Speaking in Tongues

Scenario: You are told by a Christian you don’t have the Holy Ghost if you do not speak in tongues and that tongues is a requirement to be saved. Explain what the Holy Ghost is and whether you need “tongues” to be saved.


Speaking in tongues is not what the Christian church makes it out to be. They have grossly misunderstood Acts 2: 1-4, which details how the twelve Apostles were together on the day of Pentecost/First Fruits when the power of God came upon them. It says they were filled with the Holy Ghost, meaning their minds and mouths were filled with the word of God and his laws, and that they spoke in several languages, according to the languages of the crowd to whom they were sharing the word of God.

The reason God gave them the power of tongues/languages was revealed in Acts 2:5, which said there were devout Jews from every nation there. As we know today, different nations have different languages and therefore it would make perfect sense for God to give them power to speak the languages of the crowd. The word tongue is still used today to mean language across many demographics, but in the church, it means random outbursts of undecipherable babblings – which really is not a language and does not fit in with Acts 2:4.

Acts 2:4 also said they were filled with the Holy Ghost, but what is the Holy Ghost?  The law/commandment is the Holy Ghost, as confirmed by Jesus Christ himself in John 6:63 which reads, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life”. The Apostle Paul in Romans 7:12-14 said, “wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.  13. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. 14. for we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin”. There we have Paul saying the law is holy and the commandments are holy then go on to say they are spiritual.

The book of Acts 7:51says, “ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye”. This is further explained by Romans 13:2, which reads, “whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation” and proves that it is the ordinances/laws that our people resist – which is the Holy Ghost. More proof is also provided in Acts 6:10, which reads, “and they were not able to resist the wisdom (Sirach 19:20) and the spirit by which he spake”, that the word of God is the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 4:30 says, “and grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” which is made more clear in Isaiah 8:16, “bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples”.

In the churches today there is a practice of uttering incomprehensible noises (glossolalia), said to be “tongues” but are not of any known language. There are several scriptures which show that this practice is not of God. 1 Corinthians 14:9 says, “so likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air”. If everyone in the congregation already speak the same language, why then would there be a need to bring out the word of God in another language? NB. What the church calls tongues (glossolalia) is not a real or known language that someone can translate but clusters of consonants and vowels to form incomprehensible sounds.

Paul continued to explain in 1 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. 28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God”.

The Apostle Paul continued to explain that other tongues – through the Spirit – are to make known the mystery of the gospel and to comfort the hearts of the saints. Ephesians 6:19-22, “and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20.  For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. 21.  But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things: 22. Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts”. There can be no edification if a tongue is used to minister that no one understands.

Tongues, as we know it today, in the church is not biblical and rightfully does not deserve to maintain the name it was given because it is in no way similar to the biblical examples. It is not a requirement to be saved and definitely not something any law-keeping believer should aspire towards.

The Holy Spirit, however, is something we all must have in order to gain the kingdom of heaven. We have already established that the Laws of God is the Holy Spirit and also know that we have to keep the laws to enter into the kingdom.


Mordecai A. Israel

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