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"Tongues," Questioned and Answered Pt 3

Updated on October 6, 2009

Skeptics and Seekers

So far, in part one of this hub I covered the question.

1. “Isn’t tongues always an earthly language only given in order to preach the Gospel to unbelievers?”

Then in part two, I covered the next four questions.

2. “If I hear someone speaking in tongues and they seem to be saying the same words over and over again, or stuttering over there words, could that be evidence that this person is faking?”

3.” Doesn’t the Spirit only give the gift of tongues to certain people as He wills, and not to everybody who would ask for it?”

4. “Paul said he would rather speak with understanding than with tongues. Isn’t he saying there that tongues are not desirable?”

5. “Aren’t the gifts like tongues passed away, and not for the church today?”

Finally in this last part I will be covering the last three questions I mentioned.

6. “At some charismatic services, several if not all the people will speak in tongues at the same time. Doesn’t the bible say that only two or three people at most should speak in tongues at once?”

7. “Don’t you get the baptism of the Holy Ghost when you get saved?”

8. “Why would I want to be baptized in the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues?”

Then I’m gonna throw in a bonus question that I believe is more important to know than any of these.

On to the last questions.

6. At some charismatic services, several if not all the people will speak in tongues at the same time. Doesn’t the bible say that only two or three people at most should speak in tongues at once?

As I already pointed out once before, the whole Church did at one time all come together and speak in tongues. Not just two or three of them, all of them. The verse from which some derive so called “rule” that only two or three people can speak during a service at once is 1st Corinthians 14:27-28

“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. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God."

This passage is not only used as a rule of only two or three people speaking in tongues at once, it is also used as a rule that there must always be an interpreter whenever tongues are spoken. But I don’t believe the context supports either of those so called rules.

First of all, what happens if a fourth person does speak in tongues? Are we to forbid that person from speaking?

1 Corinthians 14:39 Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.

Second of all, Paul not only says let two or three people speak in tongues, he also said to only let two or three people prophesy in verses 29 and 31. Just three verses after he said that if the whole church prophesied, it would be a good thing and would lead a sinner to repentance.

1 Corinthians 14:24-25 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.

Not only that, but he said it right before going on to say that all of them could prophesy!

1 Corinthians 14:31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.

So then what did he mean when he said only two or three people could prophesy or speak in tongues? Obviously not that the whole congregation couldn’t, because the whole congregation did speak in tongues Under direction of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:4) and he said the whole congregation can prophesy. (1st Cor 14:31). If prophesy was under the direction of the Holy Ghost (1st Cor. 14:32)

What he meant was simple. In that Church the whole congregation was obviously trying to take control of the service. Not only by speaking in tongues, but also by singing, and prophesy, and even teaching.

1 Corinthians 14:26 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.

Notice “hath a psalm” was included in that list. Why doesn’t anyone make a rule that only two or three people can sing in church? Because that’s not what it was all about. It was not setting a rule for how many people can speak in tongues, but rather how many can address the congregation. All of those things (teaching, prophesy, tongues, psalms) are for the edification of the body, not for self glorification. We can all speak with new tongues but to God. If we address the congregation there will only be two or three at most and there will be an interpreter present. But if there is not interpretation we still may all pray with new tongues and maybe even at the same time. To ourselves, and to God.

There have been times during a service when I have been moved by the Spirit to pray in tongues (notice I said pray and not speak.) During those times I’ve been aware that He moved several people around me to do the same thing. None of us were speaking to each other, we were all praying to God. There have been other times when I was at a service and no one was praying in tongues, but one person got up and began to speak (not pray) out loud to the entire congregation in tongues. Each time that has happened there has been an interpretation. Usually the pastor will be given the interpretation, sometimes another person in the congregation was given the interpretation, and very rarely the person who spoke in tongues was also given the interpretation. (1st Cor 14:13 says the speaker can also be the interpreter.) But I have never been to a charismatic service where the whole church spoke in tongues to the church.

Paul was saying that it should be done decently and in order (1st Cor. 14:40.) That it should be done under direction of the Holy Ghost. For example if the Holy Ghost moved me to speak in tongues to the congregation I wouldn’t immediately jump up while the pastor was teaching and interrupt his sermon by speaking in tongues. If I did that I would be out of order (1st Cor. 14:30.) I would find an usher or someone in authority and tell that person. At the appropriate time the pastor would be notified and I would be given the opportunity to address the Church. Or if I was given a prophesy, it would work the same way. But my prophesy if it were from God would line up with the word of God (1st Cor. 14:32) if it did not I would also be out of order. The Church should judge my prophesy to be sure that it was in line with God’s word (1st Cor. 14:29) or they would be out of order. Paul was trying to stop confusion. There should be no confusion for God is not the author of confusion (1st Cor. 14:33)

For the sake of space I could not print out every verse quoted so I highly recommend you look up and see for yourself every verse quoted here.

To the sixth question. “Doesn’t the bible say that only two or three people at most should speak in tongues at once?” The answer is “yes,” only two or three people should address the church in tongues. But the whole church can pray in tongues with each other to God.

Romans 8:26 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

7. Don’t you get the baptism of the Holy Ghost when you get saved?

In order to answer that question I must first answer another question.

What must I do to get saved?

Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

Anyone who believes the Gospel and believes on the Lord Jesus Christ is saved. (If he truly believes, faith without works is dead.)

I said all that to say this. If you receive the baptism of the Spirit when you get saved, and you are saved when you believe. Then everyone in the Bible who believed ought to have been filled when they believed. But that is not the case.

Acts 19:2-7 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.And all the men were about twelve.

Then there are the apostles themselves. They were already saved in Acts chapter one, but Jesus said to them that they would receive power, He did not say that they had received power.

Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

But there are cases in the Bible where people did receive the baptism upon salvation. Like for example the gentiles I referred to in question one of Acts 10.

So to the 7th question. “Don’t you get the baptism of the Holy Ghost when you get saved?” The answer is sometimes. But not always, in fact in my own experience very rarely.

8. Why would I want to be baptized in the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues?

This question of all the questions I’ve ever been asked is the one that baffles me the most. It baffles me because I know that many Christians do not want to be baptized in the Holy Ghost. They actually want me to tell them why they should be baptized. I mean I could understand why an unbeliever or a God hater wouldn’t want this privilege. But when a Son of the most High, asks me the question. “Why would I want to be baptized in the Holy Ghost?” They might as well ask me, “Why would I want to be totally filled with and totally immersed in the presence and the power of God?” Because that is exactly what they are asking me!

The word Baptize means to immerse! Jesus told the apostles in Acts chapter 1 verse 8 that they would receive power after the Holy Ghost came on them, after they were baptized! Don’t you know that when you got saved from Hell that meant you were saved from the consequence of Hell after this life. But Jesus didn’t want to stop there! Jesus didn’t want to just save you from Hell, He wanted to turn you against it. When you are baptized In the Holy Ghost you receive Power! Power to do what?

The Power to conquer sin.

Galatians 5:16, This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

If you are like a lot of people, when you got saved you gave up most of your bad habits almost instantly. You didn’t want to lie anymore, you didn’t want to cheat anymore. It was like a burden was lifted from you. You were a whole new person. But, there was and still is something in your life that you just can’t shake. I don’t know what this particular stronghold is in your life, it may be smoking, gossip, addiction to pornography, only you know what it is. You’ve tried praying, you’ve tried willpower, you’ve even had the elders of the church lay hands on you. But you can’t shake it! You need the Power! You will only receive the power you need to overcome this stronghold when you receive the Holy Ghost. Some Christians may not need the Power for this reason. They lived generally innocent lives and had no problem totally submitting to the will of God. But you know that’s not you. You need this!

The Power to witness more effectively.

Acts 1:8, But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Would you like to witness more effectively? Receive to Power of the Holy Ghost and you will. Sure you can win a lot of people without it, I myself led probably around 100 people to Christ before I even realized there was such a baptism. But when I did receive the Holy Ghost it was like I no longer had any fear, not only that but I almost always knew what to say. You can win people without this Power some people are natural salesmen and can do the same with the gospel. But even they could do better with the help of the Holy Ghost!

I could go on and on about the Power. The Power to heal, or the Power to cast out demons, the list is long. But I only have so many pages before this hub becomes a book. The main reason you want to receive this Power is because Jesus wants you to. He is the One who told the apostles to receive it. We also know from reading the book of Acts that the apostles wanted everyone that they came in contact with, to receive it too.

Those are the 8 questions I encounter most about this subject but I couldn’t end this hub without answering one more.

9. How can you receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost?

My friend that’s got to be the easiest question of all. How can you? The same way you receive anything else from God. By faith.

Galatians 3:14, That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

And by asking for it.

Luke 11:13, If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Simply ask your Father in heaven to baptize you in the Holy Ghost. Then believe that He will. You don’t have to have the faith of Abraham to get it, just believe. If you need some help with your faith go to a Spirit filled Church and ask the elders to lay hands on you. Tell them you want to be filled with the Holy Ghost with evidence.

Believe me, it really is that simple!


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