A New People, A New Language.

Only salvation in Christ unites all men, irrespective of tribe, ethnicity or tongue (Rev 5:9, 7:9-10). The Apostle Paul says in Galatians 3, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (vv. 26-28). This statement carries profound implications! In Bible days, the Jews and Gentiles (i.e. non-Jews) were opposed to each other, and lived in animosity towards one another (see John 4:9). By Jewish rabbinic custom, the Jewish male was obligated to recite the words of the Birkot Hashachar (“Blessings of the Morning”) daily, “Blessed are you, Lord our God, Who has not made me a Gentile, a woman, or a slave.” The Jews derogatorily referred to the Gentiles as “uncircumcised” (Jdg 14:3, 15:18, 1 Sam 14:6, 17:26, 36, 31:4, 2 Sam 1:20, 1 Chron 10:4, cf. Eph 2:11) and “dogs” (Matt 15:26, cf. Phi 3:2) . In fact, King Saul would rather take his own life than die by the hands of a Gentile (see 1 Sam 31:4, cf. 1 Chron 10:4). Whilst the Jews perceived the Gentiles as godless heathens, the Gentiles reckoned them to be illiterate, uncultured and barbarian (cf. Acts 17:18, 32, 1 Corin 1:18-25). The Greeks were renowned erudite scholars. Poetry and philosophy flourished in the ancient Greek cities (see Acts 17:16-32). Thus, both Jews and Gentiles lived in perpetual acrimony towards each other. But in Christ, the enmity between Jews and Gentiles has been destroyed. He is called the “Prince of Peace” (Isa 9:6). He restores peace between man and God (Rom 5:1, Col 1:21) and between Jews and Gentiles, placing them on equal ground.


Ephesians 2:11-22

11 Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— 12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. 19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.


The Gentiles will be justified by faith, not circumcision, same as with the Jews, “And he (i.e. Abraham) received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also, and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had while still uncircumcised” (Romans 4:11-12). The Body of Christ is made up of both Jews and Gentiles, different ethnicities, yet united as one (cf. Eph 4:3-6). The Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12:13, “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.” The Book of Revelation, in its seventh chapter, records how a multitude from every nation of the Earth are saved by God’s salvation, “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’” (vv. 9-10). Earlier, Revelation 5 had spoken about redemption, “out of every tribe, tongue, people and nation” (vv. 9-10).

Every man in Christ receives His Spirit, whether Jew or Gentile. Every man who puts faith in the Gospel receives the gift of God’s Spirit. We are indwelt by the Spirit. The Lord Jesus says in John 14:16-18, “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.” In 1 Corinthians 6:19, Paul says, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?”

The Spirit is God’s seal upon the believer. Ephesians 1 says, “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory” (vv. 13-14). In its fourth chapter, it reiterates, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30). Similarly, 2 Corinthians 1:22 states, “Who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.”

It is this same Spirit Who regenerates us and makes us born again.


John 3:5-7

5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’


Titus 3:4-6

4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior.


No one receives a “better Spirit” than another merely because of his or her ethnicity (whether Jew or non-Jew). The same Spirit that the Jewish believers received in Acts 2 is the same the Gentile believers received in Acts 10. Therefore, the Spirit does not just regenerate us, the Spirit unites us.

John baptized with water but He spoke ahead of One, Who would baptize with the Spirit.


Matthew 3:11

11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.


John 1:32-33

32 And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. 33 I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’


That One Who baptizes with the Spirit is the Christ. He says in Acts 1:5, “For John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Recounting this remark in Acts 11, Peter says, “Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, ‘John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit’” (vs. 16).

To “baptize with the Holy Spirit” refers to salvation, by the Spirit ; the man who believes is “baptized” or immersed into the Body of Christ (that is, he becomes a part of Christ’s Body), “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13). The “baptism of the Holy Spirit” is not something Christians should wait, tarry or hope for. It happens at salvation. Every man who believes, irrespective of tribe or ethnicity, is baptized into Christ’s Body. We are all one, in one Body.

Therefore, in Christ, we find oneness amongst men who naturally should be different. Naturally, language should divide us, ethnicity should separate us, our native customs should distinguish us—but in Christ, they don’t! We are different, yet the same in every single way—in Christ is unity, a new people, the Church, made up of every nation of the world!

With this unity of people comes a new language. God promised in the Old Testament that one day, all of His people (that is, His Church, made up of Jews and Gentiles) would speak the same language. In Zephaniah 3:9, He says, “For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language, that they all may call on the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one accord.” He reiterates in Isaiah 19:18, “In that day five cities in the land of Egypt will speak the language of Canaan and swear by the Lord of hosts; one will be called the City of Destruction.” That is, even non-Jews would speak the same language as Jews. A pervasive trait that would be found amongst God’s “new people” (i.e. the Church) is that a common language would be present in their midst; a pure language. It appears God is reversing the events of Genesis 11, by restoring one language again.

Isaiah 28 sheds more light on what this new language would be. It would be strange to the human mind, “For with stammering lips and another tongue He will speak to this people, to whom He said, ‘This is the rest with which you may cause the weary to rest,’ and, ‘This is the refreshing’; yet they would not hear” (vv. 11-12). Isaiah describes this new language as “stammering lips” and “another tongue.” The phrase “stammering lips” is quite interesting in the Hebrew (“laeg saphah”). It literally means “a buffoonesque language” i.e. an eccentric or stupid-sounding language; gibberish. It describes a language so bizarre and unintelligible that it would be mocked! It will not make sense to its hearers. “Another tongue” (“acher lashon”) refers to a strange or alien manner of speaking. It describes language which is different from what people would normally understand. Simply put, this “new language” would be odd (to the minds of men). Why? Because it would be spiritual. Recall the point made in chapter 1; sin has made man’s mind excessively logical. This “new language” would therefore bypass the mind of man; it would not be something he already knows, or something he has learnt. It would be strange to the human mind. As we proceed, we will discover that this is so for a reason; it is to signify judgment on the sinner.


(The article above is an excerpt from the new book by Pastor Josh “The Christian’s Guide To Tongues.” To order:


Text “CGTT” to 09069048816 on WhatsApp (in Nigeria).

Or email “CGTT” to info@joshbanks.org (outside Nigeria).


© Josh Banks Ministries. 2023. 


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