Speaking in tongues refers to the supernatural ability for a speaker to speak in his own language, but yet, to have those words that he speaks come out in languages that the speaker's audience can understand.
In other words, if the apostle Peter was speaking to a group of people from China, he could speak in the Hebrew or Greek language that he knew, but yet the audience would hear those exact same words in the Chinese language.
So speaking in tongues was for those very early times when the speaker could not understand his audience and his audience could not understand the speaker. So in the very early days of Christianity, when the early Christians traveled to foreign lands and the people there could not understand the words that they spoke, the Holy Spirit gave those early Christians the ability to be understood by all those that heard them. Without this ability for their words to come out in a foreign language, there would have been little chance of spreading the Word of God. So the main purpose of speaking in tongues in those early days was for sharing and spreading the Word of God with foreigners.
You may ask why the speaking in tongues was just for the original apostles. Because a base or a foundation was needed so that the Word of God could begin to spread out into the world. There was a seeding process that was required to get the entire process off the ground and in motion and this seeding process had to begin quickly. God knew that once the original apostles were killed off, then many false teachers would descend upon the church and they would be bringing with them a great deal of ungodly and false doctrine. So the Word of God had to be gotten out, and gotten out as quickly as possible.
If you doubt this then ask yourself this question. How could 12 men be able to spread a religion that would encompass and cover the entire world? A religion that constantly had a great many powerful men attempting to eradicate it out of existence. A religion that would continue to grow and spread.
This is one of the many reasons why it was so important that the Holy Spirit come down from heaven and fill those early apostles with the Spirit of God. Because it was on that Penticost day when the Holy Spirit descended down in the form of flames of fire that those early apostles were allowed to speak in their own languages, yet at the same time be clearly understood in all other foreign languages.
Why was it so important for the Holy Spirit to do this? Because it is the enlightened power of the Holy Spirit that teaches us, guides us, and instructs us so that we are soon filled with Godly understanding. The Holy Spirit is the helper, the educator, the applicator, and it is the Holy Spirit who fills those who are yielding to him with the grace of God. His duty is to draw back the curtains for those searching for spiritual truth and to give them the spiritual knowledge and strength to walk on a righteous path in God's love. Make no mistake about it, the Holy Spirit is the communicator of God's truth to our hearts, and this is why it was so extremely important for Jesus to say the following.
John 16:7 "Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you."
So the Holy Spirit allowed the original Christians to speak in tongues so that all that heard them could understand them in their own language, and thus they could then spread the Word of God through out other foreign lands. Had the Holy Spirit not done this then there is a very good chance that knowledge of Jesus, of God's Word, of what God wanted, of what God expected from each of us and what each of us could expect from God, would have stayed in a very limited area for a long, long time. Keep in mind also, that terrible persecution followed Christians where ever they went. Complete extermination of every Christian was the watch word for the first 400 hundred years or so.
So the question is asked, why can't we speak in tongues today and be understood by others? Because today that seeding process has been over for a long time. Now God wants us to go out into the world and get our hands dirty. He wants to see effort on our part. He wants to see each of us work and sweat when it comes to spreading the Word of God to all our brothers and sisters all over the world. He wants to see us learn foreign languages and do anything else that is necessary in order to spread the Word of God in a completely foreign language. He wants to see us go out there with a raging fire in our hearts and do anything and everything that is needed in order to spread the Word of God to others.
Spreading the Word of God is a true miracle, because in distributing the bread of life to those that follow him, our Lord makes tremendous use of the ministration of his followers; for his followers are the servers at Christ's table. And the really true gift of miracles is the effort that you yourself extend to win another person for Christ. Ask yourself this question. Can you name any greater miracle than getting another person saved for all eternity? Why do you think that there are so many verses like the following in the Bible?
However, the speaking in tongues today, is not inspired by the Holy Spirit, nor does it mean going out and learning a foreign language so you can communicate with someone in that language, but rather today, the speaking in tongues refers to uttering nonsensical words and sounds which neither the speaker nor his audience can understand.
The speaking of tongues today is nothing but nonsense and gibberish. It is a theatrical act, and it is usually done by golden toned orators. And speaking in tongues today is completely satanic. What an insult to God. One of the main themes all through the Bible is the searching and the teaching of Godly truth. In every single book of the Bible, in fact, in every single chapter of the Bible, the uncovering of the eyes and the unstopping of the ears is talked about in one way or another. This is done over and over and over, and it is done for the purpose of hearing and learning Godly truth. So how can Godly truth be found and learned and understood when neither the speaker of this imbecilic claptrap nor the audience, have any idea what is being said.
1 Corinthians 14:22 gives us this warning, "So you see that speaking in tongues is a sign, not for believers, but for unbelievers; prophecy, however, is for the benefit of believers, not unbelievers."
When instructing others, God wants a teacher to speak Godly truth straight from the heart, and in meaningful communication and understandable conversation. Not in nonsensical and meaningless drivel. Not in gibberish. Where is the benefit or the gain or the purpose from this mumbo-jumbo? When a person utters moronic malarkey is that praising and honoring God? Do those grunts and groans do anything to spread Godly information and Godly truth? Is that worthless hocus-pocus double-talk, teaching the listener anything about faith, trust, or the supreme authority of our heavenly Father? Can any information about forgiveness, confession, or repentance of sin be found in those moronic, worthless, and stupid words? Is speaking in tongues today telling the listeners about God's incredible power, his great glory, or his unconditional love?
Speaking in tongues today deals with none of that. What this babble of today deals with are things that are straight out of the depths of hell and that have the handwriting of satan all over it. The teacher who speaks in tongues today clearly shows a teacher who is either greatly misguided or who is an active follower of satan. Speaking in tongues is a satanic practice and is an insult to God. It is truly a slap in the face to God Almighty, and it borders on standing in front of Baal and worshiping him.
Remember that the Bible asks all believers to search for Godly truth. It tells us to always keep going toward the light. To keep the path your traveling on as well lit as possible. You cannot do that with nonsense and gibberish. You cannot do that with made up words that no one at all understands. When you hear someone speaking that nonsense, you are actually listening to evil; evil that is lurking in the darkness.
Speaking in tongues and the devil
Some people say that you should always pray in tongues so that the devil won't know what you are saying. I have heard others say that speaking in tongues scares the daylights out of the devil and it actually makes the devil flee from you. Others have said that when speaking in tongues, the person is actually giving out the answers to certain mysteries and secrets. Those who practice the speaking in tongues say that the speaker many not know what is being said, and those who hear it may not understand any of it, but God sure knows what is being said. Can you believe such nonsense? All the reasons and excuses that are given for speaking in tongues, are as screwy and ridiculous as the actual meaning of the grunts and groans uttered when someone is speaking in tongues. This baloney falls in the same category as the handling of rattlesnakes in the belief that the snake will not bite, or believing that you can step off a building and not get hurt because God will protect you.
1 Corinthians 14:2
This verse is the one single verse that people always refer to when attempting to prove that speaking in tongues is Godly. It is the one verse that they say justifies speaking in tongues.
1 Corinthians 14:2 "For those who speak in a tongue do not speak to other people but to God; for nobody understands them, since they are speaking mysteries in the Spirit."
But you have to ask the question, why is it necessary to talk to God in some kind of gibberish that only he understands, especially when the Word of God tells us that God is very able to look into the heart and read the minds of all people?
1 Chronicles 28:9 "For the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts."
This particular verse of 1 Corinthians 14:2 is not talking about the speaker speaking in a foreign language or in some kind of gibberish. The tongue or language that is being referred to here is Godly knowledge. It is spiritual doctrine that very few men at that time understood, and few men understood it because Christianity was brand new. The tongue or language being spoken about in 1 Corinthians 14:2 was Godly principles, Godly information, Godly doctrine, and Godly beliefs that the Holy Spirit was instilling within Godly men. It was the revealing of the very mysteries and knowledge of Christianity. It was talking about what Christianity was all about. It was talking about spreading the Word of God that was a mystery to most men of that time, but that God understood. And God understood it because God had sent it via the Holy Spirit to the early apostles. And God wanted it spread to all men over the entire earth.