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Speaking in Tongues

Speaking in Tongues

speaking in tongues

Speaking in Tongues is it biblical?

Back in the day at Pentecost, in the upper room, a special gift was bestowed on the disciples that they would be able to go out and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ successfully.  One of the gifts was the ability to speak in tongues.  Many people today who speak in tongues today seem to think that this gift of tongues was a heavenly language. But this is not true.  The gift of tongues bestowed on those in the upper room spoke an earthly language.  The gift given to the disciples enabled them to communicate with people from other nations who spoke other languages, how else could they spread the gospel.

Acts 2:6-11  “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 marveled, 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.”

Now…

All genuine Christians believe that the gift of tongues existed as mentioned in Scripture.

1 Corinthians 12:8-11   “8To one is given in and through the [Holy] Spirit [the power to speak] a message of wisdom, and to another [the power to express] a word of knowledge and understanding according to the same [Holy] Spirit;   9To another [wonder-working] faith by the same [Holy] Spirit, to another the extraordinary powers of healing by the one Spirit;  10To another the working of miracles, to another prophetic insight (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose); to another the ability to discern and distinguish between [the utterances of true] spirits [and false ones], to another various kinds of [unknown] tongues, to another the ability to interpret [such] tongues.  11All these [gifts, achievements, abilities] are inspired and brought to pass by one and the same [Holy] Spirit, Who apportions to each person individually [exactly] as He chooses”.

And the Bible clearly states that the Corinthians spoke an earthly language (tongues) and God alone understands all languages.

Corinth, was a market visted by many a merchant from Asia, Africa, and Europe, and had a wildly mixed population speaking many a different language.  To exercise of the gift of tongues in preaching bought many an unbeliever to salvation.

1Cor 14:2    “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.”

G1100 γλῶσσα glossa (glows`-sah) n.
1. the tongue
2. (by implication) a language
3. (specially) a language not naturally acquired

1 Corinthians 12:10 mentions the gift of speaking in tongues and also mentions the gift of  interpreting tongues.  Tongues had to be interpreted!

The ‘gift of tongues’ given to the early church was given as the Holy Spirit willed. Because the Holy Spirit is sovereign. No one has the right to demand that he be given any certain gift or gifts as an evidence of the Holy Spirit’s baptism.  Tongues was certainly not evidence of salvation.  For example, some people in the Corinthian church were given the gift of tongues to edify the church – this tongue was an earthly language.

The Corinthian church for example did not have the Bible, the gift of tongues was needed in authenticating the Message that was delivered as being DIVINE;  these signs followed the proclamation of the truth.

When a person accepts Jesus Christ into their life they instantly receive the Holy Spirit who comes to abide in them – this alone is a gift.

Do not confuse speaking in tongues as being a fruit of the Spirit.

The fruit of the Spirit is evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit.  The fruits of the Spirit are mentioned in:

Galatians 5:22-23;   “22But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness,23Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].”

However…

Paul ended up rebuking the Corinthians over and over again because they did not understand the gospel.   Paul scolded the Corinthians for misusing the gift and making a mockery of the OT fulfillment of prophecy by Isaiah. This prophecy came about due to Israel’s disobedience to God.

Isaiah 28:11;   “11No, but [the Lord will teach the rebels in a more humiliating way] by men with stammering lips and another tongue will He speak to this people [says Isaiah, and teach them His lessons].”

Paul points out the OT Scripture of Isaiah 28:11 to the Corinthians because they (being Jews) should know the Law well…but they don’t.

1 Corinthians 12:21;  “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”.

Paul uses the reference to Isaiah to show them how they lack in knowing of OT scripture, therefore they lack even more when it comes to the gospel.  Isaiah specifically says that tongues will be used as a tool to preach the word of God to Israel, not the way the Corinthians are using it. It also says that even though they hear the word of God they still will not listen.

The gift of speaking in tongues was used as a sign only to unbelievers:

1 Corinthians 14:22   “22Thus [unknown] tongues are meant for a [supernatural] sign, not for believers but for unbelievers [on the point of believing], while prophecy (inspired preaching and teaching, interpreting the divine will and purpose) is not for unbelievers [on the point of believing] but for believers.”

To use tongues in any other way is unbiblical and when used the gospel was preached and people were saved because they heard the message, the sign of the gift of tongues followed only because the truth had been preached and the unbeliever was then on the point of believing.

The Corinthians turned tongues speaking into a mockery.  They used it for self glory and self gratification and they puffed themselves up making one person seem more spiritual than another. Paul lambastes them and calls the Corinthians spiritually immature and childish in their thinking.

1 Corinthians 14:20   “20Brethren, do not be children [immature] in your thinking; continue to be babes in [matters of] evil, but in your minds be mature [men].”

The Corinthians never grew up.  They remained spiritually immature.  They failed to study the scriptures  just like those churches today who follow the Corinthian blueprint.

Hebrews 5:12-14  “12For even though by this time you ought to be teaching others, you actually need someone to teach you over again the very first principles of God’s Word. You have come to need milk, not solid food. 13For everyone who continues to feed on milk is obviously inexperienced and unskilled in the doctrine of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action), for he is a mere infant [not able to talk yet]!  14But solid food is for full-grown men, for those whose senses and mental faculties are trained by practice to discriminate and distinguish between what is morally good and noble and what is evil and contrary either to divine or human law.”

The Corinthians thought they were so spiritual, but the Bible says they were manifesting carnality:

1 Corinthians 3:1;   “HOWEVER, BRETHREN, I could not talk to you as to spiritual [men], but as to nonspiritual [men of the flesh, in whom the carnal nature predominates], as to mere infants [in the new life] in Christ [unable to talk yet!]”

And there was even gross sin among these spiritual Corinthians:

1 Corinthians 5:1;  ” IT IS actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, impurity of a sort that is condemned and does not occur even among the heathen; for a man has [his own] father’s wife.”

The gift of speaking in tongues was a temporary gift bestowed on people by the Holy Spirit…

  1. To preach the gospel to all nations
  2. As a sign to confirm the gospel message preached because people would come to be saved thereafter.
  3. The fulfilment of OT scripture.

Once the Bible was written the gift of speaking in tongues has ceased and was replaced by love and truth.

1 Corinthians 13:8   “Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. As for prophecy (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), it will be fulfilled and pass away; as for tongues, they will be destroyed and cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away [it will lose its value and be superseded by truth].”

Tongues served their purpose, a very useful one,  Now with God’s complete revelation in our hands (the Bible), we do not require signs to manifest it as the Word of the Lord. When preached in power, it authenticates itself.

Truth = The Word of God

Paul says that LOVE never fails and this leads us to the 2 commandments that Jesus spoke about in

Mark 12:30-31  and they are:    30And you shall love the Lord your God out of and with your whole heart and out of and with all your soul (your life) and out of and with all your mind (with your faculty of thought and your moral understanding) and out of and with all your strength. This is the first and principal commandment.    31The second is like it and is this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.

The gift of prophecy (foreseeing the future) too shall be entirely unnecessary as the Bible contains everything you need to know for yesterday, today and tomorrow.  God has a stern warning for those with new words, new revelations that fall outside of scripture:

Revelation 22:18   “if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book”.

In those days Paul and the other Apostles wrote and prophesied in part – in other words they did not know everything until it was give to them by the Holy Spirit.  Paul said in…

1 Corinthians 13:8-11;   “9For our knowledge is fragmentary (incomplete and imperfect), and our prophecy (our teaching) is fragmentary (incomplete and imperfect).  10But when the complete and perfect (total) comes, the incomplete and imperfect will vanish away (become antiquated, void, and superseded).  11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; now that I have become a man, I am done with childish ways and have put them aside.

The perfect = The Word of God

Truth = The Word of God

The imperfect, the incomplete =  speaking in tongues, prophecy and new knowledge has CEASED!

When you are a born again Christian you do away with childish things and study the Word of God ONLY as it is perfect in every way.

Today speaking in tongues and prophesying is self-induced or demonic.  If you speak in tongues I urge you to read your Bible and study the matter urgently and rid yourself of this childish behaviour or worse, demonic affliction.

Dueling Tongues from Acts2031 on Vimeo.

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133 comments to Speaking in Tongues

  • Grant C

    Now here’s one that ought to receive some very interesting and diverse opinion from Charismatic, Charismatic Catholic and other related sources. I have recently read some, dare I say hilarious, articles on this subject. The perceived and manufactured variety of ‘tongues’ now rivals only the circumstances under which they are ‘received’.

    Just yesterday I happened across an article which explains the added effects that the ‘Words of Wisdom tongue’ and the ‘Words of Knowledge tongue’ include. Apparently one can hear the voices of angels, demons and Jesus along with these ‘gifts’. I don’t doubt that claim for a moment, considering the origin…

    Of course, all which you have correctly mentioned in your article here, has been prolifically disputed and ‘disproved’ in all media forms and from New Age pulpits world over. I anticipate lively counter argument and refutation of this article from obvious sources.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Grant

    I spent hours on this article and studying scripture. It would devistate me if someone were to come and give their ‘diverse’ opinion. hehe.

    My favourite is the Thunder Tongue. Apparently it sounds like thunder when others hear it. Hmm.

  • Jemah

    Why would the Holy Spirit speak in funny tongues that no one can understand in front of a whole congragation…
    Rom 8:26
    (26) Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
    It is self evident in the verse above that the groanings of the Holy Spirit CANNOT BE UTTERED
    I thank my God everyday for he is good and He doesnt expect me to do any strange thing to show him that I love Him, in Truth we worhip Him, what an amazing Father we have!and isn’t his love so simple to understand!!!! with just a requirement, to love Him with all our hearts and souls for what He has done for us, nothing more and nothing less,praise Him for ever and ever.

  • Pieter

    thx for this! You just managed to answer all my questions I ever had on this topic!

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Jemah

    Why would the Holy Spirit speak in funny tongues that no one can understand in front of a whole congragation

    Right on….

  • Elmarie A

    I have shared this before. Neville Norden from Lewende Woord church in Pretoria says if one cannot speak in tongues it is because of lack of knowledge or ignorance. It is absolutely insane to say this to someone. Lewende Woord is as I see it a false church with false teachings as there are other false teachings like his Prophetic School ect.

    Proof of what I am saying can be found at link chapter 8 page 183. The thesis was done in Afrikaans. I have tried to copy an paste article piece applicable but the pdf doc is locked.

    I have made this comment on another thread also. This was my comment:

    I was at LW and the yeah it was quite a day of my baptism there too. I attended LW for a very short period of 7 months. My baptism was a non Biblical ritual that took place.

    I had to walk the narrow road of truth for a while before the Lord opened the Word and showed me why the happenings at LW is not biblical.

    I found an article of what Neville Norden says about speaking in tongues. .

    The speaking in tongues is mandatory at LW, they sort of force one to do it. Ruoall the spirit present on the day of my baptism was not the Holy Spirit, it took me some time to figure that one out. Neville Norden also believe that those who cannot do the speak in tongues are IGNORANT. See this link read page 183

    He further believes that if you do not speak in tongues you have not received the Holy Spirit. He also says that it is wrong for someone to say that they don’t have to speak in tongues when receiving the Holy Spirit.

    I have a lady friend who was baptised at LW and never got her gift of tongues and it has made her feel inferior for many many years. It made her doubt her Salvation and that is dangerous.

    Can you see where the dangers lie in this false teaching. It can destroy a persons faith. Nowhere in the word are we commanded that we MUST speak in tongues as a sign of being born again.

    Neville Norden claims to believe that to receive the gift on tongues stands much closer toward the traditional Penticostalism because they believe that when one is baptised you will receive the Holy Spirit.

    At Lewende Woord they also believe in Prophesying and and it forms an important part of this church as there is also a Prophetic school where one is taught how to Prophesy and practice “ones gifts”?? Yearly they have what they call Apostolic Prophetic week and the Prophesying taking place is far from Biblical.

    Shortly before I left Lewende Woord Harlod Weitz spoke a so called prophetic word over Neville Norden. see here :Prophetic Word over Nevil Norden & Pretoria (Harold Weitsz 2009-08-14) SEE AUDIO LINK http://www.lewendewoord.co.za/newsite/download.php?view.1181

    That is not Biblical either. The Prophets in the Bible was purely inspired by God and was not taught how to Prophecy by going on some course. We can not speak a prophetic word over someone as is done by Harold Weitz. The Prophets in the Bible are the only ones we should believe and not men who are putting themselves on a high table to boast.

    Neville Norden does not believe in the Rapture.That is another loooonnng story.

    Neville has allot of assosiations with false teachers like Elza Meyer, Angus Buchan, Ray Mackauley, Herlod Weitz, Randy Clarck, Gary Kiewetter, Izak Burger, Kim Clement, aggh the list goes on and on………………..

    http://www.discerningtheworld.com/2010/03/01/benny-hinn-miracle-service-in-durban-13-mar-2010/

  • Patrick Ölund

    Maybe because God understands it.

  • Grant C

    Deborah

    Aah yes, Thunder Tongue, first heard at the Thunder Dome. Frankie went there, too I think, or was that the Pleasure Dome or the Coca Cola dome, can’t remember:) Not important.

    But I suppose we should not make too light of a subject which has had tragic implications for some. Thousands who have been deceived by the incredible falsities of preachers and pastors who have destroyed the fledgling faith of many who were told that their salvation depended on having faith enough to speak in gibberish tongues. The same false preachers and pastors who make Christianity seem cheap, ludicrous, pretentious and false. These bad shepherds truly allow themselves to become an embarrassment to the Christian faith and true believers.

    Although there are many other passages warning us about these deceivers, see what Jeremiah says about them. He is not addressing tongues, per se, but also the lies:

    Jer 23:31 Behold, I am against the prophets, declares the LORD, who use their tongues and declare, ‘declares the LORD.’
    Jer 23:32 Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, declares the LORD, and who tell them and lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or charge them. So they do not profit this people at all, declares the LORD.

    Again, concerning those who have been driven from the faith by false expectations of the teachers:

    Jer 23:1 “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” declares the LORD.
    Jer 23:2 Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for my people: “You have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds, declares the LORD.

    More recently, Peter comforts us:

    2Pe 2:1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.

  • Grant C

    Jemah

    It is self evident in the verse above that the groanings of the Holy Spirit CANNOT BE UTTERED

    You read the whole verse and did not stop after the word ‘groanings’. That is why you understand it perfectly. Thank you for being a Berean and as always for being gentle. Your faith speaks for itself.

    Further to your verse Romans 8:26, it is also quite evident that the Spirit maketh intercession for us . Not through us, but on our behalf.

    Also, what would be the purpose of having those groanings uttered among men? 1, they would not understand the meaning, and 2, what could we be expecting men to do for us? Thus it is pretty clear that those ‘groanings’ are made by the Spirit, on our behalf, before God.

    You are so right: it is really so, so simple and perfect.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Patrick

    Maybe because God understands it.

    Impressive but wrong answer. What would you say to a deaf and mute person?

  • Michael

    The tongues issue is a stumbling block to those (especially) new-born Christians and sadly… any issue that causes confusion is not the will of God…who sent His Son to save us from our sins.
    When any controversy becomes an issue and takes your focus away from the message of Calvary…then it is best left alone because it is a diversion. Avoid churches,teachings and church leaders who advocate this…and seek out God by prayer and reading His Word with a sincere heart. The answer will come. The really sad thing is that there are genuine reborn-christians trapped in this question.

  • Burning Lamp

    First, let me say I have the utmost respect for Deborah and gang and this website. I am fully aware of the craziness that surrounds the use of tongues and it sickens me because it is either of the flesh or Satan and an embarrassment to the Body of Christ.

    However, having said that, I do believe it is appropriate to hear another viewpoint. There is a balanced view that I believe is worthy of hearing. I know mature Christians who stand for biblical truth. Some of them speak in tongues (NOT in congregational settings, but rather in their prayer closets or intimate prayer settings.) I knew equally as many who do not have this gift – just as any other gift it is not an indicator of spiritual maturity or superiority. I do not for one moment believe that the brothers/sisters who have the gift of tongues are serving Satan and they would immediately abandon anything not pleasing to their Savior. They are not Pentecostal or Dominionist or even involved in charismania. They do not believe the office of apostle or prophet is for today.

    This is lengthy, but explains the position of those who acknowledge the gifts are valid for our day. I don’t know the author but it is representative of the balanced view on the topic held by some today.

    The gift of tongues is one of those gifts which has been surrounded by controversy in the church for many years. Many of the main-line denominations believe that the gift of tongues was an apostolic gift which meant that it was only necessary in the church during the time of the apostles to kick-start the church.
    As a result, many of those denominations do not promote this gift because they deny its existence for today. On the other end of the spectrum, all of the Pentecostal and Charismatic churches believe in and promote the gift of tongues.
    We fall into the latter category which I believe is a biblical position on the gift of tongues. However, unlike most of our Pentecostal and Charismatic brethren, we teach a balanced biblical position on the use of this gift as the Spirit has revealed its use in the word of God.
    So, let’s jump right into this area. The word tongues in the N.T. is (glossa) in the Greek. And as with all languages, many words can mean different things depending on the context.

    The word tongue in the Greek can mean different things depending on the context. We read in JAM 3:5 “Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.”
    Here the tongue (glossa) is that organ just inside your mouth which gives you the ability to speak.
    Over in the book of Acts we find another use of the word glossa or tongue. We read in ACT 2:3 “They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.”
    Here the word glossa or tongues is not a physical part of the body, but is an expression describing a phenomenon of the Spirit descending upon the believers.
    But the next verse in ACT 2:4 says, “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”
    And so here the word glossa or tongue describes the language a person might use as his physical tongue is engaged to speak. And it’s this last description which we’re concerned with as we look into a gift of the Holy Spirit which enables a believer in Christ Jesus to speak in a language which that person never before learned.
    We’ll discover what this gift is used for in the Body of Christ and how it must be properly understood according to the word of God.
    The first time we see this gift spoken of in the in the N.T. is when Jesus said in MAR 16:15 “He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.
    16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
    17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;…”
    Here the word tongues, which is glossa in the Greek, infers new languages. Jesus means to say that one of the signs which will accompany faith in Christ is that some will speak in new languages which are not natural to their ability to communicate.
    Now, some have misunderstood Jesus’ words in Mark and have concluded that every believer will be able to drive out demons; every believer will be able to speak in a new tongue; and that every believer, according to MAR 16:18, “will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
    This is not what Jesus is teaching as Paul will explain in his letter to the Corinthians, as he describes that it is the Spirit who gives gifts according to His will, and that not everyone will have the exact same gifts. We are a Body made up of many members.
    But Jesus’ prophecy was in fact fulfilled on the day of Pentecost. Jesus was referring to the outpouring of the Spirit which was spoken of through the Prophet Joel.
    JOE 2:28 “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.
    29 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.”
    And it is this portion of Scripture in the O.T. which Peter quotes in describing what was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost when the disciples spoke with other languages. And it is on the day of Pentecost when for the first time the gift of tongues is given by the Spirit.
    ACT 2:4 “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
    5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven.
    6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language.
    7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans?
    8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language?”
    There were many different people in Jerusalem that day from different parts of the world who spoke different languages other than Hebrew or Greek. And as the disciples were filled with the Spirit they began speaking in the languages of these people.
    Some disciples spoke in the language of the Parthians, some spoke in the language of the Medes and some in the language of the Elamites and others spoke the languages of the residents of the Mesopotamians and so on; 16 different areas of the world are mentioned and probably different dialects within those regions.
    Some have suggested that the disciples were speaking their own language and that the miracle was in the hearing so that these people heard them speak in their own language. I don’t believe this to be the case. Peter understood what was going on because he heard it as well when he defended the disciples who were accused of being drunk as they babbled in these different languages.
    He responded in ACT 2:15 “These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning!
    16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
    17 “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.”
    The “all people” in verse 17 is understood to mean all those whom God comes upon with His Spirit who we are told are those who believe. The crowd, up to this point, had not believed. The gift of the Spirit is placed upon those who are indwelt with the Spirit; believing Christians.
    The Spirit had come upon the disciples and enabled them to fulfill Joel’s prophecy as they were able to speak in an unlearned language. The crowd simply heard their own language as it was spoken.
    Some may argue that this would be next to impossible for this vast crowd gathered around the disciples to understand the disciples who were each speaking a different language. However, this is not really that unusual. If you were in a crowd of people, all speaking an unknown language, and one of them began to speak in English guess who you’d tune in to and recognize what they were saying?
    This was the case in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost and what amazed the people was that they knew these disciples were not learned men who were able to know these different languages. Peter says, ‘that’s right, this is a work of the Holy Spirit according to word of God foretold by Joel.’
    And for you and I this is essential to understand when it comes to this gift in our lives. Whether it’s the gift of discernment or the gift of tongues or any other gift, it is the Spirit who must give it.
    In describing the different gifts of the Spirit in 1Cor.12:11, Paul says, “All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.”
    A gift is just that, a gift. We don’t earn it or deserve it. And though we may ask for gifts, which is certainly proper, it is ultimately up to the Holy Spirit who determines who He will give certain gifts to. More often than not the Holy Spirit gifts you even before you ask.
    This is why some Pentecostals, who insist that the evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit must be the speaking in tongues, are ABSOLUTELY WRONG. Some get the gift and some don’t. Paul uses rhetorical reasoning when he assumes that not everyone will have the same gifts.
    1CO 12:29 “Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?
    30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?”
    What do you suppose the implied answer is? No, not everyone in the Body of Christ will be an apostle; no, not everyone in the Body will work miracles or have gifts of healing; and no, not all will speak in tongues.
    To suggest that “the evidence” for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is an unknown tongue is to miss “the most important” evidence of the Spirit’s work which is not a particular gift, but the fruit of the Spirit which every believer is called upon to exhibit.
    That’s where Paul was going when he wrote in 1CO 12:31 “But eagerly desire the greater gifts. And now I will show you the most excellent way.
    13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”
    It is the love of Christ shed abroad in our hearts which is to be the evidence of the Spirit’s work in our lives, because (agape) love will not glory in any particular gift, it will reach out to others with the love of Christ found in the gospel of our Lord which is the power unto salvation.
    To place a spiritual gift, which will one day be taken away at the consummation of Christ’s plan, at the forefront of our lives, as the evidence, once again puts “us” in the spot light instead of Christ, whose love will never come to an end.
    And so simply because you do not presently have the gift of tongues does not necessarily mean you have not been baptized with the Holy Spirit. I wish I could convey to you how many people I’ve known over the years who have been devastated because some misguided “Christian” told them they didn’t have the Spirit because they didn’t speak in tongues.
    Paul makes it clear. Some do and some don’t. I for one will rest on the word of God any day, rather than be discouraged by someone who feels that their particular gift of tongues is the litmus test for spirituality. May I remind you that the Corinthian Church had the gift of tongues being exercised in their community and yet Paul rebukes them for being immature in the faith; not exercising the fruit of the Spirit.
    Spiritual maturity is never measured by how much someone practices a particular gift, it is measured by how much you love Christ and your neighbor as yourself. Remember, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” (1CO 13:1)
    By the way, I might add that if you do not have the “gift” of tongues and you desire to, you can certainly come to God and ask.
    But what’s the purpose of this gift of tongues? Again, we go to the word of God and we find a consistent pattern to the use of this gift. There on the day of Pentecost we see that what the crowds heard the disciples speaking was “the wonders of God!” The KJV puts it, “the wonderful works of God!” And the NASB puts it, “the mighty deeds of God!”
    The disciples were simply praising God and declaring His greatness. It wasn’t until Peter described what was happening that he then went on to declare the gospel of Jesus Christ, probably in either Aramaic or koine Greek, which most of the people would have understood.
    Aramaic might make more sense since the people Peter is addressing are mostly Jews as we read in ACT 2:14 “Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say.”
    Keep in mind that the day of Pentecost was a Jewish holy day that Jews would have been involved in along with some converts from the Gentile world. This is the very reason all of these different Jews from all over the known world were in Jerusalem at this time.
    And by the way, this answers the question as to what someone is doing when the gift of tongues is practiced then and today in the church. Keep in mind what the people heard in Jerusalem on that day. They heard the disciples speaking the wonders of God, declaring His greatness. The crowds simply heard the disciples praising God which is consistent with the way this gift is meant to be used.
    Paul addresses this in 1CO 14:2 “For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit.”
    If you’ve ever been in a place where someone was speaking in tongues you may have noticed that much of the time the interpretation is not given, and we’ll deal with that a little later, but in those instances where there is an interpretation more often than not it may sound something like, ‘My little children I love you and I will never forsake you and you will be My witnesses to the utter most parts of the world.’
    That’s very encouraging, but it is not an interpretation to the tongue. How do we know that? Because the gift of tongues is not directed toward men, but to God, according to what we just read n 1Cor.14:2.
    The interpretation I just used as an example was directed to men, not God. And so, instead of an interpretation to the tongue in the example I just gave, it was more than likely the gift of prophecy being used.
    If a proper use of the gift of interpretation was utilized the interpretation would be closer to praises to God, or prayer or thanksgiving to God, or just declaring His greatness.
    One of the things about the gift of tongues is that the utterances are given by the Holy Spirit. These utterances are not the result of you trying to create a language, which some in the church have done, precisely because of peer pressure. Also, one does not have control over which language one is given, although you do have control over the use of the gift.
    What I mean is that when you begin to praise God with your new tongue, the language you use is what the Spirit gives you. But you can start and stop as you choose. It’s not as though you’re out of control and God has taken over your mouth with you just being an unwilling by-stander until He’s done.
    With the way this gift is practiced often times in the church you would think this is the case, but like the gift of prophecy, the recipient does have control. As Paul says in 1CO 14:32 “The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets.
    33 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace…”
    Your desire to praise God with your new tongue may seem overwhelming, but to suggest that we have no control over our senses, which includes our ability to speak, is to miss the point of how the Spirit works.
    The reason we know this is because of what the word of God tells us about another gift which is the gift of interpretation of tongues. The gift of interpretation is a sister gift of tongues, if you will, which the Spirit gives so that what is said in an unknown tongue, may then be understood within the Body of Christ for the church’s edification.
    Paul says in 1CO 14:28 “If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God.”
    And so the gift of tongues is in the control of the speaker and if there is no one with the gift of interpretation the speaker should not speak out loud in the congregation, but may certainly speak to himself and to God without disturbing anyone near him.
    By the way, this does not mean one cannot speak out loud in your own prayer closet. I knew a woman who had the gift of tongues and always wondered what she was saying when she was home praising her God. She evidently prayed to God one night for the interpretation and God gave it to her and she was doubly blessed.
    I’ll get back to the gift of interpretation in a moment. Some have asked, what’s the point of the gift of tongues? Why is it necessary to speak to God in an unlearned language, and is it really a language like French or German?
    Well, to answer the second question, yes, it really is a language like French or German or any other language the Spirit decides to use in your life. Again, we go back to Pentecost and we see that the disciples spoke in languages which actually existed.
    The whole point of languages, which by the way, is something that God gave man from day one, is to communicate, either with God or one another. And so the gift of tongues is designed for us to communicate with God. We may not understand the language and that’s why Paul says in 1CO 14:14 “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.”
    In other words, my spirit rejoices within me as I praise God, but my mind doesn’t get blessed in the process because I don’t understand the language. And this is the reason for the gift of interpretation, which is why Paul also says in 1CO 14:13 “For this reason anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret what he says.”
    Getting back to the language aspect for a moment. In 1CO 13:1 we read, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”
    Some would say that the languages spoken are not always earthly languages at all, but may include the language of angels. First of all, we don’t know how angels communicate in the heavenlies. Do they need language as we understand it? We know they communicate with the Lord, but we can’t say with any certainty what language it is.
    But the point of 1Cor.13:1 is not to teach that we can imitate the language of angels. Rather Paul is simply using hyperbole to make a point. The point he was making that even if he could speak with the tongues of men or angels but didn’t have love it wouldn’t make any difference. It would still be useless.
    But for the sake of argument, let’s assume there is a language of angels which we can use. God would still be able to give the interpretation for that language and that language would be used to direct our prayers and praises to Him.
    But there may be other languages which the Spirit may give which are not used in the world today. The ancient language of Greek is not in use today. The ancient language of English is not in use today. In fact, you wouldn’t recognize the language which is the source of our present day English language.
    Could that language be used today as a means of praising God? Sure, it is a language of men. And if the Spirit decided to give you that language you could certainly use it to honor and worship God.
    I remember praising God one night in my bedroom in a language which seemed familiar. When I listened to it closely there were certain words which sounded like the words I’ve read in books and concordances. It sounded like koine Greek. Now I don’t know how koine Greek, which is a dead language, sounded like. But it is a phonetic language and I remember sounding out some of the words when I would do my studies in the word of God.
    But there were two words which kept coming up. In fact they were so distinct that I remember writing them down later phonetically. When I went to my concordance later I actually found these two words. They were different and yet they both spoke of the same thing. They spoke of death and dying.
    Now, I didn’t get the interpretation, but I suspect that I was praising God for the death of His Son for my sin and that I might continue to die to self and live to Him.
    And so whatever language the Spirit gives you, whether a modern language, which would include the thousands of languages in the world today, or an ancient language, or maybe the language of angels, God can and will give the interpretation.
    What’s interesting about this is that I’ve had people tell me that when they’ve heard people speaking in tongues in the church it sounded like gibberish or some other strange sound. First, let me say again, that there may people who are speaking gibberish. It may not be the gift of tongues, it may a fleshly manifestation trying to imitate their friends who may in fact be trying to imitate their friends.
    But, I would also say that when I’ve heard legitimate languages, like the language which is used in Iraq and Iran, on a news report for example, I have to tell you that even listening closely it does not sound like any language with any sort of linguistic pattern. To me it literally sounds like gibberish. But does it make it any less a legitimate language because I hear it as gibberish? Of course not.
    But let’s not lose sight of why the Spirit gives this gift.
    1CO 12:4 “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.
    5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.
    6 There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.
    7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.”
    It is for the common good of the Body of Christ that this gift, or any gift, is given by the Spirit. In other words, your gift, in this case the gift of tongues, is meant for my good and for my edification when used in a public setting.
    We know that the gift of tongues is certainly to edify the one using it whether it’s used in the Body of Christ or in the privacy of their own home. Paul addresses this in 1CO 14:4 “He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.”
    But to use a gift exclusively for self-edification is against all that God intends by His word which clearly says the gifts are to be used for the common good. But again, the question must be raised how does speaking in an unknown language edify the Body of Christ?
    Well, first of all it allows the one gifted to raise his voice to God in praises. But that’s not the primary way we are edified with this gift because you can do that in your own language. The way in which we are edified with this gift is to demonstrate the closeness and the intimacy of our God in our midst.
    This is a supernatural way of God showing Himself, through the Spirit, that He is in our midst. Remember, we are dealing with God, who is Spirit. In His mercy and grace He has provided a way in which we can actually “see, or hear” Him working in our presence. It’s a personal touch in a way we can understand.
    This is why the gift of interpretation of tongues is so important, because this is really where we hear this touch from God. Since we don’t know what the language is, God is pleased to give us the interpretation through someone in the Body. It comes from Him. That’s up close and personal. That’s a God who is close and approachable.
    And so the gift of interpretation must be employed when the gift of tongues is used in the Body of Christ in a public setting. Let’s look at where this is found in the scriptures. Turn to 1Cor.14:5-19…
    Have you ever been around a group of people who were speaking a language you didn’t understand?
    In a way it’s as though you’re being excluded from any interchange with them on a communicating level. You don’t receive anything from them and they can’t receive anything from you. In a setting with other believers who are speaking in an unknown tongue a similar phenomena occurs. No blessing is exchanged.
    With the gift of tongues, if you go on in your tongue and I have no understanding of what you’re saying, how can I say Amen to your praises and prayers to God? I am not blessed, and for that matter either are you. Your spirit is, but your mind has no understanding.
    And so we should pray for interpretation. A note about interpretation. The Greek word for interpretation literally means to explain thoroughly. This is different from a translation.
    To give a translation is to give somewhat of a word-for-word account of what was said, whereas an interpretation is to explain what was said. This is why for example, someone may speak in an unknown tongue for what seems like a long time and yet the interpretation may only take a relatively short time.
    But in giving the interpretation the Holy Spirit allows an overview of what was being said. And this is not that unusual in even our regular experiences with languages we do know. For example, I could go on and on and explain the technical aspects of the combustion engine, but then someone could right behind me and sum it up by saying, the spark plug ignites the gas in the piston chamber and an explosion takes place which moves the piston and then eventually transfers the power through the crank case to the wheels.
    And that’s often how the interpretation will come to us in the gift of interpretation. Someone may eloquently speak in Parisian French the wonders of God, and someone may interpret that concisely and give a shortened version of what was said so that we may all be edified. But remember, that it is God who is making known the interpretation for the Body to be edified.
    But what if someone in the church knew Parisian French, could they give an interpretation? Why not? That however, would not be the gift of interpretation being used in that instance.
    Robert Gromacki in his commentary on 1 Corinthians states that there are three goals of this gift of tongues and the gift of interpretation.
    1) “It must enlist the participation of others.”
    2) “It must give understanding.”
    3) “It must promote edification.”
    If this is not being accomplished in a setting with other believers then this gift is not being properly used and what it then often results in is chaos and clamor and something like clanging, as Paul puts it. People are not edified in a biblical sense and visitors think you’re nuts.
    1CO 14:23 “So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and some who do not understand or some unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind?”
    The world already thinks we’re nuts, let’s not remove any doubt by improperly using the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
    The Holy Spirit who gives this gift is also the one who gives us the word of God to lay out the guidelines.
    We read in 1CO 14:27 “If anyone speaks in a tongue, two – or at the most three -should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret.
    28 If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God.”
    This would suggest that there is a time set aside for the gift of tongues to be used . For us it might be during the praise and worship on Sunday morning where we offer a time to edify and encourage the body with your gifts.
    Another time might be during prayer on Wednesday evenings as we humble ourselves before the Lord, as we seek His face and seek His direction and nearness in our lives and the life of this church.
    In fact, anytime we meet as the body of Christ to worship and praise our Lord, the gifts the Lord has given us may be used to edify and encourage the body. In the case of the gift of tongues God still expects things to be orderly. And so, if this were to occur, only two or three would speak in turn and there would have to be an interpretation for each.
    If there was no interpretation then I would gently say that there appears to be no one with the gift of interpretation and so there will not be a need for any further tongues. We would simply forego that gift for that time and allow others to use their gifts or their desire to praise or pray to the Lord in English.
    The gift of tongues would never be used during the time of teaching or preaching, again the reason being that that would cause confusion and disorder while the Pastor or teacher is endeavoring to feed Christ’s sheep.
    Again, standing up and interrupting the Pastor as he feeds the flock from the word of God does not edify the Body any more than everyone in the church speaking in tongues at the same time does.
    1CO 14:39 “Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues.
    40 But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.”
    May we desire the gifts the Spirit has for us and may we use them properly and biblically so that the Body may be edified. And may all be done out of love for Christ and our neighbor to the glory of God.

  • Elmarie A

    Burning Lamp

    First, let me say I have the utmost respect for Deborah and gang and this website

    I kinda think Deborah and team crank sounds better :-) gang sounds a bitty uncranky lol lol

    Thank you for your lengthy comment :-) It is indeed a balanced view and makes sense and is worthy of hearing or shall i say reading :-) BL thank you !!

    Could the author possibly be Pastor Drew Worthen, Calvary Chapel Port Charlotte, Fl
    1Cor.12:10 “Gift of Tongues and Interpretation of Tongues”
    http://www.cyberstreet.com/calvary/tongint.htm

    Please let me know if I am correct. Thank you :-)

  • Burning Lamp

    Yippers – that is correct. I didn’t credit him or bring Calvary Chapel into it because I thought it might be a distraction. I don’t know him, but I thought it was a good representation of this point of view. My own pastor mentioned in passing one time that he has a prayer language but I have never heard him use it. He doesn’t boast of it and I have never heard anyone in our congreation speak in tongues. I have no idea who does and who doesn’t – it is just not something that is considered a dividing issue – keeping the main things the main things such as salvation and biblical dontrine. There may be a teaching on it as it comes up in regular expository order, but it is never made an issue.

    The way that the guys in the video were acting brings shame to the cause of Christ. I have heard of those who are obviously professors, not possessers brag about speaking in tongues. It is obvious that it is gibberish from the pit.

    I hope I didn’t offend by offering this viewpoint. I think so much of all of you here and appreciate your ministry so very much. Time and distance may separate us, but I count you as friends and fellow pilgrims waiting and watching for our King to take us home.

  • Alan

    Hi BL, Elmarie, and the “Gang” ;-)

    I’ve been busy lately, so haven’t been on the computer much, but after reading BL’s post, I’m gonna jump in here briefly to tell of a church I attended in my teen years. They had a very balanced way of dealing with this issue, very much like the article BL posted, where who ever was leading the worship would stop proceedings after anyone spoke out in tongues during worship (It was taught that all things should be done in order, so it wasn’t acceptable to speak in tongues at other times than during a praise & worship part of a meeting), and it would be explained what was happening, for the benefit of any there who may not know, and then it would be stated that we would now wait on the interpretation.
    On a rare occasion, there wouldn’t be any such interpretation, so the person concerned was asked to speak to one of the eldership about it.
    Discernment was much in evidence in that fellowship, because I remember once a person just spoke out and some of the eldership went and quieted them down, while the Pastor spoke to the congregation about what was happening.
    As I recall, the minute this person started talking, I knew it wasn’t right and most others present said much the same. I believe the Holy Spirit alerts us to such things, if we are listening to Him. So much of what happens these days is just showing off and what my Dad used to call ‘soulish’, (as in James 3:15, where the KJV has it; “devilish.”). That passage in James 3 is all about how we use our speech and the pitfalls that are there for those who don’t tread carefully, whether speaking in tongues, or in our everyday speech.
    I believe much of the confusion today regarding ‘tongues’ is because people have forgotten to approach the issue with fear and trembling, as we should when dealing with God, whether praising Him, or petitioning Him.
    So many people are PROUD of the fact they ‘speak in tongues’, which is the first sign that they actually aren’t doing anything of the kind, as James says in 3:17; “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” Whenever these attributes are missing, then you can be pretty sure that the spirit being manifested is not the Holy Spirit, but most often the pride of the person(s) concerned, or another spirit entirely, as in the awful videos we can see of “revival breaking out”. (Shudder).

    Thankyou BL for your post, I really appreciate your gentleness of spirit. I don’t speak in tongues much, but I do sing in a language I never learned, always when I’m praising my Lord, and quietly, as I feel it is between me & God. Sometimes I have no words of my own to express to Him what is in my heart, so I just begin to sing as the Holy Spirit gives me the words. If I’m in church I sing quietly, precisely because I don’t want to draw attention to myself.

    I don’t really like talking about it much, both because of the negativity that seems to surround the subject and because I don’t want to even appear to be bragging about something that I can claim no credit for and regard as a very precious gift from God. I have had many quite vehement disagreements with people from the “no tongues-no Holy Spirit” camp and even once or twice with some seriously deluded folks who say that if you don’t speak in tongues, you’re not saved!, so I am sympathetic to those christians who’ve been ‘burned’, but I believe that the devil has used this issue to pollute the water and again the vehicle he has used is the pride of ‘christians’, who have not been lovers of the truth.

    I hope that my words have not caused offense and would be happy to discuss this issue with anyone who wishes, with Deb’s permission of course. I certainly don’t want to cause any arguments.
    Debate I can handle, and welcome, as long as we can do it in the spirit of the verse I quoted above.

    God’s richest blessings on you all,
    Alan.

  • Jemah

    Burning Lamp,
    yeps I think you are right, that speaking in tongues(angelic tongues) is in existence today but for the edification of oneself and the church, at times when one speaks to the Father it undoubtedly happens to speak in another language, I for myself can say that this happened to me a long time ago when I didnt even know about tongues, I was praying and then this thing happened, I spoke in another language unknown to me,later I joined this church where speaking in tongues was a (prerequisite) to prove that one was truly reborn, I heard people repeating the same things over and over again, trying to be louder than everybody else,I was dumfounded and asked howcome the Holy Spirit would speak in such a way and I suppose after they told that when one speaks in an unknown language one starts with baby words I felt that there should be something wrong for tha Holy Spirit is not a baby, this would liken to how some worship baby Jesus.
    Needless to say I thank God for having kept my eyes open to see the apostacy and I have left that church.I just want to add that today nothing is impossible for God to do and that if one approaches Him with Love and respect putting him first in all things, denying the ego of the flesh one will truly come to know what is from Him and what is not, sometimes when one speaks to Him there are no words to explain what we feel in our hearts so let us let the Holy Spirit lead and help us if it is His will that our hearts should be opened before Him.I do not pray in tongues before any human for it is just between my Lord God and me and I can say it is not something that can be initiated at will and certainly something not to boast about for this will certainly raise confusion, so I hope you understand my take on this subject matter most importantly is to walk in the Spirit and go where the Spirit Leads as far as my spirit is concerned I know I am led to a closer communion with My Abba, my father, My dad, as far as the outside world is concerned I am led to wait for the unmistakle instruction of the Holy Spirit before I act, for my mind I know can be very fruitful and the separation between soul and spirit a difficult task indeed, may we all be blessed to know the will of our wonderful and almighty God!for our lives.
    Ok now Im waiting for the bombardments…

  • Elmarie A

    I found this on my fave little spot.

    “What is the gift of speaking in tongues?”

    Answer: The first occurrence of speaking in tongues occurred on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2:1-4. The apostles went out and shared the gospel with the crowds, speaking to them in their own languages: “We hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” (Acts 2:11). The Greek word translated tongues literally means “languages.” Therefore, the gift of tongues is speaking in a language a person does not know in order to minister to someone who does speak that language. In 1 Corinthians chapters 12–14, Paul discusses miraculous gifts, saying, “Now, brothers, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or word of instruction?” (1 Corinthians 14:6). According to the apostle Paul, and in agreement with the tongues described in Acts, speaking in tongues is valuable to the one hearing God’s message in his or her own language, but it is useless to everyone else unless it is interpreted/translated.

    A person with the gift of interpreting tongues (1 Corinthians 12:30) could understand what a tongues-speaker was saying even though he did not know the language that was being spoken. The tongues interpreter would then communicate the message of the tongues speaker to everyone else, so all could understand. “For this reason anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret what he says” (1 Corinthians 14:13). Paul’s conclusion regarding tongues that were not interpreted is powerful: “But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue” (1 Corinthians 14:19).

    Is the gift of tongues for today? First Corinthians 13:8 mentions the gift of tongues ceasing, although it connects the ceasing with the arrival of the “perfect” in 1 Corinthians 13:10. Some point to a difference in the tense of the Greek verbs referring to prophecy and knowledge “ceasing” and that of tongues “being ceased” as evidence for tongues ceasing before the arrival of the “perfect.” While possible, this is not explicitly clear from the text. Some also point to passages such as Isaiah 28:11 and Joel 2:28-29 as evidence that speaking in tongues was a sign of God’s oncoming judgment. First Corinthians 14:22 describes tongues as a “sign to unbelievers.” According to this argument, the gift of tongues was a warning to the Jews that God was going to judge Israel for rejecting Jesus Christ as Messiah. Therefore, when God did in fact judge Israel (with the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in A.D. 70), the gift of tongues would no longer serve its intended purpose. While this view is possible, the primary purpose of tongues being fulfilled does not necessarily demand its cessation. Scripture does not conclusively assert that the gift of speaking in tongues has ceased.

    At the same time, if the gift of speaking in tongues were active in the church today, it would be performed in agreement with Scripture. It would be a real and intelligible language (1 Corinthians 14:10). It would be for the purpose of communicating God’s Word with a person of another language (Acts 2:6-12). It would be in agreement with the command God gave through the apostle Paul, “If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—or at the most three—should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God” (1 Corinthians 14:27-28). It would also be in accordance with 1 Corinthians 14:33, “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.”

    God most definitely can give a person the gift of speaking in tongues to enable him or her to communicate with a person who speaks another language. The Holy Spirit is sovereign in the dispersion of the spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:11). Just imagine how much more productive missionaries could be if they did not have to go to language school, and were instantly able to speak to people in their own language. However, God does not seem to be doing this. Tongues does not seem to occur today in the manner it did in the New Testament, despite the fact that it would be immensely useful. The vast majority of believers who claim to practice the gift of speaking in tongues do not do so in agreement with the Scriptures mentioned above. These facts lead to the conclusion that the gift of tongues has ceased or is at least a rarity in God’s plan for the church today.
    http://www.gotquestions.org/gift-of-tongues.html

    “What is praying in tongues? Is praying in tongues a prayer language between a believer and God?”

    Answer: As a background, please read our article on the gift of speaking in tongues. There are four primary Scripture passages that are cited as evidence for praying in tongues: Romans 8:26; 1 Corinthians 14:4-17; Ephesians 6:18; and Jude verse 20. Ephesians 6:18 and Jude 20 mention “praying in the Spirit.” However, tongues as a prayer language is not a likely interpretation of “praying in the Spirit.”

    Romans 8:26 teaches us, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” Two key points make it highly unlikely that Romans 8:26 is referring to tongues as a prayer language. First, Romans 8:26 states that it is the Spirit who “groans,” not believers. Second, Romans 8:26 states that the “groans” of the Spirit “cannot be expressed.” The very essence of speaking in tongues is uttering words.

    That leaves us with 1 Corinthians 14:4-17 and verse 14 especially: “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.” First Corinthians 14:14 distinctly mentions “praying in tongues.” What does this mean? First, studying the context is immensely valuable. First Corinthians chapter 14 is primarily a comparison/contrast of the gift of speaking in tongues and the gift of prophecy. Verses 2-5 make it clear that Paul views prophecy as a gift superior to tongues. At the same time, Paul exclaims the value of tongues and declares that he is glad that he speaks in tongues more than anyone (verse 18).

    Acts chapter 2 describes the first occurrence of the gift of tongues. On the day of Pentecost, the apostles spoke in tongues. Acts chapter 2 makes it clear that the apostles were speaking in a human language (Acts 2:6-8). The word translated “tongues” in both Acts chapter 2 and 1 Corinthians chapter 14 is glossa which means “language.” It is the word from which we get our modern English word “glossary.” Speaking in tongues was the ability to speak in a language the speaker does not know, in order to communicate the gospel to someone who does speak that language. In the multicultural area of Corinth, it seems that the gift of tongues was especially valuable and prominent. The Corinthians believers were able to better communicate the gospel and God’s Word as a result of the gift of tongues. However, Paul made it abundantly clear that even in this usage of tongues, it was to be interpreted or “translated” (1 Corinthians 14:13, 27). A Corinthian believer would speak in tongues, proclaiming God’s truth to someone who spoke that language, and then that believer, or another believer in the church, was to interpret what was spoken so that the entire assembly could understand what was said.

    What, then, is praying in tongues, and how is it different than speaking in tongues? First Corinthians 14:13-17 indicates that praying in tongues is also to be interpreted. As a result, it seems that praying in tongues was offering a prayer to God. This prayer would minister to someone who spoke that language, but would also need to be interpreted so that the entire body could be edified.

    This interpretation does not agree with those who view praying in tongues as a prayer language. This alternate understanding can be summarized as follows: praying in tongues is a personal prayer language between a believer and God (1 Corinthians 13:1) that a believer uses to edify himself (1 Corinthians 14:4). This interpretation is unbiblical for the following reasons: 1) How could praying in tongues be a private prayer language if it is to be interpreted (1 Corinthians 14:13-17)? 2) How could praying in tongues be for self-edification when Scripture says that the spiritual gifts are for the edification of the church, not the self (1 Corinthians 12:7). 3) How can praying in tongues be a private prayer language if the gift of tongues is a “sign to unbelievers” (1 Corinthians 14:22)? 4) The Bible makes it clear that not everyone possesses the gift of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:11, 28-30). How could tongues be a gift for self-edification if not every believer can possess it? Do we not all need to be edified?

    Some understand praying in tongues to be a “secret code language” that prevents Satan and his demons from understanding our prayers and thereby gaining an advantage over us. This interpretation is unbiblical for the following reasons: 1) The New Testament consistently describes tongues as a human language. It is unlikely that Satan and his demons are unable to understand human languages. 2) The Bible records countless believers praying in their own language, out loud, with no concern of Satan intercepting the prayer. Even if Satan and/or his demons hear and understand the prayers we pray, they have absolutely no power to prevent God from answering the prayers according to His will. We know that God hears our prayers, and that fact makes it irrelevant whether Satan and his demons hear and understand our prayers.

    What do we say, then, about the many Christians who have experienced praying in tongues and find it to be very personally edifying? First, we must base our faith and practice on Scripture, not experience. We must view our experiences in light of Scripture, not interpret Scripture in light of our experiences. Second, many of the cults and world religions also report occurrences of speaking in tongues/praying in tongues. Obviously the Holy Spirit is not gifting these unbelieving individuals. So, it seems that the demons are able to counterfeit the gift of speaking in tongues. This should cause us to compare even more carefully our experiences with Scripture. Third, studies have shown how speaking/praying in tongues can be a learned behavior. Through hearing and observing others speak in tongues, a person can learn the procedure, even subconsciously. This is the most likely explanation for the vast majority of instances of speaking/praying in tongues among Christians. Fourth, the feeling of “self-edification” is natural. The human body produces adrenaline and endorphins when it experiences something new, exciting, emotional, and/or disconnected from rational thought.

    Praying in tongues is most definitely an issue on which Christians can respectfully and lovingly agree to disagree. Praying in tongues is not what determines salvation. Praying in tongues is not what separates a mature Christian from an immature Christian. Whether or not there is such a thing as praying in tongues as a personal prayer language is not a fundamental of the Christian faith. So, while we believe the biblical interpretation of praying in tongues leads away from the idea of a private prayer language for personal edification, we also recognize that many who practice such are our brothers and sisters in Christ and are worthy of our love and respect.
    http://www.gotquestions.org/praying-in-tongues.html

  • Burning Lamp

    Thank you all for the respectful way you have approached this topic. I truly believe it glorifies our Lord.

    Experience is quite the buzz word of the day – and discernment has been kicked to the curb.

    Thoughtful, Bible-believing Christians may differ on this point, but we can all agree that the dispicable displays of the flesh and Satan are to be rejected out of hand whether they occur on “Christian” TV or in centers of worship.

    We can all agree that this is an area that calls for extreme discernment and not to be treated casually. If one has this gift it should be practiced in humility and not flaunted. To do so is a disgrace and even blasphemous.

    There is a lack of balanced teaching on the subject. Untold numbers of people have been freaked out and turned away from Christianity by weird behaviors, uncontrolled emotions and disgusting fleshly unholy displays. Of course this is not limited to tongues. Slain in the spirit, “holy” laughter, bizarre manifestations,drunk in the spirit,etc.

    Actually, we can agree much more on this topic than disagree, maintain the unity and not compromise the bedrock of the faith.

  • Alan

    Two thoughts arise from recent posts on this subject;

    Jemah,

    You said that speaking in tongues; “is not something that can be initiated at will.”
    I believe we must be very careful here, because the Bible quite clearly teaches that at no time, will the Holy Spirit over-rule our will in anything, be it speech or behaviour.
    One of the first warning signs that some manifestation is NOT the Holy Spirit, is when you hear it said that the people falling down, laughing uncontrollably, or crying, shouting, whatever, can’t help it because the Holy Spirit has overpowered them.
    That is a LIE!
    The bible is very clear on this point, that we are to exercise self control ay all times, particularly when it comes to anything to do with prayer, praise, or matters of that sort.
    If you have no control over speaking in tongues, then I would urge you to seek the Lord about this, because that is NOT how the Bible speaks about the exercising of this gift.
    Paul says quite clearly that we must do things in order, which means we must be able to exercise some discernment, restraint if necessary, and to be aware of whether or not to speak out loud (depending on a person with a gift of interpretation being present), or to just pray quietly, or not in tongues at all.
    All these require us to be able to initiate, or not, speaking in tongues.

    Elmarie,

    While the events on the day of Pentecost are as you have described, there is no requirement or caveat given anywhere in the Scripture that the ONLY valid exercise of this gift is for evangelistic purposes.
    Paul, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit Himself, says; “I would that ye all spake in 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.” (1 Cor 14:5) So, it would seem that while this is something to be desired, as are all the gifts (see verse 1), the guiding principle the Holy Spirit gives here is that Love for one another is to be our primary motivation. If we look at verse 26 on, we see that the scripture says quite clearly that when we come together, every one has a psalm, a doctrine, a ‘tongue’, a revelation, an interpretation. Then there is an exhortation to do everything for edification. The next verse says that there should be only two, or at the most, three speeches, in an orderly manner, with an interpretation for each. Then, in v28, there is an instruction to keep silent if no-one is present with an interpretive gift, and to speak to himself and to God. This last is a clear statement that speaking in tongues is not just for preaching the gospel to unbelievers in their own language, but is a permissible part of one’s private prayer time. The statement doesn’t command use of tongues in this area of a Christian’s life, but it seems more to encourage it.
    Lower down, v 32 states that the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets, which shows that any idea that we can’t initiate, or control these gifts, but our voices are somehow taken over by the Holy Spirit, is quite wrong and should be corrected in those who hold to such notions. Lovingly, gently, but firmly.
    All the excesses and blasphemy of the ‘Toronto Blessing’ and other wickedness would have been avoided (maybe), if the leadership in the churches were following the instructions written here, rather than trying to ‘get the fire’, or whatever they call it.

    To finish, although there have been some quite imposing works written to ‘prove’ that all things such as tongues, prophecy, healing, etc, ceased with the close of the Apostolic age, I can’t see the point of Paul’s instructions on any of these things to the church at Corinth, none of whom were Apostles, and even less reason for the Holy Spirit to include it in Scripture. There is no point in giving instruction on how to, or how not to, exercise these gifts of the Spirit, if they are not meant for us today. The Christians of Paul’s day didn’t have the scriptures we do, they had the OT only at that time. These letters were added into the canon of scripture by the Holy Spirit some time after the last Apostle (John) had died. The point I’m making here is that these instructions need never have been added to the Scriptures at all if God only intended for them to be relevant to the first century church. There are many things that are mentioned in the Bible as a matter of history, but are not expounded on because we don’t need to know the details, such as the debauchery that accompanied the worship of Baal and other false gods. We know some things, but God just says don’t worship other gods and that’s all we need to know.
    In the case of the gifts of the Spirit, however, there are chapters of instructions about what is acceptable and what is not.
    Without a clear statement anywhere in scripture that states that these things were for NT Christians only, I feel that it is safer to say that there is much activity out there that is just plain wrong, but at the same time, there is a scriptural basis for each of the gifts and their operation, as well as extensive instructions on how we should exercise those gifts. Just because large portions of the church are ignoring them, is not justification for saying they’re not for today, any more than hypocrisy in ‘christians’ is a valid reason for unbelievers to spurn the gospel message.

    The most important thing to remember is that our goal is to become more Christ-like as we grow in Him, so whether we speak in tongues or not, let’s do everything graciously, lovingly, in an orderly manner, seeking always the edification of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

    Shalom, Alan.

  • Elmarie A

    Alan

    To finish, although there have been some quite imposing works written to ‘prove’ that all things such as tongues, prophecy, healing, etc, ceased with the close of the Apostolic age, I can’t see the point of Paul’s instructions on any of these things to the church at Corinth, none of whom were Apostles, and even less reason for the Holy Spirit to include it in Scripture. There is no point in giving instruction on how to, or how not to, exercise these gifts of the Spirit, if they are not meant for us today. The Christians of Paul’s day didn’t have the scriptures we do, they had the OT only at that time. These letters were added into the canon of scripture by the Holy Spirit some time after the last Apostle (John) had died. The point I’m making here is that these instructions need never have been added to the Scriptures at all if God only intended for them to be relevant to the first century church. There are many things that are mentioned in the Bible as a matter of history, but are not expounded on because we don’t need to know the details, such as the debauchery that accompanied the worship of Baal and other false gods. We know some things, but God just says don’t worship other gods and that’s all we need to know.
    In the case of the gifts of the Spirit, however, there are chapters of instructions about what is acceptable and what is not.
    Without a clear statement anywhere in scripture that states that these things were for NT Christians only, I feel that it is safer to say that there is much activity out there that is just plain wrong, but at the same time, there is a scriptural basis for each of the gifts and their operation, as well as extensive instructions on how we should exercise those gifts. Just because large portions of the church are ignoring them, is not justification for saying they’re not for today, any more than hypocrisy in ‘christians’ is a valid reason for unbelievers to spurn the gospel message.

    This piece I’m posting pretty much sums it up and clarify my point of view.

    “Is cessationism Biblical?”

    Answer: Cessationism is the view that the “miracle gifts” of tongues and healing have ceased—that the end of the apostolic age brought about a cessation of the miracles associated with that age. Most cessationists believe that, while God can and still does perform miracles today, the Holy Spirit no longer uses individuals to perform miraculous signs.

    The biblical record shows that miracles occurred during particular periods for the specific purpose of authenticating a new message from God. Moses was enabled to perform miracles to authenticate his ministry before Pharaoh (Exodus 4:1-8); Elijah was given miracles to authenticate his ministry before Ahab (1 Kings 17:1; 18:24); the apostles were given miracles to authenticate their ministry before Israel (Acts 4:10, 16).

    Jesus’ ministry was also marked by miracles, which the Apostle John calls “signs” (John 2:11). John’s point is that the miracles were proofs of the authenticity of Jesus’ message.

    After Jesus’ resurrection, as the Church was being established and the New Testament was being written, the apostles demonstrated “signs” such as tongues and the power to heal. “Tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not” (1 Corinthians 14:22, a verse that plainly says the gift was never intended to edify the church).

    The Apostle Paul predicted that the gift of tongues would cease (1 Corinthians 13:8). Here are 6 proofs that it has already ceased:

    1) The apostles, through whom tongues came, were unique in the history of the church. Once their ministry was accomplished, the need for authenticating signs ceased to exist.

    2) The miracle (or sign) gifts are only mentioned in the earliest Epistles, such as 1 Corinthians. Later books, such as Ephesians and Romans, contain detailed passages on the gifts of the Spirit, but the miracle gifts are not mentioned (although Romans does mention the gift of prophecy, the Greek word translated prophecy mean “speaking forth” and does not necessarily include prediction of the future).

    3) The gift of tongues was a sign to unbelieving Israel that God’s salvation was now available to other nations. See 1 Corinthians 14:21-22 and Isaiah 28:11-12.

    4) Tongues was an inferior gift to prophecy (preaching). Preaching the Word of God edifies believers, whereas tongues does not. Believers are told to seek prophesying over speaking in tongues (1 Corinthians 14:1-3).

    5) History indicates that tongues did cease. Tongues are not mentioned at all by the Post-Apostolic Fathers. Other writers such as Justin Martyr, Origen, Chrysostom, and Augustine considered tongues something that happened only in the earliest days of the Church.

    6) Current observation confirms that the miracle of tongues has ceased. If the gift were still available today, there would be no need for missionaries to attend language school. Missionaries would be able to travel to any country and speak any language fluently, just as the apostles were able to speak in Acts 2.As for the miracle gift of healing, we see in Scripture that healing was associated with the ministry of Jesus and the apostles (Luke 9:1-2). And we see that as the era of the apostles drew to a close, healing, like tongues, became less frequent. The Apostle Paul, who raised Eutychus from the dead (Acts 20:9-12), did not heal Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25-27), Trophimus (2 Timothy 4:20), Timothy (1 Timothy 5:23), or even himself (2 Corinthians 12:7-9). The reasons for Paul’s “failures to heal” are 1) the gift was never intended to make every Christian well, but to authenticate apostleship; and 2) the authority of the apostles had been sufficiently proved, making further miracles unnecessary.

    The reasons stated above are evidence that the sign gifts have ceased. According to 1 Corinthians 13:13-14:1, we would do well to “pursue love,” the greatest gift of all. If we are to desire gifts, we should desire to speak forth the Word of God, that all may be edified.
    http://www.gotquestions.org/cessationism.html

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Alan

    I don’t speak in tongues much, but I do sing in a language I never learned, always when I’m praising my Lord, and quietly, as I feel it is between me & God.

    Quick question.

    When did you learn to sing in tonuges?
    What age were you?
    What church did you attened at the time where you received this gift?
    What were you doing at the time when you first spoke in tongues? i.e., explain exaclty what you were doing or didn’t do to get this gift?

  • Elmarie A

    Jemah

    yeps I think you are right, that speaking in tongues(angelic tongues) is in existence today but for the edification of oneself and the church,

    I cannot agree with you. It clearly says in the Word 1 Corinthians 14:22 (Amplified Bible) 22 Thus [unknown] tongues are meant for a [supernatural] sign, not for believers but for unbelievers [on the point of believing],

    Jemha this clearly explains to us that tongues was used for the unbelievers and not for edifying oneself and the church.

    In fact it says further that prophecy (inspired preaching and teaching, interpreting the divine will and purpose) is not for unbelievers [on the point of believing] but for believers.

    After Jesus’ resurrection, as the Church was being established and the New Testament was being written, the apostles demonstrated “signs” such as tongues and the power to heal. “Tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not” (1 Corinthians 14:22, a verse that plainly says the gift was never intended to edify the church).

    You see I don’t think this is taught by most of the Pastors/Preachers and it is sad to see how these false teachers/prophets are the misleading the sheep. Jemah I do hope and pray you understand my point please let me know.

  • Elmarie A

    Jemah

    yeps I think you are right, that speaking in tongues(angelic tongues) is in existence today

    Your term “angelic tongues is in existence today” is troublesome.
    I found this explanation and it makes sense. It seems you accept the charismatic view and please forgive me if I am wrong but this is what I understand from your sentence.

    Angelic Tongues – What Are They?

    In 1 Corinthians 13:1 is Paul telling us to speak in the tongues of angels?

    1 Cor 13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. NIV

    It is important to look at what Paul is trying to say. What point is Paul trying to get across to the reader? Charismatic theology assumes that Paul is teaching that people can and DO speak in an angelic language. This certainly would be a language unknown to man. However, in every single biblical encounter that man had with an angel, he never had a problem understanding or communicating with them. So, if there were some angelic language, this would be the only scriptural reference to it. It is important to understand that in this passage Paul is not teaching that we can speak in an angelic language.

    Scripture never refers to tongues in this manner. The context reveals to us what Paul is actually trying to teach. Paul said IF I speak the tongues of angles, and do not have love, it means nothing. He said he would only be making unnecessary noise. He is not telling us that we all have this ability to speak angelic languages but that even if it were possible it would be completely useless without love. Paul makes a similar statement in regards to the importance of love in the very next verse:

    1 Cor 13:1-2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. NIV

    Again Paul is making a hypothetical analogy to show that love should be the motivating factor behind all the gifts. If he had the gift of prophecy and could understand all mysteries and all knowledge and even have the faith to move mountains, but not have love, he is nothing.

    One could argue that Paul represents one of the greatest characters in the entire Bible. He certainly was given special gifts by God (Acts 19) and was even caught up to the heavens (2 Cor 12). If anyone has ever had enough faith to move a mountain, certainly Paul would have been one of them. Yet, the Scripture does not teach that any saint had this much faith. Paul understood he did not have this faith, but said IF he did, and did not have love, it would be a meaningless faith. Likewise, to understand all mysteries and possess all knowledge would be an admirable trait, but Paul only said IF it were possible to do so, without love it would be meaningless. In verse 12 Paul tells us clearly that he only knew in “part.” That reveals that he did not possess all knowledge. To suggest that he did was not his purpose. Rather, he was trying to show that without love, even the grandest of things is useless. The next verse used by Paul is also relevant:

    1 Cor 13:3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. NIV

    If anyone is under the impression that Paul was teaching that we have the ability to speak in angelic languages, they would also have to believe we should all have enough faith to move mountains and have the ability to understand all mysteries. They must then also consider giving all they have to the poor and surrendering their body to the flames. Obviously Paul is not teaching this should be the lifestyle of Christians! Paul certainly never did such a thing and there is definitely no mandate here from him for us to do so. His point was again, that If he did those things, without love, they meant nothing. Likewise, even if he could speak in tongues of angels, without love it would be worthless. Paul is not teaching that we are to attempt speaking in some angelic language. In fact, the context had nothing to do with angelic languages. It was an instruction concerning the condition of their heart. When they exercised their spiritual gifts, they were to do so in love. http://www.guidedbytruth.com/angelictongues.php

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Regarding the Calvary Chapel article:

    MAR 16:15 “He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;…”

    As I mentioned above in my article this was before the time the bible was written. Jews needed signs. We do not need signs as we have the Holy Spirit who abides in us as we believe by faith.

    JOE 2:28 “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.

    This verse is for Great tribulation for Jews. Not for today. Dominionists use this verse to back up their heresy as they believe the church has replaced Israel.

    1CO 13:1 we read, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”

    Is not to teach that we can imitate the language of angels. Rather Paul is simply using hyperbole to make a point. The point he was making that even if he could speak (which he CAN’T) speak the language of angels It would still be useless.

    This author then goes onto say, “Could that language be used today as a means of praising God? Sure, it is a language of men. And if the Spirit decided to give you that language you could certainly use it to honor and worship God.”

    But does NOT provide scripture for this. Can someone people provide scripture for this, because I can not find scripture for singing in tongues, dancing in the spirit, praying to God in tongues be in in church or at home by yourself in private. etc.

    1CO 14:27 “If anyone speaks in a tongue, two – or at the most three -should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret.
    28 If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God.”

    Again this refers to an earthly language and this verse ties in with this verse….

    1CO 14:22-24 22Thus [unknown] tongues are meant for a [supernatural] sign, not for believers but for unbelievers [on the point of believing], while prophecy (inspired preaching and teaching, interpreting the divine will and purpose) is not for unbelievers [on the point of believing] but for believers.
    23Therefore, if the whole church assembles and all of you speak in [unknown] tongues, and the ungifted and uninitiated or unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are demented?
    24But if all prophesy [giving inspired testimony and interpreting the divine will and purpose] and an unbeliever or untaught outsider comes in, he is told of his sin and reproved and convicted and convinced by all, and his defects and needs are examined (estimated, determined) and he is called to account by all,

    Tongues speaking in the church is an earthly language as a sign for an unbeliever. I said this already in my article.

    1CO 14:39 “Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. 40 But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.”

    True, until the Word of God came which is Perfect and tongues are no longer needed.

    The author says, “This is a supernatural way of God showing Himself, through the Spirit, that He is in our midst. Remember, we are dealing with God, who is Spirit. In His mercy and grace He has provided a way in which we can actually “see, or hear” Him working in our presence. It’s a personal touch in a way we can understand.”

    What does the person who prays to God silenty in tongues or sings in tongues at home in private have to say to a fellow brother or sister who has not one single gift?

    I was under the impression that we believed and lived by FAITH. Hmmm

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Alan

    Jemah said, “speaking in tongues; is not something that can be initiated at will.”

    Alan said: “I believe we must be very careful here, because the Bible quite clearly teaches that at no time, will the Holy Spirit over-rule our will in anything, be it speech or behaviour.”

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh noooo nooooo nooooo. What are you saying Alan? If the person thinks he/she knows better than the Holy Spirit because the person wants to speak tongues, then what does that say about the person? If our will superceeds that of the Holy Spirit and the person acquires tongues then the tonuge is NOT from God.

    Also if one can turn your tongues on and off like a light switch then there is something wrong as well.

    So now this leads me back to my questions I asked you earlier.

    How did you attain your gift?
    When did you learn to sing in tonuges?
    What age were you?
    What church did you attened at the time where you received this gift?
    What were you doing at the time when you first spoke in tongues? i.e., explain exaclty what you were doing or didn’t do to get this gift?

    Please note I am asking you these questions because I want to understand how you came to get this gift. I am not giving you a hard time (yet) LOL ;)

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Jesus never places burdens on people. All born again Christians are EQUAL. Not one is better than another. What is extreme discernment? Jesus would NEVER give us such fine line to work with.

  • Lourens H

    Hey all,

    I must say that there is MASS confusion under christians with regards to this ‘tongue’ issue…

    Clearly this is what you need to do if you still don’t get it:

    Pray and ask God to help you understand this ONCE & for all and then go and read Deborah’ post RIGHT AT THE TOP and then read this from Elamrie:

    “Is cessationism Biblical?”

    Answer: Cessationism is the view that the “miracle gifts” of tongues and healing have ceased—that the end of the apostolic age brought about a cessation of the miracles associated with that age. Most cessationists believe that, while God can and still does perform miracles today, the Holy Spirit no longer uses individuals to perform miraculous signs.

    The biblical record shows that miracles occurred during particular periods for the specific purpose of authenticating a new message from God. Moses was enabled to perform miracles to authenticate his ministry before Pharaoh (Exodus 4:1-8); Elijah was given miracles to authenticate his ministry before Ahab (1 Kings 17:1; 18:24); the apostles were given miracles to authenticate their ministry before Israel (Acts 4:10, 16).

    Jesus’ ministry was also marked by miracles, which the Apostle John calls “signs” (John 2:11). John’s point is that the miracles were proofs of the authenticity of Jesus’ message.

    After Jesus’ resurrection, as the Church was being established and the New Testament was being written, the apostles demonstrated “signs” such as tongues and the power to heal. “Tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not” (1 Corinthians 14:22, a verse that plainly says the gift was never intended to edify the church).

    The Apostle Paul predicted that the gift of tongues would cease (1 Corinthians 13:8). Here are 6 proofs that it has already ceased:

    1) The apostles, through whom tongues came, were unique in the history of the church. Once their ministry was accomplished, the need for authenticating signs ceased to exist.

    2) The miracle (or sign) gifts are only mentioned in the earliest Epistles, such as 1 Corinthians. Later books, such as Ephesians and Romans, contain detailed passages on the gifts of the Spirit, but the miracle gifts are not mentioned (although Romans does mention the gift of prophecy, the Greek word translated prophecy mean “speaking forth” and does not necessarily include prediction of the future).

    3) The gift of tongues was a sign to unbelieving Israel that God’s salvation was now available to other nations. See 1 Corinthians 14:21-22 and Isaiah 28:11-12.

    4) Tongues was an inferior gift to prophecy (preaching). Preaching the Word of God edifies believers, whereas tongues does not. Believers are told to seek prophesying over speaking in tongues (1 Corinthians 14:1-3).

    5) History indicates that tongues did cease. Tongues are not mentioned at all by the Post-Apostolic Fathers. Other writers such as Justin Martyr, Origen, Chrysostom, and Augustine considered tongues something that happened only in the earliest days of the Church.

    6) Current observation confirms that the miracle of tongues has ceased. If the gift were still available today, there would be no need for missionaries to attend language school. Missionaries would be able to travel to any country and speak any language fluently, just as the apostles were able to speak in Acts 2.As for the miracle gift of healing, we see in Scripture that healing was associated with the ministry of Jesus and the apostles (Luke 9:1-2). And we see that as the era of the apostles drew to a close, healing, like tongues, became less frequent. The Apostle Paul, who raised Eutychus from the dead (Acts 20:9-12), did not heal Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25-27), Trophimus (2 Timothy 4:20), Timothy (1 Timothy 5:23), or even himself (2 Corinthians 12:7-9). The reasons for Paul’s “failures to heal” are 1) the gift was never intended to make every Christian well, but to authenticate apostleship; and 2) the authority of the apostles had been sufficiently proved, making further miracles unnecessary.

    The reasons stated above are evidence that the sign gifts have ceased. According to 1 Corinthians 13:13-14:1, we would do well to “pursue love,” the greatest gift of all. If we are to desire gifts, we should desire to speak forth the Word of God, that all may be edified.
    http://www.gotquestions.org/cessationism.html

    And then PRAY SOME MORE..! You’ll get it!

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Actually, we can agree much more on this topic than disagree, maintain the unity and not compromise the bedrock of the faith.

    Nope. I won’t agree on something that is not biblical and can lead someone off the narrow path that Jesus commanded us to walk on.

  • Alan

    Debs,

    I thankyou for your comment at the end of your post above; “Please note I am asking you these questions because I want to understand how you came to get this gift. I am not giving you a hard time (yet) LOL ;)”

    I think you will know me well enough by now to know that anything I say here is NEVER intended in any way, to be ‘superior’, or judgemental, or patronizing, or…you get my drift. I don’t say much or write much often, because I feel it is better to say nothing at all than to cause offense to a brother or sister. (Causing offense to unbelievers by preaching the gospel, or to false teachers for telling lies in God’s name is not a problem to me. LOL!)
    ;-)

    A few points, not in the order they appear in post above:-

    You said this above; “Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh noooo nooooo nooooo. What are you saying Alan? If the person thinks he/she knows better than the Holy Spirit because the person wants to speak tongues, then what does that say about the person? If our will superceeds that of the Holy Spirit and the person acquires tongues then the tonuge is NOT from God.”

    As I explained further on that post, 1Cor 14:32 quite clearly states that the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. In other words, when the prophets spoke, they always did so in obedience to the urging of the Holy Spirit, but were NOT forced to do so as taught by some of the pentecostals these days, which they then use to excuse the outlandish behaviour that goes on in their meetings.
    That said, Once the GIFT is given, it remains, as Paul urged Timothy to stir up again the gift that he received by the laying on of Paul’s hands. Also, as I pointed out, in 1Cor 14:28, Paul (and by extension the Holy Spirit, because He is inspiring Paul to write these words) tells us to speak to himself and to God.

    You also asked when, where, how, etc, I LEARNED to speak in tongues. AH sorry, but if I learned to do so, it wouldn’t be spiritual a gift, would it?
    As I said, I am reluctant to speak about this subject, precisely because it leads to debate which can and often does degenerate into two camps, challenging one another’s walk before the Lord.
    However, I will tell you that I remember repenting of sinfulness in my life and asking God to forgive me. I was sobbing before the Lord, on my knees and yes, emotionally pretty wretched.
    (I would ask those who may feel the need to say; “Ah ha, it was just his emotions that got the better of him.”, to consider that exactly the same argument is used by non-christians to explain away conversion, so it doesn’t really work.)
    Anyway, as I prayed on my knees, praising God, I began to speak, then sing in a language I never learned. No-one taught me, urged me, coached me, or anything like that. My family attended a Baptist church, not some holy-roller circus. I can tell you that the experience was as real as the night of my salvation some years before. I have since experienced all kinds of different church services, in all kinds of different settings and I can say that I am the first to say that most of what passes for the operation of spiritual gifts is just not biblically supportable, so I understand the aversion to the whole issue, however, no-one has answered the points I raised above, that there is no logical reason given for why these instructions are included in the New Testament, which has been preserved to this day.
    Also, it has been posted here that the gifts were only for the Apostles, which is just not biblically supportable. Timothy wasn’t an Apostle, nor were the members of the church at Corinth, and there is no caveat given in the scripture to say that the gifts are only for Apostles, or for only the time of the Apostles. Yes there is a mention of tongues ceasing in 1 Cor 13: , but read this verse in the context of the whole passage, which includes Ch. 12, 13, and 14, all three of which are dealing with the spiritual gifts and how they are to be exercised and how they must be regarded as lower in importance to love.
    The reason Ch 13 is there is to show that in this area, as in all others, all must be done in an attitude of love. For God first of course and for our brothers and sisters in Christ. In fact this whole treatise stands on that principle.
    As I said above, the lack of adherence to that principle has lead to pride, self promotion, partiality (looking down on those who don’t speak in tongues, or such like), which has of course lead to unbiblical practices and false teaching, then attributing unbiblical behaviour to the Holy Spirit, which I believe blasphemes the Holy Spirit in a similar manner as the Pharisees did when they attributed the real work of the Holy Spirit to the power of Satan. All these are evidence that the times are short, but not that the gifts have ceased to be operative today. In 1 Cor 13:8-10, Paul says that all these things will cease, including knowledge, but when that which is perfect is come, then these things we only understand in part, will cease. If you are going to say that tongues and prophecies HAVE ceased because of verse 8, then logically, knowledge has ceased also. I hope there are no takers for that idea? because if we can have no knowledge (of the things of God), then we are lost and without hope.
    Incidentally, the emerging clowns all say that we cannot know anything about God with any certainty because they don’t regard the Bible as the Word of God and they got that way by taking bits out of context, then taking bits out full-stop, until they end up by saying we can’t know God, just try to work Him out from subjective experience.

    Another point made was that the gift of tongues is RESTRICTED to being a sign for unbelievers, which is also not something that can be stated as an absolute.
    Once again, 1 Cor 14:28 says to “speak to himself and to God”. There are clearly no unbelievers in view here, listening to the person who follows this directive, so this verse clearly teaches that such a restriction on the exercising of the gift of tongues has no basis in scripture. We must be careful not to add anything to the scripture, nor take it away.
    On that note, there is a quote above that says this:-

    5) History indicates that tongues did cease. Tongues are not mentioned at all by the Post-Apostolic Fathers. Other writers such as Justin Martyr, Origen, Chrysostom, and Augustine considered tongues something that happened only in the earliest days of the Church.

    I’m sorry, but all the names here believed in the same Gnostic heresies that are making their come-back today. They were all quite violently Anti-Semitic also, Chrysostom led bands of ‘Christians’ in raids on Jewish people that resulted in death and destruction easily comparable with the Nazi’s, except that they used swords, not guns. Origen twisted scripture to make it compatible with Greek philosophy and could be credited with first spiritualizing away the promises of God to Israel and making them apply to the church, otherwise known as replacement theology. Justin Martyr and Augustine fit right in with the other two.
    I am surprised to find an article mentioning such apostate heretics as authoritative teachers of the Bible being quoted on this site in a positive manner. I have noticed one common thing with all false teachers, heretics, apostates, etc, they invariably practise some kind of anti-semitism, including those who supposedly are pro-Jewish, but teach that the Jews don’t need salvation.

    Generally, when I hear people quote these men above, and a number of their contemporaries, the alarm bells start going off very loudly indeed. Please don’t think I’m throwing a tantrum here, but I cannot stress enough the danger that these men’s theologies pose to true believers, so subtle are their false teachings.

    I have to go work now, but will be happy to reply to any flaming marshmallow missiles tomorrow. (working N/S)

    Blessings to you all in Jesus’ name,
    Al.

  • Elmarie A

    Alan

    Another point made was that the gift of tongues is RESTRICTED to being a sign for unbelievers, which is also not something that can be stated as an absolute. Once again, 1 Cor 14:28 says to “speak to himself and to God”. There are clearly no unbelievers in view here, listening to the person who follows this directive, so this verse clearly teaches that such a restriction on the exercising of the gift of tongues has no basis in scripture. We must be careful not to add anything to the scripture, nor take it away.

    I will quote 1 Corinthians 14:22 and 1 Cor 14:28 in context and lets look at what it is said by Matthew Henry’s whole Bible Commentary. This is how I understand it.

    1 Corinthians 14:21-25 (Amplified Bible)

    21It is written in the Law, By men of strange languages and by the lips of foreigners will I speak to this people, and not even then will they listen to Me, says the Lord.(A)

    22 Thus [unknown] tongues are meant for a [supernatural] sign, not for believers but for unbelievers [on the point of believing], while prophecy (inspired preaching and teaching, interpreting the divine will and purpose) is not for unbelievers [on the point of believing] but for believers.

    23 Therefore, if the whole church assembles and all of you speak in [unknown] tongues, and the ungifted and uninitiated or unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are demented?

    24 But if all prophesy [giving inspired testimony and interpreting the divine will and purpose] and an unbeliever or untaught outsider comes in, he is told of his sin and reproved and convicted and convinced by all, and his defects and needs are examined (estimated, determined) and he is called to account by all,

    25 The secrets of his heart are laid bare; and so, falling on [his] face, he will worship God, declaring that God is among you in very truth.

    Matthew Henry’s Whole Bible Commentary

    Verses 21-25

    In this passage the apostle pursues the argument, and reasons from other topics; as,

    I. Tongues, as the Corinthians used them, were rather a token of judgment from God than mercy to any people (v. 21): In the law (that is, the Old Testament) it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak to this people; and yet for all this they will not hear me, saith the Lord, Isa. 28:11. Compare Deu. 28:46, 49. To both these passages, it is thought, the apostle refers. Both are delivered by way of threatening, and one is supposed to interpret the other. The meaning in this view is that it is an evidence that a people ar abandoned of God when he gives them up to this sort of instruction, to the discipline of those who speak in another language. And surely the apostle’s discourse implies, “You should not be fond of the tokens of divine displeasure. God can have no gracious regards to those who are left merely to this sort of instruction, and taught in language which they cannot understand. They can never be benefited by such teaching as this; and, when they are left to it, it is a sad sign that God gives them over as past cure.” And should Christians covet to be in such a state, or to bring the churches into it? Yet thus did the Corinthian preachers in effect, who would always deliver their inspirations in an unknown tongue.

    II. Tongues were rather a sign to unbelievers than to believers, v. 22. They were a spiritual gift, intended for the conviction and conversion of infidels, that they might be brought into the Christian church; but converts were to be built up in Christianity by profitable instructions in their own language. The gift of tongues was necessary to spread Christianity, and gather churches; it was proper and intended to convince unbelievers of that doctrine which Christians had already embraced; but prophesying, and interpreting scripture in their own language, were most for the edification of such as did already believe: so that speaking with tongues in Christians assemblies was altogether out of time and place; neither one nor the other was proper for it. Note, That gifts may be rightly used, it is proper to know the ends which they are intended to serve. To go about the conversion of infidels, as the apostles did, had been a vain undertaking without the gift of tongues, and the discovery of this gift; but, in an assembly of Christians already converted to the Christian faith, to make use and ostentation of this gift would be perfectly impertinent, because it would be of no advantage to the assembly; not for conviction of truth, because they had already embraced it; not for their edification, because they did not understand, and could not get benefit without understanding, what they heard.

    III. The credit and reputation of their assemblies among unbelievers required them to prefer prophesying before speaking with tongues. For, 1. If, when they were all assembled for Christian worship, their ministers, or all employed in public worship, should talk unintelligible language, and infidels should drop in, they would conclude them to be mad, to be no better than a parcel of wild fanatics. Who in their right senses could carry on religious worship in such a manner? Or what sort of religion is that which leaves out sense and understanding? Would not this make Christianity ridiculous to a heathen, to hear the ministers of it pray, or preach, or perform any other religious exercise, in a language that neither he nor the assembly understood? Note, The Christian religion is a sober and reasonable thing in itself, and should not, by the ministers of it, be made to look wild or senseless. Those disgrace their religion, and vilify their own character, who do any thing that has this aspect. But, on the other hand, 2. If, instead of speaking with tongues, those who minister plainly interpret scripture, or preach, in language intelligible and proper, the great truths and rules of the gospel, a heathen or unlearned person, coming in, will probably be convinced, and become a convert to Christianity (v. 24, 25); his conscience will be touched, the secrets of his heart will be revealed to him, he will be condemned by the truth he hears, and so will be brought to confess his guilt, to pay his homage to God, and own that he is indeed among you, present in the assembly. Note, Scripture-truth, plainly and duly taught, has a marvellous aptness to awaken the conscience, and touch the heart. And is not this much more for the honour of our religion than that infidels should conclude the ministers of it a set of madmen, and their religious exercises only fits of frenzy? This last would at once cast contempt on them and their religion too. Instead of procuring applause for them, it would render them ridiculous, and involve their profession in the same censure: whereas prophesying would certainly edify the church, much better keep up their credit, and might probably convince and convert infidels who might occasionally hear them. Note, Religious exercises in Christian assemblies should be such as are fit to edify the faithful, and convince, affect, and convert unbelievers. The ministry was not instituted to make ostentation of gifts and parts, but to save souls.

    1 Corinthians 14:26-33 (Amplified Bible)

    26 What then, brethren, is [the right course]? When you meet together, each one has a hymn, a teaching, a disclosure of special knowledge or information, an utterance in a [strange] tongue, or an interpretation of it. [But] let everything be constructive and edifying and for the good of all.

    27 If some speak in a [strange] tongue, let the number be limited to two or at the most three, and each one [taking his] turn, and let one interpret and explain [what is said].

    28 But if there is no one to do the interpreting, let each of them keep still in church and talk to himself and to God.

    29 So let two or three prophets speak [those inspired to preach or teach], while the rest pay attention and weigh and discern what is said.

    30 But if an inspired revelation comes to another who is sitting by, then let the first one be silent.

    31 For in this way you can give testimony [prophesying and thus interpreting the divine will and purpose] one by one, so that all may be instructed and all may be stimulated and encouraged;

    32 For the spirits of the prophets (the speakers in tongues) are under the speaker’s control [and subject to being silenced as may be necessary],

    33 For He [Who is the source of their prophesying] is not a God of confusion and disorder but of peace and order. As [is the practice] in all the churches of the saints (God’s people),

    Matthew Henry’s Whole Bible Commentary

    Verses 26-33

    In this passage the apostle reproves them for their disorder, and endeavours to correct and regulate their conduct for the future.

    I. He blames them for the confusion they introduced into the assembly, by ostentation of their gifts (v. 26): When you come together every one hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, etc.; that is, “You are apt to confound the several parts of worship; and, while one has a psalm to utter by inspiration, another has a doctrine, or revelation;” or else, “You are apt to be confused in the same branch of worship, many of you having psalms or doctrines to propose at the same time, without staying for one another. Is not this perfect uproar? Can this be edifying? And yet all religious exercises in public assemblies should have this view, Let all things be done to edifying.”

    II. He corrects their faults, and lays down some regulations for their future conduct. 1. As to speaking in an unknown tongue, he orders that no more than two or three should do it at one meeting, and this not altogether, but successively, one after another. And even this was not to be done unless there were some one to interpret (v. 27, 28), some other interpreter besides himself, who spoke; for to speak in an unknown tongue what he himself was afterwards to interpret could only be for ostentation. But, if another were present who could interpret, two miraculous gifts might be exercised at once, and thereby the church edified, and the faith of the hearers confirmed at the same time. But, if there were none to interpret, he was to be silent in the church, and only exercise his gift between God and himself (v. 28), that is (as I think) in private, at home; for all who are present at public worship should join in it, and not be at their private devotions in public assemblies. Solitary devotions are out of time and place when the church has met for social worship. 2. As to prophesying he orders, (1.) That two or three only should speak at one meeting (v. 20), and this successively, not all at once; and that the other should examine and judge what he delivered, that is, discern and determine concerning it, whether it were of divine inspiration or not. There might be false prophets, mere pretenders to divine inspiration; and the true prophets were to judge of these, and discern and discover who was divinely inspired, and by such inspiration interpreted scripture, and taught the church, and who was not-what was of divine inspiration and what was not. This seems to be the meaning of this rule. For where a prophet was known to be such, and under the divine afflatus, he could not be judged; for this were to subject even the Holy Spirit to the judgment of men. He who was indeed inspired, and known to be so, was above all human judgment. (2.) He orders that, if any assistant prophet had a revelation, while another was prophesying, the other should hold his peace, be silent (v. 30), before the inspired assistant uttered his revelation. Indeed, it is by many understood that the former speaker should immediately hold his peace. But this seems unnatural, and not so well to agree with the context. For why must one that was speaking by inspiration be immediately silent upon another man’s being inspired, and suppress what was dictated to him by the same Spirit? Indeed, he who had the new revelation might claim liberty of speech in his turn, upon producing his vouchers; but why must liberty of speech be taken from him who was speaking before, and his mouth stopped, when he was delivering the dictates of the same Spirit, and could produce the same vouchers? Would the Spirit of God move one to speak, and, before he had delivered what he had to say, move another to interrupt him, and put him to silence? This seems to me an unnatural thought. Nor is it more agreeable to the context, and the reason annexed (v. 31): That all might prophesy, one by one, or one after another, which could not be where any one was interrupted and silenced before he had done prophesying; but might easily be if he who was afterwards inspired forbore to deliver his new revelation till the former prophet had finished what he had to say. And, to confirm this sense, the apostle quickly adds, The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets (v. 33); that is, the spiritual gifts they have leave them still possessed of their reason, and capable of using their own judgment in the exercise of them. Divine inspirations are not, like the diabolical possessions of heathen priests, violent and ungovernable, and prompting them to act as if they were beside themselves; but are sober and calm, and capable of regular conduct. The man inspired by the Spirit of God may still act the man, and observe the rules of natural order and decency in delivering his revelations. His spiritual gift is thus far subject to his pleasure, and to be managed by his discretion.

    III. The apostle gives the reasons of these regulations. As, 1. That they would be for the church’s benefit, their instruction and consolation. It is that all may learn, and all may be comforted or exhorted, that the prophets were to speak in the orderly manner the apostle advises. Note, The instruction, edification, and comfort of the church, is that for which God instituted the ministry. And surely ministers should, as much as possible, fit their ministrations to these purposes. 2. He tells them, God is not the God of confusion, but of peace and good order, v. 33. Therefore divine inspiration should by no means throw Christian assemblies into confusion, and break through all rules of common decency, which yet would be unavoidable if several inspired men should all at once utter what was suggested to them by the Spirit of God, and not wait to take their turns. Note, The honour of God requires that things should be managed in Christian assemblies so as not to transgress the rules of natural decency. If they are managed in a tumultuous and confused manner, what a notion must this give of the God who is worshipped, to considerate observers! Does it look as if he were the God of peace and order, and an enemy to confusion? Things should be managed so in divine worship that no unlovely nor dishonourable notion of God should be formed in the minds of observers. 3. He adds that things were thus orderly managed in all the other churches: As in all the churches of the saints (v. 33); they kept to these rules in the exercise of their spiritual gifts, which was a manifest proof that the church of Corinth might observe the same regulations. And it would be perfectly scandalous for them, who exceeded most churches in spiritual gifts, to be more disorderly than any in the exercise of them. Note, Though other churches are not to be our rule, yet the regard they pay to the rules of natural decency and order should restrain us from breaking these rules. Thus far they may be proposed as examples, and it is a shame not to follow them.

  • Grant C

    Hi all (Burning Lamp, Alan, Jemah, Deborah, Elmarie, who did I leave out?)

    Most importantly, I would like to loudly echo BL’s sentiments expressed regarding this issue:

    I hope I didn’t offend by offering this viewpoint. I think so much of all of you here and appreciate your ministry so very much. Time and distance may separate us, but I count you as friends and fellow pilgrims waiting and watching for our King to take us home.

    This is a subject about which I have strong convictions, some of which I have expressed in minor postings above and also on other threads on the DTW site. However, because I regard this as, potentially, the most divisive issue (sadly) among Christians, I will attempt to refrain from undue elaboration.

    Many of the authoritative articles posted above lend further strong evidence that tongues are not for today. The question which repeatedly comes to mind, is what could possibly be the purpose of tongues today, when we have the completed Gospel? This sub-issue has been mentioned in one of the comments above, but the question itself remains unanswered.

    Although it may seem honourable or kind for Christians to differ quietly on the subject of speaking in tongues today, I fail to see why this should be so, it being such an enormously divisive issue.

    While it is dismissed as being of seemingly little importance by some practitioners, it has by and large been refuted by the majority of documented Christian scholars throughout church history. However, if consensus has been reached in the church as to the position regarding the other Apostolic gifts, does it not stand to reason that the controversy surrounding the least favoured of those gifts is a demonic ploy?

    In this regard Lourens said:

    I must say that there is MASS confusion under christians with regards to this ‘tongue’ issue…

    Further to that, it would be fair to state that there exists a singular truth regarding this matter, but that the sectarianism is the result of the deception employed in obscuring that truth. If it is widely accepted that the other more ‘important’ Apostolic gifts are extremely rare, if not ceased, today, it seems simply illogical that tongues would have been singled out and maintained for no particular purpose.

    If it was God’s intention for us to still speak in tongues today, instructions to this end would be very clear and not condusive to the extreme controversy that it is. God is ultimately practical and the Bible contains the most economically written instructions to Christians in it’s divine pages. If that is an accepted fact, then it is impossible for Christians to simply agree to disagree on this issue which has been the cause of more division and tragic consequences in recent church history than I wish to remember.

    Alan said:

    Generally, when I hear people quote these men above, and a number of their contemporaries, the alarm bells start going off very loudly indeed. Please don’t think I’m throwing a tantrum here, but I cannot stress enough the danger that these men’s theologies pose to true believers, so subtle are their false teachings.

    While I agree that there have been many historical heretics and that these men are in many respects among them, I strongly feel that this is where the gift of discernment becomes indispensable for the Christian, to avoid their subtle falsehoods. If we were to simply dismiss all the writings of all those who seem to be heretical or have been in error in some way or another, I cannot think of one single teacher/writer whose works could be regarded as safe. Not one. Outside the Bible that is, of course.

    God often uses unbelievers to do tasks for the fulfillment of His perfect plan. We must employ discernment in all matters which will enable us to not continually throw the baby out with the bathwater. We far too easily tend to generalize, categorize or ascribe guilt by association. 1 Th 5:21 But test and prove all things (until you can recognize) what is good; (to that) hold fast.

    Deborah said:

    Nope. I won’t agree on something that is not biblical and can lead someone off the narrow path that Jesus commanded us to walk on.

    That is the point, exactly.

  • Elmarie A

    My reason for posting this we have just about worked through the Corinthians chapters about tongues :-) But it is the book of Acts that gives us the clarity on the singular purpose of tongues. For those who know this just a good exercise to refresh our memories and for those who did not know please get into reading this little article that I find simple and clear.

    The Purpose of the Gift of Tongues

    We must be very cautious to not get so caught up in an experience that we forget why we are experiencing it to begin with. People who are professing to be speaking in tongues focus on the experience and seldom talk about the purpose for which they are doing so. It is not until we understand the purpose of the gift of tongues that we can understand why this gift is not still relevant today.

    The gift of tongues is unique. It is unlike any other spiritual gift. While the gifts of knowledge, wisdom, prophecy, discerning of spirits and even faith helped to edify the body of believers, the gifts of healing and working of miracles helped to bring people into the body of Christ, primarily Jews. The gifts of healing and the workings of miracles are what we refer to as sign gifts. The very first gift that we see given was performed by the Holy Spirit Himself on the day of Pentecost in Acts chapter two. This was the gift of tongues. Tongues were also a “sign” gift, but it was not a sign for just anyone. It was primarily used as a sign for the Jews. We should note that this gift only occurs three times in the book of Acts. The first appearance of this gift occurred on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2. Jews were present in this instance. The second appearance of this gift takes place in Acts chapter 10 and again Jews were present. The third and final time this gift appears in the book of Acts we read yet again that Jews were present. Notice the following chart taken from the Bible Knowledge Commentary on the New Testament, page 408:

    Please see chart Here

    Paul confirms the significance of this by his statement that the gift of tongues was not useful for the believer at all, but was a sign for the unbeliever:

    1 Cor 14:22 Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers; prophecy, however, is for believers, not for unbelievers. NIV

    Marks Gospel states:

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

    The gift of being able to speak in an unknown language is certainly a unique gift from God. The purpose of that gift however was a sign to the unbelieving Jews (See chart above). In the three examples of the use of tongues that are found in Scripture (Acts Chapters 2, 10, 19), we see that this gift was used to confirm the message to a Jewish audience and/or participants. There is nothing in these passages that reveals that the people speaking in tongues ever asked or prayed specifically for the gift. These passages never suggest that this gift was ever used for personal self-edification nor does it mention any feelings or emotions involved in the exercising of this gift. The Bible clearly speaks to the purpose of the gift, not how it felt. This does not coincide with the teaching of tongues today. The purpose of tongues as a sign to the unbelieving Jew is overlooked and the emphasis of the benefits of the personal experience are proclaimed. They teach that people are to seek and expect this gift. They emphasize the “power” that one is supposed to feel when the Holy Spirit takes control of your tongue. These false teachings of man are simply trying to entice the lusts of the flesh. Man wants to feel good and this experience is supposed to do just that. However, Paul clearly teaches the opposite in 1 Corinthians 14.

    Tongues had a specific purpose. They were not given for us to have a special language with which to speak to God. God has given everyone the ability to talk to Him in their own native language, for the reader that is probably English. No Scripture commands or compells us to pray to God in a language that we cannot understand. Every person in the Bible that communicated with God or His angels always had the ability to understand them in their own language and they were able to speak in their own native tongue. There are no examples in Scripture to suggest that God desires for us to speak to Him in a secret language that the speaker is unable to interpret. There can be no communication when only half of the party understands the conversation and there is Scriptural evidence to suggest that it is necessary. In fact Paul tells us just the opposite. He says, “Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air. 10 Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning. 11 If then I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker, and he is a foreigner to me.” (1 Cor 14:9-11)

    Speaking in tongues, as it is taught today, is a man made doctrine that is read into the Scriptures. The Bible never speaks about the emotions involved with speaking in tongues, therefore in order to believe this doctrine, you must assume that people who spoke in tongues had a certain feeling or blessing involved. Scripture is silent about emotions or spiritual benefits from speaking in tongues. The Bible does not tell us that tongues enriches our spiritual life. The Scriptures never talks about how is makes us feel. We do a grave injustice to the Word of God to add to it our own interpretations, desires or agendas.

    In order to understand the primary reason for the gift of tongues it is essential that we understand that Acts 2 is the beginning of a new dispensation. We must first realize that the Nation of Israel (Jews) were God’s chosen vessel through which the blessings of God would come to this earth. Through them we received the Law of Moses and through their lineage came Jesus the Christ. They were the salt of the earth (Matthew 5). They were the light unto which the Gentile could see the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob through all His riches poured out on them. Although the Old Testament prophets did not understand this new dispensation of grace, they were searching for it intently (1 Peter 1:10-12). This new dispensation called together both the Jew and Gentile, so that the Gentile as well as the Jew could be a part of the wonderful grace of God. This gospel would extend to everyone. Surely the gift of speaking in foreign tongues signified or testified to this fact. It helped usher in the dispensation of grace. The gospel was to start first with the Jews then reach to the Samaritans going forth from there unto the Gentiles:

    Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” NIV

    This is exactly what happened! First we have the outpouring of the Spirit on only the Jews (Acts 2), then the Samaritans (Acts 8), and then the Gentiles (Acts 10). Take a close look at the first Gentile Conversion.

    The event surrounding the first Gentile conversion is one that deserves some attention. Before the conversion of Cornelius (a Gentile) in Acts 10, God had to prepare Peter for the event. As Peter was praying, he had a vision that something like a sheet was lowered down from heaven and it contained both clean and unclean animals. We know that the Jews were not allowed to eat unclean animals. In this vision God tells Peter to “kill and eat.” Peter declared “Surely not, Lord!” This happened three times. God told Peter not to call unclean what God has made clean. This vision was to reveal to Peter that his message was also for the Gentiles as well as for the Jews. Notice what he says later about his vision as he approached Cornelius:

    Acts 10:28 He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him. But God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. NIV

    The message of Peter is very important. Not only does he share the gospel, he reveals the truth that God’s plan is available to the Gentile as well as the Jew.

    Acts 10:34-43 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right. You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached- how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him. “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen-by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” NIV

    Then, read what happens next:

    Acts 10:44-46 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. NIV

    The circumcised were the Jews. They could hear with their own ears the tongues that were being spoken. This gift of tongues was a sign proving to them that what Peter was preaching was from God, and that God was indeed opening the door for the Gentiles. There was no doubt for those who were present. Remember, the Jews believed that Gentiles were unclean and this new revelation was not something they were ready to quickly embrace. In fact this event with Peter stirred up quite a bit of confusion. Read what happens next:

    Acts 11:1-3 The apostles and the brothers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him and said, “You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.” NIV

    Even after hearing that the Gentiles received the Word of God, they still criticized Peter for going to the Gentiles, regardless of the result! As we read the account, Peter had to explain everything to them, including a very important part, notice what he said:

    Acts 11:15-17 “As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning. Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ So if God gave them the same gift as he gave us, who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could oppose God?” NIV

    The Gentiles were given the same gift of tongues that the Jews were given on the day of Pentecost at the beginning of Acts 2. We find this confirmation significant in that God is unifying a people unto Himself both Jew and Gentile and is signifying it with tongues. It takes us back to Genesis chapter 11 where God used languages to cause division. Now He uses them to bring unity in Christ. What better sign than to allow them to understand foreign languages. And it is important for God to give a sign, for Jews required a sign:

    1 Cor 1:22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: KJV [NIV, NKJV – request a sign, NASB – ask for a sign, ESV- demands a sign]

    The Jews specifically asked for a sign of the Christ on several different occasions.

    John 2:18 Then the Jews demanded of him, “What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this? NIV

    In the case of the Gentile conversion, the sign gift of tongues served its purpose. Notice what the Hebrew apostles and disciples said to Peter after he explained to them that it was God who poured out His Spirit on these people in the same manner that they had received it; accompanied by the same gift of tongues.

    Acts 11:18 When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.” NIV

    So we see then that the purpose of the gift of tongues is not for self-edification, but for a sign to the Jews to reveal that the unification of both the Jew and the Gentile was taking place. This gift has served its purpose and is no longer needed today. All of the gifts of the Spirit had a purpose and that purpose has been fulfilled.
    http://www.guidedbytruth.com/purposetongues.php

  • Alan

    Hello all,

    Below is a quote from Grant’s post above:-

    “If we were to simply dismiss all the writings of all those who seem to be heretical or have been in error in some way or another, I cannot think of one single teacher/writer whose works could be regarded as safe. Not one. Outside the Bible that is, of course.”

    Firstly, let me say that what Grant is implying here is that even apostates and heretics can speak the truth, which is correct. Even Satan speaks the truth mixed with a tiny bit of lie, to deceive people who would not otherwise be so deceived. Ninety-nine percent truth + one percent lie will do the trick very well, which is the lesson to be learned from the symbolic use of leaven as a metaphor for sin. All leaven was to be purged from houses (tents originally) and the bread was to contain no leaven either.

    The problem I have with such statements however, is that it is so easy to place such weight on the teachings of men that we allow them to influence the way we read the Bible, rather than reading our Bible and allowing it to influence the the way we regard the teachings of men. In other words, it’s backwards. All writings, commentaries, preachings, etc can be useful and helpful to Christians, of course, but what we learn from the Holy Spirit as we read God’s Word, is always, and I’ll emphasize it ALWAYS the yardstick by which we measure the truth of what we read or hear from men.
    To summarize, I respect the words of men (and women) who have studied much more than I on a particular subject (any subject), but I will not ever allow that respect to colour the way I read the scriptures, which is what is being done by quoting commentaries, etc to explain what the Bible means. How can you be like the Bereans and study the scriptures to see if what the commentary writer says is true, unless you are prepared to dismiss the learned man’s writing if you don’t find the Holy Spirit revealing the same thing to you from the text?

    Further down the same post Grant (sorry mate, I’m not picking on you, just replying to your post, but the principle here holds for others who’ve posted too) says the following:-

    “While it is dismissed as being of seemingly little importance by some practitioners, it has by and large been refuted by the majority of documented Christian scholars throughout church history. However, if consensus has been reached in the church as to the position regarding the other Apostolic gifts, does it not stand to reason that the controversy surrounding the least favoured of those gifts is a demonic ploy?”

    The fact that consensus has been reached in the church is not now, nor ever should be the basis for interpreting scripture. In fact, going on the example given in scripture of the history of the Israelites being a set of lessons for us to learn from, consensus, especially if it is the majority view, should be a warning that the agreed position is wrong, not right. Whenever people use that old chestnut of “Oh, the majority of Christians believe…” I know from what the Holy Spirit has revealed to me from my Bible that the issue being supported by this ‘evidence’ is probably wrong.

    I’m sorry folks, but the church fathers, Origen, Augustine, Justin Martyr, John Chrysostom, Eusebious, and a host of others, committed themselves, or encouraged others to commit, such barbaric acts of cruelty on the Jewish brethren of my Lord, that I would sooner swim in a cesspit than allow that their teachings be held in any kind of honour at all, no matter what truth there maybe mixed in with their vile replacement theology and anti-semitic/anti-christ doctrines.

    I have read many commentaries and books on many different subjects in my life and the one most valuable lesson I’ve learned in my 40+ years as a Christian is that what I understand when I read the Bible, always believing by faith that the Holy Spirit will lead me into all truth, is to take paramount place over all the words of men that I have read or heard. I will not negotiate on that point, to the point of death.
    How can it be otherwise? The Holy Spirit is my teacher and can and will (indeed has already done so, often) discipline me when I go astray. God is a Holy God, a God to be feared with righteous awe, but He is also gracious and kind and I know He will always correct me when I need correction, so I will not allow any teaching of man to colour the way I read God’s Word. Does that mean I don’t question things in my life? Not at all, I constantly hold up my life and my thoughts to the light of the Word, to test them against what I read there. The Bible makes it crystal clear that we are to do that with every aspect of our lives as often as possible. We are told there to let scripture interpret scripture, not to let commentaries, or popular opinion, or church consensus, or the edicts of the NAR, or the Pope, or anyone else influence how we understand what is written in God’s Word.

    A lot of the posts that tend toward a cessationist viewpoint, have made statements such as one pointing to the fact that missionaries have to go to school to learn languages.
    What does that prove? That the gift of tongues is no longer active, or that these people are not really being called of God to be missionaries?
    I have always had trouble believing that God calls someone to be a missionary, then expects that person to fund their own trip with cake stalls, etc, or by begging from various congregations for financial support for the work that God has called them to do.
    If God wants someone to be a missionary, whatever their needs are, God will meet them. It’s God’s work they about after all, not their own, nor that of the church that sent them out. Just because we do things backwards nowadays, doesn’t mean that God intends us to do so, but rather shows His graciousness in still blessing missionary work that is carried out very much in the strength of the missionaries, rather than the strength of the Lord.
    Actually, the idea that we from the ‘enlightened’ Western world countries have to go to the poor countries to take the gospel to the masses, has led to much that is not biblical in the missionary fields of the world, starting as it does with pride. There are a number of missionary societies that do things differently, they train Christian people in Asia, South America, Africa(?), Eastern Europe, China, and others, to be missionaries to their own people, so there is no need for such language training. However, I have no problem believing, from what I read in the Bible, that God may use the gift of tongues in that way today.

    Much has been made of the ‘SIGN’ element here and the same thing is said of miracles, and other spiritual gifts; that they were for a sign to others because they didn’t have the scriptures, but we do have the scriptures, so we no longer need the signs. I find that a little (actually a lot) hard to swallow, because Paul commends the Bereans for their searching of the scriptures to test his words to them. What we call the Old Testament was the Bible for the people of those days, so to say that they needed signs because they didn’t have bibles is incorrect. Also, Jesus rebuked those that asked Him for a sign, because they had already been given all the signs God deemed necessary and still didn’t believe He was the Messiah. Many of that generation were still alive at the time of the events in Acts and even a few would’ve been around at the time Paul wrote to Corinth, so don’t attach too much weight to the horse of ‘signs’. The hyper pentecostal NAR and their ilk all talk up the ‘signs’ angle too. ;-)

    The verses where Paul talks of ALL speaking in tongues is referring to them all speaking in tongues at the same time, which of course isn’t edifying to anyone even if they weren’t speaking in tongues. He then goes on to say that tongues should be spoken out once, twice, at the most three times, in an orderly manner, with interpretation following each utterance. This is also evidence that the person speaking has the control over whether or not to speak out in tongues, because the instruction is redundant if the Holy Spirit is the instigator of any utterance in tongues. I’m sure He knows how to do things in order!
    Conversely, Paul makes it clear that the people are to exercise restraint in the exercising of their gifts. (Note once again that none of these people were Apostles, so the idea that tongues were only for Apostles is here done away with. Verse 28 says let those who have the gift speak to themselves and to God, which cannot mean anything but what it says; that the use of tongues can be exercised on a personal level. The injunction in the beginning of this verse is against speaking out publicly when there is no-one present to interpret it for the hearers in the congregation, but this latter part of the verse tells the believer to exercise his or her gift in a private fashion. It cannot mean anything else. The following verse gives instruction about the exercising of the gift of prophecy, saying that there should be no more than two or three such utterances and that they should be judged by others present, whether or not they are of the Holy Spirit or from some other source. Verse 32 below that tells us that the prophetic gift is under the control of the person speaking, so as to avoid a situation where many people prophesy at once, again creating confusion. Many times you will hear people such as Rodney Howard Browne say something like; “Don’t think about it, just let the Spirit take control and start speaking, cast off restraint.” which is clearly spoken against in this verse. So, while the Holy Spirit is clearly not someone who we should resist, the idea that therefore such restraint is wrong is shown here to be contrary to the Bible’s teaching on how to conduct yourself if you have such a gift. The final two verses; 39 & 40, say that we should covet (strong word) to prophesy and we should not forbid people to speak in tongues, with the proviso that all things be done decently and in order. In other words, while the Holy Spirit is the one who gives the ability to speak out in tongues or prophecy, the decision on whether or not to do so is always under the control of the person concerned. The Holy Spirit will not compel people to do things which are out of line with these principles and against the over-riding principle of agape love, which seeks the best for everyone else, not the grandstanding of those who have been blessed with such gifts.

    Addressing the issue of 1 Cor 13:8, where Paul speaks of these things ceasing, if we read the following verses, we see that Paul says we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. He continues over the next few verses to expand on that theme, which clearly talks of when Christ returns and brings the perfection we currently yearn for but lack. Of course there will be no need of spiritual gifts for edification, because all will be perfected, including us and our understanding and we will be complete, no longer in need of edification and encouragement, however, agape love will remain, being perfected also. To say that the gifts have ceased already, one must show that that which is perfect has already come according to this verse, which I hope no-one will claim. I know that there are those in the Latter Rain, or Manifest Sons of God cults that say that we will obtain that status before Jesus returns and even that some of them already have arrived at that state of perfection, but this is so obviously anti-scriptural it’s almost not worth the time to point it out. I’d say it’s laughable, but it’s more a matter for tears than laughter as far as I can see.

    Sorry for the length of this post, but there is one more point I want to make here, then I’ll speak no more on this subject without invitation. I have learned that you can support just about any idea from scripture if you are determined to do so. In other words, if you have a particular agenda, such as promoting the idea of the Seventh Day Adventists that we experience ‘soul-sleep’ after we die, you can, if you try hard enough, find evidence to support your contention. You have to go against the majority of scriptural references to what happens after we die, but you can still do it. The same goes for many other doctrinal differences. There is an excellent article on this subject by a guy called Dusty Peterson, called “Beware False Balances”. In it he shows that while the majority of scriptural references to a particular issue will teach you what God wants you to know about the subject, there are always one or two verses that will allow someone to believe something different about that same subject.
    ‘Soul-sleep’ is one such example that is easy to point to. Although the weight of scripture clearly tells us that when we die as believers we go to be the Lord, there are Paul’s mentions of those that have died being ‘asleep’, in the following verses (in no particular order); 1Cor 15:6, 1 Thes 4:13 & 15, 1 Cor 15:51, 1 Thess 4:14. The Seventh Day Adventists use these scriptures to ‘prove’ that ‘soul-sleep’ is a biblical teaching, which I hope we al agree it isn’t. For the sake of brevity I will give no other examples, but I can assure you that they are there for every doctrine.
    This begs the question of why would God put those verses there like that and not just make the case an airtight one for what He wants us to believe? The answer lies in the various references to searching for the Truth in the Bible as if one were digging for treasure. Searching diligently, with a love of the truth such as is referred to in 2 Thess 2:10. Why does God want us to receive the love of the truth? Because He identifies Himself with the truth to the extent that Jesus said I am the Truth. Those that don’t love the truth, will be sent a strong delusion so that they will believe a lie. By God no less! The value He puts on truth is so high that He is not going to just parcel it up in a neat package for anyone who is not prepared to expend every effort to find it, but has made it available only to those who will seek diligently, with all their heart. Those who have the same high regard for truth that He has. Those who wish to be lazy and not seek diligently will find in the Bible those things that they wish to find and be led astray, having their ears tickled, but those who are prepared to lay all else aside and earnestly seek for the truth with all their hearts, will find it. We shall know the truth and the truth will set us free.

    I will gladly post the URL for the page where you can find Dusty’s article, but not without Deb’s permission. I feel like I may be in for a roasting already! :-)

    I leave you with these words from Romans 15;5 & 6; “Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
    And from 2 Cor 13:14:- “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost , be with you all. Amen.”

    God bless you all so very richly,
    Alan.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Alan

    Lots of stuff in your comment I don’t agree with.

    You say many Gnostics believed tongues had ceased. True but what does that mean? Augustine believed Jesus was crucified does that now make it incorrect? No, so let’s exclude this argument.

    You can’t use Corinthians as an example to say that the gift of tongues is for today. Paul spoke to them for ‘that time’ only – before the Bible had been written. So in context yes, tongues were practiced and the Corinthains were abusing it.

    Paul then says these things will cease, along with prophecy once the Word of God is written.

    Since then tongues were not heard again until the 1700’s with the French Prophets in Europe and then again in 1906 with 2 prophetesses in a charismatic church. When will tonuges and prophecy be heard again? When the Holy Spirit falls on the Jews again during the trubulation.

    All I can say Allan is that I do not know your heart, just as you do not know mine – none of us know eachothers hearts. We can’t convince eachother that there are things in our lives that might or might not be Godly. Only the conviction of the Holy Spirit will lead us to believe which will lead us to get rid of these things through repentance. So I am gonna leave it at that with much love!

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    I also want to emphasise that fellowship on this blog is not unbreakable. It’s not a club nor is there any gang (Sorry BL just had to use your words – it’s not aimed at you). We speak the TRUTH in LOVE always BECAUSE we CARE, not because we once laughed and now that means we have to remain silent on issues such as this. Lord knows how many people have crossed our path that seemed so nice, yet were far from nice in the end. Then there are those who are dear to our hearts and I will fight with them and get upset with them because of things that will lead them astray and it’s my duty to tell them so – however there does come a time when you have to step back and just pray.

  • Alan

    Hi Deb, Thanks for your gracious words above. It is hard is it not to speak contrary to a brother os sister in Christ.
    I agree with your words on those who become abusive when challenged about something.
    I believe it shows their true nature, because we are called to be teachable, and to esteem one another higher than ourselves and such people as get abusive are obviously not walking in the way of the Lord, at least not while they behave that way.
    I believe that our highest priority as Christians is to love God with all our heart and to love our neighbours as ourselves.
    We are called also to grow in the Lord, allowing the Holy Spirit to make us more like Christ, to pray like Him, speak like Him, love others like Him.
    Jesus said out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks, so when a person speaks cruel words, intending to cause hurt, it is then we see what is in their heart.
    I have seen a few of the poisonous posts you have received and I know first hand the hurt it causes when you are accused of being mean, arrogant, self-righteous, and worse, when all you are trying to do is warn people because you love them. The very proof of your love is thrown back in your face and called abuse. It is heartbreaking, I know because it has happened to me also.
    I pray God will so richly bless you and your family that such hurts will be soothed by His loving care, as I’m sure you have experienced already. I Praise God for your faithfulness to live according to His ways.

    Shalom,
    Alan.

  • Michael

    Being a Christian for many years has taught me to be wary of contraversial issues that people spend so much time debating about instead of spreading the gospel of God’s salvation.
    When something becomes an issue and takes one away from the main theme then it is best prayed about and then left at the foot of the cross and then move on to the purpose of saving men’s souls for the kingdom with the true gospel.It’s a case of getting priorities in order.
    I have heard whole sermons preached on issues like tongues or…is it permissable to drink wine…and many other debates that are time wasting and bear no relation to the message of the cross.
    Satan loves to get us involved in disputes and deviations that bear no witness to the Saviour dying for our sins and the hope of being born – again.

  • Elmarie A

    Michael

    move on to the purpose of saving men’s souls for the kingdom with the true gospel

    Micheal we cannot save men’s souls that is up to God alone. We cannot take God’s work from His hands. We must preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ only and take it to the world. We are told also that other men will come and preach a different Gospel.Galatians 1:7 and Galatians 1:9 and 1 John 2:4. It is so obvious that todays church is growing cold to the true Gospel and men only want to hear that which they see as pleasing and gratifying. 2 Timothy 4:3 (Amplified Bible) 3 For the time is coming when [people] will not tolerate (endure) sound and wholesome instruction, but, having ears itching [for something pleasing and gratifying], they will gather to themselves one teacher after another to a considerable number, chosen to satisfy their own liking and to foster the errors they hold,

    I cannot agree with your statement “we must move to the purpose of saving men’s souls for the kingdom with the true gospel”.

    The the reason for this article is actually to warn about that in today’s churches people are being mislead to expect that one must be able to speak in tongues it has become a prerequisite in most of these big churches and that is just absurd. There is nothing wrong with discussing the subject as long as we as Christians can do so in love. I for one have learned a great deal about this subject as it took me to the Scriptures where we find only the truth. Thanking every body here for their little bit of input on this subject. We can only watch and pray and test all things to see whether they proceed from God as we are told. 1 John 4:1
    [ Test the Spirits ] Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

  • Michael

    Hey Elmarie…you misunderstand what I said “with the true gospel”…that is the ingedient…I was certainly not implying man’s power merely his effort…as we are just instruments and it is God that does the work…it is not “by might,not by power but by my spirit…says the Lord of hosts…Zech 4:6.
    You misunderstand me…I agree to what you say…it is just getting our priorities in order…over emphasis on secondary issues get us off the main path if you understand my meaning,thank you sister I know you mean well.

  • Michael

    Sorry …”ingredient”…should check my spelling before sending

  • Elmarie A

    Michael

    Thank you for clearing that up. :-)

  • I believe there are born again Christians in Pente churches but that said hopefully with time they will come to know the truth, that tongues were earthly languages. I used to take the middle of the road avenue, that tongues were a gift given to some but not for all. With time and visits to Pente churches and more Bible study, I came to the same conclusions in the article. I used to visit Pente churches and in every one, ended up walking out feeling uncomfortable, the tongues always sounded like how it would sound if someone was told to pretend to speak a fake language. I do not think the people are guilty they really believe in it, but with many it’s induced with suggestion. One Pente I used to know would tell me I needed to clear my mind out, and empty it from all distractions and NOT think in Words. I told him that is what they told me when I was a UU Theosophist [Im an ex Catholic as well] before I became a Christian. Meditation techniques, empty your mind-give up control. My reaction was to say FORGET IT!

  • Jemah

    Hi everyone,I would just like to say one thing, that I would rather die than offend my God in anyway or fall out of His Grace,thank-you for pointing out many valid points, that are not unknown to me, Id rather give everything up than be in error, so I will, and see where the Spirit leads me.the Truth will always prevail at the end.
    God bless you all

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Biblebeliever

    I agree. And I agree too that there are many in these churches that are slowly realising there is something horribly wrong but don’t know where to turn to for help because around ever corner lies more lies and persuasion. But the Holy Spirit within these born again Christians are warning them and they will escape sooner rather than later.

    What these churches used to preach is no longer. What was is no longer. And unfortunately born again Christians are a drop in the ocean compared to the wild fire that has spread over people in the church.

    Regarding someone who speaks in tongues but it saved, the Holy Spirit will convict them when they learn the truth on the matter and if they are willing to listen to Him they will stop with His help. Some people might not listen at first but sooner than later they will realised something is not right.

    One little sin will always lead to another little sin and so on…

    Satan will always make sure he convicts you for the opposite of what the Holy Spirit convicts you for. Satan will say, keep the tongues, Holy Spirit will tell you to get rid of them because they serve no purpose.

    Speaking to God in English or what ever language you speak makes more sense to me because I know what I am saying. If I am not 100% sure what I am doing in not pleasing God I will abandon it immediately. What does that leave us with I am sure someone will ask. Well it leaves us with reading the Bible :)

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Jemah

    Thank you. I hope it’s easier for you than me and my earring problem. lol

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Michael

    Being a Christian for many years has taught me to be wary of contraversial issues that people spend so much time debating about instead of spreading the gospel of God’s salvation.
    When something becomes an issue and takes one away from the main theme then it is best prayed about and then left at the foot of the cross and then move on to the purpose of saving men’s souls for the kingdom with the true gospel.It’s a case of getting priorities in order.
    I have heard whole sermons preached on issues like tongues or…is it permissable to drink wine…and many other debates that are time wasting and bear no relation to the message of the cross.
    Satan loves to get us involved in disputes and deviations that bear no witness to the Saviour dying for our sins and the hope of being born – again.

    You can’t be serious? Tongues speaking today is a very very serious issue along with everything else that can trap a person and lead them off the narrow path.

  • Michael

    You can’t be serious? Tongues speaking today is a very very serious issue along with everything else that can trap a person and lead them off the narrow path.

    Precisely…With respect..you misunderstand my context…that is why it is best ignored…and buried…it is a smokescreen or red-herring that the devil uses to take us off the real message of the scriptures.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Michael

    I get what you’re saying but these things can’t be ignored – they need to be spoken about. Many people, millions are under the impression that it’s correct. Because you understand it does not mean others do. It’s like saying, lets not speak about false teachers – they are red herrings.

  • christina

    Be aware that God is not mocked!He is the same yesterday, today, and forever! He never changes, glory to God! Jesus plainly tells in scripture that a Helper would be sent and He was! He said that with the Holy Spirit we would do even mightier things than He! The reason this is foolishness to people is because the Spirit of God is not in them to discern the spiritual things of God! God said to not forbid the “speaking in tongues” which is not an earthly language like some believe. Praying in the spirit builds up the inner man! Also,God says we know not how to pray as we ought. Praying with only human wisdom is like limiting God to our thoughts. Why would we do that? His thoughts are higher than our thoughts and His ways are higher than our ways! Why question God’s integrity? He sent the Holy Spirit to help us pray among other things! The baptisim of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in “tongues” is necessary to being enabled to live the true christian life! The Holy Spirit helps us to pray! If we say it’s just another earthly language you are still limiting God to human wisdom! We ought not ever do that! We are to always go into everything with prayers and supplication always praying in the Spirit “praying in tongues” Christians ought not start arguments over scripture or condem anyone but correct with kindness. Some are blinded to the deep spiritual things of God because of the rejection of the Holy Spirit! I pray that all who get before God in prayer and ask Him for enlightenment on this subject!He will tell you! It’s up to you if you will open your heart to be attentive to what He tells you! Don’t take us “tongu talkers” word for it! Take God’s Word as Truth!Jesus is coming back very soon! Open your heart to the truth before the tribulation and don’t reject the gifts of God! Be enlighted to God’s Word, not man’s! Peace to all who listen to what the Spirit of God is saying on this!

  • Elmarie A

    christina

    The baptisim of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in “tongues” is necessary to being enabled to live the true christian life!

    May I ask you which church you attend?

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Christina

    I have possibly answered your type of comment a hundred times. But for the sake of helping you out, I will answer these questions again.

    1) When Jesus said we would go greater things than He, He was speaking about spreading the Gospel, NOT doing GREATER miracles than HIM. If you want to be better than Jesus Christ then there is a serious problem.

    2) It’s clear from SCRIPTURE ABOVE (Used from the Bible) you know that Book that contains Words DIRECTLY FROM GOD that TONGUES HAS STOPPED. Yes God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow but He SAID that tongues have ceased therefore they have stopped.

    3) Jesus said he would send the Holy Spirit as our helper and the Holy Spirit abides in born again Christians. This is true. So what’s your point? This does not make tongues valid for today.

    4) Pentecost was a once off occurrence. The next time it happens again is during the tribulation and the Holy Spirit will overcome Jews and they will prophecy and dream and have visions as per the completing of the prophecy of Joel 2 and Acts. Open your BIBLE and study it for yourself Christina and stop slurping up false teachers garbage so they can pass off a false spirit as the Holy Spirit.

    4) Of course God’s wisdom is greater than ours, but He has clearly said that tongues has STOPPED so what part of your wisdom that GOD GAVE YOU to understand His commandments are you not wanting to listen too?

    5) Christians are to TEST, REBUKE, EXTORT those who preach false teaching. Just like Paul rebuked the Corinthian church for doing EXACTLY what the church you attend is doing.

    6) TESTING as commanded by the Word of God as per 1 John 4:1-6 is NOT mocking God, nor is it blaspheming the Holy Spirit. I think the next person that says this to me I will automatically trash their comments. In fact Christina you mock God by NOT reading your BIBLE. I guaranteed you, you did not even read my article because if you did you would NOT be speaking the nonsense you are speaking. If you read my article you would notice there are verses FROM THE BIBLE (that you choose to IGNORE).

    7) You are blinded Christina.

    8) The Holy Spirit helps us to pray when we can’t. Is this audible? NO. READ YOUR BIBLE CHRISTINA.

    Next time you comment, I request you quote scripture to back up each and every single one of your arguments in CONTEXT. If you can’t do this, then you have a problem Christina because God tells us that we need to study His Word to find ourselves approved. Have you His stamp of approval? I’ll leave that up to you to decided.

    9) Jesus Christ is surely coming back soon to rapture His church. You have a couple of years left to start reading your Bible Christina and getting your life in order. Let us pray you do not loose your life tonight.

  • Michael

    I simply meant get God’s priorities in order…subjective issues without clarity become “camels”…the Lord Jesus Christ admonished the pharisees…”you strain at gnats but swallow camels”.
    Tongues used to be a huge issue with me…the way the charismatics emphasized it…but when I saw the unholiness in the churches and worldliness of the members therein it became as clear as daylight that this is not of God’s spirit.
    Logically I began to read the Gospels carefully with a sincere heart and it became obvious that if tongues was what the charismatics believe to endow them to live holy and perfect lives then a) Why did Jesus not emphasize this…indeed He never even mentioned it and b) why is it that those who insist on it as a quick fix to lead holy and sinless lives…live the very opposite…this is real hypocrisy…and Jesus attacked hypocrisy with such zeal and c)the final straw came when I discovered the blatant lies that seemed common in charismatic leaders like Benny Hinn and his gang and locally the Angus Buchan story…very personal knowledge.
    When you get to these sort of cross-roads in your life you are tired of superficiality…tired of inconsistencies,insincerity and you discover there is absolutely no integrity left in this so-called universal church. This is the biggest mockery of God.
    So I buried tongues once and for all and got on with the business of loving God and my fellowman. I also began to realise that the walk with God is not easy but indeed a pilgrims progress and the more I saught God out the more He revealed my sinfulness and I have become totally dependant on Him…pride started to be edged away and I am free from all this non-sense. I read very few Christian books nowadays as most of them I do not trust. On the otherhand I read the scriptures daily as they are the only lamp I trust. TV preachers I never entertain.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Michael

    I understand.

  • Elmarie A

    Michael

    I also began to realise that the walk with God is not easy but indeed a pilgrims progress and the more I saught God out the more He revealed my sinfulness and I have become totally dependant on Him

    Thank you for sharing with us. The gate is narrow and the Word also says and few are those who find it. The Amplified Bible calls it contracted by pressure and straitened and compressed .

    Matthew 7:13-15 (Amplified Bible)

    13 Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it.

    14 But the gate is narrow (contracted [a]by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it.(A)

    15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you dressed as sheep, but inside they are devouring wolves.(B)

  • Thanks Deborah, yes there are many in those churches knowing something is off. When I left the local Calvary Chapel {I really am a fundamentalist Christian but got desperate for Christian fellowship since there are few like me here}some families admitted to me in the church, they were staying even knowing stuff was off, because they said to me “Where else are we going to go?” There is a price to be paid for leaving false churches, which I believe one is to do in obedience to God, but some people have made the choice, to stay, [not saying I agree] but understand what leads them there, having some fellowship, and thinking of children they want raised in a church.

    They don’t know where to go. I was in a decent fundie church…but here there really is nowhere, for the discerning Christian to go. Some remote possibilities are 50 miles away but not everyone has health or money to go that far.
    I believe the Holy Spirit is warning many of them even if they are not acting on it. Even a newly saved believer I witnessed to told me the churches here were so bad, he didnt know where to go. It is very sad, this place is empty even of home fellowships that can be found out about.
    I believe Christians are coming out of churches in general and know several in my position.

    Believe like you, with some the Holy Spirit will convict them. I know a lady who was saved and got out of the Charismatic movement: He will tell his people.

    I have considered choices, that went against Bible, and had to be convicted. One thing that can be sin for me is secular TV shows and movies, and sometimes even fiction books–that are full of wicked things–[and getting worse] I love to read. The other day, I didnt put one down and kept reading though at other times have put them down. Some of the fiction even innocent looking on outside is getting scary!

    One little sin will lead to another and another. We all need to listen to God. When I left Calvary Chapel, I knew the music was bad, knew the sermons were neo-evangelical fluff, but actually fought God over it, saying “I can’t be without fellowship”, that went on for acouple weeks and then knew I had to do His will.

    But yes it applies in many things in life and in churches.

    I agree about speaking to God in language you can understand. Being told odd stuff about opening my mind and emptying it in prayer so the “language of angels” could enter it freaked me out. I discerned no difference from what I was told in the UU, and in occult meditation.

    Christians need to be told to never do anything they feel unsure of, there are many out there who will use emotion and more to sell false things. Yes go read the Bible instead :)

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    BB

    Sorry did not get to read your blog, I will look at it today. I got carried away with other things and lost track of time…

  • cecilia

    thank you Debs! I believe this is specially for someone like me?  LOL! c

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    C

    Which part?

  • cecilia

    D, i was referring to the little icons (I think that is what they’re called?) that you’ve put a-top the comment box for a short while… and now they’re gone, and I have to use my head again to think how to make things bold, etc. all the “extra’s” – lol!

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    C

    Ahhhh those, yeah, sorry, I had to take them away. They caused all sorts of conflict with my website code ‘sniffs’.

    To do bold. < b > kljfdjfskj < / b > but don’t use spaces. test it, if you make a mess I will fix it from my side and them tell you what you did wrong.

  • The following video is very helpful in understanding the gifts of tongues, prophecy and knowledge and why they ceased.

    Speaking In Tongues Part A
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qi6fIUpvZUI

    God bless,
    Mick

  • laws632

    [EDITED – Hateful commets are not welcome.]

  • laws632

    [EDITED – Hateful comments are not welcome.]

  • Jackson

    Even Paul nand Peter argued about dietary laws. To assume that a false teaching is a false gospel is ludicrous. To misunderstand some scripture is a fcat of life for all of us. To demande perfection of understanding is NOT Christian. Paul had several conflicts about the gospel with the other disciples.There has to be one doctrine. Not one denomination on this earth agree’s with another on all doctrine. No one. Even churches in the same denominations disagree with each other. You coulodn’t get a Methodist to sit beside a Lutheran because of slight differences in theology. We have to be careful about being absolute right about interpretations. WE have divided ourselvews over silly matters. Paul told us to have one doctrine. The gifts and other stuff is NOT doctrine. To suggest that anyone is not Christian because they agree or diaagree on smaller matters is itself a sin. WE must all agree about who Jeusu was and what HE did for us and how we must adhrer to His truth. But other than that we must be forgiving about the minor misunderstandinds of scripture. Thank you..

  • Paul

    Please give me your Scriptural references for Paul arguing with Peter about dietary laws.

    Furthermore, Zeus (Jeusu, Jesus etc) never did anything for us but Yashua did.

  • Moemsie

    Thanks Deborah for this post and for answering posters by remaining steadfast in the Scripture. The many interpretations always lack the basic point which you mentioned-that we do not need the extra burden-we have the Holy Spirit to teach us and Who will always point to Jesus. (not Self, not Holy Spirit pointing to Holy Spirit!)

    I had a sad experience at the little Christian School where I am teaching: The `youth pastor` of the church doubled up as the Bible teacher. When I arrive for my lesson he overstays his time in the class and I have to wait in the doorway for him to finish his babblings. He would pace up and down in the small class room of 12 learners and babble with a thundering voice. Mostly the kids just `respectfully` stare at him but on one occasion two started to laugh. He then paced towards them, lay his heavy hands on their heads and said `God is cursing you because you laugh at the Holy Spirit` and then stormed out of the class.

    That caused me to be very alert at what was `cooking` at the school (I am new there-started this year). The school also had a praise and worship morning where the kids were told (after very hyped up songs) that those who have the gift of tongues can start to praise God aloud-and those who want to receive this gift must go to the pastors(gathering in one corner of the church-and who slowly trickeled in during the singing….causing me to become suspicious) and those who want to `give their hearts to Jesus` can meet with the Headmistress and other elders(another) corner of the building). AND those who do not want to do any of these can go to class!!!!

    I got up and headed out of the building-tooooo much to bear-on my way out the head girl slipped her hand in mine and we both headed back to class-Just the two of us. There we were two Christians SEPERATE from the others. The mass psychosis and auto suggestion did not `work` on us! LOL with a tear.

    When the children came back to their classes they were in an euphoric state. ” Mam when pastor helped me to speak in tongues IT only got to my throat and got stuck there-then he said I must practice -IT will happen!” That was when i promptly asked the class whom are members of the church this school operates from….NONE! Then I marched to the headmistress for a long overdue meeting! She grabbed her Bible , pulled me into an empty classroom and said she understands if I am confused about the tongues because I`m a Baptist and they are not big on things of the Spirit! I was promptly read some Scripture.

    I let her finish and just stated I am not confused-but convinced that what they are doing is spiritual abuse of the children and the info similar to Debs post here was assertively given to her. She could not answer me on why NO interpreting happened, why children have to PRACTICE to get the Gift and much more.

    I was saddened by the whole affair. The good that came of it that no subsequent tongue-talking hype happened again! The other sad occurrence was that the junior pastor had a mental breakdown and is currently in Durban with family, receiving out patient care for his mental state?. Shortly before he left he still tried his luck with me to `get the gift`. I mentioned to him that he cannot give it to me and besides I`v asked God that if it is what they`ve got-please not to give it to me! (he was horrified!) I told him about the Kundalini manifestations in many churches-he did not know what it was. I told him to Google it-knowing full well he will recognize his own `style` of tongue speaking-by rolling his head and rocking to and fro while babbling repetitious sounds. I can only trust God can bring stability in his mind.

    Yes-it is a sad sad state of affairs in our Churches and so often involving children.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Moemsie

    Yes, this, lets call it an ‘occult practice’ of speaking in tonuges now-a-days is a terrible thing. And to abuse children like this is terrible. I had a similar experience when I was really tiny. My grandmother took me to some WoF church and at Sunday school we were asked if we wanted to speak in tongues. I did not know any better. So 7 kids (including me) go with a lady outside and she tells us to repeat what to me sounded like a hebrew word. I manage to repeat the word. Then she gives us another word to repeat. I manage to repeat that one. But after a whole string of words I could not remember them anymore. I was the youngest in the group – maybe 4 years old? The rest of the kids were older and could remember all the words, therefore they could speak in tongues. I was told I could not and that was that. I was so hurt. Anyhow the instruction was that these kids needed to take this sentence they had learnt and repeat it over and over and over until they could speak in tongues automatically. Looking back I can see the damage this can do to kids.

  • the_seeker_of_truth

    This articles has brought much confusion into my life, after reading it, I have a question, are there any spiritual gifts?

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    the seeker of truth

    It’s only brought confusion into your life because for the first time you are not hearing the truth and it’s a shock. Yes, there are many spiritual gifts. Tongues and prophecy have ceased. Read the article again and again until you come to understand it properly.

  • Bob Welch

    I have read your article and have to disagree with your conclusions. As a seminary professor I teach 1&2 Corinthians from the Greek. You are using eisegesis to “read into” your english translation. You neither understand the context of the scriptures nor properly exegete the correct meanings of the texts. Because of this lack of understanding, your conclusions are improperly made thus rendering them false. You do not attempt to support your interpretations by serious discussion of contra arguments. This seriously weakens your position. If you want to seriously study the issue then I suggest books by James Dunn, Max Turner and Robert Menzies to see the different arguments. Be a student of the Word!

  • Dennis Waltrip

    The following scripture is in present tense for all believers. Mark 16:17 KJV, “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues.”

  • Dennis Waltrip

    Deborah, Calling the gift of tongues Demonic is very dangerous. If your interpretation of the perfect is correct, and I discern it isn’t, then you are close to Blasphemy Of The Holy Spirit. The perfect is not the Bible, but Jesus Himself when he returns. Then we will have perfect knowledge when we see him face to face. For now we see him dimly as in a glass.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Bob Welch

    I am sorry I don’t understand you, you are a professor and I am a born again Christian who has the guidance of the Holy Spirit, professors apparently know more.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Dennis Waltrip

    Dennis, pay attention, go read the article again and again until you get it.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Dennis

    Having a spirit of false tongues enter you is DANGEROUS.

  • Scott

    [EDITED DTW note: This must be the WORST interpretation of scripture ever – Dominionists now have to come up with new reasoning as to why the bible says tongues ceased….]

    ———————–

    The imperfect, the incomplete = Tongues, prophecy and knowledge CEASED!

    “When you are a born again Christian you do away with childish things and study the Word of God ONLY as it is perfect in every way.

    Today speaking in tongues and prophesying is self-induced or demonic. If you speak in tongues I urge you to read your Bible and study the matter urgently and rid yourself of this childish behaviour or worse, demonic affliction.”

    Read it again slowly…

    1Co 13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
    1Co 13:9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
    1Co 13:10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

    From the original greek according to Strongs.

    but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail.

    But whether there be prophecies (prophecy or prophesying) they shall fail (be abolished or done away with):

    whether there be tongues, they shall cease;
    whether (if too) there be toungues (language – Naturally aquired), they shall cease (quit, come to an end);

    Think back,

    Gen 11:5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.
    Gen 11:6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
    Gen 11:7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.
    Gen 11:8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.
    Gen 11:9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

    It was God that divied the languages in the beginning, When this time is finished. He will restore the languages to a single language. This is what is ment by the many languages ceasing. [Totally totally, totally, wrong interpretation of scripture, but nice try]

    Languages and prophesy are now done in part, you get a peice here and a peice there. When Jesus returns there will be no need for seperate languages, nor will there be a need for prophesy. The veil that now seperates us from our home will be torn like that of the veil in the holy of holies. We will be able to come and go as we please. The full knowledge of God’s plan will become clear to us at that time.

    Therefore, at that time we will no longer have need of such things as healing, discerning of spirits, prophesy, toungues, word of wisdom, word of knowledge, the gift of faith, interpretation of toungues and the other gifts. We will be in the presence of God himself. There will no more need of the things we experience today.

    This is what is meant by looking through a glass darkly, and seeing in part. Once Christ returns, that mirror that seperates us will be shattered and we will see things for what they really are.

    There will be a time when this takes place, it has not taken place yet. It will happen when Jesus returns to set his kingdom up. Until then, as a church to reach out to the nations and our communities need the gifts of the spirit to give an open display of the God we serve and this holiness.

    Othewise, our beliefs and ideas are just talk…

  • Don Juan

    The problem you have is that the manifest power of God follows Harold Weitz whereever he goes. Demons manifest, people are healed etc etc. If he was a false teacher the power of God would not be on and with him. God help you speaking out against men of God. Where’s the manifest power of God in your life, dear author of this nonsense? Because only if you can demonstrate that can you even begin to claim that your opinion is right and those of Ps Harold Weitz are wrong. Don’t even bother having a contrary opinion until you can demonstrate the manifest power of God.

  • Rudi

    It is sad to see all of this in the light of the revelation of Jesus Christ….No kingdom mindset will put God in a box. Most believers I meet have not even read the bible from Gen-Rev trough once and then they want to claim they know scripture, and want to tell God what to do, never been involved with dealing with broken people, now people badmouth other people. I would advice you to read history and study it. There is enough info on the time Paul spent in Arabia that would blow you away. Not knowing scripture, I can proof anything from the Bible even that there is no God. And if what is written here is true than more than 44 000000 Chinese people in the underground church is dammed to hell. What I read here is against the character of Christ, in the ongoing illumination of what His Kingdom is all about. General Booth was right in saying that the only army in the world that shoot their wounded is the army of Christ. Most South Africans have never spent more than one year in another culture then they want to claim they understand the Bible….sad story….Jesus was not a South African….

  • Arthur

    I still speak in tongues and i am an ex Christian. Some would say a back slider and others would say i never was a born again
    Christian. However the habit remains even though i have lost my faith. Some times before i apply my conscious mind i speak in tongues in my subconscious in praise to Jesus.

    Tongues is for personal edification as well as that of the body of Christ.Is it for real? I used to think so. However when we heard a message in tongues from one member and a translation of that message from another there were some doubts. The message and translation varied in lengths. The translation was mostly in line with what was to be preached that morning. Kind of like god,s endorsement of the preacher,s sermon.Now i think it was all foolishness.

  • Tutu

    This post is evidence of private interpretation of scripture. The Holy Spirit does not teach us apart from His stewardship.

    There are two types of tongues.

    1) Tongues that we speak/pray for our own edification (The manifestation of tongues that accompanies the baptism of the Holy Spirit is given as a prayer language the believer can initiate anytime.)

    I Cor.14:2: “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.”

    I Cor.14:4: “…….He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself;”

    I Cor.14:14: “For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.”

    ” The purpose of this manifestation of tongues is not rendered towards man, but towards God. The believer is speaking in an unknown tongue, praying mysteries to God. These mysteries have to do with the recovery of the soul from the fruits of iniquity, the healing of the soul from the effects of sin, and the release of the soul from its power. The Spirit of God is using tongues to make intercession for these things.” – The Seal of Spirit S8W lesson.

    2) The gift of tongues and interpretation of tongues are 2 of the 9 gifts of the Spirit. This type of tongues is for the edification of the Body of Christ. It is an utterance from God rendered towards man and this is why it requires interpretation.

    “Wherefore let him that speaks in an unknown tongue (in the assembly) pray that he may interpret,” ICor.14:13

    If you don’t know the difference between the two then you cannot tell which one is being spoken about in the bible.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Tutu

    You quote “The Seal of Spirit S8W lesson.” Second 8th Week is a DANGEROUS CULT, and if a cult that sees demonic beings in the sky, speaks in tongues that the Bible says has CEASED then you have just proved the Bible to be CORRECT.

    See article here on Second 8th Week with discussions with head apostle Eric von Anderseck: http://www.discerningtheworld.com/2010/02/28/mystery-christ-blowing-his-trumpet-at-mossel-bay-has-been-identified/

  • Kay

    I was in the Assembly of God church for 10+ years after getting saved. I am now in an Independent Baptist leaving the Charismatic doctrines behind once I started studying God’s Word. My Charismatic friends, when we discuss this topic, will say they just want to follow Jesus and be like Him. To that I respond, Jesus never spoke in gibberish, he spoke in a known language. This stops them in their tracks.

    If speaking in gibberish was so important don’t you think our Master would have done it as an example to us??? Don’t you think he would have taught us how to do it if it was important to our faith, spiritual life and living out the Gospel? He did teach us many other things because Jesus loved us.

    So, one could either conclude that Jesus didn’t love us enough to teach us this so called gift or this gift really isn’t from God. You can make up your own mind like I did when I bothered to read the scriptures and stopped taking some human’s, pastor, preacher or other, word on the subject. You will never find the truth on this until you search God’s Word on it and stop taking someone’s elses word as your authority on this. God bless you all.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Kay

    >> My Charismatic friends, when we discuss this topic, will say they just want to follow Jesus and be like Him. To that I respond, Jesus never spoke in gibberish, he spoke in a known language. This stops them in their tracks.

    Good one…

    >> You will never find the truth on this until you search God’s Word

    Absolutely!!

  • Tom S.

    I have only a short time to respond.

    The person who wrote this article is very uninformed and stuck in his dispensational ways. Even though he quotes Scripture, much of it is out of context and approached through the eyes of an ungifted spiritual person. He is speaking out of wrong and stale Despentionalism crafted back in the 1800’s.

    Writer, please open yourself up to the fullness of God’s Holy Spirit and do not be afraid to receive all that He has for you as written in Scripture !!!

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Tom S.

    The calling down of Fire from heaven over a congregation, or praying Fire over someone is the norm in the church today. It has come to resemble the early heretic Gnostic churches. Religious ecstasy (or Kundalini) was to be found in the mystery religions of the first century A.D.. Back when the Corinth church seemed to be a hub of pagan Gnostic knowledge and ran rampant in unscriptural and immoral practices; the Greek mystery religions had prophets who babbled in unknown tongues which were caused by a Kundalini awakening.

    The false babbling of ‘Tongues’ was missing from society until it resurfaced in cults in the 1800’s. I would rather be stuck in my BIBLICAL dispensation way than in in grasp of an unclean spirit.

    Please read this article: The Biblical Holy Spirit vs.The False Unholy Spirit of Fire

  • Tom S.

    Deborah (Not Discerning the Bible)

    Spirits of darkness will always do their best to counterfeit God’s gifts and work. Just because there are counterfeits, does not mean there is the absence of the “real thing”.

    THIS IS SO UNTRUE DEBORAH — “The calling down of Fire from heaven over a congregation, or praying Fire over someone is the norm in the church today.” I have been to many Pentecostal churches in my life time and I have never seen this. You seem to be reading the wrong things. The abuse here is actually coming from your writing and some of the writing expressed on this site. I do not see the abuse at all that you are talking about. I have seen many people healed and set free in the Churches that are not afraid to be open to the “Fruits” and the “Gifts” of the Holy Spirit as expressed in the early Church. Remember that the Apostle Paul said that he speaks in Tongues more than you all.

    I have been in prison ministry for over 30 years and hold a Bach. Degree of Theology. I have seen many men set free and healed by the precious Gifts of the Holy Spirit as expressed in 1 Cor. 12.

    I am saddened by people that try to lead people away from the Gifts of God’s Precious Holy Spirit as clearly and deeply expressed by the Holy Scriptures. We have “no right” at all to cut off God’s “legitimate workings” through placing limits on how God should express Himself, either in the past, present or the future.

    I am not trying to offend you Deborah. You apparently are sister in the Lord to me and I express love to you in Jesus Christ. But my heart goes out to those who are not free to let God be all that He said He was as express by Him in His Precious Scriptures. May God reveal this Truth to you and others. God Bless you!

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Tom S

    You can’t offend me.

    Where did you study your degree? At an institution that tought false theology? You lay your claim of being taught by men, I lay my claim of being taught by the Holy Spirit ONLY.

    Are we to test the spirits? Absolutely, and I find the spirit you operate by to be wanting. Testing the Spirits – True Spiritual Discernment

    Did you real the article: The Biblical Holy Spirit vs.The False Unholy Spirit of Fire No you didn’t. What are you afraid of? Finding out the truth? Your Kundilini spirit is transferable to others because it’s activated in you.

    Can Satan heal? Absolutely? Can Satan Heal?

    You follow Kingdom Now Theology, a false doctrine: Yes, a Future Kingdom, but Not a Kingdom Now

    I do not go by feelings and emotions, I go by what the Word of God says.

    May God reveal this Truth to you.

  • Tom S.

    [deleted by DTW – I did not insult you, so do not insult me. You can’t back up your false beliefs with scripture so you get personal and call me names – do not comment again.
    I have given you ample TRUTH to read, read it or don’t]

  • DJ iSaAC

    [deleted – clearly you can’t read]

  • Cobie

    Hey,

    Can anyone refer me to a comment or somewhere in this article that talks about 1 Corinthians 14:2 “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. ” (ESV)

    Thank you

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Cobie

    You have to read the whole passage, you can’t just pick a verse and make a story around it.

    1 Corinthians 14:1-25
    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.1
    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?2
    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.3
    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.4
    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. Eph 5:19; Col 3:16;
    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.5 Matt 18:3; Matt 19:14; Eph 4:14; 1Pet 2:1-2;
    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. Deut 28:49; Isa 28:11;
    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.

    The Corinthian church did not have the Bible. And here we have love in exercise for the edifying of the body of Christ. We have considered already the many diverse gifts of the Spirit as set forth in chapter 12 (go read it). The Holy Spirit divides to every man severally as He will. In this the Holy Spirit is sovereign. No one has the right to demand that he be given any certain gift or gifts as an evidence of the Spirit’s baptism. And tongues is not evidence of salvation, as preached today in churches. What He gives will be for the edification of the church as a whole, not for the enjoyment or aggrandizement of some individual. While we are not told of any special limit, so far as time is concerned yet (please read this article Your Sons and Your Daughters Will Prophesy, But Not Yet…), we know both from Scripture and church history that most of the so-called miraculous gifts passed away shortly after the Bible was completed. They are not needed now as they were at the beginning. Yet, if the Spirit so wills, He might give them today under special circumstances. But we need not be surprised because we do not see it exercised. They served their purpose, a very useful one, in authenticating the message as divine, when these signs followed the proclamation of the truth. Now with God’s complete revelation in our hands, we do not require signs to manifest it as the Word of the Lord. When preached in power, it authenticates itself.

  • Cobie

    I did not make a story of one verse I asked a question about the verse and I did read through the passage quite a few times.

    I am just asking questions trying to learn more about the Bible.

    I also have read the article about prophesying and the one about the Biblical Holy Spirit and the one you recommended in your reply to my comment. I have been sitting with these topics for about a month now before I found all these articles.

    Can I please have the scripture where you said “we know both from Scripture and church history that most of the so-called miraculous gifts passed away shortly after the Bible was completed.”?

    I also have a question about Acts 2:17 why say on all flesh and then mean Israel, why not say Israel?

    Thank you

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Cobie

    I was not being nasty Cobie I was just making a statement.

    >> Can I please have the scripture where you said “we know both from Scripture and church history that most of the so-called miraculous gifts passed away shortly after the Bible was completed.”?

    In the article above it states

    “Once the Bible was written the gift of tongues ceased and was replaced by love and truth.

    1 Corinthians 13:8 “Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. As for prophecy (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), it will be fulfilled and pass away; as for tongues, they will be destroyed and cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away [it will lose its value and be superseded by truth].”

    >> I also have a question about Acts 2:17 why say on all flesh and then mean Israel, why not say Israel?

    Because the body of Christ has been removed from the earth via the Rapture and God has turned his attention back to His people, Israel (this is during the 7 year tribulation) He does not mention the church because we are not on earth, it’s only Israel and it’s their flesh. There are many places where I am sure the Bible could have been more specific but it isn’t. Never the less, this is the BIBLICAL understanding of Joel and Acts.

  • LF Humire

    What denomination are you?

    This blog is basically supported or encouraged by what denomination?

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    FL Humire

    I’m a Christian that’s escaped all false churches and therefore I do not fall under an denomination. But if you must, we fall under the denomination that stands for the GOSPEL TRUTH, that seeks to be Bereans as in Acts 17 and Test the Spirits and per 1 John 4:1-6, we seek the Gospel Truth at all costs and will never give in to false teaching.

    We are born again Christians, saved by Jesus Christ who’s shed blood washed away our sins that we are dressed spotless and white to be presented before our Living Father. We are Christians who when we accepted Jesus into out lives, the Holy Spirit baptized us at the same time and came to make a home in our hearts. The Holy Spirit is out comforter, our counseller, our teacher of the Bible but most important He convicts us when we sin to repent to Jesus Christ, and He expects us to change our ways, and sin no more. This is the denomination we fall under.

    The true Christian church denomination. We are scattered all around the world and can’t be found in mega-churches or revival rallies (because we know there is no such thing as revival in the last days, except a GREAT FALLING AWAY FROM THE FAITH). Our denomination, is the bride of Christ, genuine Christians here, genuine Christians there being persecuted by their families for not wanting to follow after Angus Buchan or Kim Clement or Joyce Meyer or who ever, or families divided because they wont follow the devilish doctrine of Calvinism, etc. That is who this blog is, and the people that come here, that is who they are.

  • Carm

    So heartbreaking when they say to young Christians that if they don’t speak in tongues they are not filled with the Holy Spirit. It causes those who are young in the faith to fall away… or at the very least walk around with a deep pain and stigma that they haven’t really “graduated” into the faith, or that they’re probably not even born again if they have been saved for so long but yet that special sign is missing – so they’re probably not even sealed with Spirit.

    Let’s look at the FRUIT of this (split churches, backsliden believers, “gifted” christians who bear no fruit), and then tell me it’s of God.

  • Hanelie

    I need to study the article, but I have always had some concerns with this. I was also made to feel that not being able to speak in tongues meant that you are not filled with the Holy Spirit. However, looking back over my life, I can so clearly see the Holy Spirit’s loving guidance. How we love to make laws – denying the truth of what Christ is offering us, but following a works-based religion instead.

    I read something today about people becoming less religious (from the WIN Gallup international index of religiosity, based on church membership as far as I can gather). I almost said “Hallelujah”. We were never called to be religious. How sad that the church responses seem to equate religiosity with Christianity (discipleship).

  • Vincent

    Sorry I didn’t have the time to go through every comment, so please forgive me on that point, just read the article.

    1Co 13:10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

    My understanding the “perfect” is Jesus at His second coming?
    What is the purpose of prophesy? Will it be necessary when Jesus is here?
    Also:
    Truth = The Word of God
    Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

    2Ti 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

    2Co 6:6 By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,
    2Co 6:7 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left

    1Co 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
    1Co 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

    1Co 4:20 For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.

    From the dictionary I get:
    dunamis
    doo’-nam-is
    From G1410; force (literally or figuratively); specifically miraculous power (usually by implication a miracle itself): – ability, abundance, meaning, might (-ily, -y, -y deed), (worker of) miracle (-s), power, strength, violence, mighty (wonderful) work.

    How should I interpret these scriptures?
    Am I missing something here?

  • Louise

    Good Morning All you lovely Happy People. (Well I hope you are happy, How can you not be when You have Christ in you.) Smiles.

    I have wrestled with this tongue issue for a few years and its reared its nasty head again amongst family and friends and I stand all alone in my walk regarding the tongues issue. Of course I have Christ with me but so do these family and friends who speak in tongues and when we get together the debate gets rather heated often leaving me, yes I shall confess angry. I come from a Charismatic background and have repented of all my past false doings including the tongues issue. It will always be a bone of contention within the church leaving many under bondage. Tell them that tongues is not for today and you can almost see their lips curl up with bitterness and strife so now i simply smile and say I shall pray the Holy Spirit will show you how satanic tongues is.

    I dont measure if tongues is for today or not, by the movements who practise them but by what the bible says about it. Sure one can look at all the Christians who do it and say well for one thing they sure lack love. They have this veneer of love on a Sunday but by Monday its back to business.

    There are 2 types of tongues used amongst the people and my family and friends cannot answer this one simple question. The one is used in the church and the other is this private language you speak to GOD which you yourself don’t understand as it is suppose to build you up spiritually yet not all people receive this gift. So then you are telling me that GOD only gives this private tongue to certain people to build them up spiritually and many lose out. Ah I say to them, then what you are implying is that GOD is a respecter of people which we know he is not. Why would anyone wish to speak to GOD in a language that they don’t understand. It does not make sense.

    My research has bought me to this:

    The true Gospel is funded with pennies while the tongues gospels are funded with billions and billions of dollars. If you notice on the major networks like TBN you will not find any or near none non-tongues ministries which are teaching truth. They have to push a palatable gospel so the money continues to flow in. If they teach the true Gospel they will normally not be supported by enough listeners to keep them afloat. And now please don’t tell me they teach truth because I will have to call you a liar and thats just not what I wish to do.

    In the final days of earths existence, the church should not be looking to Israel as the hot bed of prophecy as they should be looking to the church. The apostasy has to come first then the rapture then Israel will be the next big issue on the agenda. Its the apostasy of the church which is key to end times. One of the major passages that the tongues movement use is 1 Corinthians chapter 14 as their proof that tongue is for today. Yet they shoot themselves in the foot with Verse 21 an 22.

    lets read from the KJV. 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. 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 that believe.
    These verses are from Isaiah 28 where GOD prophesies that Judah will be going into captivity by those who not speak their language. In other words a foreign power is going to take them into captivity. Why did this happen? GOD had continually spent prophets of their own people to the nations of Israel and Judah, nevertheless, they did not heed the warnings which the prophets gave them and continued in their apostasy and the end result was captivity.

    So you ask what has this got to do to do with the church.?

    Since the late 1800’s the church has continually been accepting false theories, doctrines, False bible verses, adding to the Gospel through tongues and prophecy etc which has caused the shipwreck of the church right up to todays times. GOD is sending a foreign power to conquer the church. Now let us ask the question. What is this foreign power? The answer is the Kingdom of satan. Therefore GOD is going to allow satan to come into the church and neutralise the true gospel to its own judgement. In 1 Cor 14:22 GOD, tells us that prophesying are for those who believe. In other words a true Christian will be satisfied and fed with the true word of GOD when they hear it being preached. Those who are unsaved rather will want to see signs and wonders like a tongue, which GOD says is for unbelievers. The great falling away has begun.

    if you study church history you will see a pattern of where satan has been allowed to deceive the church. Sadly we have never checked our pastors, afraid that we would fall under GODS judgement if we dare touch GODS anointed. Well I am also GODS anointed in as much that I have Jesus Christ living in and through me.

    The tongues (which means legitimate languages) began on pentecost and continued through to the end of the first century, when the book of Revelation was complete. ALL verbal and visual revelation from GOD had ceased and the way we now hear from GOD is through his Word which is illuminated by the Holy Spirit to our understanding.
    In the 2nd century there was a church father named Mntanus who believed that tongues did not cease and passed this belief onto his followers.

    Even though the belief remained it remained subdued as I feel GOD did not yet plan to use it to judge the church. In fact it was restrained until the very early part of the 2oth century. In 1906 -09 satan made his move at a place called Azusa Street Mission in Los Angels.The result of this heavy tongue speaking began to spread widely across America and the world. Preachers and people came from all over America and carried this poison back to their churches and neighbours. Very similar to the Toronto blessing movement. This generation seeks signs and wonders.

    In 1914 satan made his second move in organising this apostasy which resulted in the formation of the Assemblies of God. In 1916 they produced their 4 distinctions and tongues and baptism in the Holy Spirit were 2 of them. In fact in their statement of Fundamental Truth number 7 they claim that Baptism in the Holy Spirit was the normal experience of all in the early church.Where is there biblical proof for this? They are not speaking of believers being baptised in the Holy Spirit upon salvation, they are speaking of tongues.

    Even though tongues was spreading across the USA in the early part of the 20th century, it was not yet accepted in mainline churches and therefore their audiences were still rather small but IN 1960 which the decade of moral and spiritual and political decadence the tongues movement began to take off in a big big way. It spread like wild fire breaking up homes and with it came confusion. Sounds satanic to me. I don’t see GOD in this. You must question people.

    Now the church embraced this new emotional feeling and replaced truth with sighs and wonders. Then with this evolution of ministries such as Oral Roberts, EW Kenyon, Jimmy Swaggart, Jim and Tammy Baker, Pat Robertson Kennith Hagan and Ken Copeland this gave the tongues international exposure and that was all that was needed for the gullible nature of the natural man to take over. Those who do speak in tongues etc will never be happy with just that they will want more and the dilution that will take hold of the church will sweep people like this with them.
    I was told I am missing out on what GOD is doing in the church. Thats fine with me because better I be the called out and chosen than be the church who will go through the tribulation.
    If you are going to challenge me on what I wrote be kind to me please because nasty people make me stumble.

    Toodles.

  • Attie

    [delete – Attie / happel (posting comments with 2 names)]

  • Attie

    [delete – no I delete them because you ask questions that have already been answered in the comments section over and I do not want to get into a discussion with you because I have other pressing issues at hand]

  • Sharon

    “Speaking in Tongues” This is another issue that is pure heresy. On the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit filled those that were in the upper room, the MEN, Jewish MEN were able to speak 16 different Languages UNDER heaven. The whole purpose of this was to tell the Good News that Jesus was the Messiah & that He had atoned for the sins of all mankind. This gift was given to the MEN. There is nothing that says the women began to speak this way. Every time the Bible speaks of the Gift of Languages there were MALE MESSIANIC JEWS PRESENT. I told someone many years ago that if they could take women out of the issue tongues would cease immediately. She was not amused! It seems to me that the people who think they have been awarded some extra blessing from God, are very arrogant. But I believe that these folks need something to make them feel good and that constantly. So they go to Pentecostal/Assembly of God…etc type of church to get “refilled” for another week. Their “faith” is based on feelings. I have to wonder how they go about witnessing for the Lord and how many they have lead to the Lord. I can get excited when I read God Word. Biblical TRUTH means every thing to me and it is my hearts desire that I never, ever get deceived. God is good…even when I am not. God is faithful…even when I am not. Knowing that the God of the universe loves me…THAT gets me excited.

  • Gerhard

    Pastor Harold Weitsz is a true Prophet of GOD. God says that you must not speak against His anointed. We are all baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in a unknown tongue. (Rom 8:26)

  • Gerhard wrote:

    Pastor Harold Weitsz is a true Prophet of GOD.

    Yes, they are all true prophets of God, aren’t they? I wouldn’t venture to go that far because Matthew 7:22 proves that miracles, including speaking in tongues, are NOT the litmus test for true salvation. John the Baptist never spoke in tongues and neither did he perform one single miracle and yet Jesus said of him: “Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not arisen a greater than John the Baptist: yet he that is but little in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” (Matthew 11:11).

    You’d better make sure whether your Pastor Harold is a true prophet of God because true prophets do not necessarily speak in tongues or perform miracles.

  • Gerhard wrote:

    Pastor Harold Weitsz is a true Prophet of GOD. God says that you must not speak against His anointed. We are all baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in a unknown tongue. (Rom 8:26)

    I’m very surprised that you did not say Pastor Harold Weitsz is a little Messiah and not just a measly old prophet of God. I remember years ago, when he was still employed at the SABC, he used to promulgate Benny Hinn’s heresies.

    This is the kind of blasphemy Benny Hinn believes and teaches:

    “Say after me: ‘Within me, is a God-Man.’ Say it again: ‘Within me, is a God-Man.’ Now, let’s say [it] even better than that. Let’s say, ‘I am a God-Man.’…This spirit man within me, is God—is a –is a God-Man. Say after me: ‘He’s born of heaven. He’s a super being.’
    “God came to earth and touched a piece of dust and turned it into a god…Are you a child of God? Then you’re divine! Then you’re not dust anymore. Are you a child of God? Then you’re not human!
    “When you say, ‘I am saved,’ what are you saying? You’re saying, ‘I am a Christian.’ What does that word mean? It means ‘I am anointed.’ You know what the word ‘anointed’ means? It means ‘Christ.’ When you say, ‘I am a Christian,’ you are saying, ‘I am Messiah’ in the Hebrew. I am a little Messiah walking on earth in other words. That’s a shocking revelation.
    “Now ladies and gentlemen, you are on earth exactly what Jesus was on earth….As He is so am I, on earth. …When you walk, Jesus is walking. When you talk, He’s talking. When you move, He’s moving.
    “When I stand in Christ—I am one with Him; united to Him; one spirit with Him. I am not, hear me, I am not a part of Him, I am Him! The Word has become flesh in me!…When my hand touches someone, it’s the hand of Jesus [that] touches somebody!”

    Taken from The Confusing World of Benny Hinn, A Personal Freedom Outreach Publication, 9th edition, December 2002 revision, p. 25,26

    Is your Pastor Harold teaching the same heresy? If he is he is merely repeating the lie of the serpent in Genesis.

    And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil. (Gen 3:4-5)

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Gerhard

    Oh thanks for reminding me I have an article coming out soon about your pastor Harold Weitsz and his friends – stay tuned :)

  • Osito

    Hi Gerard, i just want to ask a question of Rom 8:26. “Cannot be uttered” does it means it cannot be spoken,talk. If thats the meaning, what has speaking in tounge to do with Rom 8:26?

  • Sharon

    The Biblical Gift of Tongues was different KNOWN languages under heaven. Their purpose was to witness and lead people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Read, then reread, then reread Acts chapter 2.

    A MALE JEW WAS ALWAYS PRESENT WHEN THIS MIRACLE OF LANGUAGES WAS SPOKEN!!! I have not seen any male Jews present when I personally have heard this nonsensical gibberish. Seems people want the “gifts” but not if they have to receive the “gift” God’s way and for God’s glory. Shame.

  • Elsje

    Good day,

    I have read your article and most of the comments (sorry I haven’t read all and apologise if this has already been discussed). Would just like to ask your opinion/interpretation on the whole of 1 Corinthians 14. but especially verse 2 and 4.

    I just want to highlight that at the very beginning of chapter 14, Paul states that everyone should eagerly pursue the gift of love AND to earnestly desire and cultivate the spiritual gifts….

    Verse 2 read:
    2 For one who speaks in an [unknown] tongue speaks not to men but to God, for no one understands or catches his meaning, because in the [Holy] Spirit he utters secret truths and hidden things [not obvious to the understanding].

    also verse 4:
    4 He who speaks in a [strange] tongue edifies and improves himself, but he who prophesies [[c]interpreting the divine will and purpose and teaching with inspiration] edifies and improves the church and promotes growth [in Christian wisdom, piety, holiness, and happiness].

    clearly verse 2 states that one who speaks in an unknown tongue does so to God, and that secret truths are uttered in the Spirit unto God. So no one understands what is said/prayed.

    Verse 4 clearly stakes that he who speaks in an unknown tongue edifies himself, and not others.

    if you read further verse 22 reads:

    22 Thus [unknown] tongues are meant for a [supernatural] sign, not for believers but for unbelievers [on the point of believing], while prophecy (inspired preaching and teaching, interpreting the divine will and purpose) is not for unbelievers [on the point of believing] but for believers.

    So this verse is saying that speaking in unknown tongues are for UNBELIEVERS.

    clearly in human reasoning Paul is contradicting himself? In verse 2 and 4 he is stating that unknown tongues are for personal edification and secrets are spoken to God. whereas in verse 22 he is clearly stating that unknown tongues are for unbelievers.

    My point is this, could it possibly be that Paul is referring to unknown tongues in two distinct ways, i.e. two different gifts. in verse 2 and 4 he is referring to the gift of your personal prayer language with God. whereas in verse 22 he is referring to a gift given by the Holy Spirit to speak in a foreign, unknown language, i.e. earthly language in order to preach the Gospel.

    To close, I believe that the gift of tongues are given by the Holy Spirit as are all the other spiritual gifts and we are instructed in the Bible to pursue the Spiritual Gifts, not demand, as the Holy Spirit decides when and how He blesses you with His gifts. No gift is greater than the other and no one can boast in himself when he receives a Spiritual Gift as one cannot deserve it. It is a gift from God and all honour and Glory should go to him and no human being.

    Thank you for the opportunity to post on your site.

    looking forward to your reply.

    Regards
    Elsje

  • Elsje

    As you know the confusion of tongues in Genesis 11 was God’s judgment on fallen man who had disobeyed God. Instead of doing as He commanded in Genesis 9 to spread out and fill the earth, they wanted to make a name for themselves and built themselves cities in one place (Shinar). Humility is the result of trust and obedience while pride is equated with independence and disobedience. The people united to strengthen themselves lest they be scattered over the face of the earth. This was open rebellion against God and instead of wiping them out as He did previously with the Great Flood, He – out of great mercy and loving kindness – confounded their language an scattered them to the four corners of the earth. There’s another incident in the Old Testament where God used foreign languages to judge his people, the Israelite.

    For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. (Isaiah 28:11)

    Here it means in a foreign or barbarous tongue; and the sense is, that the lessons which God wished to teach would be conveyed to them through the language of foreigners – the Chaldeans. They should be removed to a distant land, and there, in hearing a strange speech, in living long among foreigners, they should learn the lesson which they refused to do when addressed by the prophets in their own land.

    As you can see, God used a foreign language to judge his own people the Jews. The reason why I mentioned Genesis 9 and 11 is to show that Pentecost was in many ways a reversal or a turnabout, if you will, of God’s dealing with disobedience and sin in the past. Whereas the confusion of the language in Genesis 11 and the use of a foreign language in Isaiah 28 was used as a sign of God’s judgment, it became a sign of God’s mercy, blessing and salvation on the Day of Pentecost. There are several other incidents in the past that were reversed on Pentecost. When Israel sinned with the golden calf and the Levites went through the camp to kill 3000 with the sword, it indicates that God’s judgments were not delayed in the Old Testament. It often fell immediately upon the rebellious. There are of course instances when God delayed his judgment for hundreds of years but then it concerned mainly the Gentiles and not Israel. Now at Pentecost 3000 souls were saved indicating again that a time of refreshing has come and that God’s judgments are delayed so that as many people as possible may be saved (2 Peter 3:9).

    Note that the miracle of foreign languages was a sign to unbelievers, not believers. The miracle that attracted the unbelievers occurred when they heard the Galileans speak in their own language. That told them that something very special and something not seen or experienced before was happening. If it were an unknown heavenly language given by God none of the Gentiles would have been saved because those who were gathered in Jerusalem at Pentecost would not have been able to understand it. And there is no evidence of anyone who acted as an interpreter.

    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? (Acts 2:6-8)

    You wrote:

    Clearly in human reasoning Paul is contradicting himself? In verse 2 and 4 he is stating that unknown tongues are for personal edification and secrets are spoken to God, whereas in verse 22 he is clearly stating that unknown tongues are for unbelievers.

    If Paul contradicted himself we may conclude that he was not inspired by the Holy Spirit to write this letter to the Corinthian church because the Holy Spirit cannot possibly contradict Himself. Paul does not speak about an unknown language in verses 2 and 4 as if he were referring to an ecstatic utterance never heard on earth before, in other words a heavenly language. We must remember that when Paul experienced the third heaven (where God has his throne) either in or out of the body, as he said, he heard unspeakable words which were unlawful for a man to utter. (2 Corinthians 2:2-4). The words for unlawful are “Exesti ou” of which the “ou” is an absolute negative meaning that the law may never be transgressed. Now, if the law that forbade Paul or any man to utter unspeakable words spoken in heaven, may never be transgressed, why would God give anyone on earth a heavenly language to speak on earth? God would then be guilty of contravening his own law.

    I know of a woman who attended a church with a friend and was in awe with the unknown languages (supposedly heavenly languages) she heard spoken by some of the members. She too wanted to speak in an unknown language because she was told that it was the evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. She fervently prayed and asked God to give her an unknown language. It went on for months and nothing happened. At last she prayed “If you don’t want to give me an unknown language I am going to ask Mother Mary.” She immediately spoke in an unknown tongue. The question we need to ask is whether the tongue came from God. Catholics may think so but I don’t.

    Another example is an incident that happened during the Zulu revival in Natal, South Africa several years ago. A Zulu unbeliever passed a church and heard the members speak in strange languages. He could not resist his curiosity and went inside to see what was happening. After the service he went to the pastor and asked him “Do you know what that man (pointing to him) said when he spoke in another language?” “No, said the pastor.” “I know the dialect he spoke in very well and he was cursing God in the most foul and filthy way imaginable. I wouldn’t attend this church even if I were a Christian.” The sangomas (witch doctors) and shamans in Natal can also speak in tongues.

    Having said this, we must come to the conclusion that when Paul spoke of unknown tongues, he was referring to languages unknown to the Corinthians. If, said Paul, there was no one in church who was able to interpret the foreign language spoken by some of the members, it would be best for him of her to keep quiet in church and rather talk to God in their language at home because it only edifies them and not the church who does not understand the language.

  • John Andrews UK/Ireland

    I am not answering any specific person’s comments on this very important subject. It is a subject that has and is causing division, arguments and ill-feeling amongst many on both sides. Tongues is another word for languages. This insight should have been clarified early on preventing the “mystery” of tongues and whether it is for us today. God is not a God of confusion. We should all agree on this one fact. There should then be only one way that God would have us understand his Bible? God will not give us a snake when we ask for food: Luke 11:11-13 (NIV)

    11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

    If tongues is a gift of the Holy Spirit then it should be giving us clarity and not confusion. I believe this totally. Why then would God have tongues operating in churches today or even at home as a “private language”?

    I have been in many churches over the past 30 odd years – some that had tongues as part of the service and others that did not. Was I confused in churches that used (and still use) tongues – YES, and still am very ill at ease! Was or am I confused when in a church that does not operate with tongues – NO! Did I in the past think that tongues were genuine – YES! Do I now think that tongues (unintelligible utterances) still exist – NO!

    The comments on this matter have been running a long time and I would suggest that some have gone back to the scriptures and abandoned their view/s on whether tongues are valid in the church today.
    Arguments that have been brought have been long winded (so much so that we tend to have to take a break to “refresh” our brain. Is this God’s will? – NO!

    2 Tim: 2:23 (NIV) Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.

    Do you and will you think that your view should/might change? This is where the “rubber hits the tar” – WILL YOU WANT TO CHANGE YOUR PRESENT CHURCH IF YOUR VIEW CHANGES – this means an upheaval regarding friends and your comfort zone.

    Can we be honest with ourselves and ask God to have us “test the spirits” and be approved by God? It might seem a small or “peripheral matter” to some, but I am convinced that God will not leave a true believer sitting on the fence with what I sincerely believe is a fleshly desire to cling to a disruptive force of deception that panders to our ego. Are we implicit in the crime?

    1 John 4:1-6 (NIV)

    Test the Spirits

    1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. 4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5 They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.

    May God give you the wisdom and the endurance to run the race. God’s truth is the higher road.

    Truth: A God of truth and without iniquity; just and right is He.’ Deut 32:4. For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds.’ Psa 57:10. Plenteous in truth.’ Psa 86:15.

    Peace : Col 3:15-17 “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father”

  • AriseMyLove

    Deborah (Discerning the World) wrote:

    Deborah: I agree with 99.9 percent of your website. However, I absolutely speak in tongues. I was born again at 17 and a few weeks later, was watching a frightening movie on tv. I ran out of the room, terrified, and decided to take a shower. In the shower, i started speaking in tongues as a way to calm me down, I suppose. I knew it was the Holy Spirit’s calming presence upon me, though I did not understand what I was saying. There is a more confirming story I will take the time to write out for you later, a very dramatic way the Lord gave the gift of interpretation of my tongues to someone I was witnessing to. This occurred only a few months after I had been born again and it was an encouragement to me (as well as the person who was granted the gift of interpretation in that odd moment).

    I completely agree that being baptized in the Spirit is not the same as receiving the gift of tongues. I believe there was some amendment to this teaching by the FourSquare church; it is obvious error.

    But, still, the gifts did not cease at Pentecost, they were poured out at Pentecost. I’m surprised that you are not into understanding the efficacy of tongues considering all your excellent work on John MacArthur (as one example of those who believe the gifts are not for today).

    I look forward to posting on your site again and will welcome your scrutiny of my early miraculous experience(s) concerning the miracle of the gift of tongues.

    Intellectually, when one has this gift, you tend to totally “take it for granted” as to what a total miracle it is. I think that might have been why the Lord allowed such a dramatic experience to happen to me early on.

    Enough teasing — I will write it up for you soon. Lord Bless you, very very much Deborah for all your hard work on this website.

  • John Andrews UK/Ireland

    AriseMyLove wrote:

    Deborah: I agree with 99.9 percent of your website. However, I absolutely speak in tongues. I was born again at 17 and a few weeks later, was watching a frightening movie on tv. I ran out of the room, terrified, and decided to take a shower. In the shower, i started speaking in tongues as a way to calm me down, I suppose. I knew it was the Holy Spirit’s calming presence upon me, though I did not understand what I was saying.
    -Deleted-
    But, still, the gifts did not cease at Pentecost, they were poured out at Pentecost. I’m surprised that you are not into understanding the efficacy of tongues.

    Where did you come from on this topic?

    Also if you do agree with 99.9% of this forum you have strayed onto the wrong website to espouse your “speaking in tongues” issue. It is nonsensical to say you agree with Deborah? Deborah, as far as I know will not accept the sign gifts as operative today. A lot more on this forum than 0.1% would be against what you say you do believe in. Is there a new branch of the Charismatics called the “scrambled egg movement” that has not been seen before?

    So your version of water baptism is taking a shower, after watching a scary movie?

    You are a comedian on the wrong website!

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Dear Arise

    I am sorry but I can’t accept it, the bible says that tongues has ceased, and I believe the bible. Only during the Tribulation, the time of Jacobs trouble will the Holy Spirit again pour Him self down on the Jews who so that they can dream dreams and prophecy, because they always need a sign. Hence God sends them the 2 witnesses, Elijah and Moses to preach that they can see and believe.

    When you were in the shower and you spoke in this tongue, you didn’t know what you were saying – does that not bother you? You watched an evil movie, got scared and satan jumped in at the right time giving you this gift to speak in a so called heavenly language. The Holy Spirit comforts us by directing us to scripture.

    I watched a program the other day on TV about IHOP invading Uganda and preaching their false gospel to the Africans. They believe that in order to be saved you need to speak in tongues. So these young ‘brainwashed’ missionaries were driving in a Combi aka Taxi through a town and stopped to buy food from local vendors. As they did this they spoke to Ugandans selling them food, most were Muslim and were not interested in hearing about Jesus, but one guy said he was a Christian. They asked him, “do you speak in tonuges’ and he looked at them with this strange look and said, “do I what, speak how?” and they said “do you speak in tongues” and he said, “oh yes, I speak Swahili, English and Nkole”

    I burst out laughing and clapped my hands and thought, if only the rest of the western world could understand that tongues was an earthly language, not a heavenly one.

    Now I am not laughing at you, in fact I take what you wrote to me very seriously.

    I have heard a story of a missionary from many moons ago who preached to a tribe, but could not speak a word of their language, then while preaching all of a sudden could speak their language and they all got saved. How true this is I do not know, what he believed in I don’t know, and what he preached to them and if they really got saved is another question.

    Arisemylove, John 20:29 “Jesus said unto him, Thomas, because you have seen me, you have believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” and 1 Peter 1:8 “Whom having not seen, you love; in whom, though now you see him not, yet believing, you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:”

    We do not need a sign, we believe purely by faith. And we can rejoice and have peace through the Holy Spirit that abides in us, who gives us a sound mind as He directs us to read the bible and find peace therein.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Arise

    Catholics too speak in tongues, and there are others who give interpretation. Are Catholics now borderline Christian because they have the gift to speak and interpret in tongues? Where do they get their gift from? From Satan of course. So it’s true Satan can give you a false gift to speak in tongues and others to interpret for you to try stamp in the idea that maybe your gift it actually from God, when it’s not.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Arise

    Pray and asked Jesus Christ the following, He must remove this tongues speaking from you immediately, ask Jesus to break an demonic affliction over your life.

    A genuinely born again lady I know had clairvoyance, she believed it was the gift of discerning spirits that God had given her. When I informed her that it was clairvoyance and not how Jesus Christ operates she though about it for a long time, and then finally went to the bible for answers. She prayed and asked Jesus Christ to remove this demonic affliction over her life and break all chains, she also asked Jesus to forgive her for some sin in her life that was most probably the connection to her clairvoyance. After she prayed, she never experienced clairvoyance again, it was gone, Jesus Christ removed it from her and she was no longer under bondage.

  • I pray that all at Discerning The World might take time to read / listen to the references in my article at http://www.bethraham.com/Strange-Fire-or-Perfect-Life/ about the balance between Cessationist and Continualist views and find the truth.
    References are at:
    1. http://www.cwmfellowship.org/articles/PhilipPowell_Cessationism_v_Biblicism_Part9.pdf
    2. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/waltermartindotcom/2013/09/08/charisma-cultic-occultic-or-christian
    3. http://www.cmalliance.org/about/beliefs/perspectives/spiritual-gifts
    These are shared here in the interests of encouraging polite and respectful dialogue on this topic between Brothers and Sisters IN CHRIST. Is that possible?

  • bethraham,

    Here is something very interesting you may want to read about Walter Martin.

    http://www.thebereancall.org/content/do-we-violate-matthew-18
    http://www.thebereancall.org/node/7170/print

    I said earlier in one of my comments that these days it is no longer about cessationsim or continualism because 99.9% of the gifts practiced in Charismatic and Pentecostal churches are false. It is more about discerning the true gifts from the false ones. In fact, the gift that is most needed today is discernment. However, anyone who dares to discern the true from the false is frowned upon with disdain. You don’t seem to care too much about discernment yourself because if you had you would have known that Walter Martin OK’s occult practices like hypnotism and psychology. There was a time when he also spoke with much aplomb about Robert Schuller – a New Age occultist and Freemason.

    I don’t think you would like to discuss this topic in an amicable way if you knew what was going on in the circles you seem to approve. For instance, did you know Walter Martin says Seventh Day Adventism is not a cult. What do you say? Do you also believe Seventh Day Adventists are Christians because they also speak in tongues?

  • Tom Wrote:
    Here is something very interesting you may want to read about Walter Martin.
    http://www.thebereancall.org/content/do-we-violate-matthew-18
    http://www.thebereancall.org/node/7170/print
    ————————————————————————————————————Tom, I will take one reference at a time:
    http://www.thebereancall.org/content/do-we-violate-matthew-18
    It is not clear what there is ‘about Walter Martin’ in this reference that you may have an ‘issue’ with
    I have read the full text in the reference and agree with all that is stated therein.
    http://www.thebereancall.org/node/7170/print
    In this reference Dave Hunt & Tom McMahon stated:
    Tom: “…. we had an on-going dialogue with Walter Martin and Walter felt that hypnotism was all right as long as it was in the hands of medical personnel. But that doesn’t change the technique or the device. It doesn’t —
    Dave: ” ….. Occultism is occultism. If the witch doctor dresses in a business suit and has a Ph.D., that doesn’t change anything. I’m going to go by the Bible and the Bible warns against this.”
    By way of the above reference I take it that you are implicitly challenging the general credibility of Walter Martin; based on the mention of his opinion about ‘Hypnotism’ by Hunt & McMahon. I will defer to Walter Martin to answer for himself on that matter.
    Kindly please go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pJulSsStQw ( Time mark 0:00 to 1:35)
    An example of the use of hypnosis in medical practice, that I presume Water Martin may have being referring to, can be found at http://www.livescience.com/35827-clinical-hypnosis-medial-problems.html
    A brief google search today has not indicated any reference to scripture where the Bible warns specifically against ‘Hypnotism’ per se. Please feel free to quote me some verses for further study on this topic.
    Although ‘Hypnotism’ is not the topic of this discussion; it is pertinent to advise (seeing as you have brought it up) that I have not thoroughly studied ‘Hypnotism’ as a topic. Personally, I would neither use on another person nor partake in anything to do with hypnotism without first doing a thorough biblical study of it. Up until now that has not been a topic that has demanded my attention in my life.
    There are a number of examples in scripture, though, that speak about being in a ‘trance’. That is the closest word to ‘hypnos’ that I could see during my brief google search today. Two examples are:
    Peter explaining to the Apostles about his revelation regarding the Gentiles: See Acts 11:5 “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. I saw something like a large sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to where I was.”
    Paul speaking after his conversion: See Acts 22:17-18 “When I returned to Jerusalem and was praying at the temple, I fell into a trance and saw the Lord speaking. ‘Quick!’ he said to me. ‘Leave Jerusalem immediately, because they will not accept your testimony about me.”
    ————————————————————————————————————
    Tom Wrote: I said earlier in one of my comments that these days it is no longer about cessationsim or continualism because 99.9% of the gifts practiced in Charismatic and Pentecostal churches are false. It is more about discerning the true gifts from the false ones. In fact, the gift that is most needed today is discernment.
    ————————————————————————————————————
    I humbly and politely suggest the gift most needed today is, as well as discernment, is love:
    1 Corinthians 13:1-3 “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.”
    ————————————————————————————————————
    Tom Wrote: However, anyone who dares to discern the true from the false is frowned upon with disdain.
    ————————————————————————————————————
    Is that your experience? I too, have found a similar responses at times when I have ‘spoken out’ for biblical truth.
    I hope you are not implying / hinting that you think/feel I might be “frowning upon you with disdain”.
    I respect you enormously for the work you have done / are doing on your site. It is much needed.
    That is why I am taking the time to interact with you. Hopefully we will both be enriched from the interaction.
    “Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another. ” [Proverbs 27:17]
    ————————————————————————————————————-Tom Wrote: You don’t seem to care too much about discernment yourself because if you had you would have known that Walter Martin OK’s occult practices like hypnotism and psychology.
    ————————————————————————————————————
    With polite respect your assumption ‘ ….if you had ….” is totally without foundation and wrong. I do care very much about discernment. I do not pretend to know everything about everyone. Kindly, cut me some slack here, my friend and brother-in-Christ! Stop with the quick jump-to-ill-informed-conclusions and personal innuendo. Be gentle.
    I am not ‘I of Walter Martin’, nor ‘I of Phillip Powell’ nor ‘I of The Alliance Mission / A W Tozer’, nor ‘I of anybody else’. I am ‘I of Christ’.
    ————————————————————————————————————Tom Wrote: There was a time when he also spoke with much aplomb about Robert Schuller – a New Age occultist.
    ————————————————————————————————————
    Do tell. What time was that? Do please feel free to send me the reference to that ‘time’.
    I share your view about Robert Schuller – New Age Occultist….. and then some. …… it was under the influence of Peter Drucker that Robert Schuller was a key figure in the start of the Church Growth Movement.
    See 13 December 2012 article by Alan Roebuck at:
    http://orthosphere.org/2012/12/13/peter-druckers-key-role-in-the-corruption-of-evangelicalism/
    Article Title; “Peter Drucker’s Key Role in the Corruption of Evangelicalism”. In the article Alan Roebuck states,
    “I recently watched a fascinating two-hour online video titled Church of Tares: Purpose Driven, Seeker-Sensitive, Church Growth & New World Order. [On the linked page, scroll down a bit to find the embedded video. There is also a longer “director’s cut,” which can be viewed here.] It describes the so-called “seeker-sensitive” (or “purpose-driven”) movement within Evangelicalism. If you have the time, or can listen while doing work which will not be disrupted while you listen, I highly recommend the video. It helps make sense of much of the foolishness and apostasy that plagues Evangelicalism. I want here to focus on one part of the documentary: the decisive role played by Peter Drucker. [Drucker’s contribution is discussed beginning at the 1:04:00 mark.] Drucker, born in Vienna in 1909, moved with his family to America in the 1930s and became a professor and public intellectual. But, unknown to most people, Drucker played a key role in the seeker-sensitive church movement. That movement, under the name Church Growth, was started independently in the 1950’s by pastor Robert Schuler (of Crystal Cathedral fame) and seminary professor Donald McGavran.”
    ————————————————————————————————————-Tom Wrote: I don’t think you would like to discuss this topic in an amicable way if you knew what was going on in the circles you seem to approve. For instance, did you know Walter Martin says Seventh Day Adventism is not a cult.
    What do you say? Do you also believe Seventh Day Adventists are Christians because they also speak in tongues?
    ————————————————————————————————————
    I will be loving and gentle / kind with you = amicable as long as it works both ways.
    I am not sure what ‘circles’ you are referring to that you think I seem to approve. As I stated above, I am of Christ and I approve of the Bible.
    Walter Martin has a clearly defined description of what he calls a ‘cult’. As far as I recall (without looking it up) it is related to what the people or group in question think / profess/ believe about the nature of the person of Jesus and His work on the cross at Calvary. I recall that under that definition, he did not include them as a Cult – at least at one time. However, I also recall (again without looking it up) that he expressed reservations about some other of their teachings that may have been ‘cult-like’.
    The SDA’s have a lot of beliefs that I do not agree with and I certainly would not join their church.
    Further than that, I would be happy to look up any particular, detailed aspects of your concern about them and provide a response based on a biblical study of the matter.
    Beyond that, I am not sure what relevance a discussion about the SDA’s has on the topic of Cessationist vs Continualist – and that is ultimately the topic I am interested in pursuing with our discussion.
    Tom, You have not given any indication that you have looked at the article written by Phillip Powell. Find it at:
    http://www.cwmfellowship.org/articles/PhilipPowell_Cessationism_v_Biblicism_Part9.pdf
    Please respond to that article if you would like to take this discussion further.
    ————————————————————————————————————Tom Wrote: What do you say? Do you also believe Seventh Day Adventists are Christians because they also speak in tongues?
    ————————————————————————————————————
    Kindly refer to your other Blog page https://www.discerningtheworld.com/2009/05/10/be-continually-filled-with-the-holy-spirit/#comment-447325
    ————————————————————————————————————Tom Wrote: bethraham, Do you believe that the speaking in tongues is the evidence of salvation and the baptism of the Spirit?
    Bethraham Wrote: No
    ————————————————————————————————————
    Tom, You have not given any indication that you have looked at the article by the Alliance Mission. Find it at:
    http://www.cmalliance.org/about/beliefs/perspectives/spiritual-gifts
    Please respond to that article if you would like to take this discussion further. For ease of reference and convenience to the readers I quote herewith the part of that article that addresses the specific topic you have referred to, that being whether or not speaking in tongues is evidence of being filled with the spirit:
    Quotation in italics from http://www.cmalliance.org/about/beliefs/perspectives/spiritual-gifts
    What is the evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit?
    There are some who believe that the gift of tongues is the “initial, physical evidence” of being filled with the Spirit. Again, we affirm tongues as a valid gift for today. But we do not believe that the Scripture supports tongues as the only evidence of the filling of the Holy Spirit.
    Paul, as he writes to the believers in the Ephesian church, commands them to…be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). “Filled with the Spirit” is a frequent expression in the Book of Acts describing the source of the mighty power of God working in believers in Christ. This expression implies being under the control of the Holy Spirit. We believe this is still a valid command for today, and every believer should seek to be filled or controlled by the Holy Spirit. So, what is the evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit?
    Though there is a record of people receiving spiritual gifts when they were filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4; 10:44–48; 19:6), there are other instances of people being filled with the Holy Spirit where there is no mention of spiritual gifts (Acts 4:8, 31; 8:15–17; 9:17–18; 13:9, 52). Though some may speak in tongues when they are filled with the Holy Spirit, others do not. While rejecting the “initial evidence doctrine” we must be careful to say there “should be” and “will be” evidence that a person has been filled with the Holy Spirit. As Tozer strongly notes, “no one ever received the Holy Spirit’s power without knowing it” (Keys to the Deeper Life, p. 57). A creed of power without the experience of power is worthless. One phrase that could describe our posture in this encounter with God is “Expectation without Agenda.” It would seem to be a dangerous thing to try and convince someone they have been filled with the Spirit if there is no manifest evidence in their lives. Our expectancy should be that God will meet His people in a powerful way. However, it would be equally dangerous to demand a specific agenda or manifestation in that moment. Again, we should come to the Lord with great expectation, while seeking to free ourselves from human agendas or motives.
    Regardless of the gifts or manifestations a believer may experience, the fruit of the Holy Spirit, as described in Galatians 5:22–23 is the primary evidence of the Spirit-filled life. These qualities are produced by the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. The fruit of the Spirit shows that the Holy Spirit is in control of the believer’s life.
    Another strong evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit is a fruitful ministry. In Acts 1:8 Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would give power to be His witnesses. We often mention the scope of our ministry–Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth, but we also need to focus on the source of power for our ministry–the Holy Spirit, who wants to fill us for a holy life and effective service.
    Finally, 1 Corinthians 12 lists a variety of manifestations that occur when the Holy Spirit is ministering. We have no reason to believe this is an all-inclusive list of manifestations or evidences. Weeping, for instance, is not mentioned. Yet many believers have experienced tears as a manifestation of the Spirit’s work and power. Others may experience a manifestation of “joy unspeakable” and God’s love, but never shed a tear. Rather than demanding a single gift or manifestation as the evidence of the filling of the Holy Spirit, we ought to gratefully embrace all the gifts, manifestations and fruit that the Lord desires to bring into our lives.
    END QUOTE
    Again, in conclusion, I say this information is provided in the interest of encouraging polite and respectful dialogue on the topic of Cessationist vs Continualist views of the scriptures.
    I am a Continualist. Tom, you are obviously a Cessationist. Can we talk about this politely as Brothers IN CHRIST. Is that possible?
    Cheers
    Bethraham

  • bethraham,

    I am very familiar with all the arguments for and against cesstaionism and continualism. I really don’t need to read all the articles you mentioned in your comment. I simply do not have the time to read them all. You are wrong in assuming that I believe in cessationism. God is capable of healing the sick in the same way He did when He was still on earth. He is also quite capable of using missionaries to preach in their own language and to open the ears of their audiences to hear their message in their own language. That is why I said the glossolalia at Pentecost was more of a hearing miracle than a speaking miracle.

    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? (Act 2:5-8)

    The disciples didn’t speak in unknown or strange languages on the Day of Pentecost

    John the Baptist never performed a single miracle and he never spoke in tongues or prophesied even once in his entire life and yet the Bible says he was filled with the Holy Spirit while he was still in his mother’s womb. (Luke 1:15). Jesus said of him, “What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” (Matthew 11:7-11). If we were to use John the Baptist as a barometer that speaking in tongues, prophecy or any other gift is the evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we would have to disqualify him as a fraud. Imagine someone asking John, “Have you received the evidence for your baptism in the Spirit?” “No, I was not even born yet but my mother told me that I was baptized with the Holy Spirit in her womb.” “No, sorry John. That just won’t work for you. We want some evidence. Merely saying that you were baptized with the Spirit in your mother’s womb is not enough and even somewhat dangerous.” There goes Tozer’s statement and your comment on it up in smoke when he said,

    As Tozer strongly notes, “no one ever received the Holy Spirit’s power without knowing it” (Keys to the Deeper Life, p. 57). A creed of power without the experience of power is worthless.

    John’s baptism with the Holy Spirit completely debunks the statement in your comment, ” It would seem to be a dangerous thing to try and convince someone they have been filled with the Spirit if there is no manifest evidence in their lives.”

    As for the dangers of Hypnotism, you can read this article.

    https://www.thebereancall.org/content/hypnosis-medical-scientific-or-occultic

    In the instances of people who went into a trance in the Bible, they did not lose or capitulate their faculty to reason or to think and to remain conscious of their surroundings. They did not capitulate their sober-mindedness. They were fully in control of their minds. The Bible warns against any form of mind control where the subject needs to come under the control of something or someone else. Hypnotism and slain in the spirit are examples of the latter.

    Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8)

    Sir John Eccles who won a Nobel Prize for his work on the brain said, “The brain is a machine a ghost can operate” meaning that when we surrender our mind to a hypnotist or any other occult practice like slain in the spirit, another entity like a demon can take possession of your mind and control it. Hence the warning in the Bible to beware of the doctrines of demons.

  • bethraham wrote,

    By way of the above reference I take it that you are implicitly challenging the general credibility of Walter Martin; based on the mention of his opinion about ‘Hypnotism’ by Hunt & McMahon. I will defer to Walter Martin to answer for himself on that matter.

    Kindly please go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pJulSsStQw ( Time mark 0:00 to 1:35)
    An example of the use of hypnosis in medical practice, that I presume Water Martin may have being referring to, can be found at http://www.livescience.com/35827-clinical-hypnosis-medial-problems.html

    So, what you are saying is that when someone else other than a medical doctor applies a demonic practice like hypnosis, it is OK? Walter Martin, and I presume you too, are saying that hypnosis is a gift from God to medical doctors only because they presumably have a special knack of making hypnosis to work for you. Anyone else who practices hypnosis is a fraud?

  • bethraham wrote,

    Tom Wrote: I said earlier in one of my comments that these days it is no longer about cessationsim or continualism because 99.9% of the gifts practiced in Charismatic and Pentecostal churches are false. It is more about discerning the true gifts from the false ones. In fact, the gift that is most needed today is discernment.
    ————————————————————————————————————
    I humbly and politely suggest the gift most needed today is, as well as discernment, is love:
    1 Corinthians 13:1-3 “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.”

    I humbly and earnestly suggest that Paul of Tarsus who was filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit knew what true love meant when he applied his gift of discernment to the brim and wrote the following,

    But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. (Gal 1:8-9)

    Now that’s what I call a nice kind of love.

    Would you say to your daughter who may have started using drugs and was on the verge of destroying her, “Oh sweetie, I love you too much to warn to against your destructive use of drugs and have you put away in an institution where you can be treated for you drug abuse. Mommy will never allow that to happen to you.”

    Please beware of a hellish love. (Prooverbs 27:6).

  • bethraham wrote,

    Regardless of the gifts or manifestations a believer may experience, the fruit of the Holy Spirit, as described in Galatians 5:22–23 is the primary evidence of the Spirit-filled life. These qualities are produced by the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. The fruit of the Spirit shows that the Holy Spirit is in control of the believer’s life.

    Another strong evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit is a fruitful ministry. In Acts 1:8 Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would give power to be His witnesses. We often mention the scope of our ministry–Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth, but we also need to focus on the source of power for our ministry–the Holy Spirit, who wants to fill us for a holy life and effective service.

    There is not a single verse in the Bible where it says that the Spirit of God must be in control of your life. We are not puppets on a string for the Holy Spirit to control us. Satan and his demons take control – not the Holy Spirit. The Bible says we should work out our salvation with fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:12). That means whatever the Holy Spirit works in us we must work out. It does not mean that we should work for our salvation. It means that we ourselves must manifest the work of the Holy Spirit in us so that it may be observable outwardly. The Holy Spirit is not going to do it for us by controlling us. The only way we can work the Spirit’s work in us outward is to deny ourselves, take up our cross (die to our fleshly nature) and follow Him. If we don’t do it we cannot work out the Spirit’s work in us.

    What do you mean by a fruitful ministry? I know of several missionaries who had worked for many years among heathen people and never won a single sinner to Jesus. Would you call that a fruitful ministry? Jesus would because He inspired Paul to say,

    I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. (1 Co 3:6-7)

    Would you say that Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen, Kenneth Copeland, and Benny Hinn have very fruitful ministries? I assume they all speak in tongues.

  • Tom
    The ‘ministers’ you have mentioned in your last sentence / question all operate under false understandings of the bible in various ways. It is important to publish the errors in their teachings.

    Since you do not have time to read it all, I am emailing you a pdf copy of the paper by Philip Powell that I have referenced with certain parts highlighted for your convenience. Hope you can take time to look at it.

    Cheers
    Bethraham

  • bethraham,

    The fact is that there is only one evidence that a saint has been baptized with the Holy Spirit and that is God’s promise which He spoke through the mouth of John the Baptist.

    I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire. (Mat 3:11)

    Now, why would the greatest prophet who ever lived say something like this when he himself never spoke in tongues and was so filled with the Holy Spirit that he could say something so loving and compassionate as this,

    But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? (Mat 3:7)

    Anyone who needs any other kind of evidence other that the promise God gave through the mouth of John the Baptist is seeking for a sign and probably not saved (Matthew 12:39).

    Why do you question the ministers whom I mentioned. Don’t they all speak in tongues which is supposed to be the main evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit?

    By the way, why didn’t you comment on my explanation of John the Baptist not having spoken in tongues and yet was the greatest prophet who ever lived? With due respect (you see I can also be gentle) please respond to my comment on John the Baptist and then I will read Powell’s article and respond to it.

  • bethraham wrote,

    With polite respect your assumption ‘ ….if you had ….” is totally without foundation and wrong. I do care very much about discernment. I do not pretend to know everything about everyone. Kindly, cut me some slack here, my friend and brother-in-Christ! Stop with the quick jump-to-ill-informed-conclusions and personal innuendo. Be gentle.
    I am not ‘I of Walter Martin’, nor ‘I of Phillip Powell’ nor ‘I of The Alliance Mission / A W Tozer’, nor ‘I of anybody else’. I am ‘I of Christ’.

    That’s where you are wrong again. Discernment is not about knowing everything about everyone. Discernment is to test the things everyone says and writes against the Word of God. It is not a personal thing; it is a doctrinal thing. And yes, you should care about discernment because if you don’t you are being downright disobedient to Jesus. You keep on tapping me over my fingers for supposedly not being gentle and kind. But you are not being courteous to Jesus because if you disobey Him you are slapping Him through his face.

  • […] Some people believe that you receive the ‘baptism of the Holy Spirit’ when you are baptised.  This again is false teaching and the reason why our churches are in the state they are because of the false holy spirit that has been transferred through the laying on of hands and the willingness of processing Christians to accept just about anything, thinking it comes from God, when it does not. See article:  The Biblical Holy Spirit vs.The False Unholy Spirit of Fire.   The lie in the charismatic church is that you need to be baptised in order to receive the gift of tongues speaking from the Holy Spirit – this then is supposed to be evidence that you are saved.  See article: The gift of tongues ceased. […]

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Speaking in Tongues

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