Speaking in tongues has always been controversial because of misunderstandings, excesses, and dispensationalism, which believes gifts such as tongues, prophecy, miracles, & healing are not for today. The Alliance and most Higher Life leaders affirmed the reality of speaking in tongues (called continuists vs. cessationists), but denied the Pentecostal view that tongues was the sole or primary evidence of the baptism in the Spirit. The excerpt below is taken from the Higher Life Alliance Heritage Renewal Network Newsletter, a ministry of Paul King Ministries, and explores the affirmation and value of speaking in tongues from Alliance & other Higher Life leaders.
Expressing What the Mind Cannot Fathom or Express
“It appears to be a divine ecstasy which lifts the soul above the ordinary modes & expressions of reason & utterance…The spirit is the higher element & in the gift of tongues appears to overlap the mind altogether, & find its expression in speech quite unintelligible to the person himself, yet truly expressing the higher thought & feeling of the exalted spiritual state of the subject.” —A.B. Simpson
“...a burst of ecstatic overflow that no language could express…a sort of inarticulate cry…the artless freedom of the Spirit’s voice.” —A.B. Simpson
Filling the Hunger of Our Heart
“My desire was for a relationship. In fact, the thought that I might speak in tongues was a very real deterrent to me. I was not seeking an emotional experience or signs of any kind…Gently, beautifully, wonderfully, God met the
need of my hungry heart, & I knew that He had filled me with His own blessed Self. Quietly, while seated, I began of my own volition, but enabled by God’s imparted ability, to speak in a language which I had not learned but given to me by the Holy Spirit.” —Paris Reidhead, Sudan Interior Mission missionary, friend of A.W. Tozer & later Alliance pastor
Fresh Spring & Deeper Dimension
“There welled up deep within me a fresh spring of spiritual water—bubbling & bubbling...Everything seemed to
have come into a deeper dimension.” —Joy Boese, C&MA missionary nurse
Entering on Holy Ground
“As we come to tongues, let us take the shoes off our feet, for the ground whereon we stand is holy…This is where the supernatural predominates to such a degree that God is more in evidence than man, or simply the operation of the Spirit upon man. It is a speaking manifestation of Deity—a supernatural Spirit-given utterance to men clothed with power & authority from on high.” —W. T. Dixon, early Quaker missionary who became an Alliance pastor
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