Written on January 25th, 2006 - 5:49PM Last Updated: January 26th, 2006 - 4:46PM
The manifestation of different kinds of languages is a supernatural expression of a spoken language through a child of God who has been baptized in the HolySpirit.
and to another workings of miracles; and to another prophecy; and to another discerning of spirits; to another different kinds of languages; and to another the interpretation of languages. (1 Corinthians 12:10)
It will not be known to the person speaking, and often is not known to the listeners. However, it is a real language, whether human or heavenly.
The Lord Jesus prophesied of this experience to His disciples before it happened, as one of the "signs" that would follow believers in Him:
These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new languages; (Mark 16:17)
This manifestation has at least two purposes from the HolySpirit for those to whom he is giving it.
The first is a precursor to an interpretation of languages, which is another manifestation of the Spirit and will be looked at separately. That use has the same results as the manifestation of prophecy, that a word comes from the HolySpirit to the people around the one being used to speak. But in this case it comes in two-steps, once in another langauge unknown to the speaker, and again as another believer is used by the Spirit to interpret in the commonly known language.
The second purpose is to be a "sign" to unbelievers. This was seen at least once in the Bible, in Acts 2.
The First Disciples
4They were all filled with the HolySpirit, and began to speak with other languages, as the Spirit gave them the ability to speak. 5Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under the sky. 6When this sound was heard, the multitude came together, and were bewildered, because everyone heard them speaking in his own language. (Acts 2:4-6)
In this first falling of the HolySpirit upon the disciples of Christ, this manifestation of languages operated in order to confirm the prophecy given through Joel: all of God's people in the last days would receive the Spirit of Yahweh and prophesy, dream dreams and see visions (Acts 2:16-18).
The reason this supernatural use of languages could be a confirmation of that prophecy was because they were indeed real languages, heard by the unbelieving Jews also gathered for the festival of Pentecost.
They were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, "Behold, aren't all these who speak Galileans? How do we hear, everyone in our own native language? (Acts 2:7, 8)
These languages were a σημειον ("sign"), not to the existing believers, but to the unbelievers, as Paul teaches. As mentioned above, this was first spoken by Christ, that speaking in new languages would be one of the σημεια ("signs," same word) that would follow those who believed in Him (Mark 16:17).
Therefore other languages are for a sign, not to those who believe, but to the unbelieving; but prophesying is for a sign, not to the unbelieving, but to those who believe. (1 Corinthians 14:22)
This word translated "sign" comes from an ancient Greek noun meaning "a mark." It is something then to set apart something from the rest. For unbelievers, this manifestation of languages serves to set apart God's people from the rest. Even the unbelieving Jews of the day could see that these Jews (the disciples) were different, although they also worshiped Yahweh. The languages were a mark upon Christ's disciples for the unbelievers to see and hear, to know Yahweh was doing wonderful works through His people.
9Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, 10Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, the parts of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11Cretans and Arabians: we hear them speaking in our languages the mighty works of God!" (Acts 2:9-11)
Through this sign came an opportunity for the disciples to testify of the Lord's death, resurrection and glorification, through Whom this Spirit had come. The unbelieving Jews were brought to a point of having to ask what this meant, as it was beyond their normal experience of God. According to their heart and election by God, they would either want to know more, or mock it.
They were all amazed, and were perplexed, saying one to another, "What does this mean?" Others, mocking, said, "They are filled with new wine." (Acts 2:12, 13)
Peter, then, supplied by the same Spirit with words in his native language (just as he had been given words of another language earlier), used this opportunity of having been "marked" by God to witness of the Lord Jesus and God's plan for people in Him (Acts 2:22-36).
Through this, several thousand people were added to the Assembly that day according as the Father had called them, and the flow of God's Kingdom continued to move and expand among the city (Acts 2:37-47).
There are several testimonies in the last century of God continuing to use the manifestation of languages in this same way, to be a sign to others of God's power, love and closeness to people. As believers are gathered together, the Spirit will sometimes move them to utter another language, which is heard by an unbeliever who speaks the language natively.
The testimony from the unbeliever is often that the believer was seemingly speaking directly to the unbeliever, things about his life which he couldn't possibly know, which affirmed that it was God in him speaking. This experience very often leads to the unbeliever repenting of his lifestyle and embracing Jesus as Lord of his life and Savior of his soul.
Whether this happens one-on-one, or perhaps to a large group people, God's people can bring the Gospel to others even when in the natural they do not know the people's language. As the HolySpirit leads and enables, the manifestation of languages is used to bring Yahweh's will to pass; the Gospel of JesusChrist is preached without limits, and the people of the world are saved from their condition.
As you read this site, you will hopefully come to know Yahweh more fully.
But all of this continuing knowledge is useless unless and until you come into union with Him. I use the word union because it is truly a marriage. It is that deep connection we all seek, for which we most often look in other people. However, the truth is that our hearts will only be fulfilled when we enter that union in fullness with the One Who made us.
This is the grace of God, that He has not stayed distant for us only to worship as Creator. But He has come unto us, even become one of us—in His Son, ChristJesus—in order to share an intimate union with us. He desires such closeness that it truly will envelope our entire life, transforming us into something new and wonderful.
You may have already entered this union with Him and only seek to know Him better through reading here. But if you have not, as you do read, let this Gospel sink into your heart as you read it now.
God loves you, and has cast your sins into the sea. He has sent His only Son as the Savior of the world—that includes you.
That Son, JesusChrist, was born as a man through a virgin who had given her life to Yahweh; He lived without sin, reflected the glory of His Father, God, in all His words and deeds, and was persecuted even unto death because of it.
His death upon a cross was the powerful explosion that separated you from your life of death. It remains for you, now, to enter into that death with Him. As you die to the one you are now, a person separated from God from your many sins, you will be born anew, with a nature predisposed to live rightly. This gift is free to you, with nothing you can do to earn it. It is the mercy of God to offer it to you, as He loves you so much! All you must do is receive it by trusting Him to have delivered you. Simply place your life in His hands and embrace the freedom that came through that death on the cross.
The Gospel is that Jesus did not remain dead, but rose again on the third day after His crucifixion! Death could not hold Him, as He was without sin. And so death will not be able to hold you, as you identify with Him fully through your trust in Him. Let go of yourself and confess Him as Lord of your life. The power of His death and resurrection will work in you all that your Creator has destined for you. You will truly enter a new life and experience that intimate union you have been seeking all of your life.
So ponder these words as you read here of this great God—Yahweh—and all that He has revealed to His creation. Let His Spirit testify to your heart that these words are true, that God is Love, and that He sent His Son so that you might receive the life that is unbound by time and space. As you feel that witness in your heart, simply believe and receive what He is offering to you, even now, and begin your new life as a child of God.
Please write to me and let me know when you take this step, as I will be your brother in Christ—we will be one in Him!
Email the Author
I welcome your questions, testimonies, suggestions and fellowship. Please contact me by using the form below.
If you are using this form on the same page as material I've written, the form will automatically let me know what material this is.
I am using this form rather than posting my email address because of spammers who harvest addresses from websites.