Monday, September 12, 2011


Peter was witness to the initial manifestation of the Holy Spirit in Christians who had formerly been Jews, Samaritans, and Gentiles. As a result, it was Peter who convinced the leaders of the Church that the Gospel message was for all of humanity, not just for the Jews. This required a total gestalt switch in the thinking of the Lord's disciples. They had anticipated the arrival of the King who would defeat Israel's enemies, and with whom Israel would rule the world (Acts 1:6). Instead, Jesus came and was crucified. On top of that, He was now understood to be Lord of "whosoever." How could this be? After all, the Church was originally made up of Jewish believers in Christ. The entire Bible, Old and New Testaments, was written by either those born Jews or by converts to Judaism. Even today, the prophecies describing the Messiah as Israel's King have yet to be fulfilled. They await Christ's Second Coming, at which time He will establish His Kingdom of one thousand years (Rev. 20:1-7). You can say what you will about the Apostle Peter, but when it came to his handling of the keys to the kingdom, he completed his assignment (Matt. 16:18-19).

There is one more instance in the Book of Acts where believers spoke in tongues, and on that occasion, Peter was not present. In Acts 19, Luke wrote of Paul leading twelve disciples of John the Baptist to Christ (v. 1-8). Speaking in tongues in the first three instances in the Book of Acts had opened the way for the entire population of the world to be saved. So why did Luke record this particular event?

To be quite honest, I am not totally sure. Paul had led Priscilla and Aquila to the Lord (Acts 18:2-18). Priscilla and Aquila then led Apollos to the Lord (Acts 18:24-26). Apollos preached the Gospel, and then left Ephesus for Achaia and Corinth (Acts 18:27 - 19:1). When Paul arrived in Ephesus, where Priscilla, Aquila, and Apollos had preached the Gospel, there is no indication that he encountered anyone who had been saved under their preaching. In fact, there is evidence that no one had believed them.

Paul, in writing to the Church at Corinth, where he had earlier preached the Gospel, stated that Apollos had "watered" the "seed" he had planted (1 Cor. 3:6). The same is true of Ephesus. Paul preached there (Acts 18:19), Apollos preached there (Acts 18:26-27), and when Paul returned, God saved twelve men who were still disciples of John the Baptist (Acts 19:1-8). Since these twelve were most likely the first Jews saved in that city, it is quite possible they manifested tongues as a sign to the rest of the Jews, because Paul immediately entered the synagogue (Acts 19:8).

Other than these four positive examples of the manifestation of tongues, practically all of the rest of the New Testament references to tongues are negative. Tomorrow, I hope to begin looking at the "problem with tongues," and what Paul had to say concerning how they were to be used, Lord willing.

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