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Acts 2:5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. 6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. 7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? 8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, 10  Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

The 1st thing that is clear is that the tongues were foreign languages which could be understood by people whose language it was.

1 Corinthians 14:18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all: 19 Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue. 20 Brethren, be not children in understanding...

The 2nd thing that is clear is that although Paul could speak in more languages than any of them he would rather speak 5 words that could beunderstand than 10,000 that could not. He further adds that they should ‘grow up’ and see the sense in this.

1 Corinthians 14:5 I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.

The 3rd thing that is clear is that although Paul would like them all to be able to speak in different languages (for preaching) he would rather that they prophesied (gave exhortation) in their own language in order that the church may be edified.

1 Corinthians 14:6 Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you...?

The 4th thing that is clear is that if no one understands what is said there is no profit in it.

1 Corinthians 14:22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not:

The 6th thing that is clear is that speaking in foreign languages is a sign for those that don’t believe for they would hear the gospel preached in their native language. It serves no purpose for those that believe.

1 Corinthians 14:28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.

The 7th thing that is clear is that if no one can interpret what is said the person speaking should shut up ‘for God is not the author of confusion’ (v33).

That which is professed as speaking in tongues today is not preaching in a foreign language as it was in the first century – it is gibberish; and everyone knows it to be gibberish except those who do it. It is heard in the church in contradiction to Paul’s commandment.

The Holy Spirit gifts in the first century were bestowed by the laying on of the Apostle’s hands. This is clearly seen when Philip baptises the Samaritans.

Acts 8:12 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. 14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: 15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: 16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. 18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money...

Philip, a man full of the Holy Spirit who could work miracles could not bestow gifts of the spirit on the Samaritans. Neither did they receive gifts at baptism. It required the Apostles to come from Jerusalem and lay hands on them. There are no Apostles today and no gifts. Paul prophesied that speaking in tongues would cease along with the other gifts.

1 Corinthians 13:8 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.

In the absence of sound (no pun intended) evidence to the contrary all gifts of the Holy Spirit ceased with the death of the Apostles.

‘edifying ourselves in our faith?’

There can be no edification without understanding and our primary objective is the edification of others which can only be done by speaking in words that they understand.

1 Corinthians 14:7 And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? 8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? 9 So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air. 10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification. 11 Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.

‘The devil loves to take a gift of God that has power and twist it to make it of none effect.’

From this I glean that (a) you don’t understand what the devil is. (b) You don’t understand what a gift of God that has ‘power’ is. (c) That you don’t understand that speaking in gibberish is of itself of none effect as it serves no useful purpose and even if it were a gift available today, according to Paul, it shouldn’t be heard in the church.

It’s so incredibly easy to claim intimate knowledge of what the devil loves to do and dismiss all opposition to false belief as having been orchestrated by the celebrated figment of Jewish and Christian superstition; but I have to caution you that it isn’t true.


I hope you have found this helpful.


God bless!