Prophecy v. Tongues

Pastor Chris’ Sermon Notes on “Prophecy vs. Tongues”


Read I Corinthians 14:1-5

  • Since the subject of tongues is often a topic of division, I will focus on tongues for this message in a desire to foster unity.
  • Please know that I can’t say it all, I don’t know it all, and I can’t fix it all.
  • My view of tongues has evolved over the years, primarily due to loving relationships. Love has opened up my understanding of the Scriptures.

That being said, there are two types of tongues mentioned in the Bible: Tongues spoken to men and Tongues spoken to God.

1. Tongues Spoken to Men

This is when God gives some Christians the ability to speak to men in a known human language that the speakers did not previously know for the purposes of validating the gospel message and a people group’s conversion to Christ.

Read Acts 2:1-10; Tongues spoken to men validated the gospel message when Peter presented it. He said Jesus poured out what they saw and heard. A dead Man cannot pour out the Spirit!

Speaking in tongues to men also validated the 120 disciples’ conversion to Christ to the unbelieving Jews.

Notice: When the 3,000 were converted that day (2:41), there was no mention of them speaking in tongues. Where were the wind and fire? Did they receive the Holy Spirit? Of course they did. What happened to the 120 was a one time occurrence. No one else in the Bible experienced tongues of fire or a rushing mighty wind at their conversion. Be careful of trying to make one time occurrences be the norm because they are not.

Watch this: It’s possible that they also spoke in tongues of praise to God. The 120 resembled people who were drunk because they were full of joy. Drunken people shout, dance, sing, and act out of normal character.

Read Acts 10:44-48; The Gentiles received the same Spirit but they did not have the same exact experience as the 120. There wasn’t any wind or fire. There were known languages being spoken to the Jews and there may have been worship tongues, too.

2. Tongues Spoken to God

This is when God gives some Christians the ability to speak to Him in ecstatic speech or a heavenly language that the speakers did not previously know for the purposes of intercession, worship, and prophetic revelation.

Read I Corinthians 14:13-19. People with the gift of tongues can pray and sing with their mind and their spirit. Do they have an advantage over those who can’t? Absolutely not. Prayer and praise are first and foremost matters of the heart and not what comes out of our mouths, no matter what language is spoken (Matthew 15:7-9).

A Few Observations:

  • Every Christian has the Holy Spirit.
  • Every Christian has at least one spiritual gift.
  • Some Christians have the gift of prophecy.
  • Some Christians have the gift of tongues.
  • The greater spiritual gifts are not the sign gifts or the speaking gifts; they are the serving gifts.
  • Tongues have not ceased.
  • Tongues are not to be forbidden.
  • A preoccupation with the gift of tongues can be a sign of spiritual immaturity.
  • If tongues of worship or intercession are resident in members of the church, they should be spoken quietly to God so as not to confuse unbelievers who may be present.
  • If tongues of prophetic revelation are present in a church service, they should operate in order and with an interpreter.
  • In the public gathering of the saints, prophecy is preferred over tongues.
  • Love is the primary evidence or fruit of the Holy Spirit’s presence in a  Christian’s life.

 

Conclusion: There are two types of tongues mentioned in the Bible: Tongues spoken to men and tongues spoken to God.

God determines who receives which gifts. Some of us have the gift of prophecy, and some of us have the gift of tongues. There are different gifts, but the same Spirit.

You are looking at a born-again child of God. I have been baptized by the Spirit, indwelt by the Spirit, sealed with the Spirit, filled with the Spirit, led by the Spirit, taught by the Spirit, anointed by the Spirit, sanctified by the Spirit, enabled by the Spirit, empowered by the Spirit, comforted by the Spirit, convicted by the Spirit, emboldened by the Spirit, and gifted by the Spirit. In all of these experiences with the Holy Spirit, I have never spoken in tongues. If your experience with God is similar, would you please stand?

If you are a born-again child of God, and you have been baptized by the Spirit, indwelt by the Spirit, sealed with the Spirit, filled with the Spirit, led by the Spirit, taught by the Spirit, anointed by the Spirit, sanctified by the Spirit, enabled by the Spirit, empowered by the Spirit, comforted by the Spirit, convicted by the Spirit, emboldened by the Spirit, and gifted by the Spirit, and you speak in tongues, would you please stand?

Look around. The same Spirit who gave us our unique gifts is the same Spirit who brings unity in the body of Christ. We are one but we are not the same.

We are, “People from every nation and tongue, from generation to generation…”

 

POSTED: April 8, 2014