Last month we began a study on speaking in other tongues. I had not planned a lesson on Tongues, which is a “hot-button” issue in some circles, but in my teaching sessions, the question came up 3 different times in one week. Since that is not the norm, I began to think that God was trying to tell me something! 

In the March article, we talked about how Jesus, after His resurrection, and before His ascension (Acts 1)), told His disciples to tarry a few days (10 actually), for the Holy Spirit Baptism in Jerusalem. Jesus had first introduced the experience to them in Mark 16:17…

“And these signs shall follow them that believe; in my name they shall cast out demons: they shall speak with new tongues (languages)…” 

The New Testament Church flourished with signs and wonders (Acts 2:43), even before Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, came on the scene. It was Peter who was the preacher on the Day of Pentecost, and explained what was happening to the crowd of thousands. He told them this was what the prophet Joel had said would be coming and David’s prophecy as well (Acts 2:16-31). The people believed and received and 3,000 of them signed up that day; and the New Testament Spirit- filled Church was born! Paul later received a miraculous healing of blindness after his Damascus Road experience, and was filled with the Holy Ghost (Acts 9:17). 

God used Peter to get it started, and Paul to carry the teaching of the Holy Ghost Baptism throughout Christendom up unto this day. Paul’s writings tell us about it especially in the letters describing the gifts and their operations. The Holy Spirit has 9 gifts, 9 fruit, and 9 offices in the Church. It is all too much for me to describe here, so you need to do your own study and research, using a good Concordance to direct you through the Word. 

Since we are concentrating on the gift or the sign of Tongues, we will continue with that in particular. John L. Sherrill wrote a book on the subject in 1964, which will help anyone seeking answers, called “They Speak With Other Tongues”. Catherine Marshall, author of “A Man Called Peter”, highly recommended it. 

Some believe that everyone who receives the experience MUST have the sign of being able to speak in Tongues. That is what I was also taught, but I’m not quite as dogmatic about it. I have witnessed people with gifts of healing that don’t speak with Tongues. I cannot explain that, but have concluded that since they were not taught about the Tongues, they operated their gift through just plain faith as the disciples did when Christ was with them. God certainly uses us according to our faith. 

Some pooh-pooh Tongues by calling them the least of the gifts. No Gift of God should be diminished, as anything from God is Holy. The Gift itself used TO the Body of Christ, is to bring a message from God to the Church, much like the Prophets did/do. Of course, there must be an interpreter in the room if the speaker does not have the gift of interpretation,

(1 Cor.12:10). 

To me, the most important use of Tongues is prayer. It occurred to me that speaking in Tongues is a really wonderful gift to have privately, even if it is never used in the assembly. The first thing that came to me was that it edifies the believer, which refers to “edifice”, which means built up. There was never a doubt that God lived inside of me after I received the gift of Tongues…it built up my faith. I had been a Christian for 10 years before I ever heard of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (Ghost). It was like in Acts 19:2-6 where Paul asked some 12 disciples in Ephesus, “Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed”? (They were already saved!) They answered, “We haven’t even heard of the Holy Ghost”!  Paul then laid hands on them (imparted) and they received the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in Tongues, and prophesied! Even though I was saved all those years, I could not speak in Tongues, but after I received the impartation, I never doubted that I was saved! 

I also realized it was actually GOD talking to GOD through me, using my tongue and voice, somewhat like a ventriloquist and His dummy! I can read a book, write a letter, drive, or watch TV and pray in the Spirit at the same time, as the brain is not involved. This Holy utterance comes up from the Spirit within, bypasses the intellect, and uses just the voice and tongue! That doesn’t sound like a puny little gift to me!

So when I pray in the Spirit, it is PERFECT PRAYER without any fleshly contamination, personal bias, or error. When I sing in the Spirit, it is PERFECT PRAISE to my God. When I bring Him my petition on behalf of others, it is PERFECT PETITION, without mistakes and getting to the heart of their needs, or interceding on behalf of a missionary or pastor or someone I don’t even know, who may be in peril of their life or soul. This is a gift FOR the Body. 

Another use of the gift of Tongues is in the Assembly when someone of a different language comes in, and hears you speaking in their own native tongue, via the Holy Spirit, and is blessed and filled with faith. This happened to 2 of my family members. My sister-in-law, Vera, accompanied her husband and teaching team to his native country of Latvia, (now Russia). After the service, they were praying for the people, and Vera was drawn to an old woman. She took the lady’s face in her hands and started praying in the Spirit. As she did so, the old woman looked up and smiled at Vera so broadly, as if she understood what Vera was praying. The interpreter told Vera the woman did understand her, as she had prayed in fluent Russian…of course, Vera did not know one WORD of Russian! 

A second incident was when my father-in-law went with a team into the back country of Mexico. After they had finished the service and prayed for the people to receive the Holy Ghost, one lady spoke forth in Tongues, in perfect ENGLISH! The lady did not know English. 

This world is in crisis, and the signs Jesus gave in Matthew are not only coming to pass, but at the same time! (Some even say the anti-Christ is already here). We see Biblical prophecies being fulfilled at an astonishing pace, and we do not see America in the end-time predictions. For whatever reasons, we evidently do not exist as a world power in the last days. With wars, pestilence, famines, disease, economic collapse, and political chaos, our time is running out. We need the power of the Holy Spirit now more than ever. It is for every believer who asks Jesus for it…it is the POWER of God in our personal lives. Just seek Him…Christ will give us all that we want and need. Amen. 

God Bless You All,

Pastor Moser

April, 2009 

W. O. W. 

“I believe the time has come to give the Holy Spirit His rightful place in our churches. We need to learn once again what it means to be Baptized with the Holy Spirit”…Billy Graham