I know this is a somewhat random post, but I felt compelled to discuss it and besides these are after all ‘the RANTINGS of Tesolil’. I write as the thought comes with zero concern as to how random it may seem to some.
Okay so this whole concept of speaking in tongues is something that has always fascinated and perplexed me. I always wondered how authentic it was and if this is what God really intended when he speaks on the use of tongues in the bible. So In true fashion I started researching. I understood (as do most people) speaking in tongues to be an incoherent babbling that occurs when the holy spirit comes over you. Some people say they can just put it on. Like, okay now I’m going to speak in tongues…how swaaaay? I thought it was just a sudden uncontrollable compulsion? One that cannot be timed. I struggle to understand that but that’s not even my main point.
Now, when we say ‘tongues’ normally it’s really just a language right. i.e mother tongue. Since researching, my understanding of the biblical speaking in tongues has evolved in a sense. I now truly understand that the disciples were left with the gift of speaking in tongues in order to be able to communicate the word of God to people far and wide, people of different tribes, countries etc. Acts 2:1-4 says:
“Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in OTHER tongues as the spirit enabled them”
I believe that these other tongues were foreign languages. Acts 2:5-8,11 “They were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven were there. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. Utterly amazed, they asked: `Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language?… We hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” This passage highlights the fact that speaking in tongues didn’t mean to babble incomprehensibly. That would defeat the purpose of the gift; which was to spread the word of God.
Additionally Mark 16:17 states “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with NEW tongues”. Now I think it’s apparent that the adjective ‘new’ can only mean they were going to speak in languages that were new to them…languages they had not learned or used until that time. If I say that the Mandarin language is ‘new’ to me; I do not mean that I am not aware that such a language exists but rather its use by me is new to me because I cant speak it neither can I understand it when I hear others speak it. On the other hand the Yoruba language is not ‘new’ to me because I can understand and speak it to a small extent.
The idea that you are speaking in tongues these days; the modern tongues movement, is to speak in a completely unknown incomprehensible ‘mutterings/babble’ that no one else can understand. Now surely the point of speaking in tongues is to communicate the word of God to people. Wasn’t that why the disciples were given that gift by the Holy Spirit ? What’s the point if no one can understand it but you? And some people don’t even understand it themselves. Some charismatic Christians argue that the gift of speaking in tongues is a direct mode of communication between the recipient and God and no one else will be able to understand it.Yes God speaks through you; however the message being given is not for your benefit alone. Primarily, It is to convince unbelievers. Thus there is no way that only you understanding it is fulfilling the purpose of the gift.
The true function of the gift of tongues is “for a sign . . . to them that believe not.” To exercise this gift when unbelievers were not present or so unbelievers could not understand would be exercising the gift above the purpose for which it was given. The gifts of the Pentecost were never given for the self-satisfaction or self-glory of the reciever of the gift. The one whom the gift is bestowed upon is merely an instrument in which God chooses to communicate his message through.
The tongues-speaking in the New Testament was in the native languages of those that could hear them. The miracle that took place during the Pentecost was the exercise of a gift whereby many people from many countries, gathered at Jerusalem and heard God’s message in their own language. I find it strange to interpret New Testament tongues as anything other than known languages. There is no trace of Scriptural evidence that tongues were ever heard by anyone as incoherent, incomprehensible babbling.
Feel free to comment or email me different viewpoints. As always Im open to different opinions/explanations so long as they can be backed up. I believe truth is more important than our egos being right. This is a journey to enlightenment, learning is constant. Discovering actual truths and unlearning ‘perceived truths’ is a difficult process but definitely worth it. #becauseknowledgeofselfisnirvana
P.S. Please forgive any grammatical or punctuation error you may come across. I’m abroad and forgot my laptop in London, hence I’m blogging from my phone this week. No chance to edit, Literally just type and post.