the Corinthians about: tongues, knowledge, and our present imperfect life on earth.
      2. Praying in tongues helps only while we are in our physical bodies and have the limitations of minds that are not completely renewed.
  1. The Holy Spirit intercedes for us when we do not know what or how to pray.
    1. Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered (Romans 8:26, NKJV).
      1. The Spirit helps our weaknesses when we speak in tongues. The specific weakness with which we need help is our lack of knowledge about what and how we should pray.
      2. “Groanings which cannot be uttered” refers to a language we cannot articulate with our own understanding.
      3. Speaking in tongues bypasses the unbelief in our brains and allows us to talk directly to God.
    2. There are three purposes for tongues.
      1. It builds up our faith.
      2. It draws out power that re-arranges and changes things.
      3. It draws out the knowledge in our spirits.
    3. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God (Acts 2:4-11).
      1. Speaking in other tongues was the indication that the believers were filled with the Holy Spirit.
      2. The Galilaeans were uneducated and untrained, yet they were speaking a language they had not learned.
      3. Others were amazed when they heard the believers speaking in tongues. The Holy Spirit empowers us to do things that will amaze others.
      4. We never have to worry about saying anything bad if the utterance is from God.
      5. Speaking in tongues is different than the gift of tongues. Speaking in tongues is talking directly with God, and no interpretation is needed. The gift of tongues does require interpretation so that others may know what is said.
  1. Praying in the Holy Spirit frees us from the limitations of our own intellects.
    1. Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries(1 Corinthians 14:1, 2).
      1. This entire chapter emphasizes the importance of ensuring that the congregation understands what is being said and is being built up.
      2. Tongues only edify the speaker. We must be careful not to simply edify ourselves and no one else. Prophesying builds others up.
      3. The unforgivable sin is unbelief that the Holy Spirit works in people.
    2. For one who speaks in an [unknown] tongue speaks not to men but to God, for no one understands  or catches his meaning, because in the [Holy] Spirit he utters secret truths  and hidden things [not obvious to the understanding] (1 Corinthians 14:2, AMPC).
      1. When we pray in the Spirit, we are speaking things that are not obvious to our minds.
      2. What we pray is a secret to our intellect, but we give birth to something by faith.
      3. Praying in tongues, and then declaring we believe we receive what we prayed for in our most holy faith, releases power to bring things to pass.
    3. But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life (Jude 1:20, 21, NKJV).
      1. We build our entire selves up, in our spirits, souls, and physical bodies.
    4. Speaking in tongues draws out the wisdom inside us. We have access to it; tongues are the bucket that draws it up.
      1. My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer (Psalm 45:1).
      2. The words of a man's mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook (Proverbs 18:4).
      3. Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out (Proverbs 20:5).
      4. The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked (Proverbs 10:11).
    5. But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. I would that ye all spake with tongues but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying. Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine? And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air (1 Corinthians 14:3-9).
      1. If someone’s prophecy does not edify, exhort, or comfort us, we should disregard it because it does not come from God.
      2. When we pray in tongues, we do not need to confine our prayers to a specific time limit. We can instead commune with God directly all throughout the day.
    6. There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification. Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me. Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church. Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest? For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified (1 Corinthians 14:10-17).
      1. Paul did not mean that prophecy is inherently better than tongues, although edifying the church is better than always edifying ourselves.
      2. Not every gift from God is for us. Some gifts are for building others up and sharing with them.
      3. We are spirits possessing souls and living in physical bodies. When we pray in tongues, our spirits are praying.

Scripture References

Acts 8:4-6, 14-17, NKJV

Romans 10:14, 17

1 Corinthians 13:8-12, NKJV

Daniel 12:4, NKJV

Romans 8:26, NKJV

Acts 2:4-11

1 Corinthians 14:1-17

1 Corinthians 14:2, AMPC

Jude 1:20, 21, NKJV

Psalm 45:1

Proverbs 18:4

Proverbs 20:5

Proverbs 10:11