I. ALL THE PASSAGES IN THE BIBLE THAT DEAL WITH TONGUES: MARK 16:17; ACTS 2:3,4,11; 10:46; 19:6; 1 COR. 12:10,28,30; 13:8; CHAPTER 14; IS. 28:11
II. THERE ARE NO ILLUSTRATIONS OF O.T. SAINTS HAVING A GIFT OF TONGUES:
Many saints in the O. T. were filled with the Holy Spirit. Many are recorded to have revelational ability, wrought miracles, etc., yet none had the gift of tongues.
III. THERE ARE NO ILLUSTRATIONS OF SAINTS IN THE GOSPELS HAVING THE GIFT OF TONGUES:
Luke records what happened when Elizabeth (1:41 45), Mary (1:46 55), Zacharias (1:67 79), Simeon (2:25 35), and Anna (2:36 38) were FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT. They all spoke forth great things, yet they only spoke in their own language, they did not have the gift of tongues. John the Baptist was filled with the Spirit from his mother’s womb (1:15), yet he did not have the gift of tongues. The Holy Spirit was given to the Son without measure, yet he never claimed to have the gift of tongues.
IV. THE GIFT OF TONGUES WAS A SIGN
(1 Cor. 14:22) and SIGNS WERE FOR THE JEWS (1 Cor.1:22; Acts 2:22,43; 5:12; 2 Cor. 12:12; Heb. 2:4). The gift of tongues was for unbelieving JEWS (1 Cor. 14:20 22; Is. 28:11), and was never manifested UNLESS JEWS WERE PRESENT.
V. WE ARE CLEARLY TOLD THAT TONGUES WOULD CEASE (1 Cor. 13:8). The APOSTLES KNEW IN PART, and what they KNEW, they wrote down, completing the BIBLE the SCRIPTURE. The signs of the Apostles; tongues; prophesying of future events; the gift of a special knowledge to WRITE & SPEAK GOD’S WORDS ceased when the WRITTEN WORD OF GOD (WHICH IS PERFECT) was COMPLETED by the APOSTLES.
VI. THERE IS NO PASSAGE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT ADMONISHING BELIEVERS TO SEEK THE GIFT OF TONGUES. IT IS NOT THE MANIFESTATION of spirituality. IT IS NOT THE INITIAL SIGN of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. THE GIFT OF TONGUES WAS CLEARLY NOT THE NUMBER ONE GIFT IN ANY LIST OF GIFTS. (1 Cor. 12:28; 14:5) WE ARE TOLD TO SEEK THE GIFT OF PROPHESYING in order to edify others but never told to seek the gift of tongues.
VII. THERE WERE REGULATIONS CONCERNING TONGUES:
(1 Cor. 14:27 35) A. NEVER more than three speakers; ALWAYS one at a time, and ALWAYS men.
B. NEVER without an interpreter.
C. ALWAYS UNDER CONTROL: The ones exercising the gift were able to control themselves and their gift.
D. NEVER women: Women were never to speak in tongues in an assembly of believers.
VIII. THE GIFT OF TONGUES ACCORDING TO BIBLE DEFINITION was the gift of speaking in a foreign language understood by others, but one not previously known and without studying to learn it. It was NOT unintelligible gibberish. (Acts 2; Acts 10:46 with 11:15 17)
IX. WHAT PASSES TODAY AS TONGUES SPEAKING was manifest in heathenism before Pentecost. It was manifest in the heathen during the Boxer rebellion (China, 1900) where thousands of Christians were killed by the tongues speaking heathen. It is also manifest in many lost people today.
X. THERE ARE ONLY TWO SOURCES FOR THE so called, present day, “gift” of tongues:
A. SATAN & his evil spirit.
B. MAN & his deceived spirit.
WHAT WAS THE GIFT OF TONGUES? WHAT WAS IT NOT?
A. IT WAS EITHER:
1. A language understood by others on earth.
2. A “heavenly” language understood only by God, angels, and interpreters.
3. Two different gifts, including both of the above.
B. IT WAS NOT:
The initial sign of the baptism of the Holy Spirit and IT WAS NOT sought as such.
1. SOME gifts were to be sought after (covet them, desire them, seek them) but the ones to be sought are the BEST ones THE ONES WHICH EDIFY THE CHURCH, and Paul says to edify the church you must be UNDERSTOOD. There are gifts better than others, and there are BEST gifts. Tongues were NOT the BEST gift. Tongues could easily be said to be the LEAST gift comparing scripture with scripture.
2. Tongues were only ONE gift of the Holy Spirit, and NOT ALL BELIEVERS HAD IT OR WERE EXPECTED TO HAVE IT. NOT EVERYONE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT spoke in tongues.
NO MATTER WHICH OF THE THREE CHOICES MENTIONED ABOVE AS TO WHAT THE GIFT OF TONGUES WAS ONE THING IS CERTAIN: It is one of the gifts DONE AWAY WITH when that which is perfect came.
1. IF: The WRITTEN WORD OF GOD (the Bible) is “that which is perfect” then the gift of tongues CEASED when the Bible was completed by the apostles.
2. IF: JESUS is “that which is perfect” (which of course he is, but he had ALREADY COME before this prophecy was written) then it would mean that when He comes THE SECOND TIME, the gift of tongues would cease.
3. IF: “That which is perfect” has NOT YET COME, then tongues have not YET CEASED, and IF: the gift is a “foreign” language, then all missionaries should have it, or seek it. They should never have to study a foreign language again.
4. IF: “That which is perfect” has NOT YET COME, then tongues have not YET CEASED, and IF: the gift is a “heavenly” language; and unless an interpreter is present you can only edify yourself (which you can do in your native language also) THEN WHY SEEK IT? We are CLEARLY told TO NOT SEEK to edify ourselves but TO SEEK to edify the church. We are NEVER told to seek the gift of tongues. If my understanding is unfruitful, then five words WITH MY UNDERSTANDING are much better for myself as well as others present, than 10,000 words not understood. That is SCRIPTURE. LET US PUT THE EMPHASIS WHERE THE HOLY GHOST PUTS IT.
According to SCRIPTURE, the gift of tongues is the least important gift, it was not to be sought after (like some gifts were), when the Holy Ghost did give it, the speakers had to go by RULES OR ORDER, and IT WAS PROPHECIED THAT THAT GIFT WOULD CEASE.
IF: There are two different gifts talked about in scripture, then BOTH HAVE EITHER CEASED OR BOTH ARE STILL AVAILABLE. Since the “heavenly” language has already been PROVEN to be unimportant in edifying the church, we have no NEED to seek it; BUT the “foreign” language SHOULD BE GIVEN to our missionaries and if it isn’t we could ask for it for them. That is IF tongues have not CEASED which in fact they HAVE.
IN THIS ASSEMBLY we believe that the gift of tongues was a special gift, given as A SIGN and given to reach Jews for Christ rapidly; to prove to the Jews that Gentiles could be saved; and to prove that God’s judgment was on Israel. It was a gift of speaking in an EARTHLY LANGUAGE that could be interpreted for others to understand. It was a gift, but it was NOT GIVEN to all who were filled by the Holy Spirit. It was DEFINITELY not the initial evidence of the baptism of the Spirit. It was only one way in which the Holy Spirit manifested Himself. We as believers should seek the best gifts and the Bible says that prophesying (defined in 1 Cor. 14:3 as speaking to men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort) is the best because the church is edified the most by it. The OTHER GIFT of prophecy (which is to foretell the future) has ceased (1 Cor. 13:8) and those prophecies which came through that gift are recorded for us to read in scripture and we CANNOT ADD TO THEM.
THE THREE GIFTS MENTIONED IN 1 COR.13 HAVE CEASED, HAVE BEEN DONE AWAY WITH, because THAT WHICH IS PERFECT is the COMPLETED, WRITTEN WORD OF GOD. IT HAS COME AND WE HAVE IT!
ACTS 2: This is the clear definition of SPEAKING IN TONGUES “at the first”. This was the beginning of the church AS the body of Christ after his physical body had ascended He chose another body to indwell and to work through, and THAT BODY IS THE CHURCH. They spoke in tongues AS THE SPIRIT GAVE THEM UTTERANCE, and those utterances were DEFINITE LANGUAGES.
The prophecy of Joel which Peter quotes here was not fulfilled by tongues. Joel never mentioned tongues (although he did mention prophesying) and the SIGNS AND WONDERS Joel did mention HAVE YET TO BE FULFILLED. THE ONE PART of Joel’s prophecy which IS FULFILLED and which Peter SAYS IS FULFILLED IS: that “whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved”. He shows them that JESUS IS THIS LORD UPON WHOSE NAME THEY MUST CALL TO BE SAVED (v.36). In 2:38 and elsewhere Peter tells them that it is THE NAME OF JESUS that brings remission of sins. He says the promise (which promise? “whosoever shall call shall be saved”) is to YOU, YOUR CHILDREN, AND ALL THAT ARE AFAR OFF. 3000 were added to the church that day, and the Bible doesn’t say they spoke in tongues but it does say they continued stedfastly.
ACTS 4: They were ALL filled with the Holy Ghost and they spoke the Word of God with BOLDNESS (no tongues mentioned altho they were FILLED with the Holy Ghost).
ACTS 5: When Stephen FULL of the Holy Ghost spoke, he was so CLEARLY UNDERSTOOD he was stoned for his message but NO TONGUES were mentioned.
ACTS 10: God sent Peter to a man of another nation (Italian, v.28). Peter says, “The WORD I preach is: JESUS CHRIST IS LORD OF ALL (v.36) and THROUGH HIS NAME a person receives remission of sins (v.43). THE HOLY GHOST FELL ON ALL which heard the word. THE JEWS were astonished because on the Gentiles ALSO was poured out THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST, for they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. A SIGN WAS GIVEN to the JEWS that the JEWS would KNOW that the GENTILES had been accepted by God. We KNOW that this GIFT OF TONGUES HERE was a foreign language (perhaps these Italians started speaking in Hebrew) because Peter says it was “LIKE ON US AT THE BEGINNING”. God gave them “THE LIKE GIFT AS HE DID UNTO US” (ch.11). We know the gift at the beginning was foreign languages because IT SAYS SO (ch.2).
ACTS 11: Barnabus was FULL of the Holy Ghost and EXHORTED (no tongues mentioned).
ACTS 13: The Holy Ghost called out missionaries and sent them forth to preach the WORD OF GOD (v.15). In v. 9 it says Saul, FILLED WITH THE HOLY GHOST spoke words understood. In v.52 the disciples were FILLED WITH THE HOLY GHOST but no tongues mentioned.
ACTS 19: To the Ephesians: Have ye received the HOLY GHOST? We haven’t even HEARD of the Holy Ghost. Unto what then were ye baptized? (It couldn’t have been the picture of being baptized BY THE HOLY GHOST INTO THE BODY OF CHRIST). THEN PAUL preached about JESUS and baptized them IN THE NAME OF JESUS. Paul laid hands on them and THE HOLY GHOST came on them and THEY SPOKE WITH OTHER TONGUES AND PROPHESIED. This is the ONLY PLACE in Acts where tongues is mentioned and not defined. But the term “OTHER” tongues very probably means “other than their own language”. Comparing scripture with scripture (which is the ONLY safe way to study the Bible) “OTHER” tongues simply means “foreign language”. We do not “wrest” or twist scripture in any way by saying so.
ROMANS: The HOLY SPIRIT is mentioned OFTEN but not TONGUES. Paul does say that the Spirit helps us pray with groanings WHICH CANNOT BE UTTERED. If they CANNOT BE UTTERED, they are definitely NOT SPOKEN, and therefore CLEARLY NOT THE GIFT OF TONGUES. In Ch.12 Paul talks about GIFTS DIFFERING. All members have NOT the same gift (1 Cor. 12 also). He lists several gifts and tongues are not one of them, but the FIRST one is prophecy. In. ch.14:19 he says: LET US FOLLOW AFTER THINGS WHEREWITH WE MAY EDIFY ANOTHER. This is the scriptural rule always.
1 CORINTHIANS: Ch.12,13,14: Paul says he would not have us IGNORANT ABOUT THE GIFTS (12:1). He says the Spirit manifests himself in DIFFERENT WAYS (v.7) and ONE WAY mentioned is DIVERS (DIFFERENT, VARIOUS) KINDS OF TONGUES. No matter which gift He gives to manifest Himself, we are ALL one body, because we were BAPTIZED BY THE SPIRIT INTO ONE BODY (v.13 & Rom. 8). THAT is the BAPTISM of the HOLY SPIRIT and it doesn’t involve tongues. HE LISTS THE GIFTS IN V. 28 and DIVERSITIES (more than one kind) of tongues is listed LAST. He asks a simple question (in the context of which the ONLY ANSWER IS NO): Do ALL speak with TONGUES? Of course not therefore it is UNSCRIPTURAL to say that tongues are THE INITIAL EVIDENCE OF THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. In. v.31 he says: COVET EARNESTLY THE BEST GIFTS. In other words there are gifts which are BETTER and some which are BEST. Tongues ARE LISTED LAST.
In ch.13, Paul deals with three gifts which shall FAIL, CEASE, OR VANISH AWAY. They shall be done away with WHEN THAT WHICH IS PERFECT IS COME. THE WRITTEN WORD OF GOD IS PERFECT IT IS THE MIND OF CHRIST REVEALED TO US (Rom. 11:34; 1 Cor. 2:16) and HE SAYS HIS WORD IS PERFECT. If a man has prophetic utterances to foretell the future, speaks in tongues, or has “NEW KNOWLEDGE”, and these DIFFER from the WRITTEN WORD OF GOD, we must NOT follow him; and if they aren’t different they are unnecessary (Lk. 16:31; Jn. 5:47).
In. ch. 14:1 he says: DESIRE SPIRITUAL GIFTS, BUT RATHER THAT YE MAY PROPHESY. If ANYONE is EMPHASIZING tongues, he is NOT going along with THE WRITTEN WORD OF GOD, and therefore is NOT TO BE FOLLOWED. LET US PUT THE EMPHASIS WHERE THE SPIRIT (through His Word) PUTS IT. The whole chapter is dealing with prophesying versus tongues.
LET US POINT OUT THE FOLLOWING: 1. Paul would RATHER they prophesied than speak in tongues. IT IS GREATER (v.5)
2. Unless the tongues were revelation, knowledge, prophesying, or doctrine, the church was not profited, even if an interpreter was present. ALL SHOULD BE DONE TO EDIFY THE CHURCH.
3. ALL THINGS dead things such as trumpets, harps, etc, and ALL THE MANY KINDS OF VOICES have signification (meaning) and when you speak BY THE TONGUE, you MUST SPEAK WORDS EASY TO BE UNDERSTOOD, so it will be KNOWN what is spoken (v.7 11). WHAT GOOD ARE WORDS WITHOUT MEANING? THE WHOLE PURPOSE OF WORDS AND VOICES IS TO BE UNDERSTOOD. 4. IT IS RIGHT to seek gifts, but seek those that edify the church (v.3,4,12).
5. If you pray in a tongue YOU don’t understand, your understanding is unfruitful. If I pray along with you in a language I don’t understand, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful (v.14). I can’t very well say AMEN at your giving of thanks. (Have you ever sat in on a service in a language you did not understand? Your spirit is with them, but your understanding is unfruitful you need an interpreter.)
6, WHAT IS THE ANSWER THEN PAUL? I WILL (it is my CHOICE,my DETERMINATION) that WHEN I PRAY I understand what I’m praying, and when I sing, I understand what I’m SINGING (v.15).
7. FIVE WORDS spoken to teach others is to BE CHOSEN rather than 10,000 words where the others do not understand your language. 8. IF ANY MAN speak in an unknown tongue, LET it be by two or three, one at a time (taking turns), and LET one interpret. LET them KEEP SILENCE in the church if there is no interpreter. (You must know what language you are going to speak in to know if an interpreter is present or not.) Let all things be done DECENTLY AND IN ORDER.
9. LET THE PROPHETS speak two or three, for you may ALL prophesy one by one, that ALL may learn and ALL may be comforted. The spirits of the prophets ARE SUBJECT to the prophets (not vice versa) for God is NOT the author of confusion.
10. LET YOUR WOMEN keep silence in the churches. That is either within the context of speaking in tongues, or it is out of the context of the chapter and means not EVER making a sound. Since other scriptures teach (we always compare scripture with scripture) that women can prophesy, pray, speak, etc. it seems (in context with the chapter) to mean that a woman is not permitted to speak in tongues in the church.
11. Paul says AGAIN: COVET TO PROPHESY. THIS is the IMPORTANT GIFT. He says to not forbid to speak in tongues (as long as it is done according to the above rules of order and until that which is perfect is come then of course they will have ceased).
NOWHERE ELSE IN THE BIBLE ARE TONGUES DEALT WITH. Paul NEVER tells anyone TO SEEK THAT PARTICULAR GIFT. IN FACT he seems to tell them to avoid it. We believe that tongues have ceased. THE BIBLE (that which is perfect) has come.
We DO NOT BELIEVE the “modern” tongues movement is of God. We are not saying that all people caught up in it are UNGODLY. Either Satan has deceived them, or they are self deceived. It is confusion (and God is not the author of confusion). It is unscriptural in its methods, and unscriptural in its definition. WE ADVISE YOU TO FLEE IT, TO AVOID IT, AND TO SEEK TO EDIFY THE CHURCH by teaching, preaching, praising, singing, and praying IN WORDS EASY TO BE UNDERSTOOD.
There is a theoretical, and highly probable danger in the modern tongues movement. The EXPERIENCE is placed above doctrine or holiness in life. Where do Christians have unity? In obedience to God’s Word? or in a shared experience that is outside the experience of salvation? Some professing believers pass over all other doctrines in the Word of God, and find unity in the doctrine of tongues in the fact that they have spoken in tongues. They accept anyone as being OF GOD who professes to have the gift of tongues. This is HAPPENING NOW, and we should and must be careful. WE KNOW that in the latter days there will be a ONE WORLD CHURCH and this can only come by an ignoring of doctrine. IT SOUNDS GOOD: “We should love the brethren even if they disagree with us on doctrine”. Yes, but WHAT DOCTRINES DO WE IGNORE? MINE? or YOURS? We teach that the Bible teaches a church should have a plurality of elders. Well, yes, we could IGNORE that doctrine perhaps, but how far should we go? Do we gather in another name other than the name of the Lord Jesus Christ? What about holiness in life? What about missions? What about soul winning? What about salvation by grace and not by works? What about eternal security? What about hell? What about the blood of Jesus? What about the virgin birth? What about Jesus being God? To have a one world church, DOCTRINES will have to be given up by someone. And GUESS WHO that someone will be! You are right! The ones who INSIST on not being dogmatic about doctrine, ARE VERY DOGMATIC in their INSISTENCE that YOU give up your doctrine for the sake of unity. BUT NOTICE: THEY WON’T ACCEPT your doctrine for the sake of unity with you. Odd isn’t it?
REMEMBER: When you take a stand for or against ANY DOCTRINE, Satan will tell you (& others) that you do not “love” the brethren. Watch for it. Expect it. Beware of it. REAL LOVE ALWAYS STANDS AGAINST THE FALSE BECAUSE REAL LOVE KNOWS THAT THAT WHICH IS FALSE HARMS THE PERSON YOU LOVE. GOD SAYS TO TAKE HEED TO THE DOCTRINE. I believe we should take heed to doctrine. (Read Timothy and Titus)