Initial evidence of Speaking in Tongues
By Dr. Kluane Spake
We need to differentiate between the “initial evidence” of speaking in tongues from the use for “personal edification,” and the use for “public ministry.”
Speaking in known and unknown tongues happened in the early Church, and it should be happening today. It served as a sign of the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 14:15 says that “My spirit prays.” It continues to say, “I WILL.” Tongues is always an act of our will. We use our voice. We decide to do it.
Speaking in tongues is the initial evidence of the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit,” but certainly not necessarily the evidence that a person will continue in a Spirit-led life (Acts 2:4). This initial experience opens doors to the rest of the gifts. Each gift of the Spirit is drawn upon through our transformed soul.
God did not intend tongues to be a one-time experience, but rather a character changing experience.
Acts 2:37, Now when they heard this (tongues), they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, men and brethren, what shall we do? (KJV) Pricked = means to pierce thoroughly, to agitate violently (“sting to the quick”). Their heart (soul) was pricked to action.
Notice particularly their response to tongues. They wanted to know what to do? The most outstanding characteristic of a true experience is the changed will and the desires to cooperate with God’s plan. “What shall we do?” A sense of conviction brings change.
Acts 2:38-39, Then Peter said to them… you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Today, we have the promise of that same gift. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.
The event of Pentecost developed the character and ability to do right. The power of the Holy Spirit caused the disciples to realize that they could not organize their life apart from what God wanted them to do.
2. Tongues communicate with God. As stated earlier, this booklet emphasizes this devotional communication with God. Paul also clearly taught in 1 Cor. 12:28 about the diversities or different kinds of tongues. Understanding the distinctions implied in this diversity is a key to understanding tongues. There are new tongues (Mk. 16), tongues of angels, and different kinds and varied sounding tongues (Cor. 12:28). Though different “varieties” of tongues exist, they still overlap at times.
This initial experience that becomes our prayer language can be compared to the flowing river where we join the Holy Spirit and flow with God to know His mind and expectation (Rom 8:26-27). Entering into this new realm helps the Christian discern the meaning of Scriptures. John 6:63 explains, “The Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are life. (KJV)
Paul wrote a lot about the prevalence of tongues in the Corinthian congregation (Cor. 12). He referred to the fact that tongues in a public meeting should be regulated because of ongoing mistaken application. On the thorned, Paul later said that the private use of tongues was to be encouraged and he wished that everyone spoke in tongues more than he did (14:15).
3. Personal prayer:
In the gift of tongues given for individual edification and communion with God, the Holy Spirit prays and intercedes through your human spirit. (Rom. 8:26, 1 Cor. 14:14, Eph. 6:18). You must make an appointment to set aside time to pray. The secret is fitting your life around this schedule to pray – whether you want to or not.
- This kind of prayer bypasses your mind.
- It gives you ideas and revelation. Tongues transcends the realm of thought and allows spiritual understanding of biblical truths.
- Tongues reveal mysteries and gives discernment.
- It builds up your inner person.
- It helps renew your mind and create the good ground needed for the gifts to grow.
- You decide to do it.
Get E-Book Here "Why I Speak in Tongues!"
4. Tongues for personal edification and enlightenment:
This is the most common usage of tongues, and is the one use that everyone can experience.
The purpose of our new language is God expressing Himself in me and flowing through me, for the edification of me. I initiate this type of tongues.
Through this new pure language, we speak mysteries with God.
Rick Renner said that we “have come to lean upon our own understanding, our own intellectual abilities—and even upon the Bible – to such an extent that often we do not even consult the Holy Spirit for His guidance in our lives.” Hebrews 11:6 tells us, He who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him. The word diligently means earnestly, or speedily. Seek means to crave. You see it’s up to us to earnestly crave a relationship with God.
The very substance of God’s life, His Resurrection Spirit, raised Jesus from the dead and now quickens our mortal body. We can’t walk in faith without abiding (Jn. 15:4-11) in partnership with God. In this merger God can work -- the branch connects to the Vine (Jn. 15:1-11), and the life (zoe) comes from the source.
WE DON’T UNDERSTAND: The Living Bible explains, But if your gift is that of being able to “speak in tongues,” that is, to speak in languages you haven't learned, you will be talking to God but not to others, since they won't be able to understand you. You will be speaking by the power of the Spirit, but it will all be a secret (mysteries). (1 Cor. 14:5). Mysteries – the Holy Ghost takes Scriptures out of your reservoir and puts them together into an answer that you need. He reveals that which has been hidden from your understanding.
Ë You see, we're called to pray only to God. We don’t need tongues to talk to the devil in prayer. We can't pray to two people at once! Not to God and evil Spirits. Tongues are your heavenly language!
Likewise, we can't communicate to men in tongues. We speak to God and he speaks back. That’s not out of natural information, or something we dream up. It's not something that we try to write out and translate. The Spirit of God speaks mysteries from the inside of us!
WE DON’T UNDERSTAND TONGUES. 1 Cor. 14:14 says, If I pray in an unknown tongue, my Spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. Notice that it is “MY spirit that prays and that is prompted by my will. Our carnal mind cannot understand the ways of the Spirit. Tongues is God's language, and He understands it. The mind creates thought and the natural language used daily. But, the Spirit from God gives us a language that bypasses the mind and talks to God as deep unto deep.
Notice particularly that this Scripture says, “My spirit prays.” It’s your spirit to God’s Spirit. To the inner man – the spirit-transformed and filled soul. The inner witness is the main way that God speaks. That’s the reason why God took the prayer language from your mind. Your spirit prayeth. Tongues disconnect your natural reason from His will and purposes, in order to direct your future.
Tongue is a heavenly language, not a pattern of memorized sounds. It connects you to God. It enables you to express yourself where vocabulary fails. That way you don't pray the problem, you find solutions.
This experience of speaking in tongues ignites a new lifestyle, and opens the window that allows us access into the Spiritual realms. “Since they believed, they spoke.”
That prayer is prompted by my will as shown in verse 15, which says, “I will.” You and I are the stewards of our edification; we consciously engage our spirit to pray. But, our Spirit speaks mysteries that our brain doesn't understand. Think about it. Why would we need a new language to say what we already understand and can say?
Therefore, if you understand, then pray in English -- pray the word of God from your redeemed mind. If you don’t understand the problem, then pray in tongues until you do.