When you attend the worship services of other churches or congregations, there comes a time when the leaders or members would suddenly speak words which are actually not understandable to the hearing of the members of the congregations or churches. Usually, they call this event as “speaking in tongues”, which they say as speaking in different languages. When you say, a different language, or different languages, it is understood, that, that language is already existing, like, English, Spanish, German, etc. Therefore, when a person or persons in that congregation, started to speak in tongues or a different language, it is understandable, that the words they are uttering could be translated to our own language. Some of the words that you will hear when they started to speak in tongues are these examples: “Hallallasamba lalala,” or “bah bah bah bah, lah lah lah”, or they will chatter words that are actually not understandable. I could say in earnest that these words I had stated, could not be translated to our own language, since these words are not part of any existing language. Now, is speaking in tongues biblical or not, and if it is biblical, did Jesus Christ taught the apostles, how to do it. To answer these questions, we have to resort to biblical verses, so that we can be guided in this issue.

In ACTS 2: 1-15, it states = “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly, a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit enabled them. Now, there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. Utterly amazed, they asked: ‘Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Capppadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs — we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues.’ Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, ‘What does this mean?’ Some however, made fun of them and said, ‘They have had too much wine.” = Pentecost or Pentecostal came from the word “pentecostes” which is the 50th day of the Jewish celebration in Jerusalem. This was a big event being celebrated in Jerusalem during those times, and many people from different places with different languages came to witness such celebration. And it was during this event that the apostles who were Galileans started to speak in tongues, or they spoke in different existing languages. These apostles were not linguists, meaning, these apostles do not have the ability to speak other languages, except the Hebrew language which they knew. But, what was amazing, was that, each one them was able to speak in a different language fluently, that they were understood by people listening to them. And these people, even said, that, how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? One of the apostles had spoken in the Egyptian language, and those Egyptians in that crowd heard this apostle speaking in Egyptian, thereby, this Egyptian understood the message that the apostle was trying to impart. The other apostle had spoken in the Arabian language, and the Arabs heard him in their own language. And so, with the other apostles, speaking in different languages, and they were heard by those concerned speaking in their own languages. What I am trying to point out is that, when the apostles had spoken in tongues, the languages that they had spoken are already existing languages which are spoken by humanity. They had not spoken in a language that were not yet existing, since how can they speak such language which is not in existence yet. That was why they were understood by the crowd, because the languages they had spoken can be interpreted. It is tantamount to saying that in our time, when a member or members of a spiritual congregation had spoken in tongues, it is understood, that the language he or she is speaking is an existing language, which can be interpreted in our own language.

In 1 CORINTHIANS 14: 6-11, it states = “Now, brothers, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or word of instruction? Even in the case of lifeless things that make sounds, such as the flute or harp, how will anyone know what tune is being played unless there is a distinction in the notes? Again, if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle? So it is with you. Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air. Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning. If then I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker, and he is a foreigner to me.” = These verses are self-explanatory. When you speak in tongues, the words have to be intelligible, and could be interpreted. If the words that you had spoken were not intelligible, or could not be interpreted, what good would that be to the listeners, you will just be speaking into the air. There are some spiritual congregations that even went beyond the concept of speaking in tongues. All their members will speak in tongues at the same time, upon the cue of the leader on the pulpit, and they would even stop speaking in tongues at the same time. And the problem is, you could not even understand a single word they were saying, since they just chattered any word they wanted to convey. Clearly, these people are just speaking into the air.

In 1 CORINTHIANS 14: 27-28, it states = “If anyone speaks in a tongue, two – or at the most three – should speak, one a time, and someone must interpret. If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God.” = These verses are as clear as a bell. In a spiritual congregation, if there are speakers in tongues, the speakers must not exceed the most three speakers, and they should speak one at a time. Not the whole congregation speaking in tongues at the same time. And if a speaker in tongues speaks in the German language, there has to be an interpreter who at least knows the German language. If the speaker in tongues speaks in Spanish, or Hebrew, there has to be an interpreter who would translate that Spanish or Hebrew into our own language that we could understand. And if there is no interpreter who would interpret, then the speaker in tongues might as well keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God. If a speaker in tongues speaks in words that are not intelligible, like “mambasalasalamamba, babalalala, etc., etc., etc., somebody has to interpret these words. But these words cannot be found in all existing languages in the world, therefore it cannot be interpreted.

When a person speaks in tongues to God and himself this is not being done in a loud voice, it is done privately. But when he does this in public, then it needs an interpreter.

It is really pathetic in my part to hear and see these speakers in tongues not knowing what they are doing. What they are doing are against the concept of biblical teachings. Some believers of this speaking in tongues, would reason out that the language they are speaking is the language of God or the Angels. If this is the language of God or the Angels, why would God allow this to happen, when God himself knows that we as humans could not understand or interpret His language. When God speaks to us, He will use a language that we can understand, not a language that we could not understand. Speaking in tongues should be patterned as to what had happened during the day of the Pentecost, as what I had explained in the preceding paragraphs. Some speakers in tongues would go to the extent of memorizing the words they are going to say. But let me tell you this. Most speakers in tongues (legitimate speakers) are not aware that they are speaking in tongues, others are even in a trance-like state. So, if you are speaking in tongues in which you are fully aware of what you are doing, and even thinking of the next words you are going to say, then I would say that this is not biblical. How can you think of the next words to say when you don’t even know the language you are speaking.

May this explanation enlighten us about this issue, that speaking in tongues is not that simple.

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