I am amazed with the proliferation of many religious groups that practice “speaking in tongues” day and night every time they gather to worship. The majority of these acts are mere utterances mimicking the truthful Holy Spirit inspired languages. I have visited and attended various places of worship of many church denominations where some have worship times allocated specifically for the congregation to “speak in tongues”. The imitations then cascade upon the whole congregation, everyone speaking in an unfamiliar language which no other can understand. I would like to say most of this is mere pretence.
I can classify some aspects that divide reality from fiction into three groups. Firstly, the Lord our God engineered the multiplicity of languages to happen to purposely cause some confusion among the people. The original purpose was to cause people not to understand each other in their efforts to compete with God. I have termed these as the “tongues of confusion” or alternatively the “tongues of Babel”, in reference to the place where the Lord made this to happen. The confusion of languages at Babel is in our scriptures.
Genesis 11:1-9 reads: Now the whole earth had one language and few words. And as men migrated from the East they found a place in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly”. And they had bricks for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with it’s top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad upon the whole face of the Earth”. And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the sons of men had built. And the Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; this is only the beginning of what they will do; and nothing that they propose to do will now not be impossible for them. Come, let us go down, and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech”. So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore, it’s name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.
In essence, people who gather together in worship and speak in tongues that cannot be understood by others are afflicted by the “curse of confusion”. Only the speaker knows what babbles out of his/her mouth. When people of one language are gathered together, there is absolutely no need to speak in any other languages except for the purpose of causing confusion. That should be common knowledge. For what I have termed as the “language of understanding”, Acts of the Apostles 2:1-13 reads: When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. And they were amazed and wondered, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear each of us in his own native language? Par’thians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappado’cia, Pontus and Asia, Phryg’ia and Pamphylia, Egypt and 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 works of God”. And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine”.
The sole purpose of why the Holy Spirit descended upon the gathered people on the day of Pentecost was so that everyone present could hear and understand the Word of God as if spoken in one language. In effect it was like the reversal of the tongues of Babel, so that people of different languages could all understand the Word of God as if spoken in one language.
God is a resourceful master who provides us with adequate tools for His Word to be accomplished, hence the gift of speaking in tongues, but only through the Holy Spirit. Prior to that, God would talk to any man to convey His Word. He would confine His messages within a particular group of people of the same language. But after He sent His son, Jesus Christ, to minister His Word on Earth, it was then necessary that His teachings be spread across to the people of all nations and across all languages by way of the Holy Spirit. To disseminate God’s Word this communication is between man and man, not between man and God. He understands all languages. After his resurrection, Christ directed the Apostles, “Go into the entire world and preach the gospel to the whole creation (Mark 16:15)”. Henceforth, language became an important factor and the Holy Spirit would descend upon the earth so that a group of people gathered together in worship but of different languages would hear and understand the Word of God as if spoken in one language. I have classified and termed the third group as “the pretenders of speaking in tongues”. Their utterances have no links to Holy Spirit. They cause confusing by speaking in tongues nobody can understand. Many of these have been misled by preachers who have no proper understanding of the real purpose of “speaking in tongues”. They misrepresent to the public by suggesting that speaking in tongues is a way of talking to God through a misleading language, so as to fool the Devil from understanding what one is communicating with God. The Devil also understand all languages. As these tongues are not of Holy Spirit origin, I will call them “tongues of sin”. This kind of mimicking of speaking in tongues is a blasphemy against God and the Holy Spirit. It is a sin. Be wary of such pretenders and deceivers.
Prosper Tingini is the Scribe of the Children of God Missionary Assembly — God’s messengers. Contact details: Mobile and whatsapp: 0771 260 195. Email address: [email protected]
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