Many people believe that speaking in tongues is a manifestation of, or a substitute for, righteousness. This is not the case. Scriptures tell us righteousness comes by keeping the commandments of Yahweh (Lk. 1:6; Ps. 119:172; Rom. 2:26; 8:4); and by having faith in Yahshua, who is Yahweh’s salvation (John 3:16; Rom. 5:18; 6:23; Gal. 2:21).
Any who believe the Scriptures can turn to the historical account in Acts chapter two and discover that “speaking with other tongues” was a means of imparting vital messages to those who spoke other languages. On that wonderful day, the Apostles spoke in their native Galilean tongue [language] and the people heard them in approximately twenty-six different languages (Acts 2:6-11). As used here, “tongues” simply means “languages,” and was for the express purpose of passing on to people of “other languages” the message of salvation.
We must not delude ourselves (or allow others to delude us) into believing that a “tongue” is anything other than a spoken language. Nor should we be deluded by those who pretend to speak in an “unknown” tongue. Ours should be a heartfelt religion, not a make-believe religion – from the lips out.
The Apostle Paul spoke in other tongues [languages] more than most, but he advised: better to speak five words which edify others than to speak 10,000 words in a tongue which others do not understand (1 Cor. 14:19). There are many languages [tongues] in the world, and none is without meaning (1 Cor. 14:10). Rather than striving to excel in speaking in tongues, we should strive to excel in building up the brethren and the assembly (1 Cor. 14:11, 12).
Brethren, in the worship to our Creator there should be no acting, no show biz, no indulgence in self-exaltation. Instead, we should strive to build up the assemblies and to “ … outdo one another in showing honor” (“Rom. 12:10 RSV).