Examples of speaking in the tongues of men

Examples of the gift of tongues being another human language which is unlearned are contained in the following stories:

When speaking in tongues broke out in 1901 in Bethel Bible School in Topeka, Kansas, people were unsure of what was happening and sought to explain each tongue as a human language according to the Acts 2 experience. They seemed to overlook the existence of ‘the tongues of angels’ (1 Cor 13:1). Agnes Ozman first received the gift on 1 January 1901, and Charles Parham, founder of the Bible College, quickly identified her speaking in tongues as “Chinese.” (Blumhofer 1989)
Parham became convinced that Speaking in tongues were always identifiable human languages and were given for the final evangelization of the world before Christ’s return:

“We have for long believed that the power of the Lord would be manifested in our midst, and that power would be give us to speak other languages, and that the time will come when we will be sent to go into all the nations and preach the gospel, and that the Lord will give us the power of speech to talk to the people of the various nations without having to study them in schools.” (Parham 1901)

They made the mistake of sending out missionaries on this basis and soon learned that there was need of language study (Thompson 2003). However, the following excerpts show that some of the tongues were indeed natural languages.

“Sister Anna Hall spoke to the Russians in their church in Los Angeles in their own language as the Spirit gave utterance. They were so glad to hear the truth that they wept and even kissed her hands . . . The other night, as a company of Russians were present in the meeting, Bro. Lee, a converted Catholic, was permitted to speak their language. As he spoke and sang, one of the Russians came up and embraced him. It was a holy sign, and the Spirit fell upon the Russians, as well as on others, and they glorified God.” (”Russians Hear in Their Own Tongue” 1906).

“A preacher’s wife, who at first opposed Pentecostal truth, went home and read the second chapter of Acts, and while she read, the Spirit fell upon her and she began to speak in tongues . . . As she was on the way to the church she met a brother whom she had been instrumental in leading to the Lord. He is a foreigner and as soon as she saw him, she began to pour out her soul in French. He was amazed and said, “When did you learn French?” “What did I say?” she asked. “You said: “Get ready! Get ready! Jesus is coming soon!”” (”The Second Chapter of Acts” 1906).

Elizabeth Sherrill the ghost writer for Corrie Ten-Boom, David Wilkinson and Brother Andrew in her own story called ‘All the way to heaven.’ writes of her experience of communicating across a language barrier supernaturally in the chapter entitled “The Visit.” (Sherrill 2002)

““And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language?” Acts 2:8 In heaven, how many millions and millions of such meetings are in store for us! Surely one of the graces of eternity will be the ability to communicate across barriers of culture, language, and millennia.
A foretaste was provided on the Day of Pentecost, when worshippers in Jerusalem ‘from every nation under heaven’ were astonished to understand the speech of men from Galilee. To Egyptians they seemed to be speaking Egyptian, to Romans, Latin. Medes, Libyans, Cretans, Arabs – ‘We hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!’ ……..
We had a fleeting glimpse of this ourselves one January day in Czechoslovakia, when that county was still a Communist stronghold. In a Citroen with Dutch plates, John and I had been visiting Christians in various countries behind the Iron Curtain. In Vienna, before we set out, we’d been given a trove of small personal treasures – photos, letters, a few bars of chocolate – to take to an address in Prague.
The sender was a Czech evangelist who’d had to flee his apartment in the middle of the night, leaving behind a wife and three daughters. Tears stood in his eyes as he explained through an interpreter what this second hand contact with his family would mean to them all…….To our immense relief, the door opened to our knock. If the family had been out, we could scarcely have left a note on the door for all to read, even if we’d had a language in common.
But the wife and the youngest daughter, age nine, were home. Their excitement at receiving the few small things we’d brought was wrenching to see. As the woman served us a coffee-coloured drink, she pressed us for every detail we could remember about her husband’s health and spirits. She gave us a hundred oral messages, as well as a hastily written letter, to take back to him. The girls’ school reports, photos of a nephew’s baby, small all-important family news.
Outside again, John insisted I wear his coat back to the car. ‘What happened in there?’ he asked through chattering teeth. ‘What did she say? What did you say?’
I looked at him in surprise. ‘But . . . you were there.’ I said. ‘You heard everything.’
I heard a lot of excited conversation. It sounded like German.’
We stopped oblivious for a moment to the cold, and stared at each other. I don’t understand German, let alone speak it. Yet for almost an hour, the woman and I had somehow been conversing.
It was a little gift of God, John and I decided, to this family whose faith had cost them so much. But to us, too, it was a gift – a hint of what may be a normal encounter when spirit meets spirit, and the curse of Babel is undone.”

A recent incident was related by Gary Oates at the Transformation summit in Oct 2008. Gary was in Columbia and heard a man in a meeting speaking the praises of God in English, only to be told by the man’s son that his father could not speak English! (Oates 2008)

The bud of a magnolia tree

Sometimes an uninspiring bud turns into something beautiful!

A magnolia flower

1. What is speaking in tongues?
2. Tongues restores our spiritual order
3. The promise of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues
4. Speaking in tongues builds you up inside
5. Tongues is your spirit expressing itself to God
6. Examples of the tongues of men
7. Under construction
8. The public use of speaking in tongues
9. Interpreting tongues
10 Tongues as a sign for unbelievers
The secret of moving in the power of God
The word of knowledge
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