The Gift of Tongues - Chapters One - Six

Posted in: 2013
By Tom M. Ballinger
Sep 30, 2013 - 12:13:21 PM

September 1, 2013

Chapter One

In many Christian circles, today, a great deal of confusion exists on the subject of “The Gift of Tongues.” There is great perplexity among “church leaders” over the Tongues Movement. What are they to do with it? It will not go away. In fact, the movement is gaining momentum. Many of the “leaders” are willing to make a place for Tongues Speaking within their denominations. Some of the old-line orthodox denominations frown upon the movement as being not for today but, frankly, are unable to produce Scripture which would show conclusively that Tongues Speaking, today, is out of order.

Those who are participating in the movement have Scripture backing them up on their ability to speak in Tongues. They find a basis for it in the “Acts of the Apostles,” as well as in Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians. It is very true that the first century Christians were endowed with “spiritual gifts,” one of which was Tongues. Therefore, if the early Christians were endowed with this gift, why shouldn’t Christians, today, be so endowed?

Thousands of Christians are rejoicing in the fact that the Tongues Movement is sweeping aside denominational barriers, and those who are participating in the movement are seeing a unity among one another that they had never experienced before.

Pentecostals, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, and Roman Catholics are uniting in what they call the “Charismatic Movement.” This movement follows along Pentecostal lines. The word “charismatic,” is from the word “charism” which means, “(1) a divine gift to a devout person, conferring upon him powers of healing, prophesying, etc.” The words “charism,” “charisma,” or “charismatic,” incidentally, are relatively new words. In Webster’s first edition of his English Dictionary in 1828, the words are not there to be found. The definition given was from the “World Book Dictionary,” 1967 edition.

The unity being produced and experienced in this movement is a great rallying-point for those involved. It provides them with ammunition to encourage others to join them.

It is recognized that those within the Charismatic Movement are making a great impact upon the “Christian Church world.” Their zeal is evidenced in many cities. Their organizations are growing daily. Christian Television is dominated by them.

Our purpose, however, is not to write a commentary on the Tongues Movement, but rather, to open the blessed Book and see “what saith the Scriptures” on the subject of “Tongues.” If we do this, then, we will be in a position to determine the true merit of the Charismatic Movement and, then, determine what part it is to play, if any, in God’s present program. list six definitions of the word, “tongue.” Six of the definitions relate to language and speech. The fifth definition we choose to quote because we will notice that it fits in with the Bible usage of the word. “A language: the whole sum of words used by a particular nation” (Webster’s 1828). Here, we notice that it has reference to a language. The plural would have to do with languages.
A good procedure to follow in Bible study is to follow the principle of “the law of first mention.” That is, to check the first mention of a word in the Bible, for there, generally, the meaning of the word is set. The word, generally, carries that meaning throughout the rest of the Bible. Turning to Genesis 10, we note the first mention of the word “tongue.”
“By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; everyone after his tongue (i.e. language), after their family, in their nations” (V. 5). In the Twentieth Verse, we notice the first mention of the word, “tongues.”
“These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues, in their countries, and in their nations.”

The first mention seems to set the use of the words, tongue and tongues, as having reference to specific languages, or dialects.

Of course, the word is used often as a reference to the specific organ of speech. As such, many figures of speech are associated with the word, “tongue,” such as: “double-tongued” (1 Tim. 3:8), “My tongue is the pen of a ready writer” (Ps. 45:1), “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:8), and etc.
It will be helpful to look at the last mention of the word in the Bible. “And he gathered them together into a place, called in the Hebrew tongue, Armageddon” (Rev. 16:16).

The first and the last mention of “tongue” carries with it the idea of a language which is the whole sum of words used by a particular nation.

Chapter Two
In order to continue to allow the Scripture to speak for Itself, we will set forth additional verses which further substantiate the fact that the word, “tongue,” has to do with languages of particular nations.

1. “Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, ...” (John 5:2).

2. “And when he had given him license, Paul stood on the stairs, and beckoned with the hand unto the people. And when there was made a great silence, he spake unto them in the Hebrew tongue, saying …” (Acts 21:40).

3. “(And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence, … ” (Acts 22:2).

4. “And when we were fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, ... “ (Acts 26:14).

5. “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof. for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people and nation” (Rev. 5:9).

6. “And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon” (Rev. 9:11).

7. “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people” (Rev. 14:6).

8. “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues” (Mark 16:17).

9. “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues... “ (Rev. 7:9).

10. “And he said unto me, Thou must prophecy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings” (Rev. 10:11).

11. “And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies... “ (Rev. 11:9).

12. “… and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations”          (Rev. 13:7).

13. “And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues” (Rev. 17:15).

14. “To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues”       (II Cor. 12:10).

15. “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4).

These fifteen references should be sufficient Scriptural evidence that “tongue,” or “tongues” carries with it the idea of the language, or dialects of nations or nationalities. In the verses listed, the tongues were the languages of men. Keep in mind that these were languages which were known and spoken by men of different nations.

Today, it could be said that men of the United States speak in the “English tongue,” the men of Germany speak in the “German tongue,” and the men of Spain speak in the “Spanish tongue.” When an American speaks in his tongue to the German, it may well be that it is an unknown tongue to the German since he only speaks and understands German. If the Spaniard were to speak to the Swede in Spanish, his “tongue” (i.e. the Spanish language) would be “unknown” to the Swede.

Therefore, in the sense that has been put forth, “tongues” relate to the languages of men.

Chapter Three

The long history of Israel, as recorded in the Old Testament, is one of failure; failure to obey the LORD (Yahweh) and accept His preparation of them for their part in the blessing of the world. Throughout their history in Old Testament times, despite their continued failure, there shown, brightly, a glorious promise of David reigning as their resurrected King during the Pre-Millennial Kingdom of God. During the Old Testament reign of David, the LORD (circa 1042 B.C.) made an important covenant with David (2 Samuel 7:8-17). Part of the Davidic Covenant was that the “Christ,” God’s Anointed, would come through His seed and have royal authority. David would rule under the authority of the “Christ” Who would be enthroned in heaven. The Pre-Millennial Kingdom with David as the Sheppard-King in Jerusalem and Jesus Christ as the Universal Monarch of the world will last hundreds of years. (Based upon my studies, I estimate that the Pre-Millennial Kingdom will last approximately 700 years: see PW studies on the web site of “A Fresh Look at Daniel” and “Nebuchadnezzar, God’s Next King”).

After the Davidic Covenant was made, Israel became a divided nation, splitting into two kingdoms; one in the north (Israel), and one in the south (Judah). Neither kingdom proved to be very faithful to the LORD. Consequently, the LORD judged both kingdoms.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

The Northern Kingdom was crushed by Assyria (2 Kings 17:1-23), and, then, the Southern Kingdom was carried away into Babylon as captives (2 Kings 23:26-27; 24:1-25:21). After 70 years, the people of Judah were allowed to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple which had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzer, the King of Babylon. From that time on, the people of the Nation were dominated by the Gentile nations. When the New Testament opened, Rome was the master of the world and dominated the affairs of Israel.

From David to the New Testament times, the hope of the appearing (epiphaniea) of the “Christ,” which is to say “the Anointed,” never dimmed in the hearts of the faithful. Examples of those who were “Waiting” for the “consolation of Israel,” for “Israel’s Redeemer,” for their “Christ” to show up were Zacharias and Elizabeth (Lu. 1:5-6), Anna (Lu. 2:35-38), Joseph (Mk. 15:43), and Cleopas (Lu. 24:21). These were the “waiters [i.e., waiting] for the Kingdom of God” and God’s Christ.

Matthew, Mark, and Luke recorded the birth and earthly ministry of the long awaited Christ (the Anointed). They recorded what “Jesus began both to do and teach” (Acts 1:1). Whereas, the Gospel of John presented Jesus as the Son of God.

In Matthew 4:23, we read:

“And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.”

As a result of this preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom in the Jewish synagogues and His healing, which was according to prophecy (Isa. 29:18, 42:7), His fame spread.

“And His fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto Him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and He healed them” (Matt. 4:24).

There were no failures. He healed all that came to Him. The miracles were “signs” which confirmed that He was, in fact, “the Christ” and the Kingdom was “at hand.”  His credentials were the “signs,” or miracles which He performed. These miracles were the ones the O.T. foretold. These were the “signs” Moses associated with the Prophet which God would raise up like unto Moses (Deut. 18:15). Despite His fame, His credentials and His announcement that the Kingdom was at hand, the leaders of Israel chose their king to be Caesar; concerning Israel’s King they said, “Away with Him (Jesus the Christ), we have no king but Caesar. Release unto us Barabbas.”

Even though Pilot said he found no fault in Jesus of Nazareth, he had Him crucified. Therefore, Israel’s long awaited Christ showed up, but the leaders of Israel did not want Him to reign over them (Lu. 19:14). They rejected their Christ who was to have been their Deliverer from the tyranny of the Romans.


There was every indication to believe that the generation, which was alive at the time of Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry, was to be the generation that was going to experience the “times of refreshing” (Acts 3:19). Peter summarized the hope of the “waiters for the Kingdom of God” which was the Hope of Israel in the following proclamation:

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:19-21).

This passage of Scripture suffers from commentators failing to report what the verses actually state. Instead, they teach doctrine that is not contained in the text.

To begin with, the Scripture does not say that if Israel repented and be converted, their sins would be blotted out.

It did not say: their sins would be forgiven when they repented.
It did not say: that Christ would return to earth if they repented.
It did not say: that the Kingdom would be restored to Israel if they repented.

Noticing what it did not say, let’s, now, look at the positive side of what the Apostle Peter actually said.

Peter was addressing the men of Israel in Jerusalem when he exhorted them to “repent ye therefore, and be converted.” This was what must be done in order “that [your] sins be blotted out.”  The blotting out of sins was not to occur at the time of repentance and conversion, but rather, “when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” The word, “times,” means, age ―a part of a duration distinct from other parts, or the measured or measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues; an occasion, the point or period when something occurs.

Peter was saying, there is coming an age, or a measured period of time, in which a condition will exist, and something will occur which he referred to as the “times of refreshing.” When these “times” come, that is when their sins were to be blotted out.

“Times of refreshing” can be amplified to mean an exhilarating age which is opposite of the present world condition, in which the whole world is held in bondage under the curse. The Apostle Paul referred to these present “times:”

“Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body” (Rom 8.21-23).

The “glorious liberty” Paul spoke of was the “times of refreshing.”

The Amplified New Testament renders; “times of refreshing—of recovering from the effects of heat, of reviving with fresh air.”

It must be pointed out that Peter did not explain what the restoration (i.e. restitution) of all things was because his audience understood, fully, what he was referring to. They had been raised on the writings of the Prophets; consequently, its nature was not unfolded. The idea of a restoration of the world had its origin in the preaching of the Old Testament Prophets. Their faith in the unique position and mission of Israel, as the chosen people of God, inspired in them the conviction that the destruction of the nation would eventually be followed by a restoration under conditions which would insure the realization of the original divine purpose.

The Israelites to whom Peter was speaking knew that the “restitution of all things” meant a re-creation of the world which would restore it to an Eden-like, pre-flood, condition with the curse removed. Christians “raised” on John 3:16 cannot really appreciate Peter’s announcement until they, too, understand, like the Jews of old, what Peter was talking about. We plan to point this out.

Notice what comes from the presence of the Lord: an age, or an eon, or a duration of time which is to be refreshing. It didn’t say that Christ would come from the presence of the Lord.

Peter went on to say, “And He will send Jesus Christ, which was preached unto you,” but notice what is almost, always, overlooked, “Whom the heaven must receive [or retain] until....” I have seen no Commentary that comments on the fact that the heaven must retain Christ until something takes place. The silence is deafening. Christendom teaches that when Christ comes at His Second Advent, He ushers in the “times of refreshing.”  But, this is not what Peter said. Let us not be guilty of putting words into Peter’s mouth. Keep in mind that every word Peter spoke were the words God gave him to speak (Matthew 10:19-20, 1 Thess. 3:13, 2 Cor.13:3).  The Apostle Peter was the authority, and he said, in plainer words, “If you repent and be converted, your sins will be blotted out when the times of refreshing comes from the face of the Lord. And yes, He will send Jesus Christ, Whom the heaven must receive or retain until...” Christ remains there until … something is accomplished. This is not Second Coming truth. This is not millennial truth—this is Pre-Millennial Kingdom of God Truth.

Consider the rendering of Acts 3:20-21 in “The Amplified New Testament:”
“And that He may send [to you] the Christ, the Messiah, Who before was designated and appointed  for you, Jesus, Whom the heaven must receive [and retain] until the time for the COMPELTE RESTORATION of all that God spoke by the mouth of all His holy prophets for ages past – from the most ancient time in the memory of man.”  

We, also, note what the Lord Jesus Christ told His disciples that, “there would be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of Man coming in His Kingdom” (Matt. 16:28). It is noted in Matthew 17:1-9 that Peter, James, and John were eye-witnesses to His coming in His Kingdom on the Mount of Transfiguration. While in His Tabernacle of flesh, He limited Himself by not knowing all facts.

“Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread. Which when Jesus perceived, He said unto them, O ye of little faith …”     (Matt. 16:6-8).

Another passage which showed that Christ, while in His Tabernacle of flesh, limited Himself, to some extent, since there was a time lapse in His thought-reading.

“And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?” (Matt. 9:3-4).

Other passages to check are Mark 2:8 and Mark 8:17.

Thus, being somewhat limited, He, also, limited Himself to ministering to Israel as their Christ in such a manner that allowed Him to be unaware of that which was to take place after Acts 28:28; that is, the ushering in of the unprophesied Dispensation of the Grace of God.

Therefore, the Lord said there would be some who would not have to taste of death before they saw the Son of Man coming (erchomai) in His Kingdom (Matt. 16:28). The “coming” referred to, here, was not a reference to His “Parousia”—but His coming in His Kingdom. This “coming” is not the Personal Coming and Presence of Christ. They would see the evidence of His Presence in the Spirit.

The Apostle Paul even used this idiomatic expression. He wrote that he was coming to the Corinthians in his 2nd Epistle. His second letter was the third time he came to them; once in person, the second time in his first epistle and the third time in his second epistle.

“This is the third time I am coming to you …” (II Cor. 13:1)

Not only that, but there were three who were standing there that day who saw the Son of Man coming in His Kingdom. Peter, James, and John saw Christ transfigured into His Kingdom of God. They saw His GLORY on the mountain-top, and He was seen talking with Moses and Elijah (Matt. 17:1-5, Mark 9:2, Luke 9:29, John 1:14, 2 Pet. 1:16).

We learn additional information concerning the GENERATION that was living during the earthly ministry of Christ.

“That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of THIS GENERATION. From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple; verily I say unto you, It shall be required of THIS GENERATION” (Luke 11:50-51).

The blood of the prophets, from Abel to Zacharias, was to be required of that generation since it was in God’s plan that Christ must “suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation” (Lu. 17:25). “This generation” will face these charges when Jesus Christ begins to “judge the quick and the dead at His APPEARING;” that is to say, “His Kingdom” (2 Tim. 4:1).

Therefore, after His resurrection, He told the Apostles to remain in Jerusalem until they received the promise of the Father which was the enduement with power from on high (Luke 24:49).  The Apostles waited in Jerusalem until they were endued with Spiritual power ─ supernatural power. This Divine equipment was to enable them to fulfill the commission of Mark 16:15-18; “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” The baptism with the Holy Ghost was to be the Divine enablement for them to do so.

On the Day of Pentecost, the men of Israel asked Peter what must they do since he had convinced them that they had crucified their “Christ.” He replied that they must “Repent and be baptized” in order for them to “save (themselves) from this untoward generation” (Acts 2:40). This was a “wicked and adulterous generation” upon whom God was going to require of them the blood of all the prophets. Judgment was staring that generation in the face. It was to be, or at least it appeared to be, the last generation before the Pre-Millennium Kingdom of God was to be ushered in.

The Apostles were to be supernaturally equipped to get out the Gospel of the Kingdom. There was no need for “language school” since the Lord always operates on the basis of never giving anyone a job to do without first equipping them. He told the Apostles to wait for power from on high. This, they received on the Day of Pentecost. It took the form of “tongues,” as well as other Spiritual Gifts. Therefore, the heralding of the Pre-Millennial Kingdom Gospel “to every creature” (Mark 16:15) and to “the Jew first” (Romans 1:16) would not be handicapped by the language barrier. Thus, “the gift of tongues” was to play an important part in the “Kingdom Gospel.”


The Gift of Tongues

Chapter Four

Both John the Baptist (Matt. 3:2) and Jesus Christ (Matt. 4:17) heralded, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is AT HAND.” It was their Divine commission to call-out a “new nation” of Israel. Those who repented and were baptized identified themselves as being citizens of the “Israel of God” (Isa. 66:8, Gal. 6:16), or as Paul said in Ephesians 2:12, “the Commonwealth of Israel.”

After the King had been crucified and raised from the dead, there was to be a time of preparation for Israel.
The Kingdom, to wit, the Pre-Millennial, which was in view, was to be entered through much tribulation (Acts 14:22). There was a sense of urgency to get the Gospel of the Kingdom out to the ends of the earth. The elect out of all of Israel were to be called. This call would come through the proclamation of the Gospel of the Kingdom. The elect of Israel, no matter where they had been scattered, were to be identified and called out, thus, forming a new nation—the Israel of God.

The Lord told the Apostles just prior to His ascension:

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

The receiving of the power mentioned in Acts 1:8 was, also, referred to as being endued with power from on high (Luke 24:49). The Holy Ghost, imparting the gift of tongues as in Acts 2 to the Apostles, was to be the Divine signal for the Apostolic Mission to begin.


The marching orders for the twelve Apostles were given them in Mark 16:15; for it was, here, the Lord Jesus told them what they were to do after they received the Divine enablement.

“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel (i.e. of the Kingdom) to every creature.”

This was the command which was to be carried out by them when they received the “promise of the Father” (Luke 24:49). The promise of the Father was the promise of the Spirit (Gal. 3:14) which the Lord identified in Acts 1:5 as the baptism with the Holy Ghost. The baptism with the Holy Ghost was the imparting of spiritual gifts by the Spirit to the Apostles.

The signal to “Go ye into all the world” was to take the form of the gift of tongues. This enduement took place on the Day of Pentecost as the Apostles were empowered by the Spirit to speak in the languages of men. The language, or dialect was unknown by those who spoke them under the influence of the Spirit of God. This gift to speak in another language accomplished a great deal on the Day of Pentecost, as well as after that.

This ability caused great wonder and amazement by all of those who were in Jerusalem during the Feast Days. As they heard the Apostles speak in foreign languages, knowing they were Galileans, they marveled and said, “how hear we every man in our own tongue, where in we were born?” (Acts 2:8). They were so amazed at this that they asked, further, “What meaneth this?” (Acts 2:12).

It is Peter who responded to the question of “What meaneth this?” His Pentecostal address following the speaking in “Tongues” was what gained the attention of the Jews who were dwelling in Jerusalem.

“Tongues” enabled the Twelve to speak to the multitude in their own mother tongue. It foreshadowed the enabling of the Pentecostal Program. The “gift of tongues” enabled the Acts period believers to proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom without the hindrances of the language barrier. Therefore, those proclaiming the Acts Gospel did not have to attend to the time consuming details of the learning of foreign languages.


The ability to speak in “tongues” was, also, to be an “evidential sign” confirming the fact that the Lord was working with the believers.

“And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them, they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, He was received up into heaven, and sat at the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the Word, WITH SIGNS FOLLOWING” (Mark 16:17-20).

He worked with the Apostles while He was seated in Heaven. “The Gift of Tongues” was an integral part of this commission. “Tongues” confirmed the fact that the Lord was working with the believers. The Mark 16 Commission was a commission to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom. It was in effect throughout the “Acts of the Apostles.” Signs confirmed the Lord working in harmony with His Word as far into Acts as Acts 28:1-10.

It is noted in Acts 28:1-10 that Paul was bitten by a venomous viper and suffered no hurt. He heals a man of a bloody flux on the Island of Melita. That is not all; we note as late as Acts 28:10, “So when this was done, others also, which came with diseases in the island, came, and were healed.”

Thus, we are aware that signs confirmed the Word and the Lord working with the Apostles from Acts 2 (Pentecost) all the way through Acts 28:10. “Signs following” penetrated as far as the twenty-eighth chapter of the “Acts of the Apostles.”

“Tongues” were one of the “signs following,” as enumerated in Mark 16:17-18. “Signs following” were in operation from Acts 2 through Acts 28.

The Gift of Tongues
Chapter Five

“Tongues,” on the Day of Pentecost, were the result of waiting for the promise. “The Gift of Tongues” on the Day of Pentecost was more of a Divine enablement for the Apostles than it was one of the nine spiritual gifts mentioned in 1 Corinthians. No interpreter was needed on Pentecost because every man heard the Apostles in their own tongue.

This is not to say that the “tongues” of Acts 2 were not one of the gifts of the Spirit, but more particularly, they were the special equipment of the Apostles for the specific task of witnessing to those who were in Jerusalem on Pentecost concerning the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Pentecostal experience of the Twelve Apostles was the evidence that they had been “baptized with (i.e., by) the Holy Ghost.” It was, also, their cue that the Gospel of the Kingdom was to be preached in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the “uttermost part of the earth.”

“Tongue” speaking is not mentioned in the Acts narrative, again, until about 9 or 10 years later in Acts 10, when Cornelius and his household believed the Pre-Millennial Gospel of the Kingdom.

We are not to assume that this phenomenon was not prevalent. It most assuredly was. After the stoning of Stephen, “Saul made havoc of the church (i.e. the church of God)” (Acts 8:3). As a result of the persecution, the believing Jewish saints, residing in Jerusalem, were scattered abroad and went everywhere preaching the word of the Kingdom (Acts 8:4). As they went everywhere, proclaiming the good news concerning the Resurrection of their Christ, they “traveled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the Word to none but unto the Jews only” (Acts 11:19). The twentieth verse states, further, “and some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus.” The fact that the dispersed is said to have spoken to “the Grecians” indicates that they spoke to them in the Greek tongue. This would imply that the gift of tongues was employed by those who preached the Lord Jesus to the Greek speaking Jews.



About 10 years after Pentecost, the Apostle Peter went to Caesarea under the direction of the Lord. There, he went into the house of a Gentile, named Cornelius. While Peter was explaining the good news of the Kingdom, the Gentiles to whom Peter was speaking received the “gift of tongues.”

“While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them (Cornelius’ household) which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God” (Acts 10:44-46).

In Matthew 16:19, the Lord Jesus told Peter that it was going to be his responsibility and privilege to have the “keys of the Kingdom.” “The keys” were to the Kingdom, not the Church, which is His Body. “The keys” were a figure of speech (i.e. a metonymy-of-cause). “The keys” spoke of Peter’s power and authority to open the Kingdom to individuals. Just as the Lord Jesus Christ has the power (i.e. the keys) “of hell and death” (Rev. 1:18), the Apostle Peter was given “the keys to the Kingdom.” Peter exercised this power in Acts 2, in Israel, and in Acts 10 among the Gentiles.

The gift of tongues being imparted to the household of Cornelius was evidence that the Gentiles were to be admitted into the  Pre-Millennial Kingdom of God.

In keeping with the commission of Mark 16, Peter said, “Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?”    (Acts 10:47). Thus, the Gentiles, by faith, were admitted into the foretaste of Kingdom blessing. “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mk. 16:16). Thus, it is noted that Cornelius’ salvation into the Kingdom calling was in harmony with the words of the Lord Jesus in Mark 16:15-16.

When Peter went back to Jerusalem in Acts 11, he finds that the Jewish brethren had heard that “the Gentiles (i.e. Cornelius) had also received the Word of God ... they that were of the circumcision contended with him” (Acts 11:1-2).

Their attitude was one of dismay. They could not believe that Peter would go in unto “men uncircumcised” (V. 3). However, Peter explained under what circumstances he went to Cornelius and that was under the direction of the Lord.

Peter tells the Jewish brethren what happened at the house of Cornelius.

“And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that He said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift [tongues] as He did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?” (Acts 11:15-17).

The conclusion was, “Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life” (Acts 11:18). Repentance unto life was to be life in the Kingdom of God—the Day of Christ.

The evidence that Gentiles were to be admitted into the Kingdom was the “like gift” of tongues. Since Peter said that what happened to Cornelius’ family in Acts 10 was what happened to them “at the beginning,” clearly shows it to be an extension of Pentecost.

The baptism with the Spirit in Acts 10 accompanied the salvation of Cornelius. It was not some experience sought after salvation. But, when “Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word” (Acts 10:44). Upon believing, Peter, then, baptized them with water. It was all in harmony with the commission of Mark 16.

The Gift of Tongues
Chapter Six
About 28 years after Pentecost, Paul is in Ephesus (57 A.D.) in Acts 19. Nothing is mentioned about “tongues” in “The Acts of the Apostles” between Acts 10 and Acts 19. In other words, a period of about 18 years elapsed between Acts 10 and Acts 19 and during this time, there is nothing mentioned about “tongues” in the Divine narrative. The fact that the record of the Acts period between Acts 10 and Acts 19 is silent on the subject of “tongues” does not mean that they were not in operation. It just means that in Christian circles, at the time; they were commonplace. It is, also, obvious that the gift of tongues was not the all-important issue of the day.
In Acts 19:1-17, it is noted that when Paul arrives at Ephesus, he finds twelve men who only knew the “baptism of John” which was unto repentance. Paul asked if they had received the gift of the Holy Ghost. They had not. At this point, Paul lays hands on the twelve and as a result, “the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied” (V. 6).

Again, it is noticed that Kingdom truth was in view. The number of the disciples was twelve. Twelve is a number, intimately, associated with Israel. It is apparent that the Church, which is His Body was not in view. It was still “hid in God” (Eph. 3:9).

The three references to “tongues” in the Book of Acts are found in Acts 2, Acts 10, and Acts 19. The gift of tongues, in each instance, was Pentecostal evidence authenticating that God was working with the Apostles. It was evidence to the unbelieving Jews that “the blessing of Abraham” and “the promise of the Spirit through faith” had come      (Gal. 3:14).

In fact, Paul said in 1 Corinthians 14:22 that the gift of tongues was evidential signs, “not to them that believe but to them that believe not.”

The more one studies the Acts period, the more aware he is of the prominence of the supernatural. The period from Pentecost to Acts 28:28 abounds with the supernatural. As we look closer into the conditions of that period, we perceive that the supernatural was commonplace in the streets of Jerusalem. We find that the supernatural was the usual, the ordinary in Christian assemblies all over the Roman Empire.

The gifts of the Spirit abounded. The gifts of the Spirit were the order of the day in Christian circles. It was not the unusual; it was not the uncommon. The overwhelming Scriptural evidence is that the gifts of the Spirit were signs which confirmed the Word of God. Since the New Testament writings had not been compiled, the Lord confirmed His Word through the Apostles by “signs following” those who believed truth for that day and time. The gifts of the Spirit were the evidence confirming that the Lord was working with the believers.


During the Pentecostal dispensation, every believer of Truth received a spiritual gift from the Holy Spirit. In order to learn this truth, we must turn to the Divine commentary on the Gifts of the Spirit. This commentary is found in Chapter 12, 13 and 14. We read in    I Corinthians 12:7.

“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to EVERY MAN to profit withal”                .

It is, unmistakably, clear that what Paul said is that to “every man” (i.e. every believer in the Corinthian church) was given “the manifestation of the Spirit.” That, in plainer words, means that evidence of the Spirit was given to every man for spiritual good and profit. Every believer in the Corinthian assembly was given this manifestation. It took the form of nine spiritual gifts, as enumerated in I Corinthians 12:8-10.                      

”For to one is given by the Spirit”

(1) The word of wisdom

To another

(2) The word of knowledge by the same Spirit

To another

(3) Faith by the same Spirit

To another

(4) The gifts of healing by the same Spirit

To another

(5) The working of miracles

To another

(6) Prophecy

To another

(7) Discerning of spirits

To another

(8) Divers kinds of tongues

To another

(9) The interpretation of tongues

This list of the nine spiritual gifts falls between two statements concerning the fact that every believer received at least one of these spiritual endowments.

“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit with all” (I Cor12:7).

(These nine spiritual gifts are listed in 1 Corinthians 12: 8, 9 and 10).

“But all these (to wit, the gifts) worketh that one and selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will” (I Cor. 12:11).

Therefore, it is clear that during the Acts administration, every believer had “signs following.” They were evidential signs. This Spiritual phenomenon is NOT TRUTH FOR TODAY. They were miraculous gifts of the Holy Ghost, of a past and bygone dispensation, which bore witness to the fact that the believers had embraced the Gospel truth of the Pre-Millennial Kingdom of God.

The writer of Hebrews asked that if they neglected the “so great salvation,” how could they escape God’s judgment? The great salvation pertained to that “which at first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us (Hebrews) by them that heard Him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to His own will” (Heb. 2:3-4). The Holy Ghost bore witness among believers by imparting special equipment to them. This special equipment was “gifts of the Holy Ghost” and was evidence that God was working with the believers. These were to “every man.” Not just to the “spiritual man,” not just to a special group of elite Christians, but the “manifestation of the Spirit” was given to EVERY believer.