New Testament Tongues
The Modern Tongues Movement

By John Henry

Posted to net October 21, 2006



“And they were filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:4)


Shortly after I was saved in the Spring of 1977 I began struggling with the question of Pentecostal Tongues.  The first church that I attended regularly was a Pentecostal Assembly of God Church in Wichita Falls, Texas.  I went there for about 2 years before deciding some of their teachings did not line up with the Bible, especially their false doctrines of 1) continuing revelation from God, and 2) that one must maintain his salvation by self effort.  When I went to this church sometimes at the end of the service a lot of the members would come lay hands on me and try to teach me to speak in tongues.  It was very embarrassing, but I never did speak their gibberish.  There are many good and godly Pentecostal people, and those who are saved are my brothers and sisters in Christ, but they are misguided, foolish, ad wrong to remain in their false religious system.  They are wrong to stay in the Pentecostal Movement for many reasons:  one of them is the tongues heresy.  In my struggle with the question of tongues I had to lay aside all my preconceived ideas and all the memory of the great emotional euphoria that I experienced in the meetings where tongues were practiced, and go to the word of God to find the truth of the matter.  Many today are trapped in false religions or hold to false doctrines because they will not go to he Bible to find out what God has to say about it.  Let us now lay aside our experiences and preconceived ideas, and open the Word of  God to find out what God has to say about tongues.


“And they [the disciples] were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 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. 7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? 8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 11 ... [W]e do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.”  (Acts 2:4-8, 11)

In this passage there are two Greek words that are translated “tongue” or “tongues.” Once “tongue” is translated from the Greek word “dialektos” and twice in this passage “tongues” is translated from the Greek word “glossa.”

Dialektos:  This Greek word is found six times in the New Testament, two times here in Acts 2:  once it is translated “tongue” and once it is translated “language.” It means dialect or language.

Glossa:  This Greek word is found many times in the New Testament, and is found twice in Acts 2:4-11 where it is translated “tongues” both times.  Elsewhere in the New Testament it means: 

1. The organ of taste and speech in the mouth (Revelation 16:10; Luke 16:24; Mark 7:33-35; James 3:5-6).

2. Personified “every tongue” means “every person” (Philippians 2:11; Romans 14:11).

3. Metaphorically it can mean speech (I John 3:18; I Peter 3:10; James 1:26, 3:8).

4. Once it means the shape of a tongue (Acts 2:3)
5. It often means known dialects and languages (Revelation 5:9,  7:9, 10:11, 11:9, 13:7, 14:6, 17:5; I Corinthians 13:1) including the supernatural God given ability to speak them without having learned them (Mark 16:17; I Corinthians 12:10, 30; Acts 2:4, 11, 10:46, 19:6). 

Our passage in Acts 2:4-11 has to do with a special gift of the Holy Spirit that enabled the early disciples to speak in foreign languages in order to communicate the gospel of Jesus Christ to others clearly.  Tongues was one of several gifts of the holy Spirit (I Corinthians 12:4-11; Romans 12:6-8).  On the first occasion of the operation of the gift of tongues as recorded in Acts we see, 1) that glossa (tongues) is synonymous with dialektos (language), and 2) that at least 15 known languages or dialects were spoken “as the Spirit gave [the disciples] utterance” (Acts 2:4-11).  In the Bible “glossa” never means a prayer language for self edification, and it never means unintelligible gibberish.


Tongues are promised twice in the Bible, once in the Old Testament and once in the New Testament:

The Old Testament promise of tongues:  “Whom shall He teach knowledge, and whom shall He make to understand doctrine?  [them that are] weaned from the milk, [and] drawn from the breast.  For precept [must be] upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little [and] there a little:  For with stammering lips and another tongue will He speak to His people.  To whom He said, This is the rest [wherewith] ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.  But the Word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, [and] there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.” (Isaiah 28:9-13; cf. I Corinthians 12:8, 10, 13:8-12, 14:6, 19-22).

The New Testament promise of tongues:  “[Jesus] appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief  and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen Him after He was risen.  And said unto them, Go ye into all the World, and preach the Gospel to every creature…And these signs shall follow them that believe;  In My name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 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…And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with [them], and confirming the Word with signs following.  Amen.” (Mark 16:14-20; cf. II Corinthians 12:12; Romans 15:18-19)


“[This sign] shall follow them that believeth…they shall speak with new tongues…” (Mark 16:17)  “[W]ith stammering lips and another tongue will He speak to this people.” (Isaiah 28:11)  The reasons that God gave the gift of tongues were twofold.  They were for a sign and they were a revelation gift given to edify the early church:

Tongues Were For A Sign: 

1. To “this people,” the Jews and especially the Jews in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost (Isaiah 28:11, 14; Acts 2:1-11).  Many Jews from the twelve tribes of Israel were scattered abroad when they were defeated and led captive hundreds of ears before the Day of Pentecost by the Assyians, Babylonians and later the Romans (James 1:1).  They had been scattered all over the World (I Peter 1:1;  Acts 2:9-11), but on the Day of Pentecost many of these disbursed Jews “out of every nation under heaven” had come to worship when they heard a bunch of uneducated “stammering” Galilaeans speaking “the wonderful works of  God” in their own language (Acts 2:5-8, 11; Isaiah 28:11).  The results of these Jews hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ “in his own language” was that ‘about three thousand souls” were saved and baptized that very day (Acts 2:6, 41).

2. To the believers “of the circumcision” (Jews) that Gentiles could be saved also (Isaiah 28:11; Acts 10:44-48).  When the Apostle Peter preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Cornelius, the Roman Centurion of the Italian Band, and his household and friends (Acts 10:1, 24)  “the Holy ghost fell on [these Gentiles as he did on the Jews on the Day of Pentecost]…And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter…For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.” (Acts 10:44-46, cf. 11:1-18).

3. To the lost in general. “[T]ongues are a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not ...” (I Corinthians 14:22).

4. To authenticate Apostolic authority.  Tongues was one of the five “signs of an apostle” (II Corinthians 12:12).  Every recorded instance of tongues was either preformed by, or witnessed by an apostle, and there are only three cases recorded (Acts 2:1-4, 10:45-46, 19:1-7).  After the Lord Jesus Christ’s resurrection he said, “these signs shall follow them that believe…” (Mark 16:17).  In this verse “[t]he verb ‘believe’ in the Greek is in the aorist tense…which refers to those who did believe, not those who would believe at that time or in the future.” (Spiros Zodhiates)  In this verse the Lord is speaking to “the eleven” apostles (Mark 16:14) who should have already believed.  There were five signs that followed the believing apostles.  They were: 1) they cast out devils (Acts 5:16, 16:16-18, 19:11-12),  2) they spake with new tongues (Acts 2:3-4),  3) they took up serpents (Acts 28:1-6),  4) they could not be hurt by drinking poison (tradition says that an attempt to poison John failed),  5) they laid hands on the sick and they recovered (Acts 3:1-11, 5:12-16, 14:8-11, 28:8-9).  These, to be sure, were “the signs of an apostle” (II Corinthians 12:12; Mark 16:17-18).  “And [the apostles] went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the Word with signs following.” (Mark 16:20)  The Lord confirmed the authority of the apostles and their companions to write the inspired written Word of God with these five signs.  It is likely that some of the apostles’ associates, like Mark, Luke, Barnabas, Philip, and others, also displayed some of the sign gifts which authenticated their temporary revelation gifts.

Tongues Were A Gift Of The Holy Ghost Given To Edify The Church:

In the Word of God there are three categories of spiritual gifts:  1) sign gifts, 2) revelation gifts, and 3) service gifts.  Only the gift of tongues fit into two of the categories:  Tongues were both a sign gift, and a revelatory gift.  The Spirit given ability to speak a language previously unknown to the speaker was to enable the speaker to reveal God’s Word to those who heard the Word.  Once the Apostle Paul led some men to Christ and baptized them... “and when Paul had laid [his] hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.” (Acts 19:6)  These men received the gift of tongues which enabled them to prophesy.  On the Day of Pentecost when the apostles “were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance…[men] out of every nation under heaven [15 countries are named]…came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language…[And they said] we do hear them speak n our tongues the wonderful works of God” (Acts 2:4-6, 11).  We do not know what language the Apostle Peter’s spoke in when he gave that Gospel message (Acts 2:14-36), but the other apostles spoke of "the wonderful works of God” also, perhaps translating what Peter preached.  Peter told the multitude that their speaking in tongues was, at least partially, the fulfillment of an old Testament prophecy (Joel 2:28-32) which said that God would give “signs” and that His people would “prophesy” (Acts 2:16-20). 

All spiritual gifts (sign, revelation, and service), including the gift of tongues, were given specifically for the edification of the local church (I Corinthians 14:4, 5, 12).  The Word of God says:

“[U]nto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.  Wherefore He saith, When He ascended up on high, He…gave gifts unto men…And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ…[The Lord Jesus Christ] is the Head…from Whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” (Ephesians 4:7, 8, 11, 12, 16) 

“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit…the word of wisdom;…the word of knowledge; …faith; …healing; …miracles; …prophecy; …discerning of spirits; …tongues; …interpretation of tongues:  But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will.  For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, and one body:  So also is Christ.”  (I Corinthians 12:4, 8-12, cf. 27-30) 

All spiritual gifts, and there are more than are named here, are “for the edifying of the body of Christ,” the Church (Ephesians 4:12, cf. 1:22-23).  The word “edify” means “to build up.”  To be sure churches (assembled saved people) must be maintained by ministry, teaching, exhortation, giving, etc. (Romans 12:4-8),  but the main purpose of spiritual gifts is to “build up” the church by 1) getting folks saved and 2) strengthening believers through teaching spiritual Truth.  The former is exactly what happened the first time the gift of tongues was manifested:  “Then they that gladly received [Peter’s] word were baptized:  and the same day there were added [to the church] about three thousand souls.” (Acts 2:41) Tongues were a powerful jump start to get the Apostolic Church going on the Day of Pentecost, and help get a bunch of people saved (Acts 1:4-8).


“... [W]hether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.  But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.  For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.  And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the ” (I Corinthians 13:8-12)

The Three Categories Of Spiritual Gifts:

1.  The Sign Gifts
(Mark 16:17-18):  These served two purposes:  1) they got peoples attention so that they could hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and have an opportunity to be saved, and 2) they served to authenticate the apostle or prophet’s authority and message:  “[The apostles] went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with [them], and confirming the Word with signs following.  Amen.” (Mark 16:20)   "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;  God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?" (Hebrews 2:3-4; cf. Acts 1:21-26)  When the Word of God was completed "by them that heard [Christ]," both the sign gifts and the office of an apostle of Jesus Christ were abolished.  "... [W]hether there be tongues, they shall cease ..." (See Appendix)

2.  The Revelation Gifts (Romans 12:6; I Corinthians 12:8, 10):  Revelation gifts served one purposes: they dispensed spiritual knowledge and prophecy until the Word of God was completed by the apostles and prophets.  Knowledge of God, creation, Heaven, Hell, salvation, etc., and the prophetic predictions of the future rapture, tribulation, millennium, judgement, eternity, etc. could never have been known except God revealed these truths through the revelation gifts which He used in writing His Holy Word.  God “put away” the revelation gifts of "the Word of knowledge" (I Corinthians 12:8), "prophecy" (I Corinthians 12:10), and tongues when He completed His Bible (The words "put away” in I Corinthians 13:11 comes from the same Greek word which is translated “shall fail,” “shall vanish away,” and “shall be done away” in I Corinthians 13:8, 10).  Now that we have "that which is Perfect," the complete and infallible Word of God, the Revelation Gifts are no longer needed.  (See Appendix)

3.  The Service Gifts (Romans 12:6-8; I Corinthians 7;7, 12:8-10, 28):  There are at least 10 spiritual gifts that the Holy Spirits imparts as He wills today.  Each saved person is responsible to use his service gifts in the context of the local New Testament church for its edification (I Corinthians 12:27-28; Ephesians 4:11-12).  Every believer has at least three of these spiritual gifts 1) the gift of showing mercy for soul winning, 2) the gift of faith for prayer, 3) the gift of giving for the work of the Lord.  Spiritual gifts are imparted by the Holy Spirit when Christ baptizes him upon his receiving the Lord (Matthew 3:11, 16; John 1:32-33;  Acts 1:4-5, 8; I Corinthians 12:13) (See Appendix)

Evidence That Proves That The Word Of  God Is Complete:

1.  That which is Perfect versus that which is in part:
“[W]hether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail;…whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away.  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.  But when That which is Perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” (I Corinthians 13:8-10)  What is “That which is Perfect,” and what is “that which is in part”? That which is in part were the revelation gifts of  "tongues," "prophecy" and "the word of knowledge."  Paul was given part of the revelation, Peter was given part, the James and Jude other parts, Luke and Mark penned parts, Matthew was given part, and John completed the New Testament revelation with his part.  All these men had either the gift of prophecy, or the word of knowledge, or both so that they could write their part of the revelation. ""But when That which is Perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” (I Corinthians 13:10)  The Phrase “That whish is Perfect” is translated from a single Greek word which means: full grown, mature, complete, finished, perfect.  It signifies “that which has reached it’s end.” (Zodhiates, Vine) Some teach that “That which is perfect” is “the perfect state of all things, to be ushered in bythe return of Christ from heaven” (Thayer), but  there is nothing in the context of the passage to indicates this interpretation.  The context (I Corinthians 12, 13, 14) is clearly speaking of spiritual gifts.  In our passage (I Corinthians 13:8-13) Paul is contrasting the permanence of love (charity) (note verses 8 & 13) with the impermanence of  the gifts of tongues knowledge, and prophecy (note verses 8, 9, 10).  Love is one of the fruits of the Spirit whereas tongues, prophecy and the word of knowledge are gifts of the Spirit.  The fruit of the Spirit is permanent, but the gifts are temporary.   Furthermore, the Word of God itself answers our question as to what “That which is Perfect” is where it says, “... [R]eceive with meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save your souls.  But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.  For if any be a hearer of lthe Word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.  But whoso looketh into The Perfect Law of Liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” (James 1:21-25)  The Greek word translated “perfect” here in James 1:25 is the same word as. in I Corinthians 13:10.  “That which is Perfect” is “The Perfect Law of Liberty,” the Word of God.  In Jude 3 the Bible is also called "the Faith."  There it says, “... the Faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 3)  The Greek word translated “once” here means “of perpetual validity, not requiring repetition (cf. Hebrews 9:27, 28; I Peter 3:18).” (Vine)  That which is Perfect, The Perfect Law of Liberty, is the "once delivered" Faith.  The Bible is complete, finished, perfect, it does not need anything to be added to it, and is of perpetual validity.  Therefore, sign gifts, of which tongues was one, which were given to confirm the Word (Mark 16:20) are no longer required, and the revelation gifts, which were in part, have been done away with because the Bible is now complete (I Corinthians 13:8-10).  The Bible is the only perfect thing on planet Earth today!

2.  Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord:  “For now we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as I am known.” (I Corinthians 13:12)  The glass in this verse is the mirror of the Word of God:  “For if any be a hearer of the Word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.  But whoso looketh into the Perfect Law of Liberty, and continue therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” (James 1:23-25)  James defined “That which is Perfect” as the Word of God, and here he defines the “glass” also as the Word of God.  The word “glass,” meaning mirror, appears only one other time in the New Testament, and the context there again proves it to mean the Word of God.  In II Corinthians 3:5-16 Paul is contrasting the New Testament with the Old Testament (both are the Word of God), and concludes that when one turns his heart to Christ he is liberated and changed by the Spirit of the Lord (II Corinthians 3:14-18).  Paul says that believers “all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (II Corinthians 3:18; cf. Romans 8:29; Colossians 3:10)  Paul, a personification of the church (generically speaking), was saying, “... now [around 56 A.D.] we see [understand] through a glass [the Word], darkly [obscurely, because the Word is not yet complete]; but then [when the Word is complete] face to face: now [56 A.D.] I know in part [have only bits and peaces of the revelation]; but then [around 96 A.D. when the Word is completed] I shall know even as I am known.” (I Corinthians 13:12 )  To be sure the complete and perfect Word of God is like a mirror that we come “face to face” both with the sinner that we are, and “the glory of the Lord.”  Let us use God’s glass to get our selves cleaned up (James 1:21), and changed into the image of Christ (II Corinthians 3:18; Colossians 3:10; Romans 8:29).  So now we have two words (perfect, and glass) in the context of I Corinthians 13:8-12 that are shown, in James 1:23-25, and II Corinthians 3:17-18 (note the word “liberty” in these passages also), to mean “the Word of God."  The context too indicates that in Paul’s day the revelation was not yet complete (perfect) and so only an obscure (dark) reflection could be seen then, but now we have come “face to face” with the Truth of God's breathed out, complete, holy, perfect, infallible, and final Word (I Corinthians 13:12; II Corinthians 3:18; James 1:23).

3.  Revelation and sign gifts were for the infant Church:  “For we [those with revelation gifts] know in part, and we prophesy in part.  But when That which is Perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.  When I was a child [infant], I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child:  but when I became a man, I Put away childish things.  For…now I know in part [have only part of the revelation]; but then [when the revelation is complete] shall I know [all of God’s doctrine] even as also I am known.” (I Corinthians 13:9-12)  The Prophet Isaiah wrote:  “Whom shall [God] teach knowledge, and whom shall He make to understand doctrine?  [Them that are] weaned from the milk, [and] drawn from the breasts.  For precept [must be] upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little [and] there a little:  For with stammering lips and another tongue will He speak to this people.  To whom He said,  This [is] the rest [wherewith] ye may cause the weary to rest; and this [is] the refreshing:  yet they would not hear.” (Isaian 28:9-12 The “rest,” and the “refreshing” were preached in tongues (Acts 2:11, 26, 27, 3:19), but many still “would not hear” God (Isaiah 28:11-12).  We do not need sign and revelation gifts today, because the revelation has been authenticated and is complete.   They were necessary when the Church was in it’s infancy, because they did not have the whole Bible yet.  The apostles needed to prove their authority to speak as God’s proxies, as did the other prophets, and the apostles and prophets had to lay down the doctrinal foundation of the Church which is the New Testament (John 16:13-14; Mark 16:20; Hebrews 2:3-4; Acts 2:42-43; Ephesians 2:19-22; I Timothy 4:16; II Timothy 3:16).  Now that the Church has been “weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts,” we must “understand doctrine” and “teach knowledge” “precept upon precept; line upon line” from the completed Word of God, “here a little and there a little” (Isaiah 28:9-10).  The Church today is to “preach the Word…with all longsuffering and doctrine” (II Tomothy 4:2).  Today, with the complete Bible, we have a clearer picture and know more spiritually then even the prophets of old (I Peter 1:10-12).  The Church is no longer in it’s infancy, and no longer needs toys like tongues; it has been weaned and “drawn from the breasts” of revelation; it has “put away childish things.”  Now we are exhorted to “earnestly contend for The Faith [God’s Word] which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3; cf. Revelation 22:18).  Now we are to declare “all the council of God” (Acts 20:27).

What Happened To Biblical Tongues? 

"[W]hether [there be] prophecies, they shall [be done away]; whether [there be] tongues, they sahll cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall [be done away].  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part, and we prophesy in part...[T]hat which is in part shall be done away." (I Corinthians 13:8-10)  The Greek word which is used theree times in this passage, and is translated "shall be done away" means "shall be abolished," or "shall be rendered inactive" (Zodhiates), but the Greek word translated "shall cease" means "shall come to an absolute end" (Zodhiates).  Paul was saying that the revelation gifts of knowledge and prophecy would be abolished, and since tongues would no longer be necessary, the gift would just come to an end:  Biblical tongues simply ceased.  The gift of tongues is mentioned along with knowledge and prophecy in I Corinthians 13:8, but only prophecy and knowledge are refered to in the next verse, tongues had already dropped out.  Tongues was the very first spiritual gift to be manifested on the Day of Pentecost, and it appears to be the very first gift to end also.  Spiritual gifts are listed for us in three books of the New Testament:  1) I Corinthians (12:8-10, 28-30),  2) Romans (12:6-8), and 3) Ephesians (4:11).  Only I Corinthians lists tongues.  I Corinthians was written in 55 or 56 A.D., Romans around 57 or 58 A.D., and Ephesians about 61 or 62 A.D. (according to several references).   It seems that tongues had already ceased by the time Romans was written.  Tongues are never referred to by any New Testament writer after the year 56.  Tongues have ceased!


“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the later times some shall depart from The Faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy…” (I Timothy 4:1-2)

The Montanists: Montanism was orthodox in many doctrines (i.e. regeneration, baptism, the Trinity, and the second coming of Christ), but it was heretical in other doctrines (i.e. continuing revelations from God, tongues, women pastors, remarriage forbidden).  The movement began around 156 A.D., but “[it] had made so much stir in Asia Minor, before the close of the second century, that several councils were called against it, and finally the whole movement was officially condemned.” (A History of the Baptists by Dr. John T. Christian, 1922, p. 44).  The founder of the movement, “Montanus, a native of Phrygia…, taught a gradual unfolding of revelation, and looked for further communications of the Spirit than those given in the New Testament…[Montanus associated spiritual] decline with the lack of special revelations given to individuals, which should supplement the New Testament, and thought himself commissioned of God to bring [Christians] back to…perfection.” (A History of the Baptists by Dr. Thomas Armitage, 1886, p. 175)  “Montanus began to attract attention as a prophet in A.D. 172 … Two prophetesses, Prica and Maximilla, soon joined him.  They claimed to be mouthpieces of … the Holy Spirit.  At times God [supposedly] spoke through them in the first person … Through their oracles they urged Christians to relish persecution … Maximilla predicted:  'After me there will be no prophecy, but the End.’ The most distinguished Montanist was Tertullian [who joined them around A.D. 207] … The Montanists … were excommunicated by the first synods [councils] of bishops [pastors] known of in the history of the church … They were fanatics … Their visions, speaking in tongues, and intense religious excitement attracted suspicion.  The claims made for their prophecies seemed to question the emerging canon of New Testament Scripturs … Montanists groups survived into the fifth century in Africa and [into the eighth century] in Phrygia.” (The History of Christianity by Dr. David F. Writht, 1977, p. 74).  Montanus was a heretic, and Montanism was an unscriptural  movement!

The Modern Pentecostal Movement:  “[John Wesley] taught that sanctification was a second work of grace distinct from and following justification.  [Wesley is the father of the Methodist Church and] might well be called the great grandfather of Pentecostalism.  From the early Methodists the stream runs directly through the Holiness Movement of the nineteenth century … [H]oliness teachers proclaimed a second blessing … and sometimes called it ‘the baptism of the Holy Ghost.’  Toward the end of the nineteenth century … [b]elief in [this] baptism in the Holy Ghost and … interest in spiritual gifts [resulted in the formation of several distinct holiness churches].” (The History of Christianity by Dr. James Dunn, 1977, p. 618).  However, "[t]he Pentecostal Movement [actually] began in Topeka, Kansas, on the first day of the year 1901.  In a Bible School directed by the Methodist minister Charles Parham, people laid hands on one another and prayed that the Holy Spirit might be given with the sign of speaking in tongues … Since then, the movement has been carried all around the world.” (You Can Lead Roman Catholics to Christ by Rev. Wilson Ewin, 1980, p. 95).  “There [in Topka] the doctrine was first formulated that ‘spaking with other tongues’ was the initial evidence that a person had received the baptism with the Holy Spirit … But it was the revival [?] which began in Azusa Street, Los Angeles, in 1906, which really forged the link between Spirit-baptism and tongues … [For three years] hundreds of  Christians from all over North America, and then from Europe and the Third World visited Azusa Street and took the message back with them.” (the History of Christianity by Dr. James Duun, 1977, p. 618).  The tongues of today, like those of the Montanists of the past, are not Biblical tongues.  The Tongues Movement is deeply rooted in error.


“Now the serpent was more subtile than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made.  And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:  But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.  And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:  For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:1-5)

“Though I speak with the tongues … of angles, and have not charity,  I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal .... and [if I] have not charity, I am nothing ... [and] it profiteth me nothing.” (I Corinthians 13:1-3)

These two passage we learn both the origin and purpose of tongues other than New Testament tongues.  The origin of tongues is Satan.  His purpose was deception.

God does not give angelic languages to people, because, as we have already seen, the purpose of Biblical tongues was to allow people to hear and understand the Truth.

Lucifer Is A Fallen Angel: 

Lucifer is a beautiful angelic being called a cherub. At one point in time in the past Lucifer was perfect, but he, as man, chose not to obey and follow God.  Lucifer fell from his perfect state due to his pride, violence and covetousness, and became Satan (the adversary, enemy), the Devil (false accuser) (John 8:44; II Corinthians 11:14).  The Bible has this to say about him:

Thou art the anointed cherub ....   Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.   By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub ....   Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness ....  Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick ..." (Ezekiel 28:14-18)

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!  How art thou cut down to the ground, which did didst weaken the nations!  For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my  throne above the stars of God:  I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:  I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.  Yet thou shalt be brought down to Hell, to the sides of the pit." (Isaiah 14:12-15)

The God Of This World:

When Satan deceived Eve and tempted Adam through her into sinning against God (Genesis 2:16-17, 3:6), Adam in effect lost the authority over the Earth that God have given him (Genesis 1:26-28).  Adam put himself and creation under Satan’s authority (Matthew 4:8-10; Romans 5:12, 7:14, 8:19-23; Hebrews 2:14-15).  This is the reason that God had to come down from Heaven!  He came to redeem what Adam sold (I Peter 1:18-20; Romans 5:19).  Christ has paid the redemption price in full and when He returns the second time He will take possession of the World, but for now Satan is being allowed to run his course to show him up for the no good snake that he is.  Now Satan is “prince of this world” (John 16:11; cf. Ephesians 2:2).  The Bible calls him “the god of this world.”

“But if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost; in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” (II Corinthians 4:3-4; cf. John 3:17-21, 8:44).

Unlike the Lord Jesus Christ, most people of this age listen to, act like, follow, and even worship Satan (Matthew 4:1-11; John 8:44).  “... [B]ut he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and the wicked one toucheth him not.  And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.” (I John 5:18-19, cf. 4:4-5).

Satan Commands Many Fallen Angles: 

Fallen angles are called by various names:

1. “devils” (Matthew 8:16, 28, 33).

2. “unclean spirits” (Matthew 12:43-45; Revelation 16:13-14).

3. “seducing spirits” (I Timothy 4:1).

4. “evil spirits” (Luke 8:1-3; Acts 19:11-16).

5. “gods” (I Corinthians 8:4-6; Acts 17:18).

6. “angels which kept not their first estate” (Jude 6, cf. Revelation 12:7).

7. “angels that sinned” (II Peter 2:4).

8. “principalities and powers” (Colossians 2:15; Ephesians 6:12; Romans 8:38).

9. “the rulers of the darkness of this world” (Ephesians 6:12).

10. “spirit[s] of divination (Acts 16:16).

This last name is significant:  The word “divination” here is translated from the Greek word “Python.”  “The name comes from the ancient Greek oracle at Delphi, a city which was also called Pytho because the god Apollo was alleged to be embodied in a snake there.” (Jerusalem to Rome: Studies in the Book of Acts by Rev.  Homer A. Kent, Jr., 1972, p. 135)  “The name [Python] then became the surname of Apollo, the god of divination in Greek mythology, and hence applied to all oracular and divination spirits.  Such [possessed] persons generally spoke with their mouth closed, uttering words considered beyond their own control ... [and] obviously inspired by a demonic power.” (The Complete Word Study Dictionary by Dr. Spiros Zodhiates, 1993, p. 4437)

Satan’s helpers are not idle, but are busy on the job.  Devils (often called demons) both harass or “vex” people (Luke 6:18; Acts 5:16), and enter in and possess them (mark 1:32-34, 5:1-19).  Satan is called “the Prince of devils,” and “Beelzebub” which means “god of flies” (Matthew 12:24, Mark 3:22).  Satan’s angels are organized (Matthew 12:25-30; Mark 3:23-27), and they will fight for their lord, but they will lose (Revelation 12:7-9).  Devils deceive with tongues today!

Satan’s First Miracle:

The Word of God says of “the anointed cherub,” Lucifer:  “Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God…” (Ezekiel 28:13-14).  When he was there he used the mouth of a snake to deceive Eve.  First, he cast doubt on God’s Word by saying:  “Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” (Genesis 3:1)  Satan’s implication was:  “Did God really set a limit on the trees that you can eat from here in the garden?”  Satan wanted to cast doubt on God’s character.  Eve took the bait, and answered:  “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:  But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” (Genesis 3:2-3)  Then Satan out right implied that God was a liar and unfair when he told Eve through the mouth of the serpent:  “Ye shall not surely die:  For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:4-5)  Satan cast doubt on God’s Word and character, and promised that Eve and her husband would “be as gods.”  This lie was told to Eve supernaturally in a tongue through a snake.  Satan and his devils are still performing the same old miracle today!  (Deuteronomy 4:2, 12:32)

The Purpose Of Satanic And Demonic Tongues:

Satan’s purpose for tongues is twofold: First he wants to deceive people and bring them under his control.  Tongues are to beguile:  “[T]he serpent beguiled Eve through subtilty…” (II Corinthians 12:3).  Secondly, Satan wants to unite people religiously.  He desires a one world religion: Satan  wants to “be like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:12-14).  He wants to be worshiped (Matthew 4:8-9).  Both Satan and his son, “the son of perdition,” will be worshiped (John 17:12; II Thessalonians 2:3-4; Revelation 13:4, 8, 15, 17:8), and are even now being worshiped (I John 4:1-5; I Timothy 4:1; Colossians 2:18).

The first Antichrist:  After the great flood Noah’s son, Ham had a grandson named Nimrod.  Ham’s son “Cush begat Nimrod:  He began to be a mighty one in the earth.  He was a mighty hunter before the LORD:  wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.  And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel…in the land of Shinar.” (Genesis 10:8-10)  Nimrod’s very name means,  “let us revolt.”  “He wanted to become the ruler of a great world empire, and he attempted to do it…[Nimrod tried] to bring together the human race after the Flood in an effort to get them united into a nation of which he could become the great world ruler.  He was the rebel, the founder of Babel, the hunter of the souls of men.  He was the lawless one, and he is the shadow or a type of the last world ruler, the Antichrist who is yet to appear.” (Through the Bible by Rev.J.Vernon McGee, 1981, p. 51)  The Hebrew word translated “before” in Genesis 10:9 carries with it the meaning “against” giving it this reading:  “Nimrod the mighty hunter [against] the LORD.”  To be “before the LORD” in this way is to be “antichrist” (II John 7).  God is intensely interested in the souls of men, but Nimrod was a “mighty hunter before the LORD.”  Nimrod led the rebellion against God at the Tower of Babel:

“And the whole Earth was of one language, and of one speech.  And it came to pass…in the land of Shinar…they said, Go to, let us build a city and a tower, whose top may reach to heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole Earth.” (Genesis 11:1-4)

Nimrod “began to be a mighty one in the Earth…and the beginning of his kingdom was Babel…in the land of Shinar.” (Genesis 10:8, 10)  “[He] soon had all the Hamites, and possibly many of the Shemites and Japhethits, under his influence and leadership…Nimrod became a ‘mighty…hunter’ in the since that he was implacable in searching out and persuading men to obey his will.” (The Genesis Record by Dr.  Henry M.Morris, 1976, p. 251-252)  One way that Nimrod persuaded people was through religion:  That is what the Tower of Babel was all about.  Nimrod and his followers willingly left the knowledge of the one true God and Creator, and established a false religion which evolved into “Mystery Babylon” (Revelation 17:5).  Nimrod’s religion led to pantheism, polytheism, idolatry, spirit worship, reincarnation, the occult, and yes, tongues.  A religious system grew up around Nimrod after his death that he had been reincarnated through an immaculate conception through the womb of his wife, Semiramis, who became known as “the Queen of Heaven” (Jeremiah 7:18, 44:17-19, 25).  Her son’s name was “Tammuz” (Ezekiel 8:13-14).  Nimrod also became known as the chief god of the Babylonians, “Merodach” (Jereemiah 50:1-2), and by many other names in India, Chian, Egypt, Greece, Rome, and other nations.  “[The] original Babylonian religious system served as the source of all the world’s non-Christian religions…[and] it has also infiltrated and corrupted Christedom to an alarming degree.”  Mystery Babylon’s false doctrines, including tongues, are corrupting even true believers today!  Nimrod and his people wanted to unite in rebellion against God (Genesis 1:28, 11:4),  but God in His mercy “confounded their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.  So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the Earth:  and they left off to build the city.  Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did confound the language of all the Earth…”  (Genesis 11:7-9)  The satanic purpose of the Tongues Movement is to unite the World’s religions; but it is god’s will that the Earth’s religion and language be confounded!

Satan’s Purpose For Tongues Is Being Fulfilled: 

The world’s religions both ancient and modern, speak in tongues.  “[T]he mystery religions [of ancient Greece] had two false god’s [devils] called Cybele and Dionysius.  And used in the worship of both of these false gods was speaking in tongues ecstatic accompanied by clanging cymbals, [and] smashing gongs…” (The Charismatics by Dr.  John F. MacArthur, Jr., 1978, p. 163)  Is this what Paul had in mind when he wrote:  “Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal” (I Corinthians 13:1)?

“The seeress at Delphi, not far from Corinth, spoke in tongues.  According to Plutarch (44-117 A.D.), interpreters were kept in attendance to explain her incoherent utterances.  Many scholars have stated that tongues were experienced in the mystery religions (Osiris, Mithra, Eleusinian, Dionysian, and Orphic cults)…About 180 A.D. Celsus reported ecstatic utterances among the Gnostics.  Lucian of Samosata (120 -198 A.D.) described tongues speaking as it was practiced by the devotees of the Syrian goddess, Juno…In three of Plato’s dialogues he makes reference to religious ecstatic speech…He cites the utterances of the prophetess at Delphi, [and] the priestess at Dodona…as examples of such madness or ecstasy. …He also describes the incomprehensible speech of certain diviners…” (The Charismatic Movement by Dr.  John R. Rice, 1976, p. 29)

In our day and age ecstatic tongues are spoken by Animists, Buddhists, Catholics, Mormons, Moslems, Protestants, and occultists all over the world.  “That tongues can be and are counterfeited by demon spirits is evidenced by the fact that spiritistic mediums, Muslim dervishes and Indian fakirs speak in tongues … [T]ongues and their interpretation ... are common in ... pagan religions and in spiritism … In the Sandwich Islands, for example, the god Oro gave his oracles through a priest who ‘ceased to act or speak as a voluntary agent, but his limbs convulsed, his features distorted and terrific, his eyes wild and strained, would roll on the ground foaming at the mouth, and reveal the will of the god in shrill cries and sounds violent and indistinct, which attending priests duly interpreted to the people. ‘… Today shamans (witch doctors, priests or medicine men) in Haiti, Greenland, Micronesian, and countries of Africa, Australia, Asia, and North and South America speak in tongues … Roman Catholics who teach that salvation comes through the sacraments, thereby denying that it comes through faith alone, are receiving this experience…” (The Charismatic Movement by Dr. John R. Rice, 1976, pp. 136, 137, 148, 149)

At the Tower of Babel “the whole Earth was of one language, and of one speech,” and Satan working through Nimrod wanted to establish a One World Religious System (Genesis 10:8-10, 11:1-4).  Satan’s goal has not changed.  Today “[b]ookstores,…radio and television programs, and millions who participate in the Pentecostal movement all tell the same story.  It is one of total and absolute…spirit unity with Catholics, and…all who have had the spirit experience…[David Du Plessis, a Pentecostal preacher, told] Philip Potter, World Council of Churches head, on the subject of unity… ‘My dear Philip we [charismatics] are so far ahead of  you, we can't even see if you’re still coming’ (Christianity Today, April  4, 1980) … it is unity with all who have had the spirit experience, whether Pentecostal, Episcopalian, [Lutheran, Presbyterian], … Methodist, or Roman Catholic…The [August-September issue of Melodyland Magazine] … carried an article entitled ‘Becoming One That The World Might Be Won.’  In [that Charismatic paper it said,]…Du Plessis spoke to us from John 17:21.  Later in the [unified Charismatic] meeting, a Roman Catholic priest from Guatemala City spoke in an unknown tongue, and the interpretation was given by an American pilot…The interpretation was that Roman Catholics and Protestants will march together around Latin America demonstrating unity, and once they do this, the world will believe.  Unity is already bringing Catholics and Protestants together in Latin America.  Latin America is only the beginning.  Remember the message is that we all might become one so the world might be won.  My job is to get people together, not to evangelize Latin America.”  (You can Lead Roman Catholics to Christ by Rev.  Wilson Ewin, 1980, pp. 99)  Note again the pilot’s interpretation of the Catholic priest’s unknown tongue again:  “Catholics and Protestants will march together…My job is to get people together, not to evangelize…”  This was Satan’s goal through Nimrod at Babel,  and it has been the purpose of Rome since Constantine, the first Pope, to John Paul II, the present Pope.

Mystery Babylon was started by Nimrod,  and it’s seat remained in Babylon till the Chaldean priesthood fled when the Medes and Persians defeated Babylon around B.C. 538.  The seat of Mystery Babylon was moved to Pergamos where it remained for about 405 years till “Attalus III, the Babylonian Pontiff and King of Pergamos [Revelation 2:12-13], died in B.C. 133, and bequeathed the headship of the Babylonian Priesthood to Rome … [Later] Caesar was made Supreme Pontiff …” (Revelation Revealed by Jack Van Impe, 1982, p. 194).  The Roman Emperor Constantine (306  336 A.D.) was the first “Christian” Pontifix Maximus.  Constantine married liberal and apostate “Christianity” to Paganism.  “When the Empire later disintegrated politically under the onslaught of the Barbarians, it was held together religiously by the all-pervasive presence of the Roman Catholic Church [Mystery Babylon] with its ingenious ecumenical blend of paganism and Christianity still headquartered in Rome. (Global Peace by Dave Hunt, 1990, p. 110)

"In Geneva, Switzerland [in 1984], addressing the [ultra liberal] World Council of Churches (representing 400 million protestants worldwide), John Paul II declared:  ‘From the beginning of my ministry as Bishop of Rome, I have insisted that the engagement of the Catholic church in the ecumenical movement is irreversible.’ … [Pope John Paul II] was able in 1986 to gather the leading figures of 12 world religions together in Assisi, Italy, to pray to whatever ‘God’ each believed in, beseeching these deities to bring peace to the world.  To justify honoring the prayers of even witch doctors and fire worshipers, John Paul II told the participants that ‘the challenge of peace…transcends religious differences.’” (Global Peace by Dave Hunt, 1990, p. 149, 156)  The modern tongues heresy is playing a large roll in the uniting of Protestants, Catholics, and pagan religions into a One World Antichrist Religion or Mystery Babylon!  Satan’s purpose and plan for tongues is right on target:  Millions are being deceived by it!


To listen to the Pentecostals and Charismatics talk one might thing that the Bible is full of references to speaking in ecstatic unknown tongues and prayer languages.  But the fact of the matter is that there is no reference to an unknown prayer language or ecstatic self edifying tongues at all, except possibly I Corinthians 13:1 where such tongues are referred to in a bad light.  Biblical tongues are actual known languages.  Tongues are referred to in only three New Testament books:  Mark, Acts, and I Corinthians.  Mark makes only one reference the speaking in tongues (16:17), Acts makes three (2:4-11, 10:46, 19:6), and I Corinthians makes the most using the word “tongue” or “tongues” twenty-two times (12:10 [twice], 28, 30, 13:1, 8, 14:2, 4, 5 [twice], 6, 9, 13, 14, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 39).  There are no other references to the Biblical gift of tongues in the New Testament except in these seven chapters (Mark 16, Acts 2, 10, 19, I Corinthians 12, 13, 14). 

Why should First Corinthians contain more teaching on tongues than any other book of the Bible?  The answer is simple:  The Church of Corinth was a very confused church. This Church 1) had divisions among themselves based on personalities (I Corinthians 1:10-13, 3:1-11),   2) they were mixed up on, of all things, the resurrection (I Corinthians 15),   3) they were taking each other to court (I Corinthians 6:1-8),   4) they tolerated immorality (I Corinthians 5:1-13, 6:15-20),   5)  they were confused about marriage and divorce (I Corinthians 5:1-13, 6:15-20),   6) they were mixed up about Christian liberty (I Corinthians 8),   7) they did not understand their responsibilities concerning the Great Commission (I Corinthians 9:1-14),   8) they had idolatry (I Corinthians 10:7, 14-22),   9) they had insubordinate man and women (I Corinthians 11:3-15, 14:34-35),   10) they were sinning at the Lord’s Supper (I Corinthians 11:20-34),  and 11) they were confused concerning spiritual gifts in general (I Corinthians 12), and tongues in particular (I Corinthians 14).  The Church of Corinth was really messed up, and almost all of Paul’s first letter to them was rebuking them for their various errors.  They were in so much error on spiritual gifts that Paul wrote three whole chapters to try to straighten them out especially on tongues (I Corinthians 12-14).  Let us carefully examine every reference to tongues in First Corinthians to find the true meanings of each reference.

I Corinthians 12:4-11

“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.  And thare are differences of administration, but the same Lord.  And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.  But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.  For to one is given by the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.  For to one is given by the word of wisdom;…to another [divers] kinds of  tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:  But all these worketh that one and the self same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will.  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.”

The main thrust of this passage is that there are various “gifts”  (Greek:  charisma; meaning: a result of grace), “administrations” (Greek: diakonia; meaning: ministries or offices), and “operations”  (Greek:  energema; meaning: effects or results), but just one Spirit (the Holy Ghost), Lord (Jesus Christ), and God (the Heavenly Father) who work all these things in all His people as He wills for the profit of both the individual, and the whole body of believers.  The individual profits when he uses the gift that God has given him in the service of the local church.  He will be rewarded for his labor of love. (I Corinthians 3:8-17, 14:3-5)   The Body of Christ profits by being built up, edified, and strengthened.  Souls are added to the Church and members are edified when people exercise their spiritual gifts. (Ephesians 4:7, 8, 11, 12, 16)

Tongues is one of nine gifts in this list (I Corinthians 12:8-10), and one of a total of at lease sixteen listed in the Bible (See Appendix).  In our passage we can see that tongues are real intelligible languages, because they can be interpreted (I Corithians 12:10), and because Acts 2:4-11 has already clearly defined the gift of tongues as the Spirit given ability to speak languages without having studied them for the purpose of clearly presenting God’s Word so people might understand it and be saved.  Nothing in any passage of the Bible ever says anything about a prayer language that on one can understand.

I Corintians 12:28-30: 

“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.  Are all apostles?  Are all prophets?  Are all teachers?  Are all workers of miracles?  Have all the gifts of healing?  Do all speak with tongues?  Do all interpret?”

Here we have a list of spiritual gifts and offices is given in their order of importance.  The first and most important in the list is the office of an apostle.  The last and least important in the list is the gift of tongues. (I Corinthians 12:28)

Then Paul asks a series of questions:  “Are all apostles?...Are all teachers?...Do all speak with tongues?...”  etc.  Of course the answer to every questions in the list is:  No, no, no, no, no, no, no!  This fact from God’s Word contradicts the false Pentecostal doctrine that speaking in tongues is the initial evidence of the baptism with the Holy Ghost. 

Pentecostals teach that the baptism with the Holy Spirit is not automatic when one is born again (Titus 3:5; James 1:17-18).  Contrariwise the Word of God declares:  “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we he Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free, and have been all made to drink into one spirit.” (I Corinthians 12:13)  Jesus Christ the Son of God “is He which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.” (John 1:33, cf. 1:29-37, 7:37-39; Matthew 3:11-17; Acts 1:4, 5, 8, 11:13-16)  The Bible no where tells Christians to seek Spirit baptism!  The Word of God does command us to “be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18).  There is no second blessing of Spirit baptism; there are, however, second, third, forth, and on and on blessings of being filled with the Holy Spirit when we are yielded to God (Romans 6:10-19, 12:1-10).  In not everyone had the spiritual gift of tongues, and since the completion of the Bible no one has this spiritual gift any more.

I Corinthians 13:1-3: 

“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…[and] I am nothing…[and] it profiteth me nothing.”

1.      Love or charity is more important than any of the spiritual gifts:  The Apostle Paul lists 1) tongues, 2) prophecy, 3) understanding of mysteries, 4) knowledge, 5) mountain moving faith, 6) sacrificial giving, and tells us all these things are ;nothing unless they are accompanied by God’s love.  Charity or God’s love is the first and most important of “the fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22; cf. Colossians 3:12-14).  Paul said that even if he had all these abilities, but did not have God’s love, he was “nothing.”  He said:  “[They] profiteth me nothing.”  We need God, and “God is love” (I John 4:8, 16)…  The Christian needs to speak with God’s love!

2.      Tongues of fallen angels:  “The Corinthians considered…tongues to be the languages of angels.  Such was the association of tongues speaking in pagan worship at Corinth.  When a priest of devotee spoke in tongues it was considered that he spoke in the language of the gods.” (Liberty Bible Commentary, Volume II, Dr.  Jerry Falwell, 1982, pg. 454)  “And used in the worship of…these false gods was speaking in…ecstatic babble accompanied by clanging cymbals, smashing gongs, and blaring trumpets.” (The Charismatics, Dr.  John MacAruther, Jr., 1978, pg. 163)  Here are some examples of the tongues of fallen angels:

a.      Africa:  “Reports have come from East Africa telling of persons possessed by demons who spoke fluently in Swahili or English although under normal circumstances they would not understand either language.  Among the Thonga people of Africa, when a demon is exorcised, a song is usually sung in Zulu even though the Thonga people don’t know Zulu.  The [exorcist] is supposedly able to speak Zulu by a ‘miracle of tongues.’” (The Charismatics, Dr. John MacAruther, 1978, pg. 175)

b.      Asia:  There are reports of tongues amoung Buddhists monks in Thailand, Tibet, and China.  One report says “that during their ritual dances Tabetan monks have spoken in English, including profanity…” (The Charismatic Movement, Dr. John R. Rice, 1976, pg. 149).  “[One evidence of demon possession] is the ability to speak languages unknown by the subject.  This ability is frequently referred to by Chinese witnesses.  (Demon Possession, Dr. John LoNevius, 1894, pg. 190)

c.      Europe:  In 1889 Dr. Andrew D. White reported a case that occurred in a French village on the boarder of Switzerland in 1953.  In the report he says:  “The afflicted were said…to have shown superhuman strength, and to have experienced the gift of tongues, speaking in German and Latin, and even Arabic.” (Demon Possession, Dr. John L. Nevius, 1894, pg. 191)  A well documented case from Germany concerns Rev.  John C.  Blumherdt (1805-1880), and Miss Gottliebin Dittus who was demon possessed.  Part of the account says:  “Blumhardt held conversations with several of the demons [there were supposedly 1,067 in Dittus].. These demons spoke in all the different European languages, and in some which Blumhardt and others present did not recognize.” (Demon Possession, Dr. John L. Nevius, 1894, pg. 115)  A demon, perhaps Satan himself, spoke through Adolf Hitler:  As a teenager, Hitler had a young friend named Gustl Kubizek.  “According to Kubizek’s account…[one night Hitler seemed to be]… ‘propelled by an invisible force…[and Hitler] looked almost sinister.’…[Then he] launched into a pyroenic speech such as Gustl had never heard before and never heard again.  Hitler’s voice…was hoarse and raucous…[Gustal] continues:  ‘I was struck by something strange…even when he talked to me in moments of greatest excitement.  It was if another being spoke out of his body…and moved him as much as it did me…[H]e himself listened with astonishment and emotion to what burst forth from him with elementary force.’ What happened…was for Hitler a state of ‘complete ecstasy and emotion to what burst forth from him with elementary force.’  What happened…was for Hitler a state of ‘complete ecstasy and repture…’ [Hitler]  spoke of a ‘mandate which, one day, he would receive,… special mission which would, one day, be entrusted to him.’” (The Twisted Cross, Joseph J. Carr, 1985, pg. 74, 75)  Adolf Hitler’s occult connections with Tibetan Buddhist monks, astrology, yoga, and “gift” of foresight are well established.  “Hitler was supposedly in tune with some mystical ‘Cosmic Consciousness,’ and…was able to communicate with secret ‘Ascended Masters.’”  (The Twisted Cross, Joseph J. Carr, 1985, pg. 78)  Did he communicate with Ascended Masters or fallen angels?  In 1918 Hitler was in a military hospital after having been gassed during the Battle of Ypres.  There “Hitler learned of his ‘mission,’ the task which had been promised him [as a teenager]:  he heard voices that told him that he was selected by providence to rid Gremany of the hated Jews”  (The Twisted Cross, Joseph J. Carr, 1985, pg. 68). “[Hitler had] an immense gift of oratory…[His audiences] seemed to be under a hypnotic spell when listening to their Fuehere speak.  Germans were blindly obedient to Hitler’s will…[An estimated] 97 percent of the German public supported Hitler in 1938…[He] began each speech in the same low-key, stumbling manner…But soon after he started the speech, somethinig would ‘stiffen him like a firehose,’ and he would take off in the flaming oratory for which he was so famous.  Rather than being drained by his speeches,  Hitler seemed to be charged by them…[T]he emotional and physical intensity of Hitler’s speeches…should exhaust a man  any man.  Yet Hitler was able to recover with only a few sips of tea!”  (The Twisted Cross, Joseph J. Carr, 1985, pg. 82, 83)  Most certainly Adolf Hitler had a satanic “gift of speech.”

I Corinthians 13:8-11: 

“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.  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.  But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.   When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child:  but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”

1.      Charity or God’s kind of love is eternal, where as the spiritual gifts of prophecy, tongues, and knowledge are temporary.  “[Love] never faileth,” but all the Biblical sign and revelation gifts have already “vanished away.”

2.      We know that tongues have ceased from the following reason:

a.      Tongues were one of the sign gifts given to the apostles to confirm their authority to speak for God (II Corinthians 12;12; Mark 16:17, 20).  The sign gifts were to:  1) confirm the promises of God (Romans 15:8),  2) confirm the testimony of Christ (I Corinthians 1:6),  3) confirm the salvation spoken by the Lord J(Hebrews 2:3-4),  4) confirm the Word of God (Mark 16:20).  The Lord went with the apostles and prophets of the infant Church “confirming The Word [Logos] with signs following”  (Mark 16:20).  “[S]alvation…was confirmed to us by them that heard [Jesus Christ]; God also bearing [the apostles and prophets] witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and giftsof the Holy Ghost according to His will” (Hebrews 2:3-4).  Today there are no more apostles and prophets that heard the Lord Jesus Christ personally.  The Apostle John was the last apostle to die.  Since his death around 95 A.D. there have been no more apostles to confirm with “signs and wonders.”

b.      The Bible which is the Word of God, the Holy Faith, and the perfect Law of Liberty is now complete and has been delivered to the church (I Corinthians 13:9-10, 12; James 1:23-25; II Corinthians 3:5-6, 9, 14-18; Jude 3, 20; I Peter 1:25; Hebrews 4:12; I Timothy 3:15; Ephesians 2:19-20).  The bible says:  “[W]hen that which is perfect [the completed Bible] is come, then that which is in part [the revelation gifts] shall be done away.” (I Corinthians 13:10)  There is no other absolutely perfect thing on Earth today, except the Word of God!!!  When the Apostle Joh finished the last chapter of the book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible to be written, and laid his pen down, revelation gifts ended and were done away with by God.  John, the last living apostle, completed the Word of God around 95 A.D. with a stern warning:  “I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this Book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this Book…He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly.  Amen.  Even so, come Lord Jesus.  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with you all.  Amen.”  (Revelation 22:18, 20-21).  Thus direct revelation from God ceased!

c.      The gift of tongues was inferior to prophecy (I Corinthians 12:28, 14:1-3).  Tongues was a sign gift, but was also a revelation gift (I Corinthians 14:6; Acts 2:11, 19:6).  If the superior revelation gift of prophecy ceased, and the Bible clearly says that it has been done away with (I Corinthians 13:9-10; Jude 3; Revelation 22:18), then why wouldn’t the inferior revelation gift of tongues have ceased also?  The Biblical spiritual gift of tongues has been abolished along with all the other sign and revelation gifts!

d.      The infant Church came of age when it was “weaned from the milk, [and] drawn from the breasts” of sign and revelation gifts (Isaiah 28:9, cf. 28:11-12).  When the Church received the complet Bible then it could begin to really “understand doctrine” by putting “precept upon precept; line upon line..’ here a little [and] there a little” from the Word of God (Isaiah 28:9-10, cf. 28:13).  That is what Paul was talking about when he wrote:  “when I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood asa child, I thought as a child:  but when I became a man, I put away childish things.  For now [in Paul’s time] we [the Church] see through a glass [God’s Word], darkly [obscurely]; but then [when the Bible is complete] face to face: now I know in part  [have only part of the revelation]; but then [when the Bible is completed] shall I know even as also I am known.” (I Corinthians 13:11-12; cf. Numbers 12:6-8; II Corinthians 3:7-18; James 1:23-25).  Now that the Church is mature we must 1) “study to shew [ourselves] approved…rightly dividing the Word of Truth” (II Timothy 2:15; cf. I Timothy 3:15), 2) “[build] up [ourselves] on [our] most Holy Faith” (Jude 20), 3) “earnestly contend for the Faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3),  and 4) “preach the Word” (II Timothy 4:2) to bring saving faith (Romans 10:17; Mark 16:15), and “for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, [and] for instruction in righteousness” (II Timothy 3:16).

I Corinthians 14:1-4: 

“Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.  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.  But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, an exhortation, and comfort.  He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the Church.”

1.  Christians are commanded to “follow after charity” (God’s love), and “desire spiritual [gifts]” or be zealous for the things imparted by the Holy Ghost.  The word “desire” here is trans lated from the Greek word “zelo,” and the same word is also translated “covet earnestly” in I Corinthians 12:31 where it says:  “covet earnestly the best gifts…” The question arises:  Which spiritual gifts are the best, and which ones are we to be zealous for?  The Bible answers this question:  The best gifts are the ones that the Holy Spirit have given to each indivdual:  “Now there are diversites of gifts, but the same Spirit…But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal…But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will.”  (I Corinthians 12:4, 7, 11 cf. Hebrews 2:4; Acts 2:4)  Each Christian receives at least one spiritual gift according to God’s, not our, will.  Therefore the best gifts that we are to be zealous for are the that God has given to personally “profit withal.”  Christians are responsible to use their spiritual gifts in the context of the local church body (I Corinthians 12:27-28; Ephesians 4:11-12).

2.  For the most part the Apostle Paul is not talking about the spiritual gift of tongues in I Corinthians 14, because spiritual gifts do not require reproof and correctin!  Paul is not talking about ecstatic jibberish either.  That is an ancient pagan meaning, and the modern Pentecostal meaniing, but the Biblical meaning of tongues is translatable language.  What they had Corinth was members showing off hteir ability to speak in various foreign languages.  “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.” (I Corinthians 14:2)  Someone that is showing off his knowledge of a foreign language that no one else around knows “edifieth himself” alone (I Corinthians 14:4), because he speaketh not unto men, but unto God” (I Corinthians 14:2).  Of course God understands all languages!  The whole jest of I Corinthiasn 14 is that all speech in the church should be clear and understandable.  (I Corinthians 14:6, 9, 16, 19, 27, 28)  When anyone speaks in a language that others around him don’t understansd his speech is a secret or mystery to them.

3.  “[H]e that prophesieth speaketh unto men [to] edification, and exhortation, and comfort.” (I Corinthains 14:3)  Here “he htat prophesieth” is not necessarily someone with the gift of prophecy (I Corinthians 12:10, 28, Romans 12:6).  The word “prophesy,” in addition to meaning  “foretell,” can mean “tell forth the will of God” (Genesis 20:7; Deuteronomy 18:18).  It means: 1) foretell future events by special revelation form God, and 2) tell forth what God has already revealed through special revelation.  One who speaks according to the revealed Word of God may be called a prophet even though he does not have the spiritual gift of prophecy. A prophet of thistype may have the gift of “exhortation” (Romans 12:8), or “the word of wisdom” (I Corinthaisn 12:8)  which are used in soul winning, teaching, and preaching for the “edification, and exhortation, and comfort…[of] the Church” (I Corinthians 14:3-4).  All spiritual gifts, including tongues, are “[f]or the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body” (Ephesians 4:12, cf. 4:7-8, 11, 16).  Spiritual gifts are for 1) “the perfecting of the saints,” they are for use in teachiing saved folks (Matthew 28:20), and exhorting and comforting to them (Romans 12:8; I Corinthians 14:3); 2) “the work of the ministry,” they are for governing or ruling and helping or ministering (Romans 12:7-8; I Corinthians 12:28); 3)”the edifying of the body,” they are for getting people saved and in church (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:41).  The word “edify” means “to build up.” We are  never told to edify our selves in the Bible; we are commanded to “edify one another” (I Thessalonians 5:11; Romans 14:19, 15:2), and to edify the church (I Corinthians 14:12, 26).  We are “to build up” the Church by 1) laying the foundation of salvation (I Corinthians 3:9-11; Ephesians 2:20), and 2) service, prayer, and giving (I Peter 2:5; Ephesians 4:16; Jude 20).  Much of the tongues speaking in Corinth, and all of the tongues speaking today is and was unscriptual and self edifying!

4. “Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.” (I Corinthians 8:1) “Charity [or God’s love]…vauntheth not itself, is not puffed up, doeth not behave itself unseemly…” (I Corinthians 13:4-5) To “vaunteth” is to “display boastfully.” To be “puffed up” is to be “proud of one’s self.” Some of the Corinthians believers were proudly showing off their knowledge of languages that most of the other Corinthiasn believers did not understand.  “He that speaketh in a tongue [unknown to anyone except himself] edifieth himself [only]” (I Corinthians 14:4).  Similarly today, except now without any real knowledge, the Pentecostals speak in jibberish unknown to anyone, including angels most of the time, and some vaunt and boast of their “gift of tongues.”  Tongues to many is a badge of spirituality, and one group, the United Pentecostal Church, even says, if you don’t speak in tongues then your not saved.  But no where in the Bible do we find that speaking in tongues, much less jibbersih, is a sign of  salvation, and neither re tongues “the initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost” as many claim.  Thiese false doctrines stem a false spiritual pride.

I Corinthians 14:5-13: 

“I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied; for grater [is] he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, excet he interpret, that the Church may receive edifying.  Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?  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?  For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?  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.  There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them without signification.  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.  Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual [gifts], seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the Church.  Wherefore let him that speaketh in an [unknown] tongue pray that he may interpret.”

1.      Paul begins here by saying, “ I wish you all could speak in foreign languages.”  If they could then every one would understand each other.  But better than speaking a foreign language is the ability to plainly give out God’s Word or prophesy in the language of those present so that they can understand plainly, and receive edification.  (I Corinthians 14:5)

2.      Paul allows for the true spiritual gift of tongues when he said, “if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall it profit you, except I shall speak…by knowledge, or by prophesying…” (I Corinthians 14:6).  Tongues was not only a sign gift, but also a gift toreveal new knowledge and foretell future events before they come to pass.  “Revelation” is the opposite fo “mysteries” (I Corinthians 14:2).  Today one may reveal mysteries in the Word of God  through study, but, unlike in Paul’s day, the gifts of “the word of knowledge,” “prophecy,” and “tongues,” the three revelation gifts, have been done away with and vanished (I Corinthians 13:8-10).

3.      Paul allows for gibberish, and rebukes it when he indicates that even musical instruments must make distincat sounds in order to know the tune.  But just as much of the music in Pentecostal churches is not really music, so also much of their tongue speaking is not language, but gibberish.  The “speak into the air,” and no one, not even angles, understand them (I Corinthians 14:9, cf. 13:1, 14:7-9).

4.      A “barbarian” was someone that spoke a language other than Greek (Romans 1:14; Colossians 3:11).  The apostles of the infant Church were few, and had to have the gifts of tongues and interpretation so that they could go into all the world to all nations in order to preach the gospel to them in their own languages, and so they could understand them (Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:15, 17, 20: Acts 1:8).  They did not have time to go to language school as the missionaries do today, so God equipped them supernaturally for their missionary task.  Paul said:  “There are…many kinds of voices [languages] in the world, and none of them is without signification [meaning].  Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice [words], I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, ;and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.”  (I Corinthians 14:10-11)  That is exactly why God gave the gift of tongues, and interpretation of tongues:  so the early missionaries could communicate in the foreign lands they went to evangelize.  “Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual [gifts], seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.” (I Corinthians 14:12).  Speak clearly and understandably so you can win people to Christ, and edify believers.

I Corinthians 14:13-17: 

“Wherefore let him that speaketh in an [unknown] tongue pray that he may interpret.  For if I pray in an [unknown] tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.  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.  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?  For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.”

1.      Some things to keep in mind here:  1) Paul is speaking of the real gift of languages here, not gibberish,  2) Paul is not referring to a private prayer language, that’s not found anywhere in the Bible, 3) Paul is teaching on tongues in public worship.

2.      The Biblical gift of tongues is defined for us in Acts 2:  It says:  1) “They were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and…spake with other tongues, as the Spirit give them utterance.”  The apostles may or man not have understood what they were saying, we are not told.  2)  “Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven…heard them speak in his own language.”  The Jews in Jerusalem on Pentecost Day who “heard them speak in [their] own tongues the wonderful works of God” were from the following nations where they “were born.” (Acts 2:4-11):
 1. Parthia:  A tribal area in Persia.
 2. Media:      A country the Caspian sea and Persa.
 3. Elam:  A region of Persia between Babylonia and Media.
 4. Mesopotamia:  The area between the Tigris and Euphraties revers.
 5. Judea:  In Israel.
 6. Cappadocia:  An inland  area of Asia Minor.
 7. Pontus:  An area north of Cappadicia.
 8. Asia:  The western most Roman province in Asia Minor. 
 9. Phrygia:  A province of Asia Minor where Colosse is located.
10. Pamphylia:  An imperial Roman province of Asia Minor.
11. Egypt:  In north Africa.
12. Libya:  In north Africa west of Egypt.  Cyrene was Libya’s capitol.
13. Rome:  In Italy.
14. Create:  An island south of Greece.
15. Arabia:  A large area about 1300 miles from north to south between the Red Seam the Indian Ocean, and the Persian Gulf.

These nations spoke various languages, and the apostles were able to supernaturally speak their tongues to communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ to them.  Remember, 1) “the Spirit gave [the apostles] utterance,” and 2) the utterances were real languages (Acts 2:4-11). 

3.      The Apostle Paul said:  “[L]et him that speaketh in a [supernaturally given language] pray that he may interpret.  For if I pray in a [supernaturally given language], my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.” (I Corinthians 14:13-14)  Paul is saying that everyone in the Church needs to be able to understand the one who is praying.  Either he himself should interpret, or someone  else may (I Corinthians 14:13-14, 27).  But as for Paul he says:  “I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also,” and the same for singing (I Corinthians 14:15).  Unless there is an interpretation of the tongue “the unlearned…understandeth not what [he] sayest…[others are] not edified” (I Corinthians 14:16-17). For this reason Paul forbids speaking in tongues in Church unless they are interpreted (I Corinthians 14:27-28).

I Corinthians 14:18-19: 

“I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than you all:  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.”

1.      Paul here says that he spoke with tongues more than any of the Corinthians.  Paul had probably learned at least 4 languages:  Hebrew because he was Jewish (Acts 21:40), Latin because he was a Roman citizen (Acts 22:25-29), Aramaic which was in common use in Judea then, and Koine Greek which he used to write all his epistles.  In addition to having learned languages, Paul was the Apostle to the Gentiles, and his missionary journeys took him to Arabia, Syria, Asia Minor (Roman provinces of Cilicia, Pamphylia, Galatia, Lycia, and Asia),  Europe (Macedonia, Achaia, and Italy),  and islands of the Mediterranean Sea (Cyprus, Rhodes, Crete, and Sicily).  We are led by the Bible to believe that Paul had the spiritual gifts of tongue, and interpretation in order to communicate with the Gentiles of these lands also,  because he said:  “[I]f I pray in an [unknown] tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful” (I Corinthians 14:14).  That means that the God given ability to communicate in a unknown foreign language did not necessarily guarantee that the speaker would understand what he was saying (That also goes for the demon given ability to speak in tongues)  However, when God, in apostolic times, gave someone the ability to speak in tongues we can be sure there was someone there who needed to hear the Gospel, or a special Word from God.

2.      Paul teaches that if tongues are used n a church service there must always be an interpretation, and that just five words, like, “Christ died for our sings,” are many many times more beneficial than “ten thousand words in an [unknown] tongue” (I Corinthians 14:19, cf. 14:27-28).  Paul wanted to “teach others,” which is what Jesus Christ commanded His Church to do!  Jesus said:  “Go ye [Church] therefore [because the Lord would give power, i.e. spiritual gifts], and teach all nations [give them the plan of salvation and get them saved]…[and then teach] them [the new church members] to observe all tings whatsoever I have commanded you…” (Matthew 28:19-20).  Getting people saved, and teaching them are the ultimate purpose of all the spiritual gifts!

I Corinthians 14:20-25: 

“Brethren, be not children in understanding:  howbeit in malice by ye children, but in understanding be men.  In the Law it is written, With [men of] other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear Me, saith the Lord.  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.  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?  But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or [one] unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:  and thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on [his] face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.”

1.      Note that word “understanding.”  The word “understandeth,” “understood,” and “understanding” appears 9 times in this chapter (I Corinthians 14:2, 9, 14, 15, 16, 19, 20).  The word “understanding” generally refers to the understanding of the speaker (I Corinthians 14:14, 15, 19, 20), rather than the hearer (I Corinthians 14:2, 9, 16).  The understanding of the hearer is most important, but Paul puts the emphasis on the understanding of the one speaking in tongues.   Why?  1) He said if one prays in an unknown tongue without knowing the interpretation his “understanding is unfruitful.” (I Corinthians 14:14)  2) He said we should pray and sing “with the spirit, and…with the understanding also.” (I Corinthians 14:16)  3)  he said that one should speak “with [one’s ] understanding, that…[he] might teach others also.” (I Corinthians 14:19)  There are 2 main reasons why all speech, prayer, and song must be understood by the one speaking, praying, or singing:  1) one should never relinquish his understanding, or put his mind in neutral, as in hypnosis, due to the possibility of demonic influence (in such a state it is impossible to “try [test] the spirits whether they are of God” (I John 4:1-2) as we have been commanded);  2) speech, prayer, and singing without understanding is childish:  Paul said:  “Brethren [born again persons], be not children in understanding…but in understanding be men.” (I Corinthians 14:20)  A child many times can say word and phrases without having any idea what they mean, and they often speak in baby talk and jibberish which has no meaning at all.  Paul has already said:  “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child:  but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” (I Corinthians 13:11)  Tongues are baby talk.  The real spiritual gift of tongues was the baby talk of the infant church, and for the most part Pentecostal tongues are chilish learned behavior, but sometimes they are demonic.  Paul’s use of the word “understanding” is important, because it helps us realize that we are not to have an “unknown, prayer language,” as the Pentecostals falsely teach, and that all speech, prayer, an song in the Church must be understandable!

2.      Paul said:  “[H]owbeit in malice be ye children…” (I Corinthians 14:20).  This brings us back to the fact that some of the Corinthiasn were proudly vaunting their ability to speak in foreign languages that others there did not understand (I Corinthians 8:1, 13:4, 14:2).  Paul’s statement here may be translated:  “yet ye are evil children.” The word translated “malice” here is a noun (Greek:  “kakia”) which means:  “Wickedness as an evil habit of…heart, life and character (Acts 8:22; I Corinthains 14:20; I Peter 2:16).”  (Zodhiates) That is exactly what some of the tongues speaking in the Church of Corinth was, and it is what much of the modern Tongues Movement is all about!  A lot of born again people are acting like “evil children.” Pride is a wicked thing.  Pride was the down fall of Satan (Ezekiel 28:17); it is the down fall of most lost people; and it is the down fall of a lot of saved folks!!! Lord help us!!1

3.      “In the Law [Isaiah 28:11-12] it is written, With [men of] other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear Me, saith the Lord.” (I Corinthians 14:21)  “The context of Isaiah 28 is set in the reign of King Hezekiah of Judeah [705-701 B.C.]…Isaiah reprimanded [Judah]…with a sever warning of coming judgement [because of their wickedness]…[T]he Jews would not listen when God spoke to them [through Isaiah and other prophets] in plain  Hebrew; so God would speak to them in a language they would not understand.  It was the language of the Assyrian invaders from Babylon.  Because of Judah’s constand unbelief and departure from the faith, god was going to bring judgement upon her [which would be]…signaled by… ‘other tongues’ (Isaiah 28:11; cf. Deuteronomy 28:49; Jeremiah 5:15).  This prophecy found its fulfillment when the Babylonians conquered Judah in 586 B.C., and even greater judgement would come later to the nation [as the Lord Jesus Christ]…had clearly warned (Luke 13:35, 21:20, 24)…In 70 A.D., Titus the Roman sacked Jerusalem, killing 1,100,000 Jews and scattering the rest all over the world. The gift of languages was a sign of this judgement on unbelieving Israel.”    (The Charismatics, Dr. John MacArthur, Jr., 1978, pg. 167, 168)  It is interesting to note that all references to the gift of tongues in the Bible were written before 70 A.D. when the Roman General, Titus conquered Israel (Mark 16:17 was written between 55 and 65 A.D., Acts 2:4-11, 10:46, 19:6 was written around 62 or 63 A.D., and I Corinthians was written about 56 A.D.).  tongues were clearly a sign of God’s impending judgement upon Israel.

4.      Note again that “tongues are for a sign…” (I Corinthians 14:22):  10 to authenticate the apostles authority to speak for Go (Mark 16:17, 20), 2) to the Jews of inpending judgement (Isaiah 28:11; Deuteronomy 28:49; Jeremiah 5:15; Luke 13:34-35, 21:12-24), 3) to “thm that believe not” in general including the barbarians of Indiato whom Nathanael and Thomas went, them of Ethiopia to whom Matthew and Matthias went, them of Egypt to whom Simon Zelotes went, them of Syria to whom Andrew went, them of Persia to whom Thaddeus went, and to them of other parts of the world to whom the apostles may have went where they needed the gifts of tongues and interpretation of tongues (I Corinthians 14:22),  4) to Jews who would believe when they heard God’s Truth (Acts 2:4-11, 10:46).

5.      But if tongues were to be of benefit in the Church they had to be tongues understood by those who heard them.  If anyone come into the church who was “unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad” or out of you minds if you are all jibbering away (I Corinthians 14:23).  “But if all prophecy [in an orderly fashion], and there come in one that believeth not, or [one] unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all.” (I Corinthians 14:24, cf. 14:27-33).  The only way to get people saved by way of tongues is that they understand the tongue being spoken.  Paul had already said that the only way to “profit” form tongues was to use one that the people understood.  He said:  “if I come unto you speaking with tongues what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you [in an understandable tongue] either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?”  (I Corinthians 14:6)  People just have to know what is being said if they are ever going to get saved or edified, that all there is to it!!!

6.      If the Church is doing its job the they are in the business of convincing and judging sinners of their sins.  The Lord Jesus Christ said to the church after His resurrection:  “Receive the Holy Ghost:  Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; [and] whose soever [sins] ye retain, they are retained.” (John 20:22-23)  How does the Church know whose sins to remit, and whose sins to retain?  We know by the Spirit of Truth Who Christ sent to “guide [the Church] into all Truth” (John 16:13, cf. 14:16-17, 26, 15:26, 16:7-11).  The Lord Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would “be in,” “teach,”  “guide,” “comfort” and “testify” with the Church, and that He would “reprove the world” (John 14:16-17, 26, 15:26, 16:8).  The Church that is doing its job right is following the leadership of the Holy spirit.  The Spirit of God guided the apostles in their writing of the New Testament (John 16:13), just as He did the Old Testament prophets (II Peter 1:21).  Once the 66 Books of the Bible were completed the Spirit of truth guided the Church as to what Books were inspired so that they could be gathered into volume and preserved.  Now the Holy Spirit teaches and guides the Church in the proper interpretation and use of the Bible.  The Word of God is the Standard by which the Church must judge.  We must not judge according to our own thoughts, but according to the Word of God as we are guided by the spirit of Truth.  The business of the Church is winning souls, not speaking in tongues!  The Bible says that the Holy Spirit “will reprove [Greek:  elegxo] the World of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgmenet.” (John 16:8)  The Bible also says that an unbeliever “is convinced [Greek:  elegxo] of all [the whole Church], he is judged of all” (I Corinthians 14:24, cf. 14:23).  The same goes for “unlearned,” and “malice” filled Church members (I Corinthians 14:20,  23, 24; Matthew 18:15-18).  The Bible is the standard that judges both lost sinner, and church members.  Conviction of both saved and lost sinners from the Holy Spirit (John 16:8) through the church (I Corinthians 14:23-24) by the man of God according to the Word of God:  “For a bishop [pastor] must…[hold] fast the faithful Word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince [Greek:  elegxo] the gainsayers.”  (Titus 1:9)  But before we can “elegxo” (convince, reprove, or convict) anyone we must “anakrino” [examine, discern, or judge] them and before we can properly judge or examine anyone we must “search [anakrino] the scriptures (Acts 17:11; cf. I Corinthians 2:14-15). 

7.      The Church must go along with the verdict of God who has already examined all the evidence, and convicted the whole world of sin (Romans 3:19, 23; John 16:8-11).  So our job is to get the lost person to see 1) he is a sinner (Romans 3:23).  2) the wages of his sin is eternal death in hell (Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:14, 21:8),  3) God love him in spite of his sin and died on the cross to keep him out of Hell, and rose from the dead to demonstrate his power to take the sinner to heaven and keep him safe forever (Romans 4:25, 5:8-10; Hebrews 7:25; John 3:16),  4) the only way to be saved is to simply turn from the sin of rejecting Jesus Christ and receive Him as Lord and Saviour (Matthew 22:37-38; John 1:11-13, 14:6; Romans 6:23, 10:9-10; Acts 4:12; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5; Revelation 21:7).  When the members of the Church ar working together along side of God, in accordance with His Word the end results is that lost people get saved.  When the Church is doing what it is supposed to do that lost man is “convicted” in his heart that he is a sinner on his way to hell, and that it was for his sins that Christ went to the cruel cross of Calvary.  When the sinner understand this “the secrets of his heart [are] made manifest [he repents of his sin] and falling down on [his] face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth” (I Corinthians 14:25).

I Corinthians 14:26-40: 

“How is it then, brethren?  When ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation.  Let all things be done unto edifying.  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.  But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silent in the Church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.  Let the prophets speak two of three, and let the other judge.  If [any thing] be revealed to another that setteth by, let him first hold his peace.  For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.   And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.  For God is not [the author] of confusion, but peace, as in all the churches of the saints.  Let your women keep silent in the churches:  for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but [they are commanded] to be under  obedience, as also saith the Law.  And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home:  for it is a shame for women to speak in the Church.  What?  Came the word of God out of you, or came it unto you only?  If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I writed unto you are the commandments of the Lord.  But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.  Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.  Let all things be done decently and in order.”

1.      The Apostle Paul here is laying down some rules for Church order.  He reiterates that if a foreign tongue is used that it must be interpreted so that it will “profit,’ and “edify” others (I Corinthians 14:6, 16-17).  This is the list of rules for tongues in the Church:

a.      Only “two or at the most three” may speak in tongues in a church service (I Corinthians 14:27).

b.      They that speak in tongues must speak one at a time (I Corinthians 14:26).  They are to speak “by course,” or one at a time.

        c.      They are to “keep silent” “if there be no interpreter.” (I Corinthians 14:28)

        d.      Women are never allowed to speak in tongues in the Church (I Corinthians 14:34).

2.      Generally every one of the rules for speaking in tongues in the Church are broken by Pentecostals and Charismatics today:  1) a lot  of them 2) all speak at the same time 3) without any interpretation, and 4) women do most of the jibberish.  H have seen it, and testify that not only is the doctrine in error, but also the church order.  The Word of God says:  “God is not of confusion commotions, or tumults], but of peace, as in all churches of the saints…Let all things be done decently and in order.” (I Corinthians 14:33, 40)  (Note:  The same Greek word which is translated “confusion” here is elsewhere translated “commotions” [Luke 21:9], and “tumults” (II Corinthians 6:5, 12:20])  Speaking in tongues in the Church of Corinth was causing confusion, commotion, disorder, and some of it was down right indecent or dishonest.  (Note:  The Greek word translated “decently” here is elsewhere translated “honestly” [Romans 13:13;  I Thessalonians 4:12])  Much of todays Pentecostal and Charismatic tongues speaking is sincere, but “ignorant” and “childish” learned behavior (I Corinthians 13:11, 14:20, 38).  They really believe they are doing something “spiritual.” (I Corinthians 14:37).  But many, especially the leaders, are down right dishonest fakes that are not even saved.  And some ard demon possessed.  The whole tongues movement today is not Biblical for two obvious reasons:  1) tongues are clearly stated in the word of God to have ceased, and 2) the tongues that are spoken today do not meet the criteria laid down by God for their use.

3.      Paul referring back to everything he had said in I Corinthians 14 (especially verses 18 and 24) says:  “How is it then, brethren?...” 1) is it that your understand what you are saying (I Corinthians 14:14-19)?  2) Is it that you are able to “teach others” with your tongues (I Corinthians 14:19)?  3) is it that you are malicious (evil) in your use f tongues (perhaps showing off) (I Corinthians 14:20)?  4) Are your tongues a direct revelation from God (I Corinthians inthians 13:8-10, 14:21)?  5)  Are your tongues helping to convince people that they need Christ to be saved (I Corinthians 14:22-25)?  Today people that speak in tongues 1) do not know what they are saying, 2) do not teach others with their tongue, 3) are not receiving direct revelation from God, and 4) their tongues are not helping any one to get saved!!!  The only uses of tongues today, and they’re not God given tongues, are:  1) self edification (spiritual gifts were for the edification of the Church, not self), 2) prayer (no where in the Bible do we find that we are to pray in tongues), 3) to show off spirituality (I Corinthians 14:20, 37),  4) to deceive and lead people astray (Matthew 7:21-23; II Peter 2:1-3).  Paul continues:  “When ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a [teaching];, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation…” (I Corinthians 14:26)  In many churches  today no one wants to do anything.  The Church of Corinth didn’t have that problem.  Everyone wanted to get into the limelight, everybody wanted a piece of the action, they were all competing to sing, speak, and teach.  It was a madhouse.  No wonder Paul said: “If…the whole Church…all speak with tongues…will [unbelievers] not say that ye are mad?...But if all prophesy [in an orderly fashion]…he is convinced of all [repents, gets saved]…and report that God is in you of a truth.”  (I Corinthians 14:23-25)  In mass confusion no one is edified, and no one gets saved.  With order in the Church people are edified and the lost understand clearly God’s Plan (the Godpel of Jesus Christ)  for their salvation.

4.      “If any man think himself…spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that [Paul wrote unto us about tongues and Church order] are the commandments of the Lord.  But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.  (I Corinthians 14:37-38)  The Apostle Paul wrote the book of First Corinthians “by inspiration of  God” as he was “moved by the Holy Ghost” (II Timothy 3:16; II peter 1:21).  It is the Word of God, and “[God’s] Word is Truth” (John 17:17).  Another name of the Holy Ghost is “the Spirit of Truth” (John 14:17, 15:26, 16:13).  The Lord Jesus Christ said:  “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the World, that I should  bear witness unto the Truth.  Every one that is of the Truth heareth My voice.” (John 18:37)  “Those involved in the charismatic [tongues] movement have chosen experience as opposed to Truth…[Some] charismatics mook the Word of God in preference to their spirit experience.  When a charismatic pitches the Bible on the floor…and says,  ‘I don’t care what the Bible says, I have my experience,’ we know that spirit is not of God.” (You Can Lead Roman Catholics to Christ, Rev. Wilson Ewin, 1980, pg. 103) The Lord Jesus Christ said:  “He that is of God heareth God’s words:  ye therefore heart [them] not, because ye are not of God.” (John 8:47)  To be sure there are many born again people who have become entangled in the charismatic tongues movement:  these are the “unlearned,” “ignorant,” and sometimes “in malice” even the willfully disobedient that Paul made reference to (I Corinthians 14:20, 23, 24, 38).  To these and to all saved people the Lord Jesus Christ said:  “If you continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed; and ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free.”  (John 8:31-32, cf. 15:7-14)  The problem is that all to often we do not “continue in [Christ’s] Word,” and we do not allow “[Christ’s] words [to] abide in [us],” and we do not “keep [Christ’s] commandments” (John 8:31, 15;7, 10; cf. I John 2:3-6).  God says to the unlearned and ignorant believers, and all saved people for that matter:  “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the World.” (I John 4:1)  This brings us to the leaders, the “false prophets” and “false teachers,” for the charismatic tongues movement:  The Word of God says:  “But as there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in [shall secretly smuggle in] damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.  And many shall follow their pernicious [cestructive] ways; by reason of whom the Way of Truth shall be evil spoken of [blasphemed].  And through their covetousness shall they with feigned words [lying words shaped for deceit to] make merchandise [profit financially] of you:  whose judgement now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”  (II Peter 2:1-3)  The false teaching of the Charismatics and Pentecostals is that speaking in tongues is only “the initial evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost.” However, the Word of God teaches that after Christ’s ascension back to the Father, He began His pastoral work of baptizing “with the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 3:11; Luke 3:16; John 1:29-34, 7:37-39; Acts 1:4-5, 10:44-45, 11:15-17; I Corinthians 12:13).  Today when one is saved, he is regenerated, in dwelt, baptized, and filled aby the Holy Spirit who the Father sends in Christ’s name (John 3:5-8, 14:16-17, 26, 15:26).  Pastor Jesus, since the days of ht eapostles, baptizes all who receive Him the very instant that they believe (Acts 10:34-48; I Corinthians 12:13; Hebrews 13:20; I Peter 2:25).  Today the evidence of “the baptism with the Holy Ghost” is obedience to the Word of God, not speaking in tongues:  “[H]ereby we do know that we know Him [that we are saved], if we keep His commandments…[W]hoso keepeth His Word, in him verily in the love of God perfected:  hereby know we that we are in Him.  He that saith he abideth n Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.” (I John 2:3, 5, 6) Tongues, however, are an “initial evidence,” but not of Spirit baptism.  Tongues are at this time the initial evidence that 1) believers are being made “merchandise of” (II Peter 2:3), and 2) “doctrines of demons” are being taught (I Timothy 4:1).  That word “merchandise” comes from the Greek word “emporeuomai” which “primarily signifies ‘to travel.’ Especially for business…’to traffic’” (Vine), “to travel about as a merchant or trader on a large scale,…to traffic in, make gain of” (Zodhiates).  Tongues are the initial false doctrine that opens the door for many demonic doctrines.  The “false teachers” and “false prophets” travel all over the world trafficking in false doctrine, and their first false doctrine is:  “the initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is speaking in tongues.” And from this false doctrine they move on into deep heresy.  Some teach a false doctrine which denies the Holy Trinity (I John 5:7), others elevate Satan and man, some teach faith in faith as opposed to faith in Christ, most teach that God is not able to keep His children from Hell, but that they must maintain their salvation by good works (Titus 3:5; Ephesians 2:8-9; Jude 24; Hebrews 7:25; John 10:27-29; Colossians 3:3; Romans 8:38-39), most teach continuing revelation from God (Revelation 22:18), most teach a unity based on the tongues experience without regard to doctrinal Truth (II Corinthians 6:14-18; Revelation 18:2-5), and many of these false teachers “do not abide in the doctrine of Christ” by “denying the Lord that bought them” (II John 9; II Peter 2:1; cf. I John 2:2, 4:1-3; II John 7:11).  Hear what some tongues people say for yourself:  “Christ supposedly told [Kenneth] Copeland:  ‘…They crucified Me for claiming that I was God.  But I didn’t claim I was God; I just claimed I walked with Him and that He was in Me…’ Upon being questioned about this blasphemy, Copeland replied, ‘I did’s say Jesus wasn’t God, I said He [Jesus] didn’t claim to be God when He lived on the earth.  Search the Gospels for yourself.  If you do, you’ll find what I say is true.” If…[we do] search the Gosples…[we] discover how wrong he really is.  To being, consider the Gospel of John…Jesus says, ‘I and [the] Father are one.’ [John 10:30; cf. I John 5:7]…[The Jews] knew precisely what Jesus meant.  Immediately they picked up stones and denounced Christ for blasphemy, because they said, ‘thou, being a man, makest thyself God’ (John 10:33, cf. 1:1-3, 14, 3:13, 5:17-18, 8:58, 17:5)…It is mind-boggling to hear Copeland assert:  ‘…[God had] go have a man like that first one [Adam].  It’s got to be a man…He cannot be a God and come storming in here with attributes and dignities that are not common to man.  He can’t do that.  It’s not legal.’ Not only does Copeland reduce Jesus to a carbon copy of [Adam]…but he clearly divests Christ of every shred of deity…Benny Hinn’s statements are even more unnerving…Hinn [another tongues speaker] writes:  ‘…Had the Holy Spirit not been with Jesus, He would have sinned.  That’s right, it was the Holy Spirit that was the power that kept Him pure…He was capable of sinning.  ‘…While Christ voluntarily veiled His divine glory, Scripture insists that He did not surrender His divine attributes (Philippians 2:5-11).  And as God, Jesus would not have sinned (II Corinthians 5:21; I John 3:5).” (Christianity in Crisis, Hank Hanegraaff, 1993, pg. 137-140)  Many tongue speaking false teachers, like Hinn and Copeland, have bought into Satan’s lie, and like Satan are now “going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down it” with their “merchandise” of false doctrines (Job 1:7, 2:2; Ezekiel 28:16).  Today many of the leaders of the tongues movement, like Satan himself, “[have] defiled [their] sanctuaries by the multitude of [their] iniquities, by the iniquity of [their] traffic…” (Ezekiel 28:18).  “For such are false [are] false apostles, deceitful workers transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.  And no marvel:  for Satan himself is transformed into an angle of light.  Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” (II Corinthians 11:13-15)  Many of these false teachers, false prophets, and false apostles are not “ignorant” of what they are doing, but know full well that they are making “merchandise” of  God’s people (II Peter 2:3).  Tongues an other false doctrines are also promoted over “Christian” television networks like C.B.N., and T.B.N. (Ephesians 2:2).  Pat Robertson’s Christians Broadcasting Network teaches speaking in ecstatic utterance, and also perverts the teaching on some of the other spiritual gifts.  Robertson promotes unity with Catholics and others on the basis of the charismatic tongues experience.  Paul Crouch’s Trinity Broadcasting Network is perhaps the largest merchandiser of false doctrine in a “Christian” package that there is.  Crouch, for example, …gives his staunch support to the United Pentecostal church, a cult which claims that the Trinity is a pagan doctrine…To those who would speak out against this promotion of cultic doctrine,  Crouch issues this ominous warning:  ‘…God’s gonna shoot you if I don’t’ [and]…damned and on their way to hell…’ [and again]… ‘If you want to criticize Ken Copeland…get out of my life!...I don’t want to see your ugly face.  Get out of my face, in Jesus’ name.’” (Christianity in Crisis, Hank Hanegraaff, 1993, pg. 360)  Tongues are not the measure of spirituality!  Knowing God’s Word and obeying it is the measure of spirituality.  “But I any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.” (I Corinthians 14:38)

5.      “[C]ovet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.  Let all things be done decently and in order.” (I Corinthians 14:39-40)  Paul here is teaching that we are to “forbid not to speak with tongues…[if it is] done decently and in order.” Again the rules for speaking in tongues in Church are:  1) The language must be understood by all (I Corinthians 14:12-19, 28).  That means, no fake jibberish in the Church!  Note that even the one speaking must know what he said himself or through an interpreter.  And also remember that the tongue must profit and edify the Church cy revelation [Ephesians 1:17-20; Romans 16:25-26], by knowledge [Romans 2:20; Colossians 2:2-3], by prophesying [II Peter 1:21; Titus 1:12-13], or by doctrine [Titus 1:9, II Timothy 3:16] (I Corinthians 14:6, 19).  2) Only two or three people were allowed to speak a foreign language in any one church service and they had to talk one at a time.  Members were not allowed to all speak in tongues at the same time.  3)  Women were not allowed to speak in tongues or prophesy “when the Whole Church be come together into one place” (I Corinthians 14:23, 34).  Women may speak, testify, and teach in ladies meetings, and when children's classes, but not in the main service, although they may sing in the main service.  To “prophesy” most often means to fore-tell future events,  but it sometimes means to tell forth what has already been disclosed by God.  In this since it means to preach, teach, or testify in accordance with the Word of God.  Women may prophesy in this sense (Luke 2:36-38; Acts 2:17-18, 18:24-26), but not in the main church service.  Why?  Because:  1)  The main service is to “teach,” and the Bible says:  “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.”  (I Timothy 2:11).  The women of the Church of  had been disruptive and insubordinate in Church (I Corinthians 11:5-8).  2) God said through Paul:  “I suffer not a woman to teach, nor usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” (I Timothy 2:12; cf. I Corinthians 14:34).  A woman is just not allowed to teach or rule over men.  3) “Behind the [ancient] City of Corinth was [a]…high Acro[polis]…[crowned with] a magnificent Temple to Aphrodite (Latin: Venus)…[This] Greek goddess of love and beauty was worshiped with sexual orgies.  The Temple prostitutes who were used in these orgies of worship worked themselves up into ecstatic frenzies [and spoke in unknown tongues] as they followed their heathen, immoral rituals.  [This] sight of frenzied women speaking in unknown tongues in their dedication to immorality was…[common in Paul’s day].  Paul’s abhorrence of such [ecstatic utterance] is…obvious.” (The Tongues Confusion, Dr. Curtis Hutson, 1985, pg. 15) these Temple prostitutes or priestesses wore their hair very short and were easily recognized, but some of the women in the Church were speaking like, and dressing like them (I Peter 3:1-6; I Timothy 2:9-14; I Corinthians 11:5-15; Deuteronomy 22:5).  The last two verses of the Tongues Chapter of the Bible say:  “Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy (Preach, teach, and witness], and forbid not to speak with tongues.  Let all things be done decently and in order.” (I Corinthians 14:39-40)  It is not “decent” for a woman to speak in ecstatic tongues!  If possible when people of other tongues come to our churches we should orderly interpret the message from God’s Word for them to understand; but the Word of God teaches that there is no place for ecstatic gibberish or the tongues of angles [demons] in the church of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Away with such childishness, and wickedness!


We have now seen from the Word of God:  1) What the true spiritual gift of tongues was, 2) what the gift was for, 3) its decent and orderly use in the Church, and 4) that it ceased during the apostolic age.  The Biblical gift of tongues were real languages that people back then understood.  Their purpose was primarily to get people saved, and then teach them as is commanded in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). 

From my own experience in Pentecostal churches, although I never spoke in ecstatic utterance, I know:  1) the great electric excitement that is in their services, 2) there are many saved, and sincere people in the movement that love the Lord and His Word, and 3) these folks have been deceived by ignorant or down right lying teachers, and by their own selves, because they don't check their tongues experience against the Bible.  I also know, form personal experience, of the destructiveness of the movement, because I lost a close and long time friend to deep heresy that began with the tongues movement. 

From careful study of modern tongues and the heresies associated with it, I know that the movement is satanically inspired!  No one can afford to put his own thoughts, experience, ecstasy, or anything else before what the Bible, God’s perfect and infallible Word, says!  Experience and feelings are sometimes deceptive, but we can always trust the Word of God.  What ever the Bible says, that is the way it is!  Period!!!  

A Christian doctrine cannot be built without clear statements from the Scriptures.  But that is what the tongues speaker today does when he says,  “I speak in tongues to edify myself based on I Corinthians 14:4.”  This verse is not a commandment.  It isn't ever a suggestion to speak in tongues to edify self.  On the contrary, it is a reprimand for speaking in a tongue that no one else around understands. 

A false doctrine of an ununderstandable prayer language is based on I Corinthians 14:14, but that is not what it means at all.  In the context of the verse (I Corinthians 14:13-16) it is not a teaching to pray in an unknown tongue; it is the opposite, it is a command to pray with one's understanding. 

There is not one single spiritual gift that is for self edification.  Not one!  They are all for the edification of the Church (I Corinthians 12:12; I Peter 4:10).  The Bible says:  “Follow after charity [which vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doeth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own], and desire spiritual gifts…that ye may excel to the edifying of the Church.” (I Corinthians 14:1, 12, cf. 13:4-5)  The tongues of today are used to edify self [seek her own] as opposed to building up the Church which were their true purpose in apostolic times. 

If you believe that tongues are an ecstatic prayer language, you have bought into a lie of the Devil!  You don't have a Scriptural leg to stand on!  Scriptural tongues were never ecstatic gibberish, but were understandable languages.  And if you talk in tongues you are not speaking in angel talk, because not even they understand you, unless you are vexed or possessed by demons.  The tongue talkers of today have just plain been deceived, or are simply deceivers themselves. 

Speaking in tongues comes to people in one of four ways:  1) In apostolic times they were given by the Holy Spirit of God.  2) Today it is generally learned behavior caused by seeing others do it and then being pressured and/or desiring to do it, and then really believing it.  3) Some are just fakes and liars.  4)  Some are actually possessed by devils.  “Lucian,  who died about A.D. 181,... alludes to our Lord ... ‘who cured the sick man," saying, ‘The man is silent but the demon answers in the language of the Greek, or Barbarians ...’” (Demon Possession, John L. Nevius, p. 192, 193)  Demons or childishness.  Today it is one or the other.

If tongues teaching is right, then why is it that there is no record of tongues in church history except the Montanists who were branded as heretics, and a few occurrences a thousand years latter in the 1700’s by clearly heretical groups like the shakers, led by Mother Ann Lee (1736-1784) who regarded herself as the female equivalent of Jesus Christ?  All through the church persecutions (A.D. 100 to 313), through the early Catholic period (A.D. 313 to 590), through the Dark Ages of full blown Roman Catholicism (590 to 1517), through the Reformation (1517 to 1648), and up until 1901 there is no significant record of tongues in church history. 

All the Pentecostal denominations were born out of the experience of Agnes Ozman when she spoke in tongues upon receiving what she called the baptism of the Spirit on the first day of the 20th Century (Jan. 1, 1901) at Bethel Bible College, a Methodist School, in Topeka, Kansas.  Then in 1906 tongues broke out on Azusa Street in Los Angeles, and for several years people visited Azusa street form all over the world and took the false doctrine of the baptism of the spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues back with them.  Every Pentecostal denomination and the beginning of the modern tongues movement can be traced back to these two events.  The mother of all Pentecostal denominations is the Methodist Church, the mother of the Methodist church is the Church of England, and the mother of the Church of England is the Roman Catholic Church, who is “Mystery Babylon The Great, The Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth” (Revelation 17:5).  It all goes back to Nimrod and the Tower Of Babel (Genesis 10:8-10, 11:1-9), and all the way back to the very beginning when Eve was deceived by a fallen angel speaking through the mouth of a snake (Genesis 3:1-5).  

My tongues speaking brothers and sisters in Christ, what are you doing in that mess?!  Get out of there!!!  The Word of God says:  “... Come out of her [Mystery Babylon], my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.  For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. ” (Revelation 18:4-5)  I pray that if you are mixed up in that satanically inspired movement that you will repent, denounce it, come out of it, and join a Bible Believing Baptist Church!  You can use your real spiritual gifts the way that God intended for you too only in the Church that Jesus Christ established.

Spiritual Gifts and Church Officers

Believer since the Day of Pentecost have all received at least three spiritual gifts to use edify [build up in membership and strength] the Church (I Corinthians 14:12; Ephesians 4:7-8, 11-12).  The Bible days that “the gifts and calling of God are without repentance” (Romans 11:29; James 1:17).  “Neglect not the gift that is in thee” (I Timothy 4:14), and “stir up the gift of God which is in thee” (II Timothy 1:6).  “As every ;man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” (I Peter 4:10)  No one need pray for any of the gifts of the Spirit, because God gives them “according to His own will” (Hebrews 2:4; I Corinthians 12:11, 18, 28).  We are to be “zealous of spiritual gifts,” “desire spiritual gifts,” and “covet earnestly the best gifts” (I Corinthians 12:31, 14:1, 12).  The question follows: which ones are “the best gifts?”  The best gifts are the ones that God has give you personally to “profit with” (I Corinthians 12:7).  We are to “desire,” and be “zealous” of those gifts!  And how do we “profit” from our spiritual gift?  By using it in God’s service?  “If any man speak, let him speak as the Oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to be praise and dominion for ever and ever.  Amen.” (I Peter 4:11; I Corinthians 3:11-15)  There are a total of at least spiritual gifts, (Romans 12:4-6; I Corinthians 12:4-7).  These 16 are in 3 categories:  1) sign gifts, 2) revelation gifts, 3) service gifts.  Today only the service gifts remain, because the sign gifts were to authenticate those with revelation gifts, and when the Bible was completed both were done away with (I Corinthians 13:8-10; Jude 3; Mark 16:17, 20: Hebrews  2:3-4; Revelation 22:18).  There were 6 offices in the Church, but 2 have been abolished (Ephesians 4:7-8, 11-12; I Corinthians 12:28; I Timothy 3:1-13; Acts 6:1-3).  Listed here are all the spiritual gifts listed in the Bible by category:

1.  The Sign Gifts (These authenticated the apostolic and prophetic offices):

a.  Special miracles (Acts 19:11; I Corinthians 12:10), such as raising the the dead (Acts 9:36-42, 20:7-11), healings form the mere shadow of an apostle or from handkerchiefs touched by an apostle (Acts 5:15, 19:11-12), the casting out of evil spirits (Acts 5:12, 16, 8:6-7, 16:16-18), and other signs and wonders (Mark 16:17-18, 20: Hebrews 2:3-4; II Corinthians 12:12).

b.  Healings (I Corinthians 12:9; Mark 16:18).

2.  The Revelation Gifts (The Bible was given by special revelation by God):

a.  The word of knowledge (I Corinthians 2:11, 12:8, 13:8).  This is special knowledge that we could not know except that God revealed it to us.  It is the special historical, scientific, and expecially spiritual knowledge that we find throughout the Bible.  Jesus promised and it has been fulfilled that “when He the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide [the apostles] into all Truth [spiritual knowledge]…” (John 16:13).  Today and since the end of the apostolic age(approximately 30  100 A.D.) this gift has ceased operation (I Corinthians 12:4-6, 13:8-10).

b.  Prophecy (Romans 12:6; I Corinthians 12:10).  This is the Spirit given ability to foretell future estimony is the spirit of  prophecy.” (Revelation 19:10)  Jesus promises and it has been fulfilled that “when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He…will shew [the apostles] things to come” (John 16:13).  The gift of prophesy is also no longer in operation (I Corinthians 13:8-10; Revelation 22:18).

3.  Tongues:  Both a sign and a revelation gift (Mark 16:17; I Corinthians 14:6):

a.  Tongues were a sign 1) to the Jews (Isaiah 28:11-12; Acts 10:45-46),  2) to enable lost people to here the gospel and get saved (I Corinthians 14:22; Acts 2:4-8, 41), and 3) especially to authenticate the apostles authority from God to speak on His behalf (Mark 16:17, 20).

b.  Tongues and their interpretation contained special revelation from God.  Tongues related “the wonderful works of God” (Acts 2:11).  They contained prophecy, and the word of knowledge (Acts 2:18, 19:6; I Corinthians 14:6).  They conveyed the gospel of Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 14:21-25).  With the passing of the apostolic age tongues, as all the other sign and revelation gifts, have ceased.  God did away with them all when He completed His Petfect Law of Liberty, the Bible (I Corinthians 13:8-10; James 1:25; Jude 3; Revelation 22:18).

4.  The Service Gifts (Romans 12:6-8; I Corinthians 7:6-9, 12:7-10; I Peter 4:11):

a.  The word of wisdom (I Corinthians 12:8).  This is the gift of communicating “the Oracles of God” (I Peter 4:11; cf. Romans 3:2; Hebrews 5:12-14).  It is the Spirit given ability to preach (prophesy) and teach from God’s Word (Romans 12:6-7).  Note:  To prophesy means both to foreatell and also to tell forth what has been foretold; it is to reveal “things to come” (John 16:13), and it is also “to speak…the gospel of God” (I Thessalonians 2:2) and “declare..all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:28).  The “word of wisdom” is to “speak the wisdom of God…which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual” (I Corinthians 2:6-7, 13-14) “precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little…that they might go, and fall backward, and be  broken, and shared, ad taken” (Isaiah 28:9-13).

b.  Ruling or governing (Romans 12:8; I Corinthians 12:28).  This is the gift leadership.  The Greek word translated “governments” literally means “guides” (I Corinthians 12:28).  The phrase “he that ruleth” comes form a Greek word that literally means “to stand before,” hence, “to lead” (Romans 12:8; cf. I Timothy 5:17).  (Vine)

c.  Discerning of spirits (I Corinthians 12:10).  This is the God given ability to distinguish between the doctrine “which the Holy Ghost teacheth,” and the false “doctrines of devils,” and men (I Corinthians 2:13; I Timothy 4:1; Ephesians 4:14;  Colossians 2:8, 18; Hebrews 5:13-14, 13:9).  These also are gifted to “be vigilant, and to “try the spirits whether they be of God” (I Peter 5:8-9; I John 4:1-6) so that the Church may better do battle with the forces of Satan (Ephesian 6:10-18; II Corinthians 10:4-5; James 4:7).

d.  Ministry or helps (Romans 12:7; I Peter 4:11; I Corinthians 12:28).  This is the spiritual gift of serving and helping in various Church duties including caring for the poor and sick, and other business (Acts 6:1-3; Romans 16:1-2).

e.  Faith (I Corinthians 12:9).  This is not saving faith Ephesians 2:8), and it is not the measure of faith that God hath delt to every man (Romans 12:3); but it is a special faith to believe for, and pray for great things from God (Mark 11:20-24) including healing (James 5:15-18).

f.  Giving (Romans 12:8; II Corinthians 8:1-7).  This is the Spirit given ability to trust God for finances to be given for the work of the ministry over and above the tithe.  Every Christians has this spiritual gift (II Corinthinas 9:7-13).

g.  Exhortation (Romans 12:8).  This is the Holy Spirit given ability to give Biblical counciling.  It is used to admonish, encourage, comfort, and consol (I Thessalonians 4:18; Colossians 4:8; II Corinthians 1:3-5, 2:6-8; Titus 1:9; Roans 12:1-2, 15:4; I Peter 2:11).

h.  Showing mercy (Romans 12:8).  This is the spiritual gift of soul winning.  It consists of having pity and compassion of the lost, and expressing it by praying for, and telling them of salvation from Hell which only the risen Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, can provide (Matthew 9:36-39; Jude 22-23; I Peter 3:15-16; Proverbs 11:30; Daniel 12:3; Luke 6:32-26; Philippians 2:1-2, 15-16; Corinthians 4:5-6; John 14:6, 15:26-27, 20:20-23; Acts 1:8, 4:12). Every Christians has this spiritual gift (I John 5:9-12; Matthew 4:19, 5:7, 13-16, 28:18-19; John 15:26-27; Acts 1:8).

i.  Celibacy (I Corinthians 7:6-9).  This is a special gift of God that enables one to remain single in order to devote themselves to the work of the ministry (Matthew 19:11-12).

5.  Spiritual Offices (I Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11):

a.  Apostles:  Those holding this office received special authority from the Lord Jesus Christ to complete the Bible (Mark 16:17-18, 20; II Corinthians 12:12; Hebrews 2:3-4; John 16:13-15, 17:17-20).  With the passing of the apostles all the sign and revelation gifts ended (I Corinthians 13:8-10; Revelation 22:18).

b.  Prophet:  Not all prophets of the Church were writing prophets.  Some like Agabus and others did not write God’s Word, but spoke direct revelation form the Lord to the Church till the completion of he Word of God (Acts 11:27-28, 13:1).  The writing prophets of the Church are Mark, Luke, James, and Jude.  The Lord Jesus Christ, the writing apostles, (Matthew, John Paul, and Peter), and writing prophets (Mark, Luke, James, and Jude) formed the foundational teachings of the New Testament Church through their written records (Ephesians 2:20, 3:5).  With the completion of the 27 books of the New Testament God abolished the offices of both apostles and prophets (Jude 3).

c.  Teachers:  A spiritually gifted teacher will at least have the gifts of:  1) the word of wisdom, 2) disce3rning of spirits, and may have 3) exhortation and other gifts. 

d.  Evangelists:  An evangelist is a traveling preacher, and church planter, like Philip out of the Church of Jerusalem (Acts 8:1-7, 12, 26-40, 21:8), and Timothy out of the Church of Derbe (Acts 14:20-23, 16:1-2; II Timothy 4:5) (Romans 10: 13-15).  An evangelist will have the gifts of:  1) the word of wisdom, 2) discerning of spirits, and 3) perhaps ruling or helps, and other gifts.

e.  Pastors:  The pastor of a church will normally have the gifts of: 1) the word of wisdom, 2) discerning of spirits, 3) ruling, and perhaps 4)  exhortation or other gifts.

f.  Helpers:  These are the deacons of the church (I Timothy 3:8-13; Acts 6:1-3; Romans 16:1-2).  Deacone are the ministers or servants of the church who take care of all kinds of business from large to small (I Peter 4:10-11).  Helperts will have the spiritual gift of ministry, and may have the word of wisdom, ruling, or other gifts.

The Lord Jesus Christ bestows at least 2 of these gifts on us when we He baptizes us with the Holy Ghost (I Corinthians 12:13).  In the days of the apostles the Lord’s baptism was initiated by the presence of or laying on of hands by an apostle (Acts 2:38, 8:14-17, 10:44-15, 19:6; II Timothy 1:6), but since the apostolic transition period everyone receive the Lord’s baptism instantly when he is saved (Matthew 3:16; John 1:33, 7:38-39; Acts 1:4-5, 11:15-17; I Corinthians12:13).  If you are saved you have the gift of giving, and the gift of showing mercy, and perhaps others.  Don’t neglect your gifts, but find out what gifts you have, stir them up, and be zealous for them (I Timothy 4:14; II Timothy 1:6; I Corinthians 12:31, 14:1, 12).  Be a good steward of your spiritual gifts and use them to edify your local church (I Peter 4:10; Ephesians 4:7-8, 11-12, 16; I Corinthians 14:12).  If you will use your spiritual gift in God’s service, the Lord will surely reward you (Matthew 16:27; I Corinthians 3:11-15, 12:7).  God will reward you for winning souls (Daniel 12:3; I Thessalonians 2:19-20).

Dedicated to my wife’s good friends:

Mrs. Malasee  Sanggla
Miss Jimjit Parama
Miss  Fay Walkling