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'Speaking in Tongues', true vs false.

Hopeful

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My brother is a Pentecostal. One phone conversation I had with him 5 years ago, he said "I've just learnt to speak in tongues. Here , I will do it for you now."
He proceeded to babble in a language I've never heard before. It was kind of disturbing. I didn't know what to think. It sounded demonic tbh.
But what he also told me was that there was a competitive spirit amongst Pentecostals. If you don't speak in tongues, you don't rate as a serious Christian?
As the gift of tongues is from God, how can someone "learn how to do it"?
 

JLB

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As the gift of tongues is from God, how can someone "learn how to do it"?
If you have never spoken a language that you now have, it takes a little time to pronounce the syllables correctly, especially if it’s Hebrew or Aramaic.


JLB
 

Edward

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As the gift of tongues is from God, how can someone "learn how to do it"?
It doesn't seem like you could. I've had a few different people tell me that they could teach me how to do it. And that doesn't make sense to me because if speaking in tongues is the Holy Spirit praying for us, then how could one put words into the Holy Spirit's mouth? That did not compute for me and the thought actually scared me a bit. Would seem pretty rude to do so.

So I hesitated to speak tongues. I prayed about it. Then one day while I was praying all of a sudden my speech changed coming out of my mouth. And I wasn't doing it, but I knew what was going on, so I was just quiet and let Him finish and then I finished my prayer.

There's still a mystery about it to me though. After I spoke in tongues that one time, I thought it was some sort of breakthrough or something and that I'd begin to speak in tongues regularly. I didn't so there's something about it, some dynamic that's not well known.
 
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The gift of tongues, and for that matter, none of the Spiritual gifts have ceased as the Holy Spirit that indwells us has not been taken up to the realm of God as of yet.

Tongues is a Spiritual gift like all the gifts in 1 Corinthians 12 given by God through His Holy Spirit for His Church, (body of Christ), to lift up and edify, or to discipline the Church, 1 Corinthians 14:1-5. This began on the day of Pentecost with those 120 that were gathered together in the upper room that day as they were baptized in the Holy Spirit just as we are today and all those after us until the return of Christ. On the day of Pentecost there were around 3000 that day added to the Church, Acts 2:38-47. None of these gifts have ever ceased.

Luke 3:16 John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire

Act 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

1 Corinthians 12:10 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:


Tongues are a manifestation of the Holy Spirit and evidence that we are indwelled with the Holy Spirit as we exercise this gift. Tongues are also for our personal prayer language for things we do not know how to pray for as the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us. It may sound like babble to us at first, but perfected in us as we exercise this gift given by God to perfect us.

Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Speaking in tongues does not affect salvation, but it is a part of being baptized in the Holy Spirit. Not all have this gift for many have never been taught that there even is such a gift. I not only love to pray in tongues as it helps my mind not to wonder when I'm praying, but also I love singing in tongues when I am by myself. No one could explain that kind of closeness to God.
The purpose of those signs was to bring about the completed NT and confirmation of it (Heb 2:3-4) which occurred by the end of the first century, Therefore the signs fulfilled their purpose and ceased as Paul said they would. The best analogy I have heard is when a building is under construction scaffolding is used to complete the construction. Once the building is completed the scaffolding is removed, it fulfilled its purpose and is no longer needed.

Paul referred to those signs as childish things for the church in the first century was in its infancy and did not have the completed NT as we do today. But upon completion of the NT childish things are put away. The mature church today has the completed NT revelation and has no need for those signs, childish things.

The NT speaks of those signs performed back in the first century and people today can believe those written down miracles....."And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." Jn 20:30-31

"are written" is perfect tense denoting an action that took place in the past with an abiding effect. In other words, John wrote those miracles down that took place in the past so they would still have the abiding effect of inducing belief in people today. Therefore there is no need for a repetition of these signs. To claim we need signs today undermines the reason John wrote them down.

Miracle defined would be something that goes against nature, something the forces nature cannot produce itself. Speaking in 'ecstatic utterances' is not miraculous (nor has a Bible basis).

Matt 3:11; Luke 3:16; Acts 1:5 was to the Apostles not anyone today. It was just the Apostles in Acts 1:1-5 that Christ promised baptism with the Holy Spirit, it was just the Apostles that were promised the Comforter and it was just the Apostles in Acts 2 that was baptized with the Holy Spirit and spake in tongues. There is no miraculous indwelling of the Holy Spirit today. There is no baptism with the Holy Spirit today for has been long fulfilled and ceased. The one baptism (Eph 4:4-5) in effect today is the human administered water baptism of Christ's great commission. Mt 28:19-20. Those today who claim tongue speaking and baptism with the Holy Spirit cannot provide any objective proof Biblical proof that it is taking place today.
 
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Ernest,

You are contradicting the very verses you quote from 1 Cor 14:13-14,

13 Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful.​

You want tongues to mean 'earthly languages' but Paul states clearly that when he speaks in tongues, 'my spirit prays but my understanding is unfruitful'.

Oh that you would see these 2 verses refuting your perspective.:horse

Oz
In 1 Cor 14 the tongues Paul is talking about are known understandable earthly languages..."many kinds of voices in the world". Your bias does not allow you to see this.

For example:

1 Cor 14:8-9 "For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? 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 the air."

If someone blows random notes on a trumpet (blows jibberish) then no knows what is going on causing mass confusion. Therefore what is blown MUST BE UNDERSTOOD so people know what is going on. Likewise a tongue must be spoken in a language the hearer CAN UNDERSTAND or it is meaningless jibberish to the hearer, the speaker is speaking to the air, no edification takes place.
Those Corinthians were abusing the gift of tongues by speaking in earthly languages the hearer did not understand. If I was given the gift to speak in Chinese and I spoke Chinese to a room full of people that do not understand Chinese then I an speaking to the air, I would be blowing jibberish on a trumpet. So there must be someone there to interpret, translate the Chinese tongue I am speaking to a language the hearers can understand else I should remain quiet. (1 Cor 14:13,27-28)

1 Cor 14:11 "Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me."
Again, Paul is telling those Corinthians when they speak in a tongue be sure it can be UNDERSTOOD by the hearer else you will be as a barbarian to the hearer. Paul is talking about speaking in a known earthly language that can be understood by the hearer.

1 Cor 4:7 "And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?"
Paul is saying even things without life as musical instruments MAKES SENSE. Even pipes give a DISTINCT SOUND when played. Just playing notes at random creates jibberish and how shall it be known what is piped? So again, Paul the tongues Paul is speaking about in this context is known, UNDERSTANDABLE earthly languages...not jibberish. There is need for distinct communication with lifeless things as instruments when they are played just as there is a need for distinct communication in taking the gospel to the world so it can be understood by the hearers whereby they can be saved. Speaking jibberish saves no one.

1 Cor 14:13
"Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret."

--the word "unknown" is not in the original language and should not be in this verse. It was added by translators.
--therefore "tongues" here are not "unknown" jibberish but refers to known earthly languages which is what Paul is speaking about in the context as demonstrated above.
--"wherefore" the conclusion being when one of those Corinthians speak in a tongue (language of the world) it should be understood by the hearers even if it has to be interpreted so the hearer can understand. Again, it would be as if I was gien the gift to speak in Chinese, then my hearers either have to already understand Chinese or the Chinese I am speaking must be interpreted so they hearer can hear what I am speaking in the hearers own native language and UNDERSTAND what I am saying. If there is no interpreter, then I am to keep quiet.

The self-proclaimed tongue speakers of today are NOT following 1 Cor 14, they are NOT speaking in a known earthly language, that is, they are not playing a pipe or blowing a trumpet with distinct sounds but play/blowing jibberish that no one understands, nor do they even provide interpreters to interpret the jibberish. They do not keep quiet as Paul said to do when there are no interpreters.

1 Cor 14:13 is not teaching what your bias claims it is.
 
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Ernest,

That's your assertion/opinion. Why should I believe it? I need some exegesis from you to demonstrate the truth of your statements.

Oz
I used the Bible to back up what I posted. So far you have not proven you can speak in tongues as it was in the Bible.
 
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How is anyone today supposed to be a witness for Christ without the power of the Holy Spirit.


But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8


Without healings and casting out devils, when witnessing for Christ in third world countries especially Africa and Haiti and nations that are bound by witchcraft and voodoo, a person will be ineffective at best at bringing people to Christ.

But there was a certain man called Simon, who previously practiced sorcery in the city and astonished the people of Samaria, claiming that he was someone great, to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the great power of God.” And they heeded him because he had astonished them with his sorceries for a long time. But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done.
Acts 8:9-13


And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Mark 16:15-18


  • these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues;

These are signs that follow believers.



JLB
No one today was an eyewitness of Christ, therefore no one today can 'witness' for Christ. People can read the signs John wrote down (Jn 20:30-31) and believe them.

(I dealt with Mark 16:17-12 in an earlier post.)
 

JLB

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No one today was an eyewitness of Christ, therefore no one today can 'witness' for Christ. People can read the signs John wrote down (Jn 20:30-31) and believe them.

(I dealt with Mark 16:17-12 in an earlier post.)
Were all the people at Pentecost from the many nations gathered in Jerusalem, eyewitness of Christ?


The Promise of the Father, the Holy Spirit is for all.


It is the power to be His witness.


But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Acts 1:8



No one has this power by being baptized in water.


Peter ran from a little girl.


Then when He was baptized with the Holy Spirit He stood up godly in the presence of those who murdered Jesus Christ unafraid and preached the Gospel under a powerful anointing and 3000 unbelieving Jews were added to the Church.


If you would rather live a powerless Christian life, in denial of the Holy Spirit, then that is on you.


And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues.
Mark 16:15-17

  • these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues.

These are signs of believers.




JLB
 

Hopeful

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If you have never spoken a language that you now have, it takes a little time to pronounce the syllables correctly, especially if it’s Hebrew or Aramaic.


JLB
As it is called the "gift of tongues", it is given, not learned.
 

Hopeful

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The purpose of those signs was to bring about the completed NT and confirmation of it (Heb 2:3-4) which occurred by the end of the first century, Therefore the signs fulfilled their purpose and ceased as Paul said they would. The best analogy I have heard is when a building is under construction scaffolding is used to complete the construction. Once the building is completed the scaffolding is removed, it fulfilled its purpose and is no longer needed.
That "purpose" neglects Rom 8: 26's praying "for we know not what we should pray for as we aught: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered."
This is another reason for the gift of tongues besides the "construction" which you listed.
 

Rollo Tamasi

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The purpose of those signs was to bring about the completed NT and confirmation of it (Heb 2:3-4) which occurred by the end of the first century, Therefore the signs fulfilled their purpose and ceased as Paul said they would. The best analogy I have heard is when a building is under construction scaffolding is used to complete the construction. Once the building is completed the scaffolding is removed, it fulfilled its purpose and is no longer needed.

Paul referred to those signs as childish things for the church in the first century was in its infancy and did not have the completed NT as we do today. But upon completion of the NT childish things are put away. The mature church today has the completed NT revelation and has no need for those signs, childish things.

The NT speaks of those signs performed back in the first century and people today can believe those written down miracles....."And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." Jn 20:30-31

"are written" is perfect tense denoting an action that took place in the past with an abiding effect. In other words, John wrote those miracles down that took place in the past so they would still have the abiding effect of inducing belief in people today. Therefore there is no need for a repetition of these signs. To claim we need signs today undermines the reason John wrote them down.

Miracle defined would be something that goes against nature, something the forces nature cannot produce itself. Speaking in 'ecstatic utterances' is not miraculous (nor has a Bible basis).

Matt 3:11; Luke 3:16; Acts 1:5 was to the Apostles not anyone today. It was just the Apostles in Acts 1:1-5 that Christ promised baptism with the Holy Spirit, it was just the Apostles that were promised the Comforter and it was just the Apostles in Acts 2 that was baptized with the Holy Spirit and spake in tongues. There is no miraculous indwelling of the Holy Spirit today. There is no baptism with the Holy Spirit today for has been long fulfilled and ceased. The one baptism (Eph 4:4-5) in effect today is the human administered water baptism of Christ's great commission. Mt 28:19-20. Those today who claim tongue speaking and baptism with the Holy Spirit cannot provide any objective proof Biblical proof that it is taking place today.
Where did Paul say it would cease?
 

tdidymas

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Its a simple question.


Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed, they way the Bible describes receiving the Holy Spirit?


Example —


Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”
So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.”
And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?”
So they said, “Into John’s baptism.”
Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.”
When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. Acts 19:2-6



Example 2 —


While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Acts 10:44-46


Was this your experience when you received the Holy Spirit?




JLB
The book of Acts is a transition period in the early church. By the time most of the NT was written, most of the miraculous activity died out. In fact, the writer of Hebrews performed no miraculous deed, as indicated in 2:4, where he excludes himself from those who performed miracles. Furthermore, he indicates that those miracles were for validating the gospel message that the apostles were teaching, since they had no written documents of it at that time. So since we can reasonably be certain that he didn't speak in tongues (because those tongues were miraculous), your idea is not consistent with the whole of scripture. The apostle Paul wrote in 1 Cor. that everyone in Christ has the Holy Spirit. In Rom. 8 he wrote "whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Him." We also know that Paul acknowledged that not everyone having the Spirit spoke in tongues (1 Cor. 14). Therefore the idea that you are conveying here is that when someone (anyone) receives the Spirit, they speak in tongues. I know this because I am well aware of Pentecostal doctrine in this matter. So the only conclusion I can come to with your question is that it is irrelevant. It is a trick question to see if I am willing to be manipulated into your talking point, which is saturated in Pentecostal doctrine and tradition. The question itself is not Biblical in nature.
TD:)
 

JLB

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The book of Acts is a transition period in the early church. By the time most of the NT was written, most of the miraculous activity died out. In fact, the writer of Hebrews performed no miraculous deed, as indicated in 2:4, where he excludes himself from those who performed miracles. Furthermore, he indicates that those miracles were for validating the gospel message that the apostles were teaching, since they had no written documents of it at that time. So since we can reasonably be certain that he didn't speak in tongues (because those tongues were miraculous), your idea is not consistent with the whole of scripture. The apostle Paul wrote in 1 Cor. that everyone in Christ has the Holy Spirit. In Rom. 8 he wrote "whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Him." We also know that Paul acknowledged that not everyone having the Spirit spoke in tongues (1 Cor. 14). Therefore the idea that you are conveying here is that when someone (anyone) receives the Spirit, they speak in tongues. I know this because I am well aware of Pentecostal doctrine in this matter. So the only conclusion I can come to with your question is that it is irrelevant. It is a trick question to see if I am willing to be manipulated into your talking point, which is saturated in Pentecostal doctrine and tradition. The question itself is not Biblical in nature.
TD:)

The question itself is not Biblical in nature.

I quoted the scripture where Paul asks this exact question, word for word in Acts 19, and you response is....

The question itself is not Biblical in nature.


This pretty much sums up your theology, which is just open denial of scripture.


Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed, (they way the Bible describes receiving the Holy Spirit)?


Example —


Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”
So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.”
And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?”
So they said, “Into John’s baptism.”
Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.”
When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. Acts 19:2-6



JLB
 

tdidymas

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My point is help people understand what the Bible teaches.
IMO you don't know what the Bible teaches on this issue, by the fact that you use Pentecostal religious jargon as if you're quoting the Bible, but that jargon is taken out of context and made to mean something that the original writers didn't mean. And you throw around the word "blasphemy" as if to scare people into submission to your agenda (as I've seen many Pentecostals do).

But indulge me, if you will, on one point here: what if what I said is true, about modern tongues being a natural ability? Wouldn't that mean then (if indeed that were true), that whoever attributes it to a supernatural gift of the Holy Spirit is taking the Lord's name in vain? That is, it is in effect a misuse of the name of the Spirit, because it's not really the Spirit that is doing it, but it is the natural ability of the person. Attributing it to God is misusing God's name, because God isn't doing it. It becomes paramount then, that modern tongues be proven to be miraculous, if it is to be accepted by anyone with knowledge of scripture. And if it could be proven, it would have been done many times in the past century.

Therefore, it matters not how strong the belief a person has in modern tongues. Strong belief doesn't constitute truth, and neither does sincerity. People can be sincerely wrong about things they have strong beliefs over. Muslims and Hindus have beliefs just as strong in their experiences as Pentecostals have in theirs. So what's the difference? Reformed Christianity says that the Bible is the only standard we have of measuring religious experiences.

So, let's examine the verse in 1 Cor. 14 that says "tongues are for unbelievers." In the case of the house of Cornelius, the apostles were the "unbelievers" in question, since they were amazed that God had given the Spirit to gentiles. It indicates that they did not believe God would do such a thing. That's an important event in the early church, and the reason it is written into Acts. Not too long later they had to get a council together in Jerusalem to settle that dispute once and for all. In Acts 2, because many unbelievers understood the dialects, they knew it was a sign from God.

So in the case of the Corinthians, they did have miraculous gifts, at least we know that some of them had the gift of tongues. But they were misusing it, in that it was something of pride and selfish ambition and power struggles that some of them were doing it for, which was an evil agenda. So in that environment, Paul says to them that tongues are for unbelievers. Compare that with the statement that "if an unbeliever comes into your midst, and all are speaking in tongues, will he not say you are mad?" So the clear implication here is that an unbeliever has to know that what is being done is a miraculous event, just like it was in Acts 2. If the unbeliever understands what is being said, and comes to know that the person speaking it doesn't know what they are saying, that's proof that it is miraculous, and this becomes a sign to the unbeliever. But if he can't understand what is being said, then no one is speaking to his heart, and he leaves with the thought that Christianity is nothing but confusion. And this is how many outside people think of the Pentecostal movement, because there really is no message in modern tongues, and it has never been proven miraculous.

What I am saying is that modern tongues is not the tongues described in scripture, and the big difference is that one is miraculous and the other is not. And of course, this offends every Pentecostal because they claim that it is a miraculous gift from God. So to say that it isn't stirs up all kinds of fears and jealous attitudes.

Therefore, we can't get past this point, and I believe this is the crux of the matter. I'm trying to get the conversation past the con game. I am challenging any Pentecostal or Charismatic to prove that their tongues really is a miraculous gift of God, and I think the only way to do that is the Biblical way laid out to us in Acts 2. Talking points like "prayer language" and such doesn't cut the mustard, because it's nothing but theory and speculation. People have to see real languages being spoken by people who didn't learn them. There has to be real godly messages in them that people can understand, and not the pretense of people inventing "interpretations." If Charismatics are serious about apologetics on this issue, then they should start collecting evidences to present them to the world on youtube (for example), rather than the more-of-the-same testimonials that prove nothing.

If the conversation can't get past this, then IMO the conversation is over.
TD:)
 

tdidymas

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I quoted the scripture where Paul asks this exact question, word for word in Acts 19, and you response is....

The question itself is not Biblical in nature.


This pretty much sums up your theology, which is just open denial of scripture.


Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed, (they way the Bible describes receiving the Holy Spirit)?


Example —


Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”
So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.”
And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?”
So they said, “Into John’s baptism.”
Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.”
When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. Acts 19:2-6



JLB
You missed the point I was making. Since modern tongues is not the same as Biblical tongues, and since the early church needed the signs to show that God was working, and since Biblical doctrine teaches us that the Holy Spirit is given to every believer in Christ, your question is unbiblical by nature. People do not receive the Spirit in the same way today as the verses you quoted, per my explanation.

So your judgment that I deny scripture is false. I take scripture at face value in its context, but you are taking it out of context and fitting it into your experience, and that is my objection. I still stand that modern tongues does not hold up to the standard described in the Bible.
TD:)
 

JLB

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You missed the point I was making. Since modern tongues is not the same as Biblical tongues,
OK. Please show us from the scriptures the difference between "biblical" tongues and
"modern" tongues.
 
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