Tongues Issue

January 20, 2000

Hello again everybody,

I received the following quite quickly. Some are long but instead of chopping this one up, I have listed them all complete. Every one pretty much agrees about the same except two, which I put on the top. John thinks that tongues is not evidence while Bill thinks that tongues are the only evidence. Bill asks the question about I Corinthians 12:7 and the "manifestation." When I see that scripture in context, it explains itself by speaking of the diversity of gifts, not just one. Others have already answered the question here, but maybe there are those who would like to come back and explain it on the basis of that scripture to possibly clear up any confusion Bill has without it seeming that we are ganging up on him. And maybe others might want to speak to John's statements. Tongues is a sign. Is John right in that it is not evidence at all but only a sign? I think that this close to unanimous agreement shows a lot of maturity in this group. To me, that is evidence in itself of the Holy Ghost.


I would ask what you would do with the verse of scripture in I Cor.12:7. It states that the "Manifestation" of the Spirit is given to each one, thats all of them for the common good. The Original manifestation was Tongues. It can not be "Gifts per se, because Paul said under the inspiration of the same Spirit that they were given to those He choose as he saw fit, in other words not everyone got the same things. The Apostles were convinced that the Gentiles were filled with GODS spirit because they "Heard them Speak in Tongues and Magnify God as we did at the first." I must disagree with you about the evidence because of these and other scriptures, if we want the original we must have it like the original or we set ourselves up to receive some thing not from God.

Bill Hawkins

Your terminology is wrong. The Infilling of the Holy Ghost with the sign of speaking in tongues. Sign of the infilling of the Spirit. The evidence of the Holy Ghost is the divine nature displayed in our life. It is the Character of Jesus in our actions and speach that doesnt not violate the written Word but fulfills it.

Today there are lots of people who speak in tongues and have a devil. The tongues is a sign of receiving a spirit not the evidence of the Holy Ghost.

John D. Burns

I teach much the same as you do here. In fact, I do not know that i CAN make the same point any more clear than you have in these few paragraphs. And with some humor, I will wish for you that the Holy Spirit fall on you "like a ton of bricks",...and stay on you like the stickiest of the stickiest muds, makes for a very humorous image, don't you think? But has a very real truth in it.

-- TheSilverPaladin

On tongues and the Holy Spirit, my pastor has taught it like this: When we are baptized in the Holy Spirit, we 'can' speak in tongues, meaning we have the ability. Some do not exercise this ability, and that is their choice. Some are not taught about the gift and have no idea, others just 'groan', a type of tongues.

I never would teach that you must speak in tongues if you are baptized with the Holy Spirit. That would be as crazy as saying 'you must witness' as a result of being baptized in the Holy Spirit. Even though the dunamis power came on them for 'witnessing' in Acts, we cannot put what 'witness' means in a box. Perhaps men have tried to put 'tongues' in a box also. Just some thoughts and I agree with you on this issue,


Dear Jay,

Below are some thoughts on the "tongues" issues, along with some scriptures:

46. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said,
47. "Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have." Acts 10
39. Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues.
40. But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way. Acts 14

I Co. 14 18. I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you.
19. But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue.
20. Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults.
21. In the Law it is written: "Through men of strange tongues and through the lips of foreigners I will speak to this people, but even then they will not listen to me," says the Lord.
22. Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers; prophecy, however, is for believers, not for unbelievers.
23. So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and some who do not understand or some unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind?

While speaking in tongues may "signify" the baptism in the Spirit to some, it should be quite obvious that also prophecy and the "evidence" of the presence of the Holy Spirit is of even more primary importance. So then, what should the evidence be? Paul states that he would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than "ten thousand words in a tongue." Also, while the "edification" of speaking in tongues may well be important in our own prayer language, it should become quite obvious that when we as believers come together, that something needs to be deciphered with what the tongue is saying. Then of course, an interpretation of that tongue is necessary, and one should pray for the ability to interpret.

As has been said, these things are perhaps not the issue here, but what then should be the "evidence" of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Again, it seems that prophecy is something which seems to be ignored with the initial inception of receiving the Holy Spirit. And many receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, oftentimes, through a prophetic word. And "all may prophesy," and we are told to seek this gift, so then why is tongues something which many claim to be the evidence of the Holy Spirit? Perhaps it is the way in which tongues somehow "speaks" of the presence of the Lord in a miraculous way to some, I don't know....I have a hard time with those who have said that one must "speak in tongues" as the evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. While I believe it to be a sign and something important to the individual's own spiritual life, I don't necessarily believe that all must speak in tongues. I think the real problem is when we may force or attempt to get a new believer into "speaking in tongues." When we may try to coerce them in any way, then hurts the ability of the Holy Spirit to direct His gifts as He would.

As for love or the "fruits" of the Holy Spirit being the evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, it seems to me that these qualities are obviously important to the Christian. Gal. 5: 22. " But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23. gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit." (I believe, that these qualites are important, and they show forth the character of Christ in us, but then, I have heard some say that these then are the "only" signs which we should see in ourselves to signify the Lord's presence. These are those who then deny the present "gifts of the Spirit," and then put undo emphasis on these qualities instead. However, then we can go the other way, and give "undo emphasis on the gifts of the Spirit," and ignore the "fruits." So, to me, these qualities of the Spirit, are important, and may well show the evidence of the "baptism of the Holy Spirit," in a person's life. But again, these qualites are oftentimes, qualities which may take time to develop in our lives. A tree or a plant does not grow overnight, and patience is a fruit which does not develop overnight.

These are some of my thoughts,
Stephen Hanson


I receive what you are saying about the evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I too believe that it is erroneous to only say that the evidence is speaking in tongues. You can speak with the tongues of angels, but if you don't have charity, you have nothing.

Help me to understand how to respond to people scripturally that speaking in tongues is not the primary evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Thanks and keep sending me your e-mails.

P.S. Do you have any material concerning true tithing? I have been a faithful tither for 15 years, but am now seeing that I have believed fallacies about it.
Thanks again....Jay Daniels

amen brother.

I'm with you on the stances you have just stated.
If the Only Evidence of the Baptism is speaking in tongues, then there is a problem...
When He comes in, He is more than tongues... He is the giver of tongues, the giver of all the other manifestations..
the giver of love...
"by this shall all men know that you are my disciples, that you have love one toward another..."
It is indeed time to depart from error and to seek the Lord.
Bro. Paul

Greetings in the name of the risen Lord Jesus,

The issue of tongues is certainly one that has not gone without attention. Even during the apostolic ministries we find evidence of the very confusion that exists even today. It is the flesh in each of us that cause the confusion, as well as the contention because the gift itself is from God and comes without baggage. Our motivation must be that of love, and not vindication of personal conviction because the kingdom of God does not rely on human argument, but rather what God has spoken. Our righteousness is the righteousness of Christ Jesus, and not of our own doing. So also are the gifts themselves a product of the righteousness and grace of our Lord, and since the command given us by Him who is our righteousness was to "Love one another", it is crucial that every single motivation must have a foundation of this love. Any thought, action, or word that is void of Christ's love, is certain to be either the work of our own flesh, or an extension of the enemy working in us. If we claim to love the Lord, then it will be proven to him by how we love each other.

In coming together for worship and fellowship, should not the focus be on the Lord and others, rather than on ourselves? If one speaks of God in praise, then others can share in this and the entire body is in one accord by worshipping in spirit. If the Lord gives a word of knowledge to one, and they share this knowledge, again entire body is blessed and the Lord glorified. If however, one person stands up and speaks but no one understands (including the person speaking), how is the body blessed, or the Lord glorified? If this single question cannot be answered by reason, or by God's word, then something is amiss. This is often multiplied by several standing and speaking but offering no understanding. Of what benefit is this?

I realize I am paraphrasing Paul's epistle to the church in Corinth and assume that all have read this many times before. The important question is, what can be done about it, to educate and remove the barriers between those who do not agree on this issue? If something cannot be accomplished through love and patience, it is not worth accomplishing. Debates often lead to arguments, and arguments to bitterness. Once we abandon godly love for one another in the interest of truth, we no longer represent that truth but only our own conviction of truth. I urge anyone who brings forth this discussion to constantly test their words against [1 Corinthians 13:4-7]. We cannot forsake the foundational message of the gospel to prove right or wrong, especially when we know that we too are fallible.

In most cases, those who have received a questionable doctrine are not at fault (although they should eventually discover this through a relationship with the God of truth). When they began to seek God, they looked in the most probable place to find him, which is a church. Unaware perhaps of the various "flavors" of Christianity available, they assume a uniform system of belief. What they often find is an "image of God", that has been formed by the church's ideals and doctrine. Accepting that they have found God, they stop looking for Him and become an intricate part of the particular church they attend, and worship whatever image is presented to them. Naturally, worshipping the image and not the person of God is idolatry, but most are oblivious to this and never develop a relationship with the Lord (but are convinced they have).

As the only relationship is within the congregational organization, the head is not Christ and allegiance is to the organization and it's doctrine, rather than to the Lord. This covenant of flesh is quite strong and is not easily broken because the enemy desires to keep them from the realization of their predicament. What better way for Satan to disguise himself as an angel of light, than by keeping the focus of worship on signs and wonders rather than on our creator? We know however that the proof is in the fruit. Christ was productive in everything He did, and we are to imitate the same attitude and productivity (not out of ambition, but out of love and obedience). Things that are not in keeping with Christ's template of godliness should be carefully scrutinized by the individual to determine their worth. Examining each issue against the scriptures and through prayer are excellent and effective means of testing the spirit. However, those who have fallen victim to this "alter-image" of God, are unaware of the spirit by which they are receiving revelation and knowledge, and without intervention risk growth not towards, but away from the living God.

The crucial point is in approaching those within a scenario such as this. Without direction from the Holy Spirit, we risk damaging any chance of our effectiveness with the person, and only strengthen the yoke they have with err. Because there are many parallels between true worship and image worship, they will look upon someone with an opposing doctrine as a threat, whose source is Satan (much the same as true worshippers would). Sensitivity to their situation is critical in becoming an effective witness to the true Gospel. Proceeding without a leading from the Lord is inviting disaster, and works only to assist the enemy. My hope is that the Lord will lead every individual in taking back what the wolves have stolen from us, that we may rejoice with the heavenly host of the victory in Christ.

Abundant grace and peace be yours in Christ,
Timothy J Roy

Hi Jay;

This is a very interesting subject to me. I am Baptized with the Holy Spirit and I speak in tongues (ALOT). By this I am referring to my own prayer time, not a gift of speaking in tongues. The Holy Spirit revealed to me that I needed to use "my prayer language" every day - that it was very important.

Anyway, I received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit when I was a baby Christian, 2-3 weeks old. It is an experience that I will NEVER forget, right up there with my salvation experience. I don't recall there being evidence of speaking in tongues initially. My pastor (Assembly of God) says that he heard me speak an utterance which was enough evidence for him. I am not sure about that. I remember the doubt the devil tried to sow in me for several days to weeks about whether or not I was really filled because "didn't the pastor say you must speak initially and you didn't, did you?". I KNEW that something wonderful happened to me at that altar but the devil kept whispering into my mind, "You really didn't speak in tongues did you? Didn't the pastor say that you must speak in tongues to have the evidence of the Infilling?"

The following Saturday I was at Full Gospel Businessmen's breakfast meeting. I went up for prayer and described what had happened to me. Rather than pray for the Baptism we all just held hands in a circle and the other men began to pray in the Spirit. It was at that moment that I can truly remember speaking in other tongues for the first time. There was no longer any doubt about it - I knew at that instant that I had really been filled previously and that the devil had tried desperately to rob me of that blessing/power. I have often wondered about this - why didn't I speak in tongues at the church when I first received the Baptism? Or did I?

Of course, those around me insist that they heard something but I certainly don't recall it. I am not convinced that there must be initial evidence of the Baptism by the speaking in tongues. I am convinced however that all spirit-filled believers can and must speak in tongues at some point after the Baptism. I do agree that 99% of the Infillings I have seen or been a part of or heard about have been accompanied by the immediate evidence of speaking in tongues. Sometimes I wonder if we (man)are guilty of sending away people who are seeking the Baptism or rob them of an infilling because we insist on the immediate evidence of it? Do we discount someone's salvation if they don't immediately break down and sob when they receive Jesus into their heart? Is there always, 100% of the time. initial evidence of true conversions? Maybe this is a subject matter for a different dialogue but that just came to mind as I asked the Lord for wisdom in this response.

I probably haven't shed much light onto this topic but I can say this: I received the Baptism as a baby Christian; I don't remember speaking initial evidence of tongues; those praying for me/laying on hands say there must have been an utterance (10 years ago) because the bible says it is so; the devil came at me constantly with doubt about that fact; I spoke freely and instantly in tongues with spirit-filled believers within 1-2 weeks of my original Infilling; and PRAISE GOD FOR HIS SPIRIT!!!

By the way, the Lord used me to baptize my girlfriend at that time in His Spirit (my wife today) who herself was a baby Christian - she was maybe 4 weeks old and I was maybe 6 weeks old, 4 weeks filled with the Spirit. Isn't He awesome? What a blessing. Now my wife was filled, complete with initial evidence of speaking in tongues and she hasn't shut up since!!!

I can't imagine life without the power of God's Holy Spirit - thank you Lord.

Brian Tanguay

Hello Jay,

Tongues is an excellent topic to discuss. First, I believe it would be necessary to scripturally establish in our understanding the value of the gift of tongues. However, let me go on record in saying, I don't believe you can Biblically teach that tongues is THE initial evidence of the Baptism with the Holy Ghost. The Apostles taught no such doctrine or dogma. If we look at it as "a" (not "the") common occurance (or denominator) associated with it, then we would have Scriptural backing. To dogmatically declare it to be THE initial evidence is stepping beyond the boundaries of scriptural authority. When it comes to establishing a Church doctrine or dogma we must have clear and precise scriptural backing.

The Importance and Necessity of Tongues

1 Corinthians 13: 8-13 establishes the importance and necessity of the gift of tongues (also the rest of the gifts).
8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

In Verse 11 of this passage, Paul differentiates a child-stage (era) from a man-stage. The difference is obvious: A man is more mature - far more advanced than a child.

This passage could be broke down as follows: In the child-stage:
1.) Knowledge is in part (vs. 9, 12),
2.) Prophesying is in part (v. 9),
3.) Tongues are necessary (including the rest of gifts) because of knowledge being in part (v. 8) and
4.) We see through a glass darkly (v. 12).
In the man-stage:
1.) Partial knowledge gives way to our knowing as we are known (v. 12),
2.) Our seeing through a glass darkly gives way to our seeing face to face (v. 12),
3.) That which is in part is done away with, for that which is perfect or complete has come (v. 10), and
4.) There is no need for the gifts of the Spirit (vs. 9, 12).

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure which stage we are in presently. Because of our inability to know and see God and all that pertains to Him, we need the gifts of the Spirit. This "handicap" we have in this age necessitates our specific need for the gift of tongues. This gift is the Holy Spirit worshipping, prophesying, speaking or praying through us (whichever's applicable) in an unknown language, bypassing our minds and , thus, causing us to overcome our "handicap" i.e. our partial knowledge or seeing through a glass darkly. Without it we would be at a great disadvantage. Wouldn't you agree?

Everyone should desire to speak in tongues according to 1 Corinthians 14:1. When Paul asked the question, "Do all speak with tongues", and if we interpret it in its context we would understand that he was referring to the public use of it. All can speak with tongues in its private use referred to in Charismania as the "prayer language"...because all need the ability to overcome the "handicap" beginning at our newbirth. The only other way of overcoming this (as far as I know) that God has provided is in becoming mature. This is a long process though. Who can endure it? Tongues gives us an advantage even in this process. Whew! Thank God.

No more of that. What is the sure evidence we should be looking for in determining who has received the Baptism with the Holy Ghost? What did the Lord tell John the Baptist to look for in reference to Jesus? "And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, 'Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost' " (John 1: 32, 33).

We must be able to determine by the Spirit when He comes UPON someone and remains. This is the initial evidence of the Baptism with the Holy Ghost. When He comes upon someone, that person will have become clothed or enveloped with Power from on High. What comes up and out of that person as the result of this "coming upon" by the Spirit (otherwise known as the infilling) should be left up to that person and the Holy Spirit. I have "seen" the Spirit come upon people, the River flow out of their belly, and them not speak with tongues, yet He did come upon them and remain. That was enough evidence. If it was good enough for John the Baptist, it is good enough for me.

In conclusion, I am not saying that tongues is not a common sign accompanying the Baptism with the Holy Ghost. They were quite common in the book of Acts as an outward sign of the Baptism with the Holy Ghost, but no where in their writings did the Apostles establish it as the initial evidence. If they didn't, then can we? The Lord obviously established what it is through John the Baptist.

We should place more emphasis on receiving a greater dimension of the person of the Holy Spirit in reference to this baptism, than upon a gift or sign accompanying it. The Father's main objective in placing His Spirit upon someone is not to produce tongues, yet that is the way it is in many circles today. In my experience with Charismania, this has often been the case. What is the Father's main objective then? I will let y'all answer that. I am out of breath.

This evidence demands a verdict. What's the consensus?

Abundant grace to all,
Gary P.

Well, since I just preached on this one, I can reply easily enough!

I agree with you 100%. the gift of tongues is mentioned in 1 Cor. 12 and 14 as being A gift of the Spirit. In fact, in 1 Cor. 14, Paul writes to correct the mis-use of this gift, and reminds us that prophecy (the forth-telling of God's Word) is a more desirable gift, because the Gifts of the Spirit are given to all for the benefit of all... and the Holy Spirit gives the gifts as He determines..

I have had many long conversations with AOG ministers and understand their position ( tongues is THE evidence of the Baptism) but I find no real scriptural evidence to support such a position.

Acts 10: 44 - 46 also describes the speaking of tongues by the Gentiles in Caesera. This scripture says that they recieved the Gift of the Spirit and spoke in tongues. Many people use this a proof text for the speaking of tongues as THE evidence.... however, this particular event came on the heels of Pentecost, and it was the Holy Spirit's way of confirming His presence with the Gentiles since they recieved the Same GIFT AS THE Apostles.... this does not prove that tongues is anything more than one of the gifts.

Also, I am convinced that we have a wrong understanding of what tongues really are. It is not some esoteric prayer language, but is in fact the supernatural ability to speak in a language unkown to the speaker FOR THE PROFIT OF ALL and as a SIGN for the UNBELIEVER (read 1 Cor. 12 - 14)

Also, sandwiched in between these chapters on gifts is the wonderful chapter 13... the love chapter...

If we have all of the gifts and have not love, we have nothing at all....

Pursue gifts, do not forbid the speaking of tongues (if there is an interpreter) but desire prophecy that all may be edified.

Thats the Word on the subject.

God's grace to you,

Mark O.

Amen. I agree 100%. And this error has wreaked havoc in many churches as well as individual's lives.

God Bless,

first of all jay, i believe that even the concept "proof of" the baptism is way off center. it is like saying "i will test your spirituality by if you can produce as evidence this gift." in a way that is like saying " i will test you to see how fast your car is by timing you with this stopwatch." but then it is mentioned that tongues is an evidence of the baptism of the holy spirit. i believe that although it is not mentioned in the bible,, the evidence is also that one prophesys, or one has a word of wisdom,, and certainly the proof is the fruit of the spirit. that is the real evidence, the fruit of the spirit. and also i have to say here, that if someone needs a show of spirituality, like a miracle being performed, then i would have to question if that person is in need of the baptisim of the holy spirit,, as these things are spiritually descerned.

i have sought god about this and this is what i believe to be the answer that he has placed in my spirit and in my mind: there is two differend manifestations mentioned in the bible,, one the gift in operation on the day of penticost. in this manifestation the word of god was spoken in the language of those hearing the message, it could have even been the other way around just as easily, where the word of god is heard in the language of the hearer. this is the language barrier being taken away. there is an obvious advantage of having this gift. another not quite as obvious gift is the gift of tongues, mentioned in the corinthians. in this manifestation, the believer is given the gift of an enhanced prayer life, in that he or she can pray without the limitations of human judgement getting in the way of the will of god. in this way the prayers of the saints can completely yeild to the will of god in that there is a mergeing of the believers spirit and the holy spirit. this is sort of a mantra also, in that a person can meditate on the lord, without any "mind clutter" getting in the way. there are myriad uses of this gift.

i believe that where people have turned against this gift is when it has been misused, as often ministers will say some garbled nonsence and have someone "interpret" according to the prearrainged program that ministry is pushing. usually the interpretation has something to do with tithes and offerings, but often there is other suggestions,, such as the "will of god" concerning someone of the hiarchy and some sister in the church.. abuses of the ministrys have also turned honest seekers of truth away from prophesy, miracles, words of knowledge and words of wisdom, healing, etc.

your friend, and brother in christ,



From what I can read in the bible, you are right, where the Holy Ghost is there is also love.

Now about the fleece, remember Luke 11, when they ask Jesus for a sign from heaven, what did he say to them?

Now for the resurrection, there will be three all together, the first being Jesus himself, where he rose from the dead and seated at the right hand of His Father, the second being the resurrection of the dead in Christ, then the ones that are here still on the earth serving till His coming. love in Christ


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