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BIBLE STUDY: Understanding The Gift Of Speaking In Tongues

What does it mean to “speak in tongues”? Who gets to do it? Is it evidence of God’s Power when a person receives the Holy Spirit? Are Tarry Meetings and “calling down the Pentecost” as some call it (or asking for the Holy Spirit to fall upon you) at church; are these practices validated in Scripture? Let’s see what the Bible really teaches us about these mysterious subjects!

Bible Study Instructions: One Nation Under God Ministries ( publishes and distributes weekly Bible Studies, worldwide – free of charge, to anyone who requests them, in both printed and electronic formats. Our Studies are intended to be a simple and fun way to learn the Scriptures, and are very easy to follow! We adhere to Jesus Christ’s Biblical instructions to teach and feed the flock of God portions of meat in due season, on weekly Sabbaths, and on the seven annual Holy Days throughout each calendar year (Luke 12:42 / Isaiah 28:9-10 / Matthew 13:52). Using both the Old and New Testaments, our Bible Studies are designed to present a premise, make a statement, or ask a question – followed by one or more Scriptural references. Just look up and read from your Bible the Scriptures listed. Comments following questions elaborate on the Scriptures you just read. Pray always before beginning any study of God’s Word, asking God to open both your eyes and your mind to His Truth; then Prove everything you read, is in fact the Truth, by comparing it to The Word of God (1 Thessalonians 5:21 / 2 Timothy 3:15-17). Then use the Biblical System of Checks and Balances, and SEE if both Jesus Christ, and the First Century Church of God Apostles – also Did, Said, and Taught these SAME THINGS (Galatians 1:1-12, 5:25 / 1 Peter 2:21, 25 / 1 John 2:3-6)! That’s all there is to it! Our Bible Studies are based on the King James Version, unless otherwise stated. We will be praying for your eyes to “see” (Matthew 13:11-17); and we are always available to answer any of your questions! Be Blessed, in Jesus’ Name! - One Nation Under God Ministries (

Have you ever been to a “Tarry Meeting”?

I attended my first Tarry meeting, near Lawton, Oklahoma; when I was a Marine assigned to the U.S. Army Field Artillery School at Fort Sill. Another Marine invited me to his church out in town one evening. The service started off in the way that I had come to expect from mainstream Christian churches, back in the 1980’s. We sung a few hymns and opened in prayer, then everyone was invited to break up into small groups and to invite the Holy Spirit to come down upon us. People started to pray out loud, then they got a little louder, and then even louder still! Some bowed down to the ground, while others stood up with hands in the air. In the mixed Prayers and Praises, I could hear familiar phrases like “Glory!”, “Hallelujah”, and “Praise You Jesus”, being repeated over and over again. I could also see that some folks seemed to be crying as they Praised God, all the while the intensity and the emotion increased! This was a very different worship service from anything I had ever experienced before. I felt very un-easy; as I had grown up in a conservative Lutheran church where we didn’t act that way at all! I was out of place; and I was the only unemotional person in a crowd out of about a hundred people! Then it just got plain weird for me; as almost everyone there began to “Babble incoherently”! Suddenly, I couldn’t understand anything that anyone was saying! Everyone there began to speak some kind of foreign language, all saying different things, and all at the same time! I thought to myself, this must be what it is like to eat lunch in the Food Court at the United Nations building!!!

I remember trying to act calm, cool, and collected, me being a Marine PFC and all; but I was convinced at the time, that everyone there must have taken some kind of hallucinogen drug, they were all crazy! I never went back again (Acts 2:1-13)!

Learning About Jesus – 101:

There was a time when American Schools were designed to teach you the basics you needed to survive in society, to give you a basic foundation of knowledge to become successful, and to build upon throughout your life. They called it, “The Three R’s” (Reading, Writing, & Arithmetic) when I was a kid; which was scary, since they couldn’t even spell it right! But today our educational system is far different from what the Founding Fathers of America had intended for it to be! The Three “R’s” are a watered down version of what George Washington said the mission of American schools really was in 1779:

“You do well to wish to learn our Arts and ways of Life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you are. Congress will do everything they can to assist you in this wise intention…” – George Washington said that to the Chiefs of the Delaware Indian tribe, who had brought three youths to be trained in American schools on May 12, 1779! You won’t hear America Presidents saying things like that any longer!

The word Tarry is an Old English phrase, and it means “to wait”; as in wait for something to happen – like receiving the Holy Spirit (KJV Luke 24:44-49). So a Tarry meeting is a group of people waiting for the Holy Spirit to come down upon them; and just like the Three R’s that I grew up with, those that teach these practices as a basis for Christian education are off base! The Original Three R’s are found in Luke 24:46-47 that we just read. They are: Resurrection, Repentance, & Remission of Sins! This was how the Apostle Peter taught it (Acts 2:36-39)! This is the curriculum that we should be teaching our children first (Proverbs 22:6, 111:10 / Matthew 6:33)!!!

Now there are many things Jesus taught us to do over and over again, or to do continually; just a few of them are:

1) To continually guard ourselves so we don’t get caught up in this world, its ways, and the day to day cares of our lives (Luke 12:15, 22:34-35 / Deuteronomy 11:16-23 / Proverbs 4:20-27 / 1 Timothy 4:15-16 / 1 John 5:21),

2) To constantly watch world events, and to compare our current events to Biblical Prophecy (Matthew 24:42-47 / Mark 14:38 / Luke 22:36 / 1 Corinthians 16:13),

3) To pray always and without ceasing; particularly that we may escape the trap or snare (the tribulation) that will fall upon everyone that dwells upon the earth (Ephesians 6:18-20 /1 Thessalonians 5:17 / Luke 21:36),

4) To always keep the Sabbath and Holy Days – in the same way that Jesus and the Apostles showed us to; dedicating these days to God, without working, assembling together, studying the Word – eating spiritual Meat in due season - from early in the morning until late in the day (Luke 21:37-38, 22:1 / Acts 20:6-12, 16-17, 28:22-25, 30-31 / Isaiah 58:13-14)! But Jesus never told us to wait over and over again for the Holy Spirit! Once men had it, they passed it on to their children from generation to generation – right up to today (Matthew 16:18-19 / John 20:21-23)!

Jesus built a whole new culture for His Disciples to emulate, extracting the original Truth of God from an ethnic system that had become overgrown with the traditions of men! He brought His Followers back to the Original System of Personal Fellowship with God; the same system He had to taught Adam and Eve and their children, back in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:8-10)!!! It was the same system He had tried to teach the Hebrews when He brought them out of Egypt (1 Corinthians 10:1-4 / Hosea 4:6)! It is the same system, the same culture, Jesus is teaching us today (John 13:12-17)!

The God of the Old Testament, is the same Jesus who does not change (Malachi 3:6 / Hebrews 13:8). He wants to walk with us, day by day, step by step, so that we as little children can grow up to become the Kings and Priests He has destined us to become (Revelation 5:10)! Once we have matured in the Truth of God, we will then teach the whole rest of the world God’s Ways (James 1:16-18)!

God is reproducing Himself in us; and once we are Spirit Beings / Sons of the Most High God, we will help Christ to implement this system of change on EVERY HUMAN BEING who has ever lived!!! This is the Gospel Message – the future implementation of The Worldwide Culture of God! - which The Word of God foretells, and which The Spirit of God unlocks our minds to understand, and live by in the flesh!

Jesus Christ intends for You and I, to learn and to keep His Culture (The Way – John 14:6); then for us in turn, to teach this culture to others! But we need two things in order to teach Jesus’ Way to others, and in order for us to properly walk with God:

1) We will need the Word of God, and

2) We will need God’s Holy Spirit inside us!

In times past God selectively and individually chose whom He gave both (The Word and The Spirit) to. He only gave them to those He called to do His Work (Adam, Noah, Abraham, David, the Prophets, etc. See Luke 1:67-80 / Hebrews 11:1-40). But this all changed after Pentecost, A.D. 31.

God first gives you the Word of God, written down on paper, or preached to your ears from a preacher’s lips (externally); then He writes His Law on your heart (internally)! God’s uses His Spirit to guide us, and pull us to the Truth (externally); then God causes us to repent, and to be Baptized for the remission of our sins, in Jesus’ Name, where we then receive the Holy Spirit of God (internally) through the laying on of hands!

Today, God is using men and women like you and I (the Saints), to pass on BOTH The Word and The Spirit to those HE CHOOSES (Matthew 28:18-20 / Mark 16:15-20 / John 20:19-23 / Acts 8:14-20 / Matthew 9:37-38 / Luke 10:1-2, 16-20)! You MUST KNOW, BELIEVE, AND PROVE IN SCRIPTURE, that Jesus left us BOTH the complete Word of God, and The Spirit of God, here on earth – for us to use to Preach, Teach, and Increase The Kingdom of God, and add to His Saints – until Jesus returns for us (Matthew 16:13-20, 5:17-20, 24:35 / John 14:18, 26, 15:26 / Jeremiah 3:14-15 / Acts 20:28-38 / Ephesians 4:1-32). When you find God’s True Church, and when you fellowship in one of its many folds – because God has led you to it (John 10:16); you will then SEE and HEAR a unity in BOTH the Word of God and the Spirit of God (Jeremiah 23:1-4 / Ezekiel 34:1-31)!!!

One Nation Under God Ministries strives before the LORD to be a good shepherd, and to maintain a good fold, in the example of Christ, to the sheep whom God leads to find us (Ezekiel 34:14)! We feed the flock with good pasture (The Word of God with UNDERSTANDING – Isaiah 28:9-10 / 2 Timothy 4:1-5), and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be (we teach and train those whom God is calling to rule as fellow Kings and Priests, in the World Tomorrow – God’s Kingdom on this earth – Revelation 5:10, 20:6); we strive to provide fat pastures each and every Sabbath and Holy Day (Matthew 4:4 / Luke 4:4 / Deuteronomy 8:3 / John 21:15-17)! Those whom Christ is calling today to rule with Him, must learn how to “Feed His Sheep” (with complete meals; not snacks, and not food-like substances – false truths); it will be our first full-time job in the World Tomorrow! Jesus then gives us BOTH The Word of God, and at Baptism, The Holy Spirit of God; in order for us to Feed His Flock! Like little children, we must learn how to sit at the table on Sabbath, and eat all of our supper! And just as we tell our children, “If you don’t, you won’t grow up to be big and strong!” If we don’t; we will be rejected by Christ, as unfit for the office He intended for us!

How Often Is “As Often”? 

Jesus commanded us to carefully observe the night of His death, each year, over and over again (“For as often as ye” - means “each time you do this”); but ONLY on the one and same night (according to God’s calendar) that Jesus solemnly kept the Passover, showing the Lord’s Death until He comes again (1 Corinthians 11:23-34)! Jesus kept the Passover, when He commanded us to eat the Body and drink the Blood of Christ, and He gave us the foot washing ceremony to participate in, every year on a very particular date (the 14th of Aviv). We are not permitted to freestyle God’s Holy Days, and take the body and blood whenever we want to; nor can our church, our priest or our pastor pick and choose anytime that he feels like it! If we do, Paul warns us of dire consequences! We are NOT to do this except as an annual memorial to Christ – showing His death until He comes again!

The Permanence Of Passover:

There is a permanence in Passover! From the moment Christ introduced His Body and Blood to His Disciples; that started the countdown clock to the Return of Christ! It cannot be stopped – Christ will return – no matter what! Jesus will have Disciples on this earth, obediently and exactly keeping His Passover, His Way, until the Trumpets Blows - and Jesus returns to reward us!

Likewise, from the moment Christ breathed on ten Disciples, just a few hours after His Resurrection, His Church has HAD THE HOLY SPIRIT! It has been passed from that time – from human to human – as a PERMANENT GIFT by the laying on of hands, with only two previous Scriptural exceptions, and one yet future (Acts 2:1-5, 11-12 / Acts 10:44-48 / Joel 2:28-29 / John 7:37-39)! Note: 1 Samuel 19:20-24 is an example of God thwarting the plans of evil men, by stirring their minds with the Spirit of God; it is NOT God giving the gift of the Holy Spirit to those He has chosen (See also: John 7:45-47 to make this point clear)! We do NOT need to call down the Holy Spirit; it is NOT a third person in a trinity, who goes back and forth like a divine yo-yo! The Holy Spirit of God is gift, given to mankind, in A.D. 31, and which has been passed from man to man, as God directs, ever since!!!

Jesus kept Pentecost, a time when Ancient Israel made a Covenant with God, and when He gave them The Law. Jesus commanded His Disciples to wait in Jerusalem after His Ascension (Acts 1:1-8), until the remainder of the church should receive the Holy Spirit FROM GOD, on a SUNDAY morning - Pentecost (this is the only Holy Day that always falls on the first day of the week)! God ALWAYS puts a Sabbath, back to back with the Holy Day of Pentecost, and for good reason! Make sure you take full advantage of the Spiritual FEAST God is giving you here!

Now, I’m going to date myself here; but whenever I see new Christians who have trouble eating all of the Spiritual Meat that God provides for them at Sabbath and Holy Days, I always think of the words from the 1979 Pink Floyd song, Another Brick in the Wall: “If you don’t eat your meat, you can’t have any pudding! How can you have pudding, if you don’t eat your meat?”

We have had several generations of Christians that have had nothing but pudding! They have never tasted Spiritual Meat!

God shows us in Scripture WHEN and HOW the Holy Spirit was given:

1) Jesus first breathed the Holy Spirit out on ten of the original Disciples (John 20:19-23),

2) God then gave the Holy Spirit directly to 120 other Disciples at The Feast of Pentecost (Acts 1:15). This would include Thomas who was not present when Jesus breathed out the Holy Spirit (John 20:24 / Acts 1:13), Mary (Jesus’ mother – Acts 1:14), and Matthais (who was chosen to replace Judas Iscariot – Acts 1:16-20, 23-26). We also see the structure of God’s church beginning to develop here (Ephesians 4:11-13 / Acts 6:1-15): Additional Apostles being appointed by the original ones (Acts 1:23), but chosen by God through Prayer and lots, in this case (Acts 1:24-26). Then we see the other members of God’s Church, those who have been coming to Sabbath and Holy Days, and learning God’s Truth; that they must also be ORDAINED as members of that Assembly or Congregation – by the Holy Spirit of God – in order to be witnesses of Jesus’ Resurrection (Acts 1:21-22)! The whole world serves God as either Good Servants or Wicked Servants – bringing History to the point in time to when Christ will return to establish His Kingdom! We are being called to a very Special Purpose – to become Friends of Jesus – and to become ORDAINED by the Holy Spirit of God inside us (John 15:15-16 / Romans 8:12-17)!

Jesus DID NOT tell us to pray for the Holy Spirit over and over again; He told us to “Wait for it, until you get it”!!! Today, God’s Church can righteously reply to Jesus, in regards to the Holy Spirit, “We waited as You told us to, we received it as You said we would, and we still have it today – multiplying it among the brethren You select LORD!” This hopefully should give you a much deeper understanding of Matthew 25:14-30. :o)


So, was Acts Chapter 2 (Pentecost) the same as a “Tarry Meeting”? Was I a “mocker”, back in the 1980’s listening to people speak in “tongues”? Are “Tarry meetings” today scriptural? Is this what the Bible teaches? NO! ABSOLUTELY NOT!

The Holy Spirit is not rain! God does not send it over, and over, as He did on Pentecost, in 31 A.D.! It CAME FROM HEAVEN, ten days after Jesus was caught up, and IT HAS BEEN HERE EVER SINCE! All we have to do is OBEDIENTLY open up our hearts in submission to Him, and FOLLOW HIS INSTRUCTIONS to receive The Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38)! Incessant pleading, hour after hour, day after day, is not what Christ taught us (Luke 11:13)!

Jesus Christ stands at the door knocking, for those He is calling; those chosen by Him to be Kings and Priests during the Millennial Rule of Christ, those who He has chosen to come up in the First Resurrection (Revelation 3:20 / John 15:16 ). But in order for us to receive Christ, we must first Humble ourselves, and make a physical and spiritual U-turn / Repent (Revelation 3:19); this opens the door for Christ to come in, and lead us to Baptism, where we receive the Holy Spirit – by the laying on of hands – from someone who ALREADY HAS THE HOLY SPIRIT! We can tell, by God’s Authority, who has The Holy Spirit by their fruits (Matthew 7:15-20 / Galatians 5:22-23), and the fact that they are already obediently keeping God’s Sabbath Day and Holy Days, as the Bible prescribes (Exodus 31:12-18)! Passover, or the Last Supper, is the “sup with him”, that Jesus spoke of in Revelation 3:20; also during “The Feasts of The LORD (Leviticus 23:1-4, 41, 44); this is where we “sup with our LORD” (Psalm 23:4-6). This partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ, and the keeping of ALL The LORD’S Feasts are necessary, or we have NO part with Christ (John 6:52-54, 13:7-8 / Leviticus 16:29-31, 34, 23:28-30 / Acts 3:23 / Zechariah 14:16-19 / Isaiah 66:23-24)!!!

Most do not keep the LORD’s Holy Days today (The Mark or Sign of God), and Most do not understand what the Holy Spirit is, how it is obtained, nor do they understand what the gift of tongues is. But the Bible clearly shows us the answer!!!



Talking About Tongues:

Are the ecstatic utterances, the un-recognizable vocabulary or sounds that erupt forth from the mouths of members in these charismatic churches; are they True manifestations of the New Testament gift of tongues? Are they utterances from the Holy Spirit? Or are they as some assert, a ridiculous and dangerous counterfeit? The answer is of no small importance! Many have been taught that the "speaking in tongues" is proof that one has the Holy Spirit! Or is it proof that someone has “more” of the Spirit than others do? We NEED to know; but more importantly, we need to be able to PROVE our answer from Scripture ALONE!

The Basic Doctrine:

The Gift of tongues is the God-given, miraculous ability to speak in a human language that one has not learned in any normal way (Acts 2:5-12). This gift is only given to people AFTER they receive the Holy Spirit, who are in ONE ACCORD with the teachings of Jesus Christ; as in this case, actually observing the Holy Day of Pentecost on the right day (Acts 2:1-4). The gift of tongues is given to men, so that they may proclaim “the wonderful works of God” to non-believers (devout = religious; but still “blind” as Saul was blind); or in other words, to proclaim the Gospel of God’s Coming Kingdom (Acts 2:5, 12). “What meaneth this?” was their first reaction to hearing “The Good News”. But as we can see, the message hit home with POWER (Isaiah 55:11 / Acts 2:40-44, 46-47)!!! The gift of tongues IS NOT a manifestation of emotional and indecipherable babbling that produces no FRUIT, other than to earn “status points” for the one who is dazzling the other congregants with their charismatic ability to speak in “tongues”!!!

Prove The Truth From Scripture (1 Thessalonians 5:21)!





The process of proving the Biblical Truth about tongues has three steps:

1) Listing the common teachings.

2) Carefully examining all the major Bible verses about tongues and distilling from them all the essential traits of speaking in tongues.

3) Comparing the common beliefs with the CLEAR Biblical Record, and then seeing if the two match or clash!

The commonly held false beliefs about this subject form a thick web teeming with pet theories and often contradictory ideas. Often such "speaking in tongues" takes place at an emotionally charged religious services, where the "spirit" is "called down" or "worked up." Often such "working up" consists of the frenzied repeating of certain phrases. Then a few people are "overcome with the spirit" and begin shouting gibberish. Usually this includes waving of the arms, jumping, shouting or even rolling on the floor! Sometimes, another member of the congregation may rise up to "interpret" what a speaker is saying - usually attributing to the person great utterances of praise for God and other spiritual insights! The group assembled usually takes this as absolute proof that someone has the spirit of God - some even believe it is the ONLY proof!

Some other churches, believe that Christians who do not "speak in tongues", may have the spirit; but they assert that those who do "speak in tongues" have attained to a "higher level" of the spirit (My Daddy has more Spirit than your Daddy)!!! It is a greatly prized spiritual goal in all tongue-speaking churches, and earns the speaker “STATUS”!!! They hold to their doctrine as related to the episode of the "tongues of fire" in Acts 2:3. Others still, believe it to be the "baptism of the Spirit" predicted by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:11). Their many beliefs differ as to whether the utterances mean anything in any language. Some believe the utterances to be the "tongues of angels" (1 Corinthians 13:1), Ancient Hebrew, or a lost human tongue; while yet others say the languages are unknown, and cannot be understood by us today!

Of those who do speak in tongues today, most take great pride in the fact that they “spoke”, much more so - than in what they actually “said” and in what they said actually “means”! Few stop to see if their “gift” is in line with Scripture, and those who do put a Scripture or two with their tongues, usually quote a verse out of context, where it makes absolutely no Scriptural sense! God has NOT called You and I to such Confusion in His Church!!!

You Can Learn Much More About The Holy Spirit and The Gift of Speaking in Tongues by reading our Bible Study:

Bible Study: Jesus Christ And The Day of Pentecost (Part One)


The Biblical Teaching Of Tongues:

The place to start is Acts 2:1-21. These verses form the crux of the Bible’s doctrine on tongues! Here is recorded the second mass outpouring of the Holy Spirit (John 20:19-23 being the first).

After the Ascension of Jesus, the Apostles, AND the 120 core Followers of Christ were assembled together, but where? They were assembled together in THE HOUSE – NOT the Temple (Acts 2:2), and it was ON Pentecost (Acts 2:1)! This is the SAME HOUSE and the SAME UPPER ROOM that Jesus kept the Passover in (Acts 1:14, 2:1); and this upper room was big enough for the whole Church (or about 120 people at that time. Acts 1:15)! Mary was now staying there with Jesus’s siblings – who were now Believers in Who their Brother was! The church was tight, and fellowshipped at this location regularly, during the last 40 days that Jesus was on earth, and especially during the ten days leading up to Pentecost! The events of Acts 1:12-26 cover the last ten days before Pentecost in the Upper Room, especially the choosing of Matthias as Apostle, on the Sabbath Day before Pentecost!

Sabbath Before Pentecost, A.D. 31 (Upper Room):

  • 12 Apostles (10 possess the Holy Spirit)
  • 120 Members of the Church (Followers of Christ still without the Holy Spirit) all keeping Sabbath in the Upper Room
  • Several thousand Believers in Jesus as the Christ, living out in surrounding neighborhoods (not present)
  • Tens of Thousands of Devout Men, having come from many countries, to attend the Feast of Pentecost in the Temple.

Pentecost Sunday, A.D. 31 (Upper Room) Acts 2:1-4:

1) It is 9:00 am (the day was fully come)

2) There is a sound from heaven as of a rushing wind; the sound fills all the house where they are sitting

3) Then what resembles fire, with flickering flames (cloven tongues) sits upon their heads (not their mouths!)

4) All are filled with the Holy Spirit:

   - 12 Apostles (10 + 2 possess the Holy Spirit)

   - 120 Members of the Church (Followers of Christ now all possess the Holy Spirit) all are still in the Upper Room

    - Several thousand Believers in Jesus as the Christ, living out in surrounding neighborhoods (still not present)

    - Tens of Thousands of Devout Men, having come from many countries, to attend the Feast of Pentecost are in the Temple.

Now let’s talk logistics for a minute:

Acts 2:41 says that about 3,000 more people received The Word and were Baptized this same day. If the 12 Apostles had to Baptize 3,000 people in one day, and this is after the crowd of thousands has yet still to gather; it would mean that each of the 12 Apostles would have to personally Baptize 250 people each! That’s a Baptismal Marathon – not a High Holy Day! Remember Peter says you will receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of Hands (Acts 8:14-19 / 1 Timothy 4:14)!

But if the 120 Members of the Church received the Holy Spirit in the Upper Room, which looked like fire on their heads, this would

1) Serve to qualify these long time members (men) of the church to Baptize others, under the Apostles’ direction, and

2) qualify as an extraordinary event, worthy to be “noised abroad” thus making the multitude come together (Acts 2:6).

3) This would still allow Peter to preach a sermon to the 120 newly Baptized Brethren, maybe two hours (9:00 to 11:00 am)?

4) Allow the 120 to Break for lunch out in town (11:00-12:00), where word of the dancing fire on the heads of the Apostles and Brethren spreads quickly among the tens of thousands who are gathered at Jerusalem for Pentecost!

5) About 1:00 pm, the Apostles gather at the Temple, the only place large enough for such a large group, coming from many nations (Acts 2:5), and the PERFECT place for the Gift of Tongues to be used – to communicate to others in their own native tongues (Acts 2:7-12)! The Apostles and the 120 had all things in common (Acts 1:14, 21-22, 2:1); it is clear that the men who heard the tongues were not of the 120, but gathered later in the day, at a different location than the upper room, by the thousands - after being informed of the miracle of FIRE (Acts 2:7)!

Pentecost Sunday at the Temple, A.D. 31 – After Lunch:

  • 12 Apostles (all possess the Holy Spirit).
  • 120 Members of the Church (Followers of Christ all possess the Holy Spirit) now assembled at the Temple.
  •  Several thousand Believers in Jesus as the Christ, hear about the rushing wind and FIRE, and come to the Temple from surrounding neighborhoods.
  • Tens of Thousands of Devout Men, having come from many countries, are also at the Temple (Acts 2:4). Remember the Spirit does not give utterance if there is no body to HEAR The Word! The purpose of the tongues was meant for a specific audience that was not present when the FIRE came upon them, in the Upper Room, but was present at the Temple (Acts 2:5-8)!

Peter then stands up and Preaches another Sermon to the multitude assembled at the Temple (Acts 2:14-36). Do you realize that you just read an English translation of what Peter preached in tongues? The gift of tongues was an organized and orderly method to translate God’s Word to many people from many different nations! Look at what the result of using tongues was (Acts 2:37-41)!

Now let’s get back to a little more logistics!

Now we have 120 (+ or –) Baptized and longstanding Members of God’s Church, and we have 3,000 new Christians that need to get Baptized!

1) Peter and the other Apostles could have Preached another two hour sermon (1:00- 3:00 pm).

2) Then 120 people could have Baptized about 25 people each (120 X 25 = 3,000). Using 5 minutes to Baptize each one, (25 X 5 minutes each = 125 minutes); the whole 3,000 could have been properly immersed and had hands laid on them in just over two hours of time!

3) God’s church took on 3,000 more in a single day, and everyone could have been home for supper, to change their clothes and eat before sundown; and they did (Acts 2:42-47)!

Some important Scriptural FACTS about Speaking in Tongues:

1) The apostles spoke in tongues to others who were gathered in Jerusalem, and all marveled at the gift! This was NOT a "tarry meeting," it was NOT an event; it was A Holy Day!!! Pentecost is one of God’s Annual Holy Days that all Christians are Commanded to keep (Leviticus 23:15-21)!

2) Acts 2:2 shows us that a sound filled the whole house suddenly. It was the sound of a wind, it was a noise not a wind! It happened suddenly. It was not that their mouths gradually worked up a wind! The tongues of fire were not the tongues in their mouths, but small, burning fires, ON TOP OF THEM! ALL in the house were FILLED with the Holy Spirit.

3) Notice, also, that ALL were filled with the spirit, not just some.

4) Most importantly: the tongues Peter and the Apostles spoke in were known languages of the day, which were clearly understood by those listening!!!

5) The listeners marveled because Peter, in their ears, seemed to be speaking in their native, local dialects, although he obviously hadn't learned all these languages by going to school, or through some other normal method of study!

6) Peter was not speaking unintelligible gibberish! We see no descriptions of wildly gyrating bodies, waving hands or rolling on the ground.

7) Before leaving the book of Acts, we must examine one more instance of speaking in tongues (Acts 10:44-48). This was on the occasion of the first outpouring of God's Spirit to the gentiles.

- The account is brief, but verse 46 clearly states that those listening heard those speaking in tongues "magnify God"!!!

- The only conclusion is that these tongues again were known languages of the day!

- Acts 19:1-6 also relates a similar episode.


The book of 1 Corinthians 12, 13, 14 has much to say about tongues. 1 Corinthians 12:1 & 10, mention the gift; but verses 27-31 are the most crucial!! In 1 Corinthians 12:28, Paul lists the governmental offices of the Church, including apostle, then in verse 29, through a series of rhetorical questions, Paul emphatically proves that NOT ALL have the gift of tongues (or any of a number of other gifts, for that matter)! Clearly, having the gift of tongues cannot be the only proof one has God's spirit! Nor is it proof of superior righteousness, for verse 31, coupled with 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, declares unabashedly that LOVE is a greater gift of the spirit than speaking in tongues!

1 Corinthians 13:1 says that even if one has the power to speak in the "tongues of angels," he is spiritually worthless unless he has LOVE (John 14:15-16, 21, 23, 15:10 / 1 John 2:3, 5:3 / 2 John 1:6)!

These are strong words indeed, and should once and for all lower tongues from any imaginary position of superiority among gifts of the spirit! And these verses do not imply that the Corinthians spoke in an angelic language. In 1 Corinthians 13:1-2 Paul lists numerous incredible feats, all of them beyond the capability of men (such as moving mountains with faith, and understanding every single mystery of life). He wanted the Corinthians to see that even if they could do certain things far beyond their normal abilities, it still wouldn't make them righteous unless they were filled with and expressing God's love! It is clear that Paul spoke of the tongues of angels as something beyond current human abilities, just like moving mountains.

1 Corinthians 14

This is a crucial chapter devoted entirely to the topic of tongues. Be sure to review every word on your own! There are numerous points that stand out, and with great force defeat the arguments of modern day tongue speakers. To begin, the same Greek word for "tongues" used in Acts is also used here, not some different word. Further, the overwhelming conclusion is that Paul wrote these words to downplay and control the gift of tongues, not to extol it.

The first verse of the chapter unceremoniously dethrones tongues from a position of preeminence among gifts, since it encourages normal, inspired preaching (called "prophesying") over the gift of tongues. The rest of the verses stress that the purpose of speaking in tongues is to edify the audience, not the speaker! This is vastly different from our modern tarry meetings and the like, where the one who "speaks in tongues" is the center of attention - while the audience just sits back and watches the show. No real edification takes place. No Meat is eaten!

1 Corinthians 14:10-17 stress the need for the audience to understand the words, and thus make plain that the words are capable of being understood. Clearly, Paul is writing of common human languages of the day! Verse 23 makes the same point in a different way; Paul warns against speaking in a language the audience doesn't understand, saying that to do so would make one who is an unbeliever or unlearned think the believers were crazy! When Paul says an unlearned person would be confused, he is implying that a learned person would not be confused. It is abundantly clear that these languages were real ones that could be learned in the normal way!

1 Corinthians 14:27 limits the number of people who may speak in tongues at any one time, to two or three, who must each take turns. It demands a calm order in the service, the very opposite of the emotionally charged atmosphere of a tarry meeting! Verse 28 requires the tongues be translated for those who do not understand. If there is no translator, then no speaking in tongues is allowed, period!!! Verse 31 demands tongues be used one by one, and in turn, not at the same time in confusion! Verse 32 states that the one who speaks in tongues is at all times in control of himself. This is the very opposite of modern speakers, who give themselves over to tongues and are for a while controlled by the phenomenon, so much so that they may not remember or even know what they said!

Finally, women are forbidden by Paul to preach in the Church at all, let alone use tongues (verse 34)! Such is not so today, when many if not most of the speakers are women!

In Summary:

We have listed the main beliefs about modern churches "speaking in tongues," and we have examined the pertinent Bible verses and extracted the key points. It should be obvious to you by now, that modern "tongues" and the Biblical tongues are not only different; they are complete opposites! The spirit they are calling down IS NOT The Holy Spirit; and it is NOT from God!!!

The Biblical tongues we read about in Scripture are all real languages! Modern day tongues are not! One is always under control, the other is worked up to uncontrolled frenzy! One is spoken in turn, by two or three at most; the other is disorderly and very confusing (1 Corinthians 14:33)!!! One must always have an interpreter present to speak it; the other may not. One is for instruction, the other for display and the self - glory of man! One is to be used at a preaching service where people are to be edified by the content of the speech; the other is used at an emotional tarry meeting! One is vocal only; the other is linked with wild and erratic physical movement!

As with so many other Biblical Precepts (Isaiah 28:9-10), concepts, or subjects; we see that people, despite their sincerity, can be led far astray from The TRUTH - when they allow their own thoughts and emotions, and evil spiritual influences, to dictate their beliefs, rather than God's SURE and PRECIOUS WORD!

Now YOU understand what the Biblically recorded miracle of Speaking in Tongues really was! And now YOU also know how Satan imitates and perverts the things of God, and passes them on to his churches to deceive, confuse, and lead many others astray! Praise God! We have eyes that SEE!

We are honored that you joined us today, in the Study of God’s Word! We hope that you will join us again next week, and that you will continue to share what you have learned here, with others – at home, at work, and in your neighborhood (Matthew 28:18-20 / Mark 16:15-20)! May our Great God, Bless you and keep you, until then – in Jesus’ Name!!!

  • Submitted by R.C. Brown III

One Nation Under God Ministries                


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BIBLE STUDY Understanding The Gift of Speaking In Tongues 16 July 2016.pdf721.3 KB