The Gift of Tongues

“Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them….” —Acts 4:8

When filled with the Holy Ghost, Peter didn’t fall over, shake, babble, or foam at the mouth; but he spake in boldness, clarity, and power of faith in a resurrected Lord. What a wonderful blessing it is to experience the reality of Holy Spirit baptism which empowers and enables us to live a holy life.

In this issue of The Gospel Truth, I address the subject of speaking in tongues. It is a large subject and is so important that I increased the size of the paper. Even at that, there is much more that could be written. The Bible is very clear about what occurred on the day of Pentecost when the disciples spoke with tongues. They were able to preach in intelligible languages they had not previously known by a divine gift of the Spirit. The devil has perverted the simplicity of this experience and deceived millions of people into thinking that there is a heavenly language and that speaking/praying ecstatically with unintelligible speech is of the Holy Spirit. Read more

From the Greek

Dialektos (Dee-AHL-ek-toss)

Strong’s Greek Dictionary: (mode of) discourse, i.e. “dialect”: language, tongue.

Glossa (GLOSS-uh) A Greek word meaning “tongue” or “language.”

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon: Glossa: 1. The tongue, a member of the body, the organ of speech.
2. A tongue, i. e. the language used by a particular people in distinction from that of other nations.Read more

Speaking in Tongues

The Bible Is Our Guide

The phenomenon of ecstatic “tongues speaking,” praying in tongues, etc. is prevalent among Christians and non-Christians around the world. It is spreading rapidly in Christian movements in the name of the Holy Spirit. It is important that the Word of God be the guide and that all practices and doctrines be in conformity to the Bible—regardless of opinions, experiences and physical manifestations. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).Read more

Prayer Language – “Language of Angels”

There is a another false doctrine closely tied to the practice of unintelligible speaking. It is the practice of praying in tongues in what is called a “prayer language” or an “angelic language.” Some people practice this publicly and some teach it is a “private prayer language.” When people pray in this way, they are speaking words and making sounds which mean nothing to themselves or to the hearers.

Again, truth is not measured by someone’s experience but by the Word of God. When this practice is examined by scripture, it reveals that it is a concocted doctrine of man, not of God—for it is not scriptural.Read more

I Corinthians 14

It was not until modern times that Christians began looking to the scripture to justify ecstatic, unintelligible speaking. It was never introduced by Christ but was already in practice among the heathen. This pagan practice in churches today is emotion at best and a false spirit at worst. Ecstatic utterances are mistakenly seen as something godly and spiritual. Incoherent speaking and praying did not take place in the early morning church and it is not in God’s church today.

Much confusion and false teaching comes from misapplying 1 Corinthians 14 where Paul addressed almost exclusively the practice of speaking in tongues. The main confusion comes not from the Word but from man. On the day of Pentecost, God established what the gift of tongues is and should be. The word glossa (foreign language), which was used in Acts 2, is once again the word that is used in 1 Corinthians 14. With Pentecost as the pattern, it is not difficult to understand Paul’s teaching to the church at Corinth.Read more