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Thursday

Is Speaking in Tongues Valid and Biblical Today?

This study suggests that the gift of tongues ceased a long time ago...

In many 'Charismatic' and Pentecostal churches today we see the phenomena of 'speaking in tongues' whereby people are told that when they are very spiritual and are baptized by the Holy Spirit, this is EVIDENCED by being able to 'SPEAK IN TONGUES' which they say is a 'heavenly prayer language which offers praise to the Lord! Anyone who doesn't 'speak in tongues' if left to feel not as 'spiritual' as those who do speak in tongues! Is this true? Are tongues for today and is it a sign or evidence of being baptized by the Holy Spirit? Or are people being seriously MISLEAD? What does the Bible say about tongues and this so-called 'tongues movement'? As we look at tongues in the Bible we see in Acts 2 in the early days of the Church, tongues appeared as one of the 'sign gifts' that the Lord gave to certain people in which they were supernaturally able to speak in known earthly languages without going to school to learn them. They used this ability to speak the gospel to the foreigners who had gathered at Jerusalem during the yearly Passover. The languages are listed in Acts 2:8-12! It is not some 'heavenly' angel language at all! For example, it would be like me being able supernaturally to speak the German language to a German man so I could give the gospel to him so he could take it back to his people. You see, in the early days of Acts, God was trying to get this new 'Gospel' out to the world. There was no completed bible yet, nor any media outlets such as radio, TV, or even newspapers! God used tongues and other of the 'sign gifts' to bring attention to this new program He was starting...the Church! Once the bible began to be completed (around about AD 60), these sign gifts, including TONGUES, were done away with and CEASED. (1 Corinthians 8-10) With this background, we also see that God gave certain guidelines for the use of tongues in those early church days as described in 1 Corinthians 14. Isn't it strange that charismatic groups today don't even follow these guidelines that Paul gave? We learn several things about the gift of tongues from the Bible when it was present and available during the early years of the church. In the church services in that day, an interpreter MUST be present or the tongues person must remain QUIET! (1 Cor. 14:27, 28)…and only 3 at the most could speak during a service and then only one at a time…and women were not to speak in tongues AT ALL! (v. 34) Do those speaking in tongues in churches TODAY follow these guidelines? If not, why not? Paul indeed said in 1 Cor. 14: 39 to forbid not those who had the gift of tongues to use it because when Paul wrote those words around AD 50 tongues was still present! Tongues did cease according to church history, and now have only come ‘back to life’ in the last 100 years when women preachers in the Holiness movement began to claim to have the gift and claimed it was a secret prayer language only angels and God could understand (yet wasn’t Satan an angel??). This can not be backed up in the Bible, for tongues in Acts 2 and 1 Cor. 12-14 were known earthly languages (see Acts 2:8-10)! Tongues was NOT a sign of “SPIRITUALITY” to other believers, but was a sign to unsaved UNBELIEVERS of judgment to come because the Jews had not obeyed God! (1 Cor. 14:22). Read this verse! It clearly says that TONGUES is not a SIGN to other BELIEVERS of one's spirituality, but it is a SIGN to unsaved, unbelieving Jews that Judgment is coming! Charismatics clearly deny this plain Scripture because it is obvious they imply that speaking in tongues is mark of spirituality! I challenge anyone to look at every instance of tongues in the Bible and you will see it is always a sign to people that because they have disobeyed God, judgment is coming! Tongues is found in 5 instances in the Bible and it is always a sign that the Jews had disobeyed God! Tongues would then come as “foreign languages” as a sign of judgment and dispersion would soon come. Study carefully the following 5 examples and you must agree:
(1) Gen. 9:1; 11:4-8 - Here God instructs the people to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth. Instead, the people disobey and get involved in Astrology and Occultic worship at Babel and even build a tower for satanic worship. God confounds their languages (sends 'tongues' so to speak) and scatters them throughout the earth. (2) Deut. 28:1-62 -in this passage we see God instructing the people to serve and follow Him. If not he will send foreign armies 'whose TONGUE thou shalt not understand’ (Deut.28:49). This is exactly what happened!
(3) Jeremiah 4:1; 5:3-19 - Here God instructs the people to 'return unto me' (4:1) or He will send foreign language or tongues of enemy nations to scatter and disperse them..a "nation whose LANGUAGE thou knowest not, neither understandest what they say". They were dispersed and taken as slaves to 'serve strangers' in another land! (5:19). This was the Babylonian captivity as told in the Old Testament!
(4) Isaiah 28:10-13 -Here again God warns the people to come back to Him, lest more judgment come and enemy nations speaking with 'stammering lips and another tongue' shall come in judgment and dispersion will follow. We see this did happen and we have the 'lost tribes' of Northern Israel to this day!
(5) Matthew. 11:28, 23:37; 1 Cor. 12-14; Luke 21:24 is the example of tongues in the New Testament. Here Jesus instructs the Jewish nation to go throughout the world preaching the Gospel and making disciples. The Jewish nation as a whole, especially it religious leaders, disobey and even crucify Jesus! Therefore, we see TONGUES in the Book of Acts as a sign of judgment to come to the Jews. Recall in this last example of tongues in the NT, how tongues were spoken and judgment soon came in 70 AD when Roman General Titus destroyed Jerusalem and Israel was scattered as the 12 lost tribes all over the world. Anyone who carefully studies CHURCH HISTORY will have to acknowledge that TONGUES did disappear for 2000 years! Look at the church history books and you will not find examples of people speaking in tongues in the Church! Why? Because this is what the Bible said would happen! In 1 Corinthians 13:8-10 scripture clearly says when 'that which is PERFECT is come, that which is IN PART shall be done away with'. Now, my friend, what is the only perfect thing on this earth today? It is God's Word. Would you agree? When the Bible began to be completed at around the 2nd half of the first century, history testifies that TONGUES did cease! Strangely, tongues did not come back onto the scene until some holiness women preachers, and notably Agnes Osman, began speaking in TONGUES at the turn of this century! And now they claim it was a heavenly 'prayer language' which clearly it WAS NOT in all the examples in the bible before! World-known expert on the occult, Kurt Koch, who had devoted his life to studying the occult and witchcraft, makes the following AMAZING statement about the modern day tongues movement in his book OCCULT ABC p.207: “tongues and the so-called Charismatic Movement are the most dangerous weapons Satan is using against the Christian Camp….” Amazing statement? Consider the following:
(1) The Tongues Movement places ‘EXPERIENCE’ over and above the Bible! If you’ve spoken in tongues…it doesn’t matter what you believe or what the Bible says…to most Charismatics! My friend, the devil can give experiences…(2 Cor 11:13-15; 2 Thess. 2:9-11) and even do miracles!
(2) The Tongues Movement claims to receive visions and tongues messages, which would ‘add to’ the Word of God! If it is not adding to the Bible, why do we need the ‘tongues message’ since we have the Bible in front of us?
(3) The origin and background of the Tongues Movement is saturated with false teaching…as it still is today. The Tongues Movement teaches salvation can be lost; it places women in positions of authority over men and places them as pastors in churches teaching men when the Bible forbids it! (1 Tim. 2:12) It promotes the ecumenical movement and yoking up with pastors and churches that teach false plans of salvation. Charismatic “Tongues” churches are big members of the very Liberal National and World Council of Churches. In the last years WCC meeting prayer was led to the mother goddess “Sophia”!!
(4) It can cause believers without the gift to feel ‘second class’…and has caused many to become discouraged to the point of becoming ‘shipwreck in the faith’ and drop out of church completely…especially if sham and hypocrisy is seen in the ‘leaders’ and those who claim to ‘have the gift’…(1 Tim. 1:19)
(5) It makes tongues speaking the mark of true spirituality, rather than winning lost souls to the Lord! It causes many to miss the true spiritual life and sidetracks people from the main objective of winning lost souls!
(6) The Tongues Movement has lead to indecent activity and even immorality as married women and young girls “roll” in the floor uncontrollably as they are ‘slain in the spirit’, even to the point where “modesty blankets” are needed to cover the ladies! (1 Cor. 13:5)…But most seriously, it can open one up to DEMONIC & OCCULTIC INVOLVEMENT! You’ll notice in 1 Cor. 14:27-34 ones spiritual gift COULD BE CONTROLLED! For someone to be SLAIN IN THE SPIRIT to the point they are unconsciously laying prostate on the floor, to me is OF utmost DANGER if that is not the HOLY SPIRIT doing that! Always in the Bible the Believer had full consciousness and control of himself or herself! There is absolutely NO example of today’s so-called being ‘SLAIN IN THE SPIRIT’ in the Bible except for DEMONIC involvement! We at Gospel Center agree with Kurt Koch’s assessment above and WARN every Christian to STAY AWAY from the modern-day Charismatic Movement no matter how nice and sincere the members of these churches might be! It is wrong. It is dangerous. These folks, we believe, are badly deceived.
(7) TONGUES have left DEVASTATION whenever it has entered a church. A split almost always results with years of work in a Bible-believing church down the drain over night! If you will check one history of Charismatic church in your neighborhood, I challenge you to discover that most were started as a result of a split from a Bible-believing church where heartache and devastation was the result. I dare you to discover most Charismatic churches got their members from another church due to a split the majority of the time, rather than a few believers starting from scratch as most Baptist churches start out! (1 Cor. 1:10) God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor. 14:33) and declares all things be done decently and in order (1 Cor. 14:40)…Two commands which we believe are not followed very closely in most “Tongues” churches today.
We believe it is a shame for Christians to be seeking Spiritual Gifts that are not even available today and neglecting the Spiritual Gift God has given us to use for His Glory! God has given each of us some gift and ability to serve the Lord. We need to get busy using it to serve the Lord instead of seeking something that doesn't exist!

1 comment:

sue said...

Hi, I pray and sing in tongues all the time and just wanted to say a few things if you're open to listen.

Praying in tongues has nothing to do with being more "spiritual" and i apologize on behalf of anyone who made you feel that way. The corinthians were operating in all teh spiritual gifts and paul called them carnal. They still had plenty of areas to work on.

There are also different kinds of tongues. There's a gift of tongues which is for like you said, God giving me a tongue in German for an unbeliever who speaks German. There's tongues and interpretation, which is what would be done publicly, and then there is praying or singing in tongues which is for edification.
Prophecy is what should be limited to 3 and that is not tongues. Many churches do follow these rules. Women were not to speak during the services, to my knowledge this was cultural if you read about how the temple services were set up you'll understand why.
1 Corinthians mentions that the spiritual gifts will cease when perfection has come. The Holy Spiritand his gifts are here to help us until Jesus returns.

Anyone that follows anything (visions,a tongues and interpretation, a prophecy) that does not agree
with the Word is going to find themselves in trouble. Many Christians are quick to deny the works of the Holy Spirit, however, claiming all prophecy, all healing, all supernatural manifestations are "of the devil" because they do not have the knowledge to discern what is true and what is false.

As a woman, I am in a position of authority over my son. I am also submitted to my husband. Women need the covering and protection of their husband, but it doesn't mean they can't be of value to the church body.
I don't know any Sophia. ;)
Salvation cannot be lost, but I could throw it all away like the prodigal son if I wanted to. Good thing my savior would be there waiting for my return with open arms.=)
here's a scripture about being slain in the spirit.. “… that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord; so that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God.” (2 Chronicles 5:14) natural people react to the supernatural in different ways... weeping, laughing, resting under a heavy peace... although i'm sure there are fakers out there like with anything else...

1 Corinthians 14:18
18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. (Paul)

1 Corinthians 14:2
2 For anyone who speaks in a tongue[a] does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit.

My intent is not to argue or to make you angry, but just to give you another viewpoint and food for thought...

1Corin. 12:31
31But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.