Speaking in Tongues
Is “speaking in tongues” the Bible evidence of being baptized with the Holy Spirit? Is it the evidence being saved? Must all speak in tongues at the time we receive the Holy Spirit? The most important business of this life is the receiving of the true baptism of the Spirit from God. Salvation means, simply, that which is born of the flesh is flesh. “Ye must be born again,” born of God’s Spirit, (John 3:3).
The primary purpose of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is to disperse the gifts to the multitude, (Luke 24:49). One person was not given all nine, but just one or more miraculous gifts, (1 Corinthian 12:8-12). True, the miraculous gifts of the Spirit had their place in the ministry of the early churches as recorded in the book of Acts. But the modern charismatic movement has the “cart before the horse.” The giving of the miraculous gifts is secondary to the office of “the Comforter” (The Power), which helps us to overcome lust and produce the fruits of the Spirit, (Gal.5:22-23). Satan can counterfeit the "Tongues,” and he does; he also performs many lying wonders to deceive people; but Satan cannot counterfeit the “Fruits of the Spirit.” Today he is out with his lying wonders trying to deceive God’s elect, (Matt.23:24).
The reason for this caution is found in the Scriptures. “He that speaketh in an unknown Tongue edifieth himself, (1 Cor.14:4). It is seeking for self--for Self Blessings--for Self Thrills--and is contrary to fulfilling the law of God, which is love, away from self and towards God and neighbor! And therefore it may easily degenerate into a most deceptive form of sin. One of the “Fruits” of this “Tongue” movement is that many seek nothing but “Blessings,” as they express it--which in plain language means Sensual Feelings and thrills that they themselves enjoy as a pleasure. It is an unnatural, perverted Satan--inspired Sexual Sensation. Deluded people are led to believe this is a Spiritual Blessing from God! Its time people knew the truth!
It is but natural that Satan’s counterfeit are of the flesh--even his counterfeit of spiritual things. So Satan the Devil gives to people Feelings, and Emotions, and Thrills--and induces many zealous seekers after the Holy Spirit to accept these pleasing Sensations as “Blessing” and “Manifestation” of the Holy Spirit! God’s ways is the way of crucifying the flesh, the sensual--of denying the self and then loving God and his fellow man. Satan’s counterfeit is self--seeking, lusting for Fleshly Thrills, and Feelings, and Blessing that bring pleasure through the five senses.
The object and purpose of Holy Spirit is not to give Feelings and Thrills that are of the senses of the flesh, and therefore Sensual--not to please the self--but to enable one to crucify the self--to endow with Power to overcome sin, and not to transgress God’s Commandments, (1 John 3:4)--to cleanse us of all unrighteousness--to impart to us God’s righteousness, so our light may shine and others may see Christ in us, (Matthew 5:14-16), to understand the Word of God, so we may know how to live by its every word--to give us the faith of Jesus, making possible His righteousness--to give us power to be Kind, Patient, Gentle, (Galatians 5:22-23), and of Service to others--to Preach the Gospel--to Heal the Sick.
This doctrine that all must speak in “Tongues” when “Baptized,” or filled, with the Holy Spirit as the “initial evidence of Baptism” is not Biblical; and it has opened the floodgate for one of Satan’s great Deception of our time. Today, Christians face the greatest and best organized and most widely supported opposition ever known.
A counterfeit “tongue” falls victim to the Wrong Spirit, which are deceiving many hungry souls. As it was in the Church at Corinth, so it is today a “Status Symbol.” Spirit worship, then, was nearly universal in one form or another. We must never compromise all that for some worthless bait of Satan.
The Bible says not to believe every spirit but “to try the spirits whether they are of God,” (1 John 4:1). There are two opposing Spirits in the world, the True Spirit of Truth from God, and the false seducing Spirits from Satan. Satan is very religious and does perform miracles to deceive. Jesus and His Apostles repeatedly warned about the many false teachers that Satan would use in these last days to deceive the people, (Mark 13:6), and we are told that many would follow those false prophets or teachers. That is why John warned, “Believe not every Spirit,” (Isaiah 8:20). This was given to you and me, to warn us to try every Spirit. Every one of those false teachers has a Spirit, a Seducing Spirit: posing as the True Spirit of God as they craftily seize the Scriptures to teach doctrines of the devils.
It is generally said that Satan has three forms under which he tempts men: the Subtle Serpent, (Genesis 3:1), the “Roaring Lion,” (1 Peter 5:8) also as “the Angel of Light,” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15) who “deceives the whole world,” (Revelation 12:9). He often, as the Angel of Light, persuades men to do things under the name of Religion, which are subversive of it. It is plain that in these last days many false teachers, including miracle workers with Satanic Power, would arise and “deceive many,” (Matthew 24:11). Yes, there are miracles from God and Gifts of the Holy Spirit for the true Church today. But the fact that a preacher who manifests miraculous power is not final proof that such power and manifestation are gifts of the Holy Spirit, (Matthew 7:21-23). Satan performs lying wonders, and counterfeits the gift of tongues, as many charismatic admits. Then why do many accept the manifestation of speaking in “tongues” under a power to be the proof that such a person has “the Baptism of the Holy Spirit”?
There were about 120 disciples of the Lord there, (Acts 1:15). They were not babes in Christ, but men whom Jesus had called and trained to be His witness in preaching the Gospel far and wide, (Acts 1:4-8; Luke 14:46-49). They were waiting at Jerusalem as Jesus commanded, “until ye be endued with Power “the Holy Spirit from on high, pictures what happened that day. Speaking in Tongues, did it come first as a Supernatural Manifestation? “There came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind,” (Acts 2:2). No, it was not a mighty wind, but as the sound of such a mighty wind, “Filled” the entire house where they were sitting.
Another Manifestation came. “And there appeared unto them Cloven Tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them”. Divided, flaming tongues appeared–they saw them! They came and sat upon each of the disciples! Has any man living witnessed such a Manifestation in this day? Here were two mighty Manifestations of God’s presences through His Spirit. “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit,” (Acts 2:4a). Remember, there were two Manifestations, being filled with the Spirit and Speaking in a new language, (Acts 2:6b).
Surely; no one has ever heard of a modern “Pentecost” meeting where they were filled, all at once, at the same time, suddenly, when the Spirit came with a Great sound from heaven “and began to speak with other Tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance,” (Acts 2:4). On this original day of Pentecost, all began suddenly to speak in these other languages, (Acts 2:7). Now what kind of Tongue speaking was this?
Was it unknown Tongues? Was it the kind that needed an interpreter? Was it like we see demonstrated today? Those disciples were all filled with the Holy Spirit (Power from God). Remember, they being given power for witnessing--for preaching and teaching the people. Did they teach other people as they spoke in other Tongues, or Languages; or was it, as our charismatic friends teach, the initial evidence to those disciples that they had been Baptized with the Holy Spirit? They were Preaching the Word of God and were being understood. There were dwelling in Jerusalem at that time devout Jews out of every nation on earth. A multitude of these Jews came rushing to the place. They were amazed. “Every man heard them speak in his own language!” These Jews, from all nations, understood what was said! And they said, “And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born, (Acts 2:8)!
Every man heard them speak in his own language! These disciples were all speaking in Tongues--other Languages--the Languages of every nation under heaven. And every man who came rushing in heard them--the disciples--speaking in their (the men) own language! “And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, behold, are not all these which speak Galilean?” They knew that those uneducated Galileans did not know all those languages--they knew only their own native Tongue (Language). And here was indeed a miracle, and they said, “We do hear them speak in our Tongues (Languages) the wonderful works of God,” (Acts 2:7-11).
Those Jews who had been reared in other nations, devout men, were amazed to hear those Galileans preach to them in their own Native Tongues as the “Spirit gave them utterance.” This is the Gift of Tongues in operation as God ordained--a Spiritual tool used in the ministry for the glory of God. This gift would be needful as the Gospel went to every nation, (Matt.28:19-20).
There is nothing in the book of Acts to indicate that henceforth “Speaking in Tongues” was to be the initial evidence to any or all who received “The Gift of the Holy Spirit,” or “Baptism of the Holy Ghost,” is the same usage, (Acts 1:5; 2:4; Ephesians.5:18). Speaking in Tongues was not given as the evidence of their Baptism with the Holy Spirit, but as the Spiritual Gift, or Tool, to use in preaching the Gospel to the Jews at that time.
“The Holy Spirit was not yet given until the day of Pentecost.” How could men receive the Gift before the Gift had been given? The Spirit could not come until Jesus had been glorified. Speaking of coming of the Holy Spirit, Jesus told his disciples, on the eve of His crucifixion. “When the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you in all truth, and he shall show it unto you,” (John 16:13-15).
On the last day of the greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood up and cried out: “If any thirsts, let him come to me; let him drink, also he who believes in me and the scriptures has rivers of living water flowing from him.” Here He was speaking to the Spirit whom those that came to believe in Him were to receive, there was, of course, no spirit, since Jesus had yet to be glorified, (John 7:37-39). For the Holy Spirit was not yet given. How could men receive the gift before it had been given? The spirit could not come until Jesus had been glorified. Jesus told his disciples, “Yet I tell you the sober truth, if I go not away the Comforter will not come unto you, but if I depart, I will send him unto you, Jesus said, only then can he guide you into all truth,” (John 16:7).
What happened upon the day of Pentecost was the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy, (Joel 2:18-29)--the advent of the other Comforter, the Holy Spirit to earth from heaven, as Peter clearly and plainly explained on that day, (Acts 2:16-21). It was upon the day of Pentecost A.D. 31, eleven days after Jesus had ascended to heaven to be glorified, that the Holy Spirit, the “other Comforter,” came from heaven and they were all baptized with the Holy Spirit.
“First they heard Peter speaking with tongues and they began speaking in tongues and glorifying God,” (Acts 10:44-48). Philip had gone to Samaria. When they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ they were baptized. Peter and John came to Samaria from Jerusalem and prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit. There is no evidence of any tarry meeting here. No Tongue speaking mentioned. The people believed, were baptized, the Apostles prayed for them, and they received the Holy Spirit, (Acts 8:12-17).
Peter was preaching at Cornelius house. They already had repented and merely wanted to be shown the way of God. They accepted it. And so, their hearts being ready and subdued “While Peter yet spake,” the Holy Ghost (Spirit) fell on all of them which heard the word, and Peter was surprised that the gift of the Holy Spirit should have been poured out on the Gentiles and they began to speak with Different Kind of Tongues. For as they spake with tongues, which was the effect of the descending of the Spirit of Flaming Tongues on the heads of the disciples on the day of Pentecost. It is no wonder, therefore, that they were amazed when they saw the Spirit of God so liberally given as He was on this occasion to the Gentiles. They were given new hearts as well as New Tongues (Languages), and with their new Tongues (Languages) made confession unto Salvation, and God was magnified for the mercy, which He had dispensed, (Acts 10:44-48).
Paul came to Ephesus. He found a dozen disciples there, and they knew nothing of the Holy Spirit. After they were baptized, and Paul had laid hands upon them, (2 Timothy 1:16), the Holy Spirit came on them and they “Spake with Tongues and Prophesied,” (Acts 19:1-7). They received the miraculous gift of different Languages, and in those Languages they taught to the people the great doctrines of the Christian religion; for this appears to be the meaning of the word prophesied, as it is used above.
Jesus had met and stopped Saul (Paul) on his way to Damascus. Saul went on to Damascus and was converted, but as a blind man as the record says. God sent Ananias after three days that Saul should be healed, filled with the Holy Spirit, and be baptized. And Ananias went his way, and entering into the house: and putting his hands on him, and he was filled with the Holy Ghost.” Saul was healed and filled with the Holy Spirit and was baptized. Not a word is said about speaking in Tongues, (Acts 9:1-22).
The story of Paul’s conversion explains in large measure why it was that man not one of the original Apostles should supersede all or any of the Twelve in importance to Christian religion. The importance of the words addressed to Ananias: “He is a chosen vessel to bear my name before the Gentiles,” (Acts 9:15). Ananias baptized him, and he was filled with the Holy Spirit: So appears that the Holy Spirit was given to him at this time, and probably by the laying on the hands of Ananias. The Bible makes no mention of speaking in Tongues by Paul when he was baptized.
If you are very intent on getting those splendid Gifts which may add to your worldly consequence and to please your carnal minds; but instead rather labor to get the Gifts of God’s Spirit, (Romans 12:6), by which you may grow in grace and be useful to others; and particularly desire that ye may prophesy--that you may be able to teach and instruct others in the things of their Salvation, (1 Corinthians 14:1-6).
It is not likely that the Holy Spirit should in the Church suddenly inspire a man with the knowledge of some foreign language which none in the church understood but himself, and lead him to treat the mysteries of Christianity in that Language, though none in the place could profit by his teaching, (1 Corinthians 14:22). The reason for this caution is found in the Scripture, “he that speaketh in an unknown Tongue Edifieth Himself,” (1 Corinthians 14:4). It is seeking for self--for self blessing--for self thrills--and is contrary to fulfilling the law of God which is love away from self and towards God and neighbor, (Matthew 23:37-39)! And therefore it may easily degenerate into a most deceptive form of sin.
We should banish all prejudice against the true manifestation of Tongues, which are real Languages. But we should get the “Tongues” into scriptural place of importance. Paul said he would rather speak just five words with understanding, (1 Corinthians 14:19), that he might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown Tongue. To those Corinthians, becoming fanatical on Tongues he said, “Brethren, be not children in understanding,” the Holy Spirit is a Spirit of a sound mind, (2 Timothy 1:7). If you do not speak into the Church so as to be understood, your labor is useless. Ye shall speak into the air—your speech will be lost and dissipated in the air, without conveying any meaning to any person; they will not be able to understand; only hear sound.
The miraculous gift of Tongues was never designed for the benefit of those who have already believed, but for the instruction of unbelievers, that they might see from such a miracle that this is the works of God, and so embrace the Gospel. But as the times of the prophets, the strange Babylonish Tongues came in the way of punishment and not in the way of mercy, take heed that it be not the case now; that by dwelling on the Gift ye forget the Giver, and what was designed for you as a blessing may prove to you to be curse. For if, because you have the Gift of Tongues, you use them in public congregations where none understands them. God may curse your blessing, and prophesying.
Teaching the things of God in a Known Language is of vastly more effected than speaking in all the foreign Tongues. God’s word warns us to try the spirits, whether they are of God! Do all have the gifts of healing; do all speak with tongues, (1 Corinthians 12:18-30)?
From the evidence it is clearly shown that all who received the Gift, or Baptism of the Holy Spirit did not have the Gift of Speaking in Tongues. Some, not all, are given those ministries and Gifts listed, and he makes it definite. “Do all interpret?” “Are all Apostles,” (1 Corinthians 12:29)? No, in the implied answer to this and all questions that follow, “Kinds of Tongues;” that is the power to speak on all necessary occasions, Languages that they had not learned. The Holy Spirit is given to all of God’s children. Speaking in Tongues is not the Scriptural Evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit. Thus, with all this Bible evidence, we have shown that the foundation doctrine of the charismatic movement is false, not Scriptural. Follow after charity (love), and desire spiritual gifts rather then prophesy, (1 Corinthians 14:1).
And now in this present life abideth “Faith, Hope, Charity,” (1 Corinthians 13:1-13). These three supplies the place of that direct vision which no human embodied Spirit can have; these abide or remain for the present state, Faith, by which we apprehend Spiritual Blessing, and walk with God. Hope, by which we view and expect eternal blessedness, and pass through things temporal so as not to lose those, which are eternal. Charity or “love,” by which we show forth the virtues of the grace which we received by faith in living a life of Obedience to God and of goodwill and usefulness to man.