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Tongues and the Kingdom of God

By Justin Johnson

One of the biggest causes of separation among the people of the world is language. When God intended mankind to spread across the face of the Earth, man disobeyed and formed a religious system in unison against God’s instructions. God’s intervention was a confounding of the languages to stop this false religion.

“Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.” – Genesis 11:9


Languages as Punishment

From the separation of the people, God chose one man and one nation to work through. Israel was given the privilege of God’s words and blessings if they obeyed.

But when Israel broke God’s law the punishment was to be overtaken by people of languages they neither knew nor understood.

“Lo, I will bring a nation upon you from far, O house of Israel, saith the LORD: it is a mighty nation, it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language thou knowest not, neither understandest what they say.” – Jeremiah 5:15

It is a horrible situation not to speak the language of your rulers. You are considered second-class residents and outcasts. Stammering tongues and other languages were not beneficial, as some would describe today. It was utter confusion! It was used as a punishment by God.

One World Language

Despite their rebellion God would remember the promise he made to make Israel a mighty nation. In the coming kingdom to Jerusalem they would once again have a pure language.

“In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan, and swear to the LORD of hosts; one shall be called, The city of destruction.” – Isaiah 19:18

“For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent.” – Zeph 3:9

At the fulfillment of these prophecies God would reunite the world under the umbrella of Israel and it’s Messiah. One means of doing this would be the restoration of language.

The Kingdom Come

It is not surprising when we read about the twelve apostles preaching prophetic fulfillment that they supernaturally speak in the languages of the nations.

“They were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance….Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.” – Acts 2:4,6

This is the exact opposite of the confounding at Babel, it was a confounding that there was no longer a language barrier! What an amazing divine removal of the language problem.

Tongues as a Sign

“And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues…” – Mark 16:17

The tongue talking at Pentecost was not a greater diversifying of the languages, but a unifying of the languages. It allowed everyone who heard the apostles to understand what they were preaching.

It was also a sign that their message was true: the kingdom was coming. The prophesied kingdom to Israel could not come without this one language restitution.

The so-called tongue talkers in this dispensation do not resolve our language problem nor are they able to facilitate the spread of the gospel through their tongues.

We should take this as a sign that we are truly living in an unprophesied mystery dispensation of grace where the coming of the kingdom has been postponed.

There will be a time when the world’s language barriers are removed and the world will speak with one voice again. At that time it will be in praise to God when the kingdom has come, but not yet.

“Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you. ” – Zech 8:23

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Published: November 20, 2010
Last Modified: September 26, 2016
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