SPEAKING IN TONGUES

The most misunderstood and underused resource in all of Christianity

Other Records Pertaining to Speaking in Tongues

Praying in the spirit is speaking in tongues

I Corinthians 14:14, 15:
For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.
What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.
It is obvious that speaking in tongues is referred to as "pray­ing with the spirit" or "in the spirit." What a wonderful means of prayer God has designed! We can "pray with the understand­ing" and we can also "pray with the spirit," which is speaking in tongues.

As Christians we have a relationship with God Almighty. Most believers pray with their understanding, but when they learn of another aspect of prayer—that is, speaking in tongues—this should excite their soul. Speaking in tongues is, in a sense, "perfect prayer" because it is prayer in the spirit.

There are other sections of Scripture that use the phrase praying in the spirit, which could very well indicate speaking in tongues. Look at Ephesians 6:18:

Ephesians 6:18:
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.

The obvious question is: What is "prayer and supplication in the spirit"? From what we have already learned, a strong case could be made here that it refers to speaking in tongues.

Another verse using the term "praying in the Holy Ghost [holy spirit]" is Jude 20.

Jude 20:
But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost.

This term "building up yourselves" through prayer in the spirit is very similar to I Corinthians 14:4: "He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself…." The action of the spirit would be in a form of one of the nine manifestations that is designed to build up the believer, which most logically would be speaking in tongues. How wonderful for the believer to be built up.

The spirit itself makes intercession for the believers.

Romans 8:26,27:
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He [it] maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. Verse 26 identifies our infirmity—"for we know not what we should pray for as we ought"—and continues by saying that the spirit itself (in manifestation) makes intercession for us. So the verse is talking about praying with the spirit in manifestation. We have already seen that God refers to speaking in tongues as praying in the spirit.  Speaking in tongues would be the logical manifestation referred to here. Earlier we read in Ephesians 6:18 that prayer in the spirit was being used for supplication for all saints. This also refers to speaking in tongues for others.

The spirit gives witness that we are the children of God.

Romans 8:16, 17:
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

How does the spirit bear witness with our spirit [inner being]? As we have already learned, the nine manifestations are the evidences of the spirit. We have already seen in our study that speaking in tongues was the manifestation given as a sign to indi­cate the presence of holy spirit abiding within (Mark 16:17; Acts 2:4; 10:45,46).

These are some of the examples in God's Word showing speaking in tongues as being a sign or evidence of holy spirit being within us. So when we operate the manifestation of speaking in tongues, it is the spirit bearing witness that we are children of God, heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ. What a wonderful truth to be reminded of every time we speak in tongues.

"…prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them)…" (Acts 8:15b,16a).

In this section of Scripture, we observe the results of Philip preaching to the Samarians. He had to deal with Simon who "used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one" (Acts 8:9). Philip had great results moving God's Word and many believed. Even Simon became born again.

But something was missing after the conversion of the people in Samaria, so the apostles Peter and John traveled to visit Samaria from Jerusalem. "Who when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost" (Acts 8:15). Why did Peter and John do this? Weren't the people in Samaria already believers by way of Philip's teaching? "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the king­dom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women" (Acts 8:12). Yes, they were! Remember, it says even Simon believed. "Then Simon himself believed also…" (Acts 8:13). So why did Peter and John have to come down and pray for them to receive the holy ghost?

To answer this we need to first understand the context of this section of Scripture, then we need to understand the two Greek words representing the one English word "receive." First note verses 14 through 17:

Acts 8:14-17:
Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received [dechomai] the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:
Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive [lambanō] the Holy Ghost:
(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
Then laid they their hands on them, and they received [lambanō] the Holy Ghost.

From the context of this section of Scripture, we can observe that these Samarians had already believed. Peter and John's visit was not to give them more holy spirit; they already had it and could not get any more. There must be more to it than meets the eye. The key to understanding this is to realize that there are two different Greek words used for the one English word "receive." They each have specific meanings that will open our understand­ing greatly. Dechomai means "to receive or take hold of something with the purpose of having it." Lambano means "to receive some­thing in the sense of utilizing it."

Evidently, the people in Samaria had received the Word of God and believed it (v.14). Also, verse 12 indicates that they "were baptized, both men and women," indicating they had already received holy spirit. (Remember in Acts 1:5, Jesus told the disciples they would be "baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence," which meant they would receive holy spirit.) In other words, they had dechomai, received, the gift of holy spirit. But they clearly had not operated, lambanō, the manifestations of holy spirit.

So, Peter and John's concern was not that the Samaritans be born again, but why they had not manifested the holy spirit. In verse 15, the Word of God says they prayed for them to lambanō the holy spirit, which means to operate it.

"He was fallen upon none of them" (v.16). This is a figure of speech indicating that the spirit had not been manifested. They had already dechomai when they became born again. Now the con­cern was for the Samaritan believers to manifest the holy spirit they had received. So when verse 17 says, "they received [lambanō] the Holy Ghost" it means they operated manifestations, which most likely was speaking in tongues.

Up to this time in the young history of the Christian church, it was very normal and common for people to operate [lambanō] the manifestaions of holy spirit when they became born again. They would speak in tongues. Here in Samaria they got born again, but no one operated the manifestations. It was an impor­tant enough issue that they called in the top leaders of the church to minister. This deep concern by the church leaders plainly indi­cates the importance of speaking in tongues.

We can sing in tongues, spiritual songs.

Ephesians 5:19:
Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.

We have already learned from I Corinthians 14:15 that it is available to sing in tongues. "…I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also" (see Chapter 4, # 16). What a glory to God when we sing praises to Him! Even more, what a glory it is to the heavenly Father that we can now sing in tongues!

These other Scriptures pertaining to speaking in tongues add emphasis to the already established truth of the importance of speaking in tongues. Along with the twenty-one previous records examined, these other records support God's desire for his chil­dren to manifest the gift of holy spirit. He designed speaking in tongues to be utilized by the believer.

Worship in the spirit

Our heavenly Father is most deserving of our worship. It is He that has saved us from death and given us eternal life (Romans 6:23). We can worship Him as was done in the Old Testament, with singing, praising, giving thanks, and magnifying Him. Jesus Christ introduced a more preferred way of worship­ping our God.

John 4:23, 24:
But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must wor­ship him in spirit and in truth.

The Greek word used in John 4:23 and 24 for worship is proskuneō which means, "To prostrate one's self, do homage or reverence." It reflects the ultimate in showing respect. Another word rendered "worship" is latreuō. It means, "to serve or to do service." Philippians 3:3 is an example of where this word is used.

Philippians 3:3:
For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

It is interesting to note that all the critical Greek texts read "worship by the spirit of God." How does one worship God by the spirit of God or worship God in spirit and in truth? The only logical way is via speaking in tongues. We have already seen the phrase "praying in the spirit," which indicates speaking in tongues. When we speak in tongues we are speaking directly to God (I Corinthians 14:2).

This makes so much sense when we consider the "true way of worshipping God." We cannot mess up speaking in tongues. The Old Testament is behind us and Jesus Christ taught us about true worship. What a blessing it must be for God to hear and see His children speak in tongues paying Him the homage He deserves.

A sign of having entered into God's rest and refreshing because we have salvation through the complete work of Jesus Christ

Speaking in tongues is a sign that we have Christ's salvation. We have rest and refreshing to our soul because we do not have to exert any effort to gain our salvation. As God's Word declares, "Not of works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:9). Hundreds of years before Christ there was a prophesy given in Isaiah 28. This message was referred to by Paul in I Corinthians 14:21,22 to indicate tongues would be a sign of God's wonderful work through Christ.

I Corinthians 14:21, 22a:
In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord.
Wherefore tongues are for a sign….

Isaiah 28:11,12:
For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.

Paul quotes Isaiah 28:11, 12 to prove that tongues would be the rest and refreshing, as well as the sign of the Messiah who would come and finish the work of salvation for all mankind. In this section of Isaiah the leaders of Judah were ridiculing Isaiah for treating them like infants. They put their so-called righteous works before the Word of God. As a result of their unbelief the children of Israel could not enter into the rest God promised them.

God, through Isaiah, foretold that speaking in tongues would be a greater rest and refreshing. This would be the sign of the Messiah who would fully and completely do the work of salvation for us. Rev. Ken Petty puts this all together from his work: More Than You all: The Power, Purpose and Profit of Praying in the Spirit.

We were being suffocated by sin, but now we can breathe again. Speaking in tongues is the proof that the times of refreshing have come in an individual's life. When we speak in tongues, we know that our salvation is not by our own works but by the works of God accomplished through Jesus Christ. We have ceased from our own works and entered into God's rest.