READ: Psalm 23, Isaiah 28-30, John 16, Acts 2
TONGUES OF MEN AND ARABS
The core doctrine of those called Pentecostal is subsequence. Pentecostals believe that what happened in Acts 2 and following was not salvation and was normative. It is a normal biblical experience to have a fresh encounter with Jesus by His Spirit. It is a normal biblical experience for our encounters with the Spirit to affect our tongue. When we encounter the Spirit of Jesus (over and over again after we are saved), it always affects our tongues. We prophecy, we speak the Word of God with boldness, we speak in tongues. There is no indication in Acts (or Luke or the other scriptures, in fact) that you can have an experience with the Spirit and it not affect your tongue.
When the Spirit falls at Pentecost (on those already in relationship with Jesus, already with the Spirit of God within them), they begin to speak in tongues–they utter, with the Spirit’s help, languages of the known world. Notice where the nations listed in Acts 2 find themselves today: Parthians, Medes, and Elamites are Iranians; Mesopotamia is Iraq; Judea is the West Bank; Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia are all in Turkey; Egypt; Libya; Cretans; and Arabs. With the exception of Crete, every nation/people mentioned in Acts 2 is now under the domineering thumb of Islam. It is time for a new Pentecost.
The primary evidence of Pentecost is not what my tongue does or does not say–it is whether or not every tongue confesses Jesus as Lord. Let us not fixate on initial physical evidence of the outpoured Spirit but be consumed with the ultimate physical reality of every people from every nation lifting their hands in worship, bending their knees in honor, and loosing their tongues to magnify the precious name of Jesus. How can we gloat in being “Spirit filled” when nigh 100 years after the Pentecostal outpouring at Azusa Street (1906), there was still no Assemblies of God missionary in Saudi Arabia?
We can pray in the Spirit to our hearts’ content around air conditioned altars, but unless those same tongues are lifted in prayer and proclamation in the streets of Riyadh, Jeddah, and yes, eventually Mecca itself, then we of all men are the most babbling. Saudi Arabia, Libya, Egypt, Turkey, Iran, the West Bank of Palestine–these nations were represented at the original Pentecost outpouring. They received the former rain; now once again they are dry and God is waiting for some of His children to once more fearlessly speak both the words of the Spirit and the tongue of the Arabs.