May 16 – LD 20, Day 3: The Sign of Tongues
by Prof Herman Hanko
Read: Acts 2:5-21
The sign of speaking in foreign languages was also a sign accompanying the pouring out of the Spirit. It was a most powerful sign and spoke of a particular wonderful work of the Holy Spirit.
We must abandon the interpretation given this sign by the Charismatics, for their interpretation is contrary to Scripture and a distortion of the sign itself. It is clear from Acts 2:8 that the 120 disciples spoke in existing languages. Charismatics believe that the sign of tongue-speaking is in languages that have never been spoken.
The scene in
They could have talked
in Aramaic, because all the people gathered in
And the one thing of which they spoke was “the wonderful works of God” (Acts 2:11).
That was an amazing sign!
What does it mean?
The Holy Spirit, through this sign, was telling the church and all those who heard the 120 speak that in the dispensation that now was beginning with the outpouring of the Spirit, the church would be gathered no longer from the nation of Israel, but would be gathered from all the nations of the earth. The Holy Spirit of the ascended Christ would gather a truly catholic church.
Gentiles were gathered
in the Old Testament as well. Consider Rahab, Ruth,
the wives of the sons of Jacob, the Gibeonites, etc.
But these Gentiles were saved only by being brought into the nation of
In the new dispensation, that changed. The Gentiles are saved from every nation, but in such a way that they preserve all their national characteristics. A saved Chinese does not have to become a Frenchman to be saved, but he remains Chinese. The church in that way is truly catholic and is composed of an almost infinite number of different individuals.
Only in this way can the riches of God’s grace be fully revealed. As a diamond with its many facets shows the color of light, so does a catholic church show the splendor of God’s grace.