The gifts of the Holy Spirit

 

 

The tongues which the Holy Spirit enabled the early disciples to speak on the day of Pentecost were given to enable the disciples to preach the Gospel abroad, speaking with accuracy the languages of those for whom they were laboring

 

The Seventh-Day Adventist Church teaches that the tongues which the Holy Spirit enabled the early disciples to speak on the day of Pentecost were given so that the disciples might proclaim the Gospel abroad, speaking with accuracy the languages of those for whom they were laboring. Ellen G. White, the prophetess of the Adventists, in her book The acts of the apostles wrote: ‘The Holy Spirit, assuming the form of tongues of fire, rested upon those assembled. This was an emblem of the gift then bestowed on the disciples, which enabled them to speak with fluency languages with which they had heretofore been unacquainted. The appearance of fire signified the fervent zeal with which the apostles would labor and the power that would attend their work. "There were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven." During the dispersion the Jews had been scattered to almost every part of the inhabited world, and in their exile they had learned to speak various languages. Many of these Jews were on this occasion in Jerusalem, attending the religious festivals then in progress. Every known tongue was represented by those assembled. This diversity of languages would have been a great hindrance to the proclamation of the gospel; God therefore in a miraculous manner supplied the deficiency of the apostles. The Holy Spirit did for them that which they could not have accomplished for themselves in a lifetime. They could now proclaim the truths of the gospel abroad, speaking with accuracy the languages of those for whom they were laboring. This miraculous gift was a strong evidence to the world that their commission bore the signet of Heaven. From this time forth the language of the disciples was pure, simple, and accurate, whether they spoke in their native tongue or in a foreign language’ (Ellen G. White, The acts of the apostles, pages 39-40)

 

Confutation

 

The Holy Scripture says: “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. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.” (Acts 2:1-13).

As you can see, those Jews came together to the place where the disciples of the Lord were sitting after they heard the sound like the blowing of a violent wind coming from heaven and after the disciples began to speak in other tongues, therefore when they came to that place the disciples were already speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. And what were the disciples of the Lord speaking in other tongues? They were speaking the wonderful works of God, for those Jews said to one another: “We do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God” (Acts 2:11). Was the Gospel among the wonderful works of God they spoke in other tongues? No, it wasn’t. For the Gospel was preached to those Jews in Hebrew (that is, in the language they all could understand) by Simon Peter, after he stood up with the eleven (cf. Acts 2:14-36). So the Gospel was not preached by the disciples of the Lord to those Jews through supernatural tongues speaking, but it was preached by the apostle Peter in a language common to himself and to the crowd that had gathered.

Let no one deceive you with empty words. Tongues speaking is always directed Godward and not menward, as it is written: “He who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God …” (1 Corinthians 14:2 – NKJV). So tongues are not given to preach the Gospel, but to pray to God and to give thanks to Him in other tongues. That does not mean, however, that a believer cannot mention the miracles of Christ, the death of Christ and His resurrection while he speaks in other tongues, for these things are among the wonderful works of God which the Spirit of God may move someone to speak in other tongues.

 

 

 

 

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