Many believe that the supernatural use of a foreign language is what is meant by the phenomena of tongues. Speaking in tongues was long considered the hallmark of the Pentecostal and Charismatic streams within the church. Speaking in tongues was frequently cited as the first sign of the baptism in the Spirit by some Pentecostal Christians in particular.
Although John was baptized in water, Jesus assured his disciples that they would be baptized in the Holy Spirit. Jesus’ prediction came true when they were all filled with the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem a few days later. Then they started speaking in other tongues right away.
Many Christians today attest to having experienced the Holy Spirit baptism and speaking in tongues. Speaking in tongues is not so much a demonstration for them as it is a sign of the supernatural power and activity of the Holy Spirit.
“When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.” – Acts 19:6 NIV
Speaking in tongues is still regarded by many Christians as a sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit. However, there are numerous further traces of the Holy Spirit’s work, including the other gifts. “To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit,to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit,to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.” – 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 NIV