TODAY, we see many pastors engaging in ecstatic speech all in the name of proving to their audience the gift of the holy spirit? Are true Christians today identified by the ability to “speak in tongues”? John 13:35: “By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love among yourselves.” 1 Cor. 13:1, 8: “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels but do not have love, I have become a sounding piece of brass or a clashing cymbal. Love never fails. But whether there are gifts of prophesying, they will be done away with; whether there are tongues, they will cease.” Jesus said that holy spirit would come upon his followers and that they would be witnesses of him to the most distant part of the earth. (Acts 1: He instructed them to “make disciples of people of all the nations.” (Matt. 28:19) He also foretold that ‘this good news of the kingdom would be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all nations.’ (Matt. 24:14) Who today, both as a group and individually, are doing this work? In harmony with what Jesus said, should we not look for this as an evidence that a group has holy spirit? Is ‘speaking in tongues’ to continue? In the first century, the miraculous gifts of the spirit, including the ability to “speak in tongues,” verified that God’s favor had shifted from the Jewish system of worship to the newly established Christian congregation. (Heb. 2:2-4) Since that objective was accomplished in the first century, is it necessary to prove the same thing again and again in our day? In the first century, the ability to “speak in tongues” gave impetus to the international work of witnessing that Jesus had commissioned his followers to do. (Acts 1:8; 2:1-11; Matt. 28:19) Is that how those who “speak in tongues” use that ability today? In the first century, when Christians ‘spoke in tongues,’ what they said had meaning to people who knew those languages. (Acts 2:4, Today, is it not true that ‘speaking in tongues’ usually involves an ecstatic outburst of unintelligible sounds? In the first century, the Bible shows, congregations were to limit the ‘speaking in tongues’ to two or three persons who might do that at any given meeting; they were to do it “each in turn,” and if there was no interpreter present they were to keep silent. (1 Cor. 14:27, 28, RS) Is what is done today what was originally done by the people who first received the gift?