Bible Texts: Acts 1:8, Acts 2:1-11; 41, Deuteronomy 18:9-10


I want to talk about one of the gifts that were bestowed by the Holy Spirit on the early church and, by the way, which I still believe is operational to some extent within the Church today, especially when it comes to Missionary work.

However, it is this very gift which I believe that has been completely abused, reviled, disdained, dishonoured and mocked in the most extraordinary and insane ways by the modern day church, that is; at least in the last 100 to 200 years.

The Holy Spirit has become the most mocked, the most blasphemed, the most dishonoured, the most misrepresented, the most insulted, the most exploited, the most desecrated, and the most prostituted person of the Godhead by the modern-day Christian and Christian Churches, that is; by the Protestant and the Charismatic Movement and especially by THE WORD OF FAITH Movement.


Just like Jesus Christ brings honour and glory to the Father (God) so it is the same with the Holy Spirit who, not only leads people in righteousness and truth but ultimately, in that righteousness and truth, brings honour and glory to God the Father.

According to Scripture, it has never been the work of the Holy Spirit to glorify Himself but rather, He shows the power of God, the truth of God and, in so doing, brings glory and honour and praise to God the Father.

In fact, in doing so, it is the Holy Spirit who brings glory and honour to the entire Godhead – God the father, God the son, and God the Holy Spirit.

When we are told that we are to worship God and Him alone, I believe that includes the Trinity as one God. (Revelation 22)



One of the most abused gifts that the Holy Spirit has given to the church and which has been impregnated into the hearts and minds of Charismatic, Pentecostals, and Evangelicals is the apparent “Speaking in Tongues”.


I will tell you what I have heard though. I have, indeed, heard people speak gibberish (rubbish) and, to my own discredit, I too have spoken in that gibberish language. It is because we were basically taught in our Pentecostal and Charismatic churches how to babble away in any type of sounds that came to mind and then we were told that we have that gift of tongues and were “BAPTISED IN THE HOLY SPIRIT”!



In Acts 2:6-11 it tells us that each tribe present there that day at Pentecost heard Peter and the rest of the disciples (120 of them) spoke and presented and evangelised the Gospel in, what they thought was their own language, but, yet, The Holy Spirit was able and willing to use their language and make a public translation into other languages in order for the “World” to hear – those gathered at Jerusalem that day. Notice that all the disciples in the room were speaking in another language – another tongue. God empowered them by the power and enablement of His Holy Spirit to do so because there were so many other nations around them that day. There were about 16 different people groups from different tribes and towns, each with their own language, who heard the Gospel that day and were able to understand perfectly what Peter and the other disciples were saying. The message was so powerful and well understood in every tongue that, as verse 41 tells us, “…There were added that day about three thousand souls.”



Now, according to the Greek language, speaking in tongues comes from two Greek words namely, “Glossa” which means “Language” and then the Greek word “Laleo” which means “To Speak”. Therefore, glossolalia is the word that is formed from the Greek which means “to speak in a language [that is intelligible and can be understood]” even though, the person speaking that language does not understand it at all. In other words, “Tongues”, in this context of the Bible means; languages that are known to people, even though people come from different nationalities but, nevertheless, they are phonetic languages that are spoken and understood by the people in their own language.

Therefore, Glossolalia is a phenomenon where a human being, and in this case, a Christian, speaks in a language that he or she does not understand and therefore those sounds and those phonetic words, according to Scripture, would be inspired by the Holy Spirit in order to speak and articulate a message that comes from God through His Holy Spirit and be well understood by the recipients.


Being a member of a certain Charismatic Church for over 28 years; one thing that got me thinking at a certain stage that there was something desperately wrong with this type of “speaking in tongues” was when the same people, Sunday after Sunday after Sunday would say the exact same words (those words that they learned just like a parrot learns to repeat sounds and certain words), so much so that, after a while, I would know exactly what they were going to say every Sunday, even before they opened their mouths. However, this is what I could never understand about this type of glossolalia (speaking in tongues).

Just to give you one example, among other well known “Tongue Speakers” there would be a certain man, almost every single Sunday, who would say these words which I remember to this very day: “EEESTORTANEE, EEESTORTANA. ESTORTANA-STORTANEE, EEESTORTANANA”, and so on and so forth…

Now, here is the enigma of it all; here is what is absolutely baffling to my mind.

On the one Sunday, all that gibberish; those apparent “Tongues from the Holy Spirit” would mean, “COME MY CHILDREN COME, COME TO ME THE ONE AND ONLY GOD, THE ONE WHO IS LIKE A MOTHER HEN AND WHO WANTS YOU TO COME UNDER HER WINGS…”


Then, on the very next Sunday the same person would utter the very same gibberish, exactly the same words, but only this time those apparent “Tongues” would suddenly mean the following, “THUS SAYS THE LORD OF HOSTS: I AM GOING TO BLESS YOU BECAUSE I LOVE YOU; I AM GOING TO OPEN THE WINDOWS OF HEAVEN AND POUR OUT ALL MY LOVE AND BLESSINGS ON YOU… I WANT TO FLOOD YOU WITH RICHES”



Now, let me ask you with a simple and logical question. If I tell you today, “EEESTORTANEE, EEESTORTANA; ESTORTANA-STORTANEE, EEESTORTANANA”, and then tell you that the interpretation thereof means that, “THE DOOR OF THE CHURCH IS CLOSED; PLEASE USE THE OTHER DOOR…” How then, and I say this with complete seriousness, can that very same gibberish, “EEESTORTANEE, EEESTORTANA, ESTORTANA-STORTANEE, EEESTORTANANA” the very next Sunday mean; “THUS SAYS THE LORD, PLEASE STOP THROWING STOMPIE’S IN MY BACKYARD”?

Now, without a shadow of a doubt, most of you, if not all of you, including anyone else in society that has some sort of sanity and common sense, would think that I am stark raving mad and probably an absolute imbecile.


Why is it then that we don’t question the very same thing that is happening in our charismatic and Protestant churches this very day?





Rev. S.C Bryant (OMIN CLC) BDiv Cum Laude, MI

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