Preface: Speaking In Tongues
For the record, I am a living witness that “speaking in tongues,” when it is caused by a move of God (the Holy Ghost), exists and is a real supernatural phenomenon. However, many of the teachings currently being embraced are based on man-made doctrines and not the word of God.
It is not the goal of this author to discount, deny the validity, or minimize the importance of speaking in tongues. It is my goal to challenge the Christian to embrace what the Bible actually says about this phenomenon.
What is widely accepted and taught within the ranks of Apostolic/Pentecost is that: “the initial sign/evidence of receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost is the gift of speaking in tongues.” Somewhere this teaching took root and has been passed down from one generation to the next. When you look at the fact that many believers did speak in tongues and have that experience to hold on to, it is not difficult to accept what we were told and being taught as the truth. Therefore, because it was true for some we assumed it to be true for all based on our own personal experience; however according to the word of God not everyone has the same experience with tongues. We can point to scriptures where people received the gift of the Holy Ghost and spoke in tongues, we can just as easily point to scriptures where people received the Holy Ghost and did not speak in tongues.
The ability to speak in tongues as the Spirit of God moves an individual is a wonderful thing to experience. However having that ability does not make you saved or put you in heaven. The word says you will know them by their fruits not by their gifts. In fact, the word states: “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity (Matthew 7:22-23).
Our goal is the biblical truth that can be verified in the Word of God. With that said, let’s explore what the word says about speaking in tongues.
Pastor Kevin Gregg