Tongues is unique to the New testament. It’s a sign that Christ rose from the Dead. It’s a proof that He has been exalted.The First Time men spoke with tongues was Acts2:1-4.Peter addressed an amazed crowd and gave this account.
Acts2:33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
Its a sign that He sits at the Fathers right hand.Hence He gave us things to “SEE AND HEAR”
A major issue is the nature of tongues.What are tongues for?How does it sound?
We have sometimes thought when we speak with tongues,its someones language someone where or someplace.E.G If i speak with tongues in Ososa(my hometown),its someelse lingua,likely igbo,hausa or chinese.Since its a language i should not understand it has to be another persons language.
Again lets examine the scriptures.
This confusion likely emanated from the Acts2 narration.
Acts2:1- And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
The expressions of onlookers has fueled the thinking alluded to ealier.
Vs-5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
6 -Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
7- And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
8- And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
9- Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
10- Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
We have assumed it was a “United Nations’ gathering.Different nations from Under the heaven came to jerusalem.TO DO WHAT?
We have ignored verse 5-the assembly constituted JEWS,who came from everynation under the earth.Jews from diaspora.
The feast was for Jews.So they usually will come from their different locations to celebrate the feast of pentecost.
Paul travelled the same way once.
Acts20:16 For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia: for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost.
Paul lived in Asia,but came to Jerusalem at pentecost.This exemplifies the men from every nation above.Jews who lived in different nations.
Haven said this,where they different languages spoken on this day?
Welll,the response on the hearers doesnt say so.VS8-every man in OUR OWN tongue where in we were born.
Proselytes are converts to the jewish nation.They will learn the language in this conversion.They were the strangers who sought to nationalise.
Haven sorted the audience dilemma,we proceed to the tongues spoken.
From Isaiahs prophecy,Jesus statements and Pauls teaching we can infer from the adjectives used for these tongues.
Isaiah28:11- For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
Stammering means unitelligible,Another is strange and different.
Mark16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
New tongues mean NEW.Yet to have been spoken by anyone.A different kind.
Acts2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Different here implies a strange and another kind of means of communication.
NO ACCOUNT ever refers to tongues as some other language belonging to another culture different from the speaker!
Paul settles this with a well laid out explanation.
1Corinthians14:2 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.
Take note of the following.
1)Tongues are NOT and NEVER addressed to men.
Hence the need that it must to be understood by the hearer is unfounded.
2)Tongues are addressed to God
3)NO MAN understands tongues.NO MAN.
4)Tongues are spoken out mysteries in THE SPIRIT.
The ONLY way what is said in tongues can EVER be understood by hearers is via the GIFT OF THE SPIRIT CALLED INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES.
This gift is not the skill for liguistics as its by the Spirit-1Cor12:4,7,8-11.
1Cor14:5 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.
1Cor14:13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.
14- For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.
15- 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.
16- 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?
17 -For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.
Tongues DO NOT edify the hearer ONLY because its not understood.
Prophecy edifies because prophecy is Tongues plus interpretation.
Interpretation is to by the Spirit know and express what was said in togues in the language of the listener.This is a gift of The Spirit.
However tongues will edify(build up) the speaker and not the hearer.
1Cor14:4-He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.
Hence paul gives orderliness to the use of tongues in assemblies.It cant be used to minister except with interpretation.
The assembly involves others.
1Cor14:27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.
28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God
This is in Church.
You dont need interpretation if spoken privately to God.But if others are there it must be interpreted.
However we have often misinterpreted this verse by saying,Keep quiet if u have no interpretation.
Pauls instruction here is relative.
Verse28-Keep silent and SPEAK!
Speak and be silent?Yes.
TONGUES ARE DEVOTIONAL.So direct it to God and in doing this you edify yourself!
Where is this?Church.
Pray and praise in Tongues in Church.But dont lead prayer and praise in Church in tongues without interpreting it!Simple.
Now back to Acts2.
From the above NO one understands tongues.Not even the speakers mind(1cor14:14-15) until it is interpreted by the Spirit of God within us.
So since in Acts2 the audience heard them and understood what they said.The event must have been TONGUES+INTERPRETATION=PROPHECY.
The speakers of tongues must have first spoken in tongues and later interpretation.
They started at 6am(when the day of pentecost was fully come)and Peters response came at 9am(3rd hour of the day,Acts2:15).The Jewish day starts by 6am.
They spoke for 3 hours
Lukes narrative captured the beggining(acts2;1-4),the audience captured the later events.
Acts2:11 – we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
They heard them praise God!They could only have heard the interpretation.Then they understood what they seemed to have said earlier in gibberish(to their minds)!
Notice,the interpreter of tongues is NEVER the listener but the speaker.He interpretes by the Same Spirit.via the Gift of interpretation of tongues.
Peters sermon and immediate reference explains the event.
Acts2:13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.
14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
His explanation was PROPHECY. Tongues plus interpretation.
Other occurences corroborate this.
Acts10:44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.
They heard the tongues but got the meaning-the SPEAKERS praised GOD!
How did the hearers know?via interpretation-prophecy
Acts19:6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
Tongues always came with interpretation in these accounts.
Tongues are foreign to man.Known to God but made known to man via interpretaion of tongues.The sound of tongues are gibberish to mans understanding but prophecy via interpretation of tongues gives man an understanding.
Henceforth if anyman speaks in tongues near you(except he is addressing you) dont complain dat you cant understand,he is not talking to you!
Though tongues also are used to give a message to be interpreted to the audience(we shalll see this later).Tongues go to God!
So next time u speak with tongues and it sounds somehow,lift your hands and be glad you are communicating divine secrets to God.
Pauls loud acclaim is encouraging.
1Cor14:18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:
He must have spoken in tongues while driving,in btw meals,taken stolls in tongues,gone to bed in tongues and woken up the same way!
We continue from here tommorow.
Blessed?am grateful for tongues,i communicate with the Father and am edified!