Speaking In Tongues Does Not Mean They Represent God!

The act of speaking in tongues (an unknown language) does not mean that the speaker represents God. Watch out for false teachers and prophets that use a “frenzied concoction of sounds” to seem to be and make you believe they are holy.

Created: Friday, January 19, 2024

Speaking In Tongues Does Not Mean They Represent God!

Watch out for false teachers and prophets that use a "frenzied concoction of sounds" to seem to be and make you believe they are holy.

STM Bible Lesson

Lesson focus: 1 Corinthians 14:2. Bible lesson background 1 Corinthians 14:1-5: It seems that satisfying one’s own needs at the expense of others was an issue in Corinth. There was confusion and conflict caused by their misuse of speaking in tongues.
Life Application Bible Commentary: Speaking in tongues is one of the legitimate gifts of the Holy Spirit, but the Corinthian believers were using it as a sign of spiritual superiority rather than as a means for giving spiritual unity. When spiritual gifts are properly used, they help everyone in the church..
Utley’s Commentary: Tongues are in themselves not a means of communication, but intimate fellowship with God. Only if they are interpreted do the speaker and the hearers understand.

1 Corinthians 14:2 [read 1 Corinthians 14:1-5 (2)]
Anyone who speaks in a language they had not known before doesn’t speak to people. They speak only to God. In fact, no one understands them. What they say by the Spirit remains a mystery. (NIRV)
KJV: For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.

Ryrie Study Bible: tongues on the Day of Pentecost clearly were intelligible human languages (Acts 2:4, 6, 8, 11).

Incorrect use of tongues brings confusion

J. Vernon McGee: “I simply tell this to emphasize the fact that speaking in a tongue may be the least edifying and may even be a hoax.”
1 Corinthians 14:23 [read 1 Corinthians 14:20-25 (23)]
So suppose that the whole church is meeting and everyone is speaking in tongues. If people come in who are outsiders or unbelievers, won’t they say that you are out of your minds? (CEB)
KJV: If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?
The Believer’s Study Bible: “However, v. 23 warns that the exercise of the Corinthian imitation, which was only the frenzied concoction of sounds, would have an effect of repugnance on {grossing out} unbelievers.”

Use words (a language) people can understand

Never believe someone who speaks in tongues when they ought to be speaking a language you can understand! When people act in this manner, they show their ignorance of the truth. It is one of the tactics of false teachers.
1 Corinthians 14:19 [read 1 Corinthians 14:6-19 (19)]
But in public worship I would much rather speak five words that people can understand and be helped by than ten thousand words while “speaking in tongues” in an unknown language. (TLB)
KJV: 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.

What did Jesus do?

One good rule to remember is to ask yourself, did Jesus do this? In other words, check the Scriptures to see if Jesus spoke in tongues when He talked to people! After all, are we not followers of Christ?

1 Corinthians 14:4 [read 1 Corinthians 14:1-5 (4)]
By speaking languages that others don’t know, you help only yourself. But by prophesying you help everyone in the church. (CEV)
KJV: He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.

Another good rule: see if the Apostles, spoke in latin (for instance) or an unknown language while speaking to Jewish people. Be ye followers of me {Paul} [follow my example; imitate me], even as I also am [following the example; an imitator] of Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:1 (KJV)

Speaking In Tongues Does Not Mean They Represent God!

1 Corinthians 14:26-28 [read 1 Corinthians 14:26-40 (26-28)]
Brothers and sisters, what should we say then? When you come together, each of you brings something. You bring a hymn or a teaching or a message from God. You bring a message in another language or explain what was said in that language. Everything must be done to build up the church. 27 No more than two or three people should speak in another language. And they should speak one at a time. Then someone must explain what was said. 28 If there is no one to explain, the person speaking should keep quiet in the church. They can speak to themselves and to God. (NIRV)
KJV: How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. 27 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. 28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.

Jesus, the “I Am”

Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was [born], I am [Exodus 3:14]. John 8:58 (KJV). So He did exist before He put on a fleshly body. But His birth was a result of the Holy Spirit impregnating Mary.

Luke 1:31 and 34-35 [read Luke 1:26-38 (31 and 34-35)]
31 Listen! You will become pregnant. You will give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 34 Mary said to the angel, “How will this happen? I am a virgin!” 35 The angel said to Mary, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will cover you. The baby will be holy. He will be called the Son of God. (ICB)
KJV: 31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

Never in an unfamiliar language

Why did I mention this? To make it clear that Jesus was born of the Holy Spirit.

The point is, the Lord spoke in parables but never in an unfamiliar language when he talked to people. Otherthan Acts 2:4, where they spoke in other tongues (languages known to their hearers). There is no record in the Scriptures of the Apostles speaking in unknown tongues. But let’s see what it does mean as found in the Scriptures.

1. A sign that the Gentiles had received the Holy Spirit

Acts 10:46 [read Acts 10:44-48 (46)]
They heard them speaking in languages they had not known before. They also heard them praising God. (NIRV)
KJV: For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,

2. They spoke in tongues and prophesied

Acts 19:6 [read Acts 19:1-10 (6)]
Then Paul put his hands on each believer’s head. When he did this, the Holy Spirit came down on them. They spoke in different languages and they spoke messages from God. (EASY)
KJV: And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

3. Speaking in tongues is a sign

Dictionary of Paul and His Letters: It should not contribute to division or confusion, or to insensitivity to the needs of others. Indeed, the exact opposite should be true.
1 Corinthians 14:22 [read 1 Corinthians 14:20-25 (22)]
So you see that speaking in tongues is a sign, not for believers, but for unbelievers. Prophecy, however, is for the benefit of believers, not unbelievers. (NLT)
KJV: Wherefore tonguesG1100 are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesyingG4394 serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.
Glossa – tongues
G1100 γλῶσσα glossa (glōs’-sa) n. 1. (specially) a language not naturally acquired. [of uncertain affinity]

You have control of your spiritual language

1 Corinthians 14:32-33 [read 1 Corinthians 14:26-40 (32-33)]
For the spirits of the prophets (the speakers in tongues) are under the speaker’s control [and subject to being silenced as may be necessary],
33 For He [Who is the source of their prophesying] is not a God of confusion and disorder but of peace and order. As [is the practice] in all the churches of the saints (God’s people), (AMPC)
KJV: And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. 33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

So do not be fooled by those who start speaking in tongues while they are “delivering a message from God.” Usually, it is a sign that they are a false prophet trying to get your money! Thank you for taking the time to read this Bible lesson. I urge you to make full use of it. Blessings to you and your loved ones— Tim. ☺

Related studies, lessons, and snacks for further spiritual growth:

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I look forward to your feedback via comment at the bottom of the page or by emailing tim@stministry.com. Have a wonderful day!


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