"...And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them..."
“Be filled with the Spirit, speaking to yourselves in psalms, hymns
and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your hearts
to the Lord.”
The Word of God teaches us that being filled with the Holy Spirit is evidenced by speaking in tongues. This is more than a doctrine, creed or statement of belief. The Holy Spirit has left us with a clear record:
“ 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, as the Spirit gave them utterance”.
For many Christians, being spirit-filled is defined as living a life that is fully committed to God, His Word, and His Church. Often when the subject of speaking in tongues comes up people get uncomfortable and draw back from anything associated with speaking in tongues. Consider with me at least five unchanging truths regarding speaking in tongues:
1. Speaking in tongues is not, nor has it ever been a prerequisite for salvation. Salvation comes through faith in and acceptance of the atoning work of Christ on a cruel cross (Romans 10:13, Acts 4:12, Ephesians 4:8-9).
2. Speaking in tongues does not make you or I better than those who do not speak in tongues. In fact, “spiritual pride” would indicate a person is not filled nor walking and living in the Spirit.
3. According to God’s Word, in the book of Acts, the initial evidence of believers being filled with the Spirit is speaking in tongues (Acts 2:1-4, Acts 10:44-46, Acts 19:1-6).
4. Speaking in tongues affords us the privilege of praying at a level that is otherwise unattainable and is undetected by Satan (I Cor. 14:2).
5. Speaking in tongues edifies, strengthens and builds up the believer (I Cor. 14:3).
God’s church is at a place on God’s prophetic time-line it has never been before. Spiritual warfare is intensifying by the day. The supernatural dynamic of the Spirit-filled life has never been more relevant to or needed by any culture in human history. With confidence, joy and excitement we can proclaim the glorious provision of Jesus’ last promise:
“But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost has come upon you and ye shall be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”