Acts 1:8 “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 Judaea, and in Samaria, and to the uttermost part of the earth.”
I have several reasons that constrains me to speak on this topic and to touch this verse of the bible today.
- I want to touch this verse because it was the very verse that was used to deceive me. After I was awakened to the sense of my lost state through reading Jonathan Edwards “Sinners in the hands of an angry God”, I was not grounded in the scriptures nor taught the proper New Testament doctrine that is essential to the growth of a Christian. Rather, I was constantly told that unless I received the Holy Ghost baptism and spoke in tongues, I didn’t have God’s power as the New Testament Christians had it.
- I want to touch this verse today because it was the very verse that I also used to deceive many people to buy into the lie of modern speaking in tongues. During our Holy Ghost services, I often used this verse to get people’s mind worked up, and to get them prepared for a “touch from heaven”. If you were a new convert, and the pastor tells you that you need a “divine touch from above” to make you more powerful over devils and hell, won’t you be willing to have such power?
- I want to touch this verse today because the Pentecostals still use it to deceive many unwary souls into the lie of babbling in tongues. Remember when we were in the Pentecostal Religion, when we were using that uncompleted building with uncemented floor, one of our members named Amarachi (she no longer worships with us since we reformed) used to attend our “Double Portion Anointing Services” with extra pairs of clothes in her hand bag should in case the holy ghost power was much on her and she falls on the mud floor staining her clothes, she would go to the ladies room and change into another clothes. She never missed coming to the Anointing Service without extra clothes but I don’t remember seeing her jotting anything during the services. She had extra clothes but no pen and jotter. That is Pentecost for you!
I will speak harshly this morning because most of the time the truth is bitter, and it takes bitter herbs to cure a dangerous disease. Medicinal herbs are never sweet to drink, yet you must drink it to have your cure from the disease.
What is “tongues”?
Before I touch the verse before us, I would like to bring to your knowledge one important truth. I must have you understand that “tongues” means only two things. Tongue is the red organ inside of your mouth by which you are able to talk and make sounds. The second meaning of “tongue” is “language”. I speak my mother’s tongue means I speak my mother’s language.
Revelations 7:9 “After this I beheld, and lo, a great number, of all nations, and kindreds, and peoples, and TONGUES, stood before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands.”
This verse shows us that heaven will be full of souls from different nations, and from different languages. If we allow the bible to interpret itself, we shall soon discover that “tongues” means “known earthly languages.” If I speak five tongues it means I speak five different languages.
What Power is promised the Apostles in Acts 1:8?
In Acts 1:8, just before his ascension, Jesus promised his disciples power. He promised them that this power will be given them when the Holy Ghost comes upon them. But what power is this that he promised them? I believe and I know it was not any healing power because the Apostles already had healing power given them.
We read in Matthew 10:1 “And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.”
So the Apostles already had healing, and miracle working power. They also had the revelatory gifts which is the supernatural ability to know and receive information beyond the natural realm. It was by the gift of revelation that Peter knew that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Jesus said it was not flesh and blood that revealed that truth to Peter but his Father in Heaven (Matthew 16:17). When Jesus sent out the 70, he also gave them healing, and miracle working power, and revelatory gifts. Remember the Testimony of the 70? “Lord, even the devils were subject to us through thy name.” (Luke10:17).
Jesus also prayed to, the Father, thanking him and said, “I thank thee Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast REVEALED them unto babes” (Luke 10:21). Revelatory gifts is the ability to perceive that which is hidden from others, and here, we Jesus, glorifying the Father for giving these revelatory gifts unto these 70 of his disciples.
Both the miracle-working power and the revelatory gifts didn’t come upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost. They had been in operation prior to Pentecost. If we don’t believe this, then we must prove that these powers that was given them for their missionary work in Matthew 10, Mark 6:7-13, and Luke 10:1-9,17 was later taken from them. The bible never said so at all. Once the Lord gave them the power, he never took it from them. Only one special ability was given on Pentecost, and that was the supernatural ability to speak and communicate the mysteries of the gospel in foreign languages which the speaker had never known before.
Why was speaking in tongues not given before Pentecost?
Other gifts of the Spirit was given to the disciples prior to Pentecost, but why was tongues withheld until Pentecost? This has been very easy for me to search out since I left the Charismatics Religion. You know why I love Cessationism and Calvinism? It knocks the hell out of you. It takes you deep into asking yourself certain questions and gets you searching the Scriptures for answers so that you don’t follow “traditions.” But Charismatics are lazy robots. If it is not what their pastors preach, then forget it, you are never going to get them to reason with you. You see you don’t need much wisdom if you want to go to hell. But when you set your heart to run heavenly race, then you need wisdom from above. That was why Paul asked Timothy to get acquinted with the Scriptures “which are able to make thee wise unto salvation”(2Timothy 3:15). My dear, this book can make make you wise unto salvation. Are you set to run heavenly race? Then heed the advice of Solomon: “Wisdom is the principal thing, therefore, get wisdom!”(Proverbs 4:7). I got to searching the internet to know why speaking in tongues was not given to the disciples at the same time that the other gifts of the Spirit were given to them but I didn’t get a reason. As a matter of fact, I never came across any site that touched that aspect. I came across wonderful sites proving that speaking in tongues had ceased, and that this present Pentecost is but a counterfeit of the original. But I never came across any site that answered the question on why the gift of tongues was withheld till Pentecost. So I started asking myself, “Why was this particular gift withheld till Pentecost?” and amazingly, what I found in the Scriptures brought full satisfaction to me that I had arrived at the right answer. Even the Pentecostals cannot confute this solid truth, though they will readily avoid such question for the fear of being put to open shame.
Why then did the Lord withhold the gift of tongues from the disciples until after the resurrection of Christ and Pentecost?
The answer is clear as noon day. It is because their ministry during the time that the Lord was yet with them was limited to people of the same tongues as themselves! They were sent to their fellow Jews whose language they could both speak and understand; and therefore they did not need an additional tongue! Prior to the cross, they were confined to the Jews alone, and the door of the gospel to the Gentiles was not yet opened.
A closer look at Matthew 10:5,6: These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:, But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Jesus forbade the disciples to preach to the foreigners. They were to speak only to the Jews, so there was no need yet to speak in foreign tongues.
You see, if I should send you to any of our Ibo brothers here to go and give them a message, you wouldn’t need the ability to speak Chinese because I have not sent you to China. But assuming I send you to go tell the Chinese a message, then you would need the Chinese tongue. The same way, Jesus sent his Jewish disciples to go preach to their Jewish brethren in the Jewish tongue. He commanded them not to enter Samaria which was the neighbouring country to the Jews. They were further commanded not to speak to the Gentiles but only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
So the bible makes it clear that tongues was not given to them at that time because there was no need for it as at that time.
Now when the Jews rejected the gospel the door of repentance was opened to the Gentiles (which literally means “foreigners or other nations”) and therefore there was the need for the special ability to communicate to these foreigners in their own languages.
When the Jews beheaded John the Baptist, the fore runner of Christ, and slew the Lord on the cross, they were openly saying, “Lord, we don’t want this your salvation. We are okay with the Mosaic covenant of works. Leave us to earn our own salvation by keeping the law. “ they were simply saying “No” to God. This was what God read into their action and their wicked act of crucifying his only begotten Son. We read it in the Scriptures, “But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.” And what did God do? “First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you”(Romans 10:19). So God turned to the Gentiles, the foreigners and caused the Apostles to communicate the message to them in their own language.
With that said, let us now turn to Acts 1:8 and sweep it from under the feet of hereticks. We must reclaim that verse of the bible because it is a wonderful passage of the bible showing us what God accomplished by the Apostles in order for Gentiles like us to have this good news of our souls’ salvation. That wonderful passage gives us the clue of what the Apostles did in order for the gospel to reach the whole world. We better reclaim that verse before our little ones buy into the lie that this stupid Pentecostal babbling is what the Apostles practiced.
Acts 1:8 “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 Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
What further light do we need to stop these hereticks seeing that the passage explains itself unless we choose to add our own seeker-sensitive ingredients to it?
The phrase “and ye shall be witnesses unto me” shows it was time to bear witness of the resurrection to the different groups mentioned in the passages before us, which groups are Jerusalem, All Judaea, Samaria, and, The uttermost part of the earth.
Jesus had risen from the dead and had spent 40 days with his disciples ”To whom he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days and speaking the things pertaining to the kingdom of God”(Acts 1:3). Now it was time to evangelise non-Jewish countries. Time to take Africa and Asia for Christ!
So Jesus said to them that it was time to extend the preaching of the gospel starting from Jerusalem, to Judeae, to Samaria(remember they were forbidden from preaching the gospel in Samaria in Matthew 10:5,6), and to the uttermost part of the earth. Jesus said to them, “It is time, not only to bear witness to your Jewish Brethren but also to the whole Gentiles.
But how would they accomplish this great task? How would they get the gospel across to men who couldn’t speak and understand Hebrew? The answer is, “Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem until ye be endued with this special ability to speak foreign languages from on high” (Luke 24:49).
Gift of tongues was given on Pentecost
Did the promise of Acts 1:8 come true? Yes, we see it fulfilled in Acts 2:1,4 “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
Jesu fulfilled his word. He sent upon them the Holy Ghost who endued them with the special ability to speak in the language of the foreigners who had come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Jewish Feast known as Pentecost.
“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” (Acts 2:5,6).
These foreigners who had come from different nations heard the apostles speaking in each of their known earthly languages. I have been a Pentecostal pastor for 8 years but I never had such experience, all I had was babbling in tongues. All the Pentecostals I know are the same as myself, babbling in tongues. Peter and the rest of the disciples there were all Galileans, but they were speaking in the very languages in which these foreigners were born(verses 7,8). They were not speaking into the air or making some spiritual exercise with their tongues. they were not making a competition of who did the highest babbling in tongues. they were not rolling on the floor like rattle snakes. THEY WERE SPEAKING KNOWN EARTHLY LANGUAGES WHICH THEIR HEARERS COULD BOTH UNDERSTAND AND SPEAK!
Fellow Nigerian Pastors, let us tell our members the truth that what they are speaking is jaggons and satanic babbling. If we harden our hearts against the truth, hell will hrden itself against us on the last day. While salvation is by grace is by grace, the sure mark that I am saved is by taking heed to the doctrine and truth. We cannot make full proof of our salvation if we know the truth and harden our hearts against it. To lay hold on eternal life, we must lay down the things that bring forth death. He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy(Proverbs 29:1).
If the apostles were speaking these vain babblings that we speak today, no one there would have been saved from among those foreigners. What the apostles spoke were authenticated human languages which the foreigners present confirmed with their own mouths.
To leave us without a doubt, the Holy Ghost who is the Author of the Scriptures, gave us a list of languages with which the apostles preached that day. The greatest sermon ever preached on planet earth is the one preached by Peter on Pentecost day, by which over 3 000 souls harvested to Christ. The sermon was delivered by an illiterate fisher man of Galilee, in over 15 different languages with any interpreter to assist. The next time anybody speaks in tongues near you, ask him or her the very language they spoke and you will see how they will stare at you as though you were a ghost. Don’t allow anyone to make a fool of you in the name of “anointing” or “evangelist”, or “prophet”, or any of those big titles they bear. Most of them cannot even shepherd a local church. They fly about like butterfly and hop like grasshopper, from one church to the other in the name of “I am an Evangelist, I am not called to pastor a church.” They are not called to pastor a local church, but they are called to go propagate heresies from one church to the other. Wolves in sheep clothing, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. I was once like them and with them, but now, I am far separated from them. With their lips they pray “O Lord, give me a closer walk with thee”, but bring before them the holy demands of God upon their lives, and tell them that this is what God has commanded in his word concerning such and such area of their lives, and you will see that the hatred they have in their heart against God will immediately spring up. They think God is their buddy, or a fellow like themselves, and that is why they want a closer walk with him. If they truly know God, they won’t ask for a closer walk with him. Rather, they will ask for the grace of humble obedience to his word.
For your comfort and confirmation of the sound doctrine before us, here is a of the 15-16 languages Peter spoke and by which he harvested 3 000 souls to Christ:
And did these foreigners confirm that these were their languages? Yes! Themselves said with their own mouth “we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God”(verse 11).
Believe it or not, the greatest sermon ever was the one by a Galilean fisher man named Peter which he preached in 16 different languages and to which over 3 000 souls testified saying, “we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God” (verse 11). Peter reached a vast multitude in their own individual language and that is what Abuoma believes to be “Speaking in tongues”!
Reinhard Bonnke, the famous Evangelist from Frankfurt, Germany comes to Nigeria almost every two years to conduct his “Christ For All Nations” crusade and his so called “Fire Conference.” According to him, the crusade is to give the unbelievers salvation, while the Fire Conference is to give the believers the baptism of speaking in tongues. in the Fire Conference where he gives the seekers speaking in tongues, he always calls for one of our Ibo brothers to interpret for him! What madness! I remember attending for all the 4 days that the Fire Conference was held around 2002/2003 but I didn’t have the truth I have now. I would have asked him while he still needed an Ibo interpreter since himself could have easily done as Peter did by speaking to us in our Ibo Language. Since he came to give tongues, he should have spoken to us in our tongues so that we will believe that he has the real thing!
That shows that Bonnke doesn’t have the real thing.
Did tongues continue to exist?
- 1No. it was given for the purpose of getting the gospel across to the Gentiles, that is you and I who are not Jews.
- No Early Christians like Saint Augustine of Hippo, who lived in the third century and defended the gospel against the Pelagian heresy testified that himself and the men of his time did not witness such because the true signs passed away after the completion of the scriptures as Paul said it will happen in 1 Corinthian 13:8,9,10 “Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.”
- No. The Puritans who accomplished great things for God and witnessed souls converted to Christ in their numbers never claimed such stupid babbling in tongues. What the Puritan Jonathan Edwards accomplished in the few years of his ministry (he died at age 55) the whole tongue babblers from Charles Parham to present day Chris Oyakhilome, TB Joshua, Johnson Suleman, and so forth put together has not been able to accomplish.
- No, because the language barrier God placed upon the earth in the tower of babel has not been removed. Speaking in tongues, which was a very temporary gift to the church in its infancy did not remove the language barrier of babel. If it did, the Word of Faith coveteous ministers would have built another profane tower to reach heaven and claim God’s throne!
The Origin of Present Day Speaking In Tongues
I was very shocked shocked when I first discovered that there were true Christians who did not speak in tongues. to be honest, I didn’t even believe they were Christians. I taught I had run into some infidels. When I was convinced that they were truly Christians, better Christians than ourselves we keep asking God for a closer walk with him as if he is our age grade but are not ready to bow our hearts to him, I began to wonder how they could be Christians and still reject the Pentecostal practice. Through them God opened my eyes to see that what we are actually speaking was not tongues but profanities. It started with an apostate, a deserter of the true faith named Charles Parham who gathered his students and asked them to start tarrying for the Holy Ghost. Their expectancy gave them an inducement that resulted into what is known today as speaking in tongues. the whole story of this heretic that has done much harm to the gospel is fully documented. On his side was one William Seymour, who carried the unholy fire into Azuza street.
This their strange Pentecost, rather than starting at Jerusalem where the disciples were told to tarry, it stated in Topeka, Kansas; and instead of on Pentecost day, they had theirs on January 1, 1901- 103 years ago!
Brethren, what we are saying is a serious matter. It is even worse than that because we speak these things and then ascribe them to God’s Holy Spirit. We roll on the floor like people possessed by devils and we turn around and say “the Holy Spirit fell upon me rolled me on the floor.” The Holy Spirit rolled you on the floor? Did I hear you say that with your mouth? He rolled you on the floor?
Listen, you are going to stand before the holy and righteous God and say that to Him on the last day at the peril of your own soul! You are going to prove to God how the same Holy Spirit that came to give you a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7) turned around and rolled you on the floor and make you speak profanities, and bark like dogs, and laugh in the spirit. You sure will stand before him one day.
I know that won’t move you, I know. I know you have already imagined that the judgement day is millions of years away, and so nothing puts fear in you. But is God a fool? Hear what he has to say to you: “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the hearts of the sons of men is FULLY set in them to do evil”(Ecclesiastes 8:11). God knows that you have no fear of the coming judgment, but the biggest surprise awaits those who hear the truth and remain in darkness.
What shall we do?
- Appreciate God for showing you this truth, and ask him for grace to endure sound doctrine.
- Prove all things, hold on to that which is good(1 Thessalonians 5:21)
- Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness but rather EXPOSE them.
4.Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.