Thursday, October 29, 2015

What about tongues?

I do have a question about talking in tongues . I thought you needed a interpreter for someone who is speaking in tongues. But I never seen some who interpreted that ever are people doing it wrong?

Thank you for your question.  There are many different views on the gift of tongues.  Here are a few.

1.    Speaking in tongues are a sign that you are saved.  If you don’t speak in tongues you are not saved.
2.    Speaking in tongues are a sign that you are able to serve the Lord in HIS power.  If you don’t speak in tongues then nothing that you think you are doing to serve the Lord matters.
3.    Speaking in tongues show you are spiritually mature and no longer a spiritual baby. 
4.    Tongues are real human languages such as English, Spanish, German, and Hebrew.   The miracle was that people could speak in these languages that had never learned them to proclaim the gospel.
5.    Tongues are a heavenly language or angelic language and therefore can only be interpreted by one having the spiritual gift of interpretation.
6.    Tongues should be used in the worship service and many people can speak in tongues all at the same time.
7.    Tongues should only be used as a private prayer language and not in services since it turns off unbelievers.
8.    Tongues are to be in the worship service but only if there is someone there who is gift in interpretation.
9.    Tongues when translated become prophecies telling the future about other people.
10. Speaking in tongues was a temporary sign gift used to show physical Israel that the Holy Spirit or Shekinah glory was now being poured out on the followers of Jesus but was not normally given after the apostolic age. 
11. Speaking in tongues is a psychological experience today that is mimicked in many faiths and is not what the bible speaks of when it speaks about people speaking in tongues.
12. The experience people are calling “speaking in tongues” is really a groaning in the Spirit.  They have wrongly associated their experience with the gift of tongues.
13. Speaking in tongues is not biblical but true believers may get caught up in this false experience sincerely. 
14. Speaking in tongues is from the devil and those who speak in tongues are not saved.
So as you can see many views held by Christians on this issue so we must acknowledge from the beginning that many people will have different opinions on any question that arises from the experience people now have which they claim is speaking in tongues.

In answer to your question about if people need an interpreter to speak publicly in tongues would seem from the Bible to be, yes interpretation is needed if one is to speak publically using tongues (languages). 

1Co 14:27,28  If anyone speaks in a tongue, it should be by two or at the most three, and each in turn, and one must interpret;  but if there is no interpreter, he must keep silent in the church; and let him speak to himself and to God.

So when we see the whole congregation or thousands of people speaking in tongues in a public meeting without interpretation then this would not be the will of God according to the Apostle Paul.

Now my view on tongues is that they were a sign to Israel in the New Testament times to show that one could only enjoy the gift of the Holy Sprit and the Kingdom of God if one accepted Jesus as their personal Messiah and LORD.   This particular ability (gift) ended at the close of the apostolic age about 100 AD.  What is experienced today and called speaking in tongues may have many different sources ranging from a psychological or sociological experience to a groaning in the Spirit (Romans 8:26).

So Peter points out to Israel that the promise of Joel that the Holy Spirit would come in the end times was now fulfilled in the Spirit being poured out on the followers of Jesus as the Messiah and not in the Jewish temple as they would have expected.  It appears that Samaritans were given the gift of tongues to show to the Jewish believers that they were actually accepted as much as Jews in Messiah Jesus.  Peter is called to preach to the Gentiles and so here with Cornelius the gift is given that there can be no doubt that Gentiles are being accepted into the kingdom of God by accepting Messiah Jesus alone.   Finally, those who were orthodox Jewish disciples of Apollos also had this at their conversion to make us aware that Orthodox Judaism cannot save without accepting Jesus as Messiah. 

The purpose of the gift of tongues as a sign to unbelievers is clearly taught by Paul. 


 1Co 14:22  So then tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophecy is for a sign, not to unbelievers but to those who believe.

So Paul seems to indicate that the purpose of this gift was to show in a very clear way that having faith in Jesus could also save others outside of Jews who accepted Jesus.  It was important as well that the Jews came to see that just being Jewish without having Jesus could not save.   This was accomplished in the New Testament times.

I believe that it the disciples of Apollos that are in the Corinthian church and were the original speakers in tongues in that congregation. 

Why would I think that the gift of tongues would cease?

1Co 13:8  Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.

Now prophecy and knowledge will be done away with and Paul would seem to indicate that this might be at the second coming.  However, tongues is placed in a different category, they "will cease" and because this word is in what in the Greek is in the “middle voice” the word could mean that they would “cease of themselves.”    This would seem to fit the idea of a few people being given this gift in the first century and this gift ceasing when they died. 

So there is a little information on the gift of tongues.  We can of course agree to disagree in an agreeable manner.

No comments:

Post a Comment