Pentecostal practices of speaking in tongues

It may interest you to know that the Bible did not devote a whole lot of time and space to the subject of tongues. In fact, there are only about five distinct passages that dealt with the issue in the entire New Testament. Here they are:

  1. Mark 16:17 - 18,
  2. Acts 2:2 - 21
  3. Acts 10:4 - 48
  4. Acts 19:1 - 6
  5. I Corinthians 12, 13 & 14

Now as we study through these passages, the subject purpose, occurence and usage will be made clear.


And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues;  they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

Many denominational believers read this passage and want to claim the promises here - as "believers". But that is not the case. In the first century, not all believers received the gifts of the Holy Spirit. "Those who believe..." in this passage has direct reference to the apostles alone.

In the passage of Mark 16:11 - 14, Jesus chastened the apostles for their unbelief:

  • Verse 11: "And when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe"
  • Verses 12 & 13: "After that, He appeared in another form to two of them as they walked  and went into the country. And they went and told it to the rest, but they did not believe them either."
  • Verse 14: "Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief those who had seen Him after he had risen."

But let's not forget that the promise given in Mark 16:17 that "...they will speak in new tongues;  they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them;" should also be applicable even to denominationalists claiming that they can speak in tongues. If they are sure of receiving the power of speaking in tongues, then they must also have the power for snakes and poison!


The passage of Acts 2:1 - 4, 6 - 8 has the most detailed description of HOW IT HAPPENED, WHAT TONGUES WERE and WHAT FOR. As you read further to verse 8 of Acts 2, you learn what exactly they were doing - speaking in distinct, understandable, human languages or dialects.

And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language.  And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans?  And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language?  Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,  Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome,  both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.”

Please notice that this supernatural occurence "confused" the audience (vs 6). They were "amazed" and "marveled" (vs 7) could speak the native dialect or languages of each of the people present. But they all heard "speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God" (vs 11).

This is the true meaning of speaking in tongues. This is the original, the authentic and genuine definition speaking in tongues. And such must be the baseline of reference for all other instances of speaking in tongues in the rest of the passages.

From the original occurences of speaking in tongues, let us notice:

  1. The Apostles receive the power through the baptism of the Holy Spirit. And this had been promised to them by the Lord. (Matthew 10:11 - 12, Acts 1:4 - 6). They did not pray for it.
  2. It is the Spirit that gave them the "utterance". They spoke as the Spirit directed. It was spontaneous. It was not learned or practised.
  3. They spoke intelligible, understandable, clear human languages. The multitude confirmed this (vs 6 - 11)
  4. The purpose was achieved immediately - for the unusual occurence attracted a crowd; and the apostles used the opportunity to preach God's message.

What the denominationalists specialise in doing is to speak esoteric, ecstatic, gibberish jargons. And they do this amongst themselves to hoodwink and deceive people.


The study of the subject of "speaking in tongues" is not a difficult one at all. It is very clear and simple. But that is if your study is based on the Word of God - The Bible. if you pay the littlest attention to the Pentecostal practices around you, then you will be confused and frustrated. For in what they do, they claim that in their tongues:

  • They are speaking "unknown tonuges"
  • They are speaking to God, and
  • They are speaking to "confuse the devil"

Let's be wary of the devil's scheming. We should follow the truth of God's Word.

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