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The continuation or cessation of the sign gifts, including tongues, has been a source of contention in the church especially since the early 1900s, although this issue popped up occasionally in a few groups before then. As with the other sign gifts, tongues were a sign that prophecy was being/had been fulfilled. To the early Jewish Believers, the sight of Gentiles (once despised) speaking in tongues was a clear sign that God had accepted them, too, for salvation through Christ. Paul also says that speaking in tongues "edified" the speaker in some way. Rather than going into the verses used in the cessation/continuation controversy, however, I think the Bible makes a few points very clear and just by these you can test the teachings and practices of a church. 1) NOT EVERY CHRISTIAN spoke in tongues even during the apostolic period. In 1 Cor. 12, Paul talks about the different gifts given to Christians and how they were all needed in the church. No one, other than possibly the Apostles, possessed all the gifts. In v. 30 of this passage, Paul says "30 Have all the gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?" (The Greek grammar behind this, I believe, presupposes that that the answer to these questions will be "No.") Thus, tongues are NOT a sign of salvation. They are also not a sign of spiritual maturity or holiness. In fact, the morally confused and immature church at Corinth was apparently full of "gifted" people even as it struggled with sin and contention. 2) Remember that the gift of tongues was bestowed on people without any effort on their part. There was no need to "learn" to speak in tongues by mouthing meaningless syllables or by listening to someone else. 3) There was no need for rhythmic music, chanting phrases over and over, mood lighting, or cadenced emotional preaching, either, to create an "atmosphere" or an altered state of consciousness. (For more about this, you can research tongue-speaking among Voodoo practitioners and other pagan/tribal religions, where it's pretty common.) 4) Also, while Paul said that the Corinthian church must not forbid people to speak in tongues, he also gave counsel as to how tongues were to be used in orderly worship: 1 Cor. 14: 27 says, "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 to God." In other words, tongue-speaking wasn't "channeling" a spirit or a disorderly free-for-all, but was practiced on a limited basis with self-control and moderation. A church wanting to follow the Biblical form of tongues would follow these rules. 4) And at least some of these were actual foreign languages that the speakers had never learned but were understandable by native speakers.
There is no text that says you have to speak in tounges in the bible. The gifts are for building up the body of Christ and can be a sign for unbelievers. Look at 1 Corinthians 12 and look at verses 27-31. God is free to disperse these gifts as he wills. One major error I see is that apostolic pentacostals say thst you must do this in order to be saved and I think that in my opinion creats uncertainty in the mind of the believer.
No where is it written in Gods Word that one must speak in tongues. In fact, the scripture says, when one does speak in tongues, that no man understandeth, and that it edifys (builds up), the man, where if one prophesied, he edifys the church. Since you are only speaking to God when you speak in tongues, it should be done privately between you and God because no man benefits from it.
This is something that I have struggled with myself because I am a new believer and the impression that I am given by people I attend church with is that speaking in tongues is something I have to do or else there's something lacking in me as a Christian. It's very painful to hear that if all you want to do is please God and people are acting like there's something wrong with you. This is exactly why you have to read and study the word for yourself.
The question is: "Why should a believer talk in tongues?" Indeed, great question..... is there a need to talk in languages to-day. That will be determined by the spirit of truth - the spirit of Jesus within you if you are a believer. Paul makes it very plain that language speaking should not be done in an assembly unless there is a translation for what is spoken in a tongue - language. The reason being if there is not translation of what is being said there is no benefit to those present. There has been tremendous abuse of tongue speaking without translation in some Christian organizations in spite of Paul's outright warning that it should not happen and he said he spoke what Jesus revealed to him, so it is a direct violation of a command of the lord Jesus. Voodoo followers speak in tongues as do many occult groups, thus the need for translation to know if the one speaking in a tongue is praising God and giving the assembly something that is uplifting. The spirit of truth - the spirit of Jesus has never given me any indication or moved me to speak in tongues. I have been given the manifestation of the spirit to heal, and prophecy and the love necessary to do all according to God's will. I have never had any inclination or motivation from the spirit of the anointed one Jesus to speak in tongues. Each one of us is given a manifestation of the spirit as the lord Jesus wills to give to us, and it all the part of the gift of the spirit that we receive at baptism and keep if we continue to keep the testimony of Jesus and the commandments his God and his Father gave to him to give to us, for we have been called to faith-obedience as Paul says in Romans: Romans 1:5 through [Jesus] whom we did receive grace and apostleship, for obedience of faith among all the nations, in behalf of his name; John states in his gospel that it was necessary that Jesus be resurrected in order to send down the spirit to all of us.... John 20:17: He said he ascended unto "my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.", and pours out upon us the manifestations of the spirit of truth - the spirit of himself upon us to carry out the work he wants done on this earth until he returns.
I believe that God has given the gift of speaking in Tongues to some people today for His purpose, but not all people have this gift or needed. It is used mainly to speak directly to God in a specific and faster way with God..This gift does not make you any more special in dealing with God than not having it. All Christians have gifts and should try to perfect those gifts for the honor and glory of God. Some people that speak in tongues have developed a deceitful pride in being able to speak it. Well, you know where pride can lead to. Also, if people speak in tongues, there should be some one to translate to others (biblical). If there is no translation, then it violates what the Bible says to do. All Spiritual gifts are for the honor and glory of God and not for self glorification no matter what the gift is. If you don't have even one of the Spiritual gifts, then look at your relationship with the Lord and look at yourself to develope the gifts that God gave you in the moment that you were saved into his Kingdom.
Speaking in tongues is a greatly debated, but there should not be any confusion about it, as ''God is not the author of confussion.'' 1 Cornthians 14:33. "Follow after love, and 'desire' spiritual gifts", v.1 "For he that speak's in an unknown tongue speak's not unto men, but unto God:" v.2 "He that speak's in an unknown tongue edifies himself;" v.4 "I would that you all spake with tongues" v.5 This rest of 1 Corinthians 14 is instruction for use 'in the Church'. There is no instruction for your personal, or closet use except for a couple of verse's; "But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God." v.28 "..speak to himself.." is edifying himself, v.4 ""He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifies himself;" "..and to God." is praying with your spirit, v.14 " "For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prays..." Paul said, 1 Corinthians 14:18, "I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than you all:" Thats a comparison remark against 'all' those that did speak in tongues, as they just didnt do it as 'much' as Paul. Question, how many is, all? Wasnt he speaking to the Church? Is tongues required, no just desired, verse 1, "desire spiritual gifts", as Psalm 37:4 tells us, "Delight yourself also in the Lord: and he shall give you the 'desires' of your heart."
One thing is for true, one cannot negate a persons experience, and until you experience the power initiated in Acts 2:4, I can understand the skeptism. Before expressing 'opinions', read the WHOLE book of Acts (actions of the church) and see how the experience coincides with Corinthians, Joel, etc...Acts 1:8 is clear on receiving 'the Power' and speaking in tongues as an initial sign. Those of us who have had the experience also get the understanding, but it does take much prayer and faith. And may God bless each according to his faith...(Heb 11)
A believer should pray in tongues because its God's given language to His child to communicate effectively with Him as 1 Corinthians 14:2 says. Romans 8:26 like wise the Spirit helps us in our weakness for we do not know how to pray as we ought but the Spirit intercedes for us with groaning that cannot be uttered. As the scripture says we do not know what to pray or how to pray but the Spirit helps us in our weakness, many are the times we are faced with different issues that sometimes we are overwhelmed and in ourselves we can't do anything. Its in such times that praying or speaking in tongues is helpful because the Spirit knows all things the source of a matter hence when we speak or pray in tongues we hit at the target an issue. When we pray in tongues, the Bible says our minds are unfruitful meaning the mind is shutoff and the spirit takes over and certain arguments that develop in our minds due to unbelief are cut off and faith is at play. Our enemy devil and his demons do not understand the languages spoken in tongues. Praying in tongues or speaking in tongues is given to a believer to build themselves up in the Faith which is just cool, for without faith it is impossible to please God for him that comes to Him must believe that He is and He rewards they that seek Him diligently. It is important to build yourself during the down times of life when it seems nothing seems to help. Paul is a good example of praying in tongues 1 Corinthians 14:18 Paul wrote i thank God that i pray in tongues than all of you. Paul accomplished a lot and also suffered a lot it was the secret of praying in tongues that helped him though it all, to be bold in tough times to still continue in the faith loving Jesus through his journey. We should not underestimate the power of praying in tongues, we are in war and praying in tongues is a weapon God has given us to outwit devil.
What is speaking in tongue? The simple answer can be gotten from when and where the issue of speaking in tongues started from. Going by the experience on the day of Pentecost one can say speaking in tongue is the ability of a speaker to communicate in the language or dialect understood by his or her diverse audience without him or her learning the audience language before then. Acts 2:7-8 KJV  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? The second question is- what was the purpose then? It was basically to propagate the present truth, the good news about Jesus' life ministry, death, resurrection and his present high priesthood in the heavenly sanctuary. Jesus had just ascended to heaven amidst so many unbeliefs by the Jews and Christ good news needed to be preached to all race beginning from Jerusalem to the outermost part of the world. Acts 1:8 KJV  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. On the day of Pentecost Peter spoke and over 3000 were converted. This the apostles continued doing in Jerusalem until Stephen was stoned to death. This made the disciples to disperses to other towns,cities and nations for the propagation of the good news. What is noteworthy here is that it was purely a gift from God to achieve a particular purpose and has no connection with salvation. It is just like any other gift such as preaching, singing,prophesying,care etc. The bible also confirmed that it was not everyone that spoke in tongues in the early churches. 1 Corinthians 12:8-11 KJV  For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;  To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;  To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:  But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. These gifts are given to various individuals as He wills to enable them complement one another to achieve the global mission of evangelism. 1 Corinthians 12:28-30 KJV  And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.  Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles?  Have all the gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? The next question to ask will probably be - is speaking in tongues not a prerequisite for salvation as many preach today? The answer is NO. God never said it, Christ never established it and the apostles never preached it. It is man made doctrine. Paul wrote 1 Corinthians 14:22-23 KJV  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.  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? Then, how do we earn salvation if not by 'babbling ' in the name of speaking in tongues as we have in our churches today? Simple. Just confess,forsake your evil ways. Accept Jesus as your lord and saviour, believe in Him and follow Him. Acts 4:12 KJV  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. 1 Thessalonians 5:9 KJV  For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. May God help us to understand.
There is nothing in all of holy scriptures that says or even requires that ALL believers Speak in Tongues. The Bible actually makes a case for the opposite in that it warns against EVERYONE speaking in tongues. The notion that tongues is required or EVIDENCE of or for salvation is a herectical teaching that is also nowhere supported in scripture. If tongues is the evidence then why do we need FAITH which is reuqired for salvation. If tongues is required for salvation rthen why does the Bible not document the multitude of first century christians who were saved and their SPEAKING in TONGUES. Tongues was a gift a miraculous one that was given to some first century christians by the Holy Spirit via the laying on of the apostles hands. Miraculous gifts had one end and purpose only during the first century christian era -- the building up of the body of Christ. This was done in a number of ways 1) Prophecy - which was not the fortelling of future events but rather logical and daily instructions in training in daily christian living which the early church needed in the absent of the Bible which was in the process of being written down. Much of what is recorded in the New Testament in the way of christian doctine and training came from speaking in tonuges usually by the Apostles themselves. Paul addresses this in 1 Corithians 14 giving his summation in verse 15 and following: Tongues is one of the ways that instruction came from God to help build His church which Paul and the holy apostles later wrote down thus become the foundation of NEW Testament Scripture. 2. Tongues was never meant to bless the individual speaker in such a way that only He and the Holy Spirit new what was going on. There is nothing in all of Chrisidom that is so secret it it cannot be known by the entire body of Christ. That is one of the reason we are taught to CONFESS to one another in the body. The idea of secrecy setups the opportunity for not disclosing sin and breaks down the ability of the Holy Spirit doing what He does best help others to work out our salvation the the most effective means of all -- through the help and intervention of all the other members in the body of Christ --we are held accountable to one another. This is why those who use 1 Corithians 14:4 - as a case for speaking in tongues is in error for this passage of scripture does not support that generally accepted interpretation it rather teaches against it in that Paul is not laying down a theocratic teaching but is rather sarcastically confuting the notion by fact of the very definition of the word EDIFY! What Paul is saying in actuallty is that it is impossible for and individual to edify HIMSELF through tongues because it is impossible for an individual to edify himself under any means because by definition of the word edify an individual cannot edify Himself simply because edification by definition means that someone else has to do the edifying which is the true context of the entire passage here building up the body of Christ by the miraculous gifts that had a limit time of use during the first century to build Christ's church through it most valuable assets its members. Some of these members were given specials gifts for this purpose and there several such gifts read Ephesians to learn about them and their purpose. Ephesians is all about the administration of the ultimate mystery of God -- The Church. 3. Finally tongues was used in the first century to let foreigners in the congregation know that they were in the mist of a holy congregation under the direct supervision of Christ Himself. That is why tongues is never an unknown language that is not known by someone on planet earth. This is also the scripture directed requirement for an interpreter to be present at every instance that tongues were spoken. There is much more that can be said about this but space won't allow it here. Maybe this will help get others to thinking about tongues scripturally.
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