Speaking In Other Tongues
Blessing or Babble? (Conclusion)
By Rev. Robert S. Liichow
Several months ago I embarked in attempting to answer a seemingly simple question regarding whether or not mainline Pentecostal congregations were not speaking in tongues as much as they did years ago in their services. In order to arrive at a simple “yes” or “no” answer it was necessary, and hopefully somewhat profitable to you as the reader, to explain how all nine of these supernatural gifts worked in the life of the nascent Church. This has been in keeping with Paul’s exhortation to the Corinthians, “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant” (1 Cor. 12:1).
to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. 1 Cor. 12:10-11
This is the only spiritual gift that requires another gift to be in operation to be rationally understood. Giving a verbal message in other tongues must be interpreted by someone who has been gifted with the gift of interpretation.
The Gift of Other Tongues defined
Divers kinds of tongues is supernatural utterance by the Holy Spirit in languages never learned by the speaker, nor understood by the speaker, nor necessarily always understood by the hearer. Speaking with tongues has nothing whatsoever to do with linguistic ability; it has nothing to do with the mind or the intellect of man. It is a vocal miracle of the Holy Spirit.
Supernatural utterance in languages not known to the speaker; these languages may be existent in the world, revived from some past culture, or “unknown” in the sense that they are a means of communication inspired by the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 28:11; Mark 16:17; Acts 2:4, 10:44-48, 19:1-7; I Corinthians 12:10, 13:1-3, 14:2, 4-22, 26-32).The spiritual gift involving ability to speak in foreign language(s) not previously studied or to respond to experience of the Holy Spirit by uttering sounds which those without the gift of interpretation could not understand. At Pentecost the church [Apostles initially] received the gift to communicate the gospel in foreign languages (Acts 2).
The enthusiasts have their definition mostly correct. In the Greek texts the word “divers” is not there, the text actually reads “to another kinds of tongues” (αλλω δε ερμηνεια γλωσσων). Tongues are translated from the Greek word “glossa” from which we get our words glossolalia and glossary. The word glossa (γλωσσῶν)
simply means languages.
This gift, as with all the others is a supernatural endowment by the Holy Spirit which enabled the individual to speak languages that were completely “unknown” to the speaker.
These were real languages being supernaturally spoken we know this from the written testimony in the book of Acts. On the day of Pentecost the men gathered outside the upper room heard the apostles declaring the works of God and giving Him glory in known languages to those assembled:
They were amazed and astonished, saying, “Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? “And how is it that we each
hear them in our own language to which we were born? “Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God.”they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, “What does this mean?”
Note that the apostles were given the ability to communicate in languages
known to the hearers, not ecstatic gibberish that made the hearers scratch their heads in wonder. What made them wonder was how these (later to be noted as “ignorant and unlearned” see Acts 4:13) Galileans were able to speak any language but their local dialect and/or Aramaic. Why make note of this event? Simply because there is no biblical reason to believe that this gift changed over time. The apostles were gifted to speak real languages that were known to the hearers or could have been translated/interpreted by someone of their time.
The Gift of Interpretation of Tongues
Divers kinds of tongues is supernatural utterance in an unknown tongue. The interpretation of tongues is the supernatural showing forth by the Spirit the meaning of an utterance in other tongues. Also, it is not translation of tongues; it is the interpretation of tongues.
By definition the Interpretation of Tongues is a supernatural utterance inspired by the Holy Spirit, which interprets an unknown Tongue.
This is where Pentecostal equivocation begins. Hagin, and most sign-gift enthusiasts teach that this gift is not the supernatural ability to translate what is said in an unknown tongue into the vernacular of the locals. Hagin is guilty of simply taking the KJV translated word “interpretation” and redefining it to mean something it does not. The Greek for interpretation is as follow:
1448 διερμηνεία (diermēneia), ας (as), (hē): —interpretation, translation, explanation (1Co 12:10) not in
1449 διερμηνευτής (diermēneutēs), οῦ (ou), ὁ (ho): — interpreter, translator (1Co14:28)
2058. ἑρμηνεία hermēneia, her-may-ni´-ah; from the same as 2059;translation:—interpretation.
hermēneuō; from 2060; to interpret:—translated(2), translation(1).
Interpretation and translation are synonymous terms. When you go to a foreign country to speak you use an “interpreter” a person who understands and reveals your “foreign” tongue being spoken to the listeners.
Modern practitioners of speaking in tongues believe that the gift of interpretation is akin to “interpretative dancing.” The message is spoken by one person with the gift of other tongues. Someone else, hearing the message is quickened by the Holy Spirit with the interpretation of the message. The interpretation will be based on “where” that individual is “at” in the Lord, i.e. their maturity, their experience in the gift, etc. Charismatics view translation as sort of a hard-and-fast precise scribal activity whereas interpretation does not necessarily have just one exact meaning.
Making this false distinction in terminology allows the sign-gifter to try to explain away the problem of various completely different interpretations. Messages in other tongues and their interpretation have been recorded and played back to others without the interpretation and those claiming the “gift of interpretation” gave completely different interpretations of the message in tongues! My dear friends, our God is not a God of confusion (see 1 Cor. 14:33). Our God does not say one thing to this group and then through the same message something completely different to another. This makes God out to be a liar (see Numbers 23:19; Hebrews 6:18). Our God is not a liar, He does not mislead His people, nor does He deceive them or send them false shepherds. He means what He says and He says what He means —- and He does not leave it up to “interpretation.”
Both Gifts Operate Together
Things get a lot murkier and confusing from here on out (or in). Somehow these gifts become bifurcated into (1) public and (2) private ministry. Sign-gifters divide the use of tongues into corporate use (public) and private prayer times (private). Is this a sound biblically based understanding of these two gifts?
One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the church. Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues, but even more that you would prophesy; and greater is one who prophesies than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive edifying. 1 Cor. 14:4-5
NEVER FORGET THIS — the gifts are for the profit of others, not the individual gifted by God.
The main purpose of tongues, as already pointed out, was to give a sign to unbelievers. Self-edification was a side effect that the believer enjoyed for merely exercising his gift of tongues (true of every believer who exercises his gift). The modern day Pentecostal movement, on the other hand, stresses edification for the individual believer and the Church never as a sign to unbelievers.
Most people who are advocating tongues for today have quoted 1 Corinthians 14:2: “For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men, but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries.” There are some problems here. In chapter 12, the purpose of the gifts in general is edification of other believers. God does not need to be edified (built up to further maturity).
First Corinthians 14:2 is not encouragement to speak to God in tongues (a different language), for He will understand whatever language I use, including English. The advantage of my using English is that you and other believers will understand and that is the purpose of spiritual gifts — to communicate, to serve and to build up other believers.
God’s gives us each gifts to bless and benefit the household of faith first (see Gal. 6:10) then our neighbors. Paul entire emphasis is on building up the church not the individual whom God has given a gift of grace to.
Therefore let one who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. What is the outcome then? I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also. Otherwise if you bless in the spirit only, how will the one who fills the place of the ungifted say the “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not know what you are saying? For you are giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not edified. I thank God, I speak in tongues more than you all; however, in the church I desire to speak five words with my mind so that I may instruct others also, rather than ten thousand words in a tongue. 1 Cor. 14:13-19
It seems that one who does possess the gift of other languages ought to pray for the accompanying gift of translation. Both gifts must be in operation or the Church will not be built-up. Every commentator I have researched on the above pericope agree that when Paul is speaking of spirit he is not referring to the Holy Spirit.
Paul first applied the principle of understanding to the speaker himself (1 Cor. 14:12–15). Again, he reminded the Corinthians that it is better to be a blessing to the church than to experience some kind of personal “spiritual excitement.” If the believer speaks in a tongue, his spirit (inner person) may share in the experience, but his mind is not a part of the experience. It is not wrong to pray or sing “in the spirit,” but it is better to include the mind and understand what you are praying or singing. (Note that the word spirit in 1 Cor. 14:14–15 does not refer to the Holy Spirit, but to the inner person, as in 1 Cor. 2:11.) If the speaker is to be edified, he must understand what he is saying.
Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men. In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe. 1 Cor. 14:20-22
The apostle tells the Corinthians basically to “grow up!” “In selfishly exalting unintelligible tongues assign for believers, they were babes in understanding, babbling like selfish infants. The unbelievers were not being convicted, and the believers were not being edified–the Corinthians had only been “mature malice”–albeit unwittingly.”
The Corinthian believers were formerly pagans and thus unfamiliar with the prophetic text that Paul is citing and possibly do not get the connection that Paul is making. Isaiah 28:11 reads “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.”
He is basically saying, “You are just like the rebellious drunkards from Isaiah’s time. You speak to each other in incoherent babbling, and none of you can understand it. Instead, you should listen to the clear message of Scripture.” God can speak through any tongue that he wants—either tongues in Corinth or foreign tongues in Isaiah’s day. But, God desires that we understand his clear message in our own tongue first. Like the Jews of Isaiah’s day, Paul is pointing out that the Corinthians are not listening to the clear teaching of Scripture. Instead, they want to hear an even more difficult message through strange tongues. Paul is rebuking this attitude.
Paul, by quoting Isaiah 28:11-12 in 1 Corinthians 14:20-22, rebukes the Corinthians for not understanding the Old Testament Scriptures in their use of “the gift of tongues.” Charismatic “Christians” today should tremble in fear of the Lord as they read the passage Paul used to instruct the first generation of Christians. It seems the worship services of the Corinthians were very “free” in that we get the idea that people were gathering together speaking out in tongues together, with no interpretation, women shouting questions across the aisle to their husbands, folks getting drunk at communion, etc. Paul brings correction in all of these areas in his letter.
If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. 1 Corinthians 14:27–28
Paul sets the bounds for them, if some people have this gift let it be no more than 2 or 3 messages and someone must interpret what is spoken. If no one has the accompanying gift of interpretation/translation then, obviously, the foreign language speaker MUST remain silent, because both gifts must operate together or not at all in the church. What is more Paul sets the same limit on those gifted with the prophetic gift, 2 or 3 utterances and then these are to be JUDGED. Paul’s directives regarding the use of these 3 spiritual gifts in the church are very straight forward.
Two examples of the abuse and foolishness that masquerades as the gift of other tongues can be seen and heard via the lips of Mr. Kenneth Copeland on YouTube videos. The first case shows Mr. Copeland and Rodney Howard Browne (RHB) God’s Holy Ghost Bartender in a conference. Mr. Browne comes up to Mr. Copeland and begins to speak in gibberish to him. Copeland looks at him, then he begins to chuckle and speak in gibberish back to RHB. We see RHB sagely nod his head as if UNDERSTANDING exactly what Copeland is saying, he responds in gibberish, they both laugh and then Kenny lays hands on RHB (the greater laying hands on the lesser light) RHB falls down.
The whole episode was an INTENTIONAL fraud from start to finish and virtually NONE of the people there saw it for what it was. Tongues MUST be interpreted (1 Cor. 14:28) or KEEP SILENT. This never happened. There was no interpretation. No other person understands what is uttered apart from the subsequent gift of interpretation. NO MAN understands what is being said (1 Cor. 14:2). These two men, in front of 1,000’s of people perpetrated a fraud on those assembled in an attempt to make themselves appear to be on such a supernatural plane that even their communication was transcendent. Naturally, this act reached its zenith when Mr. Copeland laid his highly charged hands on RHB who swooned under the might deluge of demonic delusion into the waiting arms to the “catcher” behind him.
The next example is with Mr. Copeland again in February 2014 in a conference. He had received a video letter from the Pope of the Church of Rome. The Pope is also a sign-gift enthusiast along with being a member of the Jesuit order. The Pope actually reached out to Mr. Copeland and asked him to pray for Christian unity and his “eminence.” So what does Copeland do? He shows the video to the 1,000’s gathered and he leads them in prayer for their new buddy. How? He lifts his hands and begins to “pray” in tongues and he has all those gathered to join him. A cacophony of voices begins to shout out passionate drivel. Again, no interpretation was given or expected. This was public, but everyone was encouraged to use their personal prayer language together, ergo no one had the slightest idea of what was being said, to whom (other than a hopeful thought it was reaching God). Truly if an unbeliever had entered in at that part, as in Paul’s day with Corinthians —- they would have thought these people “mad” and rightly so for all their speaking was indeed only “into the air” (1 Cor. 14:9).
Linguists have studied recorded examples of glossolalia for years and they have yet to come across legitimate examples of languages being uttered. No examples of someone speaking perfect Urdu, Hittite, Hebrew, Croatian, etc. How do the enthusiasts respond to this? “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal” (1 Cor. 13:1). When challenged by the COMPLETE LACK of any legitimate languages being spoken they simply respond “it is an angelic tongue.” In EVERY biblical example of men encountering angels (even fallen angels) they angels ALWAYS converse in the known language of the person they are addressing. There is not one example anywhere of angels speaking anything but known languages. Paul was speaking hyperbolically in vv. 1-3, his point was that the love of God trumps all the gifts, because as we know folks, God is love and the gifts are not “God.” There is absolutely no biblical support whatsoever for any human being to claim they have an “angelic tongue.”
While exhorting these enthusiasts on the excellences of love the apostle goes on to tell these super-saints that “guess what, these gifts you exalt are passing away.”
Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 1 Corinthians 13:8–10
I find it interesting that sign-gift teachers all agree that tongues + interpretation = prophecy and in this passage we are informed that both of these gifts are temporary; however the love of God (agape) never fails.
Prophecies they shall fail — 2673. καταργέω
katargeō; from 2596 and 691; to render inoperative, abolish:—abolished(4), abolishing(1), bring to an end(1), did away(1), do away(1), done away(4), fades away(1), fading(1), fading away(1), nullified(1), nullify(4), passing away(1), released(2), removed(1), render powerless(1), severed(1), use(1).
Tongues they shall
cease — 3973. παύω
pauō; a primitive word; to make to cease, hinder:—cease(4), ceased(4), finished(2), incessantly, keep, kept right, stopped(2).
Knowledge it shall vanish away
— 2673. καταργέω katargeo, kat-arg-eh´-o; from 2596 and 691; to be (render) entirely idle (useless), literally:—abolish, cease, cumber, deliver, destroy, do away, become (make) of no (none, without) effect, fail, loose, bring (come) to nought, put away (down), vanish away, make void.
Love is eternal, the gifts are temporary and when their purpose has been fulfilled they will cease altogether. This fulfillment is achieved with the coming of the perfect.
13:9–10. As Paul explained it, the gift of knowledge (v. 8), and essential as it was, was not exhaustive. The ability to prophesy, however crucial for the church’s life, was of limited scope. The gifts were temporary blessings in an imperfect age. One day they would give way to perfection, toward which all the gifts pointed.
There is debate over what exactly was Paul referring to when he mentioned the perfect. Enthusiasts parse this to refer to the return of Jesus Christ, since He has not yet returned these gifts are still in operation. Others view this in the light of the completion of the revelation of God through His apostles.
I agree with the latter view because it makes sense and fits in with the history of the Church. Tongues+interpretation = prophecy. What was the purpose of prophecy? To reveal to His people His will for their lives. Once the last word was put to paper by the last apostle (or his scribe) the canon was closed and the revelation complete.
Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge
of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2 Peter 1:2-5
My dear brothers and sisters we have no need of any man or woman standing up and declaring “thus saith the Lord” from their own impassioned darkened hearts. God gave us His Word in a written form so there would be no confusion as to exactly what He said. It is His record of objective truth versus what flows out of the hearts and minds of sinful people who presume to stand in an office where their words are actually God’s!
We do not need to run hither thither and yon to hear the “now” Word of the Lord. Those who do so PROVE by their very seeking after more than has been divinely revealed in the Bible their lack of faith in God. The Bible is NOT sufficient for such as these, no they need their ears tickled and they need to hear some great swelling words of glory proclaimed over their faltering lives.
From Montanus to this very day of your reading these words —- I can testify that nothing of theological consequence has come from those declaring themselves recipients of restored gifts and offices. In our time today in America and around the world the vast majority of heresy, shocking falls from grace, aberrant practices are the “fruit” from so called sign-gift enthusiasts. Let us remember them in our prayers this Lenten season and humbly thank our merciful Lord for opening up our eyes and granting us faith in Him through His Word alone.
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Hebrews 1:1-2
1. Hagin, Kenneth. The Holy Spirit and His Gifts. Kenneth Hagin Ministries, Tulsa, OK. 1995, p. 129
3. Hagin, Kenneth. The Holy Spirit and His Gifts. Kenneth Hagin Ministries, Tulsa, OK. 1995, p. 137
5. James Swanson, Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Greek (New Testament) (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).
6. James Strong, A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament and The Hebrew Bible (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2009), 32.
7. Robert L. Thomas, New American Standard Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries : Updated Edition (Anaheim: Foundation Publications, Inc., 1998).
8. Obtained from http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Psychology/char/areview.htm
9. Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 613–614. Underlining and bold type added for emphasis.
10. David E Lanier, With Stammering Lips and Another Tongue: 1 COR 14:20-22AND ISA 28:11-12, Criswell Theological Review 5.2 (1991)
12. Obtained from http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Psychology/char/biblical.htm
13. Mr. Browne is responsible for much of the sinful excess, fraud and abuse of the saints that transpired as a result of his “Holy Laughter” revival that he brought over to America from S. Africa, after he had received this “new gift” via the laying on of hands by Benny Hinn.
14. Robert L. Thomas, New American Standard Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries : Updated Edition (Anaheim: Foundation Publications, Inc., 1998).
15. Robert L. Thomas, New American Standard Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries : Updated Edition (Anaheim: Foundation Publications, Inc., 1998).
David K. Lowery, “1 Corinthians,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 536.
I created the word “gifter” okay, non-standard English, but Paul did it on occasion too.
of Kenneth E. Hagin
Ten Reason Why Every Believer Should Speak in Tongues
by Rev. Robert Liichow
The now deceased pseudo-founder of the Word of Faith1 cult false prophet and false teacher Kenneth E. Hagin gave the Church ten reasons why we all should speak in tongues. Each numbered “point” is quoted from Mr. Hagin’s book “The Holy Spirit and His Gifts.”
#1 “Speaking in tongues is an initial evidence or sign of the baptism of the Holy Spirit: “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4).
Speaking in other tongues supernaturally by the Holy Spirit IS NOT evidence that one has received the Holy Spirit, a subsequent “baptism” after salvation. The verse Hagin abuses we covered in the first part of this series several months ago. The text is referring directly to the apostles NOT the 120 gathered. The apostles were the ones who initially received the Holy Spirit not anyone else. Through the apostles ministry, the gifts of the Spirit were administered and as the Spirit willed, distributed to other saints.
How does a Christian know they are filled with the Holy Spirit? Simply through the free exercise of their faith in God’s Word. The Word of God informs what we believe, teach and confess. James 4:5 says “Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?” Romans 8:5 “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Ephesians 5:18 “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” At the moment of redemption the Christian receives the Holy Spirit and is sealed by Him unto the day of their full redemption (see Ephesians 4:30).
#2 “He also encouraged them to speak in tongues in their individual prayer lives as a means of spiritual edification or building up. The Bible says, “He that speaketh in an unknown tongues edifieth himself . . .” (1 Cor. 14:4).
The primary use of this pseudo-gift today (I say pseudo, because what takes place today is simply not the biblical gift) is as a means of private devotion and prayer. We covered in this issue the fact that Paul was not encouraging private edification. This was an abuse. Every tongue uttered was to be interpreted by the individual or someone else who possessed that gift. The gifts are to profit others who are in need. The “edification” comes from simply being used by God to meet those needs —- it IS more blessed to give than to receive. I am not exaggerating when I write and tell you that I used to “pray” in other tongues for anywhere from 1.5 – 3 hours straight at times. Easily 95% of our prayer time privately or corporately was in other tongues. This was all wasted time. To begin with I now admit to not ever having any recognizable language nor did anyone else I have encountered, so I was at best gibbering away. Secondly, I and no one else had any idea what we were gibbering on about. Thus, thirdly, I had no way of knowing that whatever it was I was gibbering about was answered.
Lastly, the most harmful aspects of this practice were manifold. When you pray for a protracted period of time in such a manner, virtually shutting off your conscious mind you release endorphins (feel good chemicals in your brain) and you “feel” super great, i.e. proud. We were told when we prayed in tongues we were “speaking mysteries” to God that the devil could not understand; ergo he could not interfere with the tremendous inroads we were making in the heavenlies. People who speak in tongues all feel a secret degree of “pride” or being just a little cut above the non-spirit filled saint. No genuine fellowship with the Lord is developed through this type of prayer. Your conscious mind is disengaged, it is incapable of communicating fully with God, but our spirit with the Holy Spirit can . . . .or so they say. The reality is that it was not until seminary and going through 1 Corinthians line by line that I was delivered from this spurious practice. I went into a slight depression for a while upon learning that I had (1) wasted years of my life saying nothing to God, (2) if I did say anything I had no idea what it was, I was never given the gift of interpretation and I have met only 2 people who publically exercised this gift. (3) Thirdly, I realized I really did not “know” my Lord nearly as well as I thought I did. I mistook feelings for reality (always a DANGEROUS mistake). (4) I learned that it is much more difficult to pray to our Lord with my conscious mind, it is far more demanding of my concentration, focus and calls for discipline. Nowhere in the Bible are Christians encouraged to pray privately in other tongues to God.
#3 “The third reason people should speak with other tongues is that tongues keeps us continually aware of the Holy Spirit indwelling Presence.”
Early Pentecostals believed that once they “received” the Spirit, spoke in tongues once, that was enough. The emphasis on praying and singing congregationally in other tongues did not become popular until the charismatic renewal movement back in the late 1950’s. I know that my Lord is with me because HE SAID He would never leave or forsake me (see Hebrews 13:5). I am a Christian, I have been baptized in water (1 Peter 3:21), I have been sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise (Ephesians 1:13), I am one spirit with the Lord (1 Cor. 6:17). I need no experience beyond God’s Word to assure me that I am His dear child and am filled with the Spirit.
#4 Hagin says that “speaking in tongues eliminates the possibility of selfishness entering our prayer life.”
It is the very height of self to “pray” on your own in gibberish, it is nothing but spiritual masturbation in that you have done nothing but excite your ignorance and feel good about it.
#5 “. . .believers should speak with tongues is that it helps them learn to trust God more fully. . .Speaking in tongues stimulates faith and helps us learn how to trust God more fully.”
Hagin’s fifth reason does not make any sense biblically. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Faith does not come or grow by speaking in other tongues. That was NEVER the biblical purpose of this gift. Again, this and all the gifts are for others — not the one possessing the gift. As one who prayed in tongues for several thousand hours, I can attest it does not build up your “faith” in God or His Word per se at all, since there was no direct communication with Him in tongues and He uses His Word as the instrument through which He imparts and grows our faith in Him!
#6 “. . .is that speaking in tongues is a means of keeping us free from the contamination of the ungodly and profane elements of the world.
Some of the most egregious and horrendous tragedies to impact the Church has come through the SINistries of so-called sign-gift restorationists. Here are just a few examples of tongue-talking cults: The Shakers; Father Divine, Daddy Grace, The Way International, Jim Jones, The Family of Love and all Oneness Pentecostals. The sad history of Pentecostal “super-stars” is that upon even a half-hearted glance at their lives indicate the grossest of sinful behaviors. Speaking in other tongues does not create some sort of “divine shield” of protection around the speaker. They believe that by speaking gibberish (turning off your active mind) you can keep yourself from being effected by sin around you. Their own lives prove this to be a false path to take when it comes to living the “sanctified life.”
#7 “In addition, the Holy Spirit, who knows everything, can pray through us for things about which our natural mind knows nothing.”
Yes, this much is true but what Hagin did not understand is that when the Bible speaks of the Spirit “groaning” in us it is not a reference to other tongues:
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8:26.
Nothing is mentioned about praying in tongues here or in the entire chapter for that matter. We do not always know what we are to pray for as we should, we do not know the fullness of any given situation but our God does. Note that the Spirit makes intercession for us; He is called alongside to help us and He does so at times in a manner that cannot even be uttered (ἀλάλητος) in words — tongues are “words” of some variety. We can trust that even if our prayers seem weak and ineffectual we can rely on the fact that the Holy Spirit is interceding on our behalf —- based on our speaking in tongues? No. Based on the fact that God does not lie (Number 23:19).
#8 “And this passage in Isaiah gives us the eighth reason that every Christian should speak in tongues.”
Hagin again demonstrates his willful ignorance of the context of Isa. 28:11-12. Every accepted Bible commentator interprets the Isaiah 28 as evidence of God’s judgment on His backslidden children. Tongues were a sign of judgment, they were not a blessing.
#9 “The ninth reason we are to pray in tongues is to give thanks to God.”
The emphasis of the apostle Paul in 1 Cor. 14:17 is that the other person
IS NOT EDIFIED (you are just playing with yourself). Hagin says praying in tongues is the “best way to give thanks” —- if this were true way doesn’t the Bible emphasize it as such?
#10 “The tenth reason why every believer should speak with tongues is found in James 3:8. . .Yielding your tongue is a big step toward being able to fully yield your members to God;”
Hagin thinks that if a believer can speak in tongues then he can control his whole body. James seems to be under the impression that “no man can tame” their tongue, yet Hagin believes yielding our tongue to the practice of gibberish will enable us to control our whole bodies. If this were the context of James 3:8 then why didn’t James follow through and tell us “control your flesh by speaking in tongues.” In fact, James never mentions these sign-gifts in his letter at all.
Hagin is desperately wrong in all of his ten reasons why every believer should speak in tongues. To begin with not every Christian in the early Church spoke with other tongues as the Bible clearly states. This gift was not common. It was approximately ten years after the Day of Pentecost until the event at home of Cornelius and when the Gentiles spoke in tongues it surprised the Jews in attendance. As far as the gifts went, Paul considered it the least, yet the Corinthians exalted it above the others. Paul said this gift would cease, it was temporary in nature. From the letters of the New Testament these specific gifts may have ceased very early on. THINK ABOUT THIS — only Paul deals with these sign-gifts no other writer mentions them. Why not? Did everyone except the Corinthians understand the proper use of the gifts, thus they needed no instruction? I think not.
Lastly, we have the written history of the Church. Tongues “shall” and did cease and logically so. We learned previously that it was through the hands of the apostles that these supernatural gifts were imparted. So if John the beloved, was the last apostle to die, say approx. 90 AD (give or take). On his deathbed John is laying his hands on disciples to the end. These would have probably been (1) males and (2) elders. So if these folks received the “gift” and spoke in tongues when they died that was it — zip, nada goodbye. With the death of the last apostle there was no one left who was divinely authorized to bestow these gifts and NONE PRESUMED to do so until the Church’s first restorer of the sign-gifts a monk named Montanus!
For over fifty (50) years linguists have been tracking the phenomena of speaking in tongues. To date from my research I have yet to come across a scientist who has recorded someone speaking in a genuine language that they did not learn or have any exposure to. In all their studies they have yet to find a biblical example.
What they did discover was really nothing new, beyond some gleanings into some of the mechanics of the mind itself. What they discovered is the ability to utter gibberish or ecstatic speech is universal to all human beings who can vocalize. In this sense everyone can speak in ecstatic speech — BUT — this is not the biblical gift at all.
Ecstatic speech has been found in a wide variety of pagan religions and cultic groups. It was not even uncommon in the entire region of Phrygia where Montanus came from, and ecstatic speech was a long held practice by the Sibyls (female soothsayers).
The fact that these “unlearned” Jews were speaking fifteen different dialects was astounding to those gathered. Had the disciples gotten up and did what transpires in charismatic services today under the guise of “other tongues” it would not have impressed those gathered, the pagans did that stuff, big deal. Everybody knew something out of the ordinary and supernatural was taking place and in the end souls were added to the Church with Peter’s preaching (in a known and understandable tongue).
My brothers and sisters I openly acknowledge that there are many dear and devoted Christians who think they have the ability to communicate with God via a private, personal prayer language. For many years I thought I was one such saint. I’ve laid hands on around 1,000 people specifically to impart to them the “baptism in the Holy Ghost.” The majority left the prayer room smiling and uttering a smattering of syllabic nonsense. My advice was “keep praying in tongues, you’ll see as you use what God gives you He will give you more” (I meant in reference to an expanded prayer language). In this life, I will never “get over” the fact, well intentioned as I was; that I led people astray.
In dealing with people who are currently ensnared (look, the Lord delivered Bob Liichow, and I actually believed their lies and became more extreme than my ‘Rhema’ breed of teachers; I was of the Dr. Hobart Freeman and Elbert Willis sect of the Word of Faith cult, He can deliver anyone) go gently with them. As brothers and sisters let us present God’s Word in context and in love (Eph. 4:15) to those who have been misled.
In closing this series out please remember this — only the Word of God in its proper context has the power to set us free. Our Master said, “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word,ye my disciples indeed;ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” John 8:31-32. Only The Word when properly delivered has truly supernatural power to redeem and liberate the soul of fallen man. This same Word when it is twisted and made to mean something unintended by the Author can place one into the deepest of bondages (because after all “it’s in the Bible”).
In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God
peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; Andthatthey may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
2 Timothy 2:25
1. E.W. Kenyon is the actual “father” of the Word of Faith cult, Hagin plagiarized extensively from Kenyon and other earlier writers. It is sad enough for a writer to steal from another without citing them; but when a “Christian” author steals heretical material and claims it as his own now that is really really sad.