Speaking in Tongues: Its Origins [Ancient and Modern], Purpose, and Power

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MadHermit

Junior Member
May 8, 2018
388
140
43
#1
Speaking in tongues is a controversial subject largely, I think, because of its widespread counterfeit manifestations sparked by modern short attention spans and the resulting need for instant gratification, which in turn leads to an unconscious attitude that the Holy Spirit must jump when we crack our whip! This thread will begin with a focus on the powerful spiritual impact of the authentic gift.

(1) To that end, I will first post a video on one of the most impactful revivals of all time, the Azusa Street revival that began in 1908, which has ultimately led to the conversion of 600 million Pentecostal and Charismatic converts globally or 1/4 of the world's Christian population!.

William Seymour was the central figure in that revival. He was the son of a Black slave and had been fired in his first pastorate within a week. That failure led to a heroic prayer vigil that ignited the revival, making William Seymour the most spiritually influential Black Christian who ever lived. Yet in my first 21 years in a Pentecostal church, I had never heard of Seymour! Unwitting racist attitudes seem to be the reason why few Pentecostals had heard of Seymour until recent decades. Seymour and his core group of African Americans sparked that revival, only to be forgotten in the aftermath as white leadership took over most of the fledgling Pentecostal movement. Here, then is the documentary on Seymour's role in the Azusa Street Revival:

azusa street revival documenary - Bing video

In subsequent posts, I will share (2) my own experience of Spirit baptism and then (3) my experience-based perspective on the best way to receive the gift of speaking in tongues. (4) Only then will I embark on a detailed defense of the need to strive for spiritual gifts, including speaking in tongues. This defense will include a discussion of the role this gift is intended in the private devotional life of believers and a refutation of common counter-arguments.
 

YourTruthGod

Active member
Mar 9, 2019
984
84
28
#2
Speaking in tongues is a controversial subject largely, I think, because of its widespread counterfeit manifestations sparked by modern short attention spans and the resulting need for instant gratification, which in turn leads to an unconscious attitude that the Holy Spirit must jump when we crack our whip! This thread will begin with a focus on the powerful spiritual impact of the authentic gift.

(1) To that end, I will first post a video on one of the most impactful revivals of all time, the Azusa Street revival that began in 1908, which has ultimately led to the conversion of 600 million Pentecostal and Charismatic converts globally or 1/4 of the world's Christian population!.

William Seymour was the central figure in that revival. He was the son of a Black slave and had been fired in his first pastorate within a week. That failure led to a heroic prayer vigil that ignited the revival, making William Seymour the most spiritually influential Black Christian who ever lived. Yet in my first 21 years in a Pentecostal church, I had never heard of Seymour! Unwitting racist attitudes seem to be the reason why few Pentecostals had heard of Seymour until recent decades. Seymour and his core group of African Americans sparked that revival, only to be forgotten in the aftermath as white leadership took over most of the fledgling Pentecostal movement. Here, then is the documentary on Seymour's role in the Azusa Street Revival:

azusa street revival documenary - Bing video

In subsequent posts, I will share (2) my own experience of Spirit baptism and then (3) my experience-based perspective on the best way to receive the gift of speaking in tongues. (4) Only then will I embark on a detailed defense of the need to strive for spiritual gifts, including speaking in tongues. This defense will include a discussion of the role this gift is intended in the private devotional life of believers and a refutation of common counter-arguments.
Are you willing to discuss with those who believe that speaking in tongues has ceased?
 

MadHermit

Junior Member
May 8, 2018
388
140
43
#3
Yes--and also for Christian seekers

(2) At age 16 I was so nagged by doubts about the reliability of Scripture and the authenticity of charismatic manifestations in church that my faith crisis prompted me to spend a week at Manhattan Beach Camp near Ninette, Manitoba with the hope that God would meet me in the Pentecostal camp meetings in the huge outdoor amphitheater there. I responded to the encouragement to seek God at the altar after the services. But my heart felt like stone when I did because I felt tempted to succumb to wishful thinking and just speak gibberish in the flesh. So on Tuesday, I went on a long 7 mile country prayer walk, pleading with God to resolve my crippling doubts and pledging my willingness to die in His service, if He would only make Himself real to me. When I returned from my walk, I was famished and went to the camp dining hall to buy dinner. But then it occurred to me that I should instead fast and put the money I would have spent on dinner into the evening offering plate. So I did and then attended the evening camp meeting.

At the end of the service, I once again walked to the altar up front and knelt in prayer. My heart again felt like stone and I was determined not to succumb to the power of suggestion and wishful thinking by stepping out in faith and speaking in tongues. Soon everyone had left and I lingered in my depressing prayer vigil in the mostly darkened amphitheater. Suddenly I felt a warm breeze, which I assumed had blown in off of the adjacent Pelican Lake. I was shocked when I realized that this breeze was in fact the wind of the Holy Spirit! The Spirit immediately overpowered my resistance and I found myself speaking in tongues at the top of my voice. I was engulfed by wave after wave of liquid love, each wave more intense than the last, until I felt like I might die! At one point, my ego seemed on the verge of collapse into the divine mind. I can only describe this outpouring of divine love as a hundred times more intense and sweeter than I have experienced before or since. This proved to be unquestionably the highlight of my life and, decades later, I continue to draw emotional nourishment from the memory of that epic day.

After several minutes, I noticed a few spectators sitting reverently nearby. I asked one lady why she was staring at me and she replied, "Don't you know? Your face is glowing in the dark!" I returned to my knees to continue feasting on God's presence. Then I was interrupted by a Lutheran minister, who tapped me on the shoulder and said he was there only as an interested spectator of other religious traditions and didn't believe in speaking in tongues. But he could sense that God was doing a special work in my spirit and he asked me to pray for him. I just touched him gently on the forehead and he exploded in other tongues!

When I returned to my cabin, I realized that God had spoken to me, though not in an audible voice or a message printed on the neon screen of my mind. God told me, "You desperately need answers to your vexing questions. But right now answers are not good for you because answers would lead you to live too much in your head rather than from your heart. I'm calling you to live the big questions until they lead you to the center of my heart." That calling led me to get an MDiv from Princeton and a doctorate in New Testament, Judaism, and Greco-Roman religion from Harvard.

Like many others, I believe that speaking in tongues is like a gateway drug that leads to other gifts of the Spirit. Shortly after the experience, I had my first of many experiences of "the word of knowledge (see 1 Corinthians 12:8-10)." I suddenly knew that I would obtain the highest GPA in high school as a gift from God to signify my academic calling. At a funeral a few years ago, my cousin reminded me that I had informed him of this divine message before it was fulfilled. Previously, my academic performance had been nothing special. So I believe that my Baptism in the Holy Spirit had "renewed my mind (as per Romans 12:1-2). Duff Roblin, the Premier of the province, awarded my a scholarship in recognition of this achievement. I believe this recognition supported my earlier attempts to witness to classmates, which had seemed to give me a reputation as a religious fanatic. To God be the glory!








3
 

Hevosmies

Well-known member
Sep 8, 2018
2,835
1,978
113
#4
Hey MadHermit.

Thanks for post #2 good testimony.

I had a similar experience, I kept KNOCKIng and SEEKING.

Im not out here preaching baptismal regeneration, but to me I got dunked in water in the name of the Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit and thats when "IT" happened. I could feel it. I knew this was it, I wasnt just getting wet, I felt God move on me!

This was also during a rough patch in my life, like yourself I liek to look back to that moment as strengtening my faith today. I come from the mean streets so its still tough!

PS: Doesnt Hermit mean a lonely isolated guy? Are you a single guy living in the middle of the woods or something? lol.
 

Didymous

Senior Member
Feb 22, 2018
4,415
1,621
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#6
Since tongues speakers believe in praying in the spirit, singing in the spirit, and-I guess-talking in the spirit, and these things can be seen physically-What does walking in the spirit look like? I ask this because all the other aforementioned varieties of 'spirit manifestations' I've witnessed were visibly different than 'non spirit manifestations.'
 

MadHermit

Junior Member
May 8, 2018
388
140
43
#7
(3) HOW TO AUTHENTICALLY SPEAK IN TONGUES
Bible commentators generally agree that Paul intends speaking in tongues to be included among the spiritual gifts we are to strive to exercise:
"Strive for the greater gifts (1 Corinthians 12:31)."
"Strive for the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy (14:1)."
Prophesying is Paul's top priority because, unlike private prayer tongues, prophecy edifies the whole church. But in the context of both quoted texts, Paul discusses speaking in tongues. So just how are we supposed to "strive?"

First a word on what not to do. Pentecostal pastors tend to be results oriented. So they often advise seekers to "just step out in faith and speak it out," with the result that wishful thinking prompts the seeker to experience counterfeit tongues. Similarly, if the pastor lays on hands to incite you to speak in tongues, the pressure you feel to comply with his intent may spark a counterfeit outburst in tongues. As I like to say, the Holy Spirit doesn't jump just because we crack our whip! As a teen, prior to the epic life-changing experience of tongues described in my last post, I had occasionally spoken in tongues "of the flesh." My counterfeit tongues were part of what led to the disillusionment that my later epic experience had to remedy.

The real thing may take a considerable amount of time as a seeker, but it is well worth the wait. Here are 5 tips you might find helpful:
(1) First ask the Lord to baptize you with the Holy Spirit and express your desire and willingness to speak in tongues.

(2) Then replace your petitioning with seeking the Giver, and not the gift. God may choose to baptize you in the Spirit without the initial evidence of tongues.

(3) Then allow your longing for more of God to intensify and until your words seem woefully inadequate to express the purity of your longing and how lost in praise and gratitude you feel for your blossoming intimacy with the Spirit. Meditate on this divine promise:
"When you search for me, you will find me, when you seek me with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:13)."

(4) Your breakthrough may take several prolonged prayer vigils. So remember the caution hat qualifies the glorious promise in Psalm 37:4, 7:
"Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart...but be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him."

(5) At some point, perhaps when you least expect it, the inadequacy of your contrived words will be compensated by a heavenly language you will find yourself spontaneously speaking and you will be engulfed by wave after wave of liquid love. The way you will discern that you have experienced the real thing is that later in retrospect it will be impossible for you to doubt the genuineness of this self-authenticating experience.
 

Didymous

Senior Member
Feb 22, 2018
4,415
1,621
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#8
Xaayfaa taa uunuun, upxaan-tinihiitch! That's speaking in a tongue. I know what it means, and I can interpret it.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
2,640
1,015
113
#9
The beauty of speaking in tongues or praying in tongues is, that it is you are not working it, its allowing the holy spirit to work in you. Like all the spiritual gifts, its given, not something we do on our own strength.

When we yield our tongues and the holy spirit gives utterance..its like when Mary says ok angel I surrender my body to bear baby Jesus. MAry did not take matters in her own hands and decide to give birth to Jesus, nor did she try to procreate by the flesh! Maybe she had many people accusing her of claiming to be the mother of Jesus and teaching him that he was the son of God just like people accuse those speaking in tongues to be making it up. Well let the mockers accuse her of being drunk, or sleeping with Joseph before she was married....they dont know what God revealed to her and what Mary knew in her heart.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
2,640
1,015
113
#10
Another example is Hannah see Samuel 1:12-15

Being accused of being drunk. She was praying her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. She was speaking in her heart. But she was pouring out her soul.

Some people get disturbed when people do this...but they should not be. This is communion with God. Please try to understand. People dont always pray so others can hear, its for God. People may prophesy ao others can near and be edified, but prayer and devotion is often for between you and God alone.
 

garee

Senior Member
Mar 28, 2016
10,107
834
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#11
Xaayfaa taa uunuun, upxaan-tinihiitch! That's speaking in a tongue. I know what it means, and I can interpret it.
A prophet who prophesying his own thoughts should be able to interpret them. Tongues is a language that comes with its own interpretation so that men can believe God not seen. .No commandment go seek the understanding of man . Its two walking together in agreement not a multitude after that seen.

There is no prophecy …."Xaayfaa taa uunuun, upxaan-tinihiitch!" Now go find someone to give you a private interpretation. God does not send his living word without it performing the good purpose by which he does sent it. It does not return void. "Let there be" and we can believe Him not seen by a work of His faith working in us with us.
 

garee

Senior Member
Mar 28, 2016
10,107
834
113
#12
(3) HOW TO AUTHENTICALLY SPEAK IN TONGUES
Bible commentators generally agree that Paul intends speaking in tongues to be included among the spiritual gifts we are to strive to exercise:
"Strive for the greater gifts (1 Corinthians 12:31)."
"Strive for the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy (14:1)."
Prophesying is Paul's top priority because, unlike private prayer tongues, prophecy edifies the whole church. But in the context of both quoted texts, Paul discusses speaking in tongues. So just how are we supposed to "strive?"
We are not commanded to strive and seek after a sign. Signs as that seen the temporal are not considered gifts that we would desire to seek after. Natural man walks by sight.(no sign gifts) we walk by faith. The unseen eternal.

The sign of tongues (God bringing his word "prophecy" in the languages of all the nations of the world). confirms unbelief no faith.

Luke 11:29 And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet.

And yet they still refuse to hear God's word. Why would converted men seek after it as a sign and wonder? I would think there is no pleasure in being under a curse.

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, "not to them that" believe, "but to them ' that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.1 Corithians14:21-22
 

Nehemiah6

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2017
8,373
2,319
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#13
Xaayfaa taa uunuun, upxaan-tinihiitch! That's speaking in a tongue. I know what it means, and I can interpret it.
Well that is a tongue twister, so it must mean something.;)
 

Didymous

Senior Member
Feb 22, 2018
4,415
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#16
A prophet who prophesying his own thoughts should be able to interpret them. Tongues is a language that comes with its own interpretation so that men can believe God not seen. .No commandment go seek the understanding of man . Its two walking together in agreement not a multitude after that seen.

There is no prophecy …."Xaayfaa taa uunuun, upxaan-tinihiitch!" Now go find someone to give you a private interpretation. God does not send his living word without it performing the good purpose by which he does sent it. It does not return void. "Let there be" and we can believe Him not seen by a work of His faith working in us with us.
I don't need a private interpretation. My tongues(or languages)are actual languages.

And the interpretation is, 'Man, don't be crazy."
 

Didymous

Senior Member
Feb 22, 2018
4,415
1,621
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#17
I've been to many Pentecostal/charismatic churches, and I've noticed one particular phrase that's almost universal.

"Hun diddee aye, hun diddee aye." My grandmother said this, and I've heard it said by many other in different churches-with minor variations. Since some Pentecostal/charismatic pastors travel around from church to church, I wonder if they spread this particular phrase all over the country. For the record, I always thought my grandmother was crazy when she started screaming this phrase. I've learned that there's supposed to be interpretation whenever someone 'speaks in tongues,' so now I understand why I always thought such people were crazy. Are there Pentecostal/charismatic churches where tongues are interpreted? I don't know, because I've never been to one.
 

Didymous

Senior Member
Feb 22, 2018
4,415
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#20
It means don't be crazy, man.