Speak a Heavenly Language?
Many Christians who speak in this babel called tongues today, use a couple of verses from the apostle Paul to excuse their speaking in this ecstatic tongue. The problem is, they ignore the rest of the evidence which points to speaking in tongues as the sudden ability to speak in another language of the earth, and completely miss the point Paul is making with tongues of angels.
What point was Paul trying to get across when he talked about speaking in tongues of Angels? Let's take a look at the Bible verse in question:
1 Corinthians 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.'
Now the key to understanding this Bible verse about speaking in tongues of angels, is in the VERY NEXT verse! What does Paul say in the next verse? ..... 1 Corinthians 13:2 .....'And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.' ..... This is amazing! Did any man or woman who has ever lived (except Jesus) understand ALL mysteries? Did any man or woman that has ever lived have ALL knowledge? Did any man or woman that has ever lived have ALL faith? Of course not! So what is Paul trying to get at? He's basically making the point that even IF (by the way, that word "though" should be IF). Even IF he or anyone could speak in all languages of men and angels. Even IF he or anyone had ALL understanding and knowledge and faith. Even if they had ALL these things but did not show love and charity, they would have NOTHING. Do you see this? He's not saying that we CAN speaking in the language of angels, or have ALL wisdom and understanding and faith. He's just saying that IF we could do these things but still didn't show love, then they would mean nothing.
Saying it in another more worldly way. If we were like superman, but did not show love and charity, us being like superman would count for nothing! Does it mean we CAN be like superman? Of course not! Paul in 1 Corinthians 13 is talking about the importance of true love in your life. Even if you had ALL gifts and wisdom and knowledge and faith (which you wouldn't) and did not have love, those gifts would count for nothing. Do you see this truth?
And anyway, take a look in the Bible when angels spoke to people. What language did the angels speak? They spoke in the language of that person, not some ecstatic gibberish that the person could not understand. You really have to stretch and twist God's Word in order to say that speaking in ecstatic tongues (gibberish) is speaking in a heavenly language of angels.
1 Corinthians 14:2,9,13,14 .....'For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. 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. Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.'
This is another Bible verse that Christians who speak in ecstatic tongues use to defend what they do. They cling to those words "unknown tongue" and make them mean a heavenly language of tongues of angels. But we have learned throughout this website that tongues is basically languages of the earth. So let's say a Japanese person came into an English church and started speaking in their own language. What would that be? It would be an UNKNOWN TONGUE. And if there wasn't anyone in the church who had the gift of interpretation, or the person himself could not interpret, who would that Japanese person be speaking to? God alone! Because only God would understand what that person was saying.
Let's let the Bible interpret itself here. What did God say to Israel in Deuteronomy 28:49? ... 'The LORD shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose TONGUE thou shalt not understand.' ... Now we know that "tongues" in the Old Testament meant language. So God was basically saying that He would bring a nation against them whose LANGUAGE they would not understand. This also applies to 1 Corinthians 14 above.
And look at what Paul said further on in this chapter, which clarifies what he was talking about:
1 Corinthians 14:18 .....'I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all.'
We know that Paul could speak in a number of different languages of the earth. He wasn't speaking in ecstatic tongues like many Christians do today, but simply different languages of the earth. This is what he is talking about with speaking in tongues. And in verse 22 he wraps it up by saying ..... '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.' ..... Speaking in tongues (speaking in different languages) is for a sign to those who don't believe. Now how can speaking in ecstatic tongues (gibberish) be a sign to those who don't believe, when all they think when they hear it happen is that the people are crazy! And it largely remains behind closed doors. How can that be a sign to non believers?
2 Corinthians 12:4 .....'How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.'
Now it's interesting that Christians use this Bible verse to excuse their speaking in ecstatic tongues, and yet Paul says that the words he heard in Heaven were NOT LAWFUL for a man to utter. Did he tell us what he heard? No, because it would have been sinful for him to do so. And anyway, no one knows what he heard, so how can we attached speaking in gibberish to this verse? Again, some stretching and twisting needs to be done to say that this Bible verse promotes speaking in ecstatic tongues.
1 Corinthians 14:33 ...'For God is NOT the author of confusion.'
The truth is, the gift of speaking in tongues is the sudden ability to speak in another language of the earth, and nothing more! And the lesson to learn is that even IF we could speak in the tongues of angels (which we couldn't), and did not show love and charity, then we would have nothing. Showing true love is the most important thing in anyone's life. That is what we should focus on. I pray that your heart would be touched by the truth of God's Word.