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'Speaking in Tongues', true vs false.

reddogs

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We find that the scripture shows us that it did occur, but how can a Christian tell if 'Speaking in Tongues' is being given by the Holy Spirit or it has come by a false spirit. Just because a person starts to mutter, mumble or shout unknown 'words' doesn't necessarily mean that they are being given them by the Holy Spirit. People with dementia, or drunks and the insane mumble and shout unknown words, are they being given spiritual gifts of speaking in tongues. Of course not, so how can one tell if the source is from the Holy Spirit, or from another origin.

There are many references to speaking in tongues in the Bible, and we find the most about tongues are Acts 2 and I Corinthians 12-14. Now, you have to understand that at the time there were Jews and non-Jews who came to Jerusalem and from nearby regions who spoke another languages. To communicate with others with different languages, the early Christians needed to have been given a gift so they could understand the Gospel, and the scripture clearly shows that happening. There are many times being able to speak to others in their own tongue or language was very important as we see in the instance when Paul addressed the Jews to give them a understanding of who he was.

Acts 22
1 Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defence which I make now unto you.
2 (And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence: and he saith,)
3 I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.

Now in Acts 2 when the Apostles speak in tongues it makes if very clear why and what they were speaking.

Acts 2
1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

The key part here is there were coming to Jerusalem, 'Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.' We clearly see the purpose and the actual use of speaking in tongues, it was not just babbling or muttering of foolish nonsense, it had a specific purpose and directed for the understanding of those from other languages and lands, as they heard 'speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.'

6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

So speaking nonsensical words and utterances with no one to understand or for no practical reason, is it spiritually the same as the speaking in tongues given to the apostles and the early church.
 

for_his_glory

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When hearing someone speaking in tongues, especially within the congregation, we have to Spiritually discern if it is the Spirit of truth or the spirit of error, 1 John 4:1-6. If there is no interpretation then it was not of the Spirit of truth and just someone forcing themselves to speak by their own emotions.

The gift of speaking in tongues is given to believers to lift up and edify the body of Christ for exhortation and special instruction from God's Holy Spirit to the Church. Speaking in tongues within our prayers expresses what is in our spirit, but just can't find the words to speak.

1 Corinthians 14:26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. 27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. 28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.

When used within the Church the gift of tongues should be used to emphasize and support the spiritual message and not because you feel strongly moved by your emotions.
 

reddogs

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When hearing someone speaking in tongues, especially within the congregation, we have to Spiritually discern if it is the Spirit of truth or the spirit of error, 1 John 4:1-6. If there is no interpretation then it was not of the Spirit of truth and just someone forcing themselves to speak by their own emotions.

The gift of speaking in tongues is given to believers to lift up and edify the body of Christ for exhortation and special instruction from God's Holy Spirit to the Church. Speaking in tongues within our prayers expresses what is in our spirit, but just can't find the words to speak.

1 Corinthians 14:26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. 27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. 28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.

When used within the Church the gift of tongues should be used to emphasize and support the spiritual message and not because you feel strongly moved by your emotions.
That is true, but look at the verse on how it came, it was to spread the Gospel to all the people of the world.

Act 2:4-11 KJV And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (5) And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. (6) Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. (7) And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? (8) And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? (9) Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, (10) Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, (11) Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. (12) And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?

These tongues were the languages of the people on earth.
 

for_his_glory

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That is true, but look at the verse on how it came, it was to spread the Gospel to all the people of the world.

Act 2:4-11 KJV And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (5) And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. (6) Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. (7) And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? (8) And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? (9) Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, (10) Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, (11) Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. (12) And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?

These tongues were the languages of the people on earth.

I agree with this as many go out to the nations that speak a different tongue and the Holy Spirit gives the tongue of their language, but the one speaking has no idea of what they spoke, but know it was from the Holy Spirit as the people received the words spoken. 1 Corinthians 14:26 is also instruction within the assembling that speak the same language. Within the assembling it is for God's instruction for that particular group like that of the seven churches in Revelation as in lifting up, edifying and for correction.
 

JohnDB

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I have no idea except for the results of the actions.
One guy in history was so convinced that he was speaking Egyptian that he went to Egypt to share the Gospel message...but he barely made it back alive and no Gospel message was delivered.

Then there was the prophetic utterance about the Children's Brigade...this young adult was convinced that he was to lead the orphans and others to the sea where it was going to part (like it did for Moses) and the kids were going to live the good life wherever it led to.

Didn't quite work out...the children who survived (about 15%) ended up in Cologne.

Yeah...
Then there was the guy who gave the son of the resident drunk a ride to a tent revival... little William grew up and went to Bible School and had to repeat it because he did so poorly.
But he actually did work out...Billy Graham is still famous to this day.

Sooooo

I'm not able to judge anyone about anything. Just the fruits...and only the fruits.
 

atpollard

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So speaking nonsensical words and utterances with no one to understand or for no practical reason, is it spiritually the same as the speaking in tongues given to the apostles and the early church.
The manifestation of “Tongues” in Acts is distinctly different from what is described in 1 Corinthians where even Paul refers to it as “unintelligible words”. Whether what we see today is the same or different from what Paul describes in 1 Corinthians is open to debate, as is what “spirit” is behind and utterance. However, the gift described by Paul in Corinth is different from the miracle in Acts 2.
 

atpollard

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I'm not able to judge anyone about anything. Just the fruits...and only the fruits.
As someone who does NOT speak in tongues but attends a Pentecostal Church, I would offer a suggestion that you look at who is getting the Glory. Our Pastor reminds the church that God will share His glory with no man, so if the “speaking in tongues” is focusing attention on praising God, then it might be from the Holy Spirit (He is into drawing attention to the Father and Son), but if the speaker is the center of attention and it is distracting everyone from focusing on God, then it probably comes from another source.

Just an observation from a bystander.
 

for_his_glory

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As someone who does NOT speak in tongues but attends a Pentecostal Church, I would offer a suggestion that you look at who is getting the Glory. Our Pastor reminds the church that God will share His glory with no man, so if the “speaking in tongues” is focusing attention on praising God, then it might be from the Holy Spirit (He is into drawing attention to the Father and Son), but if the speaker is the center of attention and it is distracting everyone from focusing on God, then it probably comes from another source.

Just an observation from a bystander.

You will definitely feel a distraction when it is not of God as I have seen this many times during a Church service and no interpretation is given by another so that person gives a carnal interpretation. If one is truly indwelled with the Holy Spirit they will know it was from the Holy Spirit when one speaks in tongues as they will feel the presence of the Holy Spirit fill the room.
 
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the -1- time ive seen speaking in tongues in action, in a church setting...i got a bad vibe off of it. Not that I'm Mr.Discernment, just...it wouldn't take a genius to see that something was amiss. and now...

that church has gone astray, mostly because the minister wants to mega-church it up. blah. :-(
 

tdidymas

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The manifestation of “Tongues” in Acts is distinctly different from what is described in 1 Corinthians where even Paul refers to it as “unintelligible words”. Whether what we see today is the same or different from what Paul describes in 1 Corinthians is open to debate, as is what “spirit” is behind and utterance. However, the gift described by Paul in Corinth is different from the miracle in Acts 2.
I differ with your interpretation, I believe Paul was describing in 1 Cor. the same kind of action that was done in Acts 2.
TD:)
 
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Personally I believe tongues as it is manifested today is a man made action.
I believe it was a genuine sign gift that was necessary to quickly get the church up and running by delivering the gospel in the language of the hearer.
I read about a man who studied and could speak ancient Hebrew as if it were his first language. He visited a pentecostal church. When people started speaking in tongues a "interpreter" went into action explaining what was being said.
This visitor spoke one of the psalms in Hebrew and the interpreter gave a nonsensical translation that had nothing to do with it. He told them what he had really said and they tossed him out.
I am sure I seem really too critical. I more or less stay out of it. Without trying I have very rare contact with any Pentecostals in situations where they may break out in tongues.
 

tdidymas

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Personally I believe tongues as it is manifested today is a man made action.
I believe it was a genuine sign gift that was necessary to quickly get the church up and running by delivering the gospel in the language of the hearer.
I read about a man who studied and could speak ancient Hebrew as if it were his first language. He visited a pentecostal church. When people started speaking in tongues a "interpreter" went into action explaining what was being said.
This visitor spoke one of the psalms in Hebrew and the interpreter gave a nonsensical translation that had nothing to do with it. He told them what he had really said and they tossed him out.
I am sure I seem really too critical. I more or less stay out of it. Without trying I have very rare contact with any Pentecostals in situations where they may break out in tongues.
I sympathize with you, bro. I spoke in "tongues" years ago, but subsequently found out it was a human phenomenon, and not the miraculous gift the early church received. But even for years after I was afraid to question the tradition.
TD:)
 

reddogs

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Personally I believe tongues as it is manifested today is a man made action.
I believe it was a genuine sign gift that was necessary to quickly get the church up and running by delivering the gospel in the language of the hearer.
I read about a man who studied and could speak ancient Hebrew as if it were his first language. He visited a pentecostal church. When people started speaking in tongues a "interpreter" went into action explaining what was being said.
This visitor spoke one of the psalms in Hebrew and the interpreter gave a nonsensical translation that had nothing to do with it. He told them what he had really said and they tossed him out.
I am sure I seem really too critical. I more or less stay out of it. Without trying I have very rare contact with any Pentecostals in situations where they may break out in tongues.
This unfortunately seems to be more of the norm, and many are afraid to speak on it, because of fear of backlash. When its disconnected from its God given purpose, then it basically becomes a man made charade, with little of the divine.
 

Boaz

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In the book of Acts, yes actual languages were being spoken and the purpose is clear. So everyone present had a chance to hear the good news. It has been explained to me that it was also a sign to the Jews that all nations and not Israel alone were becoming God's people (those who believed). This makes sense to me. Tongues are one of the sign gifts and signs are not the thing itself they are pointing to the thing.
 

for_his_glory

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In the book of Acts, yes actual languages were being spoken and the purpose is clear. So everyone present had a chance to hear the good news. It has been explained to me that it was also a sign to the Jews that all nations and not Israel alone were becoming God's people (those who believed). This makes sense to me. Tongues are one of the sign gifts and signs are not the thing itself they are pointing to the thing.

I Corinthians 14 Paul gives instruction for the use of tongues being a Spiritual gift as it is still relevant to the church today throughout all nations. Acts 2 was the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as before the Holy Spirit only came upon those Prophets that gave prophecy, but never indwelled them.

The prophecy of Joel in Joel 2:28-30 has been fulfilled in Acts 2:1-18 as this Gospel is preached throughout the world even by those who know not anothers language, but the Holy Spirit speaks through them.
 

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There will always be those who believe tongues are for today and those who don't. As was noted for the churches where it is practiced, extreme care must be taken. In 1 Corinthians Paul is also chastising the people for not using it correctly. In the notes of study Bibles, some translations will explain in what way they were
corrupting the gift, which sound very familiar to today. Of course that is because humans are so human! I attended churches that encouraged tongues for many years and though I believed they are for today at that time, it often made me uneasy. And of course we have all heard the bizarre stories which couldn't possibly be the Holy Spirit. I have heard someone speak in tongues, and then silence while we waited for the interpretation, because the pastor was trying to keep to Biblical outlines for the practice. Finally someone, who I had noticed before had a crush on the pastor, stood up to give an interpretation and proceeded to exalt and praise the pastor. The Holy Spirit, as you noted, always points to and exalts Jesus. How many people were there that day who didn't catch that? And though I'm sure the pastor did, it was too uncomfortable to make a correction and embarrass the person, in effect giving passive acceptance of the interpretation being from the Holy Spirit. That is something that has concerned me.
 

Boaz

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One of the things regarding tongues that Paul was correcting the Corinthians on was the way in which they borrowed from the pagan practices surrounding them. These pagans would get together and speak in unintelligible speech, working themselves into a state of ecstasy. Some in the church congregation began to do the same thing, whether in innocent sincerity or to exalt themselves as being spiritually superior to others who knows. Though the text suggest that the latter did exist, which, again, people being people, would exist. The reasons I'm sure are as varied as individuals are. And I have witnessed this phenomenon and it is very disturbing.
So, and this is merely my opinion, if tongues referred to actual languages, then having someone able to interpret would mean that there must be someone in the gathering that understood that language. And of course if it was directed by the Holy Spirit, there would be. Tongues are never mentioned after the books of Corinthians. My take on that is that they had served their intended purpose of showing in a way of authority and visibly, that salvation was for people of all languages and places and no longer for the Jews only.
 

for_his_glory

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Many times it is just ones emotions they are caught up in within the church service instead of the Holy Spirit giving them what to speak as I have seen that way to many times. Anytime the Holy Spirit wanted to speak through me to lift up and edify the church I would begin to hear the words in my mind as they then began to flow out of my mouth. Anything we do apart from the Holy Spirit working through us is only done of our own will and not the will of God.

One of my favorite things to do in the privacy of my home is to sing and dance in the Spirit when I am moved by the Spirit when I play praise and worship songs as I really get into the Spirit.
 

Boaz

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One of the things regarding tongues that Paul was correcting the Corinthians on was the way in which they borrowed from the pagan practices surrounding them. These pagans would get together and speak in unintelligible speech, working themselves into a state of ecstasy. Some in the church congregation began to do the same thing, whether in innocent sincerity or to exalt themselves as being spiritually superior to others who knows. Though the text suggest that the latter did exist, which, again, people being people, would exist. The reasons I'm sure are as varied as individuals are. And I have witnessed this phenomenon and it is very disturbing.
So, and this is merely my opinion, if tongues referred to actual languages, then having someone able to interpret would mean that there must be someone in the gathering that understood that language. And of course if it was directed by the Holy Spirit, there would be. Tongues are never mentioned after the books of Corinthians. My take on that is that they had served their intended purpose of showing in a way of authority and visibly, that salvation was for people of all languages and places and no longer for the Jews only.
In any case, one way or the other, we must be careful to adhere to Biblical instruction, which you presented, and pastors must be strong and brave enough to make corrections where needed. If they were known for doing that it would weed out the false I interpretations.
 

for_his_glory

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One of the things regarding tongues that Paul was correcting the Corinthians on was the way in which they borrowed from the pagan practices surrounding them. These pagans would get together and speak in unintelligible speech, working themselves into a state of ecstasy. Some in the church congregation began to do the same thing, whether in innocent sincerity or to exalt themselves as being spiritually superior to others who knows. Though the text suggest that the latter did exist, which, again, people being people, would exist. The reasons I'm sure are as varied as individuals are. And I have witnessed this phenomenon and it is very disturbing.
So, and this is merely my opinion, if tongues referred to actual languages, then having someone able to interpret would mean that there must be someone in the gathering that understood that language. And of course if it was directed by the Holy Spirit, there would be. Tongues are never mentioned after the books of Corinthians. My take on that is that they had served their intended purpose of showing in a way of authority and visibly, that salvation was for people of all languages and places and no longer for the Jews only.

If the Holy Spirit is truly speaking through someone with an unknown tongue within the assembling He will always give another the interpretation. Just because tongues are not mention after 1 Corinthians 12 or 14 it does not mean they no longer exist today as all the gifts of the Holy Spirit will remain until the return of Christ.

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:
 
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