The Gift of Tongues in the Bible

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I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

I hadn’t been a Bible Worker very long, when I found myself talking to a man who felt he was led by the Spirit because he spoke in tongues. However, it was not the Bible version of speaking in tongues, where “every man heard in his own language.” He was speaking things no one understood. He told me about a Pentecostal prayer meeting he recently attended, where he was “filled with the spirit,” spoke in tongues and ended up at a hotel with a lady he met at the meeting! I assured Him the Holy Spirit would not have led him to do such a thing. He would not listen to me. He was on an emotional high, going strictly by feelings.

This man was not the only one who put emotions and feelings above Scripture. Not long after, I began studying with three members of a 7th day Pentecostal church in west Texas. They explained the wonderful emotions that overtake them when speaking in tongues. Interestingly enough, I preached in their church a handful of times, but they never spoke in tongues while I was there. Still, for the longest time, they put their emotions over Scripture, telling me they knew it was real because they felt it. I sure am glad Jesus did not put feelings above the Word of God, after fasting 40 days in the wilderness, when Satan questioned if He was really the Son of God. I am glad I don’t put my emotions before the Scriptures, when John tells me if I confess my sins, God is faithful to forgive me, even though I still feel terrible about what I have done. It took me several years of study and friendship before this trio were convicted and put God’s Word above their feelings, and were baptized into my local Seventh-day Adventist Church.

What I find ironic, is how many people sincerely believe that a church has to speak in tongues in order to be spirit filled, while at the same time scoffing at the Seventh-day Adventist Church for claiming to have the Spirit of Prophecy. Fact is though that the Spirit of Prophecy is an identifying mark of God’s last day church, and not speaking in tongues.

And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.  Revelation 12:17 NKJV

the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Revelation 19:10 NKJV

Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. 1 Corinthians 14:1 NKJV

God’s church has the Spirit of Prophecy, and the Spirit of prophecy is the gift the Bible tells us to pursue above all others, and not speaking in tongues. Why?

Because…

Therefore tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophesying is not for unbelievers but for those who believe. 1 Corinthians 14:22 NKJV

According to Acts 2:6 Biblical speaking in tongues is when people hear the gospel in their own language. About ten years ago I heard a young lady preaching, who was a student at Southern Adventist university near Chattanooga Tennessee. She spoke of a mother she knew who was at a local park with her 6 year old English speaking daughter. The daughter met a little Spanish girl at the swings, and started talking to her about Jesus. The two little girls continued talking, when both of the girls’ mothers became amazed they speaking to each other, because the English girl only knew English and the Spanish girl only knew Spanish! God created a miracle so they little girl could hear about Jesus in her own language just like on the day of Pentecost. According to 1 Corinthians 14:22 speaking in tongues is for the unbeliever to hear the gospel in their own language. It is not for the believer in church, because she is there because she has already heard the gospel. That’s why she is there. So, the prophesying is to be used in the church for those who already believe. This is very important to understand. We are not supposed to use the Spirit of Prophecy to beat unbelievers over the head with- or believers for that matter. The Testimonies for the church are directed to the church, not unbelievers. It was the same in Isaiah’s day.

Tell My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. Isaiah 58:1 NKJV

Isaiah was given the Spirit of Prophecy to show the church its sins, not the world. The world is to be told their is a Savior, and then be instructed with the Spirit of Prophecy, not before. What that means to us today, is we need to be telling our neighbors that Jesus loves and died for them, and not that they need to stop eating cheese or drinking with their meals. But I digress.

So Biblical speaking in tongues is when someone hears the gospel in their own language. Speaking in tongues does not need to be used in the church. It needs to be used outside the church to share the gospel with unbelievers in their own language. When unbelievers accept the gospel and become believers, they are welcomed into the church, where the gift of prophecy is shared with them.

To study more in the Bible about speaking in tongues, please click here. 

You may study this week’s SS lesson here. 

Acts 2; Speaking in Tongues

I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Acts 2:6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. 
 2:7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?  

 2:8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 

The Bible clearly teaches that speaking in tongues is not a bunch of gibberish, but where people hear the gospel in their own language. Here is a study onthe gift of tongues.

The Gift of Tongues 

Acts 2:1-6 ———————- How did every one hear them speak?

Acts 2:7-11 ——————– Did anyone need an interpreter?

1 Corinthians 12:1-10 ——– Do all receive the same gift?

NOTE: In the modern charismatic movement it is claimed that all must receive the gift of UNKNOWN tongues.

1 Corinthians 12:7 ———— Are the gifts given to benefit the believer, or body?

1 Corinthians 12:11, 18 —– Who decides who gets what gifts?

1 Corinthians 12:28 ———– What place does tongues hold in the list of gifts?

NOTE: Of the three lists of the gifts of the Spirit (Ephesians 4:11-14, Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12-14), only Corinthians lists tongues; (and even then at the bottom of the list) and that in seeking to correct a problem that had arisen from a corruption of the true gift.

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 ———- What is needed for any of these to be effective?

1 Corinthians 14:1, 5 ——— Which gift is the most desirable?

1 Corinthians 14:4 ————- Why is this greater than an unknown tongue?

1 Corinthians 14:6, 9, 11 —- Why should others understand what is said?

1 Corinthians 14:12 ———– What is the primary purpose of the gifts?

1 Corinthians 14:15 ———– What should one always have when praying?

1 Corinthians 14:18, 19 —— What did Paul say about tongues in church?

1 Corinthians 14:22 ———– To whom are tongues a sign?

1 Corinthians 14:26, 33 —— What was the apparent problem in Corinth?

1 Corinthians 14:40 ———– What is Paul’s closing counsel?

Acts of the Apostles-Pentecost

I am writing this morning from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Acts of the Apostles Chapter 4

Here are some passages I highlighted in this chapter.

As the disciples returned from Olivet to Jerusalem, the people looked on them, expecting to see on their faces expressions of sorrow, confusion, and defeat; but they saw there gladness and triumph. The disciples did not now mourn over disappointed hopes. They had seen the risen Saviour, and the words of His parting promise echoed constantly in their ears.  {AA 35.1} 

 

. As they meditated upon His pure, holy life they felt that no toil would be too hard, no sacrifice too great, if only they could bear witness in their lives to the loveliness of Christ’s character. {AA 36.2}

 

This diversity of languages would have been a great hindrance to the proclamation of the gospel; God therefore in a miraculous manner supplied the deficiency of the apostles. The Holy Spirit did for them that which they could not have accomplished for themselves in a lifetime. {AA 39.2}

 

Click here for a video presentation of Doug Batchelor on the gift of tongues. 

The Jewish leaders had supposed that the work of Christ would end with His death; but, instead of this, they witnessed the marvelous scenes of the Day of Pentecost. They heard the disciples, endowed with a power and energy hitherto unknown, preaching Christ, their words confirmed by signs and wonders. In Jerusalem, the stronghold of Judaism, thousands openly declared their faith in Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah.  {AA 44.3} 

 

No longer were their hopes set on worldly greatness. They were of “one accord,” “of one heart and of one soul.” Acts 2:46; 4:32. Christ filled their thoughts; the advancement of His kingdom was their aim. In mind and character they had become like their Master, and men “took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.” Acts 4:13.  {AA 45.2}

You may find more studies and devotionals at In Light of The Cross.