Speaking In Tongues, Part I

It is hard to imagine a more confusing doctrine in our day throughout Christendom than speaking in tongues.  It did indeed occur in the early church, specified as the fulfillment of Pentecost in Acts chapter 2.  It is mentioned again in I Corinthians chapters 12 and 14 which was written about twenty five years later, and then the Bible remains silent about speaking in tongues.  This teaching will be examined through the scriptures as well as history.  Our goal is to see what it genuinely is, and what it is not.  The beauty of this study is that the Lord gives us spiritual clarity and discernment in everything.  The Lord tells us (I Corinthians 14:40) “to let everything be done in good and decent order,” and (I Corinthians 14:33a) “God is not the Author of confusion.”  The real Biblical meaning of speaking in tongues is in reference to foreign languages.  That is, languages spoken by other people from other lands.  Today’s meaning has progressed to a type of bizarre gibberish.  I was visiting a senior lady many years ago who identified herself as a “Bapticost.”  What she was saying, of course, is that she believed in a combination of Baptist and Pentecostal doctrine.  I will never forget her “prayer” she had prior to my departing.  She spoke in inaudible nonsense that had no meaning to either her or myself.  Why did she do this?  Simply because she was taught that this “gift” was the trademark of anyone who was really spiritual and on fire for the Lord.  Some denominations even teach that if you lack this “gift,” you may not even really be saved!  No wonder these poor misguided folks speak in such a way.  We will soon reveal many amazing facts about tongues and now focus briefly on a Greek word study on tongues today.  There are two Greek transliterations for tongues in the New Testament of the Bible.  The first is “dialectos” from which we get the word dialect.  The other is “glossa” from which we get the word glossary.  In both cases, the word refers to a foreign language which is EXACTLY what happened in Acts 2, as Christians were given the ability by the Lord to speak/hear in languages that they never learned!  It was a miracle and a one time fulfillment of the prophecy given to us by the prophet Joel in the Old Testament.  Up until now there is no confusion about this teaching whatsoever.  Actually, there was no misunderstanding of this teaching for the first nineteen hundred years of the church.  The new teaching and strange fire has been taught for the last one hundred years.  What is fascinating with the churches who promote tongue speaking: they are said to teach “glossolalia,” and this is the word often used by them.  Guess what?  THIS GREEK TRANSLITERATION IS NO WHERE TO BE FOUND IN THE BIBLE!  Check your Strong’s, Young’s or Cruden’s Concordance.  You will find glossa and dilectos for Acts 2 and I Corinthians 12 and 14, but NOT glossolalia.  Glossolalia by definition are words of no real language that are spoken in ecstasy and have esoteric meanings.  We are talking babbling and gibberish.  They fool the naïve and uninformed, that they are speaking some mysterious and unknown language of God.  I know good Christian people who have accidently ended up in an environment with these kind of tongue speakers, and they removed themselves from their presence as soon as possible.  I would be right behind them!  So we learn first of all, that the teachings of this strange doctrine and strange fire do not even have a Biblical base of support.  Furthermore, their teaching are not built upon the teachings of the entire church age, since they have become prevalent only in the last one hundred years.  Next, we will examine the scriptures more so, as well as the recent history in the tongues movement.

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