Speaking in Tongues

Dr. Mike Johnston

The subject of tongues is one of the most controversial topics in the Bible and I’ve been on both sides of the debate. In the past three decades of ministry I’ve seen it divide families and destroy churches as each side marshals its most compelling arguments and experiences into a bevy of name calling and insults that are both unwarranted and unchristian.

And it got them nowhere!

Please hear me. The issue before us isn’t whether or not tongues is or was a Spiritual gift since it is presented in that context some eighteen times in Scripture. What many of us want to know is: what were they? and are they still valid?

These questions can only be answered if we are willing to trade our theology texts and preconceived notions for the unwavering, unemotional, and unchanging teachings in the Word of God.

This tract does that by utilizing a fool-proof method of unbiased study.  While I’m not sure if you will agree with my conclusions, I do know this. You will remember the facts associated with this topic for a long long time. Are you interested?

Honest Biblical Hermeneutics

Rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Tim. 2:15) is a command Bible students should take very seriously. That’s where hermeneutics- a fancy word for the science of Biblical interpretation- comes into play. Without it we find ourselves gulping the same cup of spiritual soup most cults and their duped disciples drink from.

While there are a couple dozen hard and fast rules involved in this discipline, we can boil them down to two categories:  First are the empirical rules: the Bible alone—not our denominational texts or emotional experiences—is our only acceptable source of authority. Second, are theexegetical rules: the context of any passage studied, including original setting, writer, recipients, circumstances, word definitions, and a few other things, will determine what is meant in every situation.

The Law of First Mention

One of the laws of hermeneutics we’ll be using in our study of tongues is called the Law of First Mention (or the law of original usage). As the name suggests, it teaches us that the first time something appears in the Bible defines it throughout.  This rule keeps us from manipulating the Bible to our own advantage by assigning alternative teaching to previously established truth.

The Holy Spirit

In understanding Spiritual gifts (charisma), like tongues, we must first know something about the Holy Spirit from Whom they originate (1 Cor. 12:4, 11).

In the Old Testament,  during the Dispensation of the Law, the work of the Holy Spirit was different than it is today. He didn’t permanently indwell individuals (Psalm 51:11), He filled and empowered them for specific tasks, then departed upon completion (Judges 3:10; 6:34; 11:29; Ezek. 3:24).

Power before Pentecost

After Christ’s resurrection, but prior to His ascension, He had not yet sent the Helper or  Comforter (Holy Spirit) to guide us and abide with us forever (John 14:16-18; 16:7). However, in His absence the disciples would still require spiritual anointing for ministry.

One day while they were hiding from the Jews, Jesus appeared and he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost (John 20:22). This carried them through until the new dispensation of grace and the formation of the church and its spiritual gifts made possible through . . .

 

The Baptism with the Holy Spirit

Charismatics use this term as a kind of “second blessing” that must be tarried for or otherwise sought subsequent to salvation. However if the Bible is our Guide we find this just isn’t true. While we are commanded to be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18), nowhere are we commanded to be baptized by Him. Every born again believer has already been baptized in the Holy Spirit once and for all. In fact, it is impossible to be a Christian without this supernatural event. Paul wrote: For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body . . . and have been all made to drink into one Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13). This is the way we became permanently seated together in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph. 2:6) and glorified forever (Rom. 8:30).

 

John the Baptist was the first person to use this phrase: I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than   I . . . he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire (Matthew 3:11). But Jesus alluded to this in His great teachings on the Holy Spirit (John 14-16) without fully revealing the extent of it until the day of His glorious ascension: He commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence (Acts 1:4-5). And they were, 10 days later on the Day of Pentecost.

Pentecostal Tongues

Pentecost was one of three annual feasts that all male Jews were required to attend. On this particular day, some scholars estimate as many as one-hundred thousand were on hand as the first 120 believers were baptized into the Body and filled by the Holy Spirit simultaneously. Luke describes His arrival vividly for us: And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance (Acts 2:1-4).

 

            Since this is the first mention of tongues, the Law of First Mention defines them and their use: the miraculous ability to preach the gospel in a specific language and dialect they had never learned (Acts 2:11).  If you know your Bible you will see that this was the direct fulfillment of the Lord’s teaching prior to the resurrection, that new believers would possess several sign gifts including speaking with new tongues (Mark 16:17).

Glossa or Gibberish?

The Greek word for tongues is glossa and is used 50 times; over half of which refer to “the language or dialect used by a particular people distinct from that of other nations” (Thayer).  There is absolutely no way you can misconstrue the Greek word glossa (tongues) to mean the kind of nonsensical gibberish passing for tongues in Pentecostal and Charismatic circles today. None! I believe the confusion surrounding tongues would completely evaporate if Christians would simply let the Bible say what it is saying.

The Purpose of Tongues

Everything God does is with purpose (Eph. 1:11). Tongues are no different; they were a sign to unbelieving Israel (1 Cor. 1:22; 14:22; see Isa. 28:11-12). My friend, lest we forget, Israel was chosen to herald God’s goodness to the world and Jesus was the promised Messiah of a glorious coming kingdom. However, knowing they would reject Him, the Lord Jesus instituted a parenthetical group known as the church (Matt. 16:18) to carry on His message up until she is removed (John 14:2-3; 1 Thess. 4:13-17).

Two facts stand out in the five major passages dealing with tongues (Acts 2; 19:6; 1 Cor. 12, 14; and Mark 16:17): They were always “known languages of the world”, and unbelieving Jews were in view as a sign: Acts 2 tongues are given to validate Peter’s message–Jesus is the Messiah. Acts 10 confirms Gentile salvation which Jews would otherwise reject. Acts 19 validates the conversion of some of John’s disciples. In 1 Corinthians 12-14, they signify

Messianic fulfillment to unbelieving Jews attending services at Corinth. Please listen my friend. Nowhere does the Bible state that speaking in tongues is a test of salvation or sanctification  as maintained by some groups. While the gospel of John was written specifically to show people how to be saved (Jn. 20:30-31) not one mention of tongues. And while God surely wants all Christians to be spiritually mature, 1 Cor. 12:29-30 clearly implies that not all will speak in tongues. To spin the purpose of tongues in another direction is disingenuous, or worse devious.

The Corinthian Chaos

It’s a bit ironic. Much of what we see passing for spirituality in the church today has been adopted from the antics of the most carnal church in the New Testament: the Corinthians. Paul the converted Rabbi, had become an apostle, missionary, evangelist-church planter preaching and teaching multitudes of Gentiles in multicultural settings (Rom. 11:13).

On his Second Missionary Journey all his skills and gifts were tested when he landed in Corinth for a year and one half. It was the capital of the Greek province of Achaia, located on a narrow isthmus 50 miles west of Athens, and served as the major sea trade route between Asia and Italy. By the time Paul penned his first letter to the church,  Corinth was a cosmopolitan melting pot for some 400,000 diverse residents. The Jews had captured the banking industry from the heathen priests which of course brought about a constant influx of Jews into the city where tongues, the sign to unbelieving Jews, were necessary and used extensively to prove God was moving in the Gentile community.

Occult Practices

The confusion about tongues in Corinth is easy to understand when you analyze their indigenous make-up. Besides Greeks and Jews, people of all nationalities, languages and dialects lived there or passed through. As a result, Corinth was religiously pluralistic and steeped in idolatry (1 Cor. 12:2) which ultimately morphed into an occult mecca where soothsayers, diviners, and spiritists filled the streets along with 1000 temple prostitutes who facilitated wild orgies at the altar of the sex goddess Aphrodite.

Ecstatic Utterances

Unintelligible prayer “tongues” was common in the Corinthian community but it is not orthodox or Christian. It is a desperately faulty ruse built upon one verse-1 Cor. 14:14- by practitioners that stubbornly ignore its lack of Scriptural support and occult link. Aside from heretics like Montanus, it was not seen in church until the 1900’s (order New Age Charismatic Corruption).

When the gift of speaking in previously unlearned languages surfaced in Corinth, the reference point for those who heard it was tied to idolatry in two ways: To those who were natives of the area, it sounded like the same old gibberish they heard from occult worshipers at the altar of Aphrodite’s temple. But to Gentile visitors who were ignorant or unsaved it appeared as the ranting of rogue madmen (1 Cor. 14:23).  So, in order to maintain authenticity and edification God instituted the gift of interpretation of tongues (1 Cor 12:10, 30; 14:5, 13, 26-28).  Let me illustrate.

Let’s suppose you speak French and attend a multi-cultural Jewish-Gentile fellowship. One morning a gentleman across the aisle begins to preach in German which to you sounds like “gibberish.” However, if someone in the congregation can translate that German into French, you will be edified (1 Cor. 14:5, 13).

Conclusion

The gift of tongues is the miraculous ability to preach the gospel in a specific language and dialect previously unknown by the speaker (Acts 2:11). Corinth was the only church that had a problem with it. As you can see, their confusion stemmed from their multicultural worship and long history of occult experiences. Those today claiming that ecstatic utterances are the same tongues we find in the Bible are doing so at the expense of sound exegesis and a long history of orthodox truth. What passes for tongues, interpretation of tongues and the word of knowledge today is linked to soothsaying and divining in Israel (Deut. 18:14). When tongues are studied in context utilizing the recognized laws of hermeneutics and spiritual wisdom, we believe the serious student of Scripture will quickly see how real Biblical tongues explains itself.

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  1. sammy
    January 2, 2016 at 5:54 am

    He who has not experienced speaking in tongues has no authority to lecture those who have experienced the gift who has a sound theology otherwise he is fighting against the giver of the gift which is the Holy Spirit. If there is a false speaking in tongues which is gibberish, there is also a genuine speaking in tongues which is a true language although the speaker himself cannot understand the language because it is from spirit to Spirit. “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.” (1 Cor. 14:2,14) It’s main purpose is to edify ones spirit (not the mind nor the body) and also not for the hearers. In 1 Corinthians 14, Paul’s primary concern was to bless the congregation through spiritual gifts and since speaking in tongues in public cannot be understood, he urged them to pray for another gift which is interpretation of tongues and if no one can interpret let him be silent in the church which is just practical. Paul said in verse 39, “covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak in tongues.” 1 Corinthians 12:31 says, “covet earnestly the best gifts” and the best gift is the gift that can be used when it is needed. Certainly, private personal devotions need this gift and also during encounters with demonic spiritual powers need this gift to strengthen (edify) the spirit against demonic spirits.

    • January 2, 2016 at 8:07 am

      Hi “sammy” – you wrote: “He who has not experienced speaking in tongues has no authority to lecture those who have experienced the gift who has a sound theology otherwise he is fighting against the giver of the gift which is the Holy Spirit.”

      This is a false assertion. Fact is, “sammy” in the past 40 years, I discovered assuming things that aren’t really so is sadly typical of charismatics – which I understand very well having been one myself.

      I was a “tongue” talking charismatic for the first few years after I was saved (1975). In fact, I wasted many precious hours in a gibberish “prayer tongue” that I was told simply to accept by faith. Not wanting to be seen as “unspiritual” or in refusing a “gift” God had for me, I did as they suggested.

      While I’m thrilled you are saved and I’m certain you love the Lord, your argument is typical of those I once advanced; and while brimming with emotionalism (a main charismatic characteristic I might add) – are devoid of evidence.

      Everything God does is with purpose (Eph. 1:11). Tongues are no different; they were a sign to unbelieving Israel (1 Cor. 1:22; 14:22; see Isa. 28:11-12). My friend, lest we forget, Israel was chosen to herald God’s goodness to the world and Jesus was the promised Messiah of a glorious coming kingdom. However, knowing they would reject Him, the Lord Jesus instituted a parenthetical group known as the church (Matt. 16:18) to carry on His message up until she is removed (John 14:2-3; 1 Thess. 4:13-17).

      Two facts stand out in the five major passages dealing with tongues (Acts 2; 19:6; 1 Cor. 12, 14; and Mark 16:17): They were always “known languages of the world”, and unbelieving Jews were in view as a sign: Acts 2 tongues are given to validate Peter’s message–Jesus is the Messiah. Acts 10 confirms Gentile salvation which Jews would otherwise reject. Acts 19 validates the conversion of some of John’s disciples. In 1 Corinthians 12-14, they signify Messianic fulfillment to unbelieving Jews attending services at Corinth. Please listen my friend. Nowhere does the Bible state that speaking in tongues is a test of salvation or sanctification as maintained by some groups. While the gospel of John was written specifically to show people how to be saved (Jn. 20:30-31) not one mention of tongues. And while God surely wants all Christians to be spiritually mature, 1 Cor. 12:29-30 clearly implies that not all will speak in tongues. To spin the purpose of tongues in another direction is disingenuous, or worse devious.

      The Corinthian Chaos
      It’s a bit ironic. Much of what we see passing for spirituality in the church today has been adopted from the antics of the most carnal church in the New Testament: the Corinthians. Paul the converted Rabbi, had become an apostle, missionary, evangelist-church planter preaching and teaching multitudes of Gentiles in multicultural settings (Rom. 11:13).
      On his Second Missionary Journey all his skills and gifts were tested when he landed in Corinth for a year and one half. It was the capital of the Greek province of Achaia, located on a narrow isthmus 50 miles west of Athens, and served as the major sea trade route between Asia and Italy. By the time Paul penned his first letter to the church, Corinth was a cosmopolitan melting pot for some 400,000 diverse residents. The Jews had captured the banking industry from the heathen priests which of course brought about a constant influx of Jews into the city where tongues, the sign to unbelieving Jews, were necessary and used extensively to prove God was moving in the Gentile community.

      Occult Practices
      The confusion about tongues in Corinth is easy to understand when you analyze their indigenous make-up. Besides Greeks and Jews, people of all nationalities, languages and dialects lived there or passed through. As a result, Corinth was religiously pluralistic and steeped in idolatry (1 Cor. 12:2) which ultimately morphed into an occult mecca where soothsayers, diviners, and spiritists filled the streets along with 1000 temple prostitutes who facilitated wild orgies at the altar of the sex goddess Aphrodite.

      Ecstatic Utterances
      Unintelligible prayer “tongues” was common in the Corinthian community but it is not orthodox or Christian. It is a desperately faulty ruse built upon one verse-1 Cor. 14:14- by practitioners that stubbornly ignore its lack of Scriptural support and occult link. Aside from heretics like Montanus, it was not seen in church until the 1900’s (order New Age Charismatic Corruption).
      When the gift of speaking in previously unlearned languages surfaced in Corinth, the reference point for those who heard it was tied to idolatry in two ways: To those who were natives of the area, it sounded like the same old gibberish they heard from occult worshipers at the altar of Aphrodite’s temple. But to Gentile visitors who were ignorant or unsaved it appeared as the ranting of rogue madmen (1 Cor. 14:23). So, in order to maintain authenticity and edification God instituted the gift of interpretation of tongues (1 Cor 12:10, 30; 14:5, 13, 26-28). Let me illustrate.
      Let’s suppose you speak French and attend a multi-cultural Jewish-Gentile fellowship. One morning a gentleman across the aisle begins to preach in German which to you sounds like “gibberish.” However, if someone in the congregation can translate that German into French, you will be edified (1 Cor. 14:5, 13)

      Conclusion
      The gift of tongues is the miraculous ability to preach the gospel in a specific language and dialect previously unknown by the speaker (Acts 2:11). Corinth was the only church that had a problem with it. As you can see, their confusion stemmed from their multicultural worship and long history of occult experiences. Those today claiming that ecstatic utterances are the same tongues we find in the Bible are doing so at the expense of sound exegesis and a long history of orthodox truth. What passes for tongues, interpretation of tongues and the word of knowledge today is linked to soothsaying and divining in Israel (Deut. 18:14). When tongues are studied in context utilizing the recognized laws of hermeneutics and spiritual wisdom, we believe the serious student of Scripture will quickly see how real Biblical tongues explains itself.

      Shalom …

  2. christain
    February 19, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    I wanted to know what PMI was about, but i see you want to put the Holy Spirit and our father God and Jesus in a Box. The truth is you are no better than the SDA ,WOF, and the rest of them. Always fighting to be right in your own right. Sammy really said what the bible said and the bible is right, PMI CENTER went out in comment fighting the wind as Paul would say,LOL LOL. When Jesus set the Holy Ghost free he set the gifts free he set us free, the work in us. We are vessels in the lord. NOW some people and a lot of people copy cat each other , like you said “I done as they suggested”, your error and Jesus is not mad at you. YOU should have followed the LORD and not be a copy cat. The utterance of the tongue has purpose even today granted some take it out of bible spirit of truth. Like you are taking the word Israel the land and making it your purpose for seeking Jesus I say if anything you both can be earthly right. Spirit and in Truth is only from Heaven and You my brother ant there Yet . SOOOOOOOOOO get ready to bow before him JESUS BEHOLD the LAMB of GOD. God bless you both I pray we will one day sing Zion songs together and only be focused on the LORD and his FACE, JUST TO BEHOLD HIS FACE.

    • February 20, 2016 at 8:33 am

      christain – I will try to answer your reply, but frankly it is somewhat discursive, disconnected and very confusing.

      The basis for conflict here is simple: emotion vs. evidence.

      May I say at the outset that false accusations is a common deflective tactic used by charismatics with an experience that is devoid of Scripture evidence. My post – which you disdained – was filled with God’s word; yours was filled with your words. Any spiritually sensitive person will be able to discern the difference.

      You begin with the tired and often trotted out false accusation of “putting God is a box”. Not at all. The fact is God if omnipotent and does what He will. Moreover, He provides His Will in His Word so anything not according to either of them should be revealed and rejected. Sadly, charismatics and Pentecostals are some of the most confused people on the planet and while appalled by facts are all too willing to support ANYTHING with the Jesus name tag attached to it even it if is NOT BIBLICAL. This is not wise and from what I’ve seen in the past 41 years years of studying the Bible, invariably leads to heresy and over indulgence – as is the case here.

      Now, it appears that you are against the cults of SDA (good) as well as the charismatic Word of Faith heresy (also good) and yet are in support of unbiblical gibberish “tongues” which which have no foundation in Scripture which if you had really spent time studying my apologetic you would have discovered. Having said that, once again I point to the fact that you couldn’t support your position with Scripture so you vented your feelings. Typical!

      One of the most disturbing parts of your diatribe however was a veiled sentence revealing you are an anti-Semite standing against the nation of Israel, a position God doth loathe. Here is where I stand to urge you to repent before you face His judgment friend (Gen. 12:2-3).

      Now about gibberish tongues.

      The fact is the “tongues” you find in Pentecostal Charismatic Latter Rain cult driven churches today has nothing to do with real languages that were part of Christ’s gift of languages aka tongues in the first century. “Tongues” as practiced today are merely an unintelligible exercise in foolishness that claims untold amounts of fruitless hours by those practicing it that could be invested in praying for souls, America, the upcoming election, and other things God is burdening spirit filled Christians to intercede for.

      Paul’s warning is clear: But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils (1 Corinthians 10:20-21). It’s a bit ironic. Much of what we see passing for spirituality in the church today has been cut and pasted from the aberrant antics at Corinth, arguably the most unspiritual, carnal church in Scripture.

      Corinthian Babylonianism
      Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost (1 Corinthians 12:2-3). The Corinthian church was some of the fruit of Paul’s second missionary journey. History demonstrates they were occult worshipers that the apostle literally snatched from the clutches of idolatry which apparently was creeping back into their worship (1 Cor. 12:2).

      The city of Corinth was the capital of the Greek province of Achaia and was located on a narrow isthmus 50 miles west of Athens. It served as the key sea trade route between Asia and Italy which made Corinth quite cosmopolitan. They were also superstitious, and held tightly to idolatrous Babylonian moorings including sexual offerings and worship at a temple to the goddess Aphrodite (aka the Queen of Heaven, Semiramis). Soothsayers, diviners, spiritists and 1000 long-haired sodomite temple prostitutes bandied about the streets flaunting their licentious behavior. In this occult oriented city, it was very common to hear temple priests prophesying and praying in ecstatic gibberish tongues called glossolalia that no one could understand, much less interpret.

      At the time Paul penned his first letter to the church- which is far more corrective rather than complimentary- some 400,000 diverse residents representing several cultures and just as many dialects- lived, worked, and worshiped there. Historians tell us thousands it was also home to several thousand Jews who had captured the banking industry from the heathen temple priests. This Jewish population underlines the reason God used tongues extensively in Corinth since they were a sign of God’s judgment to unbelieving Jews: Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not (1 Corinthians 14:22). Commenting in the Believer’s Bible Commentary, William Macdonald writes:

      The apostle quotes from Isaiah to show that tongues are a sign to unbelievers rather than to believers. God said that because the children of Israel had rejected His message and had mocked it, He would speak to them through a foreign language (Isa_28:11). The fulfillment of this took place when the Assyrian invaders came into the land of Israel, and the Israelites heard the Assyrian language being spoken in their midst. This was a sign to them of their rejection of God’s word.

      Tongues vs. Gibberish

      The confusion in early Babylon is the same confusion we find in Corinth and in all of today’s neo-Babylon churches- tongues! Scripture is clear that the gift of tongues was the ability to speak in a known language unknown to the speaker. That is what it was in the first century when Mark (16:17), Luke (Acts 2:3-4; 10:46; 19:6), and Paul (1 Cor. 12-14) discussed them. That’s what it still means today. The confusion comes from our Charismatic friends holding to a learned emotional experience contrived from wrongful instruction- clearly linked to the occult- without a shred of Biblical evidence. Ecstatic babbling done in Charismatic churches is not tongues. It’s gibberish.

      Charismatics usually link their gibberish to Paul- a traveling missionary- for being thankful for speaking in tongues. They aren’t the same. I thank my God, I speak with tongues (Greek: glossa- languages, not glossolalia gibberish) more than ye all (1 Corinthians 14:18). This wasn’t gibberish; Paul preached in languages he’d never studied. Strong defines the Greek word glōssa as follows: . . . by implication a language (specifically one naturally unacquired). This is never to be interpreted as Charismatic tongues gibberish as Charismatics always do. It isn’t supported with any evidence; only experience!

      The ability to speak and interpret real languages were indeed legitimate gifts of the Holy Spirit prior to the completion of the Canon of Scripture, ecstatic gibberish was, is, and always has been inextricably linked to the occult. Walk into a church where half of the congregation is muttering incoherently and you’ll understand what I mean. It’s chilling.

      The fact is, ecstatic gibberish has never been a valid gift- for praying or preaching- and aside from wild eyed heretics like Montanus, Christians never practiced it. The gift of tongues was the pre-canonical supernatural ability to speak in a previously unlearned language (aka unknown tongues). Since sign gifts like the ability to speak in a language you never learned was surefire evidence of the Holy Spirit in a life, many of the proud and puffy Corinthians (1 Cor. 4:6, 18-19) naturally chased after it. However, there was a problem. As one man after another rose to speak in a legitimate language only those native to it could understand, it became a carnival of confusion that desperately needed order which Paul provided (1 Corinthians 12-14). Here are two problem this created:

      First, to natives of the area that spoke only Greek, legitimate foreign languages sounded like the same gibberish they heard emanating from the occult priests and worshipers at the altar of Aphrodite’s temple. But to Gentile visitors who were ignorant or unsaved it appeared as the ranting of rogue madmen (1 Cor. 14:23). So, in order to maintain order and authenticity God demanded no more than two or three would speak followed by an interpretation (1 Cor. 12:10, 30; 14:5, 13, 26-28). This would allow unlearned or unsaved opportunity to understand what was being preached or prophesied and possibly get saved. Let me make one further illustration.

      Let’s suppose it’s the first century in Corinth and you’re a recent convert to Christ fresh from the throes of idolatry who speaks “Greek”. There are no Old Scofield KJV Bibles at this time, so everything is done through the gift of prophecy, and judged by other gifted prophets (1 Cor. 14:32). One morning a gentleman across the room rises to preach in “Hebrew.” Of course you can’t understand this so as a young babe in Christ your point of reference becomes the heathen temple priests prayer “gibberish” you grew up listening to. However, if someone in the congregation can translate the Hebrew into Greek, you will understand, and thus be edified (1 Cor. 14:5, 13). This is exactly what was happening in Corinth that is being wildly misapplied in Charismatic churches around the world.

      BOTTOM LINE: If you wish to discuss Scripture, provide chapter and verse and I’ll reply. Otherwise I’m not interested.

      Shalom …

  3. Rod
    May 18, 2016 at 1:23 am

    Very good article and reply Mike (hope I got the name right!) to these tongues people. Yes, I am a ex-assembly of God person from many years ago. I thought tongues was a gift from God so I just went along with everyone else in the church ! One day I met a dear christian on a street and got to speaking about tongues (excuse the pun!) with him. He challenged me through scripture if what I practiced lined up with the bibles rules on tongues, which I had to admit was not the case.

    Not long after I went back to my A,O.G church with loads of tongue tracts (6 rules for speaking in tongues) gave them out to people I personally knew and asked them to read it and tell me their thoughts.

    Needless to say, I was considered a heretic for blaspheming the Holy Spirit ! I never went back to that church and never had friendship or fellowship with people I thought were brothers and friends.

    That’s the price you pay for standing for God’s word rightly divided.

    Regards

    Rod

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