What seemed to be tongues. Each of them received their very own/individual tongue of fire power. Peter received his. John received his. Mary received her power. About 120 received their own individual power – tongue of fire. Next, notice the Spirit enabled them to witness. Tongues here is the specific enabling to witness to people. Watch what happened.
What Seemed To Be Tongues
By Delbert Young
What Seemed To Be Tongues
Scriptures: Acts 1:8, Acts 2:3-4, Acts 2:5-6, Acts 2:37, Acts 2:41, Acts 10:30, John 4:28-30, Acts 2:38-40, Acts 9:36, John 9:11, Acts 17:17, Acts 1:8
Acts 1:8 But YOU WILL RECEIVE POWER when the Holy Spirit comes on you; AND YOU WILL BE MY WITNESSES in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
What is the POWER specifically to do? Jesus directly connected the POWER we receive to BE MY WITNESSES wherever you go. Each person receiving the Holy Spirit possesses a POWER to WITNESS and that POWER goes with you to your personal Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and ends of the earth. For me, this would be LaFayette, Northwest Georgia, Georgia, and any place I go. This power is part of me and is in me. It’s in my salvation package. Let’s watch that power work and learn how it works in us. In Acts 2, the Bible gives us a vivid word picture of people receiving power and being witnesses.
What Seemed to be Tongues.
Acts 2:3-4 They saw WHAT SEEMED TO BE TONGUES of fire that separated and CAME TO REST ON EACH OF THEM. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the SPIRIT ENABLED THEM.
Notice, something that SEEMED TO BE TONGUES OF FIRE came to rest on EACH OF THEM. EACH OF THEM received their very own/individual POWER – TONGUE OF FIRE. That is what they received – a tongue of fire. Peter received his. John received his. Mary received her power. About 120 received their own individual power – tongue of fire.
Next, notice that the Spirit ENABLED them to witness. Tongues here is the specific enabling to witness to people. Watch what happened.
Acts 2:5-6 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from EVERY NATION under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language.
The Bible lists some fifteen different languages needed that day (Act 2:6-11). Jesus gave them POWER TO BE WITNESSES. The Spirit enabled Peter with power. He specifically spoke to those from Jerusalem and Judea (2:14) while the Spirit enabled others with power to speak to those needing a different language. Each was enabled to communicate with specific people. Everyone heard a witness about Jesus because of the power – tongue of fire. The results were staggering. They experienced What Seemed to be Tongues.
Acts 2:37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
Acts 2:41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about THREE THOUSAND WERE ADDED TO THEIR NUMBER THAT DAY.
Here is my point. The Holy Spirit enables each of us with power to communicate with specific people. It is our tongue of fire. A problem I find is that most people do not use the TONGUE the Holy Spirit gave them. When I say tongue, I mean your specific way of communicating – WITNESSING – with those you meet. When used correctly, you can cut to the heart. EACH on the Day of Pentecost witnessed differently. You may not witness as I do because your power (tongue of communication) is different, but you have power. We each experience What Seemed to be Tongues.
I want to talk about some of the different POWERS TO BE WITNESSES in the Bible. Notice that each require the use of the tongue. I want you to spot your primary power and tongue of communication.
Prayer Power– How many of us believe that someone’s prayer had something to do with your coming to faith? We do not think of prayer being a power to be witnesses,but if you are a person of prayer, you are a witness. Cornelius prayed using his tongue and a series of events took place.
Acts 10:30 Cornelius answered: “Four days ago I was in my house PRAYING at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me”
Prayer activated an angel. Peter had a vision. Peter came to Cornelius’ house. Cornelius= relatives and close friends came to faith and received the Holy Ghost. I have a friend who says that he cannot remember anyone every “witnessing” to him. He says his parent’s prayers brought him to Jesus. Actually, his parents did witness through their power (tongue) of prayer. Every time I teach this and ask how many believe someone’s praying for him or her had something to do with coming to Christ, nearly every person raises a hand. Prayer is a powerful tongue of fire.
Is prayer, perhaps, the power to be a witness that the Holy Spirit gave you? Do you easily and consistently pray for souls? If so, then it is your tongue of fire. Use your tongue to reach people with what seemed to be tongues.
Relational Power– Someone affected us by this power to be witnesses. People developed or had a relationship with us, whom we respected and enjoyed being around. How many of you were affected by a relationship with a believer before you became one? I was greatly affected. A wonderful Biblical example would be Levi who eventually became Matthew, the author of the Gospel according to Matthew.
Luke 5:29-30 Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus AT HIS HOUSE, and a large crowd of TAX COLLECTORS AND OTHERS were eating with them. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?”
Levi gave a party for the specific purpose of introducing his friends to Jesus. People with the relational power tongue have many friends. Their friends consist of people far from God (tax collectors), people walking very close to God (Jesus), people that are very religious (Pharisees), and those that fit somewhere in between all these (others). Those with this power enjoy being with all sorts of people, even sinners. I have taken people to play golf, fishing, or out to eat. I have invited people to my house, visited their home, or done anything else I could think of to help bring them into the kingdom. Eventually they would ask questions, and I would be able to share with them the truths of salvation. Some of you have relational power to be witnesses. It is your tongue of fire to be witnesses. It is in you and goes with you to your Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and world with what seemed to be tongues.
Invitational Power– People with this power are always inviting people to church and church activities. They bring adults, children, or anyone they can. They may not be comfortable answering theological questions, but they are very comfortable inviting people. A Biblical example of this, WHAT SEEMED TO BE TONGUESpower, is the woman at the well in John chapter four.
John 4:28-30 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, “COME, SEE a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” THEY CAME OUT OF THE TOWN AND MADE THEIR WAY TOWARD HIM.
Come hear my pastor. Come hear our praise band. Come see our children’s or student ministries. The invitational tongue is a tongue of POWER given by the Holy Spirit to be witnesses. I do not know the exact statistic, but about 4 out of 5 people come to Life Gate, for the first time, because of an invitation. Is that your power to be a witness? Is this your what seemed to be tongues?
Confrontational Power– This tongue ofpower is what most of us think of as the stereotypical evangelist. These people often appear obnoxious. They embarrass the rest of us. If you have ever gone out with them, you sometimes want to gag them and say, “Shut up.@ This is the person that will ask a waitress if she knows Jesus and wonders why you don=t jump in there with them to get her saved. This was the tongue of power Peter used in Acts 2.
Acts 2:38-40 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit… With many other words he warned them; and he PLEADED with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”
Peter told those people they rejected Jesus and they were in big trouble unless they repented, received Jesus, were baptized and received his Spirit. This power is the “You are going to hell” style. They will plead and beg people to come to Jesus.
I use this power and tongue of communication from the pulpit as I use my tongue. I let people know they are in trouble without Jesus, but with Jesus, they can have an abundant life. Is this your tongue of communication? Is this your what seemed to be tongues?
Serving Power– Those with this tongue ofpower genuinely love doing things for people. They get a buzz spending their time and money doing things for others. A Biblical example would be Tabitha in Acts chapter nine.
Acts 9:36 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas), who was always doing good and helping the poor.
These people will keep your kids, bring you food, or cut your grass. It is here that I remember that witnessing is work (2Ti 4:5). Jesus served people and by doing so won them for his kingdom (Mar 10:44-45).
There was a man I began to reach out to in this manner. His wife came to church, but he resisted for years. I purposely became friends with him. I helped him paint his house and do some carpentry work. Not long after that, I got to pray with him as he came to Jesus. Some of you are great servers and need to understand your tongue of communication. Is this your what seemed to be tongues?
Testimonial Power– A Biblical example would be the blind man in John chapter nine.
John 9:11 He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight.
It was impossible for anyone to argue with the man who was born blind. Any simpleton could see that Jesus had changed his life. The man said, “All I know is I was blind but now I see.” That is the witness of the testimonial power.
I was able to witness to my nephew not long ago. He was riding in my big 4X4 diesel Ram truck after fishing in my very nice, fully loaded boat. My witness was that Jesus changed my life, and I now enjoy an abundant life. I told him that serving Jesus was a blast and that Jesus would bless us if we would seek first his kingdom (Mat 6:33). He said that he could easily see this is true and he too wanted a life like my life. I told him there was only one way. It was through Jesus. One day, I will hear or see the good news about my nephew. Our testimony is a tremendous power. Is that your tongue of communication? Is this your what seemed to be tongues?
Intellectual Power– This power is great for people of reason. Some people intellectually think through everything. Reason is a way of life for them. They studied and proved to themselves that Jesus is the Christ and the only way to salvation. The apostle Paul used this power of communication.
Acts 17:17 So HE REASONED in the synagogue with the Jews and the God‑fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there. A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to dispute with him.
You know someone with this power. It=s the person you think of when you have a Bible question. These people do not enjoy knocking on doors or asking a waitress in a restaurant if she knows Jesus. That is not reasonable. However, if the waitress asks a question about the Bible, these people are well able and ready to give the answer. Is this your what seemed to be tongues?
I love this tongue of communication. People accuse me of purposely stirring up controversial issues so that I can give the Biblical answer and explain how it works. I know many people who speak with this tongue. Is it your WHAT SEEMED TO BE TONGUE?
Did you spot your power- tongue of communication? You have a primary, but should use them all, right? That is what Jesus did. He was situational and used each when needed. So should you, but at least use your primary. What is your what seemed to be tongues?
Acts 1:8 But YOU WILL RECEIVE POWER when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and YOU WILL BE MY WITNESSES in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
Every believer possesses a power to be witnesses. Witnessing is not difficult when you simply use the tongue of communication the Spirit gave you. It is sowing seeds of the kingdom that will come up for harvest. WHAT SEEMS TO BE YOUR TONGUE? You have a power. Do you speak it? What is your what seemed to be tongues?
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