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'Speaking in Tongues:'  What saith the Scripture?
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The first passage in the Bible that speak of 'tongues' as mentioned in the 'New Testament' is Isaiah 28:11:

Isaiah [Yesha'yahu] 28:11 "For with lips that scorn and another language will He speak to this people."

This passage in the Torah [wrongly called the 'old testament'] is referred to in 1 Corinthians 14:21 where it says:

"In the Law [Torah: revealed instruction] it is written, 'with men of other tongues and other lips I will speak to this people; And yet, for all that, they will not hear Me, says the L-rd.'"

The very next verse, verse 22, goes on to say:

"Therefore tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophesying serves not for them that believe not, but for them which believe."

Here it is obvious that supernaturally speaking in a foreign language is NOT a sign to believers, but rather it is intended to be a sign for those who are NOT believers, namely those who know the Hebrew Scriptures which prophesied that this would happen [Isaiah 28:11].  Anyone who says speaking in 'tongues' is a sign to believers that another believer has received the Holy Spirit either does not know what the Bible says about 'tongues', or else he/she doesn't care what the Bible says.



People were Spirit filled many times before the Messiah even came to earth, and before He died.  There are many examples in the Bible of people being filled with the Holy Spirit with no mention of them 'speaking in tongues:'

Examples of people filled with the Spirit BEFORE Messiah came:

Exodus [Shemot] 31:3 "And I have filled him with the Spirit of the Exceedingly Powerful One [Elohiym].."

Exodus [Shemot] 35:31 "..He has filled him with the Spirit of the Exceedingly Powerful One [Elohiym].."

Luke 1:15 "..He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb." -speaking of John the Baptist [Yochanan the Immerser]

Luke 1:41 "And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit."

^ None of these people are recorded as supernaturally speaking in a tongue ^ [language] unknown [foreign] to them when filled with the Holy Spirit.
Yeshua did not supernaturally speak in other languages when He was filled with the Spirit:

Luke 4:1 "Then Yeshua [Jesus], being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness..,"

Examples of people not speaking in 'tongues' while filled with the Spirit AFTER Messiah has left:

Acts 4:31 "And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of the Exceeding One with boldness."

Acts 13:9-10 "Then Saul, who is also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, 'O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the L-rd?'"

Acts 13:52 "And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit."

The 'gift of tongues' is not intended for every believer:

1 Corinthians 12:7-11 "But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills."

Verse 10 says, 'to another different kinds of tongues [languages].'  Another means one as opposed to the other.
If the gift of tongues is to be given to all believers, then the word 'another' would not be here because it indicates a distinction from others who also receive gifts [as opposed to the gift of tongues] of the Spirit.



If all believers should receive the gift of tongues, then if we were all totally obedient we would all have the gift of tongues.  That is like all believers being the eye, or all believers being the ear.  Are all believers the tongue?

1 Corinthians 12:17-20 "If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? 18 But now the Exceeding One has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. 19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be? 20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body."

It should be obvious that these questions are asked expecting a negative answer.  Take the first question for example.  Verse 17 says, "If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling?"  The question is expecting the negative reply "no where."


1 Corinthians 12:27-31 "Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. 28 And the Exceeding One has appointed these in the called out assembly: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But burn with zeal for the best gifts. And now I show you a most excellent way."

Verse 28 says that it is the Almighty who has appointed some to be apostles, prophets, teachers, etc...  Verse 29 is asking a logical question.  Has He appointed all to be apostles, or all to be prophets, or all to be teachers, all to be workers, all to have gifts of healings, all to speak with tongues, all to interpret?   Verse 29-30 says, "Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?"  The questions anticipate negative answers.  Are all apostles? No!  Are all prophets? No!  Are all teachers? No!  Are all workers of miracles? No!  Do all have gifts of healings? No!  'DO ALL SPEAK IN TONGUES?' NODo all interpret?  No!

There is no one gift of the Spirit that every believer has, except the gifts promised to all who receive salvation.  One such gift is eternal life, but these gifts are never classified as 'gifts of the Spirit.'  If there were one gift of the Spirit that every believer is to have why would Paul take time to write 1 Corinthians 12:17-20?  Read it again:

"If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? 18 But now the Exceeding One has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. 19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be? 20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body."

Some might say 1 Corinthians 12:31 means we should seek the gift of tongues.  Let's look at verse 31:

"But burn with zeal for the best gifts. And now I show you a most excellent way."

First of all, since when does the phrase 'burn with zeal' mean 'seek'?  Second of all, it says 'burn with zeal' for the best gifts,... where is the gift of tongues listed on the list which precedes verse 31?  See for yourself:

1 Corinthians 12:28 "And the Exceeding One has appointed these in the called out assembly:

first apostles,
second prophets,
third teachers,
after that miracles,
then gifts of healings,
helps,
administrations,
varieties of tongues."
The gift of tongues doesn't appear to be on the top of the list.  Verse 31 says "But burn with zeal for the best gifts..."  According to the list preceding verse 31, I would not say the gift of tongues ranks too high in position.  The Greek word used for 'burn with zeal' in verse 31 is 'Zeloo' and it means 'to burn zeal, passion, or fervor.' Unfortunately many Bible versions give the wrong idea, however, even then they do not translate the word as seek.
How ironic it is that people always quote verse 31 trying to get people to seek the lowest gift when verse 31 says BURN WITH ZEAL FOR [not seek] the BEST gifts [not the lowest standing], and the gift of tongues is at the bottom of the list.  Let us not ignore the last part of verse 31.  "But burn with zeal for the best gifts. And now I show you a most excellent way." I would say the word 'excellent' equates much more with the word 'best' than the lowest standing gift does.  Let's look into this more excellent way which Paul speaks of.  This brings us to the next chapter, verse 13.  The most excellent gift, the gift which can certainly qualify as the best of gifts, is charitable love.   This love is unconditional, like the love our Saviour has for those He has saved.  It is not based on our merit or our own righteousness, but rather on His own righteousness [Jeremiah - Yeremi'yahu 23:6; Romans 3:10-31].

1 Corinthians chapter 13 begins saying in verse 1:
"If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal."

Some try to use this verse to say that the 'gift of tongues' is also a some kind of a prayer language which no man can understand, but rather it is the language of angels.  First of all, this passage doesn't say the gift of tongues is the language of angels, neither is Paul here saying that he has ever spoken the language of angles.  Rather, Paul says 'If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels BUT HAVE NOT LOVE...'  Paul is speaking hypothetically here, as he often does, and here the point is that regardless of what communication abilities you MIGHT have, IF you do not have love, these abilities are pointless.  Also, IF you want to go ahead and say Paul spoke in the tongues of angels and men, this is something to consider:  There is a Rabbinic Jewish tradition which says HEBREW is the language of angels, and the language of heaven.  So IF Paul's purpose here is for some strange reason to boast that he can speak in the language of angels, all he is saying [from a Jewish perspective, and Paul was Hebrew] is that He can speak in both the languages of heathen men and in the language of Hebrew, the language of heaven.

If this isn't good enough, let's give some other examples from this same chapter.  1 Corinthians chapter 13 verse 2-3 say:

"And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing."

Paul again is speaking hypothetically, as he was speaking hypothetically in verse 1, saying IF I did or do these things but have not love, then these things and I myself are worthless, nothing.  He is not saying he is worthless, and he isn't saying that has does or doesn't have these talents and abilities.  That is beside the point.  This is all hypothetical, unless you want to say Paul had all knowledge and understood all mysteries.  If this is so, then Paul goes on to call himself a liar just a few verses later, because then he writes in verses 8-10,

"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. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away."

So if in 1 Corinthians 13 verses 1-3 Paul means that he can speak in the tongues of angels and men and that he has all knowledge and understands all mysteries, then here in verse 9 he contradicts himself [IF he wasn't being hypothetical in verses 1-3] because verse 9 says that we know in part.  It says our knowledge is partial.  If our knowledge is partial how can Paul 'know all things' as he says in verse 2?  So again it is shown that Paul is speaking hypothetically in verses 1-3.  As for the gift of tongues, verse 8 says 'whether there are tongues, they will cease.' Here it does not say tongues might cease, it says if there are tongues, they WILL cease.  We do know that the gift of tongues is something real, and that it has at least existed at some time, according to the Bible.  Now, from verse 10 we can see that the gift of tongues will cease BEFORE that which is perfect has come, because verse 10 says 'when that which is perfect has come, then that which is IN PART will be done away.'  Verse 9 does NOT say tongues are in part, it only says knowledge and prophesy are in part.  So if tongues 'will cease' as verse 8 says, and yet that which in part is done away when perfect comes, and tongues aren't in part, then that means that tongues 'will cease' BEFORE 'that which is perfect has come.'

1 Corinthians chapter 13 concludes saying,

"And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."

Couple this with 1 Corinthians chapter 12 verse 31 and it should now be abundantly clear that the most excellent gift, the very best gift, is the type of love spoken of in chapter 13:

"But burn with zeal for the best gifts. And now I show you a most excellent way." - 1 Corinthians 12:31
"And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love." - 1 Corinthians 13:13

This is why Yeshua [Jesus] the Messiah, when quoting the Torah [wrongly called the 'Old Testament'], said in Matthew [Mattit'yahu] 22 verse 37-40:

"...'You shall love YHWH your Exceedingly Powerful One [Elohiym] with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' 38 This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law [Torah] and the Prophets [Neviiem]."

Verse 37 is quoted from Deuteronomy [Devariim] 4:29; 6:5; 10:12, and verse 39 is quoted from Leviticus [VaYikra] 19:18.
The reason it is on these two commandments that all the Law and the Prophets hang [verse 40] is because IF we love our Creator then we will obey His command to love our neighbor, and IF we love our Creator then we will, as we grow in Him, begin obeying His commands by the working of His Spirit within us, just as the Scripture bears witness:

1 John [Yah'chanan] 5:2 "By this we know that we love the children of Exceeding One, when we love the Exceeding One and keep His commandments. 3 For this is the love of the Exceeding One, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. 4 For whatever is born of the Exceeding One overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith. 5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who trusts that Yeshua [Jesus] is the Son of the Exceeding One?"

2 John [Yah'chanan] 1:5 "And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another. 6 This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it."

For this reason no one can use Matthew [Mattit'yahu] 22:37-40 as an excuse to conciously and willingly disobey His other commands, because He makes it clear that IF you love Him and your neighbors, you will obey His other commands,.. and it is for this reason that the foundation of all the commands is love.  Because:
"He who has My commandments and holds fast to them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him." - John [Yah'chanan] 14:21.

It is important to note here that obeying His commands, obeying His Torah [revealed instruction, aka 'the Law'] is NOT what our salvation is based on.  Our salvation from the punishment of our sins in the lake of fire is a FREE GIFT recieved through faith, and it is based on grace, loving favor that we did not earn or deserve in the first place [see Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-7]; however, as a result of this salvation, He works in us, by His Spirit, and causes us to grow in relationship with Him, and causes us, as a result of salvation, to walk in obedience to Him more and more [see Ephesians 2:10; Titus 2:11-14; 3:5-8].

If a person is 'born again' spiritually, then He will give them a new heart and a new spirit, and He will cause them to hold fast to His commands, and to walkin His statutes by putting His Spirit withen them:
"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will hold fast My judgments and do them." - Ezekiel [Yechezchial] 36:26-27.


Now that we have gotten through 1 Corinthians chapter 12 and 13, let's go on to chapter 14.  This is the biggy for many people.

[ it is 2:01 am -- i will try to finish this soon.  good night dear brothers and sisters in the love and grace of Messiah our Saviour and soon coming King =) Shalom! ]