What does the Bible say about speaking in tongues? – Part 1


I had some questions about tongues as I was going through my Bible reading, so Pastor gave me a booklet to read on the subject. I felt that the information was very good and helpful to studying out the subject, so I figured I would share it with you as I dive into it.

At that time – during the apostolic era there was a valid gift of tongues. Believers were not forbid it’s use within the guidelines given by the apostle. Now however, there is no valid gift of tongues being given. We are free, therefore, to forbid the use of any gift purporting to be the gift of tongues because it’s bestowal as a valid gift has ceased.

Tongues Bestowed Sovereignly

1 Cor 12:11 – As HE WILLS not as WE will or desire.

God positions the members of the body “as it hath pleased him” 1 Cor. 12:18

Believers in the New Testament times never had to learn how to use it or practice it’s functions.

They received the gift on the spot, immediately, and spoke with fluency without any instruction (Acts 2:4) “As the Spirit gave them utterance.”

Acts 2:1-13, 10:44-48, 19:1-7


It was MIRACULOUS! It was also instantaneous with no hindrance or warm up period.

Tongues & the Baptism of the Spirit

–          The gift of tongues was given to select people.

–          Not available for everyone.

–          It is not EVIDENCE of the baptism of the Spirit.

–          No Old Testament believer was ever baptized with the Spirit – Matt 3:11 – the coming Messiah would baptize some with His Spirit.

–          The promise was reiterated by the Lord Jesus prior to his ascension to heaven.          (Acts 1:4-5)

Acts 1:5 – Some have concluded that the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the filling of the Holy Spirit are the same. They are incorrect. They also believe that this is ALWAYS accompanied by the evidence of tongues because the believers at Pentecost spoke in tongues. They are also incorrect.

Baptism & Filling

–          Baptism of the Spirit is not the same as the filling of the Spirit.

–          Both occurred at Pentecost but they are not identical.

Baptism of the Spirit:

Sovereign – The work of God – not dependent on your yeildedness.
“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body” 1 Cor. 12:13
– Not an action we take, but an immediate work of God at the moment of salvation.
– We are never commanded to be “baptized with the Spirit” because it is a sovereign of God and has nothing to do with our obedience.

Instantaneous – It occurs at the moment of salvation when we believe in Christ (Acts 11:17)

Imperceptible – Non-experimental, not subject to the senses
– You cannot “feel” it.
– Nothing is said about any feeling – 1 Cor. 12:13.

Inclusive – It includes EVERY believer – 1 Cor. 12:13

Immutable – You cannot be unbaptized.
– When you are placed into Christ’s body it is an irrevocable and eternal act.

Filling of the Spirit:

Selective – upon yielded believers
– Requires being yielded
– Requires Obedience

We are commanded to be “filled with the Spirit” Eph. 5:18.

Acts Passages

There are several reasons why the passages in the book of Acts are not normative (absolute) for the church today:

1)      The New Testament was not yet completed; now it is and we have further revelation.

2)      During the period described in the book of Acts God was still authenticating the apostles’ ministry with sign gifts.

3)      The apostles were present in person and were ministering in ways that no one can duplicate today (e.g. laying on of hands, Acts 8:14-18)

4)      Certain features of these happenings cannot be duplicated today (tongues of fire appearing, wind, prophesy, etc. Acts 2 and 9)

5)      The teaching of the epistles is now the authority of the church following the transitional period.

6)      In ALL instances described in the Acts passages the tongues were actual human languages, which is not true of the alleged tongues practiced today.

None of the “tongues” passages in Acts are intended to give us a pattern of reception of the Holy Spirit today.

This was a transitional time period between the end of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament dispensation and the full establishment of the New Testament era. God did some things during this time period that he did not continue after the new dispensation was fully established.

“Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues?” 1 Cor. 12:29-30

The obvious answer to these questions is no. Why? Because the disposition of the spiritual gifts was affected by the sovereign will of God (1 Cor. 12:11), and because there were “diversities of gifts” (1 Cor. 12:4), and not all had the same gift.

Even in the days when the gift of tongues was being bestowed, not all believers possessed it or could posses it.

*** Well, I only got through Chapter 2 of this study that Pastor gave me and it is so good so far. All of the information used here is from the booklet that he gave me. I hope that this is helpful to somebody else too.



2 replies
  1. Fred Beggs
    Fred Beggs says:

    Very good so far. What about private time with the Lord? Does it edify a person to surrender to tongues while his heart is still speaking to God, during private prayer? No need to reply. Just wanting to get the curiosity flowing.

  2. admin
    admin says:

    I am going to leave the questions and answers up to Pastor. My personal belief is that God understands my language and there is no use for tongues of any kind. Especially something that cannot be interpreted as a human language. So in my heart between God and I, I speak English.

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