Kindly, Clear Bible Answers About Speaking In Tongues
by Dr. John R. Rice
I. TONGUES AT PENTECOST
I read a few verses from Acts, chapter 2,
as I begin a series of messages on speaking in tongues. In reading what
the Bible has to say about speaking in tongues, my aim is, first of all,
to get people concerned about the one main thing, that is, the power of
the Holy Spirit to win souls, and to keep people from being led off into
some cult and false doctrine and get a substitute instead of the real
thing. I know I can help you if you will listen to what the Bible says.
"And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one
accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a
rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were
sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire,
and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy
Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues [literally other
languages], as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling
at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now
when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were
confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold,
are not all these which speak Galileans? And how hear we every man in
our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites,
and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Juduea, and Cappadocla, in
Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylla, in Egypt, and in the parts of
Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes
and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works
of God. And they were all amazed .... " (Acts 2:1-12).
What Was the Meaning of Pentecost?
Power to Win Souls!
Now this is the one great essential Bible
passage that deals with speaking in tongues at Pentecost. Here they
spoke in tongues. What does it mean? The Scripture says, "Every man
heard them speak in his own language." So we are talking about literal
languages but given miraculously as a gift of God in a time of need.
Here is the principal Bible passage on talking in tongues; this is the
great example in the Bible, and we must keep in mind what God had in
mind and learn what the Bible really says and not what some man implies
Now, note the main intent. What are we talking about? The day of
Pentecost when they had three thousand people saved. And what were they
told to look forward to? In Luke 24:46-49, Jesus said to them that
"repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among
all nations, beginning at Jerusalem .... And, behold, I send the promise
of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye
be endued with power from on high."
Now, what are they waiting for? They are to
preach the Gospel but they are to tarry for an enduement of power from on
High. Not a word is said about the languages because everybody who
preaches must preach in some language, but what language it is is not
essential except that people hear and understand. So the Lord didn't say
anything about what language; but the great essential is they are to
preach the Gospel and they are to have an enduement of power from on High.
What does Pentecost mean? It means the coming
of an enduement of power, the power of the Holy Spirit on people so they
can witness for Jesus.
Again, in Acts 1:8 the Lord told them, "But
ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye
shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in
Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." What are they to
expect at Pentecost? The Holy Ghost is to come on them and they are to
receive power to witness for Jesus at Jerusalem and then in all Judaea and
in Samaria and to the uttermost part of the world. It is a time of power
of God coming to win souls.
I turn to Acts, chapter 2, and verse 41,
"Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day
there were added unto them about three thousand souls." Oh, what a
When I was a fifteen-year-old boy I
discovered this in the Bible. I was saved and I wanted to win souls and
while I was reading this came to me -- I probably had read it before, but,
oh, how it struck me -- that here we pray for revival, we are so glad when
one or two or a dozen are saved, but they had three thousand people saved
in one day! I thought then, and I think now, that is the next thing to
Heaven, that is marvelous, that is a wonderful thing! Isn't it a foolish
and silly and sinful thing for anybody to talk about Pentecost and think
about Pentecost and not be interested in what God was interested in? And
the one main thing He told them He intended was to get people saved, and
it turned out they did have three thousand people saved. And you are not
interested in that! No, I fear you are interested in the origin of the
church. You are interested in talking in tongues. Or you are interested in
sanctification. You ought to be ashamed. If you ever get burdened about
what God is burdened about, and if you talk about what God is talking
about, then you will see the point here. Tongues were an incidental
convenience, a miraculous one but an incidental convenience to the matter
of preaching the Gospel and getting people saved. So the Bible plainly
says here. They got three thousand people saved.
In I Corinthians 14:22, in correcting a
heresy about tongues and rebuking them of heresy over at Corinth Paul said
that this matter of tongues is a sign to the unbelievers. Here people came
from sixteen different nationalities, whose names I read you, and here at
Pentecost they heard the Gospel in their own language in which they were
born. That was a sign to them of the power of God and they listened and
thousands of them -- three thousand that day -- were saved.
Note the main intent of what happened at
Pentecost was to get people saved. That leads me to say there is a sinful
dishonesty to approach this Bible in any other way except in thinking
about what God is thinking about and wanting what God wants and getting
the main point that God makes the main point. The main point here is they
were waiting. What for? For power. They tarried in that Upper Room and
prayed ten days. What for? For an enduement of power. What are they going
to do with it? They are going to preach the Gospel. And the Day of
Pentecost came; they were endued with power, they did preach the Gospel to
everybody there in various languages, and they had three thousand people
saved. It is wicked to pick out a few little things and make some cult of
your own and something on which you can brag: "Oh, we've got it and other
folks haven't." And you think you are better than the soul winners. You
think you are better than the mightiest men of God who carry on His work
and get multitudes saved, because you jabber in a tongue that doesn't mean
anything to anybody. You call that what they had at Pentecost! That is
wicked and dishonest. An honest approach here must see that what happened
was that God, in lovingkindness, gave them the power to talk to people in
their own language and they were converted; and that was a wonderful
Dr. Bob Jones, Sr., used to say, "If it
doesn't have any sense to it, God isn't in it." God does things for a
sensible reason, and for a very clear reason here -- He wanted them to win
souls and He used sensible things.
The Tongues at Pentecost Were Literal
Now, what happened here at Pentecost? First,
there were literal languages. They were astonished because every man heard
in his own tongue in which he was born. They heard the wonderful works of
God. Because it was spoken in their own language they heard the Gospel,
and so it was literal languages. It was not some so-called "heavenly
language," it was not some so-called "unknown tongue." Now it is true that
to people of another language a certain language may be unknown, but it
was not in any sense a language unknown to men everywhere. No. They were
regular languages, regularly spoken by other people and given here in
order that people might preach the Gospel and witness with power. I say
they were regular languages. So this idea that talking in tongues is some
ecstatic falling into a kind of a trance and you feeling light as a
feather and hearing angels wings flapping, and you saying something, you
don't know what, is false. Nothing like that is taught in the Bible. That
is the invention of men, and it is not the Bible doctrine of the power of
the Holy Spirit or of the Bible gift of tongues.
I will preach to you later about the gifts of
the Spirit, and this is one of the gifts but the least of the gifts of the
Spirit. But they had at Pentecost the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Notice another thing. God had a reason here.
Here these people heard the Gospel.
Lord, why did You let somebody talk in the
Latin language of those people from Rome? So they could hear the Gospel.
Why did You have some people talk in the language of the people from the
island of Crete? So they could get converted. Why did You have some talk
in Arabic? Because some people were there from Arabia and Mesopotamia who
needed the Gospel. Therefore they were talking in "tongues" so people
could get saved.
God had a purpose and the whole purpose of
Christ's coming into the world, and the preaching of the Gospel, and
churches, and people called to preach, and missionaries, is to get the
Gospel out to sinners and to keep people out of Hell. And that was the aim
God had here. So He had plainly said, and now God had a reason to let them
talk in the language so these people could be saved. Jews out of every
nation under Heaven there that day heard the Gospel.
Incidental Miracles at Pentecost Not
Promised, Not Repeated
Notice also that at Pentecost there are
several incidental miracles. I say incidental because they were not the
First, there was a cyclonic wind. There came
a great rushing, mighty wind from Heaven. That is not natural. It could be
a wind that was natural, but this one was not. This one was from God, and
it was miraculous, but it was incidental. It was not promised ahead of
time. It had no special meaning except to attract attention, we suppose.
It was a miracle, but it was an incidental miracle.
Then there were tongues like as of fire and
visible that sat on the people. Again that was not promised. Again the
Lord didn't tell the people to wait for that. Again there is no special
significance except that it attracted attention to the power of God on
these people. God didn't command it for us. He didn't promise it to
anybody else, just as He didn't promise the matter of tongues to anybody
else and didn't command anybody else to talk in tongues. But here were
some incidental miracles.
A man asked me, "Brother Rice, have you been
filled with the Holy Ghost?"
I said, "Yes, thank God, if you mean an
enduement of power from on High such as Jesus promised; if you mean the
blessed Spirit of God came on me and helps me to win souls (as yesterday I
saw seven or eight come to Christ) -- if you mean that, thank God, yes."
"No, I mean did you get it just like at
I said, "Yes, if you mean the main thing, I
"Oh," he said, "but did you talk in tongues
like they did there?"
I said, "No, there wasn't any need for me to
talk in different kinds of languages. I have been able to talk to people
in the English language. Where I go they understand English."
"Oh," he said, "then you didn't have it like
it happened at Pentecost. I think you ought to have it just like it
happened at Pentecost."
"Well," I asked, "all right, did you get the
power of the Holy Ghost just like at Pentecost?"
"Yes, Sir, I did."
"All right, was there a cyclonic wind that
filled all the house and everybody heard it in town?"
And he said, "No."
Then I said, "You didn't have it like it
happened at Pentecost. Were there visible tongues like fire that appeared
to the people and they sat on them and they saw them -- tongues like
And he said, "Well, no, I guess not."
I said, "Don't ever go around bragging that
you got the incidental part just like at Pentecost, for you didn't. You
didn't get any one of those three miracles that happened at Pentecost. Did
you talk in the language of somebody present who couldn't understand you
in English? Did you get power to talk to him in his own language in which
he was born?"
You see, there is no use pretending. If you
are talking abetit the incidental by-products that happened here, then you
didn't get that, and God didn't tell us we should have that.
In Acts 4:31 here the same people were filled
with the Holy Spirit and the Scripture says that "when they had prayed,
the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all
filled with the Holy Ghost, and spake the word of God with boldness."
There the place was shaken; there it was an earthquake. Again it was a
miracle, but it was incidental and it is not commanded for us and it
didn't always happen when people were filled with the Holy Spirit. Nobody
need pretend that you can manufacture something or that God will fit all
the little details just to please some fancy of yours. The plain, simple
truth is there was s reason for these things then and if God ever has a
reason for it, He will do it again. But He didn't promise it and it is not
commanded and we are not to seek that and it probably won't ever happen
just like that again!
There Is No Command in the Bible to Seek to
"Speak in Tongues"
Well, notice another thing. There is not a
single command in the Bible to talk in tongues.
You say, "But over in I Corinthians 14 Paul
said, 'I would that ye all spake with tongues.' " Yes, "I would you all
could talk in several languages like I do." He did not talk there about a
miracle, he didn't talk about the gift of tongues. What Paul rebuked there
was not a gift of tongues; he was rebuking ordinary languages used in
services where people did not understand them.
No, there is not a single command in the
Bible to talk in tongues. Not only that, but there is not even a promise
in the Bible that certain people will talk in tongues. There is not even a
hint in the Bible anywhere that if you are filled with the Holy Spirit,
the initial evidence is speaking in tongues. In the first place, you don't
need any evidence. If you are filled with the Spirit of God to win souls,
and win souls, that is its own evidence. Why should I need some evidence
of the power of God when I see a multitude of people saved?
No, the Bible doesn't talk about the "initial
evidence." That is a man-made doctrine. That is a philosophy of a cult,
made up by some, to claim themselves a little better than others, and that
is not Bible doctrine. There is not one command in the Bible to speak in
tongues or to seek to talk in tongues. That is not what God is talking
about. The command is that we should have the fullness of the Spirit to
witness for Jesus. And that is what I want.
Now, it is true that tongues is a miraculous
gift, a gift of the Spirit, and I will go into that more in detail later.
But I want you to think about this: it is a miracle and miracles are
rather rare. On this matter of talking in tongues, here is the one case in
the Bible where they spake with tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance
-- at Pentecost. They "began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit
gave them utterance."
Now, we have two other cases where people
spoke in their languages. One is Acts, chapter 10. Cornelius and his
household talked in other languages. And we have the case in Acts 19 where
some people in Ephesus talked in various languages, but the Bible doesn't
say, "...as the Spirit gave utterance," and it doesn't say it is a
miracle, and neither does it say it was a gift of tongues. So I have no
right to suppose it, and to add it in. But if these three cases in the
Bible were all the miraculous gift, that still is not very many. There are
many, many times that people are filled with the Holy Ghost, but if there
were only three cases when they talked in tongues, at least it still shows
what I am saying: miracles are not an everyday occurrence.
You say, "Don't you think God can work
miracles today?" Yes He can, and I believe He does; but I don't think
anybody goes around having a miracle before breakfast. It is not just a
plaything of someone who wants to put on a show to prove he is better than
someone else. The Lord didn't tell anybody to go ahead and let some snake
bite him so he could get miraculously healed. I have seen some amazing,
miraculous healings, but I say they only happen occasionally.
When Jesus went back, in Luke, chapter 4, to
Galilee in Nazareth, where He was brought up, Jesus expressed their
thought: "Whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy
country." But Jesus reminded them that "many widows were in Israel in the
days of Elias ... But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta,
a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow." And He reminded them:
"And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and
none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian" (Luke 4:25-27).
So there are not many miracles. Miracles are
special, unusual, infrequent. So there are not many cases of talking in
tongues. This was a miracle and there was only a special occasion for it
II. THE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT
I spoke last Sunday on Acts, chapter 2, which
is the one great definitive case in the New Testament about speaking in
tongues. There we learn that according to the Bible many people heard
Christian people speak in their own language in which they were born. They
said, 'Aren't these all Galileans? How is it we hear them speak in our
tongues the wonderful works of God?' That is, God gave, for a particular
reason, Christians at Pentecost power to speak in the language of people
who were there -- Jews out of every nation under Heaven. They heard the
Gospel and the wonderful plan of salvation because it was given to some to
understand and to speak in these languages.
The word "tongues" in the Bible simply means
languages. Now, in I Corinthians, chapter 12, I call your attention to the
first eleven verses. I want to talk to you about the gifts of the Spirit.
The blessed Holy Spirit gives certain gifts to Christian people for
Christian work and service.
"Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren,
I would not have you ignorant .... Now there are diversities of gifts, but
the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations; but the
same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God
which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to
every man to profit withal For to one is given by the Spirit the word of
wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another
faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same
Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to
another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to
another th# interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and
the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will " -- I
Cor. 12:1, 4-11.
Yes God May Give the Gifts of the Spirit
Today, as He
Chooses, Just as in Bible Times
Note that the blessed Holy Spirit gives
certain gifts to people for the Lord's service. Do I believe we can have
the power of the Holy Spirit just as in Bible times? I certainly do.
Nobody had all these gifts in Bible times and, of course, nobody can have
all these gifts now in modern times. But, as far as I know, the New
Testament churches were set up the same way, and the Bible teaching was
the same, and the practices were the same as we ought to have now.
Yes, I believe in the fullness of the Spirit,
an enduement of power from on High. I believe in the gifts of the Spirit
as God gives them.
Now, here are some lessons, as you see in
verses 8 through 10. What are these gifts of the Spirit in verses 8
through 10? To one, the word of wisdom; to another, the word of knowledge;
to another, faith; to another, gifts of healing; to another, the working
of miracles; to another, prophecy; to another, discerning of spirits; to
another, divers kinds of tongues; and to another, interpretation of
tongues -- all these nine different gifts of the Spirit are mentioned
here. Now, what are these gifts for and what about them?
Well, first of all, as far as I know these
gifts are still available today. I do not mean available in the sense that
you can ask for whatever you want about these gifts. The Bible never does
teach that one can decide for himself what gifts to have. The Spirit
divides "to every man severally as he will."
It is true that the Scripture says, "The
manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal." I
take it that that must mean that some of these works of the Holy Spirit
can be the property of every Christian but that one cannot necessarily
decide for himself, except that all should seek to prophesy.
We are expressly taught to seek to prophesy.
That means speak for God, witness for God, in the power of the Holy
Spirit. In Acts 1:8 we are told, "But ye shall receive power, after that
the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me .... "
That part we are taught to seek. We are supposed to "covet earnestly the
best gifts," but we are never taught to covet the gift of tongues.
Now, are these gifts for today? They probably
are. You would have to remember that they are not very often manifested
even in the New Testament times. There is only one clear-cut case of
talking in tongues in the Bible and that is in Acts, chapter 2. There are
two other cases where languages are mentioned, but the Bible doesn't say a
gift of languages, and maybe it was and maybe it was not. No one has
authority to say it was the miraculous gift of tongues since the Bible
doesn't say so. In the tenth chapter of Acts, in Cornelius' case, and in
the nineteenth chapter of Acts, that of a number of Christians at Ephesus,
they talked in foreign languages. So let us just say that it was not very
often that people had some of these gifts in Bible times.
No One Ever Had All the Gifts of the Spirit
In his notes, Dr. Scofield says that every
"believer is given a spiritual enablement and capacity for specific
service. No believer is destitute of such gift (vs. 7,11,27), but in their
distribution the Spirit acts in free sovereignty (v. 11). There is no room
for self-choosing, and Christian service is simply the ministry of such
gift as the individual may have received."
I am saying that the gifts are diverse and as
God Himself decides to give. And the only gift of these named that we are
particularly urged to seek for is the gift of prophecy, that is, to be
filled with the Spirit to witness for Jesus and so to win souls. That we
are told to seek for. The others we are told are divided severally as God
wants them given.
Take the gift of healing. Do you suppose that
many people these days have gifts of healing? Do you think many people
ought to have the gift of healing? It was never so in Bible times. It is
true that Peter and John at the Temple, recorded in the third chapter of
Acts, had power to heal a man here, and other people brought the sick so
the shadow of Peter might fall upon them and they were healed, but that
was not an everyday business with all the Christians. It was not a usual
matter then; it is not a usual matter now
I have had the joy of praying for some people
who were wonderfully healed in answer to prayer. And in one case, the
healing was clearly so miraculous. A dear woman who had had T.B. for years
was about to die. God healed her, and in two weeks she was doing her own
housework. I have kept in touch with her for thirty years and she has had
no touch of that recurring disease. I know that was a miracle of God, but
I don't claim that ought to be an everyday business. If I am in need of
God's particular help, some miraculous healing, I would ask Him for it. He
has wonderfully healed others.
There was the case of my daughter Grace with
diphtheria; and my father who was about to die was wonderfully raised up
in answer to prayer. But that is not an ordinary thing. And if I could
name only six or eight such cases in a fifty years ministry, you need not
expect that everybody would have such a gift ALL the time. I don't know of
anybody who does. Now and then there is somebody whom God particularly
uses and gives the gift of healing. It is not often. It is not for
Do you think everybody ought to go out and
work miracles? Well, if they did work miracles, would they work them every
day? It was not so in Bible times. John the Baptist never did work a
miracle. And we don't know that many of the other good men did. We don't
know that Timothy ever did, nor Titus, nor even Barnabas. We know that
Paul did in a few cases, and even in Paul's case, it was not often.
So I am saying that in Bible times these
gifts were not seen every day and they are rarely seen today.
Dr. Scofield says on this matter (and I think
I differ with him), of speaking in tongues, "Tongues and the sign gifts
are to cease, and meantime must be used with restraint, and only if an
interpreter be present."
He in my opinion has the wrong idea about it.
It is true that they are not very often now and they were not very often
in Bible times. In truth, why should they be? Why should I, when everybody
around me understands English, pray to talk in some language that couldn't
do anybody any good? That wouldn't be like at Pentecost. As Dr. Bob Jones,
Sr., used to say, "If it hasn't got any sense to it, God isn't in it." If
there is not a good reason for it, God wouldn't do it. The one main thing
God has in mind is to save poor sinners and get the Gospel to them. If
that would glorify God, well and good, but in many cases, talking to a man
in a language he can understand does a lot more good than saying something
he cannot understand.
Why Not Seek God's Power as He Commands,
Instead of Tongues He Never Commands?
These are gifts, but they are not for all the
time and not for everybody. They are as God Himself divides "to every man
severally as he will," the Scripture expressly says. Now, why can't you be
content with that?
Note now this matter of tongues as a gift
here. Not everybody has it. In this twelfth chapter we read in verses 29
to 31: "Are all apostles?" The obvious answer is no. "Are all prophets?"
No. "Are all teachers?" No. "Are all workers of miracles?" What would you
say? And "have all the gifts of healing?" What would you say? "Do all
speak with tongues? do all interpret?" Evidently, then, it is never
intended that everybody should talk in tongues. There is no command to do
it. Nobody is taught to seek to talk in tongues, and it is never given as
a sign of anything in the Bible. Men make up a reason for it but God
Now good Christian people want the best God
has. I'll tell you what you ought to do. Get a burden to win souls and
have the enduement of the power of God on you to win souls. That is the
fullness of blessing. That is the richest of all the Christian
experiences. To have the power of God to witness for Him and win souls is
the thing we are plainly told to covet. "Covet earnestly the best gifts."
Then the Lord says that Christian love is
more important. "And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but
the greatest of these is charity" or Christian love and Christian
affection. The Scripture says, "Though I speak with the tongues of men and
of angels -- if I talk in all kinds of languages and don't have love, it
doesn't profit anything." So, tongues is never given a place of importance
in the Bible. We are never taught to seek to talk in tongues. It is never
said in the Bible that it is to be a sign of the power of God or a sign of
anything else especially. In the case at Pentecost, for example, they
talked to people in their own language in which they were born. In I
Corinthtans 14 it is a sign to unbelievers. Sure, they heard the Gospel
and they were amazed and so they were saved. But as far as it being a sign
that a Christian is filled with the Spirit -- nothing like that is said in
Every Christian Can Have Soul-Winning Power
Let us see further. Christians then should
seek to witness, and that is the main thing. It is much better than
talking in tongues. In this fourteenth chapter of I Corinthtans, we are to
"follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may
prophesy." Desire rather to speak in the power of the Holy Spirit, "For he
that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God:
for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh
Notice that we are not now talking about the
heresy of tongues at Corinth. They did have a heresy. They talked in
natural languages, different languages, but they made a show, using them
in public. I will go into that further on. But the Lord is saying to never
mind about tongues but seek especially that you may witness and prophesy
and that you may speak in the power of God and that you speak so you can
be heard. That is the best thing.
Now, these gifts rarely occur, so why don't
you seek to have the power of God to witness for Jesus and win souls? God
knows I need wisdom. With forty-five or fifty workers here in the office,
with broadcasts on many stations, with THE SWORD OF THE LORD and its
150,000 weekly circulation, and with many, many engagements -- how I need
wisdom and knowledge from God! And I have a right to ask it. "If any of
you lack wisdom, let him ask of God." I need God's Holy Spirit to help me,
but I don't need something so as to put on a show and claim I have
something everybody doesn't have, that I am better than you are, or that I
have the Holy Ghost and I prove it with a jabber in some tongue nobody can
understand and which does nobody any good. That is not God's plan.
Let us seek then to be filled with the
Spirit, to have the power of God and do His blessed, blessed work. That is
what He wants us to do. Now, remember, there are certain commands. One of
them is to seek and "covet earnestly the best gifts." You can pray for
wisdom and you can pray for the power of the Holy Spirit, and that would
be what you ought to do. God will help you, then, to have the power He
wants you to have.
Dear friends, remember this: We have a plain
command in Ephesians 5:18, "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess;
but be filled with the Spirit." That is a command of God -- "Be filled
with the Spirit." We need the fullness of God upon us. The Lord said in
Luke 24, "Tarry ... until ye be endued with power from on high." In Acts
1:8 the Lord Jesus put it in these words: "But ye shall receive power,
after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto
me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the
uttermost part of the earth." That is the plan of God. Let us seek that.
III. BAD USE OF NATURAL LANGUAGES AT CORINTH
There are many good people who are misled on
this matter of speaking with tongues. They are very eager people. Often
they are good Christians in the sense that they want all God has, and they
want to please God. They are spiritually-minded, good people, but often
they are rather ignorant of the Bible and that makes them a prey to people
who come along with false doctrine and a good deal of emotion .and
exhortation, with not much Bible teaching. But I want to show you what the
Let us say it very clearly again, I believe
in the enduement of power from on High. Most all evangelists, and
certainly all those who are greatly used of God in soul winning, believe
that one must have an enduement of power from God in order to do the
blessed work of soul winning. I advise everybody, all the time to listen
to the command of God to "be filled with the Spirit," to seek the
enduement of power from on High. But on the matter of talking in tongues,
a lot of people get the shell and not the main thing; a lot of people get
the outward form they seek but they don't get any power. And so it gets to
be an artificial substitute for what God is talking about -- the mighty
power of God to win souls.
I remind you also that the one definitive
case about talking in tongues in the Bible is in Acts, chapter 2. And
there, devout men out of every nation under Heaven, Jews, came at this
feast of Pentecost to Jerusalem. These people heard the Gospel in their
own tongue in which they were born. God gave others power to preach to
them and to hear them and tell them the plan of salvation. And so three
thousand people were saved.
Now, it is a foolish thing to talk about
Pentecost and not talk about what God is talking about. God was concerned
about three thousand people being saved. That is what the whole thing is
about, and that is what you ought to rejoice about, and that is what you
ought to try to copy. They had the power of God to win souls. It is true,
there was an incidental gift. I say incidental because it was a temporary
matter. Here was an emergency, here were some people they wanted to preach
to and they couldn't talk their languages, so God gave the miraculous
power to talk in those languages in which other people had been born, and
to give the Gospel to them in their languages. That is the case at
And I showed you there are nine certain gifts
of the Spirit, and that God gives those "severally as he will," and not by
your choice. We are taught to "covet earnestly the best gifts," and so we
are taught to pray for a special enduement of power to prophesy or to
witness in the power of the Holy Spirit. We are taught, "If any of you
lack wisdom, let him ask of God." That is good, but nobody is ever
encouraged to seek to talk in tongues or to seek a gift of tongues. It is
not commanded, it is not even advised. It is a separate matter not often
given in Bible times and certainly not often given now. Why? Because there
is no occasion for it. It is not often that one meets somebody whose
language you cannot understand and who cannot understand you. It is very
rarely that one would need to ask God to give you a language so you can
talk to a foreigner about Christ. So the gift of tongues was never very
important, never often used in the Bible, and certainly not often used
now. Oh, there is a.lot of fraud and good people get hysterical; but what
people seek today is not the same gift of tongues people had in the Bible,
unless it is for the same kind of work that they had at the time of
Now Consider the Heresy of Foreign
Languages at Corinth
Now let us seek to have not just some thing
to make a big show and claim we have something others haven't. Let us seek
to have the power of God, seek to witness for Him and win souls. And let
us learn from th# Bible how to do it.
First Corinthians, chapter 14 is a strange
chapter, strange bocause it goes into the whole matter of a tongues heresy
they had at Corinth. You say, "Was that a heresy?" Yes. You say, "Didn't
they talk in tongues?" They talked in different natural languages. It is
very clear in this Scripture. Now they have to be given some restraint and
some rules about it, in I Corinthians 14.
Had it been of God, you wouldn't have to have
any restraint. Nowhere in the Bible does God say to people, "I have given
you the power to work miracles but take it easy. Don't do it so often."
The Bible never says, "You who have a gift of healing, don't two of you
heal people at the same time."
But God does say that about the kind of
tongues they had here in this chapter. Why? Because there were natural
tongues being misused, trying to copy after the gift of tongues. So there
is restraint and rebuke for what they were doing at Corinth. Now, why
would you seek to have what they had at. Corinth when the Bible says what
they had was wrong, and God is rebuking them for it?
Let us read now the first twelve verses of I
"Follow after charity [Christian
love], and desire spiritual gifts, but rather than ye may prophesy. For
he that speaketh in an unknown tongue [unknown is not in the original,
so here it is in italics] speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no
man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries."
Suppose somebody is talking in French and he
can talk mysteries. He understands it, but I don't. Then, talking in
French in a meeting where nobody understands. French is the thing he is
rebuking here. He is speaking "mysteries."
"But he that prophesieth [that is,
witnesses in the power of the Spirit] speaketh unto men to edification,
and exhortation, and comfort. He that seaketh in an unknown tongue [again unknown is not in the original Greek here, so he that speaks in a
foreign language] edifieth himself...."
That is, the person enjoys testifying in
French, for example, but nobody else can enjoy it because people don't
know what he is saying. He speaks in a language they cannot understand.
". . but he that prophesieth edifieth the
That is, one who speaks in the power of God
in an ordinary language edifies others, and one can't do that talking in a
foreign language to people. Now, it is obvious to see that he is putting a
certain restraint on what they did and correcting some faults they had at
Corinth. Now, does God ever give a miracle and then rebuke somebody for
using it? I don't think so. Then it is not a miraculous gift they are
talking about here. But read on:
"I would that ye all spake with tongues [I would like it if you all talked several languages], but rather that
ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh
with tongues, except he in terpret .... "
That is, if you are going to talk in a
foreign language no one understands, you do no good, so it is better to be
filled with the Spirit and witness for God in the language people can
"...that the church may receive edifying.
Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues [speaking in
foreign languages], what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to
you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by
doctrine? [If I don't say something you can understand, he says, why
talk?] And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp,
except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what
is piped or harped?"
A child may pound on a piano, but you should
play a tune. Just so, when you go to talk, it ought to have meaning.
"For if the trumpet give an uncertain
sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?"
Do Not Use Words People Cannot Understand in
When I was in the army there was a certain
call for morning reveille, a, certain mess call, a certain call for
retreat, a certain call for taps at night. Those had to sound a certain
way. If you give a strange set of sounds that has no melody or doesn't
have any set form, that wouldn't do any good. That is how it is when one
talks a foreign language to people who can't understand him. Now read
"So likewise ye, except ye utter by the
tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken?
for ye shall speak into the air. There are, it may be, so many kinds of
voices in the world [all kinds of foreign langnages], and none of
them is without signification. Every one of them has meaning. This is
not talking [about some heavenly jabber but about the various languages,
and they all have meaning.]
"Therefore if I know not the meaning of
the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that
speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me. Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are
zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the
church." -- I Cor. 14:1-12.
What is that? Seek to say things in a
language that can be understood, one which will bless people, the
Scripture says here. So what they had at Corinth was a kind of a tongues
heresy that needed to be rebuked. You say, "This is the unknown tongue."
Notice throughout this chapter the word unknown is in italics which means
the translators want us to understand it is not in the Greek form. You
might not know Latin and that would be unknown to you, but the word
"unknown" is not in the original here. It might be that if somebody talked
in French, it would be unknown to you. That is what the translators were
thinking about. But the word "unknown" is not in these Scriptures. This is
not about "unknown" tongues except natural languages that are unknown to
somebody. They were foreign languages. That is what the word means
everywhere. God doesn't say they had a gift of tongues; He doesn't say
miraculous tongues in this case. He is correcting the way they used
foreign languages in that church at Corinth.
Now, you say, "They were foreign languages?"
Yes. Why otherwise the rebuke? Why would he say then, "I would rather you
speak five words people can understand than ten thousand words in an
unknown tongue"? Why would he say that if they did not need correction?
Now, remember this, God never gives a miracle and then rebukes it. If God
had given a miraculous gift of tongues and God's Holy Spirit gave them
tongues, then God wouldn't be rebuking it. At Corinth, then, they had a
heresy -- using natural languages in the services. They thought that made
them superior to their "unlearned" brethren.
Were these then talking natural languages?
Yes. I want you to notice one word, "unlearned." It is mentioned several
times. Verse 6 says,
"Now, brethren, if I come unto you
speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to
you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by
Words ought to mean something, even to the
unlearned. And notice "unlearned" in verses 16, 23 and 24. Let us read
"Else when thou shalt bless with the
spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at
thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?"
Notice the word "unlearned." We are talking
about a spiritual gift here that was going on at Corinth. We are talking
about their using languages that unlearned, uneducated people could not
understand. "Unlearned" comes up again in verses 23 and 24. Here he says:
"If therefore the whole church be come
together into one place, and all speak with tongues [all speak with
foreign languages; it doesn't say a miraculous gift of tongues], and
there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say
that ye are mad? [They will say that you are crazy]"
You say, "But I know Koine Greek in which
Paul writes his letters. Over here at Corinth maybe we talk another
language," or "Maybe we know they have learned Latin because the Roman
soldiers are here." But common people don't know it. Then the Scripture
says here that if somebody comes in who is unlearned, uneducated, who
hasn't learned that language, won't he say you are crazy? And there is
some reason for that. See verse 24 again:
"But if all prophesy, and there come in
one that believeth not [one unlearned] · · ." you can witness to him
in the power of the Spirit and he will understand it.
"Unlearned" -- why does he use it? He is not
talking about unspiritual but about people who haven't learned these
various languages they are using at Corinth.
God's Restriction on Languages Used
in Christian Services
Now, what are you going to do about it? Well,
he puts certain restrictions on it. He says if you are going to have them
talking in foreign languages, have somebody interpret, and have somebody
do it one at a time, and not more than two or three in a service.
I was in a revival campaign in Oklahoma. One
night we had a blessed time. Some Indians were there from various tribes.
One day a man was there and he said, "I have a friend here from the Kaw
Indian tribe. He has been saved and would like to testify about what God
has done for him, but he can't speak English. Can he speak in his?"
I said, "If you will interpret what he says,
he may. Otherwise there is no use in him testifying. He would enjoy
telling it to edify himself, but he wouldn't do anybody else any good
unless somebody interpret."
So here the Lord is saying about these people
at Corinth, "If you are going to have a foreign language that nobody can
understand, you can't take any part. But tell them they must have somebody
tell us what they say when they witness, and it has to be intelligent, and
only one at a time, and only two or three in a service because you mustn't
make a great deal about talking in foreign languages."
You see, then, it is all right for people of
different languages and different cultural levels to come together in the
church and do the work of God, but remember, all is supposed to make
sense. Things must be done "decently and in order." And if you play the
piano, it is supposed to have a tune, not just a sound. If you talk, it is
supposed to have clear meaning. Paul says, "I would rather speak five
words that can be understood than ten thousand words that cannot be
Now, I want you to notice some restrictions
that God puts here on this. First of all, there is a clear restriction on
this. The fact that God puts restrictions on what they were doing at
Corinth shows us that what they were doing was wrong. When God rebukes
what they were doing, it shows it is not miraculous, not God-given. God
never gave a miracle and then rebuked somebody for the way he used it. God
never gives somebody a miraculous gift and then be angry with the way they
use it. No, miraculous gifts don't need rebuking, don't need a restraint
put on them; but they did in the use of natural languages over in Corinth.
Note then, on other gifts of the Spirit, did
God ever say, "Here are two people working miracles. You are working too
many miracles. You will have to slow it down"? Or did He say, "Here, two
of you are working miracles at the same time. You mustn't do that"? Or did
He say, "There are two of you here with the gift of healings and everybody
is confused about it"? No rebuke on that. Why? It is a miracle. If God
gives a miracle, it doesn't need any rebuke. It is done right or God
wouldn't put His power on it.
And so what they had at Corinth was not done
in the power of God. It was ordinary foreign languages, putting on a show
in church, and so it is rebuked here.
Notice some other things where there were
some misunderstanding about here. Somebody says, "But Paul said, 'I speak
with more tongues than you all.'" That is verse 18. "I thank my God, I
speak with tongues more than ye all." Don't put in it what God didn't put
in it. Paul didn't say, "I have a gift of tongues more than ye all." He
said, "I am better educated. I know more languages." Paul is writing this
in the Koine Greek; his own native language was Aramaic. He also could
understand Hebrew and he spoke in Hebrew sometimes and he sometimes
probably spoke in Latin. So Paul said, "In addition to my own native
tongue I preach in Koine Greek everywhere I go. I do that more than all of
you, but I don't do it for a show." And neither should you.
IV. FALSE DOCTRINES AND CLAIMS OF TONGUES
Now I come to bring the last message on the
tongues movement -- the movement that teaches speaking in tongues as the
initial evidence of the fullness of the Spirit or the baptism of the Holy
First, let me say that many, many people of
the tongues movement are good Christian people. They believe the Bible,
they love the Lord. Many of them lead good Christian lives, and I have
many friends among them.
One time during a citywide campaign in
Springfield, Missouri, I not only spoke as a guest in the publishing house
of the Assemblies of God, but one night twenty-six Assembly of God
preachers were on the platform in that great four-pole tent.
I love people who love the Lord. In many a
revival campaign people who believe in talking in tongues have been active
in the campaign. I was with Dr. Flowers in the National Association of
Evangelicals in those old days, before it went more or less New
Evangelical. Dr. Flowers was the secretary of that movement.
So I am saying kind things about people I
love and who are good people. I am not running down people, but I am
talking about the tongues movement as such and the teachings that are
involved in it.
I think I ought to say also that I have read
the best books on this subject by the principal teachers themselves of the
Pentecostal movement. I am thoroughly familiar with their teaching and I
answer it fairly and honestly.
Let me say also, I believe in the fullness of
the Holy Spirit. I believe in a definite enduement of power that one ought
to seek and have for the work of the Lord in winning souls. Not only have
I earnestly sought before God again and again and again for such power of
God, but I am certain in my mind that unworthy as I am, God has seen fit
to put upon me the power of the Holy Spirit so that some tens of thousands
of people have been saved under my frail, human ministry. So I say thank
God for people who believe in the fullness of the Spirit.
And I think that the tongues heresy is wrong
and does harm and that it some way blocks people, turning them away from
the main truth of the fullness of the Spirit which God wants us all to
have. I believe that the gifts of the Spirit are for today, that is, as
much as they ever were and as much as God gives to each one severally as
He will. He doesn't give all those gifts to everybody and they are not
manifest in every community. For instance, how long has it been since you
saw somebody with a gift of miracles? If there is an occasion for it, God
gives such gifts as He chooses, and He taught us to pray for the power of
the Spirit to prophesy, and we may do that.
The Tongues Heresy Goes With Any Kind of
Now then, who is it who talks in tongues? Who
is it in what you call the charismatic meeting, who talks in tongues? Not
only Pentecostal, including Assemblies of God and Pentecostal Holiness
people and the Apostolic churches and two branches of the Church of God,
but a good many in other denominations do, too, talk in tongues. But it
generally is the Pentecostal people.
I had a letter about talking in tongues the
other day from a Baptist. They say Roman Catholics even now are taking
part, not only having tongues meetings but coming to meet with others to
talk and pray about the girl of tongues and teaching people to talk in
I was in a hotel in Denver the other day and
there were three nondescript hippies with Levis on, and wearing tennis
shoes, and they were more or less unwashed, with clothes unironed. They
had long beards and hair. I happened to be waiting for a telephone, and
one of these hippies said, "I got baptized with the Holy Ghost the other
day." So a fellow who speaks in tongues can be a hippie or a Catholic.
Even some of the Moslems, Mohammedans, have sometimes spoken in tongues,
along with the Pentecostal people and some other denominations.
Isn't it surprising that one can believe in
confessing his sins to a priest to get forgiveness and can believe there
is a purgatory and one needs enough masses to get him out of it, and pray
to Mary, yet with that kind of doctrine still talk in tongues? There is
something wrong with any man's doctrinal position who thinks you can pray
to Mary and confess to a priest and have masses for the souls in purgatory
and then think you are following the Bible when you talk in tongues. One
is not following the Bible in any of that.
Now, then, what are some of the bad things
that go with the tongues movement? Well, there are good people, many
sincere, earnest, good people -- but what is wrong?
First of all, there is often a great deal of
false doctrine connected with it. These people say, "Oh, we want all God
has," but they are generally not good Bible students. They are not as
particular as they ought to be about Bible teaching. So it is very
customary for people in the tongues movement to believe and teach boldly
that it is God's will to heal every sickness of everybody. Now that is not
taught in the Bible. Paul did not get relief from his thorn in the flesh.
Paul said, 'Timothy, take a little wine (or grape juice) for thine often
infirmities, thy weak stomach.' Paul said, "Trophimus have I left at
So it is not always God's will to heal the
sick. A good proof of that is that good Christians die all the time. That
is a false doctrine that usually goes along with those who believe in
tongues. It is a false doctrine, just like this matter of a Catholic who
speaks in tongues.
God bless Catholic people, but you can't say
that the Bible teaches the priest can forgive sins, or that the Bible
teaches you should pray to Mary. The same people who take that kind of
teaching, take the doctrine of tongues. That means they are not very
particular about the Bible doctrine. Let us say that however sincere they
are, they are not well taught and they are not well grounded in the
The Arrogant Conceit of Tongues People,
Boasting They Are Better Christians
Than Those Who Win More Souls!
And another thing wrong with these good
people who talk in tongues is, they sometimes are rather arrogant and
claim they are better than other Christians, that they have "more of God."
Other people, they say, are not willing to wait on God; other people are
afraid of criticism. That is a rather shocking idea but again and again,
not only in letters to me but in their magazines and in their books, is
their constant claim that you cannot be filled with the Spirit of God
until you talk in tongues, that talking in tongues is the initial
evidence, and you are not baptized with the Spirit (the term they use
generally) or filled with the Spirit, and you are really only a
second-rate Christian, if you do not talk in tongues.
Isn't it strange that a man who doesn't win
souls to Christ but talks in tongues, would think that he has something
better than D. L. Moody had, who won a million souls to God? Isn't that
I was in big services in Toronto, in the
Avenue Road Church. There was a great crowd. Some seventeen hundred packed
the building to the door, with chairs in the aisles. When I preached we
had, I think, fifteen adults saved, and these went with many tears to a
room for further instruction. As I stepped out of the pulpit for a moment
while the building filled up again with a good many others for a second
service, a man came up to me and said, "Dr. Rice, have you been baptized
with the Holy Ghost?"
"Well," I said, "if you mean an enduement of
power from on High, yes. In my poor, unworthy way, I thank God I have
prayed and God has given some power, with amazing results, to win souls. I
don't claim any credit. I have to say that is the power of God."
"Oh," he said, "I didn't mean that. I mean
did you talk in tongues?"
I said, "If you didn't mean that, what did
you say that for?"
"But," he said, "Brother Rice, if you talk
... if you just turn loose and you don't know what you are saying but you
just feel good and as light as a feather ... it is so wonderful!"
I said, "I talked in the English tongue
tonight. It seemed like everybody could understand me."
"Yes," he said, "I know, but you don't know
how much joy you would get if you would just cut loose and talk in
I said, "Well, if enough people come down the
aisle and take Christ as Saviour and claim Christ and set out to live for
Him, that will be joy enough for me." I said, "Now, let me ask you a
question. Did you ever win a soul?"
"Well, I have witnessed to them."
"I know, but did you ever win a soul?"
"Well, I have prayed for them, all right."
I said, "Quit dodging. Did you ever take your
Bible and show somebody he is a sinner, show him how to trust Jesus and
get him to ask God for forgiveness and claim it and set out to live for
Him? Have you ever won a soul?"
He said, "I guess I never did."
Now, isn't that strange that he would think
he was a better Christian than I? He had never won one soul to Christ and
God knows I have not won as many as I ought to and not nearly as many as
some others, but I have seen thousands of people come to Christ. Oh, how
many! I mean drunkards and infidels and heathen of various kinds. Isn't
that a strange, arrogant spirit that is not of God when somebody thinks of
himself more highly than he ought to think because he talks in tongues?
That means those people think Gipsy Smith and R. A. Torrey and Charles G.
Finney and Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. and Billy Sunday, the great soul winners,
were not as good Christians as they are, who talk in tongues. That is a
silly and, I think, a sinful attitude. That is one great thing wrong with
the tongues movement.
Easily Misled Tongues People Regularly
Make False Claims
Now, here is another thing. I am sad to say
it, but since tongues people are often ignorant and not very well educated
and are not very intellectual, they often claim in print, as in the Full
Gospel businessmen's magazine, that D. L. Moody talked in tongues, that
Charles G. Finney talked in tongues, and so did R. A. Torrey. They did
nothing of the kind.
I have just read how R. A. Torrey learned
this blessed truth about the Spirit and how he could hardly preach about
anything else. What he learned about the Holy Spirit was not about how he
should talk in tongues, for he never did that. On D. L. Moody, I have
twelve or fifteen books -- I have everything written about him that I can
get my hands on; I have his own life story by his son and that by his
sonin-law, Pitts; and I know Moody not only did not talk in tongues, but
he didn't believe in it. Neither did Billy Sunday. I knew Billy Sunday.
Neither did Gipsy Smith. Neither did Charles G. Finney.
There is something wrong with a man's system
of truth when he is careless in making statements like that to try to
bolster a doctrine that isn't found in the Bible. That is one thing wrong
with the tongues movement.
Here is another thing: It is rather sad that
women take a very prominent part in leadership in Pentecostal movements,
when the Bible is very clear: "Let the woman learn in silence with all
subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over
the man, but to be in silence." And, "Let your women keep silence in the
churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are
commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will
learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for
women to speak in the church" (I Cor. 14:34,35).
And yet, here in this matter, it is part of a
heresy -- I don't mean that unkindly -- yet Christian people are taking
part in a heresy. When people let themselves go and excuse it and cover it
up and twist it a little on one matter, then they will be a little wrong
on something else, too. For there is a moral guilt in heresy and it leads
to further wrong. So there are some things wrong with the tongues
The Basic Teaching That to Be Filled With
One Must Speak in Tongues Is False
Now, then, here is a basic falsehood back of
the tongues movement. That is the teaching that speaking in tongues is the
evidence and especially the initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy
Ghost or the fullness of the Spirit. Now they use the term "baptism of the
Spirit." I don't use that term so often because it has been misused. I
like more the term "filled with the Spirit." But they say that speaking in
tongues is the evidence. Now there are two things wrong about that.
First, that is not what the Bible teaches
anywhere. I have read the best writings of these Pentecostal brethren from
England and America, I have their books in my library, I have read their
magazines. They frankly admit the Bible doesn't say that anywhere; but
they think it infers that! No, the Bible doesn't say that, neither does it
infer it, unless you are leoking for it. The Bible does not anywhere say
that Christians ought to talk in tongues and that that would be a sign of
the fullness of the Spirit. No, sir, that is not Bible doctrine.
Here is another thing. In the Bible we have
case after case where people were filled with the Spirit. And in not a
single case is tongues given as the evidence.
For instance, John the Baptist was filled
with the Holy Spirit from his mother's womb. Not ever a mention of talking
in tongues. In Luke, chapter 1, Elisabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit.
The Bible tells what she said and she did it in the language that Mary,
who was with her, understood. It is not what is called talking in tongues,
but she was filled with the Holy Ghost.
In the same chapter, Luke 1, verse 67,
Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and the Bible tells us what he
The Bible tells us how Jesus was filled with
the Holy Spirit in Luke 3:21-23. When He was filled with the Holy Spirit,
the Bible tells us what He said. This is the first time Jesus was filled
with the Spirit, yet He didn't talk in tongues.
Why wouldn't you be satisfied to have what
Jesus had when the Holy Spirit came on Him, and now He is endued with
power to witness and speak? Why wouldn't you be satisfied to have what
Jesus had instead of something else? You can brag, "I've got it and the
Baptists don't, and the Presbyterians don't have it, and the Methodists
don't have it. I've got it and I am it!" You ought to be ashamed! No, most
Bible characters never spoke in tongues when filled with the Spirit.
We have the case in Acts 9:17 of how Paul was
converted and how right after that he was immediately filled with the Holy
Ghost. Not a word is said about his talking in tongues. You see, people
made that up. The Bible doesn't bear it out. There are no cases in the
Bible where they did. There is the one case at Pentecost and there was a
reason for it then, but it is not named there as an evidence of the
fullness of the Spirit.
In Acts, chapter 8, the apostles, Peter and
John, came down to Samaria. Here were a group of converts and the apostles
laid their hands upon them and prayed and they received the Holy Ghost.
Nothing is said about them talking in tongues. Then why do you want to say
it when the Bible doesn't?
The Bible doesn't bear you out. There is not
any evidence that when Christian people were filled with the Holy Spirit
in the Bible, they talked in tongues as an evidence of that. They did not
except in the case at Pentecost where there was a special reason for it.
Now, more than that. I am an evangelist. I am
not only an evangelist, I am a promoter of evangelism. I have kept this
thing before God and the people all these years. And I know the great soul
winners. Now, let me tell you frankly, the best soul winners did not talk
in tongues, not Spurgeon, not Wesley, not Moody, not Torrey, not J. Wilbur
Chapman, not Gipsy Smith, not Billy Sunday and not Bob Jones, Sr.
So the tongues business is a false doctrine
that good people, but usually ignorant, take up because they are misled.
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