God Said Man Said

Neurological Realities of Speaking in Tongues

There has always been a group, since God gave man the scriptures, that has received it as the inerrant truth and embraced it far above all other persuasions. Shortly after the time of Christ this group was called Sola Scriptura, which in Latin means, “scriptures alone.” We are free to believe.
Recommend To A Friend
Audio Options: MP3

Neurological Realities of Speaking in Tongues

Article#: 1147

Suppose the president or governor gave you his private phone number that you could access at will.  Would that be impressive?  Try calling the presidential switchboard, ask to speak with the president, and see what happens.  But imagine that God not only has given His children His direct line, but He can be accessed by millions of His children (the born-again) simultaneously, and He can communicate with each one individually in real time.

Are you able to speak with God and hear His voice?  The necessary requirements and tools to communicate with God are offered unto all of us, but only a small handful take advantage of this unparalleled opportunity.

II Chronicles 7:14 tells how to communicate and get a response from God:

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Psalms 24:3-4:

Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?

He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.

The passages just read reveal the seven-digit, direct line to the God of creation Himself:

1.  “If my people, which are called by my name…”  Jesus describes this place as “born again” (John 3:3-7)—literally born into the family of God and called by His name: sons and daughters.

2.  “…humble themselves…”  Here we must recognize the glory, almighty power, and authority of God, and bow down our ears to receive correction.

3.  Pray and seek God’s face.

4.  Turn from wicked ways.

5.  “…clean hands, and a pure heart...”  This is a place where the believer’s sins have been washed away by the blood of Christ, and where one seeks God with diligence.

6.  Not lifted up unto vanity.  This means not driven by the emptiness of this life.

7.  “…nor sworn deceitfully.”  This is a place where the child of God does not make feigned promises unto God or man, but as the scriptures declare, he speaks the truth in his heart.

This is God’s direct line.  Call Him up.

Have you been born again?  Do you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior?  You can make that life-changing decision now.  Click onto “Further With Jesus” for childlike instructions and immediate entry into the Kingdom of God.  NOW FOR TODAY’S SUBJECT.

GOD SAID, Mark 16:16-20:

16  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

17  And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

18  They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

19  So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

20  And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

GOD SAID, Acts 2:1-4:

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

GOD SAID, I Corinthians 14:14:

For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.

GOD SAID, Isaiah 28:11-12:

11  For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.

12  To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.

MAN SAID: Speaking in tongues is a bunch of ungodly gibberish, and supernatural manifestations of nearly any sort are not for today.  The non-religious and the “religious” believers deny its supernatural existence entirely.

Now THE RECORD.  There has always been a group, since God gave man the Scriptures, that has received it as the inerrant truth and embraced it far above all other persuasions.  Shortly after the time of Christ, this group was called Sola Scriptura, which in Latin means “scriptures alone.”  We are free to believe.  I tell the story of the business controller who said, “I could never embrace the born-again experience.  My mother-in-law would never stand for it.”  It sounds strange, but being free to believe is a freedom that the vast majority of the world does not enjoy.  It is, in fact, an individual struggle that each of us must seek to master.

The following short paragraphs have been lifted from the GodSaidManSaid feature, “Holy Ghost (Part One):”

Many sit in congregations which they know are not embracing the whole truth.  They are afraid to acknowledge the obvious truth for fear of being frowned upon and ostracized.

Several decades ago, I sat in on a huge doctrinal debate.  The pastor presiding over the affair asked a particular deacon in the congregation, “What do you think, brother?”

The deacon answered, “I believe what you believe.”  He didn’t have the foggiest idea of what was in the balances.  In the deacon’s case, he was willing to follow the leadership’s position without a serious, personal investigation of the issue.

Are you free to believe all that you find written in the Word of God?  Are you willing to follow the truth, regardless of the consequences?  Typically, one’s answer to this question is, “Yes.”  But be certain that entrance to the gates of truth is not casually or even easily attained.

The issue we’ll examine in this series is one of, if not the most polarizing doctrines of the Word of God.  GodSaidManSaid understands that we will become the enemy of many for declaring the scriptural position on this matter, but the message is too foundationally critical to neglect.  Galatians 4:16 comes to mind:

Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?  [End of quote]

In 2006, GodSaidManSaid published a five-part series dubbed “Holy Ghost.”  In this series we addressed the following 10 questions:

1.  What is the first commandment Christ gives His church?

2.  Are people automatically baptized with the Holy Ghost the day they are saved?

3.  How did the saints of old get baptized with the Holy Ghost?

4.  How did the Apostles recognize one who was baptized with the Holy Ghost?

5.  What is the purpose of the Baptism with the Holy Ghost?

6.  Do Christians get baptized with the Holy Ghost today?

7.  Were the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, gifts of the spirit, and miracles only for the days of the Apostles?

8.  Do the Baptism with the Holy Ghost and the nine gifts of the Spirit serve separate functions?

9.  Is speaking with new tongues a phenomenon that began in 1906? Is that which is perfect already come (I Corinthians 13:10)?

10.  How can a Christian receive the Baptism with the Holy Ghost today?

Take the time to review this series

The charismatic experience, also known by charismatic believers as the baptism in the Holy Ghost, is initially typified by the speaking in unknown tongues.  It is receiving special attention in the field of neurology, and as you should suspect, once again the full veracity of the Holy Scriptures is proven.

The title of the 2006 GodSaidManSaid feature reads, “Scientists Study Speaking in Tongues.” 

To those unfamiliar with the concept of speaking in tongues, it is a supernatural ability directly associated with the Biblical baptism of the Holy Ghost.  It is a God-given language of men or of angels (I Corinthians 13:1) for the edification of the believer and a direct channel to the ear of God.  But, the language is unknown to the speaker.  The Apostle Paul testifies of it in I Corinthians 14:18:

I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:

This is a large supernatural proof that God is!

More information on the neurological activity that takes place when one speaks in tongues is reported in the 2009 book, How God Changes Your Brain.  The book’s authors are Andrew Newberg, M.D., a neurological scientist, and Mark Waldman, author and co-author of 10 books as well as a lecturer and therapist.  They document the measureable changes that take place when one meditates, prays, and sings, and some startling insights into what happens when one speaks in tongues.  The following paragraphs are from their book:

However, we have discovered that other forms of religious practice have very different neurological effects.  In 2003, I brought in members from a Pentecostal church and scanned them while they engaged in the practice of speaking in tongues.  To those unfamiliar with this practice, it may sound like a foreign language or babble, but I have heard renditions that reminded me of medieval Italian liturgies and ancient Assyrian poems.  For the Pentecostal practitioner, it is an energizing state, filled with profound spiritual meaning and joy.

“Glossolalia,” as it is academically called, is not a form of contemplative meditation.  Rather, it is a type of spontaneous verbal monologue that may or may not be accompanied by body gyrations and shaking, similar to ecstatic trances found in various spiritual and shamanic traditions.  Instead of focusing one’s attention on a specific phrase or ideal, which increases activity in the frontal lobe, the practitioner surrenders voluntary control—and thus a significant degree of ordinary consciousness—by deliberately slowing down frontal lobe activity.  This, in turn, allows the limbic areas of the brain to become more active, which neurologically increases the emotional intensity of the experience.

When we analyzed the research from all of our studies, we found that different parts of the brain produced different experiences that affected the way we perceive or think about God, the universe, our mind, and our lives.  For example, our frontal lobes (the newest part of the human brain) provide us with a logical concept of a rational, deliberate, and loving God, while our limbic system (the oldest part of the brain) creates an emotionally meaningful experience of God.

Our brain-scan studies of contemplative forms of Buddhist and Christian meditation show that when activity in the parietal areas decreases, a sense of timelessness and spacelessness emerges.  This allows the meditator to feel at one with the object of contemplation: with God, the universe, peacefulness, or any other object upon which he or she focuses.

However, when Pentecostals speak in tongues, parietal activity increases.  This gives them the sense that a separate entity is communicating with them.  Thus, they do not report the experience of feeling at one with God.  Since the parietal area also plays a role in language formation and articulation, it makes sense that we would see this type of activity during the Pentecostal experience.  Yet, when our memory patients sand sa-ta-na-ma during their meditation, parietal activity decreased, just as with the Buddhists and nuns.  We don’t fully understand this phenomenon, but we suspect that one would need to maintain a strong sense of self in order to maintain an internal dialogue with God.  [End of quote]

Now note the Biblical statements paralleled with today’s science:

A

BIBLE: Isaiah 28:12: “To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.”

SCIENCE: “…an energizing state, filled with profound spiritual meaning and joy.”

B

BIBLE: I Corinthians 14:14: “For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.”

SCIENCE: “…the practitioner surrenders voluntary control—and thus a significant degree of ordinary consciousness…”

C

BIBLE: I Corinthians 14:2: “For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.”

BIBLE: Romans 8:26-27: “26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”

SCIENCE: “However, when Pentecostals speak in tongues, parietal activity increases.  This gives them the sense that a separate entity is communicating with them.”

D

BIBLE: Again, I Corinthians 14:14: “For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.”

SCIENCE: “Since the parietal area also plays a role in language formation and articulation, it makes sense that we would see this type of activity during the Pentecostal experience.”

The skeptics clamor for proof yet they refuse to see.  Isaiah 28:11-12:

11  For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.

12  To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.

GOD SAID, speaking in tongues.

MAN SAID: Speaking in tongues is a bunch of ungodly gibberish, and supernatural manifestations of nearly any sort are not for today.  The non-religious and the “religious” believers deny its supernatural existence entirely.

Now you have THE RECORD.

 

 

 

 

References:

Authorized King James Version

Fascinating Discovery: Brain Activity Declines as Subjects Speak in Tongues, UPI, 11/7/2006

Newberg, A., M.D., and Mark Waldman, How God Changes Your Brain, Ballantine Books, 2009, pp48-52

 

 

 

Visits: 5126