Were these ecstatic utterances given to bring an emotional experience? Peter leaves no room for doubt as to what kind of manifestation this was. Was it an ecstatic, unknown utterance at the beginning? No, it was known languages, spoken to those who understood those languages. How was it then at this instance? It was just like at the beginning; known discernable languages, understood by the listeners. There were at least two different nationalities represented here and thus, two different languages, as well. There were the Jews, the Italians, and perhaps others.
This second instance gives no grounds for the ecstatic utterances that we see today. It was the Biblical gift of the ability to speak other languages. The last instance of the gift of tongues is found in Acts And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy ghost came on them; and they spake with other tongues and prophesied.
And all the men were about twelve. The Lord gives His approval upon re-baptism by pouring out His Spirit, and giving the gift of tongues. This is the third time that Luke records this event, and he does not elaborate on what the event was like, because he had already elaborated at length two other times. There is nothing in the passage, though, to indicate that it is the ecstatic utterances that are claimed to be tongues today.
Instead, the opposite is indicated. Having looked at every occurrence of the gift of tongues in the Bible, the only conclusion to which we can come, is that tongue-speaking is the miraculous gift of being able to speak another known language to people with whom we would otherwise be unable to communicate. The popular manifestation of ecstatic utterances are nowhere found in the Bible, except in demon-possessed men. There are isolated instances when God has given the true gift of tongues to people today, as well.
There is one instance when a man, a missionary to Africa, was pioneering a work among the people and was holding evangelistic meetings. A large crowd had gathered to listen to what the white missionary had to say. He had previously arranged for a translator to assist him. He waited and waited, but the translator did not show up.
As he began to pray, he realized that he was speaking the language of the people, which he had never studied before, and had hardly even heard. He could understand perfectly what he was saying, and so could everyone else, because God had given him the gift of tongues.
He went on with his meetings without a translator, and ever afterward, he knew the language of the African tribe. It is not an emotional high. It is a gift given to communicate with those who do not know the gospel. The Lord is still working today, just as He worked at Pentecost, just not in the way that most people think.
There are many sincere and honest Christians who have spoken in the ecstatic utterances of today. Many of these dear people do not know that this is not the true gift, as spoken of in the Bible. They truly love the Lord and have thought that this is what God desired. God condemns no man for his honest ignorance. Man is judged by the light that he has received and by the use he has made of that light.
The Lord, in His love, allows correction and instruction to come, because He loves His dear people. See Revelation The modern ecstatic utterances are actually very far from harmless. It is very dangerous to submit ourselves to the working of a spirit that is not from God. As I was teaching upon this very subject in Ghana, Africa, I received some very interesting feedback from the group of people with whom I was studying. One man told of an experience that he had with a tongue-speaking church. He and a German friend were standing outside of a church where the members were speaking with ecstatic utterances.
The dear people inside the church thought that they were praising and worshipping God. They thought that they were filled with the Holy Spirit and that they had received the true gift of tongues. As the men standing outside visited with each other, the German friend suddenly became very intent on what was going on inside the church.
He listened very carefully to what was being said by those who thought that they were praising God with the gift of tongues. He understood what they were saying, because they were speaking in German. Unfortunately, they were not praising or glorifying God. If this were the true gift of tongues would God be communicating to them about witches? Would God inspire people to think that they were praising God, while calling one another witches? Even though these people thought that they were praising God, they were doing the opposite.
They had good intentions, but the sad fact was, they were speaking through the spirits of demons and not through the Spirit of God. The devil can speak through people today, just as he spoke through people two thousand years ago, when Jesus was here on the earth. The devil is deceiving people today, just as he did then, and it is no less dangerous. No study on the gift of tongues would be complete without looking at the chapter so frequently used to substantiate what is taught nowhere else in the Bible. It is urged that the chapter of I Corinthians 14 teaches these ecstatic utterances so prevalent today.
With these beliefs, it is important to study and understand this controversial chapter. It is thought that the Corinthian church is a model for what other tongue-speaking churches should be. It would be well to look and see what Paul said about this Corinthian church. Paul says that they are carnal and that there is strife, envying and divisions among them. See I Corinthians There was such a severe case of fornication among them, that it was even shocking to the Gentiles. See I Corinthians 5. Brothers were going to the law and suing one another. Paul severely rebuked them for this.
They were doing wrong and defrauding their brethren. Their women were not dressing as they should, instead they were dressing like harlots. There were heresies among them. See I Corinthians , 29, There was confusion and disorder in the church. There were false apostles and ministers among them. See II Corinthians For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. Paul made many statements that were far from being complimentary regarding the Corinthian church.
Certainly, it is not a church to model after, but a church that was in need of very strong rebukes. The climax being, that Paul was afraid that they would receive another gospel and another Jesus, or even that they might receive another spirit. So, far from being an example of a church that was filled with the Spirit, they were a church that was in grave danger of receiving a counterfeit, false spirit. There can be no room for questions. This was a church in very poor spiritual condition. In order to understand the fourteenth chapter, it is essential to look at it in the context of chapters twelve and thirteen also.
In the twelfth chapter, Paul enumerates largely upon spiritual gifts. Far from teaching that everyone must receive the gift of tongues, he states quite the opposite. It is clearly stated that one receives knowledge, another receives miracles, another tongues, but every man does not receive every gift. Every man does not even choose which gift he receives. It is the Spirit that gives to every man as He the Spirit chooses.
God knows exactly what gift we need, and that is the one that He gives to us. He does not leave it up to us to decide which gift we need. As God is the one who gives the gift, God is the one who decides which gift we receive. The church is referred to as a body and the members of the church as members of the body.
A body would be totally dysfunctional, if there were only one body part. Imagine, if the only body part we had was the tongue! How absurd! The body could not see, could not walk, could not feel, could not hear, could not do anything, but incessantly babble away. Would God form such a body? Neither would God form such a church. A church, solely with the gift of tongues, would be a useless church, but this is the kind of church that many people desire. To say that everyone will receive the gift of tongues, is flagrantly contradicting the Bible.
Although it is claimed that the gift of tongues is the most important spiritual gift, you will find, by comparing scripture with scripture, that is just not the case. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.
Paul tells us that the first gift is apostles, second, prophets, and so on. In fact, tongues is the absolute last. So, far from being the most important of all spiritual gifts, tongues is the least important of all the gifts. Then Paul says to covet earnestly the best gifts. Is it tongues that we are to covet? Clearly not. The gift that people are earnestly desiring today, is the gift that Paul said was the least important, and the one that we are not to covet.
It is all the more important gifts that we are to desire—apostleship, prophesy, etc. The gift of tongues is regarded so low in the list of spiritual gifts, that in the other places where a numerical listing of the gifts are given, tongues is not even mentioned. See Ephesians ; I Corinthians To say that all must receive the gift of tongues, is simply not Biblical, and to say that tongues is the most important of the gifts is, likewise, doing injustice to the Word of God.
Looking at the fourteenth chapter, Paul is rebuking the Corinthian church for their abuse of the gift of tongues. To then take this chapter, which is designed to correct the inappropriate use of the gift of tongues, and base our practice upon it, is simply not consistent. Apparently, things were not being done in an orderly fashion, and Paul is striving to get them done that way. For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?
So likewise ye, except ye utter, by the tongue, words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? For ye shall speak into the air. If what we are saying is not understood by the congregation, we are speaking to the air, and we might as well not even be talking.
You are, in reality, speaking to the air. You are simply wasting your breath. I have also sat in church, many times, without a clue as to what the speaker was saying, for it was in a totally different language. How much clearer could it be? There is no value in speaking without you, or the congregation, understanding what you are saying. The entire point of speaking is teaching. Unknown babbling does not accomplish this. It is also important to note, that the word unknown is a supplied word. You will notice that it is in italics. That means that it was put in by the translators.
It is unlikely that he means a variety of different human languages, for who would ever have argued that all tongues were only one human language, such as Greek or Hebrew or German? His words suggest that there are differing categories of tongues-speech, perhaps human languages and heavenly languages. If tongues are human languages, many could potentially understand, as they did on the day of Pentecost Acts This would especially be true in Corinth, a multilingual cosmopolitan port city that was frequented by people of numerous dialects.
Anyone who was multilingual, such as Paul, could interpret tongues-speech simply by virtue of education. While he may have been using hyperbole, he just as likely may have been referring to heavenly or angelic dialects for which the Holy Spirit gives utterance. Gordon Fee cited evidence in certain ancient Jewish sources that the angels were believed to have their own heavenly languages or dialects and that by means of the Spirit one could speak them Commentary on First Corinthians , Some have questioned this account, however, pointing out that this section of the Testament may have been the work of a later Christian author.
But the point of the analogy is that tongues function like foreign languages, not that tongues are foreign languages. If tongues were a foreign language, there would be no need for an analogy. My plea to all cessationists is simply this: refute each of these arguments with persuasive and biblically based counter-evidence, or cease! Maik Oct 29, at pm. Thanks for this explanation! I first heard of you from Dr. Brown- on your "strange Fire" discussion.
God bless you for the "biblical" explanation. I like it more when the bible is quoted to explain instead of quoting Calvin, Wesley etc. Thanks again! I'll keep visiting your site for more spiritual nourishment! Johnny Oct 29, at am. Another helpful argument is the way that Paul does not mention the need for interpretation with prophecy. However, if the situation envisioned by cessationists, is that Corinth was simply a multi-lingual community then even prophecy needs interpreted as only those whose language the prophecy was given in would be able to understand the message..
Paul does not see the need for prophecy to be interpreted, just tongues. The only situation that plausibly suits the teaching of Paul in 1 Corinthians 14 is a church that has a common earthly tongue which prophecies would have been given in with tongues being an unknown tongue to all.
Sam Oct 28, at pm. Remember him? He was my pastoral and theological mentor for more than 15 years and his portrait hangs above my desk I guess you could say he oversees all I do as a pastor! So I love him and greatly respect him, but in terms of what you posted from his sermon, I completely disagree. There isn't a single biblical text that supports the distinction he makes between temporary and permanent spiritual gifts.
Not one. I don't have time to respond to everything he says, but I have responded in great detail in two of my books, The Beginner's Guide to Spiritual Gifts Regal and in my contribution to Are Miraculous Gifts for Today? Four Views Zondervan. I'll have to refer you to those. If we are not going to be tongue talkers, let us love those that do. Jesus said if you love Me you will obey what I command.
Certainly one would suspect with such a pattern of behavior, which has been verified countless times through other individuals also, that there is indeed something not of God, and suspect in their expression of the gift of tongues. Just as we have many body parts, so does God. The mouth does not reject the eye because it sheds tears, and the eye does not reject the mouth for saliva output. God knew what He was doing when he put our physical bodies together. God knows what He is doing when He calls His church together.
We must trust God with how He apportions His gifts to His people. That takes love. But our trust of course in God starts with the words of God's Word which are clear on this issue as to the gift ceasing and especially as to the proper use of the gift and its priority in spiritual matters - the gospel of faith alone in Christ alone, without tongues comes first and foremost.
So a tough love - a tough skinned love is essential for the believer in witnessing to tongues advocates. To speak or not to speak, that is the question:. We are to earnestly seek the higher gifts , though we are not prohibited from seeking tongues. Scripture indicates that the believer receives all spiritual blessings from God at the point of salvation, Eph It is just a matter for the individual to study and develop and use his gift s and for a local body to seek one with such of gift when needed. But the bottom line of who receives any gift comes from the Spirit of God, not us. It is God's prerogative whether to grant the gift of tongues or not.
If you are not to have it, you will not get it, no matter how hard you seek it. You might learn how to fake it, but it will not be the genuine gift of the Holy Spirit. For others, it may be in your Holy Spirit tool box whether you know it is there or not, and it will be available when you need it. I have never been given a task by God that He has not provided the gifts to accomplish it.
He often accomplishes this by sending me another person with the gift I need. An example would be if I have the gift of healing of the spirit, but no discernment, God would send someone with discernment to help me bring the healing of the spirit more effectively to those I minister to. The Lord will provide. Getting back to using God's gifts for the common good and in love, we come to the question of how we use tongues in the general worship service. Paul addresses this fully in chapter 14 of 1st Corinthians. Paul moves right from "Love" to the expression of love to the congregation of believers.
He who prophesies is greater than he who speaks in tongues, unless some one interprets, so that the church may be edified.
- Speaking in Tongues - The real story • Skeptical Science;
- Alfredo: A Man to Love, A Man to Hate.
He returns to the theme that all elements of a church service should build up the members of that church. Tongues without interpretation is out of order. I would also note that it takes twice as much time to do, tongues plus interpretation, instead of a prophesy I would clarify again that prophesy is not so much fore-telling as forth-telling, telling it the way it is. Prophesy brings with it, upbuilding and encouragement and consolation, an interpretation of tongues can do the same, but why not cut to the chase and get a direct message from God?
Amen to most of this provided you understand that tongues was supposed to be spoken in a discernable way to men and not indiscernably to God.
Speaking in Tongues - Doctrine Post - Steps to Life
As we have previously examined, and that ceased in AD Now this is not to say we must forbid tongues in a worship service,. This is where we differ, one should forbid it based on the evidence from Scripture. At the very least see if there are any Jews present in the congregation and that the rules are being followed: known language where someone in the congregation who needs to hear it is a Jew and understands that language and that an interpreter is present and is not that particular Jew or Jews and that some kind of edification is going on that aligns and does not contradict with Scripture.
If we speak in tongues in worship, are we loving those in the congregation that do not understand what is going on? My friend Edie was invited to a Charismatic service when she was considering returning to attending church after many years of shunning organized religion. She had never been exposed to those that spoke in tongues and knew nothing about it.
The service was going well and she was talking with God praying when a person began to speak in tongues. This of course made Edie very uncomfortable, she was not sure what was happening and wondered if she was in some kind of cult meeting and became very defensive. If there had been love involved, the person who invited her should have let her know what was going to happen in advance.
They were not loving Edie. Later I was able to explain my understanding on tongues and she became more accepting of it. She did return to church attendance though she now attends a church where tongue speaking in not used in worship. I also remember what Paul notes earlier in 1 Cor "All things are lawful," but not all things are helpful. He was talking about eating meat sacrificed to idols, but it has further meaning in our use here with tongues.
It is lawful to speak in tongues in a worship service, but it may not be helpful. We differ here. All things are lawful that do not violate specific principles and doctrines of Scripture. None of these things are unscriptural for this age. They were in previous ages more restricted and even forbidden, i. If it tears down the body, don't do it. If it builds up the body, go for it, but most of all, let God Given this set of parameters, it seems there will be some worship services w[h]ere tongues are employed and some where it will not. Both services are called to love one another because we are all parts of the one body of Christ, the church.
It would be the loving thing to do to prevent the expression of tongues in any service which does not meet scriptural rules. There is more to tongue talking than speaking in a "known" tongue to someone who knows the language, or has the gift of interpretation and "translates" the message for a congregation. This is where I want to get into the mechanics of how I believe tongues works, and what other uses tongues might have.
We saw above that 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. I want to shift the speaking in tongues then to praying in tongues, for if we speak to God, is that not prayer?
Now, if we see prayer as only a thing that matters when we cognitively know what we are saying to God, this praying in tongues does not make sense. I do not know what I am praying, so it must not be prayer. If however that prayer is entering into the presence of God as we speak, tongues can get the cognitive mind out of the way so that He can deal with our insides.
Paul admonished the Corinthians not to pray at any time without cognitive understanding of what was being prayed both publically and privately:. There is no need for the saint to worry about praying improperly and therefore he must turn off his mind and let God the Holy Spirit utter proper prayers through the voice box of the saint:. In the second place, the Holy Spirit overtaking the believer's own voice box so that unutterable groans can be non-expressed yet somehow come out as incomprehensible sounds out of the mouth of the individual would make this verse simply nonsensical, twisting the language beyond its capacity.
I believe that is what Paul meant when he said that He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself. Paul is admonishing the believer not to edify just himself - but to edify the body when he speaks in tongues - the directed result of all gifts to edify the body of Christ. So this was wrong to do - to just edify oneself. When we open ourselves up to the presence of God, we are built up edified. God has complete access to us. What do we pray for in the Spirit tongues? That which God would have us pray for, after all it is He who supplies the words through the Holy Spirit.
None of this concept is scriptural. Opening up oneself to God by shutting down one's mind is never presented as a proper thing for a believer to do. Perhaps Paul alluded to this when he spoke of the tongues of angels. It may not a "known" tongue, it is in theory the tongues the angels speak with in heaven. If this is grounded in love, imagine the possibilities of prayer. Paul is indicating especially evident in the Greek that he does not speak in all of the kinds of tongues of men nor of the language angels, but if he did, and he does not, it would be worthless if done without the greatest expression of all: love.
If Paul can be said to speak in all of the languages of all men and even the language of angels as a result of this verse then he must have burned himself to death as a result of verse 3 which is said in the same context:. It is not so much guessing if our prayers are in the will of God, they will be the will of God, He is the one who supplies the prayer in the first place.
- What does the Bible say about speaking in tongues?.
- Cancer: Natural Cures: They dont want you to know about!;
- Mark 16:17 was fulfilled at Pentecost.
- Tissue Engineering of the Peripheral Nerve: Biomaterials and Physical Therapy: 109 (International Review of Neurobiology).
Yes but not through the believers own voice box. They are unutterable, inexpressible, so how canthey then be uttered by the tongues speaker? Have you ever prayed so hard for something that you ran out of words? You are left there kind of numb. You words stop, but your heart yearns to plow on. Perhaps this is another time when tongues might be helpful.
Not if the rules of tongues are to be followed: to edify the body, warning sign to unbelieving Jews, interpretation, etc. If one is stumped about what to pray for, just remember that God the Holy Spirit already has the correct prayer ready to present to God the Father as soon as you have made the attempt to pray. Rom Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words.
It is these times when we let the Spirit pray through us for the next verse goes on to say that the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. But not via tongues thru the voice box of the believer. Sighs too deep for words best rendered literally:. Praying in tongues can be threatening! When we pray in tongues, we acknowledge that God's plan for us is better than any plan we can come up with our cognitive minds.
The cognitive mind must not be turned off. The believer simply understands that his prayer will not always be perfectly suited to the situation, but God has His answer in His perfect will ready and the Holy Spirit reconstitutes the believer's prayer so that it does meet the perfect will of God.
So turning off the mind is neither required nor scriptural. So, if you have vices you are not ready to give to God, don't pray in tongues, for God just might take them. Not scriptural. God disciplines His children re: vices, etc in accordance with His will and not on the whims of a believer's own prayers or wishes. Confession of known sin on a moment to moment basis, then comes earnes study and obedience to the words of God's Word.
When we pray in tongues, we are giving God the initiative to where to work in our hearts. If however we wish to threaten the hold of evil and vices in our lives, then praying in tongues will do the trick.
As God takes hold of your life through a special prayer life, the hold of evil is loosened. Praying in tongues is possibly a fast track to becoming the Christian God calls us to be. God is totally in charge here, the believer is the child who submits to the will of God via the leading of the Holy Spirit or he gets disciplined. Praying in tongues today puts the believer out of touch with God and out of fellowship since it is unscriptural for that purpose.
There is no fast track to a faithful walk with the Lord, only bible doctrine not the least of which is constant confession, 1 Jn , unceasing prayer, daily study of and obedience to the words of God's Word, etc. Perhaps that is why Paul exclaims 1 Cor I thank God that I speak in tongues more than you all, Pray, be edified, grow in grace, be all that God has called you to be. That is not stipulated anywhere in Scripture as the reason or result of speaking in tongues.
Rather, what is stipulated is the purpose and effects of speaking in tongues, not the least effect of which is in view here: the edification of the body of Christ and not only the individual re: the communication of revelation or knowledge or prophecy or word of instruction to that body within the rules: as a sign to present unbelieving Jews of impending dispersion:. I sought to answer some questions when I started this paper.
In conclusion I offer some answers. If we take the bible seriously we must conclude that there once was a gift of the Spirit in which people could speak in a language that they did not know beforehand. Given that there are examples of this happening in modern times,. That is not an acceptable given as no proof has been offered that is verifiable and in line with Scripture; rather I have heard of or witnessed many circumstances of tongues occurrences, none of which was Scriptural.
10 Things to Know about Speaking in Tongues
Given that there are examples of this happening in modern times, we might conclude that this gift is still available for times in which we might need it. I have the gift of tongues, though I do not know if it is a "known" tongue or "the tongues of angels". The proper interpretation by an interpreter present of what was said should have verified what that language was as there is no scriptural evidence that any human spoke in the language of angels as already discussed.
Furthermore, the unbelieving Jew would have also verified the language spoken if there was one present - but apparently not. Thus an improper use of tongues is implied here. The thought of God being near, or an expectation of the lifting of the depression or a focusing away from the thoughts that bring depression may also have caused the lifting of the depression.
Or perhaps the conclusion that the depression is lifted as a result of the tongues speaking is too subjective, not being strictly observed by an unbiased party enough times to formulate an objective conclusion.