pent04 Modern tongues speaking

Modern Tongues Speaking
Why we do not practice or endorse modern Speaking in Tongues
[pent04] v1 ©2005
This tract may be downloaded (above) and freely printed.


1 Corinthians 14:37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.

Their Accusation against Us

If we are people who truly follow the Bible to the setter of the law, then some accuse us by saying, “Why don’t you speak in tongues like they did in the Bible?” We will reaffirm first off that we do follow literally the Bible, except when there is obviously a reason to not follow it like in the case of King David’s adultery. That was not given for us to follow as an example. We also understand that some activities are limited and temporal, such as the sacrifice of animals on the altar in the temple. Hebrews explains that this has ceased for New Testament believers.

The principal problem with modern tongues speaking is (1) they do not define biblically what is tongues speaking, (2) they do not practice what they claim is tongues according to the rules set out by God.

“Biblically” what is speaking in tongues?

We begin here, with a difference between what the Bible defines as tongues and the modern practice of tongues. First we should understand that one of the faithful principles of Bible interpretation is to always interpret obscure passages in the light of clear passages. There are obscure references that people interpret as tongues like Romans 8:26, and these must be set aside and be seen only after the clear passages are interpreted.

Acts 2:8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 11… we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

But here we can conclude without any doubt that what happened in Acts 2 was people speaking in tongues, but these “tongues” were obviously human known languages, which were chosen because there were foreigners present who did not apparently understand the language of the disciples, and those speaking in tongues spoken in known languages with the singular purpose of communicating doctrine to them through “normal” preaching. In these verses, Luke names 15 human languages. Then the clearest of passages teaches without a doubt that tongues speaking is not ecstatic speech but rather human languages, with people present who can understand that language spoken. Purpose: preaching in their own language.

This is very important because many modern churches that promote tongues define tongues differently. Leaders like Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn, etcetera all say tongues is to invite the Holy Spirit to come into a person, and once “inside” that person loses control of himself under the Spirit’s power, and the manifestation of this is the loss of control of his tongue. We must emphatically warn that this definition of modern tongues is a demonic experience, and has nothing to do with God.

1 Corinthians 14:30-32 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the 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.

The Corinthians boasted of their spirituality because they had more gifts than any other group. But nevertheless, Paul is here rebuking them for their lack of spirituality, not for the abundance of spirituality. This is the rebuke of 1 Corinthians 14, God has established the mark of a spiritual man as one who controls himself, and any lack or loss of control is the mark of a carnal or unconverted man.

The Bible clearly teaches us that people who lose control of their own bodies are most likely under demonic control, because this is the character or mark of that demonic control. (Mat. 17:15, Mark 9:22, Luke 9:38-42). But on the other hand, God clearly says the fruit of God’s Holy Spirit is self control, (Gal. 5:22-23). So then we understand that God says that the man of God with the Spirit of God always controls himself, and where the presence of God’s Spirit truly is, people never lose control of themselves which is mark of the flesh in control (Gal. 5:19-21).

The Rules of God on Speaking in Tongues

Those that practice speaking in tongues today disobey the rules that God has established as his will in this matter (1 Cor 14). We should mention that these rules or guides are things that help us identify what is of God and what is not of God.

The Rules: (1) Everything done in the church is for the edification of others v26. (2) Limit of only two or three speaking in the entirety of a service v27. (3) Everyone must speak by turns, (never is it correct in a service when everybody is talking at the same time unless it is something like singing or reciting a passage of Scripture) v27. (4) There always must be an interpreter of the foreign language being spoken so that it is in the common language of the church, and even this must be by turns. (5) There is no speaking if there is no interpreter v28. In other words, the tongues speaker controls himself and stops talking if there is no interpreter. (6) There must be understanding and judgment of the content of the tongues speaking v29. There must absolutely be an understanding (translation) of what is said so that others may judge if it is biblical or not, if it is according to revealed Scripture or not. Here we add that within the tongues speaking, the Bible speaks of people learning spiritual truths v31 through the means of tongues just like preaching or teaching. (7) There can never be confusion. (8) It is always unilaterally prohibited for women to speak in the services so that they should their submission and obedience to men v34. Here we should also inject 1 Timothy 2:12.  God restricts women from teaching or exercising dominion over men, remaining quiet (silent). Then we conclude if women have authority, lead a service, teach, or preach (speaking in any form other than corporately – all singing or reciting Scripture), then God is not in what is going on. (9) Everything is done decently and in order. V40.

Here we note the importance of God’s rules in the order of the services. If those that promote speaking in tongues today define tongues with an absolute loss of control of a person’s body, and God and the Bible indicate this is typical of carnality and demonic possession or control or influence and never representative of God’s working or God’s Spirit, then we have to conclude that God is not in the modern tongues speaking today. It is a demonic heresy (1 Timothy 4:1) that we should energetically reject.

Moreover, it makes no sense. If modern tongues speaking is where somebody invites the Holy Spirit to enter his body, and after that he loses control of himself, then how is it possible for God to judge the sin and breaking of God’s rules and will regarding tongues? Who is responsible if a person loses control and sin happens? That person? The Holy Spirit? Who? Anyone involved or having information on tongues speaking knows that most all of the rules are ALWAYS ignored or broken. Everybody talks at the same time, more than three, more women than men speaking, a great confusion instead of decent and in order. If God is controlling them without their interference, then can’t God abide by His own will and rules? The answer yes God can, but this thing has nothing to do with God. We have to conclude modern tongues speaking has nothing to do with God.

Tongues Ceased

In the Bible, there are dispensations in which some things happen according to God’s will, but does not happen in another dispensation. We see in some times prophets, kings over the people of God, a single temple over the whole earth, animal sacrifice, priesthood, etc. In the New Testament, these things are not happening because it is not God’s will. In the matter of tongues, 1 Corinthians 13:8 says “tongues, they shall cease”. Many make great arguments against this Scripture but simply taken, at that time, Paul prophesies the cessation of tongues. We note that within the very time frame of the New Testament this happened. 1 Corinthians is an early epistle and the rest of the epistles do not mention tongues, not even in 2 Corinthians. Mark and Acts are also early books, written from a historical perspective, not necessarily commenting on present events like an epistle but on past events.

After 1 Corinthians, there is not another mention in the Bible of tongues. We search through church history and we find no mention of tongues again until the Irvingites in 1800 in Scotland. The except is a singular reference to Montanus a 150 heretic that was judged and rejected from all fellowship from all the rest of the Christian churches of his day for his heresy of tongues. The only valid conclusion is that tongues ceased shortly after the writing of 1 Corinthians!

We also not that tongues are a sign for the unbelieving Israel (1 Cor 14:21-22). God never intended tongues to be an element in the Christian New Testament Church but to be a closing sign of judgment against Old Testament Israel. It is not a mark of spirituality either because Jesus had more of the Holy Spirit than any man and it is never recorded that he spoke in tongues.

If we are honest with ourselves, we have to conclude that the modern tongues speaking today is not of God, and obviously has all the signs of demonic activity and influence. It is not how God works or has ever worked with His Spirit.

Pent04 Cox Tongues
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Pent04-cox-Speaking in Tongues
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David Cox Internet Ministries

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