Heaven's Point of View

The Gift Of Tongues

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Hal Steenson (Host)


Series Code: HPOV

Program Code: HPOV000004

00:01 Hello, I'm
00:03 I'd like to welcome you to Heaven's Point of View.
00:04 Our topic for this series is the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
00:07 Now, being a charismatic pastor for so many years allowed me
00:09 the opportunity to see the bad and the good,
00:12 the error and the truth of the handling and the mishandling
00:15 of the charisma gifts of the Holy Spirit.
00:17 The gift that is grossly misused is the gift of tongues,
00:21 and the gift that is most misunderstood is the
00:25 gift of interpretation.
00:27 So get your Bible, follow along with me.
00:29 Next we will look very closely at the gift of tongues.
00:55 There are two very different types of tongues
00:57 not counting the possibility of false tongues
01:00 addressed in Paul's first letter to the Corinthians.
01:03 There is the gift of tongues and there is the natural tongue.
01:07 Using God's Word, we will closely examine both of these
01:10 tongues. Now to avoid any denominational bias,
01:14 the Bible will be the only source of reference material
01:17 used in this study on these two gifts.
01:20 I will use the King James version of the Bible
01:23 unless otherwise noted. Some words will be highlighted
01:26 in BOLD on the screen for emphasis.
01:28 Now with God's Word, the Word of God,
01:31 heaven's point of view, as our only foundation,
01:34 let's look at the truth about tongues, and later
01:37 I'll answer some questions about the error surrounding tongues.
01:42 First, let's explore the gift of tongues.
01:44 There is the gift of tongues given by the Holy Spirit.
01:47 I Corinthians 12:7-10 reads:
02:17 Isn't God good?
02:18 Please note that this scripture does not say unknown tongues.
02:24 It DOES NOT say unknown tongues. The tongues spoken of in this
02:28 passage is a tongue or a language that someone has never
02:32 previously spoken and does not currently know.
02:35 Now, let me illustrate this truth with scripture.
02:38 B- I-B-L-E. Jesus first commissioned this gift
02:41 in Mark 16:17 when He said: "And these signs shall follow
02:46 them that believe. In My name they shall cast out devils,
02:49 they shall speak with new tongues. "
02:51 Here again there is no mention of unknown tongues.
02:55 Jesus gave the disciples a prime directive along with
03:00 instructions about how and where to use the divine gift.
03:03 Matthew 28:19 states: "Go ye therefore and teach all
03:07 nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father,
03:09 and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
03:11 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever
03:14 I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you always,
03:17 even unto the end of the world. Amen. "
03:19 Now, how could the disciples go and teach and baptize people
03:22 in all nations if they couldn't speak their language?
03:25 They COULD NOT! This is the one and only purpose
03:30 for the gift of tongues. The gift of tongues was not given
03:34 for any other purpose other than to preach and proclaim
03:38 the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit bestows this gift
03:43 on a person to preach the Gospel to ever nation, every kindred,
03:47 and every tongue. Now, the first example
03:52 of this gift occurs when accompanied by tongues
03:56 was on the Day of Pentecost when Peter and the others
03:59 gathered in the upper room received the Holy Spirit.
04:01 Then came down into the streets of Jerusalem and began
04:05 preaching the Gospel by the use of the gift of tongues.
04:09 Acts 2:1-4 reads: "And when the Day of Pentecost was fully come,
04:15 they were all with one accord in one place, and suddenly
04:18 there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind
04:21 and it filled all the house where they were sitting
04:24 and there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as a fire.
04:28 And it sat upon each of them, and they were all filled
04:33 with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues
04:36 as the Spirit gave them utterance. "
04:39 Once again, please note that it does not say unknown tongues.
04:45 They all went into the streets of Jerusalem and addressed
04:49 the crowds of the Jews gathered there from every nation
04:52 under heaven. Acts 2:5-8 states it like this:
04:56 "And there were dwelling at Jerusalem, Jews, devout men,
04:59 out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was
05:02 noised abroad, the multitude came together and were
05:05 confounded because every man heard them speaking
05:08 in his own language. And they were all amazed and marveled
05:13 saying one to another, behold, are not all these who speak
05:16 all these who speak Galileans? And how then do we hear,
05:20 each hear them speaking in our own tongue
05:23 wherein we were born?" Now because of that manifestation
05:26 of the God-given gift of tongues, which
05:29 I Corinthians 14:22 says is a sign for the unbeliever.
05:34 About 3,000 souls came into the kingdom of God in one day!
05:38 This gift of the Spirit was the womb of world-wide evangelism.
05:44 Those devout Jews who were now Christians, returned
05:48 home as believers after hearing the Gospel preached to them
05:52 by the gift of tongues. I note that the gift of tongues
05:57 presented on the Day of Pentecost, now hear this,
06:01 please hear this, this is vitally important.
06:03 It did not need an interpreter nor an interpretation.
06:07 The real gift of tongues did not need an interpreter because
06:10 the disciples manifesting the gift were speaking in the
06:14 hearer's common language.
06:17 Also note that the emphasis is on the tongue
06:20 and not on the ear or the hearer. Acts 2:8 reads:
06:23 "Behold, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how then
06:27 do we each hear them speaking in our own tongue wherein
06:30 we were born?" You see the Holy Spirit descended
06:32 on the 120 in the upper room while they were praying
06:35 and waiting for the promise. The Holy Spirit did not descend
06:39 on the thousands in the streets of Jerusalem.
06:41 There is nothing in this scripture that validates
06:45 the gift of ears or the gift of hearing - only the
06:48 gift to speak is scriptural. The Jews present at Jerusalem
06:52 were amazed that those unlearned men were speaking in their
06:55 own language. Some people assume that Peter was the only
06:59 person also who spoke with the gift of tongues on that day.
07:02 However, this is unscriptural. Acts 2:7 states:
07:06 "And they were all amazed and marveled saying one to another
07:10 behold, are not all these which speak Galileans?"
07:15 According to scripture, the word ALL could not limit
07:19 that gift just to Peter. Now second, there is the natural
07:23 or cultural tongue that needs an interpreter.
07:27 This is the natural tongue or language we learn through our
07:31 culture. These are the tongues that Paul refers to as being
07:35 misused in I Corinthians 14:27
07:38 where he says "If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be
07:42 by two or at the most by three and then in turn
07:45 and then let one interpret. But if there be no interpreter,
07:49 let him keep silent in the church and let him speak to
07:52 himself and to God. " Now Bible scholars understand
07:55 that any word in the King James version appearing in italics
08:00 such as unknown in this scripture, was not in the early
08:03 manuscripts. The King James translators added the word
08:08 unknown for emphasis. The emphasis was to stress
08:12 the tongue, or the language, was unknown to the Corinthian
08:16 congregation but not to the speaker. Early manuscripts
08:21 do not contain one single verse of scripture that actually reads
08:26 UNKNOWN TONGUE. Considering this,
08:29 the verse should read: "If any man speak in a tongue
08:33 or language - not if any man speak in an unknown tongue. "
08:37 In I Corinthians 14:27 we read: "If any man in an
08:42 unknown tongue, let it be by two or at the most by
08:45 by three and then in turn let one interpret. "
08:48 Please note, please note, please note!
08:51 If the Corinthian church had been speaking in the gift
08:54 of tongues, they would not have needed an interpreter because
08:59 the gift of tongues NEVER needs and interpreter
09:04 or an interpretation. If they were speaking in false
09:07 tongues, Paul would have never encouraged them to interpret
09:10 something that wasn't of God. So the only tongues
09:13 or languages left for Paul to address in this passage
09:18 were natural, known languages.
09:23 When the apostle Paul arrived in Corinth in 51 A.D.,
09:26 he found a thriving city with a population represented by
09:29 numerous cultures and multiple languages.
09:31 The city itself was just a little over 100 years old,
09:35 very young by most standards, and growing rapidly as merchants
09:39 and tradesmen from all over the world saw an opportunity
09:42 for financial gain. History tells us it was 5 times larger
09:46 than Athens and was the capital of the province.
09:49 It is further reported that Corinth had been the richest
09:52 port and the largest city in ancient Greece.
09:56 All of these factors influenced Paul's decision to choose
09:59 Corinth as his base from which to work his evangelism
10:03 of the western world. Now because of this mixture of
10:05 cultures and known languages, Paul was not writing to the
10:09 church at Corinth about the gift of tongues.
10:12 He was addressing the many cultural language barriers
10:16 in the Corinthian church. Now this is where a foundational
10:19 truth to understanding the genuineness of tongues
10:22 must be brought to light. We saw earlier that when the
10:26 gift of tongues occurred, there was never a need
10:28 for an interpreter. However, this changes when Paul begins
10:32 to question the error in the Corinthian congregation.
10:36 Why do they now need an interpreter whereas
10:39 one wasn't needed before? It's because the people who are
10:43 speaking in tongues in the church were not manifesting the
10:46 gift of tongues but were speaking in a language of their
10:50 culture, and many present may not have understood
10:53 their language. Now, now is a good place to emphasize
10:56 the fact that the work UNKNOWN was used with discretion,
11:00 very much discretion, by the King James translators.
12:21 I Corinthians 14:27 states: "If any man speak in an
12:25 "italic" unknown tongue, let it be by two or at the most
12:29 by three and then in turn let one interpret. " Once again,
12:32 once again, please hear this, if the Corinthian church
12:36 had been using the gift of tongues, they would have not
12:39 needed an interpreter or an interpretation.
12:43 If they were manifesting false tongues, Paul would have never
12:46 encouraged them to interpret something that wasn't real.
12:50 The only tongues or language left for Paul to address
12:54 and encourage an interpretation for were the natural tongues
12:58 or the natural languages in the Corinthian church.
13:02 Now there are five occasions in the book of Acts
13:05 where people were filled with the Holy Spirit
13:07 and there were three fillings in the book of Luke.
13:11 Luke was the resident expert on the infilling of the Holy Ghost.
13:15 He pens the first account of someone being filled with the
13:18 Holy Spirit in Luke 1:15. It says: "For he shall be great
13:23 in the sight of the Lord and shall drink neither wine
13:26 nor strong drink, and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost
13:29 even from his mother's womb. " Here Luke is speaking of
13:33 John the Baptist. Please note that in scripture
13:36 nothing is mentioned about tongues, and there is no mention
13:40 of any interpretation when John is filled.
13:43 His next encounter with the Holy Ghost infilling is penned
13:46 in Luke 1:41. "And it came to pass that when Elizabeth,
13:50 John's mom, heard the salutations of Mary
13:53 the babe leaped in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the
13:57 Holy Ghost. This is where John the Baptist's mother was filled
14:01 with the Holy Ghost. Once again, no tongues
14:04 and no interpretation, all right?
14:07 Can you guess who was next?
14:09 It was John the Baptist's father, Zechariah.
14:12 Luke 1:67-68 says: "And his father, Zechariah,
14:16 was filled with the Holy Ghost and prophesied. "
14:20 This means to preach. "Saying, blessed be the Lord God
14:23 of Israel for He has visited and redeemed His people. "
14:27 There were no unknown tongues
14:30 and there were no interpretations or interpreter
14:35 there was only John the Baptist's soon-to-be father
14:40 preaching the good news of God.
14:44 You know, the truth is that the disciples were filled with the
14:47 Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost and spake in a tongue
14:50 or a language that they did not know.
14:52 However, it wasn't in an unknown language, out-of-this-world
14:56 space cadet language, it was the common-known Jewish dialect.
15:00 Act 2:4 says: "And they were all filled with
15:02 the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues
15:04 as the Spirit gave them utterance. "
15:06 The book of Acts was written six years after the apostle Paul
15:10 wrote his first letter to the Corinthian church.
15:13 It is not likely that if there were actually unknown tongues
15:18 of any kind Luke would have made mention of that fact,
15:22 don't you think? The next filling of the
15:24 Holy Spirit is once again penned by Luke in Act 4:31 and 32.
15:29 And it says: "And when they had prayed, the place was shaken
15:32 where they were assembled together, and they were all
15:36 filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the Word of God
15:39 with boldness. And the multitude of them that believed
15:42 were of one heart and of one soul.
15:45 Neither said any of them that ought of the things which he
15:49 possessed was his own, but they had all things common. "
15:53 Luke once again details of the infilling of the Holy Ghost was
15:57 for no other reason than the apostle Paul had said.
16:03 "And Ananias went his way and entered into the house
16:07 putting his hand on him, saying brother Saul, the Lord - even
16:13 Jesus that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest -
16:17 has sent me that thou mightest receive thy sight and be filled
16:21 with the Holy Ghost. " Note there is no mention of tongues
16:25 or unknown tongues, and there is no mention of any
16:30 interpretations in this scripture.
16:32 Then there was the revival in Acts 8:14-17.
16:35 It says: "Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem
16:38 heard that Samaria had received the Word of God,
16:41 they sent unto them Peter and John
16:43 who when they were come down prayed for them that they might
16:46 receive the Holy Ghost. For as yet He was not fallen on
16:50 none of them. Only they were baptized in the name of the
16:54 Lord Jesus. Then laid their hands on them
16:59 and they received the Holy Ghost. "
17:01 Here, once again, there is no mention of tongues
17:05 or interpretation of tongues.
17:09 Now, we come to Cornelius's house.
17:13 So many people have questions about this.
17:15 And once again we have a manifestation of the gift
17:17 of tongues. However, there is no mention - not one,
17:21 not even one - no mention of unknown tongues
17:25 and there is still no mention of an interpreter
17:27 or interpretation. The real gift of tongues,
17:30 this is why, the real gift of tongues, this is WHY
17:32 the real gift of tongues never needs and interpreter
17:37 or interpretation because it is a known language.
17:40 Acts 10:44 through verse 46 says: "While Peter yet spake
17:45 these words, the Holy Ghost fell on them which heard the word.
17:48 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished
17:51 as many as came with Peter because that on the Gentiles
17:57 also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
18:00 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. "
18:04 They spoke in tongues and they magnified God.
18:07 Remember the disciples spoke in tongues and declared the
18:09 wondrous works of God. "Then Peter answered:
18:13 Can any man forbid water that these should not be baptized
18:18 which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?"
18:21 Last, but not least, are the disciples
18:23 on the road to Ephesus. Acts 19 verse 1-6 declares:
18:30 "And it came to pass that while Apollos was at
18:32 Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coast,
18:35 came to Ephesus. And finding certain disciples
18:38 said unto them: Have you received the
18:39 Holy Ghost since you believed? And they said unto him:
18:42 We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
18:45 And he said unto them: what then were you baptized?
18:49 And they said: unto John's baptism.
18:51 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of
18:55 repentance saying unto the people that they should believe
18:58 on Him which should come after him - that is on Christ.
19:02 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord
19:06 Jesus - hallelujah! - and when Paul had laid his hands upon
19:11 them, the Holy Ghost came on them and they spoke or spake
19:15 with tongues and prophesied. " Now on the Day of Pentecost
19:19 they used the tongues to declare the wondrous works
19:22 of God. At Cornelius's house, they used their tongues
19:25 to magnify God. At Ephesus, the disciples
19:29 used the tongues to preach the Gospel.
19:33 Now, let's do a little bit of summary on this, OK?
19:39 Here is the truth of the gift of tongues.
19:41 There is no scriptural basis for anyone to believe
19:46 that he can speak in an unknown, out-of-this-world
19:51 angelic tongue. The disciples at Pentecost spoke in a known
19:57 language. Cornelius's household spoke in a known
20:03 language. Now, do you want to hear something that is awesome?
20:06 You know, Cornelius was an Italian centurion.
20:11 And he very possibly did not know the language.
20:15 Did not know Peter's language. Peter could have not possibly
20:19 known Cornelius's language. The powerful truth of this is
20:23 that Peter, along with other brethren from Jerusalem,
20:27 could have gone to Cornelius's house and used the gift
20:30 of tongues to speak in Cornelius's native language.
20:34 And then when Cornelius was baptized in the Holy Spirit,
20:38 Cornelius began to speak in a language that Peter and the
20:42 other disciples knew, because they knew that they were
20:46 magnifying God. The disciples at Ephesus spoke in a known
20:51 language although the languages being spoken were unknown
20:55 to the speakers they were known to the hearers.
20:58 Paul refers mainly to two different types of tongues
21:02 in his first letter to Corinth. There is the gift of tongues
21:06 and there is the cultural or natural tongue.
21:09 There is also the possibility of a third type which we hear
21:12 a lot today - and that is a false tongue.
21:15 Incoherent jibberish. Babbling.
21:18 When the gift of tongues is manifest,
21:20 there is never, there is never, there is never a need for an
21:24 interpreter because the hearer understands the language
21:27 that is being spoken. The natural tongue spoken
21:30 in a multi-cultural setting will always need an interpreter
21:34 because some attending may not know the language
21:36 and will need someone to translate for them.
21:42 Now, let me give you an illustration here, OK?
21:44 Please understand that when false tongues are brought forth
21:47 in modern-day church and arena settings, it also involves
21:50 another false gift - the false gift of interpretations.
21:55 Let me elaborate on this, OK? It happens because of a complete
22:00 misunderstanding of the 14th chapter of I Corinthians
22:03 where the King James translators dropped the ball
22:05 and used the word unknown. This was not breathed by the
22:10 Holy Spirit. I now realize that I had been involved in this
22:14 tongues movement all these years and I never heard the real gift
22:18 of tongues, and I had never heard the real gift
22:21 of interpretation. How sad.
22:23 All that I ever heard was incoherent babblings.
22:28 And I want you to know that now that I know the truth
22:32 I am willing to tell everybody in the world about
22:36 the truth of God's Word.
22:39 Stay with us, we'll be right back in just a moment
22:42 with the conclusion of this program.
22:45 If you've been confused about what the Bible says about
22:48 the Holy Spirit's amazing gifts for the church,
22:50 you'll want to order your very own copy of this 13-part series
22:54 It's available on DVD or video cassette from 3ABN
22:58 at a very special price. This 13-part series
23:01 with Pastor Hal Steenson makes a wonderful gift
23:04 for a friend or a family member. Just call us at:
23:12 you may also order it online at:
23:31 You know, I really hope and pray that you have spiritual
23:33 ears to hear what I've been saying here today.
23:35 For 18 years I did something that was in error.
23:39 I have 2,420 tapes of sermons
23:45 that I have preached through the years,
23:46 and you know, I can go back into any of those
23:49 sermons, any one of them, and every one of them I spent
23:52 hours and hours and hours studying to show myself approved
23:55 unto God, a workman that need not be ashamed but rightly
23:57 dividing the word of truth. I don't believe you would find
23:59 an error in any one of them except the sermons on tongues.
24:03 And the reason why is because Mollie has an expression:
24:06 Grandma taught it and I bought it.
24:08 And that's what it was. I just parroted what someone else
24:11 was saying, and I am so sorry that I did that and did not
24:16 know the truth to begin with because I could have been in the
24:19 truth of the Sabbath and the truth of the
24:22 Seventh-day Adventist church maybe a long time ago
24:25 had I studied to show myself approved.
24:27 I encourage you as we continue in this series,
24:32 that you get your Bible and you write down, take notes,
24:35 or order the series - whatever you need to do - the CDs
24:39 or whatever - and listen to this over and over and over again
24:42 to study to show yourself approved.
24:43 I want you to know, too, from my heart to your heart,
24:47 that if you think that it's easy for me to get on world-wide
24:52 television and tell somebody that I did something wrong
24:55 for 18 years, well then you might want to rethink that
24:58 because it's just not that easy. But I know the Spirit of God
25:03 led me to do this. And truly studying about the
25:08 gift of tongues and the gifts of the Spirit, God showed me
25:12 the error that was there. Ten years ago, over ten years ago,
25:16 I put tongues on the shelf and said, "All right, God,
25:19 show me the truth. " And God did show me the truth.
25:21 And the truth is this: that the real gift of tongues never needs
25:25 an interpretation and the real gift of interpretation
25:28 always interprets a known language.
25:31 Now let me give you some examples of this, OK?
25:34 Last year at ASI a man shared about
25:40 his daughter, twelve years old,
25:41 that wanted to lead a little girl that
25:43 had moved into the neighborhood to the Lord.
25:45 She was Hispanic. She spoke Spanish,
25:48 she didn't speak English. And his daughter didn't speak
25:51 any Spanish. And she prayed sincerely and asked God
25:56 "God, somehow, some way, allow me to lead
26:00 this young girl, my friend, to the Lord. "
26:04 What a good God we serve! What a powerful God we serve!
26:08 At ASI he said that his daughter,
26:12 as long as it took to explain the Gospel
26:15 of Jesus Christ to this Hispanic girl,
26:18 that God allowed his daughter to speak in Spanish to her.
26:23 And she got on her knees and there asked Jesus Christ
26:28 into her life. See, there's the real gift.
26:31 It's given to preach and promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
26:35 Now, the gift of interpretation. I got an e-mail the other day
26:40 a lady that had just watched a teaching that we had done
26:44 on it, and she said that she is a nurse and a gentleman came
26:48 into the emergency room. He had had a heart attack.
26:50 He was a Greek; he spoke Greek and she didn't know, you know,
26:55 any Greek at all. And all of a sudden she is hearing this man
26:58 saying "I don't know how I am going to pay this hospital bill;
27:01 I don't have any insurance. " And she tells the doctor,
27:03 and the doctor tells her, tell him, you know, that he doesn't
27:05 have to worry about it. So she is communicating with this man
27:09 and then she tells him that he thought that he was just
27:12 having indigestion because he had not felt well for
27:16 several days, and then she realized: I am hearing
27:20 what he is saying in Greek and telling the doctor
27:23 what he is saying. And then she said "I watched House Calls with
27:27 with you and John Lomacang, and I understood the gift
27:31 of interpretation. " She said: "I began to rejoice
27:34 because God had used me in the gift of interpretation
27:38 to help save this man's life. "
27:41 You see, my prayer is that as we continue this series,
27:44 that you not only know, understand, and comprehend
27:47 all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit,
27:49 but you also understand and comprehend the Holy Spirit
27:52 and that you will allow Him, as these other people did,
27:56 to use them. That you would say: "Lord Jesus,
28:00 use me by your Holy Spirit to help build up the
28:03 kingdom of God for Your purpose and for Your soon return. "
28:30 On our next Heaven's Point of View, we will examine
28:33 the gift of interpretation of tongues. This gift is
28:35 misused and misunderstood, and most churches are using it
28:38 unscriptural. So check your 3ABN World for the dates
28:41 and times, and I'll see you then!


Revised 2014-12-17