The Explanation Of Speaking In Tongues

Discussion in 'Bible Study Forum' started by Jimmy Engle, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. Jimmy Engle

    Jimmy Engle New Member

    I found this study and wanted to share....

    After the disciples were baptized in the Holy Spirit “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Ac. 2:4) When the apostles are filled with the Holy Spirit they become the Spirit’s mouthpiece by speaking in tongues (i.e., spoken foreign languages) to a large assembly of foreign Jews. Because the gift of tongues is greatly misunderstood in our day (primarily by Charismatics) it is important that we carefully define the biblical phenomenon of tongues. What are the biblical tongues? Should we expect to see the gift of tongues practiced in the present day? Should believers seek the gift of tongues? These and other questions will be answered as we study tongues in Scripture. There are many areas to consider.

    (1) The term tongues (in Greek glossa, plural glossais) when used of human speech always refers to the speaking of actual human languages.59 In the Greek translation of the Old Testament (the Septuagint) the word glossa occurs thirty times and always refers to real human languages.60 In the book of Acts where we are introduced to the supernatural phenomenon of tongues speaking, Luke emphasizes the fact the that apostles were speaking real, known, human languages. “And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, ‘Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born?’” (Acts 2:5-8 ) That the disciples were speaking real human languages is evident in the following observations.

    (a) The tongues were immediately understood by the hearers from several different Roman provinces and lands without any need for interpretation. This fact can only mean that the apostles were speaking real, normal languages. Remember the miracle or sign was in the speaking; not in the hearing. The hearers at this point were not even believers. “What this speaking ‘with different tongues’ means is stated in v. 6: ‘everyone heard them speaking in his own language;’ and in v. 11 : ‘we are hearing them telling with our own tongue the great things of God.’ The disciples spoke in foreign languages that were hitherto unknown to them, in the very languages of the natives of the foreign lands who were presently assembled before them.”61 As if to emphasize that the disciples were speaking real languages and not gibberish, Luke even lists the peoples which heard their native tongues: “Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs–we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God” (Acts 2:9-11)

    (B) In Acts 2, glossais is used by Luke interchangeably with dialektos which the eminent lexicographer J. H. Thayer defines as “the tongue or language peculiar to any people.”62 Obviously, if Luke uses tongues (glossais) and languages (dialektos) in a parallel or synonymous manner, tongues speaking cannot refer to gibberish. “The equation of ‘tongue’ and dialektos in verse 8 shows that speech in different languages is meant.”63 The languages are listed in verses 9 and 11.

    When we encounter tongues speaking again in Acts chapter 10 we are told by Luke that the Gentiles had the same experience as the Jewish believers in chapter 2. In the historical account, Peter says that the Gentiles “received the Holy Spirit just as we have” (v. 47 ) He tells the Jerusalem church that “the Holy Spirit fell on them [the Gentiles], as on us at the beginning” (Ac. 11:15 ) Again, the apostle says that God gave the Gentiles “the same gift as he did unto us” (v. 17 ) Peter is careful to point out (first to his Jewish companions at Cornelius’ house, then at the first church council) that the Gentiles and Jewish experience was the same. “This likeness of experience extends not only to the fact of receiving the Spirit but to the nature of tongue-speaking in foreign languages.”64 Thus, there is not a shred of evidence within the book of Acts that tongues-speaking is anything but real foreign languages.

    The fact that tongues in the book of Acts always refers to real human languages is not considered significant or even accepted by all professing Christians. For example, most Charismatics will argue that there are three different kinds of tongues in the New Testament. There are tongues that occur as the initial evidence of being baptized in the Holy Spirit. There are the special tongues for edification in public worship as well as “heavenly tongues” or the tongues used for private prayer. Because there are different types of tongues (we are told) then sometimes tongues could be a real foreign language while at other times it might be a heavenly ecstatic language unknown on earth. While this view is popular, we will see that every use of tongues in the New Testament is a real human language.

    Let us first examine the tongues used for edification in public worship. In 1 Corinthians Paul discusses the use of tongues in public worship because at Corinth believers had been abusing this gift. They were speaking in tongues at the same time (14:23 ) and were speaking in tongues without having the tongues interpreted (14:13-17) When Paul discusses the need for tongues to be interpreted (14:26, 28; cf. 12:10) he uses a Greek word that refers to the translation of a foreign language. When this word (hermencuo) is not used to describe the exposition of Scripture, it simply means “to translate what has been spoken or written in a foreign language into the vernacular.”65 When the word is used of the exposition of Scripture (e.g., Lk. 24:27) it is translated expound. When the word hermencuo is used with regard to tongues it is translated to interpret. An interpreter is someone who translates a foreign language into a language understandable to the present audience. That Paul is referring to real human languages and not some form of ecstatic babbling is also proven by the context. Note the apostle’s analogy between tongues and real human languages. “There are, it may be, so many kinds of languages in the world, and none of them is without significance.

    Therefore, if I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be a foreigner to him who speaks, and he who speaks will be a foreigner to me” (1 Cor. 14:10) “We...see that what Paul describes here refers to foreign languages. The speaker uses his ‘voice’ when he is speaking the language that is incomprehensible to Paul. The term ‘barbarian’ [foreigner, NKJV] settles the point regarding the ‘voice’ that is used in speaking a foreign language and thus also in the analogous case when a member of the church similarly uses his voice in speaking with tongues (foreign human languages)”66 The only reason that tongues must be interpreted (i.e., translated) is so the people in the public worship service can understand what is being spoken and thus be edified by it.

    That the tongues spoken of in 1 Corinthians 14 are real human languages is also supported by the apostle’s teaching in verses 21 to 22: “In the law it is written: ‘With men of other tongues and other lips I will speak to this people; and yet, for all that, they will not hear Me,’ says the Lord. Therefore tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers...” Here, tongues are compared to a real, foreign language. Paul quotes a section of Isaiah (28:11) which refers to the coming of the Assyrians against Judah (cf. 2 Kings 17-18 ) The strange tongues (i.e., the foreign language) of the Assyrians were a sign to the backslidden nation of impending judgment. Grammatically the tongues (i.e., a real human language) of verse 21 must be the same kind as the tongues mentioned in verse 22. “If Paul considered speaking in tongues to be an unknown utterance [i.e., ecstatic babbling or gibberish], he would not have used the same word twice in these two verses, especially since the meaning of glossa was clearly established in the first usage.”67 “[O]ne thing is unmistakenly clear. These verses conclusively show that ‘tongues’ are not gibberish, but natural foreign languages.”68

    But what about private prayer tongues? Is there not biblical proof that believers could speak in an unknown tongue to God for private edification? No. The common Charismatic viewpoint is read into Scripture. As we examine the three passages (Rom. 8:26, 1 Cor. 13:1; 14:2-4 ) commonly used as proof texts for a special private heavenly prayer language, we will see that the charismatic view has absolutely no scriptural basis.
    One passage used as a proof text actually has nothing to do with tongues: “The Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Rom. 8:26). Unutterable or unuttered groanings obviously cannot refer to tongues. Since the Spirit’s intercession cannot be articulated (i.e., spoken or uttered) the groanings must take place in the heart of the believers as they ascend to the throne of grace.

    Another proof text is 1 Corinthians 13:1: “If I speak with the tongues of men and angels.” Charismatics teach that Paul is identifying two separate forms of tongues. Pentecostal scholar Robert E. Tourville writes: “In 1 Corinthians 13:1 Paul states the possibility of speaking in tongues of men (foreign languages) and of angels.”69 Actually the context and the Greek grammar (ean with the subjunctive) make it very clear that the apostle is not instructing Christians about the importance of two separate kinds of tongues, but rather is speaking hypothetically to make a point.
    He does not instruct the church to pray in the tongue of angels. Rather, Paul is saying no matter how great your spiritual gift is (i.e., even if you could speak the language of angels), you need love. Although angels may indeed have their own separate language, the apostle’s concern here is the necessity of Christian love. The Corinthians were obsessed with special spiritual gifts and were exercising these gifts in a selfish, self-centered, unloving manner. Paul corrects this by contrasting love with a superlative (i.e., a gift even beyond what the apostle is capable of) exaggeration. Lenski writes: “The unreality of Paul’s supposition lies in the general assumption as such. Paul did have this gift to a high degree, 14:18, but he could speak only in some foreign human languages and not by any means in all of them and not at all in the language of the angels. What he here supposes is the ability to use any and every language including that of heaven. He extends the gift to its utmost height, beyond what it ever was or could be. ‘Yet if I have not love,’ even this supreme gift would be all in vain as far as God’s purpose in the bestowal is concerned.”70

    Further, what if Christians could speak in the language of angels? Would it resemble the nonsensical gibberish practiced in Charismatic churches? No, it would not. All languages have a very discernable grammatical structure. Linguists have the ability to examine any language (even languages with which they are not unfamiliar) and determine patterns: noun phrases, verb phrases, adjectives, adverbs, etc. Thus, if people were really speaking in the tongues of angels, it could be determined if a real (although heavenly) language were being spoken.

    The best proof text for private prayer tongues is 1 Corinthians 14:1-5: “Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.”

    The first thing that needs to be noted regarding this passage is that, regardless of one’s interpretation of “edifies himself” (v.4 ) the tongues spoken of through chapter 14 are definite real foreign languages. This point was established by the Greek word for interpret (hermeneuo) which means “to translate a foreign language into the vernacular,” the analogy between tongues and real foreign languages in verses 10 to 11 and the comparison of tongues to the real foreign language of the Assyrians in verses 21 to 22. Further, if Paul was switching from heavenly-private tongues in verses 4 and 5 to real foreign language-public tongues in verses 6 and following, we could expect some sort of transition indicating such a change. There is nothing within chapter 14 that indicates that the apostle believed in two different (heavenly-private, earthly-public) kinds of tongues.71 And, as noted, the “tongues of angels” (13:1) was purely hypothetical. This fact is important because: (a) It proves that all tongues in the New Testament are the same as the tongues in Acts (i.e., real foreign languages); and, (B) if one believes or teaches that 1 Corinthians 14:2-4 justifies the private use of tongues in devotions, then there is an objective test to determine if a professing Christian is speaking gibberish (i.e., syllabic unstructured nonsense) or a real foreign language: the private tongue-speaking could be tape-recorded and submitted to any competent linguist for verification.

    Does this passage really teach the private use of tongues? No. Paul is discussing edification in the assembly during public worship. He argues that he prefers prophecy over tongues because of its superior capability for the edification of the church. When he says, “He who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but God, for no one understands him,” he is not telling the Corinthians that they should be praying in tongues to God in private; he is emphasizing that without an interpreter, no one in the assembly understands except God. “It is equally clear that audeis akouse [lit. no one hears], does not mean that tongues were inaudible, or that no one listened to them, but that no one found them intelligible. One might as well have heard nothing.”72 Likewise when Paul discusses praying and singing with the Spirit (both of which are primarily directed to God), he makes it clear that it must be interpreted, since it takes place in public worship: “Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how will he who occupies the place of the uninformed say ‘Amen’ at your giving of thanks, since he does not understand what you say” (1 Cor. 14:16 ) ? It is simply bad exegesis to take a passage where Paul is correcting an abuse in the public worship service and turn it into an excursus on private devotional prayer. Such a thought was not at all in the apostle’s mind.

    But, then, what does Paul mean when he says, “He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself”? Can one at least deduce from this statement that private tongues are useful for sanctification? No. There are a number of reasons why such a view must be rejected. First, the whole thrust of the chapter is to condemn uninterpreted tongues as useless. The context indicates that the apostle is describing someone who speaks in tongues in church (i.e. public worship) without an interpreter. Throughout this chapter, Paul argues again and again for the need to interpret tongues; otherwise, the church is not edified: “Since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel. Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret” (1 Cor. 14:12-13) Since the whole thrust of chapter 14 is the edification of the body, it is probable that “edifies himself” is meant to be taken in a negative-pejorative sense. To speak in tongues without an interpreter merely calls attention to oneself and does not benefit the body. People who speak in tongues without an interpreter are showing off.

    Second, if one takes the common Charismatic interpretation he violates the overall broad context of scripture. The Pentecostal view is that believers can be edified by speech that is not understood; that a believer can be sanctified by a non-cognitive, mystical experience. The problem with this view is that Paul explicitly says that understanding is necessary if Christians are to be edified (14:5, 9, 12-17 ) If an individual could be edified without understanding, then so could a group of believers. Obviously, the apostle would not contradict himself within the same chapter. Further, there is nothing in Scripture which indicates that God’s people can be edified mystically apart from understanding divine revelation. Jesus said, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” (Jn. 17:17; cf. 1 Pet. 1:22; 2:2; Ps. 119:9 ff., etc ) One should not adopt an interpretation which contradicts the overall teaching of Scripture.

    One could argue that the person who spoke in tongues was edified because God gave him the understanding. In other words the Spirit enabled the speaker to translate his own message. The problem with this view is twofold: (a) If God gave the individual tongue-speaker the understanding of the tongues message, then why would that person not share that crucial information with the congregation? (B) If the tongue-speaker has the supernatural ability to translate his own tongues then why doesn’t Paul simply instruct tongue-speakers to tell the congregation the translation instead of giving a dissertation on the superiority of prophecy? In fact Paul says in verse 5 that if the tongues speaker did interpret the foreign language, prophecy would not be superior. The gift of tongues and the interpretation of tongues are two separate gifts. There is no example in Scripture of a person speaking in tongues and then translating the message for the benefit of the congregation. One thing is very clear, Paul is not teaching that Christians should use uninterpreted tongues in public or private to be edified.73

    Why is it so important to establish from Scripture that tongues-speaking always refers to real foreign languages and not gibberish? It is significant because it gives one an objective method to determine if modern tongues-speaking is genuine, or manmade nonsense. If the Charismatic movement is truly a work of God, then anyone should be able to verify it simply by recording people speaking in tongues and having it analyzed by linguists, to see what language was being spoken. If tongues are merely the gibberish one encounters in Charismatic churches and not real languages, then tongues are not a sign to unbelievers, as Paul clearly asserts. A sign is a publicly verifiable miracle. “Speaking in foreign languages which were not learned would certainly constitute a divine miracle; however, speaking in gibberish or in unknown sounds could easily be done by either a Christian or an unsaved person.”74 Every instance in the twentieth century where Charismatic tongues-speaking was taped and analyzed by linguists revealed that modern “tongues” were not real languages but gibberish. Modern tongues-speaking doesn’t even resemble any language structurally.

    “The conclusion of the linguists indicates that modern glossolalia is composed of unknown sounds with no distinguishing vocabulary and grammatical features, simulated foreign features, and a total absence of language characteristics. The essential character of this new movement is therefore at variance with the biblical phenomenon of speaking in known languages.”75 Thus we conclude that modern tongues-speaking contradicts the clear testimony of Scripture, as well as objective empirical findings. Here is a challenge to any Pentecostal or Charismatic: tape your church service and have the “tongues” that are spoken analyzed objectively.

    There are a number of other indicators that reveal modern tongues to be a fraud. Charismatics are taught how to speak with “tongues.” They are told things such as, “Now pray audibly but don’t speak English.” Or, “Start to speak syllables–just let it flow.” Many Charismatics learn how to speak in “tongues” (gibberish) by imitating others in their church or at a conference. Do we encounter anyone in the New Testament being taught how to pray in tongues? No, the exact opposite is the case. Those who speak in tongues in the book of Acts, for example, never ask what to do, and are never told to do or say anything. In the biblical accounts people speak in tongues spontaneously. In Acts 2:4, 10:46 and 19:6, those who spoke in tongues did so with no prompting or preparation. In fact, in each case, those who spoke in tongues, prior to the moment they spoke in tongues, did not know such a thing as tongues even existed! Thus, not only is modern tongue-speaking gibberatic nonsense compared with the real foreign languages spoken in the New Testament, but also the way in which Charismatics “receive” tongues is completely different than that in the biblical record. Further, as we carefully noted earlier, the special revelatory gifts of tongues and prophecy ceased with the close of the canon and the death of the apostles.

    If modern “tongues” (i.e., gibberish) are completely different than tongues in Scripture (which were real, foreign languages), what happened to real, biblical tongues? The bible teaches that tongues and the other supernatural sign gifts ceased:

    Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known (1 Cor. 13:8-12 NASB)

    Paul contrasts the revelatory gifts of prophecy, special knowledge and tongues, which by nature are piecemeal and incomplete, with the complete canon of Scripture (which was completed with the 27 books of the N.T )

    That which was to supercede the partial and do away with it was something designated “perfect.” “But when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.” It is difficult to miss the antithetic parallel between the “partial” thing and the “perfect” (“complete, mature, full”) thing. Since the “partial” speaks of prophecy and other modes of revelational insight (v. 8 ) then it would seem that the “perfect,” would supplant these, represents the perfect and final New Testament Scripture (Jas. 1:21 ) This is due to the fact that modes of revelation are being purposely contrasted. Thus, it makes the man of God adequately equipped to all the tasks before him (2 Tim. 3:16-17 ) In other words, there is a coming time when will occur the completion of the revelatory process of God.[75]

    The primary objection used against this passage by Charismatics has to do with the phrase “face to face.” They argue that this expression refers to seeing Christ “face to face” at the second coming; thus, the supernatural gifts are to continue until the second coming. This interpretation, however, must be rejected for the following reasons. (1) Our Lord told the apostles that they would be empowered by the Holy Spirit to complete His teaching mission. The Spirit would “guide them into all truth” (Jn. 16:13 ) and “bring all things to remembrance” (Jn. 14:26 ) It doesn’t make a lot of sense to argue that we must wait for the second coming when our redemption is complete to receive the finality of revelation regarding Jesus’ work. (2) In the passage under discussion there is an antithetic parallel between the “partial” (i.e., various modes of revelation) and the “perfect.” Given the fact that Paul has set up a parallel or contrast between the piecemeal revelations and the perfect revelation, it makes sense to interpret the perfect as the completed canon of Scripture (the finished N.T. ) Paul is looking forward to the completion of the revelatory process of God. (3) It is an historical fact that all modes of special revelation did cease with the death of the apostles and the completion of the
    New Testament.

    Believers living in the present (A.D. 2004) have exactly the same number of New Testament books as Christians living in A.D. 67 had (or if one takes a late date for the book of Revelation—A.D. 96 ) Indeed, the perfect did come and it is still with us. Since we have a completed canon, and since the Bible is all we need for salvation, life and godliness, what purpose would modern tongues and prophecy serve? (4) The parallel that Paul sets up in verse 12 is not between being able to see Jesus and not being able to look at the Lord, but rather between looking at a mirror darkly (en ainigmati), that is a mirror of inferior quality (Only people of wealth could afford mirrors of fine quality in the ancient world.

    Mirrors of inferior quality could make the face look distorted.), and looking directly at a person’s face (“Face to face” is an adverbial phrase without an object. Therefore, Paul is not making a point about any particular face.). Paul is simply contrasting that which is incomplete and therefore “dim” or unclear with that which is complete and clear. This interpretation is confirmed by Paul’s own explanation in the second half of verse 12 where the “dim mirror” is set in parallel with “know in part” and “face to face” is set in parallel with “know fully.” Further, if the decisive factor in receiving a full revelation of Jesus’ redemption was meeting Him in person, then our Lord would not have said to the apostles: “It is your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you” (Jn. 16:7 )

    There are a number of other problems associated with the Charismatic practice of speaking in “tongues.” (a) Most Charismatics teach that everyone who is baptized with the Spirit should speak in tongues.76 Thus, the leaders in such churches often go to great length to teach people how to speak in tongues. Such a view, however, clearly contradicts the Bible. Paul asks, “Do all speak with tongues?” (1 Cor. 12:30 )
    The construction of this rhetorical question demands a no answer. When the apostle lists the spiritual gifts in the same chapter he makes it clear that not all believers have the same spiritual gift saying “to another different kinds of tongues” (v. 10 )
    Paul assumes that only some believers had the gift of tongues. Further, he says, “I wish you all spoke with tongues” (1 Cor. 14:5 )
    This statement alone proves that everyone in the Corinthians church did not speak with tongues. If the apostle held to the common Charismatic teaching on tongues as the universal initiation sign of Spirit-baptism, would he not have lectured the Corinthians on how to receive Spirit-baptism, so that everyone could speak in tongues?

    (B) Paul tells the Corinthian church that no one is to speak in tongues without proper interpretation (14:28 ) because without an interpretation the church will not receive any edification (14:4-5 ) Yet in Charismatic churches it is very common for a number of people to spout forth gibberish with no interpretation at all.

    (c) Further, the apostle instructs the church to allow only two or three people at the most to speak in tongues and these individuals must take turns to preserve church order (14:27, 30 ) Yet, in most Charismatic churches numerous people (i.e., many more than 2 or 3 ) speak gibberish at the same time. Also, the biblical requirement of speaking in turn is not observed.

    (d) The Charismatic obsession with tongues is unwarranted given the fact that it is the gift ranked dead last in the apostle’s enumeration (12:28 ) Why not seek and desire the best gifts (1 Cor. 12:31 ) ? Could it be that speaking nonsensical gibberish is very easy, while making accurate detailed predictions about the future or healing compound fractures is very hard? Could it be that the Charismatic movement is fueled
    by self-deception and counterfeit miracles? ... rt%205.htm
    Paul likes this.
  2. Paul

    Paul New Member

  3. 242006

    242006 New Member

    When teaching the Truth regarding 'tongues' to Pentecostals and Charismacostals, all one has to do is point out that there is no such thing as 'spiritual gifts' in the Bible manuscripts. All P/C churches teach that 'tongues' [gibberish for them] is a gift of the Holy Spirit as proof that they are a true believer. Absent 'spiritual gifts' from Bible vernacular, the P/C religion collapses like a house of cards in a soft breeze.
  4. skyangel

    skyangel Realist

  5. Jimmy Engle

    Jimmy Engle New Member

    Hi skyangel...Welcome to CB. I read your study and I like some of the points you made...

    1 Cor 14:15 I never seen this as the same when Paul said I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also. What you said about this is very true. If we are praying, speaking or singing in the spirit then we are doing it through the mind also, in truth that has been revealed by God. Others may not be able to understand it because they have carnal minds...but that does not mean I am speaking in some gibberish that no one can understand. People use this verse as a way of justifying speaking in unintelligible gibberish when in fact that is not what Paul means at all. They see this as two different ways of praying/singing when it's not...they are one.
    Thanks for sharing. I am finishing a study on 1 Cor going over the historical background of the church in Corinth and chapters 12-14. I will post it once completed.
  6. jiggyfly

    jiggyfly New Member

    Anyone one know what happen to my post?
  7. jiggyfly

    jiggyfly New Member

    When a language is not comprehended does it mean that it is gibberish?

    I made a post here in Swahili and it was assumed that I was just making fun of the gift of speaking in tongues and my post was deleted. Which really helps to make my point and give answer to the question above.

    Here is my initial post again.
    [font="Arial]Asante Roho Mtakatifu kwa ajili ya zawadi ya kusema kwa lugha bila kujali nini fanya shaka kufikiri. ( Thank you Holy Spirit for the gift of speaking in tongues regardless of what the doubters think.)[/font]
    [font="Arial]So how is one supposed to discern whether something is actually the gift of speaking in tongues or not? Is it by the scriptures? Is it by our own common sense, our carnal (natural) ability to reason? Seems this is how many choose to discern yet the scriptures clearly point out something much different.[/font]
    [font="Arial]The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 1Cor. 2:14[/font]
  8. skyangel

    skyangel Realist

  9. When I see a thread with a title which claims to "explain" something, it usually means that there is a dogmatic opposition to the subject in question.

    This is a very lengthy pseudo-scholarly thesis in opposition to the experience and use/abuse of the spiritual gift of tongues.

    After all the author's rhetoric we read finally his admission that the "gift is ranked dead last in the apostle's enumeration".
    In this way, he defeats his own argument and blows his own doctrine out of the water.

    The author has attempted, by various clever quotations and interpretations of scripture, to fill the reader's mind with smoke and confusion regarding the subject. In the end, however, he is forced to admit that IT IS a gift of the Holy Spirit.

    The author then commits a humerous hypocrisy by saying that we should choose love instead.
    Possessing no love himself he concludes by heaping insults upon those who cherish one of God's gifts (which existance he has admitted to previously).

    Is this person actually concerned with the truth?
    I think not, for he has spent a great deal of effort to avoid accepting it and to deride those who do.

    Rather I believe that this person has demonstrated the desire to impress everyone with his scholarship and his ability to insult and denigrate those for whom Christ has suffered.
  10. jiggyfly

    jiggyfly New Member

  11. skyangel

    skyangel Realist

    Then please explain how Jesus managed to speak TO people in tongues while at the same time talking to God?

    Do you think Jesus ever spoke any words which He did not understand Himself? If so, please show me where He did such a thing in scripture.

    Was Jesus our example or not?

    If Jesus understood all of His own words to God as well as to people them why do Christians think they need to speak words which they cannot understand themselves?

    Jesus did speak in tongues to people according to Isaiah 28:11.
    Do you think the people who He spoke to understood every word He said or not?
    Do you think He understood His own words which he was speaking to them or not?

    I can speak to English speaking people in English and many think I am speaking mysterious things which they cannot understand. My words are foolishness to them in spite of the fact that they are in their own language simply because the carnal mind cannot comprehend the things of God. It has nothing to do with not being able to understand the language.

    To speak words you cannot understand yourself is foolishness and stupidity.

    Jesus never did it and neither did His disciples. They all understood their own words perfectly.
    Paul likes this.
  12. Jimmy Engle

    Jimmy Engle New Member

    Speaking in tongues is a real gift given by the Holy Spirit and it is a sign for unbelievers. It's purpose was to help the believers spread the gospel into foreign lands and it enables the language barrier that would normally keep one from evangelizing to be able to spread the gospel much further to all the world. Tongues is a real language that can be understood by other people. The problem is what people consider to be tongues is not the true gift. It's just a bunch of babble that no one can understand. The real gift isn't being used anymore and it appears to have ceased with the death of the apostles. The only time it has been used is with questionable groups/cults throughout the years....the most present being the Pentecostals.

    So many people have no fear of the Lord. No one is trembling before God's word. This is why you have so many people who take verses from chapters 12-14 of 1 Cor and they take them out of context to justify why their gibberish is really a gift from God. They lack wisdom and understanding and it shows through their twisting of scripture. It's just like people who declare that we are not to judge one another because of Matthew 7.....they take one verse out of context and twist it so to support what they want to believe. They tell others not to judge and twist scripture to support themselves because the last thing they want is for someone to judge them because they know they are wrong and guilty. A proper examination of the text shows that Christ was teaching not to judge hypocritically.

    The same thing is happening today with tongues. People believe they have some gift when it fact it is nothing like the true gift at all. They wrongfully twist Paul's words to justify things such as why it edifies them and that it's meant as a prayer language and so on...
    Oh my friends, seek after the truth. Don't be defensive and prideful and neglect the truth of scripture just for the preservation of your "great interpretations". We lack knowledge and understanding....which is why we desperately need the Holy Spirit to give us wisdom.

    Seek out God and ask for the truth and He will reveal it to you. He won't show you everything immediately...but you will start to see the truth a little at a time until it starts to from a clear image in your mind and heart and that truth will set you free from all the lies and deceptions that satan uses.
  13. jiggyfly

    jiggyfly New Member

    Can you please list the scriptures that you believe support your opinion here?

    What scriptures do you think are being twisted or are taken out of context? Let's look at them together and keep them in context. Do you have the "real" gift of speaking in tongues James?

  14. skyangel

    skyangel Realist

    It seems that 2000 years after the day of Pentecost., the gospel has spread all over the world anyway and is being preached in every language ( tongue) of the world. The bible is even written in almost every language imaginable. Languages ( tongues) and their interpretations are a common thing in the world these days.

    The word tongues is referring to a known language which is spoken in this world but it is the language of the Holy Spirit within the known language which cannot be understood by carnally minded people.

    Jesus words can all be taken two ways. One way is the carnal way and the other way is the spiritual way. The same applies to the written word. The Spiritual is hidden behind the outward appearances and can only be understood by revelation when the Lord Himself opens the hearts of people to understand it.
  15. belantos

    belantos New Member

  16. TexUs

    TexUs New Member

    In my opinion, "spiritual gifts" are alive and well.

    I also think, to us in our Americanized society, are exposed largely to churches such as P/C that abuse and fabricate them.

    Speaking in tongues... What was the use of it? For the disciples to speak to other nations and languages, perhaps? I don't see that it was this "hyper-spiritual-special" thing P/C makes it out to be, all of the other gifts have practical uses.

    When a preacher is able to get up in front of a group of people, deliver a sermon in their native tongue, and at the end of it really have no idea how he did that: is that not a true gift? I believe it is. I believe that gift edifies the body and is exactly what Paul talks about.

    The gibberish hoopla the P/C church has created, no... There is absolutely no point to speak tongues in an english-speaking church in America, it doesn't edify the body.
  17. veteran

    veteran New Member

    Apostle Peter quoted from Joel 2 about the cloven tongue on Pentecost. How many have actually gone back to the Book of Joel and read it?

    Acts 2:16
    16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

    Joel 2:28-3:2
    28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
    29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out My spirit.
    30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
    31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.
    32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.


    1 For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem,
    2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for My people and for My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted My land.

    The Joel 2 scripture Peter quoted in Acts 2 is linked with the timing of the very end of this world, i.e., the great tribulation timing and Christ's return immediately afterwards.

    Mark 13:24-26
    24 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,
    25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.
    26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.

    Rev 6:12-14
    12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
    13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
    14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

    The true cloven tongue that manifested on Pentecost per Acts 2 is hard-linked with events of the coming great tribulation, leading all the way up to Christ's return AFTER the great tribulation...

    But wait a minute... just about all of those I personally know and have met that claim the unrecognizable speech they utter as unknown tongues do NOT believe they are going to still be here through the great tribulation!?!

    For those who have done their homework in God's Word, there's to be a delivering up of some of Christ's servants during the great tribulation to give a Witness for Christ by The Holy Spirit (Rev.20:4; Rev.6:9-12; Rev.12:17; Luke 21:12-20). That's one of the 7 signs our Lord Jesus gave about the events at the end of this world.

    So how is it, that those who claim to speak the cloven tongue of Pentecost are instead ready to leave prior to the great tribulation instead of staying around to fulfill the cloven tongue purpose for the end of this world, just prior to Christ's return? If they were under influence of The Holy Spirit with unknown tongues, wouldn't God show them it's ultimate purpose for the great tribulation timing?

  18. amadeus

    amadeus New Member

    Indeed, what is speaking in tongues?

    "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;" Mark 6:17

    A new 'tongue' may be another language other than your own native one, but it may also be replacement (spiritually) of that most unruly member spoken of by James.

    Do all speak in tongues? If a person is saved he does speak a new language, the language of Christ and he also understands it (whether it is a language other than English may or may not be the case):

    "And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them." Mark 4:11-12

    The parables were the 'unknown tongues' that Jesus spoke. Those that were to understand the mysteries of God were able to understand them. Those, however, without 'ears to hear and eyes to see' could not understand them.

    As to the tongues of today some of which are actually other languages (as English is a language): At the start they are not languages at all but efforts which are appreciated and therefore understood by our heavenly Father. This is akin to a natural baby who babbles and makes sounds with no real meaning at first except to his paretns. Then in time the sounds begin to form imitations of words spoken by his parents. Later the word become phrases and then complete sentences.

    "For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people." Isa 28:10-11

    At the start God speaks to us simply teaching us by speaking in effect a spiritual baby talk to which we will reply in kind. As we grow in Him, He then begins to speak to us in a more sophisticated manner which is 'another tongue' and we will be taught by Him to reply in kind.

    "I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able." I Cor 3:2

    Many people who have been drawn to Christ have become stunted in their growth because they have become lukewarm in their love of and pursuit of Truth. This is the reason why some 'tongue talkers' repeat themselves continually in what appears to be gibberish. It is, in fact, like a baby babbling who has never really learned to speak. At a year old such babbly might appear to us cute or ammusing, but at 10 years of age, it would not be funny.

    "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." Heb 5:12-14

    In the tongues of languages (similar to English) this growth or lack of growth is displayed by the advancement, or not, into a real language or the continuance of baby talk. God does not want us to remain babies all of our spiritual lives. Unfortunately, this does happen. However Is this any worse than a person who claims to be a believer who insists that all unknown tongues today are of the devil, in spite of Paul's admonishment here:

    "Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues ." I Cor 14:39

    Whether we simply speak in a form of parables in English (or whatever native language we speak) or we speak in an 'unknown' language such as Chinese, it is another tongue 'from God'.

    Why do we all not always understand each other if we are all Christians? Because all of us are not always on the same page in our walk and probably none of us are completely fluent in the 'new language', but God, the Teacher, understands everything that we say.
  19. veteran

    veteran New Member

    Well, like others here have already shown, the true cloven tongue on Pentecost manifested as dialects of known languages of the world. It's because God is not the author of confusion as written.

    Also, in the 1 Cor.12-14 Scripture, the word "unknown" was added by the KJV translators. It is not in the Greek NT manuscripts. So Apostle Paul wasn't even referring to the idea of an "unknown tongue", but to 'tongues' in the sense of known languages of the world. That Biblical fact changes the whole meaning of the idea an unknown speech that doesn't fit any known language of the world.

    Even with the one tongue that ALL nations once spoke prior to the tower of Babel event, it was understood by all. God knows how we speak and hear, so when the true cloven tongue does manifest, everyone present will understand what's being said. In the Apostle's case on Pentecost, the people heard them declare the wonderful works of God by the true cloven tongue.

    Just as the devil tries to copy everything else that belongs only to God, we shouldn't be surprised that he also attempts to mimic the true cloven tongue which manifested on Pentecost. The true cloven tongue is related to the future return to a universal pure speech after Christ's coming, like the original singluar tongue all nations spoke before the Babel event (Zeph.3).

  20. jiggyfly

    jiggyfly New Member


    How do you interpret this scripture then?

    For if your gift is the ability to speak in tongues, [fn]you will be talking to God but not to people, since they won't be able to understand you. You will be speaking by the power of the Spirit, but it will all be mysterious. 1Cor. 14:2