Speaking in tongues?!

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.

10 thoughts on “Speaking in tongues?!

  1. I’ve always wondered about this and the answers I got from family never satisfied me. Interesting topic and your analysis based on scripture makes sense. Thank you for shedding light on this matter.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is an interesting perspective. As someone who is able to speak in tongues it’s given me something to think about. My understanding is that tongues enabled further direct communication between us and God but in the spiritual which to be honest many of us will never truly understand but we engage in by faith (if that makes sense) it’s like those who say that angels visit them whilst asleep etc. It’s a gift that is personal to that particular person but then any revelations received are meant to shared amongst the nations. Don’t know if this makes sense but as I said this perspective has given me things to think about and research the scriptures for my own conviction. Great post

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading and giving feedback and your perspective. Its interesting to have the view point of someone who actually speaks in modern times tongues. Your viewpoint is similar to the one I had prior to my recent research. With regards to angels speaking to people in sleep and then the recipient of the message relaying that message that’s completely understandable. I don’t really see the correlation with tongues though as like we established most people cannot relay what it is they’ve actually said during the episode of speaking in tongues so it’s extremely difficult to then relay that message back to anyone especially unbelievers. But I look forward to your conclusion once you’ve done your own research. Please keep me posted!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Romans 8:26-27,talks about utterances and groanings in prayer, in the absence of human understanding as to how to pray, naturally we run out of ‘human word constructs’ to express to God and it becomes a matter of the heart. Also as it says we know not what to pray for as we ought.

    Yhr Word also describes part of the anointing of God (the same that helps us pray in tongues) to enable us to preach onto nations, be it by gift ot translation. It also says that where one speaks in tongues God would also give another a gift of interpretation.

    I hear you in your questioning. I do not condemn or refute it for the Word encourages to study and show ourselves approved, correctly dividing the word of Truth. Nonetheless tongues has its place in personal prayer.

    God bless you and thank you for spurring us to be cognisant Christians! X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Firstly, thank you for reading and providing feedback. It is greatly appreciated. Romans 8:26-27 speaks about groans in reference to not knowing what to pray for, not in reference to the Pentecost sign of speaking in tongues.But as for speaking in actual tongues; I am not disputing the presence of tongues in the scriptures. I am arguing that the sole purpose of the gift of tongues was to communicate and confirm the Gospel to non believers and this was through the use of foreign languages not incomprehensible muttering. I think all Christians who study the Scriptures are in agreement that the gift of tongues is present in the Scriptures. The New Testament provides two lists of gifts; in which the gift of tongues is included. In 1 Corinthians 12:8-11 “kinds of tongues” and “the interpretation of tongues” (as you rightly pointed out) are sovereignly bestowed gifts of the Holy Spirit. It is not a natural ability that one might develop, but rather a special gift as those appearing in the above mentioned passage. So there’s absolutely no confusion as to whether or not one has the ability to speak in tongues. My problem is the incomprehensible babbling that modern times tongues seems to represent.

      The term that is used to identify the tongues movement is “glossolalia,” made up of two Greek words, glossa (language or tongue) and lalia (speech). The word glossa appears in the Greek New Testament not less than fifty times. It is used to refer to the physical organ of the tongue as in James 3:5; once in reference to the flames of fire shaped like tongues (Acts 2:3); at least once in a metaphorical sense when referring to speech as in the statement, “my tongue (speech) was glad (joyous)” (Acts 2:26). As far as I understand the remaining usages of the word always means a language, not incomprehensible mutterings and babbling.

      Luke In Acts 2:4 uses a different adjective when he says, “they began to speak with OTHER tongues.” It is my understanding that the word “other” simply means that they spoke in languages different from the normal language they were used to. Notice the surprised reaction on the part of the hearers…..“And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?” (Acts 2:7,8). Every man heard them speak in his own language (Acts 2:6). In verses 9-11 the languages are then identified. It was a miraculous phenomenon which enabled the disciples to speak in languages which they had never learned. This Acts passage shows tongues-speaking in its pure and unperverted form as God gave it.

      Additionally, All the usages of tongues in Paul’s treatment of the subject refer to foreign languages. “So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into air” (1 Corinthians 14:9). There is no reason for anyone to speak except to converse intelligibly. The tongues-speaking in the New Testament was in the native languages of hearing people. The phenomena which took place at Pentecost as mentioned in my post, was the exercise of a gift whereby many people from many countries, gathered at Jerusalem, heard God’s message in their own language. This was undoubtedly a miracle of God. I think that it’s a rather arbitrary and strange interpretation of Scripture that would conclude that tongues-speaking in the New Testament is anything other than known languages.

      In Corinthians Paul introduces the subject of spiritual gifts. And incidentally, this is the only place in the entire Bible where spiritual gifts are discussed. Paul says, “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant” (1 Corinthians 12:1). Obviously the Corinthians were not ignorant of the fact of the spiritual gifts, for Paul had already said to them, “Ye come behind in no gift” (1:7). When he said, “I would not have you ignorant”, he was not speaking about their ignorance of the existence of the gifts, but rather about their ignorance of the right exercise of the gifts. They were well informed as to what the spiritual gifts were, but they were ignorant about the proper use of the gifts. As a result of the abuse and misuse of tongues by the Corinthians assembly Paul felt the need to state it actual purpose; with unmistakable clarity Paul says, “Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not . . . ” (1 Corinthians 14:22). Again reiterating that tongues is a way of convincing unbelievers of the Gospel.

      Before Paul talks about the exercising of the spiritual gifts, he reminds them of how easily they were led astray. He says, “ye know that ye were gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led” (12:2). In substance he is saying, “Before you tell me about your experience let me remind you of your lack of spirituality (3:1), and therefore your inability to discern between the Holy Spirit and false spirits” (2:15). Because they were carnal, “babes in Christ”, their exercise of the gifts were self-induced by fleshly energy, not by the Holy Spirit. All Christians do not use their gifts properly, so that a Christian’s use of a gift might not be in accord with the Word of God. Mistakes can be made by any of us in the exercise of a gift.

      It is common to hear a Christian say something like ‘I dont believe in hell because my God is loving and there’s no way a loving God would send people to such a terrible place of torture’. (I used to say things of the same nature before I decided to research and read the Word my self) This is because they might listen to clear and sound expositions on the biblical doctrine of Hell, and yet still reject what the Bible teaches because of their inner feelings and rationale. Therefore the rationing becomes their final authority.

      Let’s be clear, I am not saying that there is no validity in experience or reason. I am pretty sure that there are times when a person reason and experience are correct and therefore reliable. But neither reason nor experience should or can be accepted as final authority. Someone will argue ‘I have had the experience of speaking in tongues; I find this experience in the New Testament; therefore my experience is true.’ I’m inclined to disagree with such an argument because it makes experience the basis of truth, so if one does not experience all of the experiences he does not have all of the truths? Not so. Any valid Christian experience must be determined by the right interpretation of Holy Scripture. Experience, which is related to our emotions, can be deceptive, but a correct interpretation of God’s Word can never deceive. So to round up although I understand why you say that tongues can be used as a personal experience, in the scriptures the use of tongues was in order to spread the Gospel to others. It was used as a confirmatory sign and well as a communicatory sign. From reading the scriptures I am of the belief that the use of tongues and the interpretation of tongues is referring to languages. I find no evidence that supports the use of tongues for anything else or that explicitly identifies tongues as being incomprehensible babble sounds or mutterings. Again thank you so much for reading and giving your understanding and feedback. God bless you and continue to guide us on this journey. X

      Like

  4. Amazing write up, now this is a topic most do not understand but yet practice, even certain pastors. Now going directly to the point, tongues is a gift directly from God, and any gift from God is given to serve a purpose in connection to his overall goal, “win souls”. God is not a waster of resources, so wherever you see or here someone speak in tongues, look closely to that person, his tongues should sound as a direct reflection of his environment in order to convey the message the spirit intended. Hence in the scriptures when the disciples where filled with the spirit of tongues, it was in direct reflection to their environment to serve a purpose. Which was to communicate the message God had for the people. The sound of your tongues should be different in Nigeria to the sound of tongues you speak in China.

    Now Each tongue of fire on each disciples head represented a different language, of not it would have been one tongue of fire resting over their home.

    The problem we face now is, some churches call you out and tell you they can teach you to speak in tongues, all you have to do is repeat after them. Now I believe speaking in tongue is a gift directly from God, to serve his purpose, so why would you want me to repeat after you, when the message has already been used and passed.

    We are different in God eyes, likewise the gift he gives us are also different, you must not speak in tongues to prove our know that god is with you. Some have the gift of vision, some have dreams abd some have healing, we are all different.

    In conclusion I believe when you pray, pray from your heart and if the spirit happens to come over you, you will know, no one will have to explain to you what happens. The goosebumps you will feel and the loss of ability to control your emotions at that point will be evident.

    God bless us as we grow in his infinite wisdom. And God bless Tesolil with Grace afford worrisome as she carries his word across nations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading and your feedback. Our views are quiet similar. Especially the farce of ‘teaching’ people how to speak in tongues. I agree that tongues will reflect the environment in which you are. The use of tongues by some people has been highly misconstrued they induce it by fleshly energy rather than the Holy Spirit as Paul said. The gift of tongues in the bible was simply the sudden ability to deliver the Gospel in languages that you previously couldn’t speak in, incomprehensible sounds groans and mutterings not included. I’m yet to find any scripture that says otherwise. Again thank you for taking the time out to read and your kind prayers. God bless you.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s