Speaking in Tongues

Pentecostal and other religious bodies claim the miraculous ability to “speak in tongues.” Those who practice this supposedly speak in tongues unknown to their assembly.

However, our religious friends must correct their knowledge of this activity. Check out Acts 2. Those Galilean apostles did not know how to speak the language of all the visitors in Jerusalem on that day of Pentecost. That is until the Holy Spirit gave them this ability. So, Peter and the other apostles began speaking the languages of the out-of-towners. Here’s a list: Parthians and Medes and Elamites, residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs. Jews from each country heard the message in their natural language, Acts 2:3-8.

But groups practicing these things today never speak in an earth language. Instead, they speak in an unknown language, a god language, if you will.  In practice, ostensibly, God gives His message to someone in the audience. This one stands up and shouts the message aloud to the audience as its being received. Afterward, an “interpretation” of the message is given, usually by the preacher, as he supposedly has the God-given gift of interpreting tongues. Well, but this isn’t the way of the New Testament. It’s not Bible and, therefore, incorrect doctrine.

In the first-century days, foreign unbelievers coming into the worship assembly needed help understanding the gospel message. So then, one with the gift of speaking in “tongues” would share the gospel with him, voicing it in the unbeliever’s language. First Corinthians 14:22 has it that tongues are for a sign, not to believers, but to unbelievers. There’s a good explanation of these things by the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 14:1-25.

God used a sign in the first-century church to show that He approved the message and the messenger. It signified that the one who spoke had the authority to speak God’s message and that the message was the actual words of God.

There is no need now for the gift of tongues. We have the completed Bible and can read it in our language. We preach from it. Faith comes by hearing it, Romans 10:17. 1 Corinthians 13:8-10 states that this gift would cease when that which is perfect has come. The Bible is the completed, perfect word of God. We do not need miraculous tongues today.

~Garland Van Dyke.



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Matthews St. church of Christ

Garland Van Dyke

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