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Is Speaking in Tongues a gift from God?

Speaking in Tongues as we see it today in Christian churches is a relatively new phenomenon dating back to the early 1900’s.

Why is this? And in fact is what we are seeing today the same gift that empowered Jesus’ disciples at Pentecost?

The disciples were given the essential ability to speak in the languages of the surrounding nations, so that they could preach the gospel in the native tongue of all those they met. If what we see in churches today is the same gift, why was it absent from the church for over 1800 years?

Throughout the Bible it is seen that God gave His people gifts of the spirit to empower them to do what was required for a particular purpose at a particular time.
It is easy to see why God saw it necessary to give the gift of Speaking in Tongues to the early Church. How else could uneducated men have been able to spread the gospel? The question is then, for what reason would the gift of Speaking in Tongues have been reintroduced to the church after such a long absence. What possible purpose does it serve now that the church is established in almost every corner of the world?

We need to note also that when the genuine gift of tongues was given, for the purpose of evangelising, they understood what they were saying. 1 Corinthians 14:15-16 “What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. Else when you shall bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at your giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what you sayest?”
Is what we are seeing in churches today the genuine gift, or has Satan somehow been able to infiltrate the Christian world and deceive them with a counterfeit of one of God’s gifts for his own purposes?

The Bible warns us that in the end times there will be a huge outpouring of false miracles, signs and wonders that would deceive much of the Christian world. Mark 13:22 “For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect”.

Most Christians are totally oblivious to the fact that speaking in tongues is also practiced in many non-christian religions. It is practiced in African rituals and in voo doo and occult religions. Independent studies have found that there is no distinction in tongues between Christians and the followers of non-Christian (pagan) religions.

One of the most important attributes of the Holy Spirit is that He will guide us into truth. John 16:13 “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself;”. Truth is the understanding of the true and complete gospel message that our sins can be forgiven through the blood of our saviour Jesus. The message that we are saved by grace and not works, and that those who are saved will be obedient to the will of the Father and follow His commandments, just as Jesus also instructed. John 14:15 “If ye love me, keep my commandments”.

The fact that many churches who are practicing speaking in tongues are also teaching that we no longer have to obey the commandments, which directly contradicts what Jesus taught when He said Mathew 5:18 “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” should make us step back and take a second look at whether this phenomenon being practiced in our churches is of God or from another source.

All Bible references are from the King James Version.

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