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20130515-143139.jpg by Andre Watson.

Tongue Talking. I moved to Hickory, North Carolina in 2009. While I was there, I attended a church that my step-father and his neighbor attended. At the beginning of each Sunday service, there was a prayer that was said. In it, there was a supplication, or request, for people to be filled with the Holy Ghost “with the evidence of speaking in tongues”. Every time I heard this I cringed. This is because I know that this was a false teaching, but I had to get proof. This lead into almost three years of research on one subject. This is the longest I have ever researched any one subject.

First and foremost, we must understand that what we call tongue talking today is not the tongue talking that was done in the bible. Acts 2:4-11 teaches that the tongues spoken on the day of Pentecost were all earthly languages. There were many languages spoken that day and maybe even more that we can count. According to Thayer’s Greek Definitions, προσήλυτος (Proselutos) is translated Proselyte and means one who has come over from a Gentile religion to Judaism. So, while we have (and yes, I shall name them all) Men of Parthia, Media, and Elam, and those living in Mesopotamia, in Judaea and Cappadocia, in Pontus and Asia, In Phrygia and Pamphylia, in Egypt and the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and those who have come from Rome, as well as men of Crete and Arabia, we also have people who are not counted as Jews at all and the number of these people and variance of languages could be a staggering amount.

As we move the conversation to Corinth, we se people using their spiritual gifts wrong. Has anyone ever wondered why Paul spoke concerning tongues to the Corinthians and no one else? Remember, back then the letters we are reading today were just that – letters. These were letters addressed to the churches in Paul founded. For example, the Roman church would not have read the Corinthian letters. So why did the Corinthian church receive this conversation in the first letter about tongues? Well, history and geography teaches that Corinth was a shipping port city. If you came by sea on to the continent, you came through Corinth. So, the place was multilingual. Many people spoke different languages there. So, it made sense that the church would have the gift of speaking in divers (many) languages. This was done to convey a message of God’s love to those that spoke in other languages that they may repent.

According to the bible, what is speaking in tongues? It is (I can see the emails and comments coming already) the ability to speak to someone in their native language without having learned the language. I have never learned Chinese but if I spoke to someone in Chinese as God instructed me to do, then I would be speaking in tongues. 1st Corinthians 12:7 says this:

But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

This means that all spiritual gifts are used for the common good, for the body of Christ. They are used to help people in the body of Christ. It’s no wonder that when Jesus talked about the signs that will follow them that believe, he did it during the Great Commission. Remember, He said to go and teach ALL nations. How can that be done if you and the nation you are trying to teach have a language barrier? Hence, speaking in other languages.

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