Tongues Have Ceased
“Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.”
I Corinthians 13:8
“For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”
II Corinthians 11:4
“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”
II Corinthians 11:13-15
The obsession of Charismatics and Pentecostals to speak in tongues is the devil’s lie to deceive and destroy some sincere saints; replace sound doctrine and Bible preaching with entertainment, fables, and showmanship; and to disgrace the gospel of Jesus Christ. Modern speaking in tongues cannot be separated from the widespread healing frauds, laughing revivals, slaying in the Spirit, money begging, dog barking, drunk in the spirit, and other profane practices of the same parties. The leading ministers and churches of this movement are totally different from apostolic religion in doctrine and practice. This simple study will show once and for all that speaking in tongues had ended by 70 A.D.
1. Bible tongues had a definite beginning. They began on the day of Pentecost in 30 AD, fifty days after the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified, just as He had promised (Mark 16:17-20; Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4). Their role as a sign gift to unbelieving Israel had been suggested by Isaiah’s prophecy of God speaking to Israel with men of other tongues (I Cor 14:21-22; Isaiah 28:11-12).
2. Bible tongues had a definite beginning. They began with Jesus empowering His apostles to preach the gospel to all nations before Rome destroyed Jerusalem and ended the ceremonial Law (Matt 24:14; 28:18-20). God used the gift of tongues to magnify the apostles as heavenly messengers, in spite of lacking education, reputation, and human authority (Acts 4:13; 5:12-13; 8:14-19; 19:1-7).
3. Bible tongues had a definite beginning. They began with the empowerment of the church, which was to worship in an entirely new way (John 4:21-24). The Spirit was to guide the apostles into all truth for writing the New Testament as the new manual for religion, but He would reveal truth by gifts until then (John 14:26; 16:13; Acts 10:28; I Cor 12:7-11; 14:37; II Tim 3:16-17; II Pet 1:21).
4. Bible tongues lasted only a short while. Paul told the tongues-speaking church at Corinth that the Spirit’s revelatory gifts would end (I Cor 13:8). In spite of their emphasis on prophecy, tongues, and gifts of knowledge, Paul promised that these gifts were temporary. Charity was a more excellent way of serving, for charity was permanent and would never end (I Cor 12:31; 13:8,13).
5. Bible tongues were very inadequate. The spiritual gifts of prophecy, the word of knowledge, and tongues brought only a partial revelation of God’s will to any man or church (I Cor 13:9). They were short-term, incomplete fixes for immediate instruction and answers to questions. Because of this, prophets had to work together, for their gifts were very limited and partial (I Cor 14:29-31).
6. Bible tongues were not needed after perfect revelation came. The New Testament scriptures were the perfect revelation that ended and replaced the Spirit’s revelatory gifts, which were all partial (I Cor 13:9-10). Every church then had God’s complete revelation (II Tim 3:16-17; II Pet 1:19). The context demands a comparison of partial and perfect revelation, not the coming of Jesus Christ.
7. Bible tongues were childish and immature. Paul used a metaphor of human development to compare the inferior revelation of spiritual gifts to the perfect revelation of the Bible. The church was then in its infancy, but it would soon pass to a mature stage with greater knowledge. As adults put away childish things, so Christians would put away childish things like tongues (I Cor 13:11).
8. Bible tongues communicated only vague knowledge. Paul told Corinth that the gifts only provided obscure knowledge of God and His will for the churches. He told them that the completed Scriptures would allow them to see in perfect detail, like face to face (I Cor 13:12a). The context demands a comparison of obscure and detailed knowledge, not the coming of Jesus Christ.
9. Bible tongues communicated only partial knowledge. Paul taught that revelatory gifts only provided partial knowledge, but the completed New Testament would provide perfect knowledge, even to the degree of detail that God knew Paul (I Cor 13:12b compared to 13:9-10). The context demands a comparison of partial and perfect knowledge, not the coming of Jesus Christ.
10. Bible tongues could not touch Bible revelation. The Old Testament was perfect for that covenant (Ps 19:7; 119:96). The New Testament was more sure than God’s voice from heaven, could make ministers perfect, and is called the perfect law of liberty (II Pet 1:16-21; II Tim 3:16-17; Jas 1:25). The perfect thing replacing the temporary gifts of prophecy, knowledge, and tongues did come!
11. Bible tongues had a definite end. They ended by 70 AD, forty years after they began, when the apostles had finished writing the New Testament scriptures and such partial and obscure gifts of revelation were no longer needed (I Cor 13:8-12). While Paul was alive the apostles confirmed each other’s writings (I Tim 5:18; II Tim 3:15-17; II Pet 3:15-16). The need for tongues had ended.
12. Bible tongues had a definite end. They ended by 70 AD, forty years after they began, when the apostles’ testimony came to an end. These sign gifts were given in the beginning to confirm the preaching of fishermen and tax collectors, and they ended when their witness was established throughout the Roman Empire and they had gone home to heaven (Mark 16:17-20; Heb 2:1-4).
13. Bible tongues had a definite end. They ended by 70 AD, forty years after they began, when the time of reformation ended, and the kingdom of Jesus Christ was fully established in the earth (Matt 16:28; Heb 12:28-29). They were needed only for 40 years to help confirm the new religion and worship introduced by John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, and His apostles (Luke 16:16; John 4:21-24).
14. Bible tongues had a definite end. They ended by 70 AD, forty years after they began, when the Roman armies destroyed the Jewish nation, Jerusalem, and the temple. Tongues were primarily a sign for unbelieving Jews, because the Jews required signs (Deut 18:21-22; I Cor 1:22; 14:21-22). But once Israel was scattered in judgment, the need for tongues was gone (Acts 2:17-21).
15. Bible tongues had a definite end. They ended by 70 AD, forty years after they began, in perfect agreement with the prophecy about them (Micah 7:14-20; Acts 2:17-21; 7:36; Heb 9:10). God had prophesied the duration of this marvelous thing – forty years – and the climactic events ending it – the finished Bible and Israel’s destruction! Give God the glory, and believe His prophecy!
16. Bible tongues had a definite end. They ended by 70 AD, forty years after they began, when the special gift of fluently speaking a foreign language ceased forever. History confirms exactly what had been prophesied – no one spoke in tongues after 70 A.D. The gibberish of possessed Hindus, American Indians, Eskimos, and modern Charismatics and Pentecostals are not the gift of tongues.
17. Bible tongues were definite languages of mankind. The incoherent babbling, gibberish, barking, laughing, and oinking today are not close to the Spirit’s gift, which was only and always definite human languages capable of translation (Acts 2:1-11; 10:46; I Cor 14:21-22). Jannes and Jambres of the Charismatics and Pentecostals cannot duplicate the Spirit’s gift (Gen 8:16-19; II Tim 3:8-9).
18. Bible tongues were a sign to unbelievers. Today’s emphasis on speaking among believers in church services, crusades, or so-called revivals is contrary to God’s will for the gift (I Cor 14:22). Tongues were to convince unbelievers that the speaker was sent by God with a divine message, as at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-11). The use of tongues among believers misses God’s purpose for them.
19. Bible tongues were the least gift in the church. The Holy Spirit ranked the gifts for Corinth, which had become distracted by their obsession for spiritual gifts, so the current emphasis on this gift disobeys the priority and emphasis of God (I Cor 12:28). Apostles, prophets, and teachers were clearly superior, because they communicated knowledge. Even helpers were more important!
20. Bible tongues were spoken only by some in a church. The rest of the members were to be content without speaking them, so the obsession today for tongues is clearly wrong (I Cor 12:30). For ministers and churches to demand speaking in tongues as evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost is contrary to the word of God, for only some ever had the real gift, which none have today.
21. Bible tongues were a sign to confirm the speaker. Today’s babbling does not confirm anything but possible insanity, devil possession, drunkenness, or rude manners (Mark 16:17-20; Pr 23:29-30; I Cor 14:11,23). Unless a person was present that knew the language, or an interpreter translated the language, and it was clear the speaker never learned the language, the use of tongues was wrong.
22. Bible tongues were only used publicly with an interpreter. Today’s babbling without interpretation is manifestly wrong in the sight of God (I Cor 14:27-28). Giving some vague religious lesson from the babbling of another is not interpretation of tongues. Linguistic experts or persons knowing both languages would easily recognize true tongues and their interpretation.
23. Bible tongues were only spoken by one person at a time. Today’s emphasis on assemblies with more than on person speaking at the same time is plainly wrong (I Cor 14:27). Paul feared that even one person speaking in tongues without proper interpretation would give the appearance of barbarians or insanity (I Cor 14:11,23). What would he think of today’s mass hysteria?
24. Bible tongues were never sought by spiritual saints. God gave the New Testament gifts according to His own will, and they sought the better gifts anyway (I Cor 12:11,31). Saints with spiritual understanding of God’s gifts coveted the best gifts. They did not pursue or emphasis the least gifts. Speaking in tongues was the lowest gift, even below helpers, in apostolic churches (I Cor 12:28).
25. Bible tongues were under the control of the users. Today’s spontaneous, wild use outside of Scriptural limits is wrong. The gift of prophecy, far superior in every way to tongues, was under the control of the prophets (I Cor 14:32). Paul’s repeated instructions about the right use of the gift of tongues required it to be a very controllable gift, not a force or power controlling the user.
26. Bible tongues was the gift to speak foreign languages without study. But Charismatic and Pentecostal missionaries study languages for years to be able to speak them, and they never expose their “gift” to linguists or native speakers of any language (Acts 2:1-11; 10:46). Benny Hinn, the greatest tongues speaker today, must use translators to communicate with anyone of any language!
27. Bible tongues were sought and exalted by the Corinthians. But the church at Corinth was the most immature, carnal, and heretical of the New Testament churches (I Cor 1:11; 3:1-4; 5:1-2; 6:1-8; 11:18; 15:12; etc.). Why do Charismatics make a mockery of Christianity by aping the most problematic church in the Bible and rebelling against the plain guidelines given to that church?
28. Bible tongues were a very inferior gift compared to apostleship. But all honest Bible readers know that the gift of apostle disappeared during the first century. No man in the last 1900 years could qualify as an apostle (Acts 1:20-26; I Cor 9:1; II Cor 12:12). If the most valuable gift had no further purpose after 70 AD, why should the least valuable gift (I Cor 12:28)?
29. Bible tongues were a gift to the apostles and their hearers. Seeking this gift today overlooks its persons, promise, and purpose (Mark 16:14-17; Heb 2:3-4). The gift of tongues was the property of the apostles and those under their ministries (Acts 8:14-17; 10:44-48; 19:1-7). Unless some of those original disciples are nearly 2000 years old, there is no legitimate gift of tongues here today.
30. Bible tongues were 2000 times inferior to Bible preaching. Paul valued 5 words of preaching over 10,000 words of tongues! Preaching is far superior in God’s purpose and for the churches’ profit, but Charismatics and Pentecostals reverse this priority to emphasize their novelty (I Cor 14:19,39). They are very quick to ridicule sound doctrine and Bible preaching, though far superior to tongues!
31. Bible tongues submitted to Paul’s commandments. Any other attitude toward Paul’s teaching about tongues is arrogant and ignorant rebellion (I Cor 14:36-38). Thinking yourself spiritual means absolutely nothing! Speaking in “tongues” means nothing! A man or woman that is spiritual will recognize that Paul’s confining restrictions for tongues were the commandments of Jesus Christ.
32. Bible tongues could not be easily duplicated. Because they were real languages, they could not be faked very easily! This made them a sign and a wonder (Acts 2:1-11)! But modern babbling and gibberish are easily duplicated through psychosis, demons, or simply learned behavior. It is for this reason that tongues are so popular, rather than raising the dead or taking up snakes!
33. Bible tongues ended when the apostolic gifts disappeared. Paul could heal early in his career with handkerchiefs, and Peter could heal by his shadow (Acts 5:12-16; 19:11-12). But Paul resorted to home remedies for Timothy’s problems, and he had to leave Trophimus sick at Ephesus (I Tim 5:23; II Tim 4:20). Why didn’t he call for the elders and the healing oil (Mark 6:13; Jas 5:14-15)?
34. Bible tongues were not intended for this age. The three Pastoral Epistles, directing ministers how to take care of the church of God, do not contain a single word about spiritual gifts, especially speaking in tongues (I Tim 3:15; II Tim 3:16-17; Titus 1:5). With the overwhelming emphasis on tongues above anything else in Charismatic circles, this conspicuous silence is very condemning.
35. Modern false tongues had a definite beginning. They began on January 1, 1901, during a watch night service in Topeka, Kansas. A woman named Agnes Ozman babbled in gibberish after Charles Parham, a renegade Methodist minister, laid hands on her. This began the modern craze of speaking in tongues. It did not involve languages, the Holy Spirit, Pentecost, or the apostles.
36. Modern false tongues continued. They went from Kansas to Houston, where Charles Parham got William Seymour involved, who took the spirit fire to Los Angeles. There in 1906 on Azusa Street began a 3-year odyssey of obsessing about tongues that eventually affected the whole world. The problems with Parham, Seymour, and their followers are well documented and beyond this study.
37. Modern false tongues are emphasized over the other sign gifts. The reason is simple – tongues are much easier to counterfeit. Would you rather gibber or handle snakes and drink poison? So Benny Hinn goes to coliseums to heal, not to hospitals! Charismatic faith and power tremble, when real miracles are required! Remember how and why Pharaoh’s magicians had to quit (II Tim 3:8-9)!
38. Modern false tongues have been proven to not be any language. If Charismatics disagree, they should take their gift to a linguist and preach to him. Or they can take their gift to a nation of that language and confirm it among native speakers. But they will not do this any sooner than Benny Hinn will clear a cancer ward or empty a morgue. He stages healings, and they fake tongues.
39. Modern false tongues claim Acts 2:17-21 as a prophecy of them. They apply Joel’s prophecy of Holy Spirit gifts in the last days to their Charismatic activities of the last 100 years. But Joel wrote those words in the future tense to describe Pentecost over 500 years before it happened! Peter nailed the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy to the very event of tongues at Pentecost (Acts 2:14-16)!
40. Modern false tongues emphasize religious experience. Instead of faith, doctrine, and works, they emphasize feelings, froth, and foam. But the apostles emphasized knowledge and learning (Acts 17:11; Rom 16:17-18; Phil 1:9-11; I Cor 14:15-20; I Thes 5:21; II Pet 3:18). Tongues were never sought or promoted in the Bible for a thrilling personal experience, as they are marketed today.
41. Modern false tongues make babbling the test of the Spirit. But the apostles taught that spirits should be tested by doctrine, not a baptism of the Holy Spirit resulting in tongues (I John 4:1-6). Light and truth in any man is known by the degree he holds to scripture, not a babbling tongue (Is 8:20; I Tim 6:3-5). Judas Iscariot was as spectacular at miracles as any of the apostles.
42. Modern false tongues despise doctrine and preaching. They replace these New Testament mandates with praise bands, getting drunk in the spirit, dancing, tongues, slaying in the spirit, laughter revivals, interpretive dance, healing services, and other carnal inventions to scratch the itching ears of unregenerate hearers. But Paul condemned such as false Christianity (II Tim 4:3-4).
43. Modern false tongues emphasize women. Paul warned of televangelists entering homes and taking captive silly and lustful women (II Tim 3:6-7). The apostles taught that women are the most easily deceived by these seducers (I Cor 14:34-35; I Tim 2:14; I Pet 3:7). Paul warned women to be silent in the churches, but Charismatics promote women as pastors (I Cor 14:34-35; I Tim 2:11-12)!
44. Modern false tongues are not the heavenly language of angels. Angels do not babble, gibber, bark, cackle, laugh, or oink! Some take Paul’s hyperbole of I Cor 13:1 and make it some mysterious heavenly language, and then they claim that is what they speak! But Paul merely drew an extreme illustration of how worthless even the most glorious gift of tongues would be without charity.
45. Modern false tongues are not God’s anointing. Charismatics are sickening by their constant talk about a-noint-in! Listen to their guru, Benny Hinn, for any five minutes of any program! But Paul, the great apostle to the Gentiles and our example in following Christ, only used the word one time, and that in a different context (II Cor 1:21)! He never used it in the three Pastoral Epistles.
46. Modern false tongues are leading the perilous times. Paul warned Timothy of a terrible threat against the gospel of Jesus Christ – an effeminate, carnal, compromising, entertaining, and worldly brand of Christianity (II Tim 3:1 – 4:5). The cure was bold and unapologetic preaching of God’s word, in spite of widespread resentment against it. The tongues speakers are leading this apostasy.
47. Conclusion! It is easy to see that today’s speaking in tongues is an ungodly deception of the devil and a disgrace to Jesus Christ. The true gift of tongues ended nearly 2000 years ago. Tongues today are not a gift of the Spirit. And the doctrine and practice of Charismatics and Pentecostals prove them to be heretics under the delusion of the devil and his ministers (II Cor 11:3-4,13-15).