In our last two studies we have been looking at the subject of spiritual gifts. I have defined Spiritual Gifts as: "A God-given capacity through which the Holy Spirit supernaturally ministers to the body of Christ." They are not natural abilities or talents; they are supernatural. In our last two studies I have tried to demonstrate that all the gifts ended with the end of the second exodus or transition period in A.D. 70. I should have said this in our first two studies, but better late than never, Preterism is the eschatology that believes that the second coming of our Lord was in A.D. 70. We are now living in the New Heavens and Earth which is the New Covenant.
I cannot leave the subject of spiritual gifts without talking about the most controversial gift of all—speaking in tongues. Paul mentions this gift in 1 Corinthians 12.
to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 1 Corinthians 12:10 ESV
And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 1 Corinthians 12:28 ESV
Many would tell us that speaking in tongues is something that we are told to seek after and to pray for. Speaking in tongues is so popular that there is a movement named after it known as "The Tongues Movement." The importance of the Tongues Movement is magnified by the teaching that connects it with the "Baptism with the Holy Spirit."
These opening paragraphs of a message preached by Kenneth Miller illustrate my point:
"Visa, it's everywhere you want to be. 'Don't leave home without it' is a slogan of the popular credit card. It reminds me of the words of Jesus in Acts 1:4-5 where our Lord commanded His followers not to leave Jerusalem without the 'Promise of the Father.' This is clearly a reference to the infilling of the Holy Spirit that Jesus went on to call the 'Baptism with the Holy Spirit' in verse 5.
Jesus' early followers obeyed, but today we have many genuine lovers of the Lord Jesus who leave ‘home' constantly and venture out without the ‘Promise of the Father,' and as always is the case when we disobey the Lord, they miss out on the best He has for them.
It is my intention with this study to set forth a simple and reasoned approach to the subject of 'speaking in tongues. In the Book of Acts, we see that when the Holy Spirit is said to 'fill' or 'baptize' or to be 'received' or be 'poured out on' or 'fall upon,' we also see that these ones spoke in tongues."
Do you see what Miller is doing? He is connecting the baptism with the Holy Spirit with speaking in tongues. This is a very common teaching. Kenneth Hagan of Tulsa, Oklahoma says, "Speaking in tongues is always manifested when people are baptized in the Holy Spirit." 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."
Let me ask you a question, believers, "When does the baptism of the Holy Spirit take place in the life of the believer?"
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:13 ESV
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.
You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. Romans 8:9 ESV
Even the carnal Corinthians had received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is non-experiential, it is a positional work of God. It takes place at salvation. When the Spirit baptizes us into the Body of Christ, He puts us into Christ. He joins our life with His and He becomes our source of existence and strength. In other words, we are part of Him. To not have the Spirit is to not be saved.
As we study this subject of "speaking in 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. The word occurs only once in all four of the Gospels. There are only three incidences connected with it referred to in the Book of Acts. Among all of Paul's letters, it is only referred to in 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 or in the Book of Revelation. So, you see, there is relatively little emphasis on tongues in the New Testament.
What Is the biblical meaning of speaking in tongues? Let's see if we can answer that question by examining the Scripture. The subject of tongues is found in three books of the Bible. It is found in Mark 16:17; Acts 2, 10, 19; and in 1 Corinthians 12-14.
And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover." Mark 16:17-18 ESV
Almost all translations of Mark 16, if you look closely, will have brackets around verses 9 through 20, the words will be in italics, and there will be a footnote telling the reader that there is some question about whether or not this was originally a part of Mark's Gospel. The majority of New Testament scholars believe that verses 9-20 are not original.
How many of you have believed? How many of you are willing to drink some poison or handle a poisonous snake? Why not? It says, "If they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them." What's interesting to me is that these verses are seldom if ever expounded from the pulpit and almost never appealed to in didactic circumstances. These verses seem to say that these signs will accompany everyone who believes the Gospel. Unfortunately, the text makes it appear this way, and this is how this passage has been understood by many. As you go about preaching the Gospel, these signs will immediately confirm that the faith of those who believe is genuine. But the amazing fact is that for twenty centuries millions of people have been converted and have believed the Gospel, and none of these signs have appeared. These things are to me strong reason to reject these last twelve verses as not original. No other text in Scripture provides a promise for the handling of snakes and imbibing deadly poison without adverse repercussions.
Back in 2012, Mark Wolford, 44, a West Virginia preacher who handled snakes to prove his faith in God died after being bitten during an outdoor service involving the reptiles. He died after witnesses say a timber rattler bit him on the thigh. Wolford was trying to revitalize a strong tradition that does not make a distinction between beliefs and practices. Wolford and his followers have a literal belief in Mark 16:17-18. How sad to give his life because of a misunderstanding of Scripture.
There are only two other books in the Bible that mention tongues. When we read Acts 10 or 19 or 1 Corinthians 12-14 and read the word "tongues," we find no description of the nature of "tongues." We must go somewhere else in the Bible, if we can, to find a description, or definition, or synonym which will provide the meaning. If that fails, we can simply develop a meaning of speaking in tongues by what others tell us it is. It seems to be the norm today that people develop their definition from what others say. There are three predominate views of what tongues are: (1) They are a known human language, (2) They are ecstatic speech, an unknown angelic language, a private prayer language, or (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 their first occurrence in Acts 2. This seems to be a logical place toto start in order to find the meaning of this gift.
When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Acts 2:1-8 ESV
Verse 3 says, "divided tongues as of fire appeared to them." 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 tabernacle, the 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.
Verse four says: "and began to speak in 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 as "They spoke with different languages."
In verses 4 and 11, we have the term glossa. Verses 9 -11 provide a clear definition of the nature of glossa.
And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God." Acts 2:8-11 ESV
We see from these verses that tongues involved a known human language. Verse 6 and 8 use the Greek word dialektos which is 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.
In verses 9-11 of Acts 2 Luke lists 16 nations. What is the significance of these nations? Why list all of them? Luke is telling us that this is the start of the Second Exodus predicted by the prophets.
In that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of his people, from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea. He will raise a signal for the nations and will assemble the banished of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. Isaiah 11:11-12 ESV
These nations listed here are the same that are listed in our text in Acts 2. By naming all these nations, Luke is telling us that Pentecost is the beginning of the Second Exodus. God is a "second time to recover" His people from bondage. This time the bondage is that of sin and death. At Pentecost Yahweh began to reclaim all the nations that He had disinherited at Babel.
Now after this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come. Luke 10:1 NASB
Luke viewed the Gospel as God's plan for reclaiming the nations that He disinherited at Babel. The number of disciples given in Luke 10:1 was meant to match the number of nations to reinforce this symbolism.
Back to Acts. Both glossa and dialektos refer to language, known human language. So, from Acts 2 we have a clear explanation of what this gift of "tongues" was.
Verse 11 tells us that they began to speak in languages which they had never learned and were preaching the wonderful works of God. This was the ability to communicate in a language not previously learned. Biblically, the gift of tongues is 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.
As you read the account in Acts 2, there is no question about this. There are sixteen languages mentioned in this chapter and the people who spoke them were present. They heard these men speaking in tongues, that is, speaking in languages as the Spirit gave them utterance. The people said to each other, "How is this? Why, these men are Galileans; we can tell by their dress that they are just ignorant fishermen. How is it that all of us have heard them speak in our own tongue—in our own language?" This was during the time when the feast of Pentecost was being celebrated. Thousands of strangers were there in Jerusalem at that time, and these men heard these sixteen languages. 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? It is all right to be a Christian and think!
Now, If the Bible explains something, we should be very careful not to give it a different explanation. All of 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.
to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 1 Corinthians 12:10 ESV
In the phrase, "various kinds of tongues," the word "various" 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 its 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 "tongues."
Someone is bound to ask: "What about angel talk?"
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 1 Corinthians 13:1 ESV
Some say that this is a reference to angel tongues. Search the Scriptures and you will find that every time an angel speaks, it is done in a known human language. In Isaiah 6, Isaiah understood the angel's speech. Luke 1:11, 28; 24:4 demonstrates that 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 would not matter if it is done without love.
Therefore, biblically defined, "tongues" was the supernatural ability to speak in a language (a known human language) the speaker has never learned. Now that we understand the biblical meaning of tongues, let's see if we can discover what the purpose of tongues was.
What Was the Purpose of the Gift of Tongues?
What was the purpose of this known human language that had not been learned? Was it so that we could preach the Gospel to foreigners? Not primarily. Look with me at 1 Corinthians 14 where Paul provides the only direct statement regarding the specific purpose of speaking in tongues.
In the Law it is written, "By people of strange tongues and by the lips of foreigners will I speak to this people, and even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord." Thus tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is a sign not for unbelievers but for believers. 1 Corinthians 14:21-22 ESV
Tongues are a sign for unbelievers. If anyone today thinks he has the gift of tongues, he needs to deal with the reality of that statement; and if he does, he will be forced to reconsider his "gift." This is the primary purpose of the gift of tongues. Verse 21 is quoting Isaiah 28:11-12. In verse 22, Paul applies this 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 for their day. Tongues are not for the benefit of believing people; they are for the reaching unbelieving people.
In verse 21 "this people" refers to Israel. Tongues were specifically a sign for unbelieving Israel. Isaiah 28 is a warning of judgment; verse 21 refers to the Assyrians, through whom the people would hear from the LORD if they rejected Isaiah's message.
For by people of strange lips and with a foreign tongue the LORD will speak to this people, Isaiah 28:11 ESV
The Assyrian tongue was a sign of judgment to a generation of Israelites rejecting the Word of God. Consequently, Paul explained that tongues were a sign of coming judgment for the people's rejection of Yeshua, the Messiah, and the Gospel of grace (cf. Matt. 23:37-38).
Moses gave the following warning in Deuteronomy.
The LORD will bring a nation against you from far away, from the end of the earth, swooping down like the eagle, a nation whose language you do not understand, Deuteronomy 28:49 ESV
In Jeremiah Yahweh says this,
Behold, I am bringing against you a nation 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 ESV
In the Old Covenant, Yahweh 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 could not understand. When the disciples began to speak those foreign languages on the day of Pentecost, every Jew should have known that the judgment of God was imminent.
And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "What does this mean?" But others mocking said, "They are filled with new wine." But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: "Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: Acts 2:12-16 ESV
Peter says, "We are not drunk, what you are seeing is the fulfillment of Joel's prophecy." Then he quotes from Joel.
"‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. Acts 2:17-18 ESV
The term "last days" describes the period of time between the birth of Christ and the destruction of Jerusalem. It refers to the last days of the house of Israel, the last days of the Old Covenant era. Peter did not say that the miracles of Pentecost were "like" what Joel prophesied. He said that "this was the fulfillment." The last days had arrived. It was a sign of judgment upon Israel. The term "all mankind" refers to Jews and Gentiles. Israel was being judged, and the Gospel was being taken to the Gentiles (Romans 11:11).
And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.' Acts 2:19-21 ESV
Isn't this speaking of a future judgment of the whole world? No! This is prophetic language which speaks of the end of the Old Covenant system and the Nation of Israel. The same type of language is used in Isaiah 13.
Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger, to make the land a desolation and to destroy its sinners from it. For the stars of the heavens and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be dark at its rising, and the moon will not shed its light. Isaiah 13:9-10 ESV
This is prophesying the fall of Babylon to the Medes. These events did not literally take place. Poetically, however, these things did happen. As far as these nations were concerned, "the lights went out." This is simply figurative language predicting the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. The light of Israel was extinguished, the Old Covenant era was over.
Tongues was primarily a sign of judgment to unbelieving Jews. Secondarily, when tongues were interpreted, they edified believers.
What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up. If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn, and let someone interpret. But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silent in church and speak to himself and to God. 1 Corinthians 14:26-28 ESV
Verses 27 and 28 tell us that tongues if uninterpreted do not 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 speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. 1 Corinthians 14:2 ESV
The one who speaks in a tongue is speaking to God. It is a private prayer language, right? No! Paul is not praising them here. He is saying that only God can understand but to men, it is a mystery because it is uninterpreted. The biblical gift of tongues never occurs in private. Like all the gifts of the Spirit, it was designed for the common good. It is a public gift, and every instance of its appearance in the Bible is a public occasion where others are present. 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. As a matter of fact, the opposite is true.
"And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. "And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Matthew 6:5-8 ESV
The words "empty phrases" is the Greek word battologeo, which comes from the verb, legeo, (to speak) and from the prefix batta. Batta is a figure of speech that in English we call an "onomatopoeia," a word that sounds like what it is (e.g., buzz, zip, zing, rip). Yeshua was literally saying, "When you pray do not say, 'Batta, batta, batta,'" the gibberish that the pagans offer to their gods.
What is prayer? It is a declaration of our dependence. It is saying, "God I'm dependent upon You, and I need Your help." You don't pray in gibberish. If you do, you have no idea what you are saying to God. It is just noise. First Corinthians 14:22 says that "tongues are for a sign," not for a private prayer language.
We have seen the meaning of tongues; it was a known human language. And we have seen the purpose of tongues; it was a sign of judgment. Now let's deal with the duration of tongues. How long was this sign to last?
Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 1 Corinthians 13:8-10 ESV
Hopefully, in the last two messages on this subject, I have demonstrated that all the gifts ended in the first century. 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 the "perfect" come? If it has, then tongues have ceased. But if the "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 believe that the "perfect" refers to the maturity of the body of Christ which happened at the Second Coming of Christ in A.D. 70. The appearing of Christ at that time brought the destruction of Old Covenant Israel and ushered in the New Heavens and New Earth. This closed the cannon.
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. As a young Christian trying to understand "tongues," I studied the history of the church in regards to prayer and tongues and found that the first revival of tongues since the Apostolic Age, within the confines of the evangelical church of Yeshua Ha'Moshiach, 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 do not 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 in which he discussed all of their spiritual problems. He did not 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, 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."
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, 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 was not until the late 17th century.
Now, if what I have said thus far is true, you might be asking, "How Do We Explain What Is Happening Today?" People are having an experience and speaking in ecstatic speech. Yes, they are. But it is not the biblical "speaking in tongues." Biblically, tongues was a known human language that was spoken as a sign to the generation that lived in the last days.
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." 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.
If it is not biblical tongues, what is it? 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 is not a Spiritual gift. The mind is a powerful thing and if someone is with others he views as spiritual who claim to speak in tongues, that believer is most likely going to want to do it too. If he thinks it is a spiritual gift from God, he is going to want. People make themselves do it. I believe it is a learned behavior.
How many of you have ever heard of pseudocyesis? False pregnancy, clinically termed pseudocyesis, is the belief that you are expecting a baby when you are not really carrying a child. People with pseudocyesis have many, if not all, symptoms of pregnancy—cessation of menstruation, morning sickness, cravings, widening of the abdomen, enlargement of the breasts, but there is no baby. The most common cause of pseudocyesis is that the woman has such an intense desire to be pregnant that she convinces herself that she is. It is my belief that this same thing happens with those who speak in tongues. They have a strong desire to speak in tongues because they view it as a sign of spirituality. Their friends do it, so they begin to do it too.
This is what happened to me. I worked at CBN as a phone counselor and I heard a person tell to someone over the phone that he needed to learn to speak in tongues. I asked what it meant to learn to speak in tongues. I thought it was a spiritual gift. Several people took me to the prayer room at CBN and I learned to speak in tongues. To me it was real. It was an emotional high. This went on for several years until I did a study on church history and prayer. I came to believe that what I was doing was not real, so I quit.
I believe that speaking in ecstatic tongues is not the biblical gift of tongues. Let me clear that those who do it and have trusted the Lord Yeshua for their salvation, are our brothers and sisters in Christ. And because of that we are to love them. Let's not use what we know to attack and put down other believers, but by love, let's serve one another.
Speaking in tongues was a known human language. The primary purpose of tongues was as a sign of God's judgment on the nation of Israel. Tongues ceased when God's judgment fell on Old Covenant Israel in A.D. 70.