Speaking In Tongues & Praying In The Spirit
By Rev. Barbara Di Gilio Th.D.
My personal perspective reflects I believe the commonly held beliefs based on the totality of Scripture. This perspective has been endorsed by most of the Body of Messiah (the Church) all around the world. My perspective reflects the Apostolic view of Scripture. This ministry and fellowship has been and still is set on the classic evangelical credo of the Faith that was first delivered, and expressed in our "Messianics Apostles Creed."
We Believe in God the Father Almighty, the maker of Heaven and earth; and in Yeshua Messiah (Jesus Christ), His only begotten Son, our Lord and only Savior; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Miriam (Mary); suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; He descended into Hades; and on the third day He rose from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, and now sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from there He shall come again to judge the living and then the dead. We believe in the Holy Spirit in all His fullness; the holy universal Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of all sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting.
For more, please read our Confession Of Faith.
I have been asked many times from people all over the globe about the Holy Spirit and the "Baptized in the Spirit" and about "Speaking in Tongues." From a young man named Francis in Malaysia who so desired to be Baptized in the Spirit, to Joe, who was asking us to pray he was worthy of receiving this gift from God. For the Francis in Malaysia ask for help, we sent him a book on the subject hoping he would receive from God this good gift. For Joe, we had to show him through the Scriptures he was "worthy" because of the finished work of the Cross. God indeed wanted to bless both these men with this gift. Because both of these men were found to be "in Messiah," therefore they were holy in God's eyes. Another man I remember really well was a 47 year old Orthodox Jewish man named Menachem who lives in Israel. He asking the same thing of this ministry, "how can I receive this gift from God." Let me tell you briefly Menachem's story because it really will bless you.
Menachem Scriptural Story
Menachem received the Holy Spirit of God with the evidence of Speaking in Tongues the day he was baptized in the Yarden (Jordan) river in 1998. When Menachem was first "Born Again" of God he received the Holy Spirit right away as with all of us at our regeneration. This is what regeneration is all about, being Born of God, Born Anew. The date he was Born Again was Passover of 1998. However, on the day he was baptized in the Yarden river, which was just seven weeks later, Menachem then received the Spirit of God just like in the book of Acts. Menachem when down in the river and then came up out of the water speaking in tongues. It was not his native Hebrew tongue that he was speaking, no, but a heavenly one. It took him from Passover of that year to Shavuot, when he was baptized in the Yarden to get filled all the way. It was so Scriptural, it blew my mind! Menachem is one of many Orthodox Jews living in Israel who are coming to faith in Messiah Yeshua.
Brother David Stern, the writer of the "Complete Jewish Bible" said in a letter to us a few months ago that many Orthodox Jews are finding out that Yeshua is the prophesy Messiah of Israel. They are coming to faith and that is truly a blessed news to hear. Yeshua is revealing Himself to many in these, the last days. Yes, the eyes of the Orthodox Jews are starting to open to the truth of who Messiah Yeshua really is, not only their Lord, but their God! And what is even greater is that many are also be filled with the Holy Spirit of Promise, like Menachem. This is great news for the Body of Messiah! I have found that in every denomination there are Spirit-filled Believers, and they can be found all over the world.
Yes and people all over the world are hungry for God in their lives, and this is a good thing. God desires us to be red hot for Him! Not just going through the motion of going to a Church building every weekend or on special holidays, no, but having the "Living Presence of God" in our lives in this very special way. The Holy Spirit provides this for us when Yeshua baptized us with the Spirit. The Holy Spirit of Promise seals us and is our Divine assurance of life in Messiah, Ephesians 1:13.
The two big questions most often asked this ministry about this hot subject are these:
1.) "What is the difference between 'Speaking in Tongues when one is Baptized in the Spirit and 'Speaking in tongues publicly?
2.) "And what if any are the advantages of 'Praying in Tongues your personal private prayer life?"
To answer these one must go to the Holy Scriptures to see a clear picture what is truth. As I see it, there are at least 4 main uses or purposes of unknown tongues according to the New Covenant Scriptures.
A.) as the initial Evidence of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4; 10:46; 19:6).
B.) as a Spiritual (gift) to Edify the Church when the tongues are interpreted (1 Corinthians 12:10).
C.) as a Sign for unbelievers that they might Believe (1 Corinthians 14:22).
D.) as a God-given Provision for effective prayer and praise to God (1 Corinthians 14:2, 14).
In all of these cases "Tongues" is the same in essence, but different in purpose. The misunderstanding concerning these distinctive uses and purposes has brought great confusion among Believers in Messiah. These are "hot subjects that divide" and they should not be. I believe God is saddened in heart because some use His good spiritual (gift) to divide His Body, when in fact, He gave this spiritual (gift) to us to be a blessing to the Body. Oh when will we grow up into the fulness of our wonderful Lord and Savior?
There is a writing called "The Didache" alternate title is "The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles" circa 50-80 C.E. (Acts 2:42), and tells us what the Apostolic view was of a prophet who was "speaking in the Spirit." In chapter 11 we read:
And any prophet speaking in the Spirit (Ecstasy) you shall not try, neither discern; for every sin shall be forgiven, but this sin shall not be forgiven. Yet not every one that speaks in the Spirit (Ecstasy) is a prophet, but only if he have the ways of the Lord.
To read the complete text of the Didache click here: Didache. Its 16 chapters long and I for one believe its sheds much light on what the Apostolic view was.
The Scriptures record for us that the early Believers upon being "Baptized in the Holy Spirit" (Filled with the Spirit, as some call it today), began to speak-out glorify God in tongues unknown to them, but these tongues were imparted to them by the Holy Spirit of God. The same evidence of Tongues today takes place when a Believer is "Baptized in the Spirit," nothing has changed in 2000 years. All Believers when they are "Baptized in the Holy Spirit" will speak in tongues unknown. However, not ALL will exercise the Spiritual (gift) of Tongues in the Church setting. All will have the evidence, but not ALL will exercise the public Spiritual (gift) of Tongues, which requires the additional operation of the gift of interpretation of that tongue. (1 Corinthians 14:12, 13).
That does not mean you can not pray in your tongue in a worship setting, you can and should. I think the most beautiful sounds I've ever heard was when three thousand plus woman gathered for a praise service 6 or 7 years ago here in Phoenix, AZ. We all began to sing in the Spirit and the sound was out of this world. It sounded like rushing water cascading in wave after wave down from the heavens. It went on for 20 plus minutes, and the Glory of the Lord descended so that many could see the cloud of His Glory in the room. The Presence of the Lord so filled each one of us with great joy, it took days for me to come back down to earth. These are the days we are headed for in the Body of Messiah, but not many will go there because of their FEAR I'm sorry to say. To many cannot be free in their worship to the Lord, all they know is their ritual. Their traditions keep them bound.
How should and does this Spiritual (gift) work?
First off, in a public worship service someone is moved on by the Holy Spirit to speak-out in their tongues; then someone, and it can be the same person, is moved on by the Holy Spirit to give an interpretation of that utterance. Operating in this realm, the Holy Spirit provides an effective and powerful means of corporate communal adoration and worship of God. The purpose of the gifts of tongues and interpretation is clearly to EDIFY and build up the Church (1 Corinthians 14:2-12).
How does this Spiritual (gift) work in a persons private devotional life, whether they be in a Church setting or alone at home?
Praying in your spiritual tongue during your private devotion time is also the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Many Believers today testify that "praying in tongues" greatly EDIFIES and enriches their spiritual lives. I for one fully believe it does and is for everyone if they want it to be. I have seen young and old receive from the Lord. Many times in the Church, as a community we prayer and sing in the Spirit. In this setting there is no need for an interpretation for we are all doing it unto God as One Body. Its a wonderful blend of prayers and adoration by the cooperate Body to God. These tongues are always words of reverence to God. Remember also this is a gift, so you must freely receive from Him. The limitations of our intellect are overcome as the Holy Spirit of God in us, quickens our human spirit in an glorious expression of worship and praise to Him in a whole new way. This is our heartfelt adoration to God, and it is in the purest form a persons tongue can give.
Being dyslexic, I understood this because of my own limitation in the natural realm. The difficulty of my limited spelling vocabulary and the inability to express words and feelings I have sometimes, concerns me. Yet my soul disappear as the Holy Spirit imparts the language that flows out from my heart to God. As one writer put it: "It is as if all the limitation of the heavens and earth, time, space and eternity, God and mankind ALL compress now together into this glorious act of pure worship before the very Throne of Almighty God." --AG
What I did on August 10th 1986 to receive from God this Spiritual (gift) was to renounce all the evil in my life. This was eleven months after I had gotten saved by God. On this Sunday I remember taking a large garbage pail and filling it with all the books and things I knew God hated in my life. If you have ever dabbled in false religions like I did, get rid of those books in your home. If you have ever dabbled in any form of the occultism, including reading your astrology every day like I did, you must renounce it in the name of Yeshua and never do it again. I'm sorry to say I lived my life at one time by my astrology charts. Oh how foolish I was. Astrologer Sydney Oman at one time was my god, but a false god he is. Today Oman is still stargazing, he is 76 years old (2002) and paralyzed by multiple sclerosis, but they say he hasn't lost his flair for divining the future in the planets. I say boldly this kind of stuff is all from Satan and his evil cohorts. Its not of God! You need to repent of this kind of stuff and make your life a clean slate by the blood of the Lamb. If you are in doubt about some of your practices, or it maybe a bad habit you know you do that God hates, like gossiping, renounce that also. Pray and ask God to show you what needs to go in your life. Then I promise you by the Word of the Lord, God will show you what displeases Him if you ask Him to. He did it for me, he will do it for you.
On the night August 10th 1986, as I stood with cooperate Body singing the Hallelujah Chorus, my mouth began giving praise to God in an unknown tongue, as rivers of living water poured forth from my innermost being. I heard myself and I knew it was not me doing this, yet it was my voice. I felt the tears of joy welling up in my eyes, and I sat down being unsure of what was happening to me at that moment. My girlfriend who was sitting on the right of me said Barbara, that's the Holy Spirit moving on you keep singing. But I felt strange, so I did not open my mouth again. When the service was over I got in my car, and prayed, "If this be you Holy Spirit, I give you my voice again." As soon as I opened my mouth rivers of unknown words began to flow out from me. I was driving now and I started to cry again, and that's when I heard my Heavenly Father voice inside me speak, asking me a question. "Do you know what day this is Barbara?" I answered, yes Lord, it is the 10th of August 1986. Then He said this to me, "Your earthly father has been dead 3 years now, and this spiritual gift today is from your Heavenly Father who love you so much. The Only Begotten saved your soul so one day you could be with Him and your earthly father who is in heaven."
I was stunned, and I pulled my car to the side of the road and cry my eyes out, but they were tears of joy. In one instant God had answered my hearts cry to know Him in a deeper way, and to know if my earthly father was in heaven with Him. God was now letting me know that my earthly Dad had indeed passed over into heaven 3 years earlier, and on this very date (August 10th 1983). All I could do was sing God's praises now. When I got home my husband could see I had been crying, and I told him I knew for sure that my Dad was with God, that God had told me so. My husband bless his soul, did not know what to say to me except, "That nice honey." That night I got a song of the Lord, these are the words I sang over and over again till the wee hours of the morning:
Holy Spirit I worship Thee
Holy Spirit You set me free
Holy Spirit show me the Son
Holy Spirit with You I'm one
There is not much more I can say except that if you want the "Baptized in the Holy Spirit," ask Yeshua for it. God is a rewarder of those seek, knock and keep on knocking. Those who seek Him shall find Him, and those who ask according to His Word will receive in due season if they faint not! It took me eleven months to receive the "Baptized in the Holy Spirit," but in the end, it was up to me to open my mouth and give God my tongue and my sounds. He then made those sounds the language of the Spirit that flows out from my belly (your innermost being) to Him.
How To Receive
Be like a baby, just open your mouth and make sounds in faith unto God. Go ahead and pray first, then be a fool for the Lord and open your mouth. Give Him the most unruliest member of your body, your tongue, James 3:5-6. Open up your mouth and see what comes out. Remember it is you who will speak in tongues, not someone else. So if the devil tells you, "Its just you speaking," you can tell him, "Yes it is!" It is I who gives the Holy Spirit permission to use my tongue and my voice. Then remind the devil that it is the Spirit that gave you the utterance your speaking. If you do this, the devil and his evil ones will go away. Remember also that the miracle of this spiritual (gift) is in the "hearing" of others, Acts 2:8.
"And how HEAR we every man in our own tongue (language or dialect), wherein we were born?"
One last point
Some years ago my girlfriend and sister in the Lord spoke out in a tongue in a Church setting. It was a Sunday night and I'll never forget it, she was as bold as a lion when she got up and went to the mike in front to speak out your utterance. When she was through a man from the back of the Church came forward. He then gave the interpretation to the congregation. He said she spoke out in perfect Italian, and it was a beautiful word as I remember giving glory to God for His Son Jesus. This man was an Italian man from Rome. He had come to our Church that night with his friend who he was visiting in Arizona. Now it was very interesting because I know a little Italian, and I did not recognize not one word of it. And there were others who are Italians in our Church who were there that night, but they did not recognize the utterance as being the Italian language either. This Church tapes every service, so my friend got the tape a week later and let Roma an Italian lady we both knew listen to it. Roma however did not recognize one word of it as being the Italian language either. So the miracle of this utterance in tongues that night was in this mans hearing, just like in the book of Acts. He heard in his own language, but no one else knew it as that language. I have also heard the actor and singer Pat Boone tells a story much like this one, so it happens over and over again.
Dear Father, I'm asking in Yeshua holy name that all who come to You for the "Baptized in the Holy Spirit" will receive from You this day. Help them see that You want this spiritual (gift) for all Your people as a pray language for it is the power of God, and that it is for them because they believe in Messiah Yeshua. Bless them Lord with this wonderful blessing, the Promise of the Father, You said You'd send. Lord, help them see what's needs to be purged from their life so they might receive from Your loving hand. Amen
Barbara Di Gilio <><