Speak with tongues is one of the Gifts of the Holy Ghost.

I am a retired pastor of the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India.

Email: Pastor True Gospel


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1. Gifts of the Holy Ghost and 'speak with tongues'

Speak with tongues is a gift of the Holy Ghost. It is mostly for self-edification, and sometimes for prophesy also. If it is for prophesy, gift of interpretation must follow. God gives gifts with instructions of how to operate his gifts. Believers often misuse the gifts without knowing proper instructions, and in such cases, the word of God gives the correction also. The Holy Ghost gives many gifts to believers. One of the gifts is to speak with tongues. Though these gifts are called as the gifts of the Holy Ghost, God the Father and God the Son are also behind them. "1 Corinthians 12:4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all." So, the operations of all gifts are administered by the Holy Ghost. 

2. Holy Ghost, Holy Spirit, Blasphemy against God.

The Holy Ghost is God. But the holy Spirit is a gift that God the Father gives to people to lead them in holy life. If you like to study the details, please refer to these links. I made one lesson as a rebuttal when John MacArthur, has blasphemed against the Holy Ghost, and has committed the unpardonable sin, to be damned forever. Let me give the link for that lesson also.

1. The Holy Ghost is the third Person in God: "Video & Transcript."

2. God gives the Gift of Holy Spirit to People: "Video & Transcript."

3. Tongues and John MacArthur blasphemy: "Video & Transcript."

Do you know that the Lord Jesus Christ is the person who has first promised to believers the gift to speak with tongues? It is in "Mark 16:17. It says, -- these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;" So, if you believe Jesus Christ, in his name you shall speak with tongues. It will be a gift to you.

3. Holy Ghost baptism, Holy Spirit, Speak with Tongues.

"Luke 11:13 ... how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise." That is, God the Father will give the holy Spirit, after you put your trust on the Lord Jesus Christ. If you have received the holy Spirit, the spirit will be in you with your soul. If the Lord Jesus Christ baptizes you with the Holy Ghost, the one gift the Holy Ghost gives you is to speak with tongues, as in Acts 2:38 and Acts 10:45. Acts 2:4 says, "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." So, The Spirit must be in them to give the utterance to speak. So, the pre-requisite to be baptized by the Holy Ghost, must be 'born of the Spirit', since the spirit is the one that gives the utterance to speak. It is an important point to notice. If there is no spirit, there will be no utterance. If they speak without the spirit, it is fake, and it is counterfeit baptism.

But churches pick up another point which is controversial. The argument is whether the evidence of the Holy Ghost baptism is speaking with tongues or not. Let me tell a few points. #1. Both in the upper room and in Cornelius' house, when people were baptized with the Holy Ghost, they spoke in tongues and others heard them. So, we may say that it is an evidence. But, speaking with tongues is very easy to fake. So, even those who have not received the baptism, may fake the speaking. In that case, it cannot be an evidence, since it will be a false evidence. #2. Jesus Christ said in, "Acts 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. 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." Jesus Christ gave two signs as evidence for the baptism of the Holy Ghost. One, you shall receive power; and the second, you shall be witness unto Jesus, all around. If they show evidence of the power of God manifest in them, and going around witnessing Jesus Christ, after the baptism of the Holy Ghost, it is the true evidence of the baptism. Speaking of tongues, may not be a valid evidence, since anybody can fake it. However, that will not give reason to the ungodly people to look down on the gift of tongues. If they do, they may find themselves mocking God. When people like John MacArthur says that the Corinthian Church was speaking in the tongues of Diana, it is openly evident that he blasphemes the Holy Ghost. Such people serve Satan but come as ministers of God. They will burn in the lake of fire forever.

4. Manifestation of the Gift and the response of People

"Acts 2:5 ..(Jews) were dwelling at Jerusalem .., (they were) devout men, out of every nation under heaven. 6 --- every man heard them speak in his own language. --- 8 (they say)... how hear we every man in our own tongue, ..." So, the Holy Ghost gives believers the gift to speak with tongues, and they came down from the upper room. God also enabled the devout people to hear the speaking, in their own language. It was repeated in the house of Cornelius also. "Acts 10:44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. 45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Acts 19:6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied." There were two groups. God makes the devout group to understand, but he rejects the other group. "Acts 2:13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine." Ungodly people do not understand, and thought these people were drunk. "1 Corinthians 14:5 I (Paul) would that ye all spake with tongues, .. 18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:" Paul encouraged everybody to speak with tongues. He also testifies that he spoke with tongues more than all of them. This is the genuine side of the ministry. Let us see the other side.

"Psalms 68:18 --- thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them." So, the gifts of the Holy Ghost are given, even to rebellious (disobedient) people, so that God may dwell among believers. Probably this could not be speaking with tongues, since the Spirit need to give utterance. They could have received other gifts of doing spectacular things, like healing, doing miracles, and such. "1 Corinthians 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal." The purpose of this is that God's presence may be with the believers and the believers may be profited by the gifts. But the rebellious people will go to hell as Jesus Christ tells in Matthew 7:21-23.

5. Speaking to God with Tongues for Self-Edification

"1 Corinthians 12:10 ... to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues. 28 (tells about other gifts and)..  diversities of tongues." We speak with tongues as the Holy Ghost gives the gift and the holy spirit gives the utterance. The tongues have different functions and purposes. "1 Corinthians 14:2 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." Believers will speak to God, even mysteries by the gift of tongues. "4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself…" It is for their own edification. "5 I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying." God speaks his messages through prophetic tongues. Prophesy is for the believers in the Church. So, the tongue should be interpreted to them. God gives gift of interpretation also to believers so that the church may get the message. So, tongues with interpretation becomes prophesy. "14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. 15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also:" Believers may speak to God by this gift; even who pray in tongues may not understand what we pray. Here, 'holy spirit' prays, but even we will not understand what he prays. If we try to understand with common wisdom, it will not make any sense. But, if we are used to the spirit, then it will make sense.

6. Misunderstandings of Tongues in Ungodly World

Some people reject the gift with bias against tongues. God teaches the church about the gifts, including how to use the gift of tongues. Instructions are meant to use the gifts properly, efficiently and profitably. But ungodly people use them to destroy or to discard the gifts. "1 Corinthians 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal." Here the instruction is not to use the gift of speaking with tongues for a show, but with charity, which is the love that gains souls for the kingdom of God. "8 ... prophecies they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease;..." Ungodly teachers claim that the gift of tongues has ceased already. But the next verse says when will it cease. "9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away." When we will have the full knowledge of the future, the partial knowledge, which is prophesy and tongues will also be a part of it, and so, they will no longer be needed. And so, it shall be done away. Do we know the future perfectly now? Do you know what will happen tomorrow, or next week, or in the near or distant future? No. When the perfect comes in, this will cease. These ungodly people must keep quiet until such time comes. The gifts will be here until then. "1 Corinthians 14:37 --- I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. 38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. 39 Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues." It is Apostle Paul writing, but it is still the word of God. It is to desire the gift of prophesy and do not stop anyone to speak with tongues. It is not a big deal. So, let us have peace.

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