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Author Topic: Speaking in tongues is Biblical ?!!?  (Read 6326 times)
Brother Jerry
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« on: July 27, 2006, 12:22:41 PM »

Speaking in Tongues is Biblical?!?

Ok first off many people now days think of the modern Charismatic movement in which people will get together and in the middle of service or something the Holy Ghost comes through and suddenly everyone is speaking in a gibberish.  And they call this speaking in tongues.

And there is basis for this in the Bible.  I am not certain what Bible it is that there is basis for this, but that is what they will say.  They may even say that Paul spoke in tongues.  Here we will take a look at what the Bible states about speaking in tongues and things of that nature.

First off the word tongue or tongues is referring to one of two things.  Either the tongue , the muscle in your mouth used to lick a sucker.  Or a language.  A language being a series of words built into sentences and phrases that allow for communication between at least 2 people.  Usually associated with a country, region, or nation.

As early as Gen 10:5 we see the use of the word tongue to describe language.  "By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their family, in their nations"  

Isaiah 66:18 "For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory."  God lets us know that at one day he will gather up to him all people by their nations and even by the language they speak.

But what we end up finding is that in the NT is where the movement to speak in tongues comes from.  They will site some verses in Acts and the Corinthians.  But let us take a look at some of what the Bible has to say about tongue and tongues.

First the Bible lets us know what speaking in tongues is for.  Take a look at Mark 16:17 "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;"  So to speak in tongues is for signs. Now take a quick look at 1 Corinthians 1:22 "For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom"  So signs such as speaking in tongues is for confirmation and a sign to the Jews.

So one thing we see is that tongues (plural) is a good thing and is Biblical.  What we will find out is that when referring to speaking in tongues is mentioned they are known tongues or languages.  But unknown tongue(s) will be a bad thing as shown by the Bible and when people speak in an unknown tongue or language it is cause for confusion which God is not the author of.

So take a look over in Acts 2:4-12 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?

Now this is the first case we see of speaking in tongues.  And we see that everyone was filled with the Holy Ghost.  So we know that to predicate speaking in tongues is due to an act by the Holy Spirit.  And we see that they began to speak with other tongues.  Now who is mentioned here in the next verse.  "there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven".  Earlier how did we see nations also divided?  By their tongue or their language.  So here we have many devout Jews from different nations that speak different languages.  The Holy Spirit comes down and fills those preaching so that they speak in tongues.  And what happens?  All of the Jews from all of the different laguages can understand them.  It was not because they understood a new language, some hidden unknown language, but that those preaching understood them in their own language.  Those that came from Mesopotamia understood what was being said in his own language not a different one.  And what do they say about it?  "we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God"  It is a sign to those Jews there that they are able to understand these people in their own language.

End Pt 1

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Brother Jerry

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I am unlike most fathers.  What I would like my children to have more of is crowns to lay at Jesus feet.
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« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2006, 12:24:09 PM »

Pt 2

Later in Acts 10:45-46 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, becaue that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.  For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.

Here is the second instance mentioned of speaking with tongues.  Notice again it starts off with "they of the circumcision", who is that?  Jewish people.  Now it does state which believed so these are converted Jews who have found Christ.  But it says they were astonished which implies they were amazed at the action.  It was a sign unto them of the power of Jesus and to re-inforce their faith.  But what were they amazed at?  the gift of speaking in other languages was poured out to the Gentiles and not just the Jews.  And again it is Peter and the sort who are speaking and everyone is able to understand them no matter where they came from or what language they spoke.  So the language is known and like before it is their own language and not a new language or unknown language or secret language or anything of that nature.

Now that we have seen speaking with tongues in action and see what it is, let us take a look at what we often see today and see if that is Biblical.  Let us take a look at what the Bible has to say about speaking in an unknown tongue.  You mean to tell me, Brother Jerry, that there were people speaking gibberish back in early church?!  Yes I am.  The problem of peope speaking gibberish is nothing new.

So now we start looking at what Paul had to say...and he did say alot.  First one thing Paul states about it is found in 1 Corinth 12:10-11 "To another the working of miracles, to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues; But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will."

Here Paul is talking about the gifts which God may give us.  We see the gift of miracles and such.  We see "diverse kinds of tongues" as in being fluent in many different languages. "interpretation of tongues" as in being able to interpret written languages and spoken word.  Maybe not able to speak but able to interpret at least one language.  So here Paul refers to tongues as different languages.

Now turn a couple of pages over to chapter 14.  Here is where Paul really gets into it.

1 Corinth 14:2-4 "For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.  But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.  He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church."

Here we see it pretty simple.  The person who speaks in an unknown tongue speaks not people but to God, for no one can understand him.  Paul is not saying that this a good thing.  If you are to be preaching to people it does not good to preach in a language the cannot understand.  Paul even tells us towards the end there why someone would speak in an unknown tongue that no one can understand "edifieth himself", in otherwords that person is doing it for their own glory and not that of the church.

Skip down to 1 Corinth 14:9-11 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.  There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification. Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.

Paul mentions that there are many voices in the world.  Using voices to mean languages.  He goes on to state that they are all significant.  In other words they all are a means of communication.  Paul states if he does not know the language then he will like a barbarian and vice versa.  And at the beginning Paul says that if you utter words you should do it in an understandable way, otherwise how are we to tell what you are saying?  IF not you are just speaking into the air (talking to youself).

1 Corinth 14:13-19 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

Paul tells us here that if anyone speaks in an unknown tongue then there should be 2-3 and no more there.  The first to speak, the second to interpret.  Then the second to speak and the 3rd to interpret.  Basically Paul lets us know that one person should not interpret what it was they were saying.  If a man gets up and speaks gibberish then tells you what it was he was saying, you should Biblically tell him to sit down and shut up and wait for the interpreter to get there Smiley

So in a nutshell we see that speaking with tongues is Biblical.  But speaking in an unknown tongue is not.  We have seen examples and guidance.  Paul has provided us a way to meter and weigh the value of someone speaking in a strange tongue.  If it is unknown to us that does not mean it is not a language.  For example I probably would not recognize nor understand Swahili if I heard it.  But that does not mean it is not a language.  I would just need to get an interpreter.  Paul told us to have 2 at least for a couple of reasons...If there is one person and he can speak both Swahili and English why is he talking in Swahili if only to translate to English?! But take a load off and get an interpreter to interpret.  Also you then do not have to worry as much about putting too much faith in one persons preaching of the word....ie misinterpret or translate. 

So we see that the purpose of speaking with tongues is for a sign.  The sign is for the Jews because they require a sign.  Not only does Paul state this but if you read through the Gospels you will see quite often a Jewish group asking Jesus for a sign.  So speaking in tongues is a sign for the Jews, to emphasize that the power is coming from God.  And the tongues that is spoken is not in an unknown or gibberish or anything but it is their own language.  So you would see the person speaking but hear them in your own language.  This is greatly different than what we see in some churches today.  You get nothing but a confusing babel of gibberish.  And the key word there is confusion...what did Paul state in 1 Corinth 14:33 "For God is not the author of confusion..."

Sincerely
Brother Jerry
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Sincerely
Brother Jerry

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I am like most fathers.  I, like most, want more for my children than I have.

I am unlike most fathers.  What I would like my children to have more of is crowns to lay at Jesus feet.
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« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2006, 05:32:18 PM »

why do you ask a question, and then give your opinion as the answer?

This topic would be better served in the debate section, and thus I will not answer here.
If you would like to move this topic to the debate forum, and be willing to have an open
mind instead of quoting church(not bible) teaching I would be happy to discuss your
question

respectfully yours:

ravenloche
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« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2006, 07:24:17 PM »

Hi ravenloche,

If you notice there is not just question marks but exclamation points also. It was not meant as a question for others to answer on here.

If you wish to discuss this topic there are already many threads in the debate section where you can address your concerns.

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« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2007, 09:50:30 PM »

if speaking in tongues edifies me
and i am part of the church
is not the church being edified?
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« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2007, 11:35:44 PM »

I have heard that many times before. Your answer is clearly given here:

1Co 14:3  But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
1Co 14:4  He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.


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« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2007, 09:38:46 AM »

if a body builder works on only mussel group today
would you say that be body is not being built?
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« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2007, 10:06:34 AM »

Unfortunately many concentrate on the "mussel group" of speaking in tongues and ignore the more important aspects of building the body.


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« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2007, 04:49:52 PM »

i guess in your view the body has no tongue
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« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2007, 05:13:12 PM »

I have never said that, nor have I given that indication. What I have said is that, although speaking in tongues has had it's place it is not the most important gift as it is not the one that edifies the body. I strongly suggest that you reread 1 Cor 14 with much prayer before you start. The problem with most advocates of speaking in tongues is that put it above all else.

1Co 14:22  Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: ...

1Co 14:12  Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.

One of the things that many bodybuilders do is to work on those muscles that are seen by others and ignore the condition of the heart.

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« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2007, 05:51:16 PM »

Good point PR.

Cause I was going to mention that they may be building muscle mass but they can also be ignoring bone mass, as well as other important aspects of the entire body.
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« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2007, 06:09:02 PM »

Jerry
guess then  i just will have to be a barbarian
to you when i talk to God
for my edification.
God understands what i am saying
even if you do not.
And He is pleased because i do it in faith.
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« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2007, 06:45:58 PM »

Jerry
guess then  i just will have to be a barbarian
to you when i talk to God
for my edification.
God understands what i am saying
even if you do not.
And He is pleased because i do it in faith.


That is another good point. God does understand what is being said.

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« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2007, 06:50:16 AM »

you are just plain wrong on that one roger
God said, "I do understand you Bob."
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Brother Jerry
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« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2007, 09:47:15 AM »

Bob,

How do you clarify 1 Corinthians 14:13-19?  "If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints."

Here we see that Paul clearly states that if anyone speaks in an unknown tongue then let there be 2 or three there so that one may interpret.  If there is no interpreter then keep silent in church. 

Paul mentions confusion in these verses.  If one single man speaks to God in an unknown language and then turns around and that one man tells you what the conversation is about, how easy is it for that one man to lead a congregation astray?  Look at cults today and how they act.  (this is in no way saying that the holiness churches and such are cults so please do not take it that way).  Our churches are not to be "dependant" upon the congregation leaders.  This is also why Paul said that there should be someone to translate...the more people understanding what is going on with their own ears, the less confusion there is. 

And imagine the poor lost soul out there seeking.  Comes to service and suddenly people are preaching and speaking in an unknown language.  To what benefit is that of God?  While those speaking in tongues may be edified, God is not and that lost soul leaves the church confused.  That is the glory of Jesus is that it is pure and simple.  There is no secret rituals or chants or hidden tricks.  It is simple acceptance. 

Let me also ask you this?  From the Bible could you please explain why the act of speaking in tongues is a new concept and not something that happened before Christ?
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Sincerely
Brother Jerry

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I am like most fathers.  I, like most, want more for my children than I have.

I am unlike most fathers.  What I would like my children to have more of is crowns to lay at Jesus feet.
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