The Spirit Language: “Tongues”
Recently I’ve been reading several articles/posts on the spiritual gift of speaking in tongues. And not long ago I was at a retreat and the discussion of tongues kept coming up. Crazy so much fuss over a little gift. But, this is a very important topic for people to understand because it can and is leading many astray. Here are some of my thoughts.
Speaking in tongues is a spiritual gift. When spoken in private, it edifies the speaker. 1 Corin 14:2 When spoken in public, it’s a sign to unbelievers because upon hearing it they would understand their own language like those in Acts 2. 1 Corin 14:22 This gift was necessary particularly in the days of Apostle Paul as the gospel was going out to all people, not just the Jews. Knowledge of different languages was required to communicate the message of truth.
This gift is something given and directed by the Holy Spirit. It isn’t at our will, but His. (very important point) 1 Corinthians 12:10-11 As the other gifts, it is to be used purposefully. AND, like the other gifts it takes GREAT DISCERNMENT to know if it truly is of the Holy Spirit or a spirit of deception. And with tongues, it takes even GREATER discernment, because if someone speaks a language unknown to those around him, who is to say he isn’t truly speaking in tongues? This is one reason I believe Paul said to have an interpreter; so there wouldn’t be any confusion. With the other gifts it’s easier to discern what is true and what isn’t from the outside. Because of this difference with tongues, it can be used very easily to manipulate and mislead and I think this happens a lot. It leads many astray to believing they are in God’s will when they aren’t. And as proof that someone is in the spirit, when in fact it may be another spirit altogether and not a good one. It’s a serious problem.
It leads people astray not only because of it’s nature, but also because it seems “mystical”. But it only appears mystical because of the improper use and mimicking of the true gift. When sharing the gospel to another nation and being able to share in their language isn’t so mystical and I think this was its main purpose and demonstrated in Acts 2. This misuse is why there is so much discussion and division about this gift and not the other gifts. When it is abused, then the Spirit in true believers reacts.
Manipulation and Deception with Signs and Wonders
I want to meantion two types of misuse of this gift we need to be able to discern. The first is when it isn’t of the Holy Spirit, but of our imagination. Many people LOVE signs and wonders and when acts like speaking in tongues (as it is improperly done today) occur people get hyped and discernment often flies out the window. That is incredibly dangerous, yet it is happening all around us. Revelation 13:14
Matthew 24:24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
People are attracted to tongues because of the mystical appeal that has been created. This is why his greatest tools of deception will be of signs and wonders in the name of Jesus – but another Jesus, a false image. 2 Corin 11:4 “For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted–you may well put up with it!”
Consider the girl in who Paul casted out the unclean spirit. She was speaking things that had elements of truth as any deception does, but it was not of a honest spirit in her. Acts 16:16-18 We need to be seeking and asking for discernment, and abiding in the Word of God to be able to discern what is of God and what isn’t. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10
Spirit of Conformity
The second misuse of this gift is from a spirit of conformity. How often I’ve heard of instances where people have been prodded over and over by others to ask for the gift of tongues, so they can “have all God has for them”. These prodders put tongues in a separate group from all the other gifts to be one we all should have as proof of the power of the Holy Spirit coming upon us. They get this from Acts 2, which in my opinion is a stretch. The Spirit gives what, when, where and to whom as He wills for a reason. There isn’t a formula to the gifts. When we make it as such we are playing God. It is no longer about being spirit-led but man-led. It is to be His will, not ours.
The power of suggestion is tremendous, (side note: look at the power of hypnosis, which is all about suggestion). If you tell someone, especially repeatedly, they need to speak in tongues, how spiritual it is, etc. they are going to feel less than spiritual if they don’t. Their emotional response will kick in because you are touching upon two of humankind’s greatest needs the need to be accepted and to feel valued. Our minds are very powerful. They cause our bodies to conform to our thoughts. Even for those who are “strong”, given enough prodding they will start to question, which leads to conformity. Because when they do speak in tongues then everyone treats them as spiritual and special.
For those in this group, it is an emotional release leading to babbling, not speaking in tongues. Though, they truly believe they are speaking in tongues, but it is in their head. We are great deceivers to ourselves. Most are babbling out of social acceptance, to feel “spiritual”, to be like those around them, etc. Never underestimate someone’s need to be accepted or to feel spiritual – even those we admire. The gift of tongues as it is often done today, can EASILY be mimicked, so that even those who are doing it are deceived. We can speak garbled language and with the powerful desire to conform, be part of a group, and seen as spiritual we easily convince ourselves and truly believe it was of the spirit.
Rules of Engagement
For these two reasons and among others, Paul tells us about how it is to be used so this confusion and misuse won’t happen! And so the body of believers can more easily discern the spirits. When someone does speak in public they need an interpreter and that interpretation needs to be in accordance with God’s truth – if not they need to keep silent. So if we have this gift; we should ask ahead of time if someone has the gift of interpretation to interpret if not we are to keep silent. If the spirit is calling us to speak, then He will provide and interpreter other than ourselves.
With this and every other gift we need DISCERNMENT. We need to be in God’s truth with a LOVE for the truth to be able to discern between the holy and the profane.
April 13, 2010 at 4:24 am
I think you did an excellent job of explaining the gift of tongues! I believe you are right on target with this one.
April 13, 2010 at 5:20 am
Hi Marianne – thanks 🙂 Glad you stopped by!
April 13, 2010 at 2:31 pm
This is a subject I’ve been wondering about for a while. I “received the gift of the Holy Spirit with the ‘evidence of speaking in tongues'” long ago when I was a teen, but it was like you said. So now, even if I do speak in “tongues” (which is seldom), I always wonder whether I’m not just babbling. The only real “evidence” I have that it’s the HS and not my imagination is that I don’t sense a check in my spirit and I do sense God’s presence as I do at other times when I’m with Him.
But still I wonder. If it were so important for me to do this, wouldn’t He be prompting me to? Yet not a word on the subject though He talks to me about lots of other things.
Times I do sense a direction to speak in tongues–usually only if I’m praying for someone, for healing or some other specific need I don’t know how to pray for. But even here not always. More often, recently, I sense God telling me what to say by putting specific words in my mind.
So yes . . . something to ponder. I’ll just wait until God tells me to do it. That’s probably okay–no need to do anything He’s not directing me to do. It’s enough of a challenge to do the things He IS telling me to do. 😉
April 14, 2010 at 12:47 am
Hi Cindy – I appreciate you sharing your story on this. I think it is important as you said to seek His will and trust Him to lead you as He desires. And I’m with you – I try to just focus on what He is leading me to do and not worry about all the other stuff 🙂
April 13, 2010 at 10:07 pm
The second misuse of this gift is from a spirit of conformity. How often I’ve heard of instances where people have been prodded over and over by others to ask for the gift of tongues, so they can “have all God has for them”. These prodders put tongues in a separate group from all the other gifts to be one we all should have as proof of the power of the Holy Spirit coming upon us.
Been there, heard that, believed that for a while. In fact, I’d even heard that “the gift of tongues” and “the evidence of (being filled with the Spirit by) speaking in tongues” were two different things. They’re not! It’s ONE GIFT, given to people as God determines!
As a girl, I thought I’d received tongues as “evidence of being filled with the Spirit”. But then, in my early twenties, I stopped “speaking in tongues”. I didn’t know why at the time; it just ceased. Then I had a look at the Acts 2 passage in its proper context (read: verse 5 onward). I also noticed that there were other instances in Acts were people were filled with the spirit but didn’t “speak in tongues” (in Paul’s case, not straight away, given what he says in 1 Corinthians 14:18-19). The main clincher was 1 Cor 14:14-15. I also learned what “glossolalia” was and determined that’s what I was practicing. I didn’t have the God-given ability to speak a different language. It was just a bunch of syllables that served no purpose. (This is what I believe most Christians who say they “speak in tongues” are doing: practicing glossolalia.)
Meanwhile, ever notice throughout the New Testament there are others who become filled with the Spirit but DON’T “speak in tongues”? John the Baptist in Elizabeth’s womb and those who converted under his ministry. Elizabeth herself. His father Zaccarias’s first words after being rendered mute were words of prophecy, not “tongues”. Jesus himself! A bunch of other people in Acts.
April 14, 2010 at 12:49 am
Shelly – thanks so much for your comment. Some great points. Thanks for taking the time to post.
April 14, 2010 at 4:35 pm
Rachel…you article reminds me of something the Lord spoke to my heart some 35 years ago when I was Baptized in the Holy Spirit. The evidence of speaking in tongues was a “part” of that encounter with God…albeit not the MAIN purpose in begin Baptized in HIS SPIRIT that is HOLY! However, because it is one of the “evidences” and “religion” has made it so “controversial”…in His precious manner, He spoke to me saying: “Misuse does not imply no use…but rather RIGHT USE.”
ONLY God would “couch” words like that…but by the Spirit, I “knew” exactly what He meant. Just because some people “misuse” this part of the “evidence”…does not mean we should not believe Him about it and practice it…but rather we should yield to His Spirit and allow this beautiful gift to flow through us…in a right way that glorifies Him and puts us into the HOLY FLOW of HIS Spirit!
My personal ability to “hear His Voice” was turned up VOLUMES when I yielded to HIM in obedience and allowed Him to flow through me after I begn to speak in tongues privately. HE is such a Lover of our Souls and so wants to help and empower us in every way…IF ONLY we will believe on Him and take Him at His Word…even about this.
Paul said, “I speak in tongues more than you all!” So he understood benefit of this powerful gift…and it IS a gift. We don’t earn it nor are some favored for it and some not. It is just if our hearts will purely believe….and receive. Not make a “big deal” about it before others…but just enjoy being in the beautiful “flow” of God and don’t worry about our feet still being able to touch the floor of the River of Living Water. HE is in control…not us. And we TRUST in HIM with all our hearts and we are NOT to lean on our own understanding.
Appreciate your blog…and your ministry!
Looking unto JESUS,
April 15, 2010 at 3:53 pm
Sandy – thanks for sharing your experience.
April 14, 2010 at 5:12 pm
the greek geeks say unknown tongues is always a known tongue unknown to the speaker and that there is no such thing as a private prayer language. I myself quit praying in tongues about 2 years ago……….I feel like I was just jabbering and opening my soul up to deception
April 15, 2010 at 3:54 pm
John – many I have seen do this babbling and when I see their life – I see extensive deception in it – so interesting point about opening up to deception. Again I think it takes great discernment as with all the gifts.
April 15, 2010 at 2:24 am
Great post Rachel.
I agree. Discernment is the key, as is brokenness & humility before God.
I am glad Jesus did not say, “By their gifts you shall know them.”
If one hungers for truth God will not deceive us. He will bless us with it in His time and we receive by faith when He does so.
1 Corinthians 14:4 is a beautiful verse too – we build ourselves up spiritually if we step out in faith exercising this gift during our quiet time in prayer, or, whenever we come up against the devil. He will back off when one does so!
Satan will do whatever he can to keep God’s people from receiving this gift – and for those who do exercise their faith in it, he will (1) tell them it is of the devil (2) get as many as he can to misuse it.
May we always embrace Psalm 84:10-12. Thanks for your clarification on this wonderful gift.
April 15, 2010 at 3:56 pm
Roger – yes humility. Thanks for sharing your insights.
April 16, 2010 at 2:17 am
I particularly liked what you said Roger, in that Jesus didn’t say “by their gifts ye shall know them.” The fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22 should be our ultimate standard.
April 16, 2010 at 4:07 pm
Hi Janna – thanks for stopping by 🙂
April 16, 2010 at 6:10 pm
Speaking in tongues is a something that many Christians don’t understand. Thanks for shedding some light on the issue with your insights.
April 16, 2010 at 7:56 pm
Slamdunk – agreed. It can be a confusing topic and we have to seek understanding in the Word beyond our filters created by those around us, even ourselves.
April 17, 2010 at 7:06 am
I too am very sensitive to the misuse of this gift, I get red flags and con man alarms in my heart whenever I hear a guy preaching and interspersing it with “tongues”. To me showing off in this manner is just a guy trying to make a false claim of authority.
I will say that I have had a change of heart about prayer languages. I know several humble people who love the Lord, who only pray quietly in this fashion, not loudly in front of a congregation, and once when I was with one of these friends during a health crisis I heard her praying in tongues while she was unconscious, I was really surprised at that. Later when I asked her about it she said that she had a lot of life-threatening trauma when she was young and the Lord had given her the prayer language before she ever heard about it from any other source. I know that she never heard about it before because she grew up Lutheran. And nobody in that denomination was talking about tongues in the early 60s.
So I have had to loosen up a bit about it. Whatever He is doing is fine with me, I do not pretend to understand what the purpose is, because there are lots of other things He is definitely doing that I do not fully understand. I do know that I personally did not have the “evidence of tongues” thing and I have no doubt about my baptism in the Spirit. I have also begun to wonder about who needs the “evidence”? If you know that God’s Spirit has washed all through you and you definitely felt it, then it only remains for other people to need the “evidence” and sometimes, like when you are around the con men, it is none of their business.
I also know that He definitely warns me about the blabbering out loud in church types too (I am familiar with 6 foreign languages and I have not ever heard a message in any one of them). So I am resolved to not interfere with what a person (a genuine believer, not a con man) is practicing and let the Lord sort it out.
April 19, 2010 at 8:11 pm
Nathan – You are right there is so much we don’t know and lots to learn. Again, I think the key is discernment in any given situation.
April 18, 2010 at 6:19 pm
I found your post informative and thank you! You are so right about the private and public nature of the gift.
I was baptized in the Spirit and received the gift of tongues as a baby Christian while in the bathtub. Go figure, I had heard about it and simply asked God for it with a child-like faith.
I often pray in tongues, by myself, when I cannot find the words to say.
April 19, 2010 at 8:11 pm
Hi JoDee – thanks for your comment!
April 23, 2010 at 2:34 pm
Good morning. This is such an important topic and I appreciate your taking time to discuss it. The primary thing that jumps out at me is the truth that Roger Williams refers to. We know a person by their fruits. Certain gifts can be imitated but fruit cannot be. An apple tree simply cannot produce oranges. When we enconter another for the first time, if that person has a deep relationship with the Lord, it doesn’t take long before this becomes evident. If that person is putting on a show, this will also be manifest. Even if their acting skills are fine-tuned, there will be that inner sense of “somethings wrong.”
The comment by JoDee is one that I can relate to. I must confess that I pray a lot without understanding. It almost always transpires at two specific times. One is during worship when its usually in a musical format. The other time is when praying for others; especially those whom I know very little about such as someone encountered on the street. There are so many souls who are battling on an array of fronts. A glance at my prayer list (which gets longer every time I go out) is “overwhelming.” Truly I don’t know how to address these things as I don’t see the complete picture; only the information offered up by each person during the encounter. (and this information is usually slanted as we’re very good at self-deception) But the Lord knows the complete picture.
Insofar as doing it before others, like at church, I simply don’t as I’m never compelled to do so. I Corinthians chap 14 offers up some primary guidelines which, if adhered to, will aid in keeping folks from going astray. We’re living in an age of maximum confusion as various doctrines abound and the teachers of each one has the means to broadcast that doctrine literally around the world through such venues as this world wide web. To be scripturally grounded and atuned to the Holy Spirit is imperative.
Thanks again for discussing this. Blessings always in Jesus name.
April 23, 2010 at 5:17 pm
Timbob – thank you for your comment. Just this morning my husband and I were talking about Matthew 7. In talking about the verses . . .
Matthew 7:13-15 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves”
We were discussing how the path is long and difficult as God refines you to prepare you for all He has in store as verses 7-11 reassure us. And the biggest struggle/battle is in us – our thoughts, false beliefs, etc. But that is where the refining is because our beliefs and thoughts affects all else. We have to be purged of all that isn’t of God and learn and walk in His truth. And from my experience this is a process and journey that is indeed difficult yet the one that truly sets us free.
And what is interesting is right after this part about the narrow verses the wide path is a warning about false prophets – false prophets who will promote a wide path – a more instant “spiritual” walk. I see all kinds of people around me wanting this because the bondage is so great and in their desparation falling under the promises of these false prophets because of the “power” that is seemingly being demonstrated. People are seeking an easy path that is being promoted by false prophets, and being reinforced with signs and wonders. Often certain “healings” and “signs of tongues” is part of that reinforcement.
I think this is a VERY dangerous movement that is happening. Though there is a true gift of tongues – it is one that requires great discernment.
May 11, 2010 at 4:11 pm
Rachel, I think you are right on. And like you said, the key is discernment.
People can be so misled by others and even be misled by themselves. A spiritual gift is God given, not self given. ‘Claiming’ a gift out of one’s own will is dangerous – it’s like believing you have the power to interfere with and/or add to God’s will. Not good. It’s so important to seek God’s truth. Anything outside of that is deception.
May 11, 2010 at 5:05 pm
Hi Katie – great point about claiming a gift as your own – it is the Holy Spirit who gives the gifts at His will and timing. Thanks for sharing your insights!
January 27, 2011 at 8:12 pm
I was skimming through your blog and happened across this post. I have a few thoughts I would like to mention for you to meditate on. As one commentor so adequately said, there are abuses and excesses in the body of Christ, for sure. I’m not going to discuss those. We agree that abuses and excesses aren’t from God. I am talking about the reality and realness of God.
You mentioned that the gift of speaking in tongues is normally used (I’m guessing you meant by “preachers”) to manipulate and deceive the body of Christ. And you backed up your point with two verses, Revelation 13:14 and Matthew 24:24. Both of these scriptures have to do with the anti-Christ and the false prophet(s). The term “anti” means against. So, anti-Christ(s) are working against Jesus and the Word.
I’ll make a statement here that is pretty blunt but true.
Just because our experience, mentality or perception doesn’t agree with the Word of God, doesn’t negate and make void the Word.
A previous commentor stated, “Claiming a gift out of one’s own will is dangerous–it’s like believing you have the power to interfere with and/or add to God’s will.” This type of mentality, although highly religious sounding, is completely unscriptural. 2 Peter 3:9 says that God is unwilling that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. If God is unwilling for any person to go to hell, then why do they?
In the Bible, God has given us His Word declaring that the act of the cross of Christ redeemed us from sin. If someone refuses to believe it, they will not be redeemed and cleansed from sin. It’s not God’s fault. He already did the saving. There are people who say that God doesn’t want them to be saved. It’s too late for them. There are others that believe they don’t have to or can’t “claim this gift.” It is God’s will, so I’m in going to heaven. This isn’t the truth, but that’s what they believe and that’s what they receive and walk in.
On the same token, from Genesis to Revelation, God also gave us His Word concerning His desire, will and action He already took in the cross to ensure that we not only can be healed from any and all sickness, but also live in His divine health and nature. If someone refuses to believe what He said in His Word concerning healing, it’s not His fault. He already did the healing. You can be sick if you want to. There are people who believe that God gave them sickness to teach them a lesson. This mentality is not true in the light of scripture. However, they believe it and that’s what they walk in. According to a person’s faith, it is done to them.
Now, the reason God wants His people healed and healthy (His whole body) is because the more sick the body is, the less the body can do to build His kingdom. A sick body is a compromised body.
It is the same with spiritual gifts. God already provided spiritual gifts (all of them) to His body. If someone doesn’t want to walk in spiritual gifts, God isn’t going to beat them over the head. He isn’t going to love them any less. It is simply that the body of Christ is then not as strong and powerful as it should be. When a believer in the body of Christ comes across a person in the world who is dying of cancer, the gift of healing (for example) should be present and available to heal. When that sick person gets healed, they are instantly open to the Gospel of Christ. This is how many, many people come to Christ and how many fellowships (house and mainstream alike) are started, through healing.
Now, we (the body of Christ) usually have a very limited viewpoint of God and His will in the earth. Our view typically is that these gifts (for example) just one day started operating in the earth after the day of Pentecost, but we aren’t sure how or why. However, we must realize that the gifts of the Holy Spirit didn’t just function in the book of Acts. They have been functioning since the beginning. People used and flowed in the gifts of the Holy Spirit before the New Covenant but they were limited because the Holy Spirit couldn’t live inside of them. What were some of those wild and crazy things that Elijah and Elisha did? Calling down fire from heaven (can you say working of miracles)? Every New Covenant believer is greater (or has more ability at their disposal) than any and all Old Covenant servants (Matthew 11:11). The New Covenant life is how God has always wanted things done. He always wanted to live inside of mankind. He always has been and will be love. He has always and will for all eternity operate by faith. He is filled with and is all power.
Now, read Isaiah 28:11-12. Many think that Isaiah is talking about people speaking different human languages like French, English and Korean in these verses. But Paul quotes this scripture in 1 Corinthians 14:21 as specifically referring to speaking in tongues. In the Old Testament, God was already talking about speaking in tongues (and all the spiritual gifts and the whole New Covenant life, for that matter).
Finally Rachel, as I mentioned at the beginning of this comment, there is the reality of God. For there to be a “deception” or “counterfeit” there must be something real first. You cannot have a counterfeit U.S. Dollar without first having a real U.S. Dollar. So Rachel, contend for the real for yourself. You are a woman of God. You love Him and He loves you. Your Father isn’t going to give you something that is detrimental to you or deceive and manipulate you. When you begin to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit for yourself, you become a serious asset to the Kingdom of God. Think about this–why would God not want you to walk in the gifts of the Spirit? On the other hand, why would the enemy not want you to walk in the gifts of the Spirit? I’ll leave you with these scriptures–notice how often the same thing is repeated in a short space and also the content of the chapters they come from.
1 Corinthians 12:31– covet earnestly the best gifts– notice the word “covet.” Interesting choice of word.
1 Corinthians 14:1– desire spiritual gifts
1 Corinthians 14:12– since you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek to abound for the edification of the (body of Christ)– Paul told them to be proficient in the gifts to edify the body of Christ.
1 Corinthians 14:39– covet to prophesy– again the word “covet” not having to do with sin but with growing in the grace of Jesus and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
January 28, 2011 at 9:06 pm
Hi Eric — Lots in there 🙂
I think there is a spirit of deception that uses all the gifts including this one as a counterfiet to lead people astray — it’s the essence of false prophets and using signs and wonders to deceive. I think we’ll see more and more of it as the end approaches, as we’ll probably also see a heightening of the true gifts among true believers. The gifts of the Spirit is God working through us. It isn’t about our ability. I think they come when the Spirit wills – not people’s will alone. I agree God would never give us something to deceive His children. But if I don’t have a love for the truth then I will be in deception 2 Thessalonians 2:10 – it isn’t God who gives it but the enemy. The enemy is the deceiver which the Bible says many of will fall for his lies and counterfiet look alikes. The wheat and tares are mixed together – they look similar. Only God can truly judge the heart. I think we need to seek discernment when people are claiming and using “spiritual gifts” because their are many false prophets claiming to be what they aren’t. Their are those who claim to be of God who aren’t.
i just wanted to make a quick note on one area. I think sin corrupts .. so a sickness can often be a manifestation of sin or wayward thinking … as stress can cause great harm to your body. God doesn’t want us with the illness nor the ill thinking that got us there. He comes to heal all of us, inside and out. Yes He wants to heal. And sometimes the outward issues can make us aware of inward issues that are putting us in bondage — that is the lesson — learning the bondage and the truth that sets us free.
September 11, 2011 at 6:17 pm
Rachel now this is an old old article, but of interest to me lately. I have friends that invite me to a house church. Typically that would be great but the deception for me in this is when asked about the fellowship. I was told that they don’t have a bible study, just prayer and worshiping. To me that is dangerous and mystical. Everything is surrounded by His word and not to include His word is just mysticism. This is what is typical about tongues today. Its a right of passage in the christian walk, The word of God is second to those who pursue tongues. When the word of God is replaced by the manifestation of tongues there is a concern we should have.
Months after I became a christian I was baptized in the Holy Spirit. I spoke in tongues for few years. I ended up stopping thinking that it was just in my head; my flesh. I read a few books about counterfeit revivals that taught in this subject. It made a lot of sense. What I don’t understand is how the church can speak in tongues when it was a testimony to unbelievers and the other concern is we are told to think of others more than ourselves, but yet with tongues we are told to edify ourselves, which to me does not make sense. And if it is to edify ourselves wouldn’t it be wise that every believer should have that gift?
Just some thoughts
September 12, 2011 at 9:25 am
Hi Mike … totally agree about your House church experience .. the Word is to be central. There is a great movement around in this tongues thing, a say thing because much is a counterfeit of the true tongues … It seems a lot of it isn’t of God as it isn’t grounded in truth and in line with the Bible. So important to be firmly grounded in the truth so we are able to test all spirits and whether they are from God.
July 7, 2013 at 8:42 am
Thanks for discussing this subject. Not many people are comfortable with it. I received the gift of tongues in 1992. When I was a child, I was shy and didn’t like to speak in front of people. So when someone asked me to prove I had received the gift (someone close to me), I clammed up and didn’t speak the language until several years later. I have problems with many churches and do not attend. I started experimenting with the language one day. It felt good and although I didn’t understand the words, it left me feeling uplifted. So I began to do this more. Circumstances around me would miraculously change. For example, my neighbor, an alcoholic, had been giving me trouble for several months. I tried to help her every way I knew how. One morning I was in the shower. I began speaking in tongues. When finished, in my mind, the words formed. “Evil shall be removed from you.” I thought, wow, nice. I had received interpretation. But I still didn’t know how it would manifest. When I came in from work that day, my neighbor was sitting on her porch. She said,”I’m moving.” I said Wow! Cool!
This is only one example. Every time I pray in this language circumstances change in my life and all around me. Even for others. I don’t even pray in English anymore, except for Thank You, and I Love you!
The rules Paul spoke of in Corinthians was to bring order to a congregation. I always receive interpretation and see circumstances change for the better.
God says he will tell us to turn left or right. This is one way to do it. In Ephesians it talks of the armor of God. The last thing mentioned is praying continually in Spirit. This is speaking in tongues. Imagine being on a battlefield and you have helmet, uniform, gun and ammo. But you don’t have a radio to communicate with base and get instructions. You can’t see the big picture and don’t know what to do. I feel that there are many Christians in the middle of spiritual warfare without their radio.
I don’t know if Satan can understand this language or not, but there sure seems to be a lot less interference from him in a situation.
There is practical use for this gift. It doesn’t have to be in a church setting to be used. People need to wake up to their communication with God. I know I’m speaking a real language. This isn’t gibberish.