A Sanctuary for Saints and Sinners in Need of a Saviour. Luke 18:9-14
A Sanctuary for Saints and Sinners in Need of a Saviour. Luke 18:9-14
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August 20th, 2023
Reason #16 is that Speaking In Tongues Is A Sign To Unbelievers.
Jesus says this in Matthew 12:38-42; “38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign (attesting miracle) from You [proving that You are what You claim to be].” 39 But He replied and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation [that is morally unfaithful to God] craves and demands a [miraculous] sign; but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah; 40 for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will stand up [as witnesses] at the judgment against this generation, and will condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and now, something greater than Jonah is here.”
A wicked and adulterous generation seek for signs, according to what Jesus says here to the religious leaders of the day who were sceptical and mostly unbelieving that He was the Son of God. Jesus said that He’d be in the belly of the earth – dead – for three days and nights and would then rise again! That’s the powerful sign that Jesus would give them that He was the Son of God! Now, the sign of a Christian is that they speak in tongues. It’s a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. Many rejected the sign of Jesus’ death and resurrection, just like many Christians today reject the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence speaking in tongues as a sign.
The Apostle Paul says this about tongues in 1 Corinthians 14:21-22 in the Amplified Bible; “21 It is written in the Law, “By men of strange tongues and by the lips of foreigners I will speak to this people, and not even then will they listen to Me,” says the Lord. 22 Therefore, [unknown] tongues are [meant] for a [supernatural] sign, not to believers but to unbelievers [who might be receptive]; while prophecy [foretelling the future, speaking a new message from God to the people] is not for unbelievers but for believers.”
Speaking in tongues is just like breathing air to the Spirit filled Christian that has been baptized with the Holy Spirit, and to them it is just the norm and is not a sign but is rather clear evidence that they received the same Holy Spirit baptism that the Apostles and Christians received in the upper room on the day of Pentecost.
The prophet Isaiah spoke about how speaking in tongues would be rejected by many Jews and Christians and how they would view it as, (merely monotonous repetitions), and as a result would backslide, (stumble backward, and be broken, ensnared, and taken captive).
We read this in Isaiah 28:11-13 in the Amplified Bible; “11 Indeed, the Lord will teach this people [in a more humiliating way] By [men with] stammering lips and a foreign tongue, 12 He who said to them, “This is the place of quiet, give rest to the weary,” And, “This is the resting place,” yet they would not listen. 13 Therefore the word of the Lord to them will be [merely monotonous repetitions]: “Precept upon precept, precept upon precept, Rule upon rule, rule upon rule, Here a little, there a little.” That they may go and stumble backward, and be broken, ensnared, and taken captive.”
How many Christians are looking for rest and refreshing yet they don’t want the baptism in the Holy Spirit and reject it. To them, tongues is nothing more than fleshly babbling, gibberish, and not necessary.
Speaking in tongues is a supernatural sign to unbelievers, and regardless of there being no understanding of what is being said, they will see and hear clearly that God is speaking to His Church in a foreign language of the Holy Ghost. While some Christians are rejecting the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues, and recognise it as monotonous repetitions of blah, blah, blah, there are unbelievers that are able to see it as a supernatural sign of God.
Gordon Lindsay says;
“Although some resent the speaking in tongues, there are many who can testify that they were first spiritually awakened by the manifestation of this sign. They did not understand all about it, yet they sensed God was in it. Others, perhaps, heard a message in tongues with the interpretation which followed, and they knew it was God’s voice speaking to them.”
One thing I notice as a continuous theme throughout the Bible, is that God opposes the proud and accepts those who are humble, and will often use the foolish things of this world to confound the wise, and in this case, the (humble) unbelieving non-Christian has more faith in speaking in tongues than the (proud) believing Christian who rejects it as monotonous repetitions that makes no sense. Isaiah 28:11-13 is an ongoing prophecy that is being fulfilled in non-Christians and Christians today, and this is often why non-Christian unbelievers who hear speaking in tongues are becoming born again, baptised in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues and are out-running the Christians who have rejected it and are backsliding as a result. The humble are passing them with the baton running the race with fervor to the end to receive the prize.
Speaking in tongues is a sign to unbelievers and some will reject it and view tongue talking Christians to be out of their minds, but God delights in those that see it as a sign and will pour out His Holy Spirit on them, and raise them up to be used for is His Glory. He’s just looking for those who will take Him at His word and obey what it says. God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.
Speaking in tongues is one of the signs mentioned by Jesus that would follow those who believe in Him. Mark 16:17-18 says; “17 And these signs will follow those who [a]believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they[b] will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
You notice that all of these signs are to follow all Christians, and will, if Christians will take Him for what His word says, and stop selectively hearing of His word only. You can hear the word and not be a doer of it.
Gordon Lindsay says;
“Paul, quoting from Isaiah, declares that speaking in tongues is a sign to unbelievers. The prophecy adds, however, that many will not believe nor accept the sign as a divine phenomenon. But as they reject it, God rejects them. So declares the prophecy. Nevertheless, there are many who have heard the speaking in tongues and through this sign have turned to God.”
It all comes down to this; that some reject the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues, and some accept it and as a result speak in tongues, as God is no respecter persons. He is just looking for those who will take Him at His word and obey what it says.
I firmly believe that Christians who reject speaking in tongues are selectively not doing what is written in the Bible, because it’s so obvious that not only is it a sign to unbelievers, it’s one of the signs that are to follow all believers’ lives.
Selective doers of God’s Word have a love walk problem with Jesus. Jesus promised the Helper in John 14:15-18; “15 If you love Me, [a]keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another [b]Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
James 1:22-25 in the Amplified Bible says; “22 But prove yourselves doers of the word [actively and continually obeying God’s precepts], and not merely listeners [who hear the word but fail to internalize its meaning], deluding yourselves [by unsound reasoning contrary to the truth]. 23 For if anyone only listens to the word [a]without obeying it, he is like a man who looks very carefully at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he immediately forgets [b]what he looked like. 25 But he who looks carefully into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and faithfully abides by it, not having become a [careless] listener who forgets but [c]an active doer [who obeys], he will be blessed and favored by God in what he does [in his life of obedience].”
How many Christians went to church today but can’t remember what the message was about. The god of this world steals the word immediately and blinds their minds to the truth they just received, by the cares of this world, their family, their jobs etc.
When Jesus is talking about the Spirit of truth coming, He’s talking about the baptism in the Holy Spirit. He’s telling them, the disciples and us today, that He’ll give them something more than what they had right then. The unbelieving won’t receive the Holy Spirit because they don’t believe in Jesus.
As Christians, we have to give an answer to unbelievers if the signs that Jesus said in Mark 16:17-18 are not following our lives. Keep in mind, that verse 18; “they[b] will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them,” is speaking of accidental incidents with snakes and poison and does not imply that you intentionally pick up snakes and drink poison to prove a point. We read about the Apostle Paul being bitten by a viper on the Island of Malta, but he shook it off and was not poisoned or harmed. Acts 28:1-6.
We’re not talking about tempting God by being snake handlers or drinking poison on purpose. We’re not to tempt God. God’s protection is on your life and if you innocently come across a snake and it bites you, we know what God’s word says about healing. Or if you unawares drink something deadly, God’s word says it won’t harm you.
If Jesus says that speaking in tongues is a sign that follows a believer, then the unbeliever is entitled to an answer as to why a Christian does not speak in tongues. The reason why most Christians don’t speak in tongues is that they never obeyed Jesus’ last command found in Acts 1:4-5; “4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; 5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
This was fulfilled in Acts 2:1-4; “2 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all [a]with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them [b]divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
Not obeying Jesus will not only affect a Christian’s life, but also the lives of unbelievers that are in their world on a day-to-day basis. I believe that this is why on the day of judgement there will be a fulfillment in many Christians lives of what Jesus said in Matthew 7:21-23; “21 Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
It’s interesting that He doesn’t mention speaking in tongues. We know that casting out demons are done by Christians who are not Spirit filled and who don’t speak in tongues. The disciples themselves were casting out demons and were performing many signs and wonders before the day of Pentecost when they were baptised in the Holy Spirit and received the tongues. It’s very serious in that there is a real grieving of the Holy Spirit by disobeying God. There is lawlessness that takes place by grieving and rejecting the Holy Spirit’s baptism. There is an independent, stubborn act of pride by being unteachable, not willing to receive stammering lips and to not receive speaking in tongues. It’s far too humbling to them. There is a pride factor to them who reject what the Prophet Isaiah was prophesying about.
Lawlessness is being a hearer of God’s word and not a doer of it. You can hear God’s word and not do it by selectively bypassing the scriptures we read today – all of them. You can even bypass Jesus’ command that He gave in the great commission that we read in Mark 16:17-18; “17 And these signs will follow those who [a]believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they[b] will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
You can’t selectively choose one sign above the other. You can bypass what Isaiah said and can say that he’s not talking about us today. It’s a specific prophetic word to the Jews and Christians alike because Paul specifically references it in his letter to the mainly Gentile Corinthian church when he’s teaching them about tongues.
Let’s read Isaiah 28:11-13 in the Amplified Bible again; “11 Indeed, the Lord will teach this people [in a more humiliating way] By [men with] stammering lips and a foreign tongue, 12 He who said to them, “This is the place of quiet, give rest to the weary,” And, “This is the resting place,” yet they would not listen. 13 Therefore the word of the Lord to them will be [merely monotonous repetitions]: “Precept upon precept, precept upon precept, Rule upon rule, rule upon rule, Here a little, there a little.” That they may go and stumble backward, and be broken, ensnared, and taken captive.”
There is a backsliding that will take place to those who reject the baptism in the Holy Spirit willfully. There is a rest and refreshing that Christians need by speaking in tongues. Sinners will see and hear it as a sign, that God is speaking to the church when they hear someone speaking in tongues as we read in 1 Corinthians 14:22; “22 Therefore, [unknown] tongues are [meant] for a [supernatural] sign, not to believers but to unbelievers [who might be receptive];”
The sinner repents as this sign is speaking to his heart, he sees the supernatural act of God on the tongues and interpretation that he needs to get right with God, to be born again and be filled with the Spirit and speak in tongues too. God accepts the humble but resists the proud.
Lawlessness is being a hearer of God’s word and not doing it. Lawlessness is grieving and rejecting the Holy Spirit by disobeying Jesus’ command to receive Him – to receive tongues – that He wants to give you but by being in this state of lawlessness, you live your Christian life in your own strength. As a result, you go backwards instead of forward . But the sinner who hears tongues and receives it as a sign from God, repents and runs the race, bypassing the backslidden Christian. Like Saul the sinner, the persecutor of the church, becoming Paul the Apostle, outran all the rest, with more persecutions too. God will raise up whoever He wants, He wants a humble person to become a Christian and accept His commands, accept what He requires of them, accept what Jesus commanded of His followers to speak in tongues.
As we said in last weeks message, it doesn’t matter if you understand tongues – it’s supernatural – it’s a mystery. It’s your part to be obedient to Jesus.
To be truthful, if Christians don’t get the supernatural in the church, they’ll turn to the world to get it; fall into mysticism, eastern meditations, yoga, witchcraft and on and on. God created us to operate and live in supernatural power. Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit to live supernaturally, to speak in tongues like the early disciples and church did, nothing has changed, it is for you. Hopefully you can see this today. It’s a supernatural walk with Jesus, not a natural, reasoning walk. You don’t have rights and privileges to reject what Jesus commanded you to do and receive. He knows what you need to overcome the devil with in this world, otherwise He would not have commanded His disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they had been endued with power from the Holy Spirit – it’s a supernatural walk with Jesus.
There’s a young generation that the Holy Spirit is moving upon because there has been a generation that have rejected this baptism, because God will bypass the proud and give grace to the humble sinner. He’ll bypass those who too proud to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit with speaking in tongues and stammering lips, yet the sinner, who knows he’s a sinner that needs a Saviour and who knows he needs Holy Spirit power and the Helper to live a victorious Christian walk. He knows that speaking in tongues is a supernatural sign, he wants Jesus to be Lord of his life, he wants that supernatural touch from God.
Christians, it’s time to humble yourself and receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit and receive the supernatural sign of speaking in tongues. You don’t want to be on the list of people who have said, Lord, Lord…and not having done the will of the Father. God will continue to use the foolish things of this world to confound the wise as God sees the heart. Go forward, don’t fall backwards to be broken, ensnared, and taken captive.