Tongues within the
New Covenant Assembly
(It would be much easier for one to understand the subject of tongues if one understood what YAHWEH'S Holy Spirit is, so please read the article on the Holy Spirit first). Click here. Holy Spirit
The first thing that one needs to remember concerning tongues is that "tongues" simply means LANGUAGES (Refer to any good lexicon). The gift of speaking in tongues is a YAHWEH-given ability to speak one or more languages without having to learn them.
The New Covenant Assembly that was built upon the foundation of the prophets and the Apostles with YAHshua as the chief cornerstone had a tremendous expansion fifty days after YAHshua's ascension to the FATHER on the day of the wave sheaf offering. This expansion was on the day called the Feast of Weeks of the Firstfruits of the Wheat Harvest in Exodus 34. It is also called the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2:1. It is also very important to understand what actually happened on that particular Day of Pentecost. The gift of speaking in tongues was given to the Apostles on that day. Others were given the same gift soon afterwards.
YAHshua was with His Apostles for forty days following His resurrection from the dead. During that time He told them to wait in Jerusalem till they received the power of the Spirit of YAHWEH. It would aid them in spreading the Gospel to the whole world.
Doctrines have been built on the many misconceptions about what happened during this short period of time ending with that particular Day of Pentecost. So, for reasons of clarity, comments on the following first century writings have been put in brackets. This writing is from the book called "The Acts of The Apostles."
Luke starts Acts, chapter one, by informing Theophilus that he had already written him concerning the things that YAHshua had done and taught. Luke then proceeds to tell him what he knew about the Apostles from the time YAHshua made His ascension 10 days before Pentecost.
Acts 1 (1) The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that YAHshua began both to do and teach, (2) Until the day in which He was taken up, after that He through the Holy Spirit had given Commandments [See Luke 24:47] unto the Apostles whom He had chosen: (3) To whom [the Apostles] also He showed Himself alive after His passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them [the Apostles] forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the Kingdom of YAHWEH:
In verse four, the Apostles were told to wait in Jerusalem, and in verse eight they were commissioned as His witnesses.
Acts 1 (4) And, being assembled together with them [the Apostles], commanded them that they [the Apostles] should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the FATHER, which, saith He, ye [the Apostles] have heard of Me. (5) For John truly baptized with water; but ye [the Apostles] shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit [YAHWEH'S seven basic Attributes or characteristics which are: HIS Wisdom, HIS Understanding, HIS Counsel, HIS Might, HIS Knowledge, HIS Reverence, and HIS Righteousness.] not many days hence.
Acts 1 (8) But ye [the Apostles] shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
After YAHshua's awesome ascension, the eleven Apostles returned to Jerusalem and stayed together in an upper room.
Acts 1 (13) And when they [the Apostles] were come in, they [the Apostles] went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.
According to Acts 1:14-15, during these days the Apostles continued steadfastly in prayer with the women, and Miriam (Mary) the mother of YAHshua, and all the brethren which numbered about 120. according to Luke :24:51-53 and Acts 2:43-47, They must have assembled in the temple, not in the upper room.
Acts 1 (14) These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of YAHshua, and with His brethren. (15) And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about a hundred and twenty,)
Luke :24 (51) And it came to pass, while He [YAHshua] blessed them [the Apostles], He was parted from them, and carried up into Heaven. (52) And they [the Apostles] worshipped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: (53) And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing YAHWEH. Amen.
Acts 2 (43) And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the Apostles. (44) And all that believed were together, and had all things common; (45) And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. (46) And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, (47) Praising YAHWEH, and having favour with all the people. And YAHWEH added to the Assembly daily such as should be saved.
Verses 16-26 tells of the choosing of Matthias to replace Judas. Verse 26 tells us that Matthias became the twelfth of the Apostles, which is the subject that Luke is now writing about.
Acts 1 (26) And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven Apostles.
Acts 2:1 continues from 1:26 about the same subject, the acts of the Apostles. "They" in acts two still refers to the Apostles and not to the 120 men, women and children as many people believe.
Acts 2 (1) And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they [the Apostles] were all with one accord in one place. (2) And suddenly there came a sound from Heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they [the Apostles] were sitting. (3) And there appeared unto them [the Apostles] cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them [the Apostles]. (4) And they [the Apostles] were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other [different] tongues [languages], as the Spirit gave them [the Apostles] utterance.
Was this "house" the upper room where the Apostles were staying? Or was this house one of the houses that were in the Temple? *(Josephus tells us that there were many houses in the Temple.) YAHshua even called the temple "My FATHERS house.
(It may be interesting to Compare the Tongues as of by fire and the sound of a mighty rushing wind with the sight and sound of fire, the trumpets, the voice of YAHWEH and the Glory of YAHWEH that usually appeared when YAHWEH was present in Old Testament times.)
Continuing in Acts:
Acts 2 (5) And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under Heaven. (6) Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them [the Apostles] speak in his own language. (7) And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these [the Apostles] which [who] speak Galilaeans? (8) And how hear we every man [of us] in our own tongue, wherein we were born? (9) Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, (10) Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, (11) Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them [the Apostles] speak in our tongues the wonderful works of YAHWEH. (12) And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? (13) Others mocking [scorned] said, These men [the Apostles] are full of new wine. (14) But Peter, standing up with the eleven [the Apostles], lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: (15) For these [the Apostles] are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
It should be pointed out that the word #5274 (in Thayer's Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament) can be translated either "assume" or "suppose." In this particular scripture, word #5274 should have been translated "Assume," instead of "suppose." "Assume" in the American Heritage Dictionary meaning #5 is to "feign." "Feign" means:
1 (a) To give false appearance of; pretend; to sham; (b) To represent falsely; pretend to: 2 to invent; make up; fabricate: to pretend. (The mockers accused them of being drunk out of scorn, as though the Apostles had impairment of their mental faculties.)
Acts 2 (16) But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; (17) And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith YAHWEH, 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: (18) And on MY servants and on MY hand maidens I will pour out in those days of MY Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
This prophesy could only begin to be fulfilled at this time for the same reason YAHshua told the Apostles that He must go away (die) first before the Comforter (Holy Spirit) could come.
The Apostle Paul said that the Believers are a Temple of the Holy Spirit.
I Cor. 6 (19) What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have of YAHWEH, and ye are not your own?
Is there any reason to expect YAHWEH to pour out HIS Spirit (HIS seven basic attributes or characteristics) in our defiled unclean bodies? YAHshua had not yet paid for our sins with His own blood that He shed on the stock of a tree. He had not yet taken His own blood to the Heavenly Sanctuary to YAHWEH to pay for our cleansing. (This was portrayed by the High priest once a year taking the blood of the sacrifice into the most holy place in the Tabernacle on the Day of Atonement.)
Those that believed asked Peter and the other eleven Apostles (not the 120) what they should do.
Acts 2 (37) Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the REST OF THE APOSTLES [not to the 120], Men and brethren, what shall we do? (38) Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of YAHshua Messiah for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (39) For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as YAHWEH our Elohim shall call.
Notice! They did not ask 120 men, women and children that were staggering and stumbling around like they were drunk & speaking in tongues as many people claim!
Many people claim that the Apostles were staggering and stumbling around as if they were drunk. The Apostles were not staggering and stumbling around as if they were drunk! That would have been a very disgraceful and tasteless manner in which to present the Gospel of the Kingdom of YAHWEH. The mockers were ridiculing the Apostles because they did not believe the message that YAHshua was the Messiah. They accused them of being drunk out of scorn, as though the Apostles had impairment of their mental faculties. Most people have probably heard someone say, "you must be drunk," in response to being told something that he did not believe. This was the same response that the mockers and scorners gave because they did not believe the gospel.
Now, if there were any visible signs that the Apostles seem to be drunk, it would have been because they were very jubilant. The Apostles, being filled with the Holy Spirit (the seven basic characteristics or attributes of YAHWEH), were very jubilant while speaking the wonderful works of YAHWEH in many different languages.
Contrary to what some people claim, the gift of speaking in different languages is NOT to be used as a sign or evidence that believers have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. There is an entirely different purpose for the gift of speaking in tongues.
I Cor. 14 (21) In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear ME, saith YAHWEH [Isa 28:11-12]. (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.
The people that are being referred to are Israel and Judah. The prophecy quoted originally came from Isaiah 28:6-14. It was prophesied by Isaiah before Israel was carried away captive by the Assyrians in 721 B.C. Judah was carried away captive, over a hundred years later, by the Babylonians. During their six or seven hundred years of captivity they were scattered all over the world. As a result, their offspring spoke in the tongues of the land where they lived instead of in their native Hebrew tongues. These tongues were spoken by the Apostles in the fulfillment of this prophecy when they spoke the wonderful works of YAHWEH with the supernaturally-given gift of speaking in different tongues. They spoke to the remnant of Israel and Judah that was present on the Day of Pentecost. This people did not then, and still do not, hear, listen or believe that YAHshua is the Mashiach.
As a result of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the utilizing the gift of speaking in tongues by the Apostles, and the sermon by Peter, nearly 3,000 souls became members of the New Covenant Assembly on that Day of Pentecost. Contrary to what some people are taught, there were not 120 men, women and children speaking in tongues at the same time, nor were they disgracefully staggering and stumbling around in an upper room as if they were drunk on that Day of Pentecost. If they had been, there would not have been almost 3,000 souls added to the Assembly that day! Paulís letter concerning tongues that was written to the Assembly at Corinth seems to be grossly misunderstood by many people. It is very important for one to understand what Shaul was teaching in his letter concerning tongues. If one will look at all the scriptures in their context, one will find just what the problem was that he was addressing. In the assembly, some converts were inspired by their own emotions and egos instead of speaking by revelation, by knowledge, by prophecy, or by doctrine. They were just babbling while trying to copy the true spiritual gift of speaking in a language that no one in the Assembly at Corinth understood.
When reading the first verse below, keep in mind that holy men and prophets were also called angels (messengers) by Semitic people.
I Cor. 13 (1) Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
In 13:11 and 14:20, Shaul implies they were acting like children by babbling or attempting to speak in tongues.
I Cor. 13 (11) When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. ... 14 (20) Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.
In 14:2, Shaul does not state nor imply that one who has the true gift of speaking in tongues does not understand that which he is speaking. He is saying that the mystery is to others present in the Assembly meetings. As used here, speaking in the Spirit means speaking with the YAHWEH-given Spiritual gift of the ability to speak one or more languages without having to learn them.
I Cor.. 14 (2) For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue [language that no one in the assembly understands] speaketh not unto men, but unto YAHWEH: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the [the gift of the] spirit he speaketh mysteries [to the Assembly].
Verse four states that if a person speaks with the true gift of speaking in tongues, he edifies himself. It does not say nor imply, that in edifying himself he does not know what he is speaking, praying, or singing.
I Cor. 14 (4) He that speaketh in an unknown tongue [that no one in the assembly understands] edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the Assembly.
Verse 5 says that one who speaks with the gift of speaking in tongues and interprets it to the Assembly would be as great as one who prophesies.
I Cor. 14 (5) 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 [that no one in the assembly understands], except he interpret, that the Assembly may receive edifying.
Verses six through thirteen implied that they were only babbling; they were inspired by their own emotion. They were not speaking by revelation, by knowledge, by prophecy, or by doctrine. By doing this, they were merely speaking into the air. To stop such "practice," Shaul told them to ask for the gift of interpretation of tongues. This was a clever way to stop those who did not have the YAHWEH-given gift from attempting to speak in tongues.
I Cor. 14 (6) Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues [that no one in the assembly understands], what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine? (7) And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? (8) For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? (9) So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? For ye shall speak into the air. (10) There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification. (11) Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me. (12) Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the Assembly. (13) Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue [that no one in the assembly understands] pray that he may interpret.
Shaul said in verses 14-17, "For if I pray in a language, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful." (By being unfruitful, he meant unfruitful to the Assembly. See 175 #2 in THAYER'S LEXICON.) Shaul prayed and sang in the gift of the spirit with understanding and then with words that the Assembly understood. If he had not, no one would have known what they were agreeing with when they said, "Amen."
I Cor. 14 (14) For if I pray in an unknown tongue [that no one in the assembly understands], my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful [to the assembly]. (15) What is it then? I will pray with the spirit [YAHWEH-given spiritual gift of speaking a language that the speaker does not have to learn], and I will pray with the understanding [to the assembly] also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding [to the assembly] also. (16) Else when thou shalt bless with the [YAHWEH-given spiritual gift of speaking a language that the speaker does not have to learn] Spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest? (17) For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.
In verse 18, properly translated, Shaul said, "I thank my Elohim SPEAKING in [YAHWEH-given spiritual gift of speaking in a language that one has not learned] languages more than you all." The Greek word is the same as in verse 6, correctly translated "speaking," and not "I speak." (See verse 6 & 18 in Baker's Interlinear Greek-English New Testament).
I Cor. 14 (6) Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues [that no one in the assembly understands], what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine? Ö(18) I thank my Elohim, I speak [correctly translated- "speaking," not "I speak"] with [YAHWEH-given spiritual gift of speaking a language that the speaker does not have to learn] tongues more than ye all:
What he was saying was that he thanked his Elohim speaking in tongues more that you all, and not that he thanked his Elohim that he spoke in tongues more than they all did. Why in the world would he boast and say that?
I Cor. 14 (19) Yet in the Assembly I had rather speak five words with my understanding [to the assembly], that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue [that the Assembly didn't understand]. (20) Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men. (21) In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear ME, saith YAHWEH [Isa 28:11-12]. (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.
According to verses 26-28, if anyone had the gift of speaking in tongues, only two or three were to speak, one at a time, and one was to interpret. If there was no interpreter, they were to keep silent. This was to silence those that were trying to copy the gift of speaking in tongues and those speaking by their own motivations, emotions, or ego.
I Cor. 14 (26) 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. (27) 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. (28) But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the Assembly; and let him speak to himself, and to YAHWEH.
In the above, Paul said to let him speak to himself and to YAHWEH. Why would he speak to himself if he did not know what he was saying?
In conclusion, anyone who has the true gift of speaking with the YAHWEH-given spiritual gift of languages knows exactly what he is speaking. The gift of speaking in tongues is a sign, a supernatural happening; it is used in speaking especially to unbelievers in a language foreign to the speaker. This was the case on the day of Pentecost. Also, regarding the gift of interpretations of tongues, the speaker speaks his normal language and the interpreter speaks the language of the people. Both speaking and interpreting tongues were done in a very orderly manner.
WARNING! If that which is declared to be the gift of speaking in tongues (languages) is used for any other purpose than this, one must be very careful. It could be possible that one is being led by one's own emotion or by satan. (The evil one does have limited power to lead people with their thoughts, speech, feelings and emotions.)
*From Josephus's Wars of the Jews book 5 chapter 5 in his description of the Temple.
"Now, about the sides of the lower part of the temple, there were little houses, with passages out of one into another; there were a great many of them, and they were of three stories high; there were also entrances on each side into them from the gate of the temple. But the superior part of the temple had no such little houses any further, because the temple was there narrower, and forty cubits higher, and of a smaller body than the lower parts of it."
May YAHWEH, the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, bless those who read this article and were not offended by it, and may the shalom of our Heavenly FATHER rest upon you all.