How Do You Test the Speaking in Tongues

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by gemma, Apr 26, 2011.

  1. Bondman, when I was also younger in my faith and age, I was taught differently about 1 Corinthians 12-14. I thought they did not fully explain the chapters to us.

    You are correct in saying that prophecy is "better" than tongues and we are encouraged to go after the gift of prophecy (not forgetting that we should also be seeking agape love for our brothers and sisters in Christ described in 1 Corinthians 12:31 - 13:1-13 for love is the greatest gift! Verse
    4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
    5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;
    6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
    7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
    8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.
    ..........
    13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.) on 1 Corinthians 14:5
    I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.

    1 Corinthians 14:2 describes that speaking in tongues is talking to God and not to people: 2 For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. The people that I know who truly have the gift of tongues don't speak in public for a show to their brethren, thus, seek their praises. They reminded me of Matthew 6:5-7:
    5"And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
    6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
    7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.

    Why is prophecy better? Because they edify, exhort and console the Church. As a believer, I'd rather be built up and/or be corrected (I'm hoping that they'd speak the "truth in love" :)) and/or be consoled by those that have the gift of prophecy. 1 Corinthians 14:3,4:
    3 But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.
    4 He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.

    Verse 5 Paul prefers that all speak in tongues, not a certain group only, but moreso that we prophesy.
    5 I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.

    Verses 6-11 is about the limitations of tongues. Self-explanatory.
    6 But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you unless I speak to you either by revelation, by knowledge, by prophesying, or by teaching?
    7 Even things without life, whether flute or harp, when they make a sound, unless they make a distinction in the sounds, how will it be known what is piped or played?
    8 For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare himself for battle?
    9 So likewise you, unless you utter by the tongue words easy to understand, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air.
    10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of languages in the world, and none of them is without significance.
    11 Therefore, if I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be a foreigner to him who speaks, and he who speaks will be a foreigner to me.
    Verse 12-13 Paul wants each of us to exceed the gifts that we already have.
    12 Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel.
    13 Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret.
     
  2. Your statement is verified as true that it's for unbelievers so, IMO, what happened in Pentecost may not be the same as to the recent giftings of tongues. That is why Paul explained, corrected and clarified the use of tongues in chapter 14.

    PS. Ginger, would you be able to start a conversation about something I found out on tongues. You don't have to, it's also ok. I'd like for those that truly have the gift to reply to this thread.
     
  3. Dear Ginger, thank-you for your two posts! I'll reply tomorrow health permitting, but meantime do you have Scripture for tongues being a known language?

    I've spoken in a few quite different tongues, including one that was utterly amazing and, well, quite, quite 'different' is about all I can say! My 'regular' tongue mostly seems to sound kind of Western European. However sometimes I can hear what seems like Japanese (or maybe even Chinese). This seems to be all I speak in these days. (It does sound like a true and very "full" language I must admit.)

    Thanks a bunch!

    - BM
     
  4. Bondman, just so we are clear, I am not trying to deny tongues in any manner claimed by those who speak it. I am just trying to stress this is not something to be taken lightly...as is true with all spiritual gifts. I have met too many well-meaning Christians who got carried away with their own desires and, as gemma pointed out, we need to be satisfied using the gifts God gave each of us.

    I believe these passages people keep posting need to be discerned in full and not just singling out the one verse here or there that we think proves our point.

    I'll share an example of my experience with tongues.

    I was deep in prayer - so absorbed in my intense conversation with God that I became almost unaware of the people around me. I was praying outloud, but very quietly as is typical.

    I don't know how long I had been praying before I became aware of the sounds coming from my mouth. I did not understand the sounds as words, yet I knew exactly what I was saying. Tho my tongue uttered unfamiliar sounds, I knew their meaning. I heard onething with my ears and another inside my head - at the same time.

    My purpose in sharing this is so that you know I have experience personal with tongues and am not here to deny your claims.

    My concern is with what I see as a partial understanding of the passages being used. Paul's comments in their entirety need to be considered to fully understand what he is stressing to the church. I am not going to state directly my understanding of these verses, because I feel it's not what I am supposed to do.

    But, I want people to discern the entire passage and see the relationship between the verses.

    I am greatly concerned with what I see happening in the church. People seeking imaginary, showy gifts to feel special when in reality they are neglecting to use the real gifts given them., What a shame!

    When I hear people say they are praying and praying God give them a specific gift, I can't help but ask why are you not praying God reveal to you the gifts He has chosen for you, so you can use them to the fullest.
     
  5. I'm not sure I understand what you are trying to say, but if my comments are not providing the type of information you are seeking, then I will depart so as not to be a further distraction. ;)

    Catch you in another thread!

    Ginger
     
  6. What a coinensidence my good friend. I have only had the use of one eye since the Tet offensive in 1968.
    I believe that we can be friends because we are in fact brothers in Christ. We can disagree on tongues, miracles, baptism and such because they are NOT essential to salvation.
    Hope you fell better soon.!!!
     
  7. I didn't quote it but here's what you said
    . Since Bondman has already replied, I will also say that, yes, it's a known language. The one I heard, due to my persistence in finding out, is Eastern European or Scandinavian.
     
  8. Sorry, I seem to have missed answering your post. At Pentecost everyone heard them speak in their own native tongue/language. The words they uttered were a known language. The miracle in the utterances of those speaking is that what was heard was understood by others in their native tongue in contrast to those hearing "gibberish".

    So, in the example I gave that would indicate that the German couple sitting behind me heard what I was saying inGerman while the English speaking person to my left heard in English.

    To pray with your spirit, you do not need a language. God knows what is in your heart, even when you cannot find the words to express it. I was indeed praying with my spirit...in fact, with every ounce of my being, I was calling out to God. It was not just me praying in what to the human ear might have sounded like gibberish. There was a purpose God gave me this experience..... altho, He might have done something for the Germans behind me as well....I don't know and do not need to know.

    Oops, I am getting a little off track.... you asked for Scripture:

    Further mention is in Paul's words in Corinthians:

    6 Now, brothers, if I should come to you speaking in tongues, what good will I do you if I do not speak to you by way of revelation, or knowledge, or prophecy, or instruction?
    7 Likewise, if inanimate things that produce sound, such as flute or harp, do not give out the tones distinctly, how will what is being played on flute or harp be recognized?
    8 And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle?
    9 Similarly, if you, because of speaking in tongues, do not utter intelligible speech, how will anyone know what is being said? For you will be talking to the air.
    10 It happens that there are many different languages in the world, and none is meaningless;
    11 but if I do not know the meaning of a language, I shall be a foreigner to one who speaks it, and one who speaks it a foreigner to me.
    12 So with yourselves: since you strive eagerly for spirits, seek to have an abundance of them for building up the church.
    13 Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray to be able to interpret.
    14 (For) if I pray in a tongue, my spirit is at prayer but my mind is unproductive.
    15 So what is to be done? I will pray with the spirit, but I will also pray with the mind. I will sing praise with the spirit, but I will also sing praise with the mind.
    16 Otherwise, if you pronounce a blessing (with) the spirit, how shall one who holds the place of the uninstructed say the "Amen" to your thanksgiving, since he does not know what you are saying?
    17 or you may be giving thanks very well, but the other is not built up.
    18 I give thanks to God that I speak in tongues more than any of you,
    19 but in the church I would rather speak five words with my mind, so as to instruct others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.
    20 Brothers, stop being childish in your thinking. In respect to evil be like infants, but in your thinking be mature.
    21 It is written in the law: "By people speaking strange tongues and by the lips of foreigners I will speak to this people, and even so they will not listen to me, says the Lord."
    22 Thus, tongues are a sign not for those who believe but for unbelievers, whereas prophecy is not for unbelievers but for those who believe.

    There is more, but this shows tongues is a known language. Verse 15 is very important, not just concerning tongues, but for all spiritual gifts!!!

    Now, I'll move on. I just wanted to be sure to address your question beforw leaving.
     
  9. Thank you, Ginger.....

    I compared what you've experienced to others I know. One told me, he can sometimes understand the meaning of what he's praying about.

    Yes, you're right, you don't have to teach what each verse says. Christians need to spend time and discern the whole passage and don't pick verses just to suit their doctrine.

    Gemma
     
  10. There seem to be a number of things to comment on, so I shall do my best, including trying to be brief!

    1. Ginger, you may well be right about these two verses. Over many many years I've been taught by the Holy Spirit how to understand and deal with Scripture so that I may teach it well. As I've stated I won't say something unless it is both THERE and CLEAR. As neither verse states CLEARLY that others heard something in their own language, I will not say that this happened. However, no matter which way we may interpret them, tongues DID change, and we still have them today - which was my basic message.

    2. I'm unaware of Scriptures clearly saying that when I'm speaking in a tongue that it is a real earthly language. Again it may well be. But once again I won't state this as so because I can't find clear unambiguous Scripture to validate it.

    3. Firstly, Paul states that tongues are a sign to unbelievers. I think we must not simply say "tongues are for unbelievers." Secondly, he does not specify that they have to understand the tongue before it can be a sign. In the Isaiah reference of Paul's from Isaiah Ch 28:21b
    “With other tongues and through the lips of foreigners I will speak to this people, but even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord,”
    the Israelites wouldn't listen to God's voice so He said you'll get shown your rebellion and sin via another tongue - which was the Assyrian army defeating them and taking them into captivity - yet STILL most did not listen to God's message! That is, from the Isaiah quote, just hearing God's miracle of tongues should be enough for a unbeliever to sit up and take notice. If they don't then they're like the Israelites. (I add, that a tongue interpreted may get their attention better - but only if the tongue's message is appropriate. Otherwise they may still think the Christians are mad.)

    Must press on...

    - BM
     
  11. Couldn't possibly agree more, dear one, that tongues must NOT be taken lightly - as sadly they are!!

    Where you said, "I believe these passages people keep posting need to be discerned in full and not just singling out the one verse here or there that we think proves our point," I will add a very heart-felt and strong AMEN!!! Tragic, really! Also, "But, I want people to discern the entire passage and see the relationship between the verses." I'm right with you: y strong heart desire also!! Then you said, "I am greatly concerned with what I see happening in the church. People seeking imaginary, showy gifts to feel special when in reality they are neglecting to use the real gifts given them., What a shame!" Indeed! "Showy gifts to feel special," is so dreadful, ND so widespread today!

    Your tongues experience you related is really wonderful!! (and very pertinent). Thank-you so much for sharing it!

    Blessings to you and your family!!

    - BM

    EDIT: Small matter perhaps, but about a strong statement Paul makes:

    Verse 5 Paul prefers that all speak in tongues, not a certain group only, but moreso that we prophesy.

    Rather than the weaker concept of 'prefers' my Interlinear Greek New Testament (literal translation) gives the Greek word you've underlined with a stronger word: "Now I desire that all speak in tongues," while the Amplified has, "Now I wish that you might all speak..."

    (Not meaning to be sounding 'picky'!! - tho it probably sounds like it...)
     
  12. I still don't see how the above Scriptures prove that tongues is a real language.

    But you and Gemma are quoting examples of people hearing a tongue, and it is a known language. I've also heard of this previously. Interesting! I also once read a report of someone speaking in tongues and a Missionary home on furlough understood what he was saying. Trouble was, the person was speaking terrible things against God, blaspheming, and so on!! Whoa!! (Fits in with your comment earlier, Ginger, where you spoke about discernment so as to have a check that the tongue is not being used by an unbeliever or even a demoniac. Seems to me that discernment is sadly lacking in the church!)

    - BM
     
  13. Finally, I'll give a few thoughts to maybe answer the question in the O.P.

    1. From my post above, a person with the Gift of Discernment could check. Sadly, however, you have to know that the person claiming to have THAT gift actually does!

    2. Similarly, is there someone who can interpret tongues. But the same deal sadly - do they really have that gift?

    3. To test a tongue you first need ENSURE that you or another person has:

    .. SPECIFICALLY repented of (earnestly being SORRY for) ALL of their sin committed against a very Holy and Righteous God (most Christians have NEVER done this!! How foolish!!)
    .. Believes in Jesus as Lord and Saviour, having committed ALL of their life to Him, to live ONLY for Him, for the rest of their days (most don't realise that this is what "believes" really means in the Scriptures).
    .. Been baptised in water in the Name of Jesus.

    Then they will be FILLED (or baptised) with the Holy Spirit (even if they don't know it!) And it's fine and good to have an expectation of speaking in tongues, being the sign of being filled with the Spirit (but you most certainly can be filled, and keep being filled without EVER speaking in tongues).

    Note that being baptised or filled is NOT a once for ever situation. That's why I use "filled" (the actual word used at Pentecost: Acts Ch 2:4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them), the word 'baptism' being more connected with and flowing from John's baptism. Moreso, as water baptism is a 'once-only' (even though the effects continue), many people think of their initial baptism as a once-only baptism in the Spirit (maybe without realising this). Both words are right, but to me filling is a better and safer one.

    God gives an on-going command for us to be filled: Ephesian Ch 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. The expression "be filled" there is what I call present continuous tense because in the Greek is means for us to "be being filled" with the Spirit. So I will pray, "Lord, ever be filling me with the Spirit!" I KNOW how much I need Him - for my Christian life to have any hope at all of working!! And once again, here the word used is "filled" not "baptised."

    4. Listen to your tongue. Does it sound like a language, even if in the Spirit you are speaking mysteries, and speaking to God. Or does it sound like gibberish? The "Ulla dulla dulla" I've heard more than once I sincerely doubt is a true tongue. I have lots to share with the Lord when I speak in tongues, and my normal tongue is very rich in it's words, sounds, inflexions, and so on. It also FLOWS very, very readily.

    5. Do you note a deal of repetition? I'd be quite concerned if you did. I certainly don't - ever!

    6. A tongue is for edification, building you up, or others. If when alone with God does it seem a privilege to speak to God in your tongue? Or a chore? That may help you to know if it's real.

    7. Do you only like to use your tongue in public? Or do you use it privately also, and even mabe MORE. If only in public this seems likely to be what Ginger referred to as just something that gives you a buzz, along with the crowd, but not being real.

    8. Do you feel like you really ARE speaking to God via His Spirit. You certainly should!

    I think it's time I exited here also. May we all DAILY be being FILLED with His Spirit, obeying His commands, loving Him, and truly and caringly serving others rather than ourselves (NOT common in any way in our society!)

    9. Finally a VERY important one! Beloved describes it as: "Is your brain out to lunch!" Meaning can you pray in tongues WITHOUT having to think about it? You see tongues is of and by the Spirit - He is enabling you to pray this way. You can start and stop, controling your speech in that way. But not much more. The words are not from your brain. Let me explain further.

    I am a male. I can do just one thing at once! I'm even worse than most. For example I play a number of musical instruments. But when playing the paino of an accordian I can either play OR sing - NOT both!! Just can't do it! One thing at a time. But with my wonderful tongue, I discovered that I can actually pray twice at once, i.e., praying in tongues AND using my brain to pray in English in my mind at the same time!!! Okay, because I'm "me" as above, it's not totally easy - BUT I shouldn't be able do it at all, yet I can!! Helps me be sure - if I needed it - that my tongue is real and from the Holy Spirit.

    All my love to everyone here!!

    - BM
     
  14. Wow, that's awful, and I presume made some other 'messes' in the process!! Sad to hear...

    I'm still slowly heading towards not being able to see this screen, but am trusting the Lord!!

    My friend, I hope that you have changed your beliefs to what has been presented here. 1 Corinthians 14 can NOT be ignored, and if you adhere to false doctrine it WILL hold up your growth as a Christian, and more! "Lord I pray for Major that you will open his good eye, as it were, and help him to see the clear truths of Your Word, no matter what he has thought and believed before. Give him a new and vibrant open mind to your Truths and Your Holy Word. Bless You Lord Jesus!!"

    Much, much love to you my brother!!

    - BM
     
  15. I actually have speculated that instance in my original post. Can someone with the gift of distinguishing of spirits test the person speaking in tongues? I'm not talking about a person that is demon-possessed. I'm talking about a person that is being influenced by a demon. The answer is Yes, the Christian with the gift of distinguishing of spirits can. I've also mentioned 1 John 4:1-3 in my post.
     
  16. Bondman, we can try to ignore part of the verse but a Christian who can discern what the Scripture verse actually says is going to read the whole verse, it says that Paul wants us to desire more of having the gift of prophecy:
    5 I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for a he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.
    Paul is saying in stronger word of desire which is desire more or to a greater degree, better, or much.
     
  17. Thanks for you concern but I was trying to comfort YOU by letting you know that most all of us have many problems. I have been so long with onoy one eye know that it seems normal.
    Yours sounds like it may be Macular Degeneration.
    As for changing my beliefs on speaking in tongues, I actually can not change what I have found to be the truth of God's Word on this subject. I do agree that 1 Corth 14 can not be ignored as it in fact gives me the reasons why we SHOULD NOT SPEAK IN TONGUES, IMHO.
    Allow me to go into some detail on this as I have spent a lot of time on it.
    To correctly and intelligently consider 1 Corth. 14, one must consider the CONTEXT of the teaching Paul was doing. The focal problem, and remember that Corthians was a letter of "correction", is the matter of the use and ABUSE of the gift of tongues because it had become a fasination in the church to the point it had replaced PROPHESY (teaching) and knowledge (learning).
    Tongues had lent itself to perversion from something intended for the common good (12:7) to something used for personal enhancement (14:4). Paul's corrective was to urge the use of tongues to be regulated by love. (13:10).
    The gifts of the Spirit should be controlled by the FRUIT of the Spirit and among those was LOVE (Gal. 5:22).
    That corrective advice by Paul would lead to exercising the gifts so that they would benefit the church body as a whole (14:5) and honor God in particular (14:25; 33; 40). To that end Paul compared and contrasted the Corthians' preoccuption with tongues with their obvious disinterest in teaching and learning.
    Read the 14th chapter carfully and you will see that the same problem was happening then as is today in almost all churhes.
    1n Corth 14:2....................
    "For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries."
    The word here for TONGUE and in the original Greek it means ..."GLOSSIA".
    Paul used that word 21 times in 1 Corth. 12-14 but only 3 other times in all of his other letters. Each of Paul's other uses was either in a quotation from the Old Test. or in an allusion to it. In all 3 instances he used the word "tongue" as a figure of speech for the statement or the confession that was made. WHETHER GOOD (Rom. 14:11, Phil. 2:11) OR BAD (Rom. 3:13) ......................................
    THE STATEMENT WAS TO BE CLEARLY INTELLIGIBLE LANGUAGES.
    Now consider 14:4...........
    "But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church."
    A person who spoke in tongues (un-intelligable speaking) without any interpretation could only edify himself and not the church.
    1 Corth. 14:10-12.........
    10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of languages in the world, and none of them is without significance. 11 Therefore, if I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be a foreigner to him who speaks, and he who speaks will be a foreigner to me.
    Human comunication operates on the same principle as instrumental communication. The word...LANGUAGES in verse 10 is ......"PHONON" and is the plural of the word PHONEN meaning "SOUNDS" of a harp (vs 7), and "CALL" of the trumpet (vs 8). Human sounds apart from a shared understanding of their meaning are worthless and Paul places that into CONTEXT here by saying that the Corinthian proccupation with tongues needed to be corrected hence the purpose of his letter to them.
    Then we have verse 34.............
    "Let your women keep silence in the churches for it is not permitted unto them to speak."
    The CONTEXT of Paul's corrective letter is of course SPEAKING IN TONGUES, therefore his admonission for women to be silent in church, is simply that women are not permitted to SPEAK IN TONGUES IN CHURCH.
    I did not write those words, so please do not post that I am against women or anything like that my dear friends.
    YOU read the words and allow God to teach you His meaning. TO ME it is clear. Women can and should teach, pray, speak and so on, but THEY ARE CLEARLY TOLD NOT TO SPEAK IN TONGUES IN CHURCH.
    Now.........in my experience, IF the women in churches were not permitted to speak in tongues, THERE WOULD NOT BE A TONGUES ARGUMENT AT ALL. That is because almost all of the speaking in tongues in churches are done by the women!!!!
    WHY do you think that is the case???/ In my OPINION it is because the ladies are generally more emotional than the men.
     
  18. 1 Corth. 14:5.......................
    I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.
    To prophesy is to give forth the Word of God...or to teach. The important thing today is not a tongues meeting but rather a Bible study. "He that prophesieth" is one that teaches. NO ONE is to speak in "tongues" (un-intelligable) unless there is someone there to interpret so that learning can take place.
    1 Corth 14:6......................
    But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you unless I speak to you either by revelation, by knowledge, by prophesying, or by teaching?
    Isn't Paul simply saying......."If I do not make any sense when I come to talk to you, what then is the use of my coming?
     
  19. Okay, this wretched forum program continues to change and mess up things I write. I said that I wasn't going to write further here, decided on one more (to Gemma) - but enough is enough!

    I've also personally found this thread to be a rather sad one, and won't take part in any more threads about tongues. I find myself wondering if more agape love and understanding of each other - our feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and so on - would help here...

    With love!!

    - BM
     
  20. I was the one who wrote this:
    So I checked your reply:
    and saw that it was for me so I quoted it and replied. My understanding of 1 Corinthians 14:5 is that Paul desires that we all have the gift of tongues but he desires more that we have the gift of prophecy.

    Gemma​
     

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