Summary of Tongues

This is based on some notes I came across on the net. I just used the base scriptures that they used and worked from there.

They state that there are seven passages in the New Testament where the word “baptized” is used in relation to the Holy Spirit. Then move on to talking about the outward signs.

A reference is made to Acts 2:2-4. (2) And suddenly [there] came from heaven a sound like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. (3) And [there] appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and [one] sat on each one of them. (4) And they were all filled of [or, with] [the] Holy Spirit, and they began to be speaking with different tongues [fig., foreign languages], just as the Spirit was giving them to be declaring boldly.

If this is to be used as one of the scriptures that tells us what happens when filled/baptized by the Holy Spirit, then should the other scriptures using this same word, plēthō, also be used if speaking of the Holy Spirit? If so, this would show that John the Baptist was filled from the womb and yet no where does it record him speaking in tongues, I would have to say that he did indeed have a boldness about him though. Elisabeth was filled and spoke out. Zacharies was filled and prophesied. Peter was filled and spoke out. Those in Acts 4 were filled and spoke the word of God with boldness. Paul was filled and yet it did not record a specific sign, yet he did speak with boldness. Paul in Acts 13 spoke out.

Luke 1:15: For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.

Luke 1:41: And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:

Luke 1:67: And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,

Acts 4:8: Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel,

Acts 4:31: And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

Acts 9:17: And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

Acts 13:9: Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him,

A reference is also made to Acts 10:44-48. (44) While Peter [was] still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all the ones hearing the word. (45) And the believing ones from the circumcision were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the free gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. (46) For they were hearing them speaking with tongues [fig., other languages] and magnifying God. Then Peter answered, (47) “Surely no one is able to forbid the water, can he, [for] these not to be baptized who received the Holy Spirit just as we also [did]?” (48) And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they urgently asked him to stay several days.

If this is to be used as one of the scriptures that tell us what happens when filled/baptized by the Holy Spirit, then shouldn’t the other scriptures using this same words, epipiptō (fell upon) and ekcheō ekchunō (poured out), also be used if speaking of the Holy Spirit? It says in Acts 8 that they received the Spirit, but does not record exactly what the evidence was. Acts 11 records that it was as in Acts 2 where they spoke in tongues, In Acts 2 God says when he pours out his Spirit there will be prophesy, visions, and dreams.

Acts 8:16: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)

Acts 11:15: And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning.

Acts 2:17: And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

Acts 2:18: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

A reference is also made to Acts 19:6. (6) And Paul having laid [his] hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they began speaking with tongues [fig., other languages] and prophesying. (7) Now [there] were [in] all about twelve men. (8) Now having gone into the synagogue, he kept speaking boldly, for three months reasoning and persuading the [things] concerning the kingdom of God.

If this is to be used as one of the scriptures that tell us what happens when filled/baptized by the Holy Spirit, then shouldn’t the other scriptures using this same word, erchomai (came on), also be used if speaking of the Holy Spirit? The scripture does not record Jesus speaking in tongues at that moment.

Matthew 3:16: And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

Yet people have said that when we look at these (three) passages there is one physical sign which is common to all three. Those who received the baptism of the Holy Spirit spoke with other tongues. Other supernatural signs of the Holy Spirit are mentioned, but none as having taken place on all of the occasions. I find this statement to not be entirely true.

First, If you choose to use those three verses, you would also have to include all the other verses using those words in reference to the baptism/filling of the Holy Spirit. If you do that, tongues is not common to all the verses. One that can be over looked could be boldness. In each of these scriptures boldness was needed in order to speak what was spoken, but again, it is not specifically mentioned.

Second, how can we discount what God said, he said in Acts 2:17-18, “I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh …prophesy … visions … dreams” He does not mention tongues, why would he leave this out if it were to be the one common evidence?

I have also heard speak of “other tongues,” a language not known to man. Many people call this their “prayer language.” People usually begin by referencing 1 Corinthians 14:2. (2) For the one speaking in a tongue does not speak to people _but_ to God, for no one understands [him], but in [his] spirit [or, by [the] Spirit] he speaks secrets [or, mysteries].

I have some questions in regard to this verse.

The same word used here for tongues, is the same word used in all the other scriptures, how does it take on a different meaning now? And if this is a other tongus, how is it that it is mentioned with other gifts such as prophesy, interpreting, teaching? All these were mentioned in Chapter 12, what leads us to believe that this is a new kind or other tongue?

In verse 1, it says “Be pursuing love, yet be seeking earnestly the spiritual [gifts], but rather that you* shall be prophesying.” It seems to be very clear that throughout this chapter Paul is referring to the same tongues that was spoken in Acts 2, which were clearly languages known to man. So how do you conclude that it is an other tongue?

Verse 2 it seems to me that it doesn’t say that it is for praying to God, it says that if you speak in tongues you do not speak to people, the point being that people can’t understand it. How do you see it as being used to pray to God?

Verse 4, how can someone edify themselves if they do not understand what they are saying? Could it also mean that they are building themselves up, like thinking to highly of themselves? If you read this whole context, Paul is basically saying this throughout.

Verse 14 when read with 15 seems to indicate that we shouldn’t just pray like that, we should pray with both our spirit and our mind. Romans 8:26-27 specifically says these are inexpressible groanings, not a language of any kind.

Verse 22, seems to me to refer to a sign to unbelievers as it was a sign on the day of Pentecost. They were surprised that they could hear things spoken in their own language, and therefore they listened. It was an attention getting sign.

Here’s my bottom line:

 I believe in speaking in tongues. I believe that the Spiritual Gift referenced is the gift of speaking in a human language previously unknown to the speaker, such as on the day of Pentecost.

 1Co 12:1-11 Now concerning the spiritual [gifts], brothers [and sisters], I do not want you* to be lacking understanding. (2) You* know that when you* were Gentiles [or, pagans], you* were being led to the mute idols, being carried away. (3) For this reason, I make known to you* that no one speaking by [the] Spirit of God, says “Jesus [is] accursed” [Gr., anathema], and no one is able to say “Jesus [is] Lord,” except by [the] Holy Spirit. (4) Now [there] are varieties of spiritual [gifts], but the same Spirit. (5) And [there] are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. (6) And [there] are varieties of divine workings [or, activities], but the same God is the One supernaturally working all such [things] in all. (7) But to each [one] has been given the manifestation of the Spirit for the advantage [of all] [or, for the common good]. (8) For to one has been given a word of wisdom by the Spirit, but to another a word of knowledge according to the same Spirit, (9) but to a different [one] faith by the same Spirit, but to another spiritual gifts of healings by the same Spirit, (10) but to another divine workings of miraculous works, but to another prophecy, but to another discernment of spirits, but to a different [one] [various] kinds of tongues [fig., languages, and throughout epistle], but to another interpretation [or, translation] of tongues. (11) But the one and the same Spirit supernaturally works all these [things], distributing to each just as He intends.

Rom 12:4-8 For just as we have many body parts in one body, but all the body parts do not have the same function, (5) so we, the many, are one body in Christ, but parts each one of one another. (6) Now we have spiritual gifts of various kinds according to the grace, the one having been given to us: whether prophecy, according to the proportion of the faith; (7) whether ministry, in the ministry; whether the one teaching, in the teaching; (8) whether the one exhorting [or, encouraging], in the exhortation [or, encouragement]; the one sharing, with generosity; the one leading, with diligence; the one showing mercy, with cheerfulness.

1Co 12:28 And indeed [those] whom God set in the Assembly [are]: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, next miraculous powers, next spiritual gifts of healings, helpers, leaders [or, administrators], [various] kinds of tongues.

I believe that these gifts should be used in a way that does not cause confusion, as instructed. If there is no interpreter, then there shouldn’t be speaking in tongues.

1Co 14:13-33 For this very reason, the one speaking in a tongue, let him be praying that he shall be interpreting [or, translating]. (14) For if I am praying in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind [or, understanding] is unfruitful. (15) What then is it? I will pray with the spirit, but I will also pray with the mind [or, understanding]; I will sing praises with the spirit, but I will also sing praises with the mind [or, understanding]. (16) Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how will the one occupying the place of the unlearned say the “So be it!” at your giving of thanks, since he does not know [or, understand] what you are saying? (17) For _you_ indeed are rightly giving thanks, _but_ the other is not built up [or, edified]! (18) I give thanks to my God [that] I speak in tongues more than all of you*. (19) _But_ in an assembly I desire to speak five words by means of my understanding, so that I shall also instruct others, rather than countless [or, ten thousand] words in a tongue. (20) Brothers [and sisters], stop being young children in your* understanding, _but_ continue being as a child in evil, but continue becoming perfect [or, complete] in your* understanding. (21) In the Law it has been written, “By ones speaking different tongues and by different lips [fig., speech] I will speak to this people, and not even in this manner will they hear Me,” says the Lord. [Isaiah 28:11,12; Deut 28:49] (22) So then tongues are for a sign, not to the ones believing _but_ to the unbelieving ones, but prophesy [is] not for the unbelieving ones _but_ for the ones believing. (23) Therefore, if the whole assembly comes together to the same [place] and all are speaking in tongues, and unlearned [ones] or unbelievers comes in, they will say that you* are raving mad, will they not? (24) But if all are prophesying, and someone comes in, an unbeliever or an unlearned [one], he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all. (25) And in this way, the secrets of his heart [fig., inner self] become revealed, and in this way, having fallen on [his] face, he will prostrate himself in worship before God, declaring [or, acknowledging] that God truly is among you*. (26) What then is it, brothers [and sisters]? Whenever you* shall be coming together, each [one] of you* has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation [or, a translation]. Be letting all [things] be for building up [or, edification]. (27) If anyone speaks in a tongue, [let it be] by two or [at] the most by three, and [each] in turn, and let one be interpreting [or, translating]. (28) But if [there] is not an interpreter [or, translator], let him keep silent in an assembly, but let him speak to himself and to God. (29) Now let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment. (30) But if [something] is revealed to another sitting [there], let the first keep silent. (31) For you* are able, one by one, all to be prophesying, so that all shall be learning, and all shall be continually encouraged. (32) And [the] spiritual [gifts; or, spirits] of prophets are subject to prophets. (33) For God is not of disorder _but_ of peace, as in all the assemblies of the holy ones.

In regards to “other tongues” or a “prayer language” being referenced in the scriptures, I don’t find scripture that speaks distinctly of this other language. However, I would not say that it isn’t from the Holy Spirit. I recall the donkey speaking. If you were to try and find scripture to show that truly was of God, it would be difficult. It would also be difficult to find where it says he healed Cancer. Just because Cancer isn’t specifically named, doesn’t mean he doesn’t heal it. However, I believe that since “other tongues” or a “prayer language” are just as confusing as the Spiritual Gift of tongues, it shouldn’t be spoken in a general public setting. However, in a private or private group setting, it would seem to be acceptable.

I do not believe that the manifestation or outward sign of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is only through tongues. Let me be clear, I believe the Spiritual Gift of tongues (speaking in a human language previously unknown to the speaker) CAN BE a sign, however, any of the other Spiritual Gifts can also serve as a sign or proof. But not a “prayer language”, as that would be something for the individual edification, used in private and therefore could not be seen as a sign.

It seems the confusion comes because the gift of tongues/speaking in other languages is tangled in a web with tongues/prayer language. People pray for the baptism of the Holy Spirit, sometimes they have hands laid on them, and believe they have received the baptism when they receive tongues. Which, may be the case, yet the tongues they usually manifest is tongues as a prayer languages NOT the gift of tongues/speaking in another known human language. However, what I see in those people who have truly received the Holy Spirit, regardless of what tongue they speak, is a new boldness in their faith. It is undeniable and very evident of a true Holy Spirit baptism. There is a change in the way they live their lives.

When asked about the prayer language type of tongues, some people reference scriptures such as 1 Corinthians 14:2, yet it is quite clear that Paul is speaking about the Spiritual Gift of tongues, prophesy, teaching, and interpretation, not a prayer language. Thus, we are tangled in a web with intermixing of types of tongues.

This is only what I believe. It is up to you to seek God and ask him to open your eyes to any truth that you need revealed. After all, it is ultimately between you and God anyway.

1Co 14:20 Brothers [and sisters], stop being young children in your* understanding, _but_ continue being as a child in evil, but continue becoming perfect [or, complete] in your* understanding.

John Piper addresses this subject as well: How_to_Receive_the_Gift_of_the_Holy_Spirit; Learning to Pray in the Spirit and the Word

I have other documents that you may want to look at in regards to tongues.

I have a document that has almost every verse pertaining to the Holy Spirit, tongues, speaking, and language in the New Testament. You can use this document to start a study of this topic on your own if you’d like.

I have what I would call a working document based on the document above with almost every scripture need to study this subject. This particular one has my observations, thoughts, and questions in it. I’ll also post them under this topic here.

I also have what I call ‘Word Flow Charts‘ that are great for working through topics like this one. As well as ‘Study Sheets’ which you can see the list over in the right column near the bottom of the section titled “My Other Pages”. These are just a collection of some studies I’ve worked on. Some may even be incomplete. You won’t find “answers” in them, just some notes or observations I’ve made on various words I’ve decided to look up. There are very few conclusions stated on these sheets. I’ve only posted them to aid in someone else’s studies. They may be able to give a starting point when knowing where to start is difficult.


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