Pastor David B. Curtis

HOME | STUDY INDEX

Other Tongues

Acts 2:4-13

Delivered 05/11/2008

We are looking at Acts 2 and the subject of Pentecost. On the day of Pentecost the promised Spirit arrived, it was an audiovisual experience.

And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent, rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 and there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. (Acts 2:2-3 NASB)

There was "a noise" like a violent, rushing wind­no wind, just noise. This would get their attention. The Greek word used here for wind is most often translated "breath of life." Luke uses this particular word here to stress the life-giving breath of God, as symbolized by the sound of wind.

Notice also that there are tongues of fire. Throughout the Scriptures, fire is always a sign of God's presence among His people. Note how at Pentecost the manifestation of the flaming presence of God is not positioned over a tent as it was in the Old Covenant. This time it is over PEOPLE. Because they are the new tabernacle­the dwelling place of God. God is descending in fire on the new temple of His people by His Spirit. This is the promise of the New Covenant.

Notice that Acts 2:2 says that the Spirit, "filled the whole house where they were sitting." The people in the house were totally "immersed" in the Spirit. This, people, is the baptism with the Holy Spirit. We saw in our last study that the baptism with the Holy Spirit is the work of Jesus Christ in putting us into the church through the agency of the Holy Spirit. It happens at salvation. It is a non-experiential positional work of God where we are identified with Christ.

Luke not only tells us of tongues of fire but he also talks about "other tongues":

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. (Acts 2:4 NASB)

They were all "filled" with the Holy Spirit. It means to come under His complete and total control.

In Deuteronomy 4 a great emphasis is placed by Moses on the fact that they saw His fire, and that from it they heard His voice speaking His words to them (verses 10, 11-12, 33, 36). From the fire of God came the words of God. Here at Pentecost we have the same picture, the "tongues" of fire sat on each of them, and then the other "tongues" came as a result of the fire, so that the watchers could see the fire and hear His words. God was speaking from the fire of His presence as He had at Sinai.

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. (Acts 2:4 NASB)

What are these "other tongues"? What is happening here on Pentecost? We need to know so we can answer the question, What about tongues today? "Tongues" today are so popular that there is a movement named after it, "the tongues movement." The importance of the tongues movement is magnified by the teaching that connects it with the "Baptism with the Holy Spirit."

Kenneth Hagan of Tulsa, Oklahoma says, "Speaking in tongues is always manifested when people are baptized in the Holy Spirit." From what we learned last week this means that ALL Christians should speak in tongues.

Donald Gee says, "The distinctive doctrine of the Pentecostal churches is that speaking with tongues is the initial evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit." Which would mean that if you don't speak in tongues you are not saved.

We saw in our last study when the baptism of the Holy Spirit takes place in the life of the believer:

For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:13 NASB)

All believers have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, "we were all baptized." The Baptism of the Holy Spirit takes place at salvation, it is something all believers have in common.

What is the evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit? How do you know if someone has been baptized in the Holy Spirit? Faith is the evidence, if they believe the gospel. The evidence can't be tongues because tongues were partial, all believers didn't speak in tongues:

All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they? (1 Corinthians 12:30 NASB)

The implied answer is "No". Tongues are partial, but baptism is universal:

For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:13 NASB)

There are non-Christian people who speak in tongues and they're not baptized with the Holy Spirit. There are manifestations of tongues in such religions as Hinduism and Islam and also in cults such as Mormonism, this in itself ought to make us a bit wary of the manifestation. If you want to know if someone has been baptized with the Holy Spirit ask them if they believe the gospel.

I am not questioning the experience of those who say that they speak in tongues, every experience is genuine. But the test of what is biblical is never experience, but Scripture. It is no good for someone to say, "This happened to me, therefore. I know it must be of the Lord." Or, "A friend of mine went through such and such an experience and it was so wonderful that he tells me the result in his life has been great blessing, therefore it must be of the Lord." It may be valid; it may be true. Facts are always facts, and you do not need to deny what happens to someone. However, what happens is one thing; the explanation of it is quite another thing. I wouldn't question their experience but I would question if their experience was the Biblical gift of tongues.

Now as we study this subject of tongues we find that, first of all, there is relatively little said in Scripture about tongues. Compared with the tremendous amount of emphasis put on tongues today, it becomes very obvious that this is very much out of proportion. It is interesting to note that there is very little relative emphasis upon tongues in the New Testament. The word occurs only once in all four of the Gospels. There are only three incidents connected with it referred to in the Book of Acts. In all of Paul's letters it is only referred to in one letter and that is in the letter of 1 Corinthians. In many of the other letters to churches dealing with many other problems and attitudes, Paul never mentions tongues. There is no reference to tongues by any of the other New Testament writers. So you see, there is relatively little emphasis on tongues in the New Testament.

What is the gift of tongues? Let's see if we can answer that question from the Scripture. The subject of tongues is found in three books of the Bible. It is found in Mark 16:17, which if you remember our study of Mark I question that these verses in Mark are authentic. So we will skip Marks mention of tongues. Tongues are also found in Acts 2, 10, 19 and in 1 Corinthians 12-14.

When we read Acts 10 or 19, or 1 Corinthians 12-14 and read the word, tongues, we have no description in these passages of what the gift is. So we need to go somewhere else in the Bible if we can and find a description, or definition, or synonym which will define the meaning of tongues. Or we can develop a meaning of tongues by what others tell us it is. This seems to be the norm today, most people have developed their definition of tongues from what others have said about it. There are three predominate views of what tongues are 1. They are a know human language. 2. They are ecstatic speech, an unknown angelic language, a private prayer language. 3.They can be either of the first two.

What do the Scriptures say? That is what is really important. We have a description of tongues at there first occurrence in Acts 2. Which seems to be a logical place to describe what this gift is.

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. (Acts 2:4 NASB)

They "began to speak" is the Greek word commonly used for human speech (laleo) throughout the New Testament. Next, "with other tongues," distinguishes that the kind of speaking taking place was with "different languages." The word "other" implies "other than their own" (heterais) tongues, that is, tongues not native to their own. The word "tongues" (glossai) refers to languages." In verse 11 the word clearly refers to various dialects.

Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men, from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were bewildered, because they were each one hearing them speak in his own language. (Acts 2:5-6 NASB)

The latter half of that verse is an idiomatic statement; it means there were Jews from many other countries present in Jerusalem. The verse says they were devout men. The Greek word translated "devout" (eulabeis) means: "cautious, reverencing God, pious." They were reverent; they came to Jerusalem for the feast of Pentecost because they didn't want to offend the Lord.

"From ever nation under heaven." This is a typical exaggeration, not to be taken literally, it is intended to indicate the widespread nationalities of the Jews present in Jerusalem at this Feast. At the coming of the Holy Spirit it was as though the whole world were present, confirming its universal significance.

The Jews had been scattered throughout the entire known world in two different dispersions. First the ten northern tribes of Israel had been taken into captivity by the Assyrians in 721 A.D. Then Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, had taken away the southern kingdom of Judah in 586 B.C. Although there had been many who had returned to Canaan over the years, there were a great many more who did not. There were now Jewish communities throughout the Roman Empire and beyond.

"And when this sound occurred"­ sound here is the Greek word phone, [fo-nay]. I don't think that the "sound" mentioned here refers to the sound of tongues (that would hardly be loud enough to attract the attention of the whole city and countryside) but it is the sound of a mighty rush of wind that brought in the people from all over the city.

And they were amazed and marveled, saying, "Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 "And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born? 9 "Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs-- we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God." (Acts 2:7-11 NASB)

Luke emphasizes their astonishment, "they were amazed and marveled". The word "amazed" in Greek is a word that means literally, "to push out of their senses." It is exactly what we say when we use the modern phrase, "they blew their minds." That is exactly what he said. It blew their minds as they heard this phenomenon occurring. And linked with that, Luke says, they "marveled". Now the word is not quite accurately translated here. It is really a word which means they were "hit hard, stunned." They were staggered by this amazing thing. And the reason was that they heard these men declaring the mighty works of God, each of them in their own language.

We can presume that all the people present would speak Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic, and many would probably speak all three. So these "other tongues" in their native languages were intended as a sign rather than as a means of conveying knowledge. The declaring of "the mighty works of God" probably therefore indicates praise and worship rather than preaching.

Luke then list 16 nations. He starts off on the east and lists the Parthians and the Medes and Mesopotamia. It would be where we would think of as Iran and Pakistan and Afghanistan today. He comes around and he moves through what is today Turkey and Syria and Iraq. Then he moves down into Egypt and North African nations. Then he goes up into Asia and Europe. Then he mentions Rome. People had come as visitors from Rome for this festival, both Jews from Rome and also proselytes--people who so wanted the God of Israel that they were willing to go through a process of becoming Jews in order to enter into the promises of God for the Jews.

What is the significance of these nations? Why list all of these? Do you remember earlier in our study of Acts that we talked about the "second Exodus"? There are two forty year exodus periods talked about in the Bible. One is a type; Physical Israel was removed from bondage to Egypt at Passover, and they were put in the wilderness on a physical journey to a physical promised land.

The second is the Anti-type; This is a spiritual exodus that runs from the Cross to A.D. 70. In this exodus, Spiritual Israel left its bondage to the law of sin and death and begins a forty year spiritual journey to a spiritual inheritance; the Kingdom of God or the New Heavens and New Earth.

This second Exodus was foretold by God through Isaiah:

Then it will happen on that day that the Lord Will again recover the second time with His hand The remnant of His people, who will remain, From Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, And from the islands of the sea. 12 And He will lift up a standard for the nations, And will assemble the banished ones of Israel, And will gather the dispersed of Judah From the four corners of the earth. (Isaiah 11:11-12 NASB)

These nations listed here are the same that are listed in our text in Acts 2. This spiritual, final Pentecost is the beginning of the second Exodus. God is "recovering the second time" His people from bondage. This time the bondage is that of sin and death.

...we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God." (Acts 2:11 NASB)

The idea that these disciples preached the gospel to the diverse crowd in tongues is I believe incorrect. The crowd had a common language (Hebrew), and Peter preached a sermon to them in that language! (Acts 2:14-40)

The literal translation of verse 11 is that they were speaking "the greatness of God." What exactly does this mean? This was a Jewish custom of the time; it meant reciting from Scripture the miraculous things God had done. We see this practice evident in:

"Who is like Thee among the gods, O LORD? Who is like Thee, majestic in holiness, Awesome in praises, working wonders? (Exodus 15:11 NASB)
I shall wash my hands in innocence, And I will go about Thine altar, O LORD, 7 That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving, And declare all Thy wonders. (Psalms 26:6-7 NASB)
Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which Thou hast done, And Thy thoughts toward us; There is none to compare with Thee; If I would declare and speak of them, They would be too numerous to count. (Psalms 40:5 NASB)
I shall remember the deeds of the LORD; Surely I will remember Thy wonders of old. (Psalms 77:11 NASB)
O LORD, Thou art my God; I will exalt Thee, I will give thanks to Thy name; For Thou hast worked wonders, Plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness. (Isaiah 25:1 NASB)

They were praising God. They were not preaching the gospel; they were speaking about how great God is, and they were telling Him how great they thought He was. They were worshiping and praising God in these remarkable languages.

The Holy Spirit had the people who were speaking in tongues praise God so that the foreign Jews would know God was working in their midst. Once that became obvious, Peter could get up and preach.

And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, "What does this mean?" 13 But others were mocking and saying, "They are full of sweet wine." (Acts 2:12-13 NASB)

Luke gives us two more words that indicate puzzlement: They "continued in amazement", and "great perplexity". Those are suggestive words. "Amazement" means" "they sought for a solution." They began to ask themselves, what is behind all this. They began to think through, why does this occur? The second word means literally, "thoughts running through their minds."

The crowd didn't yet understand what was happening because the gospel hadn't been preached yet. The multitude of languages was only a sign to get them to listen.

So what do we learn form this text about tongues? Verse four says, "they began to speak with other tongues." The Greek word that is translated tongues is glossa, which refers to the organ in your mouth or the use of that organ, a language. The Greek word for other is heteros, it means another of a different kind. We could translate this, "they spoke with different languages."

In verses 4 & 11 we have the term glossa and in verses 9 -11 we have a clear explanation of what glossa is, it is a known human language. Verse 6 & 8 use the Greek word dialektos, translated here as languages. Dialektos is the language or dialect of a country or district. It can be more specific than the general language and refers to inflection and tone. On the day of Pentecost the people heard not only in their own language, but more technically in their own dialect.

Both glossa and dialektos refer to language, known human language. So from Acts 2 we have a clear explanation of what this new thing tongues was. Biblically, the gift of tongues was the ability to speak a language that you have never learned. It is not uttering some ecstatic utterance which makes no sense, it is not gibberish, it is not a jargon, it is a known language that is spoken somewhere on earth and can be reduced to writing. It is a known language, that is the point.

The amazing thing to me is that the people today who claim to have this gift of languages when preaching to a foreign audience use a translator. Does that make any sense to you?

Now, If the Bible explains something, then we should be very careful not to put a different explanation on what is obviously the same thing. All the uses of tongues in the New Testament (50 of them) refer either to the physical organ in our mouth or to the use of that organ in speaking known human languages.

and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. (1 Corinthians 12:10 NASB)

In the phrase "various kinds of tongues" the word "kinds" is the Greek word genos, which means: "a family, or group or a race, or nation." Linguistics uses the term, language families. The reference is to different kinds of languages. Are there families of gibberish?

The word "interpretation" is the Greek word hermeneia, which means: "translation." Translate means to take something in one language and put it into it's equivalent in another known language.

Since the word tongues, glossa, is the same word used in Acts our conclusion should be that it is the same, known human language. The gibberish and ecstatic utterance that we are seeing today is not the Biblical gift of tongues.

Someone is bound to ask, What about angle talk?

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. (1 Corinthians 13:1 NASB)

Some say that this is a reference to angel tongues. Search the Scriptures, every time an angle talks it's in a known human language. In Isaiah 6, Isaiah understood the angels speech. Look at Luke 1:11, 28; 24:4 angels always spoke in a known human language. In 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 Paul is using hyperbole. He is exaggerating his point and saying even if I could do these things it wouldn't matter without love.

So the Biblical gift of tongues was the supernatural ability to speak in a language you had never learned.

What was the purpose of tongues?

Was it so we could preach the gospel to foreigners? Not primarily, no. That is not its purpose in Acts 2. Look with me at 1 Corinthians 14, Paul provided here the only direct statement regarding the specific purpose of the gift of tongues.

In the Law it is written, "BY MEN OF STRANGE TONGUES AND BY THE LIPS OF STRANGERS I WILL SPEAK TO THIS PEOPLE, AND EVEN SO THEY WILL NOT LISTEN TO ME," says the Lord. 22 So then tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe, but to unbelievers; but prophecy is for a sign, not to unbelievers, but to those who believe. (1 Corinthians 14:21-22 NASB)

Tongues are a sign for unbelievers. If any one today thinks he has the gift of tongues, he needs to deal with the reality of that statement, and he will be forced to reconsider just what he does have. This is the primary purpose of the gift of tongues.

Paul is quoting Isaiah 28:11-12. In verse 22 Paul is applying it to the time of the Corinthians and tells them that if tongues were a sign in the time of Isaiah, they were still a sign. Tongues are not for believing people, they are for unbelieving people.

In verse 21 "this people" refers to Israel. Tongues are specifically a sign for unbelieving Israel. Isaiah 28 is a warning of judgement, verse 21 refers to the Assyrians, which the people would hear if they rejected Isaiah's message. The Assyrian tongue was a sign of judgment to a generation of Israelites rejecting the word of God. So, Paul explained, tongues are a sign of coming judgment for rejecting Jesus the Messiah and the gospel of grace. Jesus also warned of coming judgment:

"Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! (Matthew 23:38 NASB)

Moses gave the following warning in:

"The LORD will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as the eagle swoops down, a nation whose language you shall not understand, (Deuteronomy 28:49 NASB)
"Behold, I am bringing a nation against you from afar, O house of Israel," declares the LORD. "It is an enduring nation, It is an ancient nation, A nation whose language you do not know, Nor can you understand what they say. (Jeremiah 5:15 NASB)

In the First Testament God had clearly pointed out to the people of Israel that when they were going to be judged there would be a sign. That sign was that they would hear a language they couldn't understand. When they began to speak those languages on the day of Pentecost, every Jew should have known that the judgement of God was eminent.

Tongues was primarily a sign of judgement to unbelieving Jews. But secondarily, when tongues were interpreted they edified believers:

What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. 27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, it should be by two or at the most three, and each in turn, and let one interpret; 28 but if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in the church; and let him speak to himself and to God. (1 Corinthians 14:26-28 NASB)

Verses 27 & 28 tell us that tongues uninterpreted don't edify. Therefore if there is no interpretation there is to be no tongues. Are these the same tongues as in Acts 2? Glossa is always used of the tongue or languages. To use the word glossa and mean ecstatic speech would be to confuse the issue.

What about tongues being a private prayer language?

For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men, but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries. (1 Corinthians 14:2 NASB)

Well, it says, He is speaking unto God, thus it is a private prayer language right? No! Paul is not praising them here, he's saying only God can understand you, to men it's a mystery, because its uninterpreted. It is not a private gift and it is not exercised anywhere in the New Testament in private. If you were to examine every prayer prayed in the Bible, and if you were to study every passage in the Bible which taught about prayer, you would not find anything, anywhere, anytime that even suggests that prayer should ever be unintelligible.

"And when you pray, you are not to be as the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners, in order to be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 6 "But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will repay you. 7 "And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition, as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. 8 "Therefore do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need, before you ask Him. (Matthew 6:5-8 NASB)

The word repetitions is the Greek word battologeo which comes from the verb, legeo, to speak and the prefix batta. Batta it is a figure of speech that in English we call an "onomatopoeia" which is a word that sounds like what it is, buzz, zip, zing, rip. Jesus was literally saying, when you pray don't say batta, batta, batta, the gibberish that the pagans offer to their gods.

What is prayer? It is a declaration of our dependency. It's saying, "God I'm dependant upon you and I need your help." You don't pray in gibberish, if you do you have no idea what your saying to God. It's just noise. 1 Corinthians 14:22 says, "tongues are for a sign," not for a private prayer language.

Donald Gee says, "The revealed purpose of the gift of tongues is chiefly devotional, and we do well to emphasize that fact." Larry Christenson says, "One speaks in tongues for the most part in his private devotions. This is by far it's most important value." Spiritual gifts were not for personal edification but for the edification of the body.

The purpose of tongues was not self-edification but for a sign to unbelieving Israel. The only time tongues could have any meaning to a Christian is when they would be translated. To say that the gift of tongues is ecstatic speech to be used in private prayer devotions is to force a meaning into the biblical text that is not there. If you really want to edify yourself, study your Bible. That is God's means of self-edification.

"And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. (Acts 20:32 NASB)
Are tongues for today?
Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. (1 Corinthians 13:8-10 NASB)

Based on Paul's words in this passage, the only question as to whether or not the gift of "tongues" exists today as it did in Bible times is a question of timing. Has "that which is perfect" come? If it has, then tongues have ceased. But if "that which is perfect" has not yet come, then tongues have not ceased, and God has meant for tongues to continue on throughout the centuries as a normal practice in the Church up to our present day.

I don't have time to go into all the details of this passage at this time. If you want a detailed explanation of this passage, see my message "The Perfect has Come". I believe that "that which is perfect" refers to the maturity of the body of Christ which happened in A.D. 70 with the destruction of the temple and the consummation of the New Covenant.

Tongues was a sign of judgment. Once judgment had fallen on Israel, the gift would have no significance at all. Judgment fell on Israel in A.D. 70; the temple was destroyed and the sacrifices came to an end.

History records that the gift of tongues ceased in the apostolic age. I was involved in the Charismatic movement early on in my Christian life and I spoke in tongues until I studied the history of the church in regards to prayer and tongues. I found that the first revival of tongues within the confines of the evangelical church of Jesus Christ since the apostolic age was in 1901. Where had it been for 1800 years? 1 Corinthians 13:8 says that "tongues will cease." There is no indication that they would ever start up again.

The post-apostolic fathers don't discuss the gift of tongues. It is nowhere found in any of their writings. Clement of Rome, wrote a letter to the Corinthians in A.D.95 discussing all of their spiritual problems and he didn't even mention tongues. Justin Martyr, who lived from A.D. 100-165, wrote much, but never mentioned tongues. He even made lists of the Spiritual gifts that do not include the gift of tongues. Origen who lived from A.D. 185-253. In his apologetic against Celsus, he explicitly argued that the signs of the apostolic age were temporary, and that no contemporary Christian exercised any of the ancient prophetical gifts. Chrysostom, A.D. 347-407. In his homilies on 1 Corinthians comments on chapter 12. "This whole place is very obscure; but the obscurity is produced by our ignorance of the facts referred to and by their cessation, being such as then used to occur but now no longer take place." Augustine A.D. 354-430. Comments on Acts 2:4 "In the earliest times, the Holy Spirit fell upon them that believed and they spoke with tongues. These were signs adapted to the time. For there behooved to be that betokening and it passed away."

So the greatest theologians of the ancient church considered the gift of tongues a remote practice.

To be fair there are some supposed occurrences of tongues since the apostolic age. Montanus from Phrygia with two female priestesses Prisca and Maximilla who spoke in ecstatic utterances. Montanus, who claimed to be the Holy Spirit was thrown out of the church as a heretic. After Montanus the next eruptions of tongues wasn't until the late 17th century.

How do we enplane what is happening today?

People are having an experience and speaking in ecstatic speech. Yes, they are. But it's not the Biblical gift of tongues. The question we need to ask today when we are exposed to any manifestation that is called the gift of tongues is, "Is this the same thing as what went on in the Bible?" And the only answer to that is that it must have the same characteristics that the Bible says it had. Most people assume that anything they hear today is the Biblical gift of tongues, but it is not. There is a lot of fraudulent tongue-speaking going around, and therefore it is important not to merely naively assume, that it is the Biblical gift, but to ask yourself the question, "Does it measure up to the Biblical standard?"

Personally I believe that the so called tongue speaking that goes on in Christianity today can be explained as, "learned behavior." It's not a miracle or a supernatural experience, and it's not a Spiritual gift. The Rock Church has a class that teaches you how to speak in tongues. I had several men teach me how to speak in tongues at CBN.

Tongues could also be psychological, sort of a self-hypnosis brought on by the frenzy of some of the Charismatic meetings.

Why are tongues so popular?

1. Spiritual hunger. People are told that tongues are a great spiritual experience, and if they haven't had the experience they are missing something.

2. It provides an instant spirituality. Tongues is considered a manifestation of spirituality, holiness. Those who speak in tongues have arrived.

3. The need of acceptance and security. It makes you part of the in group. When you associate with those who speak in tongues it is only natural that you would want to be like them. In being like them you ensure your acceptance.

I believe that the Charismatic are wrong doctrinally on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. But they are still our brothers and sisters in Christ. And because of that we are to love them. They are for the most part a very loving, caring, kind people. Lets learn from their good points and dwell together in love. Don't use what you know to attack and put down others but by love serve one another.

Tongues were a known human language. There primary purpose was as a sign of God's judgment on the nation Israel. We'll pick this theme up in our next study.

Media #415 MP3 Audio File
Continue the Series

Berean Bible Church provides this material free of charge for the edification of the Body of Christ. You can help further this work by your prayer and by contributing online or by mailing to:

Berean Bible Church
1000 Chattanooga Street
Chesapeake, VA 23322