The Gift of Tongues – part 4: Tongues in the Old TestamentJune 18, 2019
(Ruach HaKodesh, Session 11d)
This is the fourth and final episode in our four-part session on the gift of tongues, which is part of the larger Ruach HaKodesh series, a detailed study of the Holy Spirit from a Messianic Torah perspective. In part 1 of this session, we focused on definitions and the history of interpretation of the gift of tonges. Part 2 began with a brief survey of Jewish ideas relating to the gift of tongues, and then examined the references to this gift in Mark 16 and the book of Acts. The last episode, part 3, looked at Paul’s discussion of the gift of tongues in 1 Corinthians 12-14.
This episode, part 4, rounds off our discussion by turning to some unlikely places in Scripture to glean more insights into the gift of tongues. After exploring some possible instances of tongues-speaking in the Tanakh (Old Testament), we discuss in more detail the significance and purpose of this gift. Not only does the gift of tongues convey the global scope of the gospel, but it can also (according to Paul and Isaiah) serve as a potential portent against God’s people. It may even be a sign of judgment against end-time Babylon.
This episode concludes with an assessment of the modern tongues movement in the light of Scripture. We address some of the concerns that critics of the modern Pentecostal and Charismatic movements bring up, noting both similarities and differences between the Bible and modern phenomena. Ultimately, we much allow the Holy Spirit to work in each of us and resist the temptation to merely mimic the spiritual experiences of others.