The truth about talking in Tongues
Talking in tongues is one of the most controversial of all Christian doctrines. There are those that say that it is not Biblical in the slightest and then there are those who say without it salvation cannot be obtained or more correctly it is evidence of someone’s salvation. These 2 views couldn’t be farther apart in contrast. Clearly both views cannot be correct. There are also many other views regarding tongues that fall in between these 2 extremes, such as that it is a gift of the spirit but that it is only talking in human languages that have been unlearned by the person receiving the gift. So how do we discern the truth about this much debated topic. Well there really is only 1 way, we go to the bible and we analyze what the word of God says about talking in tongues. But isn’t that how each view is established in the first place? Do all views not have Biblical support? Is the Bible itself not used by supporters of each view to prove that their view is correct and any other view is incorrect. So if the Bible has already been analyzed what are we going to do in this video. Well we are going to analyze the analyzation. We are going to look at all the verses that are used and see if they really do support the view they are used to support. We shall look at the verses in context and compare them to other verses that are used to prove the opposite teachings. By doing this i shall demonstrate that the Tongues are Biblical , they are one of the gifts of the spirit but it is a gift that is not given to all and that the gift of tongues is only the ability to talk in foreign human languages that have not been learned by the person who receives the gift
We are going to answer some important questions to highlight the truth from the bible. We should ignore all preconceived ideas and let the bible speak for itself.
The first question we need to ask is
Is the gift of talking in tongues Biblical?
The answer to this question is yes.
Despite some people saying that it is not, the bible clearly talks about the gift of tongues. Paul makes lots of references to this and other spiritual gifts in co2-13-14 which is where much of the proof that tongues is Biblical come from. He makes it clear in 1 corinthians 12 that tongues is a spiritual gift
1 corinthians 12-1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. In verses 8-10 Paul lists the gifts
8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
Paul even states that he himself not only spoke in tongues but more than all of those in the church at Corinth
1 Corinthians 14-18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:
Jesus even said that the gift of tongues would follow after those that believe
Mark 16-17 17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
So tongues is definitely Biblical and also one of the gifts of the spirit.
So if the gift of tongues is biblical the next important question to ask is what actually is the gift of tongues?
There are only 3 examples of tongues in the Bible and all of those appear in the book of acts. Acts chapters 2,10 and 19. So let’s have a look at those.
Acts chapter 2
We shall look at this chapter in some detail and put it into context and some understanding
The chapter starts off telling us when this took place
Acts 2-1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
So we know that this was the day of pentecost. Pentecost is the greek word pentékosté and literally means the 50, it is the 50th day after the passover.
And they had gathered together. Now most people say that the they were the 120 disciples previously mentioned in
acts 1 -15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty
and they use this to show that all the disciples received the gift of tongues and this is evidence that everyone who receives the gift of the holy spirit also receives the gift of tongues. There are 2 problems with this assumption
1) this doesn’t actually say there were the full 120 although it may be inferred as it uses they were all with one accord in one place and we also see this in the previous verse
acts 1-14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.
But if we look at Acts 2-14 we see that peter stood with the other 11 disciples of Jesus, It has to be read into the text that there were in fact 120 disciples there at this time
acts 2-14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice,and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words
2) and actually more importantly this wasn’t when the disciples received the holy spirit at all. They were simply filled with the holy spirit at this time.
Acts 2- 2And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
The disciples had already received the holy spirit before Jesus had given them the holy ghost BEFORE his ascension in John 20-22
John 20-22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
We are then told that these other tongues that they spoke when filled with the holy spirit were in fact human languages, they were the languages of the Jews who had gathered in Jerusalem for pentecost who had come from other nations.
Acts 2-5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. 6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
Although being Jews they spoke in the language of the nations that they had come from but they heard the disciples talking in their own language.
Acts 2-7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? 8And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, 10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
So the disciples simply spoke in a language that wasn’t their own but it was a human language that others who spoke that language recognised.
Now there were those who came mocking this and said that the disciples who were talking in tongues were drunk.
Acts 2-13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.
Now we are told why they thought this
Acts 2-14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
The doubters were those that dwelled in Jerusalem, they were not from the other nations and they did not understand the foreign languages that were being spoken by the disciples so to them they were speaking nonsense.
Now let’s look at the 2nd example of tongues
Peter was preaching the word when the gentiles who had heard were given the gift of the holy spirit and spoke with tongues
Acts 10-44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. 45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.
This verse doesn’t actually state that the tongues spoken were foreign tongues but we should remember we have only had 1 other incident of tongues in the bible up to this point and as we have already seen that the manifestation of tongues in that occurrence in acts 2 was explained and demonstrated to be foreign human languages it would be reasonable to assume that the tongues in this verse would be the same thing unless we have specific reason to think otherwise such as a new or different explanation of what they are. Seeing that we don’t have that it would have to already be believed that there was in fact a different form of tongues in order to read into this passage that the tongues being spoken were anything other than the tongues already shown in acts 2
We also know that the gentiles received the gift of the Holy spirit.
The 3rd and final incident of tongues comes in acts 19
Acts 19- 6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. 7And all the men were about twelve.
So we are told that the 12 men spoke in tongues.
If we go back in the chapter we see that that it was at the time that they were baptized in the name of Jesus after Paul had asked them if they had received the gift of the holy spirit since they believed
Acts 19-1 1And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, 2He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?
Acts 19-2 1And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, 2He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost
So they didn’t even know if the Holy ghost was such a thing clearly indicating that they had not in fact received the holy spirit.
They explained that they hadn’t actually been baptized with the name of Jesus but only in John’s baptism
Acts 19-3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism
Paul then tells them that they needed to be baptized into Jesus and then they were baptized into the name of Jesus
Acts 19-4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. 5When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
This is when the men received the holy ghost and spoke in tongues.
Again we do not have any information on what tongues they spoke in but as with chapter 10 we still have no new explanation of tongues so it is far more logical that it would be the same tongues as chapter 2.
So these are the only 3 times that anyone in the bible speaks in tongues, now as we see from Paul who said that he spoke in tongues more than anyone in Corinth this clearly isn’t the only times tongues had been spoken but all 3 incidents would seem to be of human language in nature and any other type of tongues would have to be read into the text and cannot be read out of it. So with no biblical occurrence of any other type of tongue such as an angle language , there is no biblical occurrence to support that anyone actually spoke in an angel language .
So where does the idea of a heavenly, angelic or language between a person and God only , come from.
Well it mainly comes from a few passages in 1 Corinthians.12/13/14 and one verse in Romans
I shall start with the verse in Romans as it is actually very simple to understand and disprove as being talking in tongues.
Romans 8-26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
This verse used to show that the spirit makes intercession on our behalf with groanings “tongues” which cannot be uttered.
When we put this verse into context we will see that it is in no way talking about “tongues” in any form. It is in fact talking about pain. The pain of the curse of the separation from God. Living on earth even while being In Jesus. While we await the future glory.
We will start at verse 18 in detail but if you actually look at the whole of chapter 8 it is all about the newness of being in Christ having the spirit of Christ in us and being freed from sin because of that spirit.
Romans 8- 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
Romans 8- 10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
Romans 8- 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
And we start at verse 18
Romans 8- 18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
But will be delivered from the curse
Romans 8- 21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
The WHOLE creation groans
Romans 8-22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now
this isn’t tongues obviously , it’s clearly groaning in pain in the hope of being delivered from the curse.
WE who have the spirit GROAN , WAITING for the adoption, we groan in WAIT for the return of the Lord and the end.
Romans 8- 23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
We get more understanding of the groaning
1 Corinthians 15 -1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: 3If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. 5Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.
It is not a “spirit language” but a longing for reconciliation.
Notice the word LIKEWISE in the verse
Romans 8-26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
This is the greek word Ὡσαύτως Hōsautōs which literally means in like manner, likewise, just so. So the verse including the groanings is being likened to the previous verses where we see the creation groaning, and so the spirit groans in the same way that the creation groans. This obviously doesn’t mean that the creation speaks to God through an angel (or any) language.
The word for groanings is στεναγμοῖς stenagmois it means to groan or sigh (under great pressure not any kind of dialect)
Notice also how it states the groanings that cannot be uttered. But the person who speaks in “tongues” does make utterance. It does not say that the spirit groans which cannot be spoken by, comprehended or understood by us. It says which CANNOT be uttered. Therefore if this is indeed stating that the spirit prays on our behalf then it would in fact by its own wording be meaning this would be in total silence and NOt through any utterance of any kind.
This is the spirit that is inside us helping us in our weakness (infirmities is the greek word ἀσθενείᾳ astheneia weakness or illness. The illness of sin. Having the spirit in us removes that illness of sin and weakness. The spirit in us that makes intercession between us and God
In context this verse has nothing to do with “tongues” and everything to do with a longing for God.
Let’s look at those passages in Corinthians and go through them one at a time and see if they hold up.
Let’s start with 1 Corinthians 13-1
1 Corinthians 13 -1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
This verse where Paul states with tongues of man and of angels is used to show that there are tongues of men and tongues of angels.
Firstly we need to understand that the whole of chapter 13 is actually talking about charity and not tongues (charity simply means love between one believer and another).
At first glance at this passage it would seem that Paul is in fact stating that there are human languages and angel languages and that he spoke in them, but if we look at it in context we will see that Paul isn’t saying that at all.
If we look at verse 2 and 3
2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
Paul is actually trying to make an emphasis on the importance of charity. He is contrasting charity against various things using hyperbole to make his point.
He isn’t saying that he actually does speak in tongues of angels he is saying even if i spoke in them if i don’t have charity then those languages would become like sounding brass or tinkling cymbals meaning just noises and wouldn’t mean anything. The greek word used is ean and means IF. When we look at the rest of what Paul says we see he goes on to say that though and he is using though in this verse to mean if, we see this in other verses such as
Job 13 -15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him. So if he slay me i will still trust in him.
So Paul says if he has all prophecy and understand all mysteries all knowledge and all faith without charity he is nothing. These verses are all about the importance of charity, If we say the verse shows Paul spoke in tongues of angels we must also say the rest of what Paul says is also true, but Paul didn’t have all prophecy he didn’t have the understanding of all mysteries or all knowledge and he didn’t have all faith he also didn’t give his body to be burned he is simply using this to demonstrate the importance of charity love. It’s like me saying though i have all the money in the world and the nicest house and the fastest car it would mean nothing without my family, but i don’t have all those things, i am simply using exaggerated language to highlight the importance of what i am really saying that my family is more important than all of those things. Paul is doing the same here to show just how important charity is.
4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
All talking about and showing charity.
He then says in verse 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. Further demonstrating that Paul couldn’t have actually been saying that he had all knowledge and all Prophecy, if he didn’t have all that then it should also serve as evidence that Paul was in fact using hyperbole in his comparison against charity in verse 2 also and that he didn’t in fact have all what he was saying he did but if he did.
The chapter ends with 13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
Paul’s whole intention in chapter 13 is to emphasis charity.
The next verse is
1 Corinthians 14- 2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.
This verse is used to show that there is an angel language and that when you speak in it you are speaking to God.
Now firstly it needs to be mentioned that the verse actually states an unknown tongue not angel language and we have already established that any previous mention of tongues has always been or more logically been an unlearnt and unknown to the speaker human language. It has to be read into the text that this language is an angel language. But it does say that when you speak in an unknown tongue you don’t speak to men but to God. It also says in
Ephesians 6-18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
And 1 Corinthians 14-14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.
So this would seem that Paul is saying that an unknown tongue is a non human language that comes when a person prays in the spirit.
In order to answer this we are going to have to put these verses into context.
Firstly the ephesians passage …well if that is true that praying in the spirit is praying in the language of angels then you should never pray in your normal tongue As it says to always pray with all prayer in the spirit
If we continue to verses 3 and 4 of 1 corinthians 14 we will see that actually paul is not saying that speaking in an unknown tongue is actually necessarily a good thing.
3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. 4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.
When a person speaks in an unknown tongue he is not edifying the church but rather himself. Speaking to God and not to men is the result of talking in tongues and not the intention.
Now in verse 5 it would seem that Paul contradicts himself at the beginning
5 I would that ye all spake with tongues
But when we read the rest of the verse we will see that actually he doesn’t
but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.
He says that tongues are fine as long as the person talking them can interpret them or there is an interpreter in the church to interpret the words spoken so that it will edify the church and not just the person speaking. Tongues being alone is no good to anyone but the one talking in them. He also says that far greater is someone that prophesies clearly showing that prophecy is a greater gift.
When Paul says he that speaks in an unknown tongue speaks to God we have to assume he is referring to the only tongues that have been observed in the bible, human language unlearnt by the person speaking.
What was happening at corinth was people were using the gift of tongues to talk in the church. Now clearly this was tongues in is true manner or Paul would have rebuked them for using false tongues. People who had been given the ability to talk in foreign languages were talking in those foreign languages in the church and they were taking up all the time. Now as all the members of the church most likely spoke the local dialect when those who spoke, spoke in other languages they wouldn’t have been understood by the ones they were talking to ,the members of the church. Now they were praying and glorifying God and God would have understood but nobody else in the church would have known what they were saying so they were talking to God but not to men.
This is what Paul is trying to explain in chapter 14
He says in verse 6
6 Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?
What good will it be if i came to talk to you about God but you only spoke english and i talked with my gift of tongues in swahili? What benefit is there in my gift? How does that Glorify God? I edify myself because i talk to God only and not to you. If i get the gift of healing and i stand in the church and heal myself only, then what benefit is there for anyone else in the church i benefit myself only with my gift.
7 And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?
8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?9 So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air.10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.11 Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.
Paul is making it very clear that there is nothing good about talking in tongues if nobody can receive the benefit of what is said. Most people who claim to talk in the angel language have no idea themselves what they are saying let alone anyone who hears the words spoken.
He tells them to seek spiritual gifts , they are a good thing but only when they are used to edify the church. If we go to the beginning of the chapter and look at
1 corinthians 14-1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. Paul starts the chapter by saying spiritual gifts should be sought and again he points out that prophesying is a greater gift and also in verse 4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.
He yet again makes this point in verse 3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
But Paul had also said that when he speaks in an unknown tongue his spirit prays In verse 14
But if we continue on to verse 15 he actually answers this
15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.
Paul isn’t making a distinction here separating praying in the spirit and then praying with understanding he is linking the 2 when praying with the spirit in an unknown tongue i will pray with the understanding also of that prayer in the spirit also. So pray in tongues and this is still the foreign language and not an angel language but pray with the understanding of those foreign languages.
Paul even states
1 corinthians 14- 16 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?
How can speaking in a tongue and we can use this verse for tongues of men or of angels bless the person that you are talking to or praying for if you or they don’t know what has been said. How can they say Amen to a prayer that they have no idea what has been prayed for?
It does not edify or in other words benefit them in any way
17 For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.
We then have verse 18 where Paul states he spoke with tongues more than all
18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:
But he then adds
19 Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.
The all in verse 18 is the church at Corinth so he is saying he talks in tongues more than anyone at this church and we can only read out of this that he is comparing himself to those at this church only. And he is letting them know that teaching with understanding is far more important to him than talking in tongues.
In verses 27 and 28 Paul even says that talking in tongues should only be done with interpretation and if there is no interpreter then the person should not talk in that tongue
27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.
28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. and he explains why
1 Corinthians 14-23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?
If a non believer sees a church full of people all talking in languages that he doesn’t recognise or understand without interpretation he will simply think that they are all mad. He will not understand what is going on
1 corinthians 14 – 33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
Now Paul says that talking in tongues should not be disallowed but he also says all things should be done in order and decently.
39 Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. 40 Let all things be done decently and in order.
Talking in tongues is Biblical, but it is not an angel language it is the ability to talk in foreign languages unlearned by the speaker who may or may not also be given the ability to interpret those languages themselves.
To further help demonstrate what tongues are let’s answer what was or is the purpose of tongues. The bible tells us exactly what is the purpose for tongues.
1 Corinthians 14-22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.
And as with all spiritual gifts they are to edify , be of benefit to the church
1 corinthians 14-12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.
Tongues are a sign to non believers. They were first used as we saw in Acts 2 where the Jews who were gathered for pentecost were shown the truth of christ through the manifestation of tongues we are told that that day about 3000 accepted Jesus
Acts 2-41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
Its really that simple, tongues are a sign for unbelievers. And part of the spiritual gifts given to edify the church.
So we have seen what tongues are and why they were given. What about the mainly pentecostal (although not only pentecostal) belief that everyone who believes will receive the gift of tongues and the even the more extreme view that a person is not saved if they do not receive this gift.
We will get the answer from 1 corinthians 12
12- 4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
So Paul makes it clear that not everyone is given the same gifts including the gift of tongues. Not everyone will receive this gift,it is not a sign that a believer is saved.
And as always Paul explains
1 corinthians 12-11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.14 For the body is not one member, but many.15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:
So each gift is needed, if everyone has the same gift how would the other needed components be shown. God divides the gifts as he sees fit.
And paul continues
1 corinthians 12-27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
And we see that yet again Paul lists the gift of Prophecy only 2nd to being an apostle. Tongues however is last on the list. Why has the gift of tongues been so highly elevated in the church when Paul spoke much more about seeking to receive prophecy?
Paul is also asking the rhetorical question do all receive this gift and the answer is no.
Again the bible says that not all receive the same gifts
Romans 12-5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; 7Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; 8Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
But what about the very words of Jesus
Mark 16-17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
This verse is used to prove that Jesus himself says that all believers will receive tongues.First off this only states tongues not angel tongues so we should go back to the conclusion drawn from the passages in acts as to what this mention of tongues would mean. Secondly if this verse shows all believers would speak in tongues then it would also show all believers would cast out devils as that is also stated as a sign but not all believers are told they will cast out devils, it isn’t taught that if they don’t cast out devils they are not saved. Jesus also says in verse 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
Again all these things would also have to be part of salvation and given to a believer if tongues are received by all and needed for salvation. We also have to see Jesus doesn’t state ALL believers will receive these gifts just that they will follow those that believe.
If i say that lottery winners will follow those that play the lottery , it doesn’t mean that all who play the lottery will win but that there will be some who are winners.
If all believers get the gift of tongues we have to ask why there are only 3 occurrences in the whole bible of this happening and if they are angel languages why is there not 1 verse that shows someone talking in this language.
Acts 2-38 says be baptized and you will receive the gift OF the holy ghost not gifts of the holy ghost the holy ghost is the gift when you are baptised in the name of Jesus
1 Corinthians 12:7 – But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
Every man is given the spirit to profit all. So every man is given the spirit to profit ,not all are given the gifts of the spirit.
Notice how when they spoke in tongues they had received the gift OF the holy spirit. This is so often confused with gifts of the holy spirit. Everyone that believes receives the gift of the holy spirit so everyone who believes receives the holy spirit when baptized into the name of Jesus , but that doesn’t automatically mean they receive Gifts of the holy spirit or the same specific gift. These are particular incidents where the people spoke in tongues which is one of the gifts of the holy spirit , but this was after they received the holy spirit, in order to receive gifts you must first receive the gift which is the holy spirit itself, only then can gifts of the spirit be give and they are not always the same gifts.
Tongues are Biblical, tongues are a gift of the spirit but tongues are human languages unlearned by the speaker and tongues are not given to everyone.