Monday, February 20, 2006
Tongues Tongues Tongues
Now let’s go on to the second occurrence of Tongues (Acts 10:1-48). Acts 10 is the first time, one of the Apostles (Peter), gives the gospel to a Gentile (a non-Jew).
Notice what the Lord did to get Peter to go and preach to Cornelius (Acts 10:9-20). The Lord had to show Peter in a vision that he has also chosen the gospel to go to the Gentiles. Peter was the only one who saw the vision. The rest of the Jews did not. The Lord used the vision to get Peter to go and preach to Cornelius, a Gentile. When Peter traveled to see Cornelius, he took certain brethren with him. This would be important!
Now, upon meeting Cornelius, Peter preaches the Gospel. To Peter’s surprise (vs. 45) Cornelius and others with him are converted. The Lord now gives the gift of tongues to these new converts. Who is present to hear this? Jews! Why? To prove to the Jews the gospel is for all men. (vs. 45, 46) Tongues are a sign for whom? Yes that’s right, the Jews. Without this sign, the Jews would have doubted that the gospel had truly gone to the Gentiles.
Remember, tongues are a sign to the Jews! Here the Lord used tongues as a sign to the Jews, to show the gospel goes to all men, not only the Jews. The fact that Gentiles had been converted was a HUGE revelation to the saved believers at this time.
Acts 2 and Acts 10 are both big days in church history. The day of Pentecost and then the conversion of Gentiles! At both events tongues are present. Why? As a sign to the Jews in both cases.
Now Acts 19:1-8. This is not a significant event as the other two times, but it is still clear the gift of tongues was given as a sign to the Jews. Here you have 12 Jews in Ephesus that meet up with Paul. They had become disciples of John the Baptist before they left Palestine, but still did not know Jesus Christ. When Paul meets these 12 men and hears they are “disciples”, he asks for their testimony. It was clear from their words, they did not know Jesus Christ, and thus Paul preaches Christ, not the Holy Spirit. (vs 4.). They hear they need to repent and believe in Christ (vs4). They put their faith in Christ and are immediately baptized in water (vs 5). Then they speak in tongues (vs 6). Who was present to hear this? Yes, that's right Jews. Who was present in Acts 2? Jews. Who was present in Acts 10? Jews. Lastly, who was present in Acts 19? Jews. Again, this gift was a sign to the nation of Israel that truth has come.
Those are the three times tongues occur in Scripture. Each time it served as a sign for the Jews, just as Isaiah 28:11-14 said it would.
What is tongues?
Tongues in the Charismatic movement are some gibberish language. However, the Biblical tongues were a foreign language. Look at Acts 2:9-11; it lists the languages the men spoke, as a result of the gift of tongues. Back in Bible times, one did not say, “I speak a foreign language”. In Bible times one would say, “I speak another tongue”.
Look at I Corinthians 14:10. “There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.”
In context, this verse is talking about the gift of tongues. (Pretty much the whole chapter is teaching on tongues.) Notice the verse refers to tongues as, “voices in the world”, or languages of the world. Based on Acts 2:9-11 and I Corinthians 14:10 we know that Biblical tongues were a foreign language and not a gibberish language.
Next post, we will look to see if we still have this gift today, and then we will see what the Charismatic “tongues” of today really are.
Posted by Terry McGovern