What is speaking in tongues?

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TonyChanYT

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Act 1:

3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?
This phenomenon is called xenolalia: A believer speaks in a human language that he doesn't know.

There is another kind of speaking in tongues, 1 Corinthians 14:

2, “For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit.”
This latter kind of speaking in tongues is called glossolalia: A believer speaks in a non-human language.

What's the purpose of glossolalia?

4 Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church. 5I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, b but I would rather have you prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be edified.
  1. It edifies the speaker himself.
  2. When it is interpreted, it edifies the listeners in the church.
Is glossolalia available today?

I think so. Jesus promised in Mark 16:

17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Does every believer have this gift?

No, 1 Corinthians 12:

7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, a and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
So it is up to the Holy Spirit to hand out these gifts.

Glossolalia seems to be some kind of spiritual/angelic language, 1 Corinthians 13:

1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
1 Corinthians 14:

2 For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit.
Do you have to speak in tongues in order to be saved?

No, not every Christian is required to speak in tongues.

There are three uses of tongues:

  1. A Christian speaks a real foreign language that he does not know.
  2. A Christian speaks an angelic language publically with interpretation to edify the church.
  3. A Christian speaks an angelic language privately to God to edify himself.
Not every Christian is required to do any of these. I have done #3 occasionally.
 

Randy Kluth

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Act 1:


This phenomenon is called xenolalia: A believer speaks in a human language that he doesn't know.

There is another kind of speaking in tongues, 1 Corinthians 14:


This latter kind of speaking in tongues is called glossolalia: A believer speaks in a non-human language.

What's the purpose of glossolalia?


  1. It edifies the speaker himself.
  2. When it is interpreted, it edifies the listeners in the church.
Is glossolalia available today?

I think so. Jesus promised in Mark 16:


Does every believer have this gift?

No, 1 Corinthians 12:


So it is up to the Holy Spirit to hand out these gifts.

Glossolalia seems to be some kind of spiritual/angelic language, 1 Corinthians 13:


1 Corinthians 14:


Do you have to speak in tongues in order to be saved?

No, not every Christian is required to speak in tongues.

There are three uses of tongues:

  1. A Christian speaks a real foreign language that he does not know.
  2. A Christian speaks an angelic language publically with interpretation to edify the church.
  3. A Christian speaks an angelic language privately to God to edify himself.
Not every Christian is required to do any of these. I have done #3 occasionally.
This is an area that I have little to say, but needs to be addressed. When I converted to Pentecostalism many years ago, my fellow "Jesus People" tried to coerce me to speak in tongues by encouraging me to blurt out unrecognizable syllables. I never felt good about this, since I'm a pretty rational person.

It was argued that the Baptism of the Spirit *should be* evidenced by the speaking in tongues. And that seemed to be substantiated in the book of Acts. However, none of this was supported by doctrine. In fact, it appears that gifts are distributed *as the Spirit wills,* and is not guaranteed to all Christians equally. 1 Cor 12.

And so, I began "speaking in tongues," but in the end ceased doing so, since I thought I was personally faking it, not having the real gift. On the other hand, I've never forbid other Christians from exercising this gift if indeed they think they have the genuine article.

The 2 questions I have in my mind are these...
1) What is the origin of this gift? Did God just insert this gift in the Church without any precursory incidences or precedent?
2) What is the actual doctrinal basis of this gift? Is it stipulated that they are all "tongues," or is there adequate differentiation between different kinds of tongues?

I usually look for the basis of NT experiences in earlier OT experiences, since God does not change. He would not likely introduce something so novel, so new, that His followers would doubt it as not just supernatural, but extra-natural to God's own typical way of dealing with Man?

Nobody, for example, would doubt that God heals supernaturally because He has long done supernatural healings, if only on rare occasion. But something that has no background would naturally be questioned as being without foundation. You wouldn't eat food on your plate if it was different from anything you've ever seen before! ;)

But why would God suddenly have people speak gibberish where nobody knows what is being spoken? Or why would He have people speak in a foreign tongue that they don't even recognize? In Acts 2, tongues was specifically given to speak to foreigners in a language they recognized, even if those who spoke did not know the language.

There is no basis here for a "prayer language" that nobody, including the speaker, recognizes. Nevertheless, Paul indicates that a tongues speaker can exercise tongues even without the language communicating to anybody, including himself!

I do find evidence that God supernaturally enabled saints to interpret dreams, which is sort of like interpreting tongues, or a foreign language. But beyond this, only prophecy comes near to tongues, and it is recognizable to the speaker.

It may be that tongues is the equivalent of spiritual communion with God, beyond the physical senses? If we are converted by the power of God, that power is coming from a God who is beyond our senses, and only touches our senses when we receive it.

It is therefore not recognizable initially as coming from God until we interpret it as an experience. Conversion is not purely language, but internal cause and effect that must be interpreted in some way by our minds. It may be as a feeling, an emotion, or an idea.

I'm probably missing information, and so I ask the questions. I'm not doubting the biblical accounts. I'm just looking for the biblical purpose of tongues, since I do not myself appear to have this gift.

I will say, however, that I've experienced the "Gift of Knowledge," in which God imparts knowledge to you about someone or something that could only be revealed by supernatural means. Clearly, God communicates supernatural experiences to us that affect us in different ways as individuals!
 
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Davy

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Acts 2 is where the cloven tongue manifesting on Pentecost is written.

The Greek word 'glossa' means A KNOWN LANGUAGE OF THE WORLD, not what you are saying at all...


NT:1100
glossa (gloce-sah'); of uncertain affinity; the tongue; by implication, a language (specially, one naturally unacquired):

KJV - tongue.
(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
 

DJT_47

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This is an area that I have little to say, but needs to be addressed. When I converted to Pentecostalism many years ago, my fellow "Jesus People" tried to coerce me to speak in tongues by encouraging me to blurt out unrecognizable syllables. I never felt good about this, since I'm a pretty rational person.

It was argued that the Baptism of the Spirit *should be* evidenced by the speaking in tongues. And that seemed to be substantiated in the book of Acts. However, none of this was supported by doctrine. In fact, it appears that gifts are distributed *as the Spirit wills,* and is not guaranteed to all Christians equally. 1 Cor 12.

And so, I began "speaking in tongues," but in the end ceased doing so, since I thought I was personally faking it, not having the real gift. On the other hand, I've never forbid other Christians from exercising this gift if indeed they think they have the genuine article.

The 2 questions I have in my mind are these...
1) What is the origin of this gift? Did God just insert this gift in the Church without any precursory incidences or precedent?
2) What is the actual doctrinal basis of this gift? Is it stipulated that they are all "tongues," or is there adequate differentiation between different kinds of tongues?

I usually look for the basis of NT experiences in earlier OT experiences, since God does not change. He would not likely introduce something so novel, so new, that His followers would doubt it as not just supernatural, but extra-natural to God's own typical way of dealing with Man?

Nobody, for example, would doubt that God heals supernaturally because He has long done supernatural healings, if only on rare occasion. But something that has no background would naturally be questioned as being without foundation. You wouldn't eat food on your plate if it was different from anything you've ever seen before! ;)

But why would God suddenly have people speak gibberish where nobody knows what is being spoken? Or why would He have people speak in a foreign tongue that they don't even recognize? In Acts 2, tongues was specifically given to speak to foreigners in a language they recognized, even if those who spoke did not know the language.

There is no basis here for a "prayer language" that nobody, including the speaker, recognizes. Nevertheless, Paul indicates that a tongues speaker can exercise tongues even without the language communicating to anybody, including himself!

I do find evidence that God supernaturally enabled saints to interpret dreams, which is sort of like interpreting tongues, or a foreign language. But beyond this, only prophecy comes near to tongues, and it is recognizable to the speaker.

It may be that tongues is the equivalent of spiritual communion with God, beyond the physical senses? If we are converted by the power of God, that power is coming from a God who is beyond our senses, and only touches our senses when we receive it.

It is therefore not recognizable initially as coming from God until we interpret it as an experience. Conversion is not purely language, but internal cause and effect that must be interpreted in some way by our minds. It may be as a feeling, an emotion, or an idea.

I'm probably missing information, and so I ask the questions. I'm not doubting the biblical accounts. I'm just looking for the biblical purpose of tongues, since I do not myself appear to have this gift.

I will say, however, that I've experienced the "Gift of Knowledge," in which God imparts knowledge to you about someone or something that could only be revealed by supernatural means. Clearly, God communicates supernatural experiences to us that affect us in different ways as individuals!
The purpose is clear by the scriptures. Tongues served a purpose in the early, fledgling church as did the other manifestations of the Spirit, to grow it and edify it which are no longer necessary. There was no written word of God as we have today to guide us in all things. Tongues were a sign to unbelievers as the scriptures teach, not to the church.
 

St. SteVen

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The purpose is clear by the scriptures. Tongues served a purpose in the early, fledgling church as did the other manifestations of the Spirit, to grow it and edify it which are no longer necessary. There was no written word of God as we have today to guide us in all things. Tongues were a sign to unbelievers as the scriptures teach, not to the church.
That's the view of Cessationism. Continuationism takes a different view.

So the church is no longer in need of growth or edification? That's news to me. Bad news.
No written word of God? What were they reading in the synagogue?
Tongues were a sign to unbelievers?

But if an unbeliever or an inquirer comes in while everyone is prophesying,
they are convicted of sin and are brought under judgment by all,
25 as the secrets of their hearts are laid bare.
So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming,
“God is really among you!” - 1 Corinthians 14:24-25 NIV

And there are more than one kind of tongues.
Not just the Gift of Tongues. (#3 below)

Five Different Uses of Tongues
1) Personal prayer language (worship/edification)
2) Intercessory prayer language (praying for others in the Spirit)
3) A prophetic message for a congregation (the Gift of tongues)
4) Singing in the Spirit (worship/edification)
5) Evangelistic language (like at Pentecost)

There may be more.
We can't limit the Holy Spirit.

/
 
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Randy Kluth

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The purpose is clear by the scriptures. Tongues served a purpose in the early, fledgling church as did the other manifestations of the Spirit, to grow it and edify it which are no longer necessary. There was no written word of God as we have today to guide us in all things. Tongues were a sign to unbelievers as the scriptures teach, not to the church.
Since I don't speak in tongues I may, or may not, agree with you. I do think you have some credible points.

On the other hand, my wife does speak in tongues. Don't cause me marital stress! ;)
 
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DJT_47

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That's the view of Cessationism. Continuationism takes a different view.

So the church is no longer in need of growth or edification? That's news to me. Bad news.
No written word of God? What were they reading in the synagogue?
Tongues were a sign to unbelievers?

But if an unbeliever or an inquirer comes in while everyone is prophesying,
they are convicted of sin and are brought under judgment by all,
25 as the secrets of their hearts are laid bare.
So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming,
“God is really among you!” - 1 Corinthians 14:24-25 NIV

And there are more than one kind of tongues.
Not just the Gift of Tongues. (#3 below)

Five Different Uses of Tongues
1) Personal prayer language (worship/edification)
2) Intercessory prayer language (praying for others in the Spirit)
3) A prophetic message for a congregation (the Gift of tongues)
4) Singing in the Spirit (worship/edification)
5) Evangelistic language (like at Pentecost)

There may be more.
We can't limit the Holy Spirit.

/
You're dreaming, conflicting scripture, and the scriptures don't support YOUR words as well as you lack scriptural understanding.

It's the view of the bible; forget your label 'cessationist'.

The church is worldwide today, not just the few scattered congregations throughout Asia as the apostles made their journeys to, preaching Christ and growing the body establishing new congregations along the way of their travels.

What did reading the OT scriptures do for the NT Christians in the early days of the church as you are inferring? That's why the apostles, by the inspiration of God, felt it necessary to write the various letters to the churchs and required they be shared with others.

The manifestations of the Spirit, the so-called gifts, served the purpose with the various people through whom the Spirit worked, filling the void by prophesy, words of knowledge and wisdom, etc. And today we have the complete word of God to guide us and no longer need the piece meal, individual gifts as they did back then. What prophesies are you aware of that are over and above the complete word of God? What can you share we us that you know or are aware of that tells us more than the bible does? What NEW information, revelations, prophecies do YOU have that God has revealed via whatever means you claim, that augments his inspired written and complete word? Like I said, you're dreaming or delusional, or both.

And yes, tongues were a sign to unbelievers .

1Cor 14:22

22Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not:

Your list of 1 to 5 are not supported by scripture and are nonsensical.
 

St. SteVen

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The manifestations of the Spirit, the so-called gifts, served the purpose with the various people through whom the Spirit worked, filling the void by prophesy, words of knowledge and wisdom, etc. And today we have the complete word of God to guide us and no longer need the piece meal, individual gifts as they did back then.
Did you remove 1 Corinthians chapter twelve from your Bible? You are making an amputee of the Body of Christ by removing body parts.

1 Corinthians 12:12 NIV
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.

And today we have the complete word of God to guide us and no longer need the piece meal, individual gifts as they did back then. What prophesies are you aware of that are over and above the complete word of God? What can you share we us that you know or are aware of that tells us more than the bible does? What NEW information, revelations, prophecies do YOU have that God has revealed via whatever means you claim, that augments his inspired written and complete word? Like I said, you're dreaming or delusional, or both.
That is only one definition of prophecy. This is the common definition for the church today and always.

1 Corinthians 14:3 NIV
But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.

Your list of 1 to 5 are not supported by scripture and are nonsensical.
Not true.

/
 
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DJT_47

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Did you remove 1 Corinthians chapter twelve from your Bible? You are making an amputee of the Body of Christ by removing body parts.

1 Corinthians 12:12 NIV
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.


That is only one definition of prophecy. This is the common definition for the church today and always.

1 Corinthians 14:3 NIV
But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.


Not true.

/
Believe whatever garbage you like. Goodbye
 
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St. SteVen

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What is speaking in tongues?​

relaying the Good News of the Kingdom of God.
That's one of the meanings. What do you make of this?

1 Corinthians 14:2 NIV
For anyone who speaks in a tongue[a] does not speak to people but to God. Indeed,
no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit.

/
 
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quietthinker

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That's one of the meanings. What do you make of this?

1 Corinthians 14:2 NIV
For anyone who speaks in a tongue[a] does not speak to people but to God. Indeed,
no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit.

/
I think it means God is opening ones tongue to speak in gratitude to God of the wonders of God's gift of Jesus and that of the Kingdom of God
 
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Spyder

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That's one of the meanings. What do you make of this?

1 Corinthians 14:2 NIV
For anyone who speaks in a tongue[a] does not speak to people but to God. Indeed,
no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit.

/
Ever had such a bad day that you know you need to talk to Father, but don't know what to say? Any moaning or such sound that emanate from me are the best I can do. I would not call it a "language," but I think God knows my trouble.
 

St. SteVen

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There are more than one kind of tongues.
Not just the Gift of Tongues. (#3 below)


Five Different Uses of Tongues
1) Personal prayer language (worship/edification) 1 Corinthians 14:2
2) Intercessory prayer language (praying for others in the Spirit) Romans 8:26-27
3) A prophetic message for a congregation (the Gift of tongues) 1 Corinthians 12:10
4) Singing in the Spirit (worship/edification) 1 Corinthians 14:15
5) Evangelistic language (like at Pentecost)

There may be more. We can't limit the Holy Spirit. Like warfare prayer.

1 Corinthians 14:2 NIV
For anyone who speaks in a tongue[a]
does not speak to people but to God. Indeed,
no one understands them;
they utter mysteries by the Spirit.

Romans 8:26-27 NIV
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.
We do not know what we ought to pray for,
but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.
27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit,
because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people
in accordance with the will of God.

1 Corinthians 12:7, 10-11 NIV
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit
is given for the common good. ...
10 ... speaking in different kinds of tongues, ...
11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit,
and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

1 Corinthians 14:15 NIV
So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit,
but I will also pray with my understanding;
I will sing with my spirit,
but I will also sing with my understanding.

Acts 2:4 NIV
All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to
speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.

'
 

St. SteVen

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Ever had such a bad day that you know you need to talk to Father, but don't know what to say? Any moaning or such sound that emanate from me are the best I can do. I would not call it a "language," but I think God knows my trouble.
I agree.

Romans 8:26-27 NIV
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.
We do not know what we ought to pray for,
but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.
27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit,
because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people
in accordance with the will of God.

/
 

Hobie

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This is an area that I have little to say, but needs to be addressed. When I converted to Pentecostalism many years ago, my fellow "Jesus People" tried to coerce me to speak in tongues by encouraging me to blurt out unrecognizable syllables. I never felt good about this, since I'm a pretty rational person.

It was argued that the Baptism of the Spirit *should be* evidenced by the speaking in tongues. And that seemed to be substantiated in the book of Acts. However, none of this was supported by doctrine. In fact, it appears that gifts are distributed *as the Spirit wills,* and is not guaranteed to all Christians equally. 1 Cor 12.

And so, I began "speaking in tongues," but in the end ceased doing so, since I thought I was personally faking it, not having the real gift. On the other hand, I've never forbid other Christians from exercising this gift if indeed they think they have the genuine article.

The 2 questions I have in my mind are these...
1) What is the origin of this gift? Did God just insert this gift in the Church without any precursory incidences or precedent?
2) What is the actual doctrinal basis of this gift? Is it stipulated that they are all "tongues," or is there adequate differentiation between different kinds of tongues?

I usually look for the basis of NT experiences in earlier OT experiences, since God does not change. He would not likely introduce something so novel, so new, that His followers would doubt it as not just supernatural, but extra-natural to God's own typical way of dealing with Man?

Nobody, for example, would doubt that God heals supernaturally because He has long done supernatural healings, if only on rare occasion. But something that has no background would naturally be questioned as being without foundation. You wouldn't eat food on your plate if it was different from anything you've ever seen before! ;)

But why would God suddenly have people speak gibberish where nobody knows what is being spoken? Or why would He have people speak in a foreign tongue that they don't even recognize? In Acts 2, tongues was specifically given to speak to foreigners in a language they recognized, even if those who spoke did not know the language.

There is no basis here for a "prayer language" that nobody, including the speaker, recognizes. Nevertheless, Paul indicates that a tongues speaker can exercise tongues even without the language communicating to anybody, including himself!

I do find evidence that God supernaturally enabled saints to interpret dreams, which is sort of like interpreting tongues, or a foreign language. But beyond this, only prophecy comes near to tongues, and it is recognizable to the speaker.

It may be that tongues is the equivalent of spiritual communion with God, beyond the physical senses? If we are converted by the power of God, that power is coming from a God who is beyond our senses, and only touches our senses when we receive it.

It is therefore not recognizable initially as coming from God until we interpret it as an experience. Conversion is not purely language, but internal cause and effect that must be interpreted in some way by our minds. It may be as a feeling, an emotion, or an idea.

I'm probably missing information, and so I ask the questions. I'm not doubting the biblical accounts. I'm just looking for the biblical purpose of tongues, since I do not myself appear to have this gift.

I will say, however, that I've experienced the "Gift of Knowledge," in which God imparts knowledge to you about someone or something that could only be revealed by supernatural means. Clearly, God communicates supernatural experiences to us that affect us in different ways as individuals!
Yes, it is all works that is being pressed on the poor people much like the church of Rome. Satan deceives in many ways and scripture is clear what the gifts are for..to edify the church, and at that time if was made of many languages from the many people that were coming in. Today, we have the means to communicated with them so the 'gift' is not essential to edify others that may not speak the language.
 

Randy Kluth

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Yes, it is all works that is being pressed on the poor people much like the church of Rome. Satan deceives in many ways and scripture is clear what the gifts are for..to edify the church, and at that time if was made of many languages from the many people that were coming in. Today, we have the means to communicated with them so the 'gift' is not essential to edify others that may not speak the language.
I'm not hostile to the Gift of Tongues, to be clear. It is clearly spoken about and defended in the NT Scriptures. I do not like, however, encouragement to indulge a "Prayer Language," simply because it is supposed that this is the central sign to "receiving the Holy Spirit." I don't believe that at all, since Paul indicated not all speak in tongues. God doesn't give that gift to every individual.

I cannot deny that on the Day of Pentecost virtually all in the Upper Room spoke in tongues. But the Apostles did seem to enjoy a special endowment because they were given by Jesus the ability to produce signs and wonders confirming their important office of establishing initial Christianity. Those in the Upper Room were likely especially gifted at that time to proclaim the coming of the Holy Spirit in support of Jesus' ministry.

My thought is that all people can receive and experience the Holy Spirit, but that all people have a Sin Nature and are unable to receive clear and unobstructed communication from God regularly. God can impose His messages clearly upon us, but often prefers that we seek Him, rather than forcing His Word upon us. It's as if God wants us to *choose* to overcome our natural resistance to hearing and obeying His Word.

Tongues appears to be of that nature, connecting to people spiritually and in a less than clear way, while simply showing that we can experience Him, and must learn, by effort, how to interpret that experience. Just my 2 cents....
 
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Cassandra

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When God gives you a gift, you get a gift. you don't have to work at it. Having to repeat stuff over and over until you get it, is nonsense.

This is ridiculous, and is nowhere in the Bible.

Here is Sid Roth showing you "how" . This is not speaking in tongues, I don't know what it is, but i suspect the worst.