Joshua and Judges: The doctrine of leadership part 105 - Essential qualities of leadership: The filling of the Spirit; The doctrine of tongues.

Class Outline:

Title: Joshua and Judges: The doctrine of leadership part 105 - Essential qualities of leadership: The filling of the Spirit; The doctrine of tongues.


Announcementsopening prayer:



Principle: The temporary gift of tongues in relation to the work of the Spirit.


Throughout the history of the church, no spiritual gift has occasioned as much continual controversy as the gift of tongues.


Many solutions have been offered to the problem of the nature of this gift, but every one has some difficulties. All we can do is to look at the passages in the scripture that mention the gift and draw any solid conclusions that we can from them and we must avoid conjecture.


We must start with the first instance of the gift at Pentecost.


ACT 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.


ACT 2:2 And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent, rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.


ACT 2:3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.


ACT 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.


ACT 2:5 Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men, from every nation under heaven.


ACT 2:6 And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were bewildered, because they were each one hearing them speak in his own language.


ACT 2:7 And they were amazed and marveled, saying, "Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans?


ACT 2:8 "And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born?


ACT 2:9 "Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,


ACT 2:10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes,


ACT 2:11 Cretans and Arabs —  we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God."


ACT 2:12 And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, "What does this mean?"


ACT 2:13 But others were mocking and saying, "They are full of sweet wine."


People will rather believe the most insane explanation than to face a supernatural truth.


According to the Scriptures, attendant to the filling of the Holy Spirit, all the considerable company gathered together on that day in Christian fellowship, “began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” This phenomenon amazed unbelievers who flocked to the scene. They confessed to hearing everyone his own language, and in their own language the wonderful works of God were extolled. Some accounted for this as an expression of drunkenness, but Peter refuted this by contending it was a predicted sign of the outpouring of the Spirit, quoting JOE 2:29.


ACT 2:18 Even upon My bondslaves, both men and women,

I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit

And they shall prophesy.


In the only account of the actual use of tongues in the Bible the speakers spoke in known languages.


The Scriptural account definitely states that they were heard and understood in various languages. All naturalistic explanations must be dismissed. It is clearly a supernatural work of God, designed to be a sign of His power attending the events of Pentecost.


The second instance of speaking in tongues is the conversion of the Gentile family of Cornelius.


ACT 10:44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message.


ACT 10:45 And all the circumcised believers who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out upon the Gentiles also.


ACT 10:46 For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God.


The gift of tongues is repeated to Gentile converts in order to link them with Pentecost and Jewish believers.


It is concluded that the gift of tongues to the Gentile converts is repeated in linking this event definitely with Pentecost and the effect of the filling of the Spirit in Jewish believers.


Peter recites the event at Cornelius' house as being the same as what they experienced at Pentecost, and so they must have spoken with known languages.


ACT 11:15 "And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, just as He did upon us at the beginning.


Peter states that it was "just as" the Spirit did upon them at Pentecost. He does not mention anything that was peculiar or unique when the gift was bestowed upon the Gentiles, hence we must conclude that what Peter saw was the same as what happened at Pentecost to the Jews.


A third important passage: disciples of John the Baptist believed in Christ and the spoke in tongues, ACT 19:6.


ACT 19:1 And it came about that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper country came to Ephesus, and found some disciples,


ACT 19:2 and he said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" And they said to him, "No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit."


ACT 19:3 And he said, "Into what then were you baptized?" And they said, "Into John's baptism."


ACT 19:4 And Paul said, "John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus."


ACT 19:5 And when they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.


ACT 19:6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying.


ACT 19:7 And there were in all about twelve men.


Final example: John's baptism alone, without faith in Jesus as Savior, does not save.


Receiving John's baptism did not save. For whatever reason, these twelve men did not know that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah, but when they heard, they believed. The evidence of their salvation is tongues. That does not mean at all that tongues is the only evidence of salvation or  that it even is one in our day.


MAT 3:5-6

Then Jerusalem was going out to him, and all Judea, and all the district around the Jordan; and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, as they confessed their sins.


Who knows how many of these imagined that they might have been saved by John's baptism.


We can imagine that there were many living at the time who had been baptized by John but had not come to believe in Jesus as Savior.


This final example revealed to all who had only received John's baptism that it was faith alone in Christ alone that saved. No one could deny this since these spoke in tongues.


Other than Paul's writing about tongues in 1Co these are the only accounts in the scripture concerning tongues. And outside of 1Co, there is no exposition of the doctrine in any epistles.


The pas­sages in Acts do not explain the gift of tongues other than at Pentecost. Also, it is not stated that any of the people who spoke in tongues in these three instances ever repeated it.


So then, any sound doctrine of the gift of tongues can only be constructed from the three instances in Acts and from Paul's writing in the 1Co passages.


Speaking in tongues was a supernatural gift imparted by God the Holy Spirit. It has no naturalistic explanation.


Some explain that the there is a distinction between Act 2 and 1Co in that in Act 2 speaking in tongues was uttering foreign languages while in 1Co speaking in tongues consisted in ecstatic utterances in which human language was not used, the strange sounds issuing forth from the tongue being interpreted by others who had the gift of interpretation. Even the great exegete Joseph Thayer holds this position, but we must conclude that it is based on an inadequate conception of the gift.


This is a fanciful conclusion based on nothing but conjecture. It's motivation is clearly to lend support of the modern tongues movement, which only began in the year 1900. There is not one textual or historical piece of evidence to support this.  


Any view which denies that speaking in tongues used actual languages is difficult to harmonize with the Scriptural concept of a spiritual gift. [Walvoord]


By its nature, any spiritual gift has a reality in application, and being supernatural, they need no naturalistic explanation. The phenomenon of speaking in tongues was accepted by believers as a work of the Holy Spirit.


Interestingly, the acts of those involved in the modern tongues movement are very similar to the ravings of heathen mystics and soothsayers from ancient times up to the present.


All attempts to relate speaking with tongues with the ravings of heathen mystics and soothsayers, as some do, must be rejected as in effect an attack on the accuracy of the Scriptural revelation and the work of the Holy Spirit.


By the express statement of ACT 11:15, the phenomenon of speaking in tongues in Caesarea in Cornelius' house was similar to the experience at Pentecost.


If the instances of Pentecost and Cornelius are essentially the same then the instance in Act 19 would follow.


There is no reason to think it wouldn't be the same as the first two instances. It would be, certainly, arbitrary and strained exegesis to make a distinction when none is made in the text.


The use of identical terms [laleo and glossa] in reference to speaking with tongues in Act and in 1Co leaves no foundation for a distinction.


In all passages, the same vocabulary is used in various grammatical constructions. On the basis of the Greek and the statement of the text no distinction is found. All appeals to the contrary are based only on presumption.


The only safe principle to follow in discerning the doctrine of speaking in tongues is to assume that basically the gift is the same in its various references.


Distinctions there are, as will be noted, but in each case speaking in tongues is real, not simply apparent; supernatural, not natural; a work of the Spirit, not a product of psychology or education; the utterance of foreign languages, and a sign given particularly for unbelievers.


The problem of whether the gift of tongues was temporary for the apostolic period or permanent throughout the dispensation must be settled on the basis of 1Co alone. This problem becomes more simple if first the real character of speaking in tongues is deter­mined. An examination of all the facts will substantiate the doctrine that speaking in tongues is not normal for the entire present age.