Speaking in Tongues

I am writing this letter to my family members and friends who have experienced God’s gift of speaking in tongues.   I would like to hear you opinions and beliefs about this subject.   I’d like to hear each of your experiences about the first time you were blessed to speak in tongues.

I have prayed many times for God to give me this gift but as usual it is not God’s fault that I have not experienced this gift but it is my own fault that God does not speak to me in the way that I desire Him to speak.

I am not trying to criticize speaking in tongues because it is part of the gospel of Christ and should be a regular part of a Christian life.   However like so many other Christian doctrines, I believe it is being taught and promoted in error from what the scriptures teach.

I believe that much of the speaking in tongues that occurs in church worship services today is faked or phony and many times tongues are expressed simply because people believe it is supposed to be a part of God’s plan.   I have seen the same thing happen many times in prophecy where God speaks to a man’s heart, or a man thinks that God has spoken to him and so he speaks to the church with “Thus saith the Lord” and it isn’t even true or it wasn’t intended for the whole church.

I want to look at the scriptures and see if speaking in tongues is used as a gift in the church in the same way that it was described in the scriptures.   Of course almost all references to speaking in tongues today starts with the churches experiences on the day of Pentecost, so lets look at what happened on that day.

Acts 2:2 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. 6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. KJV

Here are the things that happened on the day of Pentecost.

1: Sound of a rushing mighty wind.

2: Cloven tongues as of fire sat on each of them.

3: They were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

4: Multitude came together and each man hear the spoken word in his own language.

5: There were no interpreters.

Now, I’m sure that each of you may be able to tell me stories where you have heard of all the steps being part of some instance where tongues were spoken but for the most part, the tongues practiced by our Christian churches of today, in most churches, don’t exhibit steps 1 or 2 or 4 or 5.   Why is that?   Why don’t we hear the MIGHTY wind blow in with the Spirit of God at least some of the time?   Why don’t we see the cloven tongues of fire over the heads of those speaking in tongues at least some of the time?   Why don’t people in the congregation hear the tongues spoken in their own language without interpreters, at least some of the time?

We have multitudes of churches that practice speaking in tongues and they all point to the day of Pentecost and yet they don’t have tongues in the same way that tongues were used on the day of Pentecost.   Yes, there are other kinds of tongues spoken of in the scriptures, such a praying or speaking with or without the understanding.   To me this is more of a personal kind of tongues where God gives the words to speak even beyond our own understanding and is more for our own personal prayer and meditation time with God.   In most cases there are no interpreters in this kind of speaking in tongues to God because no one else is listening except our own self and God.

Scripture also has some other rules that go along with speaking in tongues.

I cor 14:27 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. 28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. KJV

1: Let them speak by course. Decently and in order.

2: Let them speak by two or at the most by three and that by course.

3: If there is no interpreter, let him keep silent.

Again tongues today is normally practiced with the whole multitude speaking at the same time and it is not done decently and in order with only two or three at most speaking and then only one interpreting.

Let me say again, LOUD AND CLEAR that I believe that speaking in tongues is one of the spiritual gifts of God and it should be being practiced in our churches in the way it was demonstrated in the scriptures.   It is part of the gospel plan.

Tongues is probably more important to be practiced when we are alone and in prayer to God or in our closets because there it is not used to impress people.   It’s just between our own selves and God.   Now we have many churches today that teach that speaking in tongues is the only evidence that a person is born again.   It can be one of those evidences but not the only one.  People so often forget about the part where Christians were converted and then immediately spoke in tongues and prophesied.   Why do we forget about the prophecy and want to say that tongues are the one and only evidence that a person is born again spiritually?

Speaking in prophecy or speaking in tongues can be a sign but so is living the gospel life and walking in the footsteps of Christ.

1 Cor 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? 30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? 31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way. KJV

Scripture asks the question of “Do all speak with tongues?” and the obvious answer to that question is “NO” and yet many churches teach that all should speak with tongues.   Why?   They say that tongues are an evidence that a person has been born again and yet the scripture says that tongues is not a sign for the church but a sign to unbelievers.   It is not to be used as a sign between believers.

I Cor 14:22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe. KJV

I look forward to your comments about this subject.   I have much to learn about speaking in tongues and since most of you have been through the experience personally, I value your opinions and beliefs.   I believe the scriptures are very plain about speaking in tongues and what should and shouldn’t happen with this gift of God.

1: There could be signs, like the sound of a mighty wind, cloven tongues of fire and people hearing the tongues all in their own languages without interpreters. Doesn’t mean that all these signs have to be there all the time but each should be there part of the time, at least.

2: God’s way of speaking in tongues in our services provides outsiders the ability to hear words that are spoken in an unknown tongue to be understood in their own language without interpreters.

3: If there is no interpreter, then keep silent and speak to God.

4: Speaking in tongues should be by two or three at the most with one interpreter.

5: Speaking in tongues is for a witness to unbelievers and not as a witness to other believers about your status as a Christian.

6: There is a kind of speaking in tongues where God gives us words in the unknown tongue because we are not wise enough to know what to ask God for, so He intercedes for us and provides a communication that we may not even understand.

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1 Cor 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. KJV

1 Cor 12:4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 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: 11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. KJV

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. KJV

Heb 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this will we do, if God permit. 4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. KJV

2 Tim 1:6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. 7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. KJV

2 Tim 1:6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. 7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. KJV

1 Cor 14:1-11 I Col 14:1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. 2 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. 3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. 4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. 5 I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying. 6 Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine? 7 And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? 8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? 9 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. 10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification. 11 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 12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church. 13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret. 14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. 15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. 16 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest? 17 For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified. 18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all: 19 Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue. 20 Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men. 21 In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. 22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe. 23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad? 24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: 25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth. 26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. 27 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. 28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. KJV

1 Cor 7:7 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. KJV

Rom 1:11 For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established; KJV

Acts 11:15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. 16 Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. 17 Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God? KJV

Acts 10:44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. 45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, 47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days. KJV



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