Speaking in tongues is some sort of ‘Fountain of Youth” for Protestant Christian churches. Apparently, if your church does not speak in tongues, it will not have any miracles and therefore it is a ‘dead church’.
This has led to so many pastors to conjure up ways and means of getting the Spirit in their churches reveal itself by having the folks speak in tongues. If you reading this, then you have either seen these churches or you belong to them or you do ‘speak in tongues’. Well today let us see what it really does mean speaking in tongues.
The typical tongue speaking church is filled with drama and ‘illusions; when the Spirit of God comes in. These people will all start talking in incoherent languages that no one will possibly understand. In some churches, it is characterized by people falling to the ground and rolling over and over again. And yet in some churches, a ‘selected’ few people will start ranting aloud in ‘apparent’ prophecies which the pastor will focus on.
The last example, i have seen it twice. The first instance was during a New Year eve and together with friends we decided to see how people celebrate this in church. Few minutes to midnight everyone started ranting and what they termed ‘speaking in tongues’ then one lady became the most vocal and started speaking in what the pastor ‘clarified’ that she was giving the following year’s prophecies from God. wow!
The second instance was from a famous Kenyan televangelist who actually had a woman who claimed to be giving prophecies. When he was busted it turned out the woman was a fake and in some instances she would be giving fake testimonies and in others she would be ‘possessed’ by the Spirit to give prophecy.
So the question is, does the Spirit of God exist? Of course yes. How does it manifest itself in people?
Christ said “When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. john 16:13”
So the Primary role of God’s spirit is to reveal the Truth and this truth is what is revealed by the Father, “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 1 John 5:7”
So for ANY Church that does profess to have the Holy Spirit, the first requirement is that such a church MUST teach the truth. And what is the truth? “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. John 17:17”
The word of God is the Truth. So a Church that has the Holy Spirit MUST teach the word of God, the unaltered word of God. This includes the WHOLE of the 10 commandments, and the Testimony of Jesus Christ, the Spirit of Prophecy. Revelation 19: 10
What about speaking in tongues?
There are three occasions in the book of Acts where speaking in tongues accompanied the receiving of the Holy Spirit—Acts 2:4, 10:44-46, and 19:6. However, these three occasions are the only places in the Bible where speaking in tongues is an evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit. Throughout the book of Acts, thousands of people believe in Jesus and nothing is said about them speaking in tongues (Acts 2:41, 8:5-25, 16:31-34, 21:20). Nowhere in the New Testament is it taught that speaking in tongues is the only evidence a person has received the Holy Spirit. In fact, the New Testament teaches the opposite. We are told that every believer in Christ has the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:13-14), but not every believer speaks in tongues (1 Corinthians 12:29-31).
So, why was speaking in tongues the evidence of the Holy Spirit in those three passages in Acts? Acts 2 records the apostles being baptized in the Holy Spirit and empowered by Him to proclaim the gospel. The apostles were enabled to speak in other languages (tongues) so they could share the truth with people in their own languages. Acts 10 records the apostle Peter being sent to share the gospel with non-Jewish people. Peter and the other early Christians, being Jews, would have a hard time accepting Gentiles (non-Jewish people) into the church. God enabled the Gentiles to speak in tongues to demonstrate that they had received the same Holy Spirit the apostles had received (Acts 10:47, 11:17).
Acts 10:44-47 describes this: “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, ‘Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.’“ Peter later refers back to this occasion as proof that God was indeed saving the Gentiles (Acts 15:7-11).
Speaking in tongues is nowhere presented as something all Christians should expect when they receive Jesus Christ as their Savior and are therefore baptized in the Holy Spirit. In fact, out of all the conversion accounts in the New Testament, only two record speaking in tongues in that context. Tongues was a miraculous gift that had a specific purpose for a specific time. It was not, and never has been, the only evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit.
What about rolling on the ground?
From the above references, we can see when the Holy Spirit ‘entered’ someone, this person taught or spoke the ‘truth’ (the Word of God). In other words we can say this person got the strength to ‘stand up for the word of God’.
In contrary, these churches will feature people falling to the ground. In the bible we have an instance where someone fell to the ground when ‘possessed’. Was it the Holy Spirit? Let us find out…
17 A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.” Mark 9
20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.
25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”
The Spirit of God will never make a person fall down, but we can know the Spirit of Demons will.
In summary, any person who has the Holy Spirit will not necessarily speak in tongues, actually i doubt such a person will today but that person MUST know the truth, stand up for the truth and speak the truth.