"There Is One God And One Mediator Between God And Men, The Man Christ Jesus" 
1 Timothy (2:5)

(Part 3) Speaking In Tongues: Understanding The Difference


The Source of Confusion


Many individuals who sought after the Holy Ghost were often “pre-conditioned” (they were initially told by their pastors or from the ministries they trusted) and informed that they had to speak in tongues first (initially) in order to receive the Holy Ghost.

Because some did speak in tongues and had a personal experience to hold on to, they believed what they were told. Their experience was real and they accepted what they were told as being truth/fact without actually studying the scriptures for themselves. Consequently, we assumed all to be true because one part occurred which was true (that it exists and we experienced it personally) but the reason for the occurrence was not true.

Partial truth is not synonymous with the full truth. The personal experiences of these individuals were true, however, the reason given for this experience, (as an “initial sign” requirement), was not and is not supported by scripture.

The addition of two words (“initial sign”) effectively created a new man-made doctrine that is unsupported by scripture. This religious prerequisite did not exist in the Bible. Because this was never the true reading of the scriptures; those that chose to accept this stipulation were forced into “talking” this theory into existence.


(Acts 2:4) “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

(Acts 2:38) “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”



Fact #1:         

The Bible says you shall receive the “gift” of the Holy Ghost NOT you shall receive an “initial sign” of speaking in tongues.


Fact #2:         

The Bible does NOT state that there are three requirements (repent, be baptized, and speak in tongues) before one can receive this “gift” of the Holy Ghost.


A number of church groups tried to “link” their own “private interpretation” of these scriptures to biblical teaching. In fact, this change makes them say something very different than what is actually written in the Bible. Numerous men and women have basically created their own “unwritten” version of the scriptures which “modifies” (or reconstructs) the meaning of the original scriptures and misrepresents what the Bible states. Of course, we are not allowed to add or subtract anything from the Holy Scriptures. We are admonished not to teach anything other than what the Word of God states; yet we have countless misinterpretations, additions, deletions and failing to mention much of what the Word of God actually says.


(Proverbs 30:5-6) “Every word of God is pure:……….6Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”

(Revelation 22:18-19) “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

(Deuteronomy 4:2) “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.”


We are to live for God for our lifetime; however, we are taught that we only needed to speak in tongues “once” in order to prove we have the Holy Ghost. The fact is the Bible does not address the frequency of the believer’s speaking in tongues, (“once”) which is also another unsupported biblical claim. There are no mandates or limits found written in the Bible supporting such a claim. These criteria are man-made.




Distinguishing A “Gift” From The “Initial Sign”


Ministries who teach/preach that an “initial sign” of speaking in tongues is mandatory in order to receive the Holy Ghost, when asked, have no actual biblical scripture to support their claim. We as Pentecostals basically claimed that there are two different types of tongues with different purposes; (I can speak on this fact coming from an Apostolic background).

Most Pentecostals claim that there are “tongues” which evidences the “initial sign” of the Holy Ghost (which occurs after the repentance and baptism) but allegedly differ from the “gifts” of tongues, which are seen as “spiritual” gifts mentioned in the book of (1 Corinthians 12:1-11).

It is this contention that is of great importance. This claim of two types of tongues and the justification of mandating the “initial sign” of speaking in tongues is the crux of their error.


NOTE: Most (tongue believers) do not deny prophesy as being a spiritual gift, however they fall short trying to justify several inconsistencies.


The first is trying to explain how (tongues) identified in (Acts 2: 4) is not a spiritual gift but instead a (required) “initial sign” evidencing the “indwelling” of the Holy Ghost after someone is baptized; and

The second problem is trying to explain the (Acts 19: 5-6) incident which reflected the Holy Spirit manifesting the “initial” evidence of dual signs (gifts) upon the people. They try to justify tongues as mandatory because it is referenced in more than one instance. They, therefore, claim it as an “initial sign” requirement yet they cannot recite any scripture that makes such claims or which distinguishes the difference between these two spiritual signs (tongues or prophesy).


Both tongues and prophecy are listed as spiritual gifts and if they are gifts then only the Spirit decides who may speak in tongues, as tongues, (being a gift), is not guaranteed to anyone, but as God wills.


NOTE: Adding this criterion to the scriptures is a manufactured assertion. You will not find the words initial or required associated with tongues in any scripture.


(Acts 2:4) “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

(Acts19: 5-6) “On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied”

(1 Corinthians 12:4, 11) “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit… ……..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.”

(Romans 11:29) “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.”


It is also clear from these passages that there were:

1.  No limitation as to how many gifts could be received;

2.  No stipulation as to which gift would be made manifest; and

3.  No limitation as to whom God could give these gifts to, tongues being one of many listed spiritual gifts, a gift which can be given to someone without repentance or to whom so ever God desires or wills.


Note: You will not find “initial sign” or “unknown tongues” associated with salvation in any scripture, these also are man-made assertions or modifications.





Not Everyone Speaks In Tongues


Not everyone receives the same gift(s). God chooses “some” not all receive the gift of tongues. This scripture clearly indicates that not everyone (church members) will speak in tongues (new, other or unknown). If you have this gifting ability that is great! If you do not have this gift, God may have chosen a different gift for you.


(1 Corinthians 12:27-30) “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. 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?





Neither Was This Foretold To Occur


Nowhere in the Bible (on the day of Pentecost) will you find scriptures indicating that individuals spoke in “unknown” tongues upon the infilling of the Holy Ghost, they spoke in “other” tongues which is different. That is not to say that an unknown language was never spoken under the power of the Holy Ghost but as the scriptures are written in the Bible there are no examples or testimonies that this was the situation occurring on the day of Pentecost.

Therefore, to claim that all new recipients must speak in some “unknown” tongue (Heavenly language) is not a fact but an unsupported assumption.


The Apostle Paul also quoted the prophecy of Joel regarding the outpouring of the Holy Spirit; even this prophecy did not claim that this outpouring would be manifest by speaking in unknown tongues but prophecies, visions, and dreams.


(Acts 2:17) “But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:”



Top Of Page