What is speaking in tongues?

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CadyandZoe

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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.
Glossolalia is not a spiritual gift. It is a natural human reaction to excitation or deep grief or morning. The Corinthian church confused glossolalia with the gift of tongues.

The gift of tongues is NOT speaking in an unknown language. The gift of tongues is when someone speaks in his or her own language while the Holy Spirit translates it into another language for foreigners to understand.

The gift of interpretation is NOT used to interpret the gift of tongues.
 

amadeus

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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.

/
Aye, who has the complete Word of God but God Himself? Perhaps the whole of God's Church has it, but what individuals?
The Bible? Unbelievers own Bibles which they never read. Do they have the whole thing?

Believers own Bibles which they have read but have not completely understood. Do they have the whole thing?

Who among us who has read all of the Bible understands perfectly all of the Word of God?

Each of us believes what he does, but let us ask God to help us correct any wrong beliefs which hinder our walk with Him!

I am a tongue talker from way back and thus far for all my asking God has not shown me to stop this. On the contrary...,

"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you" Matt 7:7.
 
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St. SteVen

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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.
FYI - A personal prayer language is not the gift of tongues. See post #15

/
 

Randy Kluth

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FYI - A personal prayer language is not the gift of tongues. See post #15
Sorry, I don't agree. A Personal Prayer Language is called "speaking in tongues." You make a distinction between a "gift of tongues" and other kinds of "tongues." It appears to me that all of the "tongues" are "gifts."
 

St. SteVen

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Sorry, I don't agree. A Personal Prayer Language is called "speaking in tongues." You make a distinction between a "gift of tongues" and other kinds of "tongues." It appears to me that all of the "tongues" are "gifts."
I suppose you could say that in a sense. However...

I would say that "the gift of tongues" is accompanied by the gift of "the interpretation of tongues" as listed in 1 Cor 12.
Chapter 14 explains why the gift needs interpretation. It is addressed to the whole congregation.
This is different than the other 4 kinds of tongues in my list. Does that make sense?

/
 

quietthinker

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Is this what Paul did and preached on his missionary journeys? Speaking in tongues is NOT the gospel, the "Good News of the Kingdom of God"
Speaking in tongues in its scriptural context is speaking well of God. It is sharing the good news of resurrection and forgiveness, of hope and healing. It is not that of talking gibberish interpreted as speaking a heavenly or a foreign language for no reason.
 

DJT_47

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Speaking in tongues in its scriptural context is speaking well of God. It is sharing the good news of resurrection and forgiveness, of hope and healing. It is not that of talking gibberish interpreted as speaking a heavenly or a foreign language for no reason.
Where do you find scriptural evidence and confirmation of your statement?? And to whom do you share this with? Do you typically have foreign visitors at your "church" that don't understand English, and someone then speaks to them in a tongue known to them so they can understand the "good news "?
 

rockytopva

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What is speaking in tongues? In these Virginian mountains I like to attend churches that believe the main experiences as three...

Salvation - As easy as believing on the Lord Jesus Christ
Sanctification - Seeing the Christ formed on the inside (if not... Come back tomorrow night!)
Gifts of the Spirit - All unique within the individual. Do all speak in tongues? Or as Paul declares...

Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? - 1 Corinthians 12:30

I personally enjoy the times people have spoken in tongues and have not had nervous feelings as to their origins. I do not believe Spiritual gifts a necessary part of salvation, but it is a blessing when they occur. I believe the possibility of tongues are two...

1. The Spirit praising God in another language
2. The Spirit prophesying in another language, in which requires an interpretation to be edifying.

I hear the gift of tongues used in a service about once a month. In which most of the times is simply the Spirit praising God in some unknown tongue. This usually happens in the worship part of the service before the sermon is given. And though restrictions should be used in tongue talking the Apostle Paul goes on to say...

Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. - 1 Corinthians 14:39

Another words... Don't disallow it! Here is a worship service of my Pentecostal Holiness church in which the Pastor is ready to preach but a lady in the service speaks in tongues. In which as it is obvious that she is praising God in another language he allows the tongues and then goes up to preach a few minutes later....

 

rockytopva

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For me to allow the Spirit of the Lord to function uniquely within the members of a church service breaks up the "Plain Jane" and ordinary.
 
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Randy Kluth

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I suppose you could say that in a sense. However...

I would say that "the gift of tongues" is accompanied by the gift of "the interpretation of tongues" as listed in 1 Cor 12.
Chapter 14 explains why the gift needs interpretation. It is addressed to the whole congregation.
This is different than the other 4 kinds of tongues in my list. Does that make sense?
Sure, it makes sense. How to describe these "gifts" is the question. I cannot be certain about this because I don't speak in tongues. Having been in Pentecostal churches for many, many years, and having heard occasional tongues, interpretation of tongues, and prophecies, I know what Pentecostals think they are. But how genuine all of this is I can't say?

I do know a former pastor's wife, who is also a pastor, gave a prophecy that helped to split the church. She "prophesied" that Satan was active in the worship team. Of course, the leader of the worship team rebelled, and the church nearly died.

Whether the prophecy was true or not I still don't know. I do know we've had serious problems in the church, but I can't say whether such a "prophecy" was called for. Perhaps it was a true word from God to the pastor, but should not have been said? I don't know.

Tongues are just as beyond my discernment as prophecy. I don't know when they're real, or whether interpretations that are given are real interpretations. Sorry, I'm wide open to what God has to say on this! I tend to be somewhat reserved, but think I'll know something genuine if it happens to me.
 
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St. SteVen

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See....that sums it up....
A response from a person who does not speak in tongues.
Sad.
Agree.
One of my pet peeves is when non-tongues speakers want to instruct tongues speakers on how (or if) it should be done.
"Not without an interpreter." (duh) Ignorance on display.

/
 
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St. SteVen

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Tongues are just as beyond my discernment as prophecy. I don't know when they're real, or whether interpretations that are given are real interpretations. Sorry, I'm wide open to what God has to say on this! I tend to be somewhat reserved, but think I'll know something genuine if it happens to me.
No risk, no reward.
(what came to mind as I read this paragraph) Thanks for your thoughtful and detailed post.
A church that operates in the gifts can be rather unscripted. (as an earlier post indicated - #32)

I visited my Mom yesterday at the nursing home. I didn't find her in the usual activity room.
Most of them had gone to the chapel. So I headed that way. There was my totally Protestant Mom,
asleep in her chair, rosary in hand and a sheet with a scripted prayer for the Adoration of Mary.
A Catholic service obviously. I had never seen my Mom with rosary beads before. - Say what?
Seems they gave them to everyone on entering. I was glad to see here getting along with them.

I nudged my Mom to wake her up and then waited until they finished the service.
The whole thing was scripted. What a contrast to the other end of the spectrum.

And thankfully, the church in Corinth had obviously been "swinging from the chandeliers". (comparatively)
Which is why the Apostle Paul had to rein them in. And why we have what we do for instruction in this matter.
Ninety percent of what we know about operating in the gifts is found in two chapters, 1 Corinthians 12 and 14.

All this to say that I was sorry to hear about the difficulties you had in your church.
But oftentimes, where there are risks, there are also rewards. Those willing to walk will learn to run.
If you are waiting for it to happen, it probably won't. "Now eagerly desire the greater gifts." - 1 Cor. 12:31
"Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit..." - 1 Cor. 14:1

Much more to say about all of this. Let me know if you have questions. PM me if you want to chat offline.

/
 

Hobie

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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....
Yes, but the devil and the unclean spirits can also speak through people as we know and even take possession. So this 'sign' was never meant to show who is a believer or that they a follower of God, especially if it is a deception.
 

CadyandZoe

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Sorry, I don't agree. A Personal Prayer Language is called "speaking in tongues." You make a distinction between a "gift of tongues" and other kinds of "tongues." It appears to me that all of the "tongues" are "gifts."
Where is a personal prayer language called "speaking in tongues?" I don't think a personal prayer language exists.
 

St. SteVen

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Yes, but the devil and the unclean spirits can also speak through people as we know and even take possession. So this 'sign' was never meant to show who is a believer or that they a follower of God, especially if it is a deception.
Really?
What do you make of this?

Mark 16:17 NIV
And these signs will accompany those who believe:
In my name they will drive out demons;
they will speak in new tongues;

/
 
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quietthinker

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Where do you find scriptural evidence and confirmation of your statement?? And to whom do you share this with? Do you typically have foreign visitors at your "church" that don't understand English, and someone then speaks to them in a tongue known to them so they can understand the "good news "?
Acts 2:11 tells us what the people said the disciples were saying. It was specific and targeted.