Speaking in Tongues

Speaking in Tongues Part 27

Some find it hard to believe that Word is powerful enough to convict people. This is WHY some of our brethren have gone away from the preached Word as was our earmark of the past century. When God brought in the foreign language, He recognized this kind of people did not believe His words. They were immature Paul laid out some rules that was to permeate the assembly. In 1 Corinthians 14:26-33, Paul develops some orderly regulations for worship. In context, that means by understandable language and in an orderly fashion (4, 11, 12, 13-19, 40). Orderly procedures as well as understandable language would and did aid the edifying process, random speaking in foreign languages would destroy it.
The procedures for the use of the gift of language were (1) no more than three people could use it during any public assembly; (2) each user had to speak in turn; (3) there must be a translator. If there were no translators the gifted ones were to keep silent. Does this not indicate that the speaker in a foreign language must know in advance a translator WAS present?? One would have violated the scriptural protocol IF he spoke publicly with only the HOPE that a translator was present!! In Pentecostal gatherings often is heard the cry; “does someone have a word”? This is opposite to what the Holy Spirit had directed the early church!! The Pentecostals tell us those who CAN produce some garbling on impulse are said to be the “spiritual” ones. The Holy Spirit told the Corinthians the really SPIRITUAL were those who would reign in the disorderly REGARDLESS of manifestations they displayed, verse 28 (also see Matthew 7:21-24. The Corinthian Church was commanded to PREACH. However, this did not mean the gift of tongues, but in context, the admonition “forbid not to speak” had restrictions attached to it. Paul had already outlined WHEN the gifts were not too used in public in verse 28!! Only IF the qualifications of this chapter were met could the speaking in a foreign language practiced in that day!!
But how about, today? Can the speaking in foreign languages be allowed? Speaking in foreign languages DID come from God!!, so the question is not can God provide it among us? One of the unique destructions of Biblical study today is the taking out of context verses that “say” what they want to hear EVEN IF they do not relate to the study! To take the position that God COULD NOT do such a thing is NEVER in the discussion, what is discussed is WOULD HE? They then come along and quote; “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever”, Hebrews 13:8. This violates the God of history we read about in the Old and New Testaments. His ways DO change!! For instance, it isn’t recorded that in the Old Testament or during the lifetime of Jesus, He gave anyone the gift of tongues!! IF the doctrine were allowed about tongues would mean that what happened in Acts 2 could not have happened BECAUSE it had never happened before, which would have to be the conclusion, GOD DID CHANGE His method of instruction on that glorious day!!
The NEED FOR THE SENSATIONAL to validate the love of God opens the door to dependency for more and more sensationalism. It can become easy to stand upon personal sensational experiences RATHER THAN God writings. One can easily begin, without it being his plan, to evaluate the Bible by an experience rather than a “thus saith the Lord”. The logical end is that if God does this among us today, we do not need His Word of 2000 years ago!! I had a Pentecostal preacher tell Ray Taylor and I this after a discussion we had with him!! THEY DID NOT NEED GOD’S WORD!!

Speaking in Tongues Part 26

Any time we need more than the preached Word to authenticate our faith in or about the crucified Christ, we are wanting too much!! We become open to the possibility of being led astray by the sensational, the emotional, the intellectual, and the auto-suggested. The demonstration of the Spirit and power is the preached Word about Jesus, the Lord. 1 Corinthians 2:6-13 This preached Word is POWERFUL. Romans 1:16. 10:13,14; Ephesians 6:18, John 16:8; John 12:48
From the Isaiah 28 study, Paul makes an analogy to the Corinthian situation in which people were evidently elevated by the presence of foreign languages ABOVE the preached word. If not, why refer to Isaiah 28? Paul concludes from the Isaiah 28 incident that “tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe, but to the unbelievers; but prophecy is a sign not to the unbelievers, but to those who believe”. 1 Corinthians 14:22 What does he mean by “unbelievers” and “believers”? Was he talking about “outsiders” or believers with “inside” association? As seen in the Isaiah 28 reference, both the believers and unbelievers are INSIDE the pale of God’s people. But there are two kinds of people inside—those who believe God’s Word is enough, and those who do not—these are the unbelievers in verse 22. They want something. To seek something more is a confession that God’s Word is inadequate. To them, the resurrection of Christ (chapter 15) is not enough evidence to say “Jesus is Lord” Chapter 12:3 Some find it hard to believe that the Word is powerful enough to convict people. Isaiah 28 makes it clear that when God brought in the foreign language, He recognized that this kind of people did not believe His words. They were immature (Isaiah 28:9). The Corinthians are also called immature. (3:1;13:1; 14:20) Prophecy, however, was a sign to the “believer”. This is the insider who believes that God’s Word IS ENOUGH. God’s verbal promises are validated because of the God who made them. To know THAT is enough!! Yet, like the modern day Pentecostals, some Corinthians wanted MORE than instruction, they wanted a DISPLAY of the super-natural. For this they were scolded!!
In verse 23, Paul discusses the effect tongues has upon the unbeliever who is NOT within the membership of God’s family. He makes it clear that he has switched to the outsider-kind-of-believer by adding the word “unlearned”. The word “unlearned” also means an unskilled person, it is the word idiotes. Some take this meaning to refer to those fellow Christians who were unskilled in speaking in a different language because they did not have the gift. They would not understand, but would consider their Christian brothers who spoke in tongues to be mad. This seems unlikely since Christians after Pentecost DID know this gift was from God. It is the unbelieving “outsider, unlearned” who would be turned off from God’s power of salvation upon hearing un-translated languages (not gibberish, mambo-jumbo) in the assembly!! The new-comer would think the group had gone mad. That is exactly what many thought about those in the 1st century pagan religions who practiced ecstatic utterances!!
In argument, if an outsider entered the assembly and heard preaching being dome in his own language, he was convicted of his sins, acknowledged God was in that place, and worship God! This argument is well taken, today. IF we want an outsider to be convicted of his or her sin, we would want the people to see a demonstration of God’s presence in our assembly by PREACHING THE WORD, not muttering some unknown, un-translatable, or illiterate mumbling!! AMEN-WALLS!! 1 Corinthians 14:24-25 We forget, the Spirit is present in the preached Word; the Word is powerful BECAUSE?

Speaking in Tongues Part 25

Un-translated tongues, like the bugle sound which no one has learned, do not communicate. If there had been anything like an unknown tongue, a tongue which no one spoke, speaking in that tongue would produce nothing but nonsense when the intent of speaking in other languages was to better communicate the gospel in their own language! Foreign tongues are just that—foreign!! In fact, the use of a foreign language would serve to SEPARATE rather than unite the people, for the speaker becomes a barbarian to the hearer!! Functionally, foreign tongues were a deterrent, not an aid to furthering the Word of God.
Paul transfers the idea of the useless-ness of untranslated languages from the general worship service, 1 Corinthians 14:13. Joined by the word wherefore, which always means “for this reason”, Paul reasons that the hearer that cannot understand what is prayed about cannot say “Amen” to what he cannot understand. Languages not known by the hearers do not communicate, and because the manifestations of the Spirit are for a ministry to others, a tongue-speaker must pray that he himself will translate, or else keep silent!, even if he is just praying!!
Here comes the dilemma most find themselves unable to understand in this chapter. “For if I pray”, translated “If unlikely I pray” in a tongue (language) my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful”. Immediately, Paul moves from the unlikely act to that that he would always do, “I shall pray with the spirit and I shall pray with the understanding (the mind understanding) also. I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also.” It mattered not if it were speaking, verse 2, praying, verse 13, or singing, verse 15; the intent was to TEACH, and that could not be done if the ones being taught could not understand the speaker. Paul is not jealous of those who spoke in tongues, he evidently could speak in more or different languages than all of them, he was showing how USELESS un-translated languages were to the church, and they taught no one. We have no record that Paul ever used anything but the vernacular language (and we know of him preaching, praying, and singing). We would not know he ever spoke in tongues if not for this statement, verse 18. The point of the chapter is that God has called us to be ministers to one another, teaching each other in song, preaching, or praying!!
“Be not children”, or quit acting like children—does Paul not infer that speaking in tongues that was not to the betterment of the congregation, childish?? “When I was a child, I spoke as a child” rings in our ears does it not? Isaiah 28:11, “For with stammering lips and another tongue will He speak to this people.” Isaiah speaks about God’s people not being mature enough to listen to the objective word of God being spoken. The preached word was not enough evidence to convince the Jew that God’s promises were sure. Jews were known to demand signs for belief (1 Corinthians 1:22), and in that attitude, they were like children who needed more than parents’ “:words” to convince them!! During the Isaiah an context, the people had turned their ears from the words of the prophets to the words of false priests who were proud and drunkards, Isaiah 28:1, 7-10 When we need more than God’s Word to believe His promises and power, faith is giving way to subjectivity. Then any word can get a hearing alongside God’s Word, depending upon which makes us “feel” better. “An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land. The prophets prophesy falsely and the priests rule at their own authority. And My people live it so! But what will you do at the end of it?” Jeremiah 5:30 Needing MORE than God’s Word opens the door to Hell.

Speaking in Tongues Part 24

The greatest need of the Church when it assembles is to be fed, spiritually!! IF the speaking in tongues edified only the one who spoke it would nullify the purpose of speaking at all. The intent of tongue-speaking is shown in the fact that the moment, in the first century, when it occurred and it was translated by the interpreter, it became prophecy!! “Greater is he that prophesied than he that speaketh in with tongues.” 1 Corinthians 14:5 It is also interesting to note that the brother who spoke in tongues was told by inspiration to “pray that he may interpret.” 1 Corinthians 14:13 If the speaker translates, one wonders WHY the need for the other language being used!! Verse 5 of chapter 14 backs up the idea the brother speaking in tongues needed to interpret.
Talk without understanding does not benefit the hearer. When Paul says, “If I come to you speaking in tongues,” he is not suggesting that he will do this (see verses 18 and 19). but if he did, it would profit them nothing. The fact that it came from the mouth of an apostle would not change that. This reinforces the latter point in verse 5, “our talk in the church is to edify others.” Otherwise, it is like the random notes which come out of instruments. The meaningful distinctions of the tones and compositions are lost. A bugle is intended to communicate a message (taps, reveille, charge, retreat), but if people know not the sound, it will communicate nothing. But, if the sound DOES follow the patterns or composition people know, it will communicate a message, verses 7-8. You do not want soldiers on a battle field thinking a child has gotten hold of the bugle!! Untranslatable languages, like the bugle sound which no one has learned, do not communicate ANYTHING. Foreign languages are indeed just that—foreign!! They serve no purpose. They may even aid in separation rather than uniting people, for the speaker becomes a barbarian to the hearer (see verses 10-11). Today’s falsely so-called tongue-speaker aids nothing to any service where he or she is allowed audience!!
In verses 13-19 the apostle illustrates the idea of the uselessness of un-translated utterances in a worship service. “Languages”, says the Spirit, “not known by the hearers, do not communicate, and because the manifestations of the Spirit were for the ministry to others, a tongue-speaker must pray that he himself would translate.” The verb pray is in the imperative mood (the mood of command). The literal translation is “therefore, the one who is speaking in the language must pray that he might translate.” This means that if the speaker does not know what he is saying, he is to keep silent—even IF he is just praying!! For years I have had many take a stab at verse 14 of 1 Corinthians 14. They have come up with some pretty weird stuff. Under the circumstances, studying about the demand of the Holy Spirit for the speaker to communicate so as to teach, it seems the only explanation (staying in the thought of the chapter) would be the same. Any act of worship MUJST involve the total person. Is our understanding to be “left at home” while we worship? It is taught that preachers will be judged for every word, in fact, every Christian will be judged for every idle word! Does it not behoove us to KNOW the words we use?? Does a Methodist-pentecostal form of worship have a place in Christian worship? Does yoga aid our worship? Has not God made Himself known in understandable words?? He IS REAL!! To put our thoughts into meaningful words is to be responsible for them, to offer them to God is indeed a meaningful act of praise coming from the depths of the whole person is what we do in worship to Him. If I am being led by the Spirit (which Spirit is it?) to speak, pray, or sing and know not what I am saying; may I not be calling Jesus Christ accursed, as did the Corinthians, 1 Corinthians 12:2??

Speaking in Tongues Part 23

The Gospel was to go to all the nations. One the day of Pentecost those nations were represented. When represented, the God of Heaven made it easy for those who were to hear the Gospel for the first time to hear in their native dialect. Being citizens or servants of Rome, all those present had to have spoken in Greek as commanded by the late Alexander the Great of Macedon. As has already been proved, there was no “unknown” tongue mentioned in the New Testament. The word “unknown” was put in by the translators to help our understanding but in fact it has given rise to false teachers making a new religion. As the apostles seemed determined to stay in Jerusalem God sent them persecution forcing them to do as He commanded!! “Go into ALL the world” was the command and it was not being heeded. Until the church went into places not mostly populated by Jews, the use of tongues was never discussed. When Saul was converted and had come off his sabbatical in Arabia, the Gospel began to be heard in places the Aramaic language was not known, such as Corinth. Places like Corinth, a metropolis, attracted all peoples, therefore all languages. It would be contradictory to what was seen on Pentecost for the God of Heaven to make these peoples hear the gospel in a language with which they were not the most familiar (as He did in Jerusalem). That is why we will find ONLY the peoples to whom Paul preached would have EVER spoken in any tongue, language, or dialect that was different that spoken by all. One can be safe in saying that only the Apostles Paul would have spoken in different languages. Peter, James, Andrew, or any of the others had NO NEED for them. Rebellion at the tower of Babel had necessitated all these languages, the ONE Gospel of God’s Son stopped the confusion and delivered man the TRUTH that would set him free!!
The Church of Christ at Corinth had as its second preacher a man who (as far as is known) did not speak in languages, he was very eloquent in Greek, Acts 18:24. A very learned man in the Old Testament Scriptures, Apollos had a lot of shoe to fill following Paul. It is sad to note that Apollos was a very competitive man and may have had problems understanding that ALL the saints were now priest of God and there was no distinction as was the case in the Law of Moses. The Church had been harmed by many of his attempts to show them they had a “better” preacher in him than was Paul. It is and has been amazing to me that Apollos had even attempted to preach at Corinth having never had the apostles hands laid on him (there is no record that this was ever done).
Paul had to warn Apollos in a letter “not to go beyond that which was written and not to think of men above that which was written”. 1 Corinthians 4:6 It is embarrassing when your sins are pointed out to all the brethren, but when your name is called, it is doubly hard on prideful saints, yet many times damage has been done. This “look at me religion” and “I speak in tongues” idea has to be seen as more of a problem in Corinth than in Galatia, Ephesus, or Philippi: and many have never noticed why. I am not a head hunter for Apollos, but I can see his unscriptural teachings are, as would be expected, magnified in his converts. Paul had to correct the problem without destroying the saint.
Sometimes individual words seemed to be high-lighted in the language of some. The word “perfect” is such a word and forms the answer to most of the problems the saints at Corinth had. We have taken the discussion of the word in the Greek and shown it to mean mature, complete, and final. If, just if, Apollos had used this word to describe his preaching as superior to Paul’s, would not this word have taken on a different meaning?? Could Paul have been using a little more sarcasm?

Speaking in Tongues Part 22

There are still those who think the speaking in tongues (unknown) is a sign of acceptance from God and proof they have been saved from in-born sin. Many of these fail to follow any study of scripture thinking theirs is a valid experience of the “special favor of God” given them. It makes then special, a feeling they have often wanted from any source. To take from them this special attention from Deity is to take from them their soul’s salvation. It would be like telling a child their parents do not love him/her, there is NO WAY they will or can allow this!! For these types got what they wanted from following Jesus and you nor any verse of scripture will ever be sufficient to take that away. In short, there are some people you cannot help. Striking at the heart of their own self-worth, Biblical proof falls short of satisfaction and never convinces. For these you have to have pity, not proof. In the last effort to convert someone to Jesus Christ you run into this problem, the final study on this subject is devoted.
Mark 9:1 reads: “And He said unto them, Verily I say unto you. That there be some of them which stand her, which shall not taste of death, TILL they have sent the Kingdom come with power.” Anyone reading this verse for the first time may fail to see the truth shown in it and the striking down of error it houses, if they do not look closely. To whom is Jesus speaking? He is NOT speaking to you or I unless we are greatly advanced in age, or about 2,000 years old. To show Christ is speaking to the apostles ONLY strikes in the heart of all who think they can receive any SPECIAL kind of miraculous gift (there goes their “special” worth). Do we need to discover who the “some” are so we can see who they are not? Who would be the only apostle with Christ at that time that was not with Him on the day of Pentecost? Judas Iscariot. The rest of the twelve were present when the Holy Spirit came from heaven “as fire and sat upon each of them”.
The Kingdom had to “come with Power”. The Kingdom, when it came, came as a result of that Power. Christ told His disciples: “tarry ye, in the city of Jerusalem until you have received ‘power’ from on high”, Luke 24:49. “Wait for the promise of the Father ye have heard of Me. John truly baptized with water but you shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence”. Acts 1:4 “But ye shall receive Power after the Holy Ghost has come upon you.” Acts 1:8 One can see why the coming of the Holy Ghost, the coming of the Kingdom, and the life expectancy of the apostles were all tied together. One can also see that the promise made, “some of you shall not taste of death until the Kingdom comes with power” shows WHEN the apostles would receive the Comforter that would lead them and direct them into ALL the truth. John 16:13
As was prophesied, so was performed; on the day of Pentecost the apostles were all together with one accord “when suddenly there came from Heaven a rushing mighty wind which filled all the house where they were setting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were fall filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:2-4 It is interesting to me that none of the apostles were LATE for that meeting!. If they had drug into the services as some of us, the tense of the Greek verb would have been destroyed and the teaching of the truth of God’s Word impaired. When Jesus told His disciples to “tarry in the city of Jerusalem”, He used, as recorded by Luke in the Greek, a tense called the punctilliar passive future. This tense means that the action described must take place at one particular time at one particular place, once and for all. This was a meeting they could not have been late!!

Speaking in Tongues Part 21

Paul begins chapter 12 with a reminder to the Corinthians of the previous religious persuasion to which they held. They had been led astray to what was not true (dumb idols) by various means (“however you were led”). The means of the leading included the use of wine, sex, and spirit-possession, emotionalism seen in visions, ecstatic utterances, and dreams. To be swept away by an apparent supernatural pull does not necessarily indicate a Christian source. This is a common phenomenon in pagan religions, today. However, Paul does affirm that the gifts spoken of in chapters 12-14 are from God!! Paul then suggests that the legitimate gift from God is based upon knowledge, not sensationalism. The knowledge is seen in the confession that the Jesus of prophecy is truly the Lord, 12:3. This confession cannot be made knowledgeably without having heard the message of salvation. Responsible faith comes because of the preaching of the sweet, sweet song of salvation, Romans 10:17, Acts 10:37-43. Paul even wrote the good confession in the language of his readers: “that no man can say that Jesus is Lord, but by the Holy Spirit.” Where did they get this information? One could not have been tested on his or her knowledge of Christ IF they were taught in unknown tongues, they would not have known what they believed!! Christianity cannot be based on subjective experiences which can carry one away to the land of imagination, 12:2, he must be taught the intelligent message of Jesus Christ.
Paul then develops the truth that God’s gifts (the christimata) vary. (4-11) God gave to each Christian at least one charisma for the good of others (verse 7). Their charismata was given for a ministry to others (service and workings, verses 5 and 6), not for ego-alteration. Each Christian should have accepted with thanksgiving what God had given to him, because his personal charisma was a result of the will of the Spirit, 11
In verses 12 and 13, Paul begins to develop the analogy of the church being like a physical body-united amid diversity. Although she had many members, the body was still ONE. The many are one because each has been baptized into the one body (Gal 3:26-28, Eph 2:11-22, 4:1-16). In verses 14-31, Paul develops the unified way the various members functioned for the mutual good. Every member was significant, conformity was not logical, 17-20, no member is functionally superior, 21, special attention was given to the less sensational, 22-25, and God had arranged the organs (members) so they will not COMPETE against each other, but complement one another, 25-26, and NO ONE IS TO COVET another’s gift, God gave it, none had all the gifts, and all should seek the best gifts, love.
In chapter 13, Paul develops the manner in which gifts were to be used, and develop the truth of chapter 12. Spiritual gifts were to be used with agape love Agape love is that love which sees a need in another and moves to meet it, doesn’t count the cost, and doesn’t evaluate the worth of the one needing to be loved, and finally, always lives for the good of the other!! By the way, love was and is a result of the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:22, Romans 5:5.
Paul then develops some characteristics of love (4-7) and the temporary nature of gifts compared with the permanent nature of love (8-13). Seeing the truth of chapter 13, chapter 14 as the practice of those unselfish gifts is practical use. In chapter 14, Paul develops the value of prophecy over tongues (in helping others). To seek spiritual gifts was good, he says, but the aim in the seeking MUST be love for the other saint, verse 12, something that took maturity.

Speaking in Tongues Part 20

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels.” If angels speak, in what language do they speak? There are, as I know of them from the Scriptures, four classifications of angelic beings (spirit beings without physical or mortal bodies). These are cherubim’s, seraphim’s, mighty angels, and angels. Does each classification of angelic being speak in their own particular tongue? Are they bilingual? In their own form of existence, can angels even speak to man?? What would be the need? What would man need to learn, know, or have information given him by angels? The Gospel was/is to be preached by MAN!! We know they are male in gender, as is God, and we know they do not pro-create, die, nor remain as they are now after the resurrection. Our translations of the Scripture are so confusing because of the trans-literation (the use of a Greek word in the English language) of the Greek noun angeles that most people who read of them don’t know of what they are reading. Every one who bears the message of the gospel is an angel!! This was the member of the church Christ addressed in the book of Revelation!!
What if the Arch-angels speak in a tongue almost as sophisticated as does the Godhead? What if the seraphims speak in a language that has a lower form and distinction than the cherubim’s? Are the mighty angels cherubim or seraphim? If we know not which, we will never know the language (if such exist) in which they speak!! Do angels speak as man speaks or do they speak in language that is spiritual as God speaks to God, since none that are God have physical bodies? Romans 8:26-27, John 11:38, John 12:28-30 When Jesus heralded the command “let there be light” from the origin of the morning of the first day, in what language did He speak?
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels”, Paul is comparing the language to the practice and use men make of communication, not the spirit-beings who have no physical anatomy (or at least that we have been told about!!, neither do angels have any use for language (or at least that we have been told).
This verse, 1 Corinthians 13:1, meets the demand of the context and discussion the apostle was having with the Corinthian congregation; for he was writing about spiritual gifts of which speaking in tongues was one. It is also true that the apostle was defending his position as “father” of their spiritual position “in Christ”. 1 Corinthians 4:14-15 Defending his position as their spiritual mentor, he was sending a message to Apollos not to put himself in a place where he defied God, verse 6. A father provides for his own because of instinctive “love”, Apollos, not having that instinctive “love”, would be speaking from a different heart. Apollos would demand the Corinthians compensation-Paul worked to provide for his necessities, Apollos had not the care of a father for his children, Paul longed after them as beloved sons. 1 Corinthians 4:15 Paul would have that agape love (a love of a father for his children, see 1 Timothy 5:8) where Apollos would have that phileo love as described in John 21:15-22 Listen to Paul’s correspondence as given him by the Holy Spirit in 1 Corinthians 4:6-7; “And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transfigured to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that you might learn in us not to think of men above that which written, that no one of you be puffed up (love vaunted not itself, is not easily puffed up, 1 Corinthians 13:4) for one against another (“I am of Paul, I am of Cephas, I am of Apollos”). For who maketh thee to differ from another? And what hast thou that thou didst not receive? Now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?”

Speaking in Tongues Part 19

Hermeneutics is a word translated from the Greek word hermeneuo. The word means to interpret. The word is used to mean to translate words from one known language into another known language. In John 1:38 the scriptures state: “Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and said unto them, ‘What seek you’? They say unto Him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest Thou? Verse 42 shows the same instruction: “And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, He said, ‘Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas,’ which is by interpretation, A stone. You can see this in John 9:7, Hebrews 7:2, and Acts 9:36. There is only one place this is used to mean something else and that is in Luke 24:27 where the scriptures say: “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself.” Here, it is used to explain the content-meaning from one known language into the same known language! Never is the word used in the Bible to mean to interpret an unknown language INTO A KNOWN LANGUAGE!!
The word hermeneuo used with glossa shows the truth that Paul’s subject in 1 Corinthians 14 is a KNOWN foreign language which is translatable. “For he that speaketh in tongues speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.” It is nonsensical to think someone could understand what the brother was saying IF no one, anywhere, or in some language could understand him. So the brother’s message could be checked out by many who KNEW the language in which he spoke. In this passage the glossa was a KNOWN tongue and was not used to speak about some language which had not been discovered, or was being used in isolation.
Some have cited 1 Corinthians 13:1 to relate to something not of this world, the tongues of angels. One first has to question IF angels, spiritual-non-bodied beings, have a language in which they speak?? Angels as used here and in many other places (the context has to decide) are God’s messengers, men, who are preachers of the Gospel. See Revelation 2:1, 12, 3:1,7,14 also Galatians 1:6, Hebrews 1:4,7, and 14. MAN WAS COMMANDED TO ‘GO INTO ALL THE WORLD AND PREACH THE GOSPEL’, NEVER A SPIRIT-BEING CALLED AN ANGEL!! When those who are Spirit Beings which are also called angels were used of God to communicate a special message, as far as I can read, these Beings ALWAYS spoke in the language of the men or women to which the communicated the message!! Also, one has to assume angels, spirit-beings HAVE physical bodies and these bodies INCLUDE vocal cords, tongues, and mouths with which to express words; hence a language!! I know some of those Pentecostal pastors know more than what the Word of God teaches (or to hear them lie about it), BUT do those spirit-beings called Angels NEED to speak to each other?? THEN, we would have to PROVE these non-bodied, spirit beings have a NEED to communicate with higher spirit beings called Arch angels, or the Godhead, itself!! Every time a Spirit communicated to man or woman they had already theophanized, that is taken upon themselves a temporary, physical form!! Then again, it is assumed that the tongues of angels are SUPERIOR to the tongues of men and since these tongues are UNKNOWN who could prove that??

Speaking in Tongues Part 18

Much has been written by our brethren on the subject of tongues in the New Testament; however, few writers deal with the most elementary research—the meaning and use of the Greek word translated into English as tongue or tongues. The Greek word for tongue is glossa. Glossolalia is the most common translated word for tongues and it is a combination of two words glossa, tongue, and lalia, speaking. Glossalalia literally means tongue-speaking. When we search the Old and New Testaments for the usage of the words in question, the Greek Bible reveals glossa is used about 100 times and in only two ways. One, it is used to describe a member of our anatomy (the tongue); secondly, it is used to mean the known language of a known people. It is very important to note that the Holy Spirit used Paul to refer to tongues as a KNOWN language of a known people in 1 Corinthians 14:21. Not ONCE in the Old Testament is it used to refer to an ecstatic, supra-human language from a higher order of beings, angels. In the New Testament the word glossa means the same and NEVER refers to some ecstatic or supra-human language!!
When first used in Acts 2 the thing I find most amusing is that ecstatic utterances would have hardly been a sign because many pagan religions were practicing such in the first century—Dionysius, Phrygia, Bacides, Cybele, and even some sects of the Jews were practicing ecstatic utterances as early as the 5th century BEFORE Christ came to this Earth!! Men, on the birthdate of the Church of Christ on this planet, would not have been amazed to hear ecstatic utterances; they were common among the primitive pagan religions of that day!! (See The Greeks and the Irrational by E.R. Dodds and Possessions by T.K. Oesterreich) Glossa is used in Acts 2:11, 10:46, and 19:6. In Acts 2:3, 4, 11, and 26 glossa is used as dialect. In verse 8, the Greek word dialektos (the language of a nation) is used interchangeably with glossa in verse 11. Verse 8; “And how is it that we hear each of us in his own dialektos.” Verse 11; “We hear them telling in our own glossa.” How is this word used in the letters to the Corinthians?
First, let me state that the word unknown which appears in many translations absolutely does NOT appear in the original Greek!! Boy! Does this blow their bubble!! 1 Corinthians 12:10 and 28, refer to ‘various kinds’. Reading the book of Genesis we find a “kind” referred to a family or genealogy. Could Paul determine which ‘family, race, or part of the world’ a member of his audience was by their dialect IF TO HIM THEIR LANGUAGE WAS UNKNOWN? If you could not know because the language was unknown, how could you know that which you did and could not know—the LANGUAGE WAS UNKNOWN!! Remember, I have been to Disney World. I can pick out some I have heard over and over, but the new stuff that I have never heard, I cannot begin to tell you which continent they emanated from much less what country. I have a new one for the Pentecostals. Let them tell us what continent, country, and state strangers in their midst are from instead of lying about what diseases, cancers, or growths they are suppose have!! I have heard these lying preachers tell their audience they were “told” by the Holy Spirit that they had someone in their midst that had Ovarian Cancer. I was not sure if they knew what this even was but they went on to say God told them they would HEAL them that night!! My wife and I have a game. When we go to a restaurant and get a waitress with a strange dialect we both try and guess what country, state, or part of a state they are from. Spanish(?) forget it, we would not know HOW to tell if they were from Cuba, Puerto Rico, Spain or ????