The subject of speaking with tongues started many discussions and divergences among Christians. As I preach the 1st book of Corinthians at the churh “Holy Trinity” from Chisinau, where I serve as a preacher of the Gospel, I decided to make a biblical analysis of the teaching about speaking with various kinds of tongues. This article is the first of the following category of articles:
- What did Jesus Christ say about speaking with various kinds of tongues?
- What does the Book of Acts relate about speaking with other tongues?
- The teaching of Apostle Paul about speaking with other tongues
The Lord Jesus spoke only once about speaking with other tongues
That certain passage is at the end of the Gospel of Mark and it says:
Afterward He appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table; and He reproached them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who had seen Him after He had risen. And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed. Amen. (The Gospel of Mark 16:14–20)(NASB)
Tongues are one of the signs that were to confirm the Word of God preached by the apostles
The last verse from this Gospel says that the apostles went and preached the Gospel everywhere. And the Lord Jesus worked with them and confirmed the word by the sings that followed it (including speaking with other tongues). This made people see the power of God and believe Him for the salvation of their souls from death.
The tongues will be new for those who believed
In other words, this will be something supernatural, they will speak with tongues they have never known or learnt. This will be a manifestation of God’s involvement, as that one with casting out demons, picking up serpents, etc.
Speaking with other tongues is not an obligatory sign for all Christians and for all situations
It is not said anywhere that all these signs will accompany all Christians in all situations. More than this, from other passages of the Bible we can see that apostles haven’t ever tried to impress anyone with these signs and that, for many times, they took place without planning or asking them beforehand. Here is an example from the Holy Scriptures.
When Apostle Paul left for Rome, the ship suffered a wreck and those who survived managed to swim to the shore of the isle of Malta. Once I have had the opportunity to teach at a theological school from Malta and I was on that shore where people say that Paul and others escaped from the wreck. When they were on the shore, here is what happened:
But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat and fastened itself on his hand. When the natives (pagans) saw the creature hanging from his hand (the proof that he was bitten.. it was hanging with the poisonous tooth…), they began saying to one another, “Undoubtedly this man is a murderer (there were prisoners on the ship, and Paul was one of them…), and though he has been saved from the sea, justice has not allowed him to live.” (Acts 28:3–4)(NASB)
These were logical thoughts of people. They didn’t know how much God loved them and what was the message Paul brought for them. But God began to preapare the context since the very moment Paul stepped on that island, so that people might listen to the message of the Gospel preached by Paul. The viper was sent by God to prepare people to be attentive to what Paul was going to say from the Word of God and to see God’s power with him. Let us see what followed on:
However he shook the creature off into the fire and suffered no harm. (I just imagine how their breath was bated when they saw what was happening…) But they were expecting that he was about to swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But after they had waited a long time and had seen nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and began to say that he was a god. (Acts 28:5–6)(NASB)
There Paul healed many people. Even if the Scriptures doesn’t mention the way the Gospel was preached and about the effect of that preaching, we can know from the context of the whole Book of Acts that it was surely shared to all those people. And then, a proof is that Malta has many churches nowadays, though it is a small island. I was impressed that every time I entered a church I saw there people who were praying and worshipping God.
Do you want to know about the speaking with new tongues, that Jesus Christ mentioned? The Book of Acts relates three examples when these sign was manifested. I invite you to follow this portal and to read the article that will be published soon.
Translated by Djugostran Felicia