By Charles T. Crabtree
The assemblies of God believes and teaches that the baptism in the Holy Spirit is accompanied by the initial physical sign of speaking in other tongues (unlearned languages) as the Spirit of God gives audible expression (Acts 2:1-4; 10:44-48; 19:1-6). What a wonderful provision and heavenly gift all believers may receive.
From time to time, I am asked if people have to speak with tongues in order to say with certainty they have received the gift of the Holy Spirit. It appears these people are viewing speaking with other tongues as a negative rather than a positive. My answer is always the same: “You get to speak with other tongues when you receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is a privilege, not a duty.”
You need to speak with tongues for many reasons. God has provided an infilling of supernatural power to counteract the forces of darkness which confront every child of God.
You need to speak with tongues in order to confirm your reception of God’s marvelous gift. When the most unruly member of your body (the tongue no man can tame) is under the complete control of the Holy Spirit, you have the unquestioned evidence you have received the promise of the Father.
You need to speak with tongues after the initial infilling by the Holy Spirit in order to have a Spirit-filled prayer life. Paul the apostle said, “For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth” (1 Corinthians 14:14). What a thrill to pray in the Spirit. The Bible tells us we do not know what we should pray, but the Spirit help us (Romans 8:26, 27). Time and again when I do not know how to pray, the Spirit takes over, and I pray in the Spirit with other tongues.
You need to speak in tongues in order to receive divine edification (1 Corinthians 14:4). It is a personal blessing. Think of praising God with such fervency you begin to sing in another language. Think of worshiping the Lord and having your soul so exalted you begin to speak beyond your limitations and express the mysteries of God (1 Corinthians 14:2).
You need to speak with tongues in order to be used of the Lord, if He so chooses, as a blessing to the church. The gift of tongues with the gift of interpretation has proven to be a wonderful means of edifying the church (1 Corinthians 14:13). God chooses from time to time to speak to His people supernaturally.
You need to speak with tongues in order to be use of God in supernatural witness. The Bible says that tongues are a sign to the unbeliever (1 Corinthians 14:22). Many have come to Christ through hearing people speak in tongues. Sometimes there is an interpretation which addresses a need in the unbeliever’s life. AT other times people have come to God when an unbeliever has heard a word from the Lord in his or her mother tongue through a Spirit-filled believer who has never learned the language.
You need to speak with tongues because the gift of the Holy Spirit with the initial physical evidence is a “family gift.” The Comforter ahs come to teach us and guide us into all truth (John 14:26). If the Father wants to give His special gift, why would any of His children no reach out by faith with eagerness to receive all He has promised?
Do not allow controversy or fear to keep you from seeking the fullness of the Spirit. Do not allow the devil to rob you of your glorious right as a believer to speak every day in heaven’s language. Paul the apostle was not deterred. He said with a sense of joy, “I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all” (1 Corinthians 14:18).