Questions About The Gift Of Tongues

Q. I am a Pentecostal and believe that every one of the gifts is in operation today in the body of Christ and they are freely accessible by faith. That being said though I do believe that some gifts are over emphasized and have caused some misgivings and/or divisions in the BOC.

For example, where did the belief that one has to speak in tongues in order to give evidence that one is baptized in the HS come from? Mind you that I have the gift of tongues, I just don’t understand the over emphases on it.

Also, can you show me scripturally the order of the gifts and how we receive them, if tongues is the first and the first evidence then what comes next, so 1 through 9 please give me the order please! In no way is this meant to discredit those who speak in tongues or believe in the gifts (remember I myself believe in all 9 listed in 1 cor. 12)

A. There are 2 places in Acts where new believers immediately began speaking in tongues, Acts 10:44-46 and 19:1-7. Both involved gentiles receiving the Holy Spirit in the presence of Jews. In Acts 10 the Gentiles began speaking in tongues before they had been baptized at all. In Acts 19 the Gentiles had been baptized by John the Baptist for repentance. When Paul laid his hands on them some spoke in tongues and others prophesied. The idea that two baptisms are required came primarily from this account. First comes the water Baptism (John’s), and then the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, evidenced by the gift of tongues. I believe this is an incorrect understanding of the passage and I don’t support the two baptism doctrine.

In 1 Cor. 12 & 14, the notion of all believers receiving the gift of tongues is clearly refuted. Likewise Paul never implied that all believers would receive all gifts. In chapter 12 he repeatedly said some are given this gift and others are given that one, and that the Holy Spirit distributes them to each believer as He determines for the good of the body. Much of chapter 12 is devoted to the folly of all believers having the same gifts.

But because tongues is a sign gift (evidence of salvation) it is the one most coveted and has become a source of spiritual pride in some circles. It’s my opinion this has caused much counterfeiting of the gift of tongues. I also believe there’s a big difference between the gift of tongues and the so-called prayer language that passes for tongues in parts of the Church.

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