The Acts 2:4 Experience:
Are Tongues Necessary?
NCW 73, October-December 2001
Q. Do you, like Pentecostals, believe the Acts 2:4 experience to be a necessary sign of a born-again believer?
A. This passage, and the ones immediately before it, reads:
"And the days of Shavu'ot (Pentecost) were fulfilled as all were assembled together as one. There was suddenly a sound from heaven as a powerful wind, and that entire house in which they were sitting was filled with it. And tongues that were divided appeared to them as fire and sat upon each one of them. And all of them were filled with the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) and they began to speak in different tongues like which the spirit have them to speak" (Ac.2:1-4, HRV).
This is the foundational passage of the Pentecostal Movement and yet not one Pentecostal I have ever heard of has ever fulfilled it. How can a church claim to be founded on Acts 2:4 when (a) not one single Pentecostal has ever experienced the sound of rushing wind or the tongues of flame upon their head, and (b) the "tongues" spoken of here were known Hebrew dialects without a single instance of the counterfeit gibberish that later afflicted the Corinthian congregation?
It is a fact that the Acts 2:1-4 experience has never been repeated again since that Day of Pentecost (Shavu'ot) and any Christian or Church who/which says it has is not telling the truth. That any believer or denomination should therefore call itself "Pentecostal" is an oxymoron and makes no sense whatsoever. A better designation of this movement would be the "Corinthians" or the "Corinthian Church" where pagan-like Delphic gibberish reared its ugly head and had to be corrected by the apostle Paul.
Do we believe that Yahweh might once again send tongues of flame? He might, but it would never be a test of the new birth, since He hasn't done it in 2,000 years and there have been plenty of true Christians since then. Do we believe that Yahweh can cause His people to supernaturally speak in foreign languages? Yes we do, and know of a number of examples, but we do not believe this is a gift given to everyone or that it is a sign of the new birth. Do we believe in the dissociated speech of modern charismatics and 'Pentecostals'? No we absolutely do not. (For a full discussion, request our booklet, Tongues of Contention: Settling a Difficult Issue in the Body of Christ).
This page was created on 15 June 2004
Last updated on 15 June 2004
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