By Rev. Mel C. Montgomery

In twenty-five years of speaking in tongues and studying the subject, I have yet to find any objection to tongues that survived Scriptural examination.

Here are common myths:

1. Speaking in tongues died out when the last Apostle died.

Clearly not true.
The Early Church Fathers in their writings mentioned speaking in tongues as occurring among Christians in their day.

These Early Church Fathers approved of speaking in tongues and were not and are not today considered to be heretics.

Speaking in tongues was present and considered to be entirely orthodox until at least 350 years after Christ’s death, and long after the last Apostle’s grandchild died.

Also there are numerous recorded instances of Christians speaking in tongues in the 1300’s, 1500’s, 1600’s, and 1800’s. And according to reliable statistics, well over 350 million Christians speak in tongues today.

2. We are living in a different dispensation. Tongues were for the Apostles’ dispensation and the Early Church’s dispensation, not for our dispensation.

In the following references, the Bible makes it clear that the Apostles were living–at that time–in the last days and the last times:

Heb. 1:2.–Author, Paul (probably).
I Pet. 1:20–Author, Peter.
I John 2:18–Author, John.
Jude 18–Author, Jude.

Three Apostles and the Lord’s half-brother all clearly identified the dispensation they were living in as being the Last Days. The only event to come after the Last Days is the Rapture of the Church. Since the Rapture has not taken place, then we are no doubt living in the same dispensation of the “Last Days” as did the Apostles. And if they were living in the dispensation of Speaking in Tongues, then so are we.

3. Paul said tongues would cease. They must have ceased because my church doesn’t believe in them.

Many churches no longer believe in several doctrines clearly taught in Scripture. For instance, some churches no longer believe in the Virgin Birth. Yet Christ was still born of the Virgin Mary. Others no longer believe in a literal Hell. But Hell still exists and is a place to be shunned. What a church believes or does not believe in anymore does not change the facts of the Bible.

Yes, Paul wrote that tongues would cease. But he said it would cease at a very specific point in time:

“…whether there be TONGUES, THEY SHALL CEASE…WHEN THAT WHICH IS PERFECT IS COME…then FACE TO FACE…THEN SHALL I KNOW EVEN AS ALSO I AM KNOWN.” I Cor. 13:8-12.

Paul specified three descriptions of the point in time in which tongues will cease:

1. When that which is perfect is come.
2. When we see face to face.
3. When we know even as we are known.

Some argue that this point in time was reached when the last Apostle wrote the last book of the Bible. But that interpretation does not fit in with the other descriptions. Paul said secondly that we would see “face to face.” There is no face on the cover of my Bible. Paul wrote thirdly that we would know as well as we are known. I don’t know as well as I am known. Do you?

What is coming that is perfect, and has a face? Jesus Christ. And when will we know as we are known? Our knowledge of all things will become perfect at Christ’s coming.

In other words, Paul said that tongues would continue until perfection came, and we see Christ face to face, and then with our knowledge being entirely complete there would be no further need of speaking in tongues.

4. Paul disapproved of tongues, so we do too.

Paul did not disapprove of tongues.

He wrote, “I would that ye all spoke with tongues…”

And, “I thank my God I speak with tongues more than ye all…” I Cor. 14:5,18.

5. Tongues caused a lot of problems at Corinth. We don’t want any problems.

Tongues did not cause a man in the church at Corinth to sleep with his step-mother, which was the most shocking abuse Paul dealt with.

Tongues did not cause the church at Corinth to mishandle communion.

Paul’s two epistles to the Corinthians had a total of 29 chapters. Of the 29 chapters only two chapters and a part of a third are devoted to speaking in tongues. The other 26 and 1/2 chapters were used to address other issues.

Churches that do not allow speaking in tongues still have plenty of problems. But on top of their problems, they are also disobeying Scripture because Paul also wrote, “…and FORBID NOT to speak with tongues.” I Cor 14:39.

Actually, when the Holy Spirit is allowed to operate the Gift of Speaking in Tongues within a congregation, there are many times in which problems are addressed and solved through messages in other tongues.

The Goodwins had many times in their church in which they gave a message through tongues and interpretation which identified problems or sins in the congregation of which they had no personal knowledge. And through careful confrontation and love-filled ministering, the exposed problems were solved and repentence and restoration came.

In my own ministry, I’ve had the same thing happen. A dramatic example occurred years ago one morning at my home church. I was not scheduled to minister at church that morning, but I had a message in tongues which I gave at the end of praise and worship. It was one of the few words of rebuke I’ve had over the years, and it was severe.

Allow me to add before I detail the word to you, that I do not believe words this strong should be allowed to come from members of the congregation. In this case though, I wasn’t simply a member of the congregation in this church. I had ministered there a number of times, held services there, they had ordained me, and the pastor and I knew each other very well.

I began the message, speaking a sentence or two in tongues, then interpreting into English, and then back in tongues, then again in English. Before all the people the Lord said through me, “Thus saith the Lord, I AM GRIEVED WITH THIS CONGREGATION!”

I burst into tears at the thought of our congregation having grieved the Spirit of God. As I continued, I found myself saying, “For you have said things about Me that are not right!” And the Lord went on, through me, to list different things people in the congregation were saying word for word about the Lord in their homes, at work, and in their cars as they drove here and there. I had no personal knowledge that they were saying these things, but the Lord knew. The message continued on by saying that if they would repent, the Lord would forgive and bless them. I handed the microphone back to the pastor.

The shocked room was so quiet you could hear a pin drop.

The pastor immediately began driving home the points covered in that message in tongues, combined with his own thoughts that morning. He ended by giving an altar call, and three fourths of the congregation came forward and repented! Such a large response clearly indicated that the people had been saying these things, and were convicted in their hearts. One man though, I noticed out of the corner of my eye, hardened himself, folded his arms, and brashly sat down, refusing to repent.

A few weeks later, the Pastor met with me. He said, “I want to tell you what that message in tongues caused to happen. God has really done a miracle!”

This pastor told me, “This is a small church. We’ve only been going about a year. Finances are tight. We need all the tithes and offerings we can get right now just to keep the bills paid. The biggest tithes payer in this church is [the man I had seen in the service refuse to repent]. Have you noticed that young woman that comes with him?” The young woman was probably three times younger than the man. I replied, “Yes.” The pastor continued, “Well, that isn’t his grand daughter. That’s his girlfriend.”

“And a few weeks ago, he got her pregnant, and talked her into having an abortion. And he has warned me that if I say anything against abortion from the pulpit, he will leave and take his tithes with him. So, I’ve been in a difficult position. I needed to rebuke him, but I also knew his tithes were the only thing keeping the bills paid.” I knew the unrepentant man had worked as a salesman for a particular well-known business in town for over 25 years. He drove an expensive car, wore expensive clothes, and wore flashy jewelry. I knew he had money. But I did not know he was trying to control the pastor behind the scenes.

“Well,” the pastor continued, “he’s gone. He lost his job with that company. And even with all his years of experience and established clientele, none of the other [smilar businesses] would hire him. He finally had to take a position in [a city about three hours away], so he isn’t attending here anymore. And I’m relieved. But you know what? God showed His faithfulness. The Sunday after he left, three new families joined our church, and the giving they bring is more than what was lost.”

You see, I didn’t know any of that. I didn’t know the people were speaking against the Lord in their houses, and I certainly didn’t know this man was trying to manipulate the pastor. Through this message in tongues and interpretation, several problems were solved at once.

To God be the glory.

Tongues were not the problem in Corinth. Sin was the problem. And God, in His sovereign power, can choose to correct sin and solve church problems by manifesting His knowledge through the Gift of Speaking in Tongues and the Gift of Interpretation.

Copyright 2006 Mel C. Montgomery All rights reserved. Article may be copied and shared with friends if done so without charge and attribute is given.

Source: Gift of Tongues


Mel once shared his experiences of ministering in tongues on this blog. This is a good article that he wrote on his own blog.

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