The Cessation of New Testament Supernatural Gifts - Part One
Study 5 - The Cessation of New Testament supernatural gifts - Part Two
Study Six - The Errors of Tongue Speaking
1. Tongues speaking is not for every Christian. This is clearly implied in the words of 1 Corinthians 12:29,30: Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? Not every Christian is an apostle or a teacher or a worker of miracles. The same is true regarding the gifts of healing, speaking in tongues, or interpreting tongues.
There were diversity of gifts in the early New Testament era: For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will, 1 Corinthians 12:8-11.
Therefore in no way can it ever be argued from the Scriptures that every individual Christian should be speaking with tongues. This did not happen in the early New Testament Church. Yet, as we have already stated, this is often how speaking in tongues is presented in this modern Charismatic age. This is not in accordance with the practice of the New Testament Church. It is contrary to the Bible!
2. Tongue speaking in the Bible was a recognisable language. The events of the day of Pentecost make it abundantly clear that when the Apostles spoke in tongues they were the languages of other people: And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God, Acts 2:8-11.
The same is true for the events in the house of Cornelius, Acts 10:45,46: 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. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God…; Acts 11:17: Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?
Speaking in tongues within the Word of God, among the New Testament Church, was the speaking in different foreign languages. These native languages had not been learned by the Apostles in the conventional way. God gave to them the miraculous gift of speaking these languages to aid the spread of the gospel.
This is totally different to much of modern tongue speaking. The speaking in tongues of today is a strange, unheard of language, which is often described as an ecstatic or heavenly language, that only God can understand. They belief is base this upon a mistaken interpretation of the references to a 'unknown tongue' 1 Corinthians 14:2,4,13,14,19,27, especially v2 where it says that: 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.
Charismatics today seek to make a difference between the tongue speaking of Acts of the Apostles and that which we read of in First Corinthians, to justify their assertion that tongue speaking can be a heavenly, ecstatic language.
There is no difference at all between the tongue speaking of these various passages of Scripture. There is only one type of tongue speaking gifted to the early New Testament Church. There are not two separate gifts of speaking in tongues. This is easily proved by reminding ourselves of the purpose of tongue speaking. It is not a sign to believers, as Charismatics often claim today, but a sign to the unbeliever, to convince them of the authenticity of the Gospel message, 1 Corinthians 14:22: Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.
3. The Scripture requires that an interpreter is always present when tongue speaking is engaged in. This gift of interpreting is also one of the New Testament supernatural gifts, 1 Corinthians 12:10,30: To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues & Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
According to the teaching of the New Testament there must always be an interpreter present, 1 Corinthians 14:13,26-28: Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret; How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. 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. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. If an interpreter is not present the command of Scripture is that the person is to refrain from exercising the gift. That would rule out a lot of so-called tongue speaking today!
There are some other importance points which arise from these verses that are to govern tongue speaking within a Church service:
 The ideal for tongue speaking is two, and certainly no more than three people, to be speaking in an unknown tongue at any one time.
 Tongue speaking is to be by 'course'. Two or three people are not to be speaking at the same time. They are to wait their turn. This is long way off from the misuse of tongue speaking that is prevalent today!
These commands are designed to guard against disorder, confusion and the over use of time in this practice.
4. There is something better than speaking in tongues. It was Paul's desire to speak so that he was understood and others edified, 1 Corinthians 14:18,19: I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all: Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.
Paul states that he would rather other believers prophesied [preached/witnessed] than speak in tongues, 1 Corinthians 14:2-5: 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. But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. 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.
There is something better that Christians should seek after instead of being obsessed with speaking in tongues!
Modern tongue speaking, within Charismatic circles, fails to comply with these Scriptural requirements.