So, You Want To Be A Christian...
 

Speaking In Tongues...

Tongues: Speaking in unknown tongues is one of the most controversial topics in the Christian faith.

Be careful! Many or most preachers and evangelists who preach and teach about "tongues" are misled. Some are knowingly trying to mislead others while some have been seduced by Satan and believe what they teach, while some may be genuine. I don't know of any who are genuine but that doesn't mean there aren't some who truly have a gift... as I said... I don't know any.... never have. I do know some who have admitted they were fakers. Any person who fakes a gift of the Spirit is the enemy of Christ and will surely go to hell because the lie may be responsible for causing others to miss the Kingdom. Hell will be bursting at the seams if these people don't confess and repent of the trickery. They know who they are and they are playing with eternity. Especially those who teach that if you don't speak in tongues you are not "saved." Pray that they wake up, confess it to those they have misled and repent. Souls are at stake. If someone reads this that truly has the gift, then I know you are concerned for the fakers too.

According to the Apostle Paul; not all Spirit-filled Christians spoke in tongues. Therefore, just because I do not speak in tongues does not mean that some folks do not have a gift of tongues.

Don't confuse the original gift of "tongues" mentioned in Acts 2, with the "tongue" that has been made popular by today's church. it is not the same type of tongue that is described in Acts, Chapter 2.

It is good to understand the true gift of "tongues." I hope this factual explanation makes it clear. It's a little long but worth the time.

We know it as "The Day Of Pentecost" (Read chapter 2 of Acts beginning with Acts 2:1 thru verse 13).
Fifty days after Jesus was resurrected and ascended to HIS Father, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit that empowered HIS disciples to receive the gifts of the Spirit. Miracles that would enable miraculous signs be demonstrated by the disciples and the converts to HIS early church as a sign from above to show they were genuine believers and anointed by God.

The First And Original "Tongue" From The Holy Spirit: Jesus' disciples preached the gospel in languages they had not learned. The people who gathered were from various countries and spoke different languages... these foreigners heard the message in their own language. They were amazed and this miracle helped many believe. It was a gift of that day and in itself was a convincing miracle and caused many to believe the message of the gospel. This gift from the Holy Spirit, which was sent by Jesus, allowed ALL of the people present, who were to be anointed by God, to hear and understand in their own language. This original gift of tongues was not the same type of "tongue" that today's tongue-speaking churches lay claim to and practice.

I do not know if the following story is a fact but I heard of one account where this happened as recently as the 1980's. A Christian friend told me about an english speaking girl who heard the gospel, which was preached by a Mexican pastor who did not speak english. The Mexican preacher, preached in his native language but the english speaking girl heard it in english and as a result, accepted Jesus as her saviour at that meeting.

Acts, chapter 2: Peter, among other disciples, preached to the people in a language he did not know. The scriptures refer to that as "new tongues" in the KJV, or "new languages" in modern translations and today is commonly referred to as "tongues." This first happened on the day of "Pentecost," which was the day the Holy Spirit showed up after Jesus ascended to HIS Father in Heaven. Onlookers that did not hear the message in their language thought Peter and his "brothers" were drunk. The message was not intended for those who did not "hear" it or understand it. They were simply not chosen by God to receive the message from God. The people who did not understand the message were simply not chosen by God... Possibly they would be chosen but not that day. Perhaps they were not ready to hear and understand the gospel, or possibly they would never be ready?

The "tongue" that is so commonly practiced today is nothing like the "tongue" that I just described in the preceding paragraphs. The tongue today that is so widely claimed is an unknown utterance that is not understood. The person who is speaking does not even know what is said. It is said that there is occasionally an interpreter who can interpret. I have never seen an interpreter, interpret a message. I have witnessed people speaking in a "gibberish" that sounds like a few syllables that are repeated over and over again. The people who speak this unknown sound say it is a communication between them and God in a heavenly language. I have very little comment on this. It appears to me that the people I have seen practice this chant, believe it. I just wonder who they are speaking to and what they are saying?? They don't know! That would trouble me! If I were compelled to speak in an unknown chant and I was not sure to whom I was speaking and what I was speaking, I would be afraid of that "gift."

One of my readers told me about her experience: I heard of one woman who was being taught by her pastor to speak in tongues... he kept telling her to repeatedly say the preacher's name. Now that is strange! I would believe that would indicate that he was trying to teach her something but not of God. You decide, but I would not participate in anything like that... REPEATING THE PREACHER'S NAME? That is counterfeit! You don't "teach" a person to receive a gift from God. Sounds like a lesson from hell to me. Don't walk away from these teachers... RUN.

If God sends a gift as evidence then it would be very wrong to try to teach someone the "gift." That would be rather deceitful to teach someone to sound as though they had a genuine gift from God when a person taught them to make the sounds.

The Biblical Tongue That Resembles Today's Tongue: One of the scriptures that could be perceived as today's tongue can be found in Acts 19:6.  And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

In that scripture, there was no "teaching" of the gift!

As for the scripture in Acts 19; It is not clear if this tongue was another intelligible language that someone heard in their own tongue or an unknown uttering. I cannot comment as there is no evidence either way.

MY EXPERIENCE: I do speak to my Father in Heaven, in plain English, when engaged in normal prayer. I know when I am "in the Spirit" ... I know to whom I'm speaking ... I know what I am saying ... and I feel an extreme warmth and love and most times I cry. I cannot control the emotion of respect and love that I feel for my Father God. If I have a prayer partner with me, it benefits them too. I don't see that sharing of emotion and warmth in the people I have seen speaking in this strange utterance. In other words; my discernment and God-given intuition tells me it is not what they think. I think they are led by something but I question "who" or "what" that is. In short; I receive a tremendous blessing when praying in my common language, sharing the anointed experience in a common language with others who can feel the same and understand the prayer. Perhaps some folks don't know how to pray? Jesus never mentioned the need for a "language of angels." Paul birthed some new thoughts... I'll say that... However, I find the teachings of Jesus to be adequate and his instructions on prayer very rewarding.

The problem is this; I know some people who I respect and believe. A few of these people claim it is for real. Therefore, I believe there may be some true cases. That is as far as I can go. I believe it to be mostly abused and a lie, with some exceptions. For the most part, the mishandling and fakers associated with this practice have been very destructive and divisive for the true Christian faith and especially destructive for those who may possess the true gift.

Because this gift is so misunderstood and abused by many who lay claim to the gift, it is important to understand the dangers. Too many cults take advantage of this gift of the Spirit and people are talked into learning to speak in tongues so they can receive power, etc. This can be very dangerous! If God intends for you to have a gift, you will just naturally possess it, you don't learn it. Don't try to imitate it because if you fake it, it can open the door to many evils.... Very dangerous!

Here are a few points to help determine if a church or person is of the Holy Spirit or counterfeit.

Point 1: Paul taught that we should test the spirit to be sure it is true. According to the OT, The penalty for a false prophet was death. If a person prophesied and it did not come to pass, he was stoned to death. This kept the church clear of false prophets. After Jesus sent the Holy Spirit, the test for a person who said they had received the Holy Spirit of God, was that they could speak in a new language, handle poisonous snakes, drink poison, heal the sick and cast out demons. Not only was this a true sign but the fact that the person would have all five gifts would keep counterfeits from taking advantage of the church. If a person had only one of the gifts it proved nothing as a few of the gifts could be faked. They had to possess all five. When Jesus commissioned HIS disciples to preach the gospel HE promised that five gifts would be given those people who heard the gospel and believed. I repeat; five gifts, not just one. Mark 16:15 And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. 16 Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned. 17 These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages 18 They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.
I usually ask the person who claims to have this gift of tongues if they have the other four gifts. This "litmus" test will tell you if they have the gift of tongues that is recorded in scripture, as a "sign" or "evidence" of the Holy Spirit. Anything else could be counterfeit. Not necessarily counterfeit but I would be wary.

Then along came the "utterance."

Jesus was very clear, HE said that if you believed you would receive all five gifts (that I have discussed). The Difference: Paul spoke of tongues as simply being a singular gift that some believers possessed. Jesus never said that. According to Jesus the believer would receive all five gifts. HE did not say that some would receive the gift of "a strange, unintelligible utterance" and others would not receive any special gift as a sign. As far as I see it was unique to Paul's doctrine. Not Jesus'. Jesus' doctrine was perfect. Paul's doctrine was uncertain and not totally correct as he even believed that Jesus was coming back in his day. Paul's doctrine was against marriage and was not favorable towards women having a place in the church. Paul was flawed as are all mere mortals. Jesus was very clear, HE said that if you believed you would receive all five gifts (that I have discussed).

This opened the door to confusion as many people either had this gift or thought they had the gift or wanted others to think they had the gift. We can read in Corinthians that tongues caused confusion and dissension in that day as well as today. Because it is the same today as it was then, the churches who place emphasis on this gift today show the same divisive problems the church at Corinth experienced. Nothing has changed. It would be a good idea to practice the tongues issue today as Paul demanded in his day. It has separated the Christian church as much as any single issue. I point to Peter's warning in 2 Peter 3:16, where he warned that there would be those who twisted Paul's letters to accommodate their interests.

This "utterance" was not a tongue like that "new language" that Jesus sent on the day of Pentecost.

Jesus did not speak of a singular gift of speaking a "language of angels."

Point 2: In a congregation or "assembly," Paul required that an interpreter be there to interpret the message. If an interpreter was not present, then he asked the person to sit down or stop. It is my thought that the reason for Paul requiring this may be because without interpretation they would not know what was being said or even if it was from an evil spirit. Did Paul want to be sure that the people of the church were not being tricked or misled? Based on the way church matters had been handled in the past, I think so. There are those who would take advantage of people... such as a person(s) who speaks in tongues and interprets his own message, saying that a message is from God when it was for his own glory and from hell.

My thought: I want to know who I am addressing and what I am saying. I believe that is why Paul made this a requirement.

It appears that people allowed themselves to be bitten by snakes to prove they had received the gift:
1 Corinthians 9 Nor should we put Christ to the test, as some of them did and then died from snakebites. This may have been another reason Paul required an interpreter; to keep people from getting snake bit or die from drinking poison as they might have tried to prove their anointing by putting their hand in a snake pit or actually drink poison, to try to prove they have the gift. There was some reason Paul created that rule for them... when the signs were first given there was no mention of an interpreter... only that they could safely handle snakes and drink poison, etc. Today, they are not required to possess all five gifts nor is an interpreter usually required to allow the practice. Preachers commonly break out into a brief chant and then back to their sermon in English. What's that all about?? How do I know they didn't summon a demon? Where's the interpreter? I read about wayward preachers every day... Preachers and priests who rape, lie, cheat, etc... how do I know? They don't even know with whom they are speaking. Or do they? Jesus warns that wolves will come as sheep. (paraphrased as usual) Pay attention to Jesus! As I say these things, I am not worried with offending a true man-of-God because they feel the same as I do.

1 Corinthians 12:10 tells us that some would be gifted in the "discerning of spirits." Paul wanted these gifted people to hear the unknown chant... to keep impostors from delivering messages from the wrong spirit... 1 Corinthians 12: 10To 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:

Pardon me but I want to know who's being summoned in my worship session. If it's not the true God and Father of Jesus, I'm out of there. I hate to think that my child (or myself) is sitting in the midst of tongues-talkers calling up demons in an unknown language. OH YES! Satan is very deceitful and trickster! Don't think he won't use every trick and talented pitchman and purveyor of God's word to send you straight to hell.

Stay with the teaching of the bible: If there is no interpreter, sit down and be quiet! Please don't gather around me and put your hands all over me! I don't know who you are, what you are conjuring up or where your hands have been. So, keep it the way the scriptures instruct. The tongue-talker doesn't know either! No hard feelings, please... Just let me worship in a language I know. If Father God wants me to talk to HIM in another language HE will send that gift to me.

I know a very fine preacher who advocates tongues but in a private, personal manner, not public. Makes sense to me! It only gratifies the tongue talker anyway, so, why make it public? Sit down and shut up, please.

Point 3: I am wary when a person argues that anybody who speaks in these "tongues" are of the Holy Spirit. As far as I know, a true, Spiritually-gifted person knows that there are counterfeits in everything. The Spirit-led person will agree that the spirit should be tested. If a person becomes furious and argumentative that any person would question them should send up a red flag. A Spirit-filled Christian insists upon testing of the spirit.

Back to business... Remember, I repeat myself for good reason! I want you to be clear on this topic.
The "tongue" that was witnessed on the day of Pentecost is not the type of "tongues" that I am addressing on this page. I don't know of a person who claims that gift like the one at "Pentecost." That is the gift that Jesus' disciples possessed... and those who were converted by them in
that day. There may be some people who can cast out demons, handle snakes, drink poison, heal the sick and speak in new languages but I don't know of any... NOT ONE PERSON WHO HAS ALL FIVE GIFTS.

This page concerns the type of "tongue" that requires an interpreter. The uttering of sounds like a few words or syllables repeated over and over. (They say that this is the language of angels) I hope they are not lying! Hell will be bursting at the seams if even a small percentage of these folks are lying. I see and hear preachers interrupt their own sermon as they break into a round of "yammering" and after a "flash" outburst they return to their sermon, while the congregation applauds. It bothers me! I treat the things of God with a great deal of respect and I fear for those who don't.

NOTE: I can't say it enough... if a person has the true gift; may God bless them and I wish them the best God has for them. I am addressing those who are tricked, fooled, misled and are unknowingly practicing a counterfeit gift.

Back to business....

It is not the purpose of this page to discredit a person who has the true gift of tongues or even a church that has many members who have this gift. It's the "counterfeits" that the Lord's people have a problem with. There are several denominations, that are (obviously) centered on this as being the foremost issue in their doctrine. Some of the pastors in these denominations teach that you must "speak in tongues" to prove that you are of the Holy Spirit. I know this from a personal experience! I hope they are genuine! Because hell is a real place!

My First Personal Encounter With Tongues...
In 1980, I was a devout believer and loved the Lord, Jesus Christ! I had seen and been granted many miracles and there was no doubt about my relationship with God. My mother, however, had become deeply involved in a tongues based church and they had convinced her that if a person did not speak in tongues, they were not of the Holy Spirit. My mother kept insisting that I was not 'saved' because I did not speak in an unknown tongue. At that time there were many other stressful issues causing me to doubt the wisdom of other Christians which I had consulted about other issues. This tongues issue was the final straw! I became so disenchanted and had lost so much confidence in the Christian doctrine(s) that I made a decision. I decided that "the church" was infiltrated with hypocrites and crazy people. My mother helped drive me to the point that I walked away from living the Christian doctrine. I 'backslid' and lived in pure hell for a decade. I knew and loved God but the fellowship was not to be had. Every person was fanatical and hell-bent on their own brand of doctrine.

If this "brand" of doctrine can cause me to fall away from the Lord, I am sure there are other folks out there suffering. I know there is some self righteous person reading this that is thinking that I had not experienced the "begotten" moment of visitation and acceptance by the Holy Spirit of Jesus or I could not have backslid... You are wrong!

I could have used the term "saved" or "born again" experience rather than the "begotten moment." I did not write that because these terms are used improperly. That is covered on another page. Well... I had been genuinely infused with the Spirit of Christ. I cover that experience on my "Born Again" page. To use the popular term; "I was born again." In fact I was "Born of God" not born again. I will explain the difference later. There is so much to correct and I have to start somewhere so I'll write about the tongues issue here.

I am not the type of teacher that gives you a verse here and there to prove my point because I believe you must read the entire book which deals with an issue. There are those who pick one line here and there and base an entire doctrine on one verse. Watch out for those.

Read Paul's letters to the Corinthians in it's entirety! You will see that the Apostle Paul was scolding the church at Corinth for their immature handling of the tongues issue. Paul plainly explains that speaking in tongues is a minor gift and should not be misused. He was being as kind as possible while trying to correct the improper handling of tongues. He repeated his point over and over, that the gift of tongues was the lesser of the gifts of the Spirit and few of the congregation had this ability. He told them that there were more useful gifts he would rather have than the gift of tongues. Knowing this, today, there are churches that insist you are not of the Holy Spirit if you do not make utterances in an unknown gibberish. That is not scriptural and is not correct to teach such things.. According to Paul's instructions; "if there is no one present to interpret, then you sit down."

I have several friends who profess to be Christian, who tell me, they speak in tongues. They report that they pray in a strange sounding utterance that addresses God direct from the Holy Spirit, in a heavenly language. I have one very well educated (in the doctrine) friend who says there are several types of tongues.

There is the 1st example where tongues is actually another language that the speaker has never learned but is able to speak when empowered by the Holy Spirit. She further tells me that according to her experiences she has witnessed and has the ability to pray in an unknown utterance AND she tells me there is (also) a false tongue from Satan.

Satan tricks seekers of Christ in many ways and this is another way. Be careful! It is a strong deceptive spirit. Most people who claim the gift of tongues wanted it for the power that was promised them... they were looking for power and not trusting in Christ. Remember, it is not the same gift of tongues that occurred on the day of Pentecost. That was a true gift of speaking in a language they had not learned. It was a miracle, a sign for the unbelievers. I believe there were miracles available to those disciples that Jesus commissioned to establish HIS early church of believers. Some will say they are no longer assigned to today's followers. I say that God can and will do whatever HE chooses and no laws or opinions of "man" have any bearing on the gifts and talents HE assigns. I have seen many miracles! I won't make a statement other than... "God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are powerful and exchanges of miracles abound for the believer or any person our Lord sends them to." I do not deny any of them! I am concerned about a doctrine that is centered around a gift... and trying to teach people to attain that gift.

That's up to God to endow people with a gift, not a denomination or a brand of doctrine.

My Fear For Them: They have no idea to whom they are speaking! It could even be Satan. Jesus taught us that "we do not know what our needs are!" HE teaches us to ask that our Father's will be done, not our will... When you or a group participate in a "tarry" meeting and are trying to impose your will and not the will of God you are asking for trouble. Remember, many of these people chant and practice for hours to gain the ability. They seek an ability/gift that is of their desire... A human desire for self gratification and power. If God wanted you to have HIS gift HE would give it to you and you would not have to work and try and practice. I AM NOT SPEAKING AGAINST THE TRUE GIFT. I am simply saying I have never seen any person who possessed the true gift, only this strange distraction.

Those who have the true and genuine gift will appreciate this page. It may offend some who have been misled but that is a small price to pay for eternity. Think about this page before you "snap" in anger. It has been my experience that once a person has been convinced that they have the ability to utter in a non intelligible language... well... those people are pretty well lost to reason. They have no idea what they are saying in their noises or to whom they are speaking it but they are lost in it forever. That would scare the dickens out of me! I want to know to whom I am speaking and what I am speaking. I've seen too much concerning demon possession! It is nothing to play with. AND... YES... Satan is very deceptive.

Back to business...

I am repeating... stay with me...

The best argument these folks have is found in Mark, Chapter 16....
15And then he told them, "Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere. 16Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned. 17These signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak new languages. 18They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won't hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick and heal them."

Based on the literal translation of the above scripture, one could ask, do all who speak in tongues also heal the sick, handle snakes, cast out demons and drink poison? I think not. The scripture states that all who believe would be able to do all those things... The people I know who say they have this gift still go to the doctor and if they were snake bit they would run to the emergency room. I don't know of any of them that can heal the sick by "the laying on of hands." I doubt that any of them would accidentally drink poison and not head right for the emergency room! We are either talking about a denomination brand of hypocrisy or they really know they have no power.

Well, was the writer talking about the converted Christians of that time? I don't know. Sometimes we have to be careful about taking EVERY verse in the bible as a stand-alone fact... Translation from Hebrew, Greek or Latin, Time, Culture and other factors can make a person understand that we have to read and understand the entire gospel. Not just a few scriptures here and there.

I am led to believe; that particular gift was common in that first generation of discipleship. It must be very rare today. I do not believe I know of any person who truly has the gift. I have known several people who believe they have it. I see no fruit of the gift from any of them. I don't know for sure, therefore, I usually don't speak against it. I am simply saying it is not to be a condition to show your kinship to God.

Since I don't speak in tongues, I can only pray for wisdom on this topic and listen to those who say they are gifted in this area. My point is this; I may not know any but some may have this ability but it is not a requirement to be Kingdom bound.

I will not discredit the true gift of tongues but it has NO PLACE being required to show evidence of the Holy Spirit.

Therefore, if a church, pastor, friend or relative tells you that you must speak in tongues to be acceptable for their congregation ... GET OUT OF THERE!! AND... do not allow anyone to try to teach you to speak in tongues. You either have the gift or you don't. If you don't have the gift and fake it or lie about it you are in sin. You are a counterfeit. Fair game for Satan. I can tell you that I know of people who have admitted that they faked tongues to be accepted by the members of the church. I once had a woman try to teach me to speak in tongues. It made me sick to witness the act. She was trying to teach me to be a phony speaker of tongues. That kind of deceit should not be welcomed or encouraged in any church or assembly.

It is not a requirement to speak in tongues and is a lie from hell to teach that.

No hard feelings but let us teach truth, total truth.

Here is a very interesting letter from a reader who speaks in tongues. John responded. You can read the rebuttal and reasons the reader believes he speaks in tongues from God.

Hold The Phone! Update! Today's date is Sunday, 5-8-11. This morning I was watching the TV preachers and I saw Baptist Preacher, Ron Phillips, alongside Pentecost Evangelist, Perry Stone together and Phillips is a "tongues" advocate now and he is preaching tongues as gospel! The Baptists are going for the tongues doctrine! WOW! I know some folks that would roll over in their graves if they could see this day!

 
Suggested Reading: www.john33.com/tongues/suggested-reading.htm
 
I cannot say it enough! If there are people who have a true gift from God, I am in your corner! I applaud you and am happy for you. I truly mean this; I want all God has to offer. It's the false tongue I am warning about.
 

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