Tongues, is this biblical, is this some sort of language that only God understands? It is almost as if your spiritual walk is determined by if you have received the Holy spirit, by that they mean have you experienced a dose of glossolalia. Not that your sins are being overcome, but are you talking in an unintelligible speech unknown to both themselves and others. let us get into the word of God and see what it has to say about this subject.
“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:1-4
What language were they speaking?
“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.” Acts 2:9-11
Answer: They spoke in all the languages of the people present, there were at least 15 different nationalities.
Isn’t it a language only God could understand?
“For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.” 1 corinthians 14:14
With the understanding that tongue means language, we can interpret, “for if i pray in a language not familiar to others, i shall pray with the spirit, but it is not productive of any benefit to others.” Verses 15, 16 goes on to say, “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. 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?”
Just imagine walking into a hispanic church, and the only language spoken is spanish, you stood up and gave a testimony in english, cried your heart out. Though you may have given a powerful testimony, what benefit was it to the congregants if they did not understand.
But didn’t Paul say it was the language of angels?
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” 1 Corinthians 13:1
The word though does not intend this to mean that Paul actually spoke in the language of angels. Modern translations interpret as “if”. He is bringing out the point that if he could speak in the language of angels, and do all these things mentioned in verses 1-3, but do not have love it profit him nothing.
What then is the purpose of tongues?
“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?” 1 Corinthians 14:6
Answer: The purpose of tongues was to teach and preach the Gospel.
Why was this gift given?
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” Matthew 28:19
Christ had commissioned them to teach all nations, this would not have been possible unless they spoke in the language of the surrounding nations.
Does He ask something that cannot be done?
”And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;” Mark 16:17
In Acts 2:3 we see also that their cloven tongues were with fire. What does fire represent?
“John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:” Luke 3:16
Answer: The Holy Ghost.
What does the Holy Spirit bring with Him?
“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Acts 1:8
Answer: Power to witness.
How effective was this power that administered their divided tongues or different languages?
“Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” Acts 2:41
Answer: Three thousand people were baptized in one day.
This is contrary to what is widely believed as it relates to tongues and its purpose. The purpose of tongues is for the spreading of the gospel and edifying of the saints, not a feel good, self-centered gift bestowed upon the elite. Glossolalia in other words is different from the Bible meaning of tongues, and what it was intended for.
What is the History of Glossolalia?
This phenomenon has only been introduced to modern religion in the early 1800s by the Irvingites, before this it was all believed that tongues was a foreign language which God endowed as a gift. The idea that it was utterances not known to man had its origins in paganism called ecstatic language. It was well established in Ancient Byblos (1100 BC).
Pagan ecstasy was induced by drugs and intoxicants, loud and relentless drumming that evoked responsive and rhythmical movements of the body, and dissociation from one’s normal stream of consciousness under intense emotional agitation. Which is not entirely, but largely similar to the inducement of Religious ecstasy. Even the structure of this utterance were found to be similar to pagan religions.
“When all features of glossolalia were taken into consideration–that is, the segmental structure (such as sounds, syllables, phrases) and its suprasegmental elements (namely, rhythm, accent, and especially overall intonation)– she concluded that there is no distinction in glossolalia between Christians and the followers of non-Christian (pagan) religions. The “association between trance and glossolalia is now accepted by many researchers as a correct assumption,” writes Goodman in the Encyclopedia of Religion (1987).
Let us therefore shun all that is not supported by the bible. We are embarking on grounds that is sadly satanic in origin. I pray we seek to follow a thus saith The Lord rather than emotionalism or sentimentalism. God has given us the gift of tongues for the purpose of spreading His gospel, may we fulfill this purpose.